Playing With / Intelligent Gerbil

Basic Trope: Aliens clearly based on a terrestrial animal
  • Straight: The Denya are large anthropomorphic pig people, who have extravagant mud bath facilities, spend large amounts of time looking for rare mushrooms and eat their meals out of a trough.
  • Exaggerated: The aliens are called the Pigs, and look and act exactly like normal pigs other than being sapient and capable of speech.
  • Downplayed: The Denya are Kemonomimi with pig snouts, ears and tails.
  • Justified: The Denya are directly related to a species of pig found on Earth.
  • Inverted: An alien planet's non-sapient species resemble humans.
  • Subverted: Human astronauts going to another planet describe its inhabitants as being like pigs. When we actually get to the planet and see the aliens, it turns out they don't look like pigs, the astronauts were just being metaphorical.
  • Double Subverted: ...They actually look like Tyrannosaurus rex.
  • Parodied: The Denya are at war with a neighboring wolf-like species. The Denya have to keep building increasingly strong fortresses that the wolves won't huff and puff away!
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted:
    • No aliens show up.
    • The aliens are Rubber-Forehead Aliens or Starfish Aliens, and don't resemble terrestrial animals in the slightest.
    • The aliens look like an animal but appearance is the only similarity
  • Enforced: Viewers won't understand that the Denya are supposed to look like pigs unless they act like it, too.
  • Lampshaded: "Score one for the intelligent design theory. There's no way bacterium from another planet could evolve into furries."
  • Invoked: A sufficiently advanced alien race creates two sentient species - humans and the pig-like Denya - and likewise engineer a species of animals resembling each so that they could gauge each race's reaction to the other looking like a specific animal on their homeworld.
  • Exploited: Human politicians notice that the Denya are mostly big and beefy (like most Pig Men are depicted), and suggest forming an alliance based on that premise.
  • Defied: By the time humans make First Contact with the Denya, pigs are extinct.
  • Discussed: "I can't believe you ate all my food! You're such a pig!" "Hey! There is no need for racial slurs!"
  • Conversed: "These pig-people are potrayed as lazy, fat and greedy," "At least they're not the Na'vi!"
  • Deconstructed: The Denya's resemblance to pigs leads to human beings treating them as such, leading to Fantastic Racism.
  • Played For Laughs: The Denya invade Earth intending to conquer it and enslave the humans. The Humans thwart the alien pig invaders by threatening them with a giant BBQ pit!
  • Played For Drama: Due to the fact that they so closely resemble and behave like animals, the aliens are treated as such.

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