->''"We need no language. We can project our thoughts long distances."''
-->-- Alpha, ''Film/CatwomenOfTheMoon''
%% One quote only, please. Additional quotes can go on the quotes tab.

Space travelers and extraterrestrials are often {{telepath|y}}ic. This has two advantages: 1) We assume they can "think" to others in a way that the recipients' minds will translate into their own language, an elegant version of TranslatorMicrobes for communicating with people from different planets. 2) By some absurd AppliedPhlebotinum it is assumed that telepathic communication is instantaneous anywhere in the universe, allowing instant [[SubspaceAnsible communication across the light-years]].

In many far-future science fiction stories, movies and games, it is assumed that [[HumansArePsychicInTheFuture human evolution will eventually result]] in the development of PsychicPowers for the entire human race. As most of those same stories involve space travel, this could be interpreted as humanity ''becoming'' the telepathic spacemen.

Compare EnlightenedMysticRace (Type II SpaceElves) and/or ProudScholarRaceGuy. See also {{Sufficiently Advanced Alien}}s.

[[AC:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* The ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' Universal Century continuity has Newtypes who can, [[PsychicPowers among other things]], communicate with each other telepathically. It's initially assumed that this is the result of humans [[EvolutionaryLevels evolving]] to adapt to living in space, and in the UC continuity the specific mechanism is understood well enough that a) weapons exist to take advantage of this without having to rely on electromagnetic signals, and b) surgically altering otherwise normal 'Oldtypes' into Artificial Newtypes (typically with the added cost of mental instability) is an option.
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00'' also uses this trope with the Innovators, a group of {{Artificial Human}}s who were created to [[spoiler:lead mankind to the stars. They don't seem to be very good at this, considering so far all they've used their powers for are killing.]]
** Then we have the appearance of [[spoiler:the "true" Innovators, evolved humans rather than engineered clones. Their telepathy is more powerful, and with the presence of large amounts of GN Particles, can telepathically connect everyone within the field. One of them ([[TheHero Setsuna]]) even uses these powers to communicate and broker a treaty with a group of StarfishAliens called the ELS. The epilogue implies that the entire human race is slowly transforming into Innovators.]]
** [[Anime/AfterWarGundamX Gundam X]] deconstructs this. The Colonies follow a 'Newtypism' ideology, essentially this trope as a political movement. It quickly becomes clear that the Colonies do not actually have any Newtypes among them, and in the series perhaps ''5'' emerge (if you don't count the Frost brothers), all from ''Earth''. At the end, D.O.M.E. makes it clear that [[spoiler: the "Newtypes" that appeared were basically ''mutants'', and their abilities merely individual talents that happened to be similar to each other.]]
* The HumanAlien mages of ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'', who possess {{Magitek}} that allow casual travel between planets and can telepathically communicate with each other as a basic ability.
* The Nameks from ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' are stated to have this role. As are the Yardrats, according to Goku, and presumably whatever race King Kai comes from. It seems to be one of the setting's StockSuperpowers that comes with attaining a certain threshold of ki control and power level; Goku also demonstrates it at least once, although [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands it shows up]] [[ForgotICouldFly inconsistently]] depending on whether the writer (or the characters) remember they have it.
* Tony the alien [[RoswellThatEndsWell from Area 51]] in ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' at one point seems to transfer his thoughts full of [[ClusterFBomb offensive language]] to England when America introduces them to each other. America, since he did not hear it, thinks they are getting along fine.
* In ''Anime/{{Vandread}}'', Hibiki encounters a group of humans in an asteroid belt who have the ability to communicate telepathically. They can't speak normally, because [[spoiler:Earth stole their voices]].
* In ''Anime/HeroicAge'', some species are capable of telepathy, most notably the Silver Tribe, who use it extensively as a means of communication, and even politics.
* In ''Anime/GodMars'', telepathy is the most common psychic power seen among the aliens. They're able to communicate over large distances and even speak to the dead under certain circumstances.

* ComicBook/MartianManhunter and [[ComicBook/{{LegionOfSuper-Heroes}} Saturn Girl]], among others, in Franchise/TheDCU.
* ''ComicBook/TopTen'''s Glusko the Spaceman is a former Kosmonaut who got his telepathy during a space mission. He also has a telepathic space [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys chimp]] named Tanya.
* ComicBook/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy's Cosmo the dog, who became a telepathic space alien (by 'citizenship' if not birth) in a couple of issues of Nova when he was sent out on a Soviet space probe. He has a Russian accent.
* Allen the Alien from ''ComicBook/{{Invincible}}'', as well as Viltrumites and other aliens capable of unassisted space flight.
* The elves from ''ComicBook/ElfQuest'' are eventually revealed to have originated as a variant of this, and the future for most of them is the same. The humans on the planet are also eventually revealed to be heading toward being on a par with the elves in telepathy and other "magic" powers.

* In ''Film/IndependenceDay'', the aliens are said to communicate with each other via "some kind of extra-sensory perception." They don't seem able to manipulate or read human minds at a distance, though one alien controls a dead scientist through physical contact in order to speak with the main characters. It also made direct contact with the President's mind. It gave the President a crippling headache, but it got the message it wanted to convey across.

* In ''{{Literature/Adaptation}}'' by Malinda Lo, [[spoiler: the Imria have a form of telepathy/ empathy that allows them to sense emotions.]]
* ''Literature/TheStainlessSteelRat''. Communication is handled by professional "Psimen" who send telepathic telegrams (telepathegrams) across the universe to other psimen on your own planet who then phone your message in to your boss for you. For a fee, obviously.
* The Andalites from ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'', as well as anyone who uses their morphing technology (which is a nice work-around for the issue of "How can your team communicate when everyone is a rat"). The first book seems to indicate that normal humans can do this too, as long as they focus and the recipient is in morph, and that one can broadcast images as well as verbal communication this way, but [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness neither of these ever come up again]]- it's commonly accepted that the author just screwed up on that bit, and it was fixed in the reprint. Also Leerans (in addition to being psychic mind-readers) and Garatrons. The Yeerks themselves seem to be telepathic in a sense, but only when they're inside a host body and only for Yeerk-to-host communications. It seems to be part of their physical link to the host's brain; we find that their bodies aren't as solid as they appear and they're able to spread over and through the brain, linking their neurons to the host's neurons.
** There are also rules for it. With Andalites it's words. The name "thought-speak" describes what it literally is; like speaking but with thoughts. Anyone in morph can do it; it makes sense because it's Andalite technology; they made it so they could still talk the way they always do. Though it took the writer(s) a while to realize it, this means that you can do it when morphed into ''another human;'' Tobias and Ax use the ability to thought-speak in human morph to their advantage late in the series. It's so similar to speech that more than once, a character hasn't realized that they didn't exactly "hear" what was spoken to them if the speaker deliberately made the sentence short and sweet. Leerans, on the other hand, transmit feelings and images as well; it's not exactly like words in your head. Leerans also have a spoken language; it consists of single syllable words. The listener will always understand the meaning perfectly, as if they were native Leeran speakers themselves. Leerans also receive thoughts and feelings from you whether you want them to or not, a passive ability that's always on; the Yeerks have few Leeran hosts because there's no hiding your intentions from one; [[TheyLookLikeUsNow infiltration]] is out of the question and the element of surprise doesn't exist. The Animorphs are very wary of the few Leeran-controllers who exist, because all you have to do is ''get near one'' and that's the ''end'' of having a SecretIdentity.
** Due to PaintingTheMedium, we know when someone's clearly not speaking normal words though we don't know how it works. Andalite-style thought-speak is represented instead of "like so," and Leeran speech (spoken or not) is in italics and underline. Therefore, it's safe to assume that when the Ellimist starts talking in small uppercase letters it ''doesn't'' sound like his harmless-looking human disguise form is speaking normally. Interestingly, his opposite number, GodOfEvil Crayak, ''does'' speak with normal quote marks. Apparently he doesn't feel the need to communicate in a more impressive/intimidating fashion.
* Christopher Stasheff's ''Literature/WarlockOfGramarye'' novels have this in reverse; the LostColony of Gramarye is presently a medieval-level society, but eventually they ''will'' go into space (there's an entire TimeTravel war going on over it), at which point their telepaths will revolutionize interstellar communication.
* The [[CatFolk Kzin]] from Creator/LarryNiven's ''Literature/KnownSpace'' [[TheVerse Universe]] had a rare subspecies of telepath who facilitate contact with alien races (mainly calls for them to surrender, since the Kzin are {{Proud Warrior Race Guy}}s). The telepaths, thought enormously useful, are not allowed to breed and are generally despised because they require [[SuperSerum an addictive drug]] to activate their powers, which contributes to them being rather poor examples of the race by Kzinti warrior standards.
* Creator/EEDocSmith used this heavily in his ''Literature/{{Lensman}}'' series, making this OlderThanTelevision, and nearly as old as the entire concept of interstellar travel. Most of the really powerful intelligent species in the galaxy are telepaths -- some of them make humans look distinctly {{puny|Earthlings}} by comparison. However, sufficiently competent members (usually the result of a long breeding program) of any species may wear a Lens, a device which allows them to communicate telepathically. Oh, and understand any language. And crack codes effortlessly. And... well, let's just say it gets more out of hand from there. The Lens serves as the ultimate TranslatorMicrobes and MindProbe, and is sometimes believed to be the inspiration for the original GreenLanternRing.
* The ''[[Literature/TowerAndTheHive Rowan]]'' series by Creator/AnneMcCaffrey has psychics as not only the means of communication between colonized star systems, but also the means of transportation (via psychokinetic {{teleport|ersAndTransporters}}) that makes such colonies possible to begin with. From the point of view of the Mrdini, who have no psychics of their own, ''humans'' are the telepathic spacemen.
* The [[SpaceElves chieri]] of [[Creator/MarionZimmerBradley Marion Zimmer Bradley's]] ''Literature/{{Darkover}}'' universe, although their rather impressive range of other [[PsychicPowers powers]] puts them on the edge of being {{Sufficiently Advanced Alien}}s. Between [[HalfHumanHybrid interbreeding]] and the [[PowerCrystal psi-amplifying crystals]] on the titular planet, some humans become telepathic spacemen as well.
* ''Time For The Stars'' by Creator/RobertAHeinlein is all about a spaceship that exploits the idea that telepathy is instantaneous.
* In Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Literature/{{Foundation}}'' universe, R. Daneel Olivaw is a telepathic space ''robot''.
** As is [[spoiler: R. Giskard Reventlov, the original telepathic robot who gives Daneel his ability in ''Literature/RobotsAndEmpire''.]]
** Then of course there are also the Second Foundation and Gaia. Also, the would-be GalacticConqueror known as the Mule.
* The ''Literature/SectorGeneral'' series has two species of empaths, long-range emotion detectors of varying sensitivity. Others are telepathic. This is presented as an entirely biological process, the concept having apparently been more plausible back in the day, and several storylines revolve around telepathic capabilities that have been damaged, stuck on, or which come with side effects. Humans possess a vestigial, atrophied capacity for telepathy and can sometimes be contacted. The feeling is compared to having one's brain worked with a wire brush.
* Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/{{Dreamcatcher}}'' has telepathic aliens coming to Earth. Thing is, their telepathy is ''contagious''. It appears at the end that the aliens themselves may not even be ''sapient'' in their own right, instead telepathically taking on the traits of sapience expected of them by the humans.
* The Insect race in Andrey Livadny's ''Literature/TheHistoryOfTheGalaxy'' series communicates with one another (and anyone else) using natural telepathic abilities. They are also able to use those abilities to stun opponents with a mental strike and [[MindRape probe them for information]]. Certain humans, while lacking full-blown telepathy, can form empathic bonds with others; however, this requires special circumstances. Also, since every human is from birth implanted with a small chip that is used to remotely control household appliances and the like, certain individuals who have been implanted with multiple chips are able to read other's thoughts with the use of the chips.
* Interesting example in ''Literature/EndersGame'', where the Buggers have {{Hive Mind}}s.
* The ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'' series is filled with these since [[SuperSerum the Spice]] grants psychic abilities. The ones that most fulfill this trope however are the Steersmen and Navigators of the Spacing Guild, who use their abilities to see the future and to guide the ships.
* Handled relatively realistically in the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'': telepathy results from a random mutation, and is refined through successive generations of genetic engineering. The telepaths are limited in range, their ability to read minds is blocked by even thin pieces of metal and confused when there are many minds or sources of electronic noise in the area, and they can read some minds far better than others.
* The ''Literature/AlexBenedict'' series has the alien Ashiyyur, commonly known as the Mutes. Their telepathic abilities only work within a range of a few meters, however; and they can only hear thoughts, not broadcast them. They also have considerably more difficulty reading human thoughts than they do communicating with each other.
* The colloids in ''Literature/TheParasiteWar'' are this way.
* In ''Literature/ThePlaneteers'', Penton and Blake encounter several species of telepathic aliens. Also, at the beginning of the series, the Martians teach Penton their telepathic techniques so that ''he'' becomes a telepathic spaceman, and he uses the skill to instantly learn languages on other planets.
* Actually inverted in the ''Literature/MyTeacherIsAnAlien'' series, where humans are apparently the only sapient species that are innately telepathic. However, [[AMindIsATerribleThingToRead the strain of suffering the thoughts and feelings of a multitude]] drove humankind to mentally isolate themselves, and the resulting lack of empathy causes them to do terrible things to one another, making humans also [[HumansAreBastards the only species to commit atrocities.]]
* The Martians in ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' are theorised to be this by the narrator after he observes them working together without any visible means of communication, though it is never definitively proven one way or the other.

* ''Series/MorkAndMindy'': "Mork calling Orson, Mork Calling Orson." "One moment, Mork, I'm taking a call on another brain cell." Even Mindy can do this, by holding Mork's nose and putting her finger in his ear.
* ''Series/TheTomorrowPeople'': The Galactic Federation, a space collective of telepathic species, sends communications to the human Tomorrow People via telepathy. Due to the distances involved, the messages are usually received by a telepathic ''computer'' instead of directly, except in desperate cases.
* Early episodes of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' gave TheEmpath Deanna Troi the ability to communicate telepathically with Riker. This was dropped later on, though. Betazoids can telepathically communicate with each other; Lwaxana prefers this but Deanna considers it rude to do when among species that can't pick up on it.
* Also, the first pilot of the original ''[[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Star Trek]]'', The Cage, features the [[Comicbook/XMen Professor X]]-level telepathic Talosians, making the first Trek aliens ''ever'' (other than Spock, that is) qualify. They weren't ''nearly'' as nice as most of the other examples here, though. ''Franchise/StarTrek'' regularly uses telepathic species. Vulcans are touch-telepaths (or at least, most of them are; [[Film/StarTrekVTheFinalFrontier Spock's half-brother Sybok]] is an example of a Vulcan who doesn't require physical contact); they can't communicate over distances, but Spock has used a mind-meld to communicate with aliens on occasion. And then there's the ''katra'' business, using a mind-meld to cheat death.
** The Original Series episode ''The Immunity Syndrome'' does feature Spock telepathically picking up (at interstellar distances) a message of sorts from a group of Vulcans. [[MySignificanceSenseIsTingling Said message being the death of the four-hundred or so Vulcans in that group]].
* ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise''. Trip and T'Pol find their "intimate relationship" has unexpected consequences when they find themselves sharing the same daydream, despite being on completely different starships.
* Discussed in an episode of ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' where Quark, Rom, and Nog accidentally end up at [[RoswellThatEndsWell Roswell]]. The scientist examining them is surprised that an advanced alien race is ''not'' like that. In fact, Ferengi are stated by telepaths to be impervious to scans due to their strange brain structure.
* In ''Series/DoctorWho''. The Doctor can do what seems to all intents and purposes a Vulcan mindmeld and [[NewPowersAsThePlotDemands other]] telepathic feats, [[spoiler:such as memory-wiping]] also by touching the subject's temples... [[DependingOnTheWriter sometimes.]] It's annoying.
** And, in emergencies, giving people an instant infodump by means of a Glasgow kiss. (Banging foreheads.)
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' has telepaths in nearly every alien species, as well as humans. Turns out [[AWizardDidIt Vorlons Did It]]. They're so [[TouchedByVorlons touchy]].
* ''Something Is Out There'' (a short-lived sci-fi series on NBC). The alien protagonist Ta'Ra is telepathic; unfortunately she's also a [[MsFanservice hot chick]] so she's [[DirtyMindReading constantly annoyed]] over how these Earth people want to "do ''that'' with her body" (her species has a [[BizarreAlienBiology somewhat different way of making love]]).
* Orsian twin pairs from ''Series/{{Tracker}}''.
* Cally, one of the protagonists of ''Series/BlakesSeven,'' is a Human Alien revolutionary who can do this. She can send her thoughts to humans (i.e. they can hear her unspoken voice), though not read their thoughts. (She's from a clone race.)
* In ''Series/StargateSG1'', the Ancients gained this as one of their powers when nearing the [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence Ascension]] threshold. A number of humans (not all of them from Earth) have also gained telepathic powers by various means. Nirrti used an Ancient DNA manipulator to experiment on humans of one planet, some of whom became telepathic. Khalek, genetically-engineered by Anubis, is also able to read minds, as well as MindOverMatter abilities. In an episode of ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', [=McKay=] can also read minds when nearing the threashold and is even able to impart knowledge on someone else.

* in ''VideoGame/TimeCruise,'' the inventor Eric gets instructions for TimeTravel from an unnamed race of telepathic extraterrestrials.

* Astropaths in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' are the Imperium's only method of [[SubspaceAnsible communicating over stellar distances]]. Unfortunately, since the transmission medium is essentially [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace a cross between Hyperspace and Hell]], they tend to live unhappy (and short) existences. The Astronomican beacon they use to navigate is PoweredByAForsakenChild, it burns through the lives of ten thousand psykers ''every month''. Psykers have to undergo a process called [[MindRape soul-binding]] which causes them hours of agony at the hands of their PhysicalGod, invariably destroys their sight, and often other sense, and sends large numbers of candidates insane; all in order to be able to pass messages safely without getting dragged into [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace the Warp]] when they send messages. Or, for that matter, that if you're found by the psyker-hunting Black Ships, you have around a 90% chance of being 'selected' to undergo this honour. ''[[DarkerAndEdgier Grim]][[CrapsackWorld Dark]]'' indeed...
** All [[OurElvesAreBetter Eldar]] are psykers by nature, but the Dark variety are wary of psykers for fear of attracting the attention of [[MyGreatestFailure Slaanesh]] and hence their psyker potential has atrophied over the millennia. The Craftworld Eldar do not share this compunction, although most of them have their psyker potential blocked at birth and slowly regain it by following the Path of the Seer, for the same reasons mentioned above. Many of the most powerful psykers in the whole galaxy are Eldar: during the 13th Black Crusade, the noted Cadian general Ursakar Creed took a contingent of the above mentioned sanctioned psykers to a meeting with the High Farseer of Ulthwe, Eldrad Ulthran, only for each and every one of them to be incapacitated by Eldrad's mere presence.
* The Zhodani are an empire ruled by telepaths in ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'', though they are a race of TransplantedHumans rather than aliens.
* The V'sori in the SavageWorlds setting Necessary Evil are highly telepathic. They communicate telepathically, can detect any other nearby telepath, which include the Atlanteans and Half-Breeds, both of which are playable races. While V'sori blood may be a cause for a player's telekinesis, most V'sori are actually not telekinetic.

* Both the Ethereals from ''VideoGame/XCom: UFO Defence'' (who aren't REALLY ethereal) and the ''Re'Lu'' from Deadlock are telepathic aliens - whose access privilege to your brain includes both read and [[MindControl write]], incidentally.
** In fact, many of the species from the X-COM series are telepathic. Sectoids are budget versions of the Ethereals psionics-wise, then there's the giant Psimorphs from ''X-COM: Apocalypse''. The species from ''X-COM: Terror From The Deep'' essentially use telepathy but it's called "Molecular Control" and works via implanted chips.
** A number of psi-''weapons'' are specifically designed to amplify telepathic projection to injure, confuse, or control creatures in the X-COM games as well. Which makes senses... up until the ''ship-mounted psi-blasters'' of ''X-COM Interceptor''. Huh?
* Similarly the [[HiveMind mind worms]] in ''VideoGame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri''. These tiny little white things stun you from afar, burrow through your skull and lay their eggs in your brain. They move in enormous swarms called boils. They appear (in a hard sci-fi setting) a few decades after humans land on the planet and have no other prey, causing mankind to realize that it might just be in trouble here. They ''can'' be beaten (flamethrowers work quite well, according to the fluff), but one must be mentally strong in order to overcome their psychic attacks. What good is a flamethrower if you're too stunned by fear to push the button?
* The Vell-Os in ''VideoGame/EscapeVelocity Nova's'' are telepathic post-humans who fly in shells of solid telepathic energy. There are also the Polaris, who are less powerful telepaths with technologies at least a century in advance of the rest of humanity, and use both of those things to back up their isolationism. And then there is [[spoiler: the masters of the Heron-style of martial arts]], who ''also'' appear to develop a sort of telepathy. [[spoiler: It is left uncertain just how much this trope will apply to the rest of humanity, not because humanity won't develop species-wide psychic powers (that is made clear) but because it might not happen until the point just before they all AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence, leaving the 'spacemen' thing far behind them.]]
* The Furons in ''VideoGame/DestroyAllHumans'', who can do MindProbe, MindControl, and MindOverMatter.
* WordOfGod for ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' states that powers like Silver's telekinesis and Blaze's pyrokinesis are a common occurrence two-hundred years into the series' future. Although it was [[CanonDiscontinuity ''2006'']] that promoted the concept, it might still hold true for the ''Sonic Rivals'' series. (And although space travel hasn't become a common occurrence yet, humans of the series have quite advanced space technology as it is.)
* The Protoss in ''Franchise/StarCraft'' fit this to a tee. The humans are also apparently in the "developing into the telepathic race" stage, and the zerg have their own, different forms of telepathy too.
* The godlike humanoid Kamir in ''VideoGame/OtherSpace'' utilized their blindingly powerful telepathy to help them search for appropriate lifeforms for their evolutionary experiments.
* The Martian Xeno Teleptaths in ''VideoGame/JeffWaynesWarOfTheWorlds'', who actually ''weaponise'' this through both a [[MindOverMatter short range psychic attack]] and several flavours of MindRape.
* [[PunnyName Elgyem and Beheeyem]] from ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'' are Psychic-type aliens.
* The Starmen from the ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER}}'' series have access to psychokinetic powers and teleportation. In an interesting twist, [[spoiler:the secrets of PSI can be taught to other races, leading to humans developing it when the protagonist's great-grandfather was abducted by aliens but escaped with the secrets.]]
* In VideoGame/TheSims3: Seasons'', aliens have this ability. Full-blooded aliens can "Scan", which leads to them discovering the target Sim's traits.

* Leono from ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' has this ability, though it only works among his own species and is only really displayed once.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Outsider}}'', [[SpaceElves the Loroi]] are galactically (in?)famous for this; protagonist Alexander Jardin realizes that he is on a Loroi ship by observing a nonverbal communication.
* Most species in ''Webcomic/{{Vexxarr}}'' are telepathic, which makes sense since many of them are SpacePeople who need to be able to communicate through hard vacuum.

* In the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'', there aren't any inherently telepathic alien species; that said, the Tautiq and the Pelkons are both more likely to acquire PsychicPowers than humans are, and are less likely to be driven mad by those powers. Xorn and Delethai, on the other hand, are even less likely than humans to gain such powers.