"If it's not too much of a cliché, take me to your leader. If it is too much of a cliché, take me anyway."An alien spaceship lands on Earth. The extra-terrestrial walks out and finds a human. They make the following statement: "Take me to your leader". Now a Dead Horse Trope, and never said seriously, or at least not without others complaining about what a terrible line it is. Even then, it's very rarely used unless I Always Wanted to Say That. See also How to Invade an Alien Planet.
— Luke Skywalker, Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor
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Anime and Manga
- Not directly used, but invoked in Rinne no Lagrange, when Lan tells Madoka that she's an alien; Madoka asks if she really means a "Take Me to Your Leader" type alien. The answer is a non-surprised (she's apparently also familiar with the trope) yes.
- Parodied in Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet. When Ledo arrives on Earth, he can't speak the local language and must rely on his ship's AI to act as a translator. The AI informs him that "I have requested an audience with their commander."
- Japanese culture actually has its own equivalent of this phrase: "We are aliens" ("Wareware ha uchuujin da"), usually said with some kind of distorting voice mask.
- Haiyore! Nyarko-san: Nyarko says this (while gently tapping her throat to provide the distortion) in the first episode of the TV series.
- Touhou Bougetsushou: Princess Kaguya says it while Breathing on the Fan in Chapter 2.
- Dragon Ball Super: The first ending theme contains the line, immediately followed by "We are Earthlings" ("Wareware wa chikyuujin da").
- Annihilation: Conquest #2 — Ronan the Accuser makes a big speech on how the bugs who tried to kill them really should unite with them against the evil robots, and ends it with "Or in other words.... Take us to your leader!"
- In a Green Lantern comic from the 1970s or 80s, the alien Katma Tui lands on Earth, says the phrase in all seriousness, and gets taken to the United Nations. However, the comic said something to the effect of "though the phrase is clichéd, the alien says it with no humor in mind" or something like that.
- World War Hulk: When Korg confronts a police officer and makes demands that he can't realistically meet (and is informed as much), bystanders are all barely containing their laughter or rolling their eyes as he insists that they "Take me to your leader."
- A Star Trek/X-Men crossover inverts the usual human/alien roles when Logan asks Commander Spock to take him to his leader.
- In one Woody Woodpecker comic, Woody dresses up as an alien to play a prank on Splinter and Knothead. However, they find out and decide to prank him back... and then a real alien appears (who happens to look just like Woody's costume). His main line is "Take Me to Your Leader", repeated in vain as the woodpecker kids expose him to a Humiliation Conga. Finally he gets fed up and escapes, but runs into Woody who is exhilarated that he gets to meet a real alien with the fame and fortune to follow, and offers to take him to his leader. However, the alien has had enough.
- NO! I am going back to MY leader and telling him that everyone on Earth is BONKERS!
- Luke once◊ tells the extremely friendly Zeltrons this in Marvel Star Wars.
- "Far Out Friend", an Archie Comics story, features an alien who uses this line, although he admits it is corny.
- Played straight in Oink! when an alien met an American. The subsequent encounter with Ronald Reagan led the alien to give up: a planet with a leader like that isn't worth conquering.
- Mentioned in passing in The Next Frontier; apparently it's a tired old cliche in Kerbal popular fiction as well, and Bill jokingly (probably) threatens to make Jeb walk home if he can't come up with something better to say if they do make First Contact now they've reached another solar system. They do, and he does.
- From Captain Proton and the Planet of Lesbians.
- In Good Boy!, Hubble the dog says this to Owen, his owner, after Owen gains the ability to understand dogs. Hubble is from the dog star Sirius 7.
- In Dentist on the Job two men infiltrating a military lab pretend to have a conversation to act casually, one of them says this. An odd example in that neither of them is an extraterrestrial, just trespassers.
- Reign of Fire. A convoy of heavily-armed Americans turns up and points their guns at the settlement. Their leader shouts out to the settlement, "WHO'S IN CHARGE?" Creedy looks at Quinn, saying "Well that would be you then."
- Iron Sky. The Moon Nazis bring their prisoner, celebrity astronaut James Washington, to Earth to get their hands on computers that aren't the size of an entire room. After landing in the United States they demand that Washington take them to the President.
Washington: I thought I'd just take you to a Mac store.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
- Star Wars Expanded Universe
Han Solo: Take me to your leader. We come in peace.Leia: Han.Han Solo: Sorry, Leia. Sometimes I can't help myself.
- Luke says this in Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, though not to aliens.
- Fate of the Jedi: Conviction, after Han blasts open a door lock, then stuns the guards inside:
- In Protector, by Larry Niven, the alien whom Nick Sohl and Luke Garner meet on Mars says this to them. The twist: the alien is a human asteroid miner, Jack Brennan, who has accidentally been transformed into a human version of a Pak Protector.
- In Calculating God, the trope is played with: the aliens arrive and say "Take me to your geologists." They are looking for evidence of behavior of the god they believe in, and could care less about who's in charge locally, except as it concerns the geological evidence they are looking for.
- In "The Twilight Zone" episode "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?" a crazy-eyed man says this to a jukebox that had spontaneously started playing music while police officers are searching for an alien. The jukebox of course ends up being an illusion CREATED by an alien, and not an alien itself.
- In the short novel The Librarian (2015), the people who have an alien in custody are talking about figuring out his intentions. One points out, "he asked to talk to his wife, not to 'take him to our leader'."
- Discussed in John Scalzi's Agent To The Stars. When first meeting Joshua, Tom wonders why the Yherjak haven't followed this trope by landing next to the White House and asking to speak to the President. Joshua explains that it was their original intention until they arrived in Earth's orbit and started picking up our signals and learning that humans have an appalling number of movies featuring "evil aliens", some of which look like the Yherjak. After spending decades brushing up on Earth's culture (mostly gleamed from Hollywood films and TV shows), they sent Joshua to contact Tom's boss, so that he finds an agent (Tom) to prepare humanity to receive the Yherjak with open arms despite their appearance and smell.
- Red Dwarf, "Rimmerworld":
Lister: This is going to sound like a bit of a corny line, but... I can hardly bring myself to say it.Rimmer-Clone: Say what?Lister: "Take us to your leader."Kryten: Oh, sir, how could you?!
- Doctor Who:
- Used by the Fourth Doctor in the classic series, after threatening someone with a "deadly jelly-baby" didn't work out - not because they didn't buy it, but because they told him to kill the man he was threatening. The Doctor eats the jelly-baby and tells them he doesn't take orders from anyone.
- Glitz prefaces this with an "I can't believe I'm saying this" in "Trial of a Time Lord".
- The Ninth Doctor uses it in "Aliens of London" as he greets UNIT soldiers gathered around the TARDIS waiting for him.
- The Tenth Doctor uses it in the story "Voyage of the Damned", and follows up with "I Always Wanted to Say That".
- The Eleventh Doctor in "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship", to Rory's disgust. "Too good to resist."
- Brother Cavil in Battlestar Galactica (2003) does that when he is outed as a Cylon Spy. They take him to the brig instead.
(After having several guns pointed at him.) Well, this is an awkward moment. (Beat) Yes, uh, he's right, I am a Cylon. And I have a message, so.... take me to your leader.
- Spoofed in an episode of Legend of the Seeker. Kahlan has approached a D'Haran prison disguised as a Mord-Sith who has captured the Seeker:
Kahlan: Take me to your warden.
- Played straight in an episode of Andromeda, where a representative of the Consensus of Parts says this to Hunt and the crew. The kicker is, the only reason he said that was because he thought that's what aliens are supposed to say to humans upon meeting them first.
- Also subverted in that the Consensus is not actually looking for the ship's captain. They're looking for the ship's AI, as they consider organics to be inferior beings.
- Jack O'Neill of Stargate SG-1 uses this sometimes. Inverted in that he's a human speaking to aliens on their own planet. There's also an element of I Always Wanted to Say That to it.
- Lost: In Recon Sawyer delivers this line to Widmore's people as a deliberate mock-up.
- Lampshaded in an episode of The Tomorrow People when a species called the Sorsons arrive on Earth and make this request, TIM mentions that the Sorsons have been monitoring Earth broadcasts for a long time and are aware of the cliché:
TIM: The Sorsons are not without a sense of humour.
- Inverted and lampshaded in Power Rangers Megaforce. When a new "alien" teammate arrives, Troy tells him it's time they took him to their leader. Jake cracks up at the "classic alien move line".
- An alien on Spitting Image said this to British politicians David Owen and David Steel.
David Owen: Well, now, that's a bit tricky. If you could wait until after the next election...
- My Favorite Martian: When Uncle Martin needs to see Tim's boss urgently.
I never thought I would say this, Tim, but... take me to your leader.
- Spoofed by Tom Lehrer in "Whatever Became of Hubert?":
"We must protest this treatment, Hubert!"Says each newspaper reader;As someone once remarked to Schubert,"Take us to your Lieder!"... (Sorry about that!)
- The band Hanzel und Gretyl released a song called "Take Me To Your Leader". The music video uses a lot of scenes from old 1950's sci-fi flicks.
- One Bloom County comic sees an alien step out of a spaceship and demand Opus take him to his leader. It's an election year, however, and as Opus lists off the candidates, the alien eventually gets so exasperated that he climbs back in his ship and leaves.
- Another appearance is in Berkeley Breathed's next strip Outland. This time, after summarizing the candidates, Opus instead directs the alien to Bill the Cat.
- Calvin and Hobbes:
Alien: Take us to the Supreme Earth Potentate.Calvin: Uh..Um...Speaking.
- In an early Dilbert strip, long before it became exclusively office humor, aliens ask Dogbert to take them to his leader. Dogbert asks them to specify what kind of leader: spiritual, economic, political, or military? They choose political, so Dogbert asks: city, county, state, federal, or world political leader? They choose world, only for Dogbert to tell them that Earth doesn't have a world leader. In the end, he directs them to a grocery store that claims to be the price leader...
- Parodied in one early Garfield strip. Garfield is playing with his food (which Jon tells him is for eating). As part of that, he puts tomatoes over his eyes, a lime in his mouth and celery stalks on his ears, and holds a banana in each hand as he says, "Take me to your leader, earthling, or I'll atomize your face."
- This whole scene, "leader" and all, is seen in animated form in Here Comes Garfield.
- Played straight in Lunar 2. Although she looks perfectly human and is not from very far away, Lucia arrives in the beginning of the game as an alien on a mission to meet with the local divinity, the Goddess Althena. Hiro is the first person she meets, and she calmly but immediately demands he take her to see the goddess.
- Implied in this strip of The Order of the Stick.
- Spoofed in this Evil, Inc.. strip.
- Parodied in El Goonish Shive the first time an alien (or not?) appears in person:
- An "alien" in mezzacotta either mixed up her messages or chose to skip formalities and get straight to the business.
- In xkcd Time, the Beanie People bring Cueball and Megan to their leader, primarily because their leader is the only one around who speaks (a little of) the visitors' language.
- In a Halloween episode of The Simpsons, during the 1996 elections, the aliens ask this and are informed that America may be switching leaders soon. This gives the aliens an idea, and they abduct and replace both Clinton and Dole.
- Lampshaded in an episode of Garfield and Friends. When Little Green Men land in Garfield's backyard, they say this, and Garfield replies "I didn't know aliens really said that!"
- In the Mater's Tall Tales episode "Unidentified Flying Mater", Mater meets a Flying Saucer who asks "Take me to your leaders". Mater then takes him to his liters of motor oil.
- In one episode of Futurama, the cast, along with Zapp Brannigan, meets with a tribe of Martians. When one of them introduces himself as tribe chief, Zapp's reply is this line.
- Rocky and Bullwinkle; during the Moon Mice arc, Gibney and Cloyd tell Rocky about how Mr. Big conquered the Moon and forced the Moon-men to build giant metal-munching mice. When a Moon-man said, "Let me guess, you want us to take you to our leader?" Mr. Big answered, "Don't be silly. I am your leader!"
Rocky: Bullwinkle, they think we're moon people.Bullwinkle: They do? Then, take me to your president!
- In the very first episode, Rocky and Bullwinkle arrive from the moon via makeshift rocket, and various diplomats believe them to be moon people.
- Actually played straight in Transformers Prime by Silas to Knock Out.
- An Al Brodax Popeye cartoon had Popeye, Olive and Wimpy accidentally sent to the moon on an experimental rocket. They find the moon is made of cheese and are approached by a little cheese sentry:
Popeye: What's your name, little fella?Sentry: Krantz, captain of the guards.Popeye: Takes me to your leader, Krantz!
- A non-alien variation in the Young Samson & Goliath episode "Salamandro". When Samson captures one of the villain Salamandro's Mooks, he tells him "Take me to your leader" (i.e. Salamandro).
- Said by the Zod expy alien in Men in Black episode "The Supermen in Black Syndrome", then he smiles at the camera.
- A bumper from The Beatles show had Ringo confronted by a little alien who floats to earth.
Ringo: (doubling over laughing) "Take me to your leader?" You must be kidding with that old line! (Angered, the alien uses a ray gun to zap and shrink Ringo to tiny size; to the camera) Now here's a word from our leader.
- Made fun of in this joke:
Two aliens land in a godforsaken part of Earth, walk around a bit and find a small gas station. It's night, and no human is around. The aliens mistake the gas pump for a kind of robot and commands: "Take Me to Your Leader!" The pump, of course, says nothing. The alien again threatens: "I said, take me to your leader!" The pump still isn't impressed. Now the alien gets angry: "If you don't take me to your leader right now, I'll shoot you with my laser!" But the other alien gets nervous: "I wouldn't mess with that guy... better be nice." The first alien isn't doesn't care and points his laser at the pump: "Now take me to your leader, or I'll shoot you!" The other alien panics and runs away. Since the pump does nothing, the first alien shoots, and the gas station goes BOOM. By a sheer miracle, the alien survives. He asks his companion "How did you know that would happen?" - "I didn't", the other one replies. "But if I see a guy who can stick his dick in his ear, I surely don't mess with him!"
- One Fun T-Shirt spoofs shows a Grey alien smoking a joint with the words: TAKE ME TO YOUR DEALER.
- According to The Laws and Customs of War, officers that are P.O.W.s can demand to speak to an enemy commanding officer (usually of equal rank), such as to bargain with their captors about their treatment.