Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth.
Peter: [leaning on a rock] Do you think it's possible that someone out there has intelligence greater than my own?
Curls: You're leaning on it.
A Stock Joke that usually goes something like this:
: "Did you hear that scientists are looking for intelligent life on other planets?" Bob
: "I guess they gave up on finding any on this
Or in other cases:
: "I came to this planet many years ago to investigate the rumors about existence of intelligent life, and I can safely say that they have been thoroughly disproved."
Related to Humans Are Morons
, Sufficiently Advanced Alien
and This Loser Is You
. Contrast Humans Are Cthulhu
- A chapter of Carl Sagan's book Pale Blue Dot is titled "Is There Intelligent Life On Earth?" and covers a fictional alien visitor observing things from space that cause it to ask that question.
- Used near the end of the novel George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt: "And through the portal they could see one of the most beautiful planets in the whole galaxy, where there is warmth, and light, and water. Where there is life. Some of it, possibly, intelligent."
- Used with alternate dimentions instead of space in the General Protection Fault/Kevin & Kell crossover, when Ki and Nick are visiting Kevin & Kell's world - filled with Talking Animals of every size and shape - but no humans. Leading to this exchange...
Lindesfarne: So in your world, there's only ONE intelligent species?
Ki: Yeah, Dolphins. Just kidding... but sometimes I think the jury's still out on us humans.
Lindesfarne: But surely, with no significant differences to drive you apart, you must all live in peace and harmony!
- In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, the alien Nemesites have held the lease to our planet for eons, designating it as a nature preserve, and consider the young species of humanity to be unintelligent wildlife. Princess Voluptua is deeply concerned about whether changing that legal designation to grant humans Imperial Citizenship would do mankind more harm than good.
- Johnny Bravo had this in one episode as an Expy of Kirk said that there was no intelligent life there while in the middle of a park right before the title character ended up switching places with him in a beam up on a parody of Star Trek.
- Lilo & Stitch: Upon discovering that the titular alien has landed on an isolated island - Hawaii;
Grand Councilwoman: Can we not simply destroy the island?
Pleakley: NO, crazyhead! The mosquito's food of choice, primitive humanoid lifeforms, have colonies all over that place!
Grand Councilwoman: Are they intelligent?
- Buzz Lightyear's introduction in Toy Story could be read as a more subtle version of this. Immediately prior to meeting the other toys, Buzz, thinking he's a real space ranger, describes the "planet" (actually Andy's bedroom) that he finds himself in: "There seems to be no sign of intelligent life anywhere."
- A screencap of the scene has become something of a small internet meme in which it gets juxtaposed with particularly stupid comments, like so.◊
- In one episode of Garfield and Friends, an alien, having observed the antics of the farm's residents (it was in the U.S. Acres segment), reports that the mission to find intelligent life has failed.
- Kent Hovind used this joke in one of his "lectures". Given that Mr. Hovind is a young Earth creationist whose views are often considered spurious even by other young Earth creationists, one may wonder if this actually helps to confirm or refute the trope.
- On a T-shirt: "Beam me up, Scotty! There's no intelligent life down here!"
- Also on a pin (a yellow pin, to be specific).
- The tongue-in-cheek Search for Terrestrial Intelligence project from the 90s is still looking.