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Film / Aliens in the Attic

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Aliens in the Attic is a basic "kids save the planet from invasion" movie that came out in 2009. The story follows the five Pearson children trying to stop four surprisingly outmatched aliens from taking over the planet. The mind control plugs that are to be the aliens' only weapons don't work on anyone under 18, so they have to defeat an alien invasion without involving their parents or the authorities.

This movie exhibits the following tropes:

  • Adults Are Useless: Hand Waved to an annoying extent. They don't even bother trying to get adult help. Though it's justified, if adults tried to help out, they're liable to being turned by the mind control plug.
  • Alien Invasion: The aliens want to invade Earth simply because they can.
  • Alpha Bitch: Both Bethany and Razer both fall into this category at times. Subverted by Bethany towards the climax of the film however.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The mind control plugs. Also, the molecular expander machine that the aliens came here to get.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The aliens’ master plan is to dig up a device that makes them four stories tall.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Tazer and Razor.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Tom, Jake, Art, and Lee are all pretty protective of Hannah.
  • Big Eater: Sparks eats four hot dogs, which is extra-impressive considering he’s only about two feet tall.
  • Big "WHY?!": Ricky yells one when Nana (who’s under mind-control) sends him flying with a karate kick. He yells another one when he gets hit with his third Groin Attack.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Ricky pretends to be sweet when Bethany or her parents are around, but whenever they’re not around, he shows his true colors.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Tom. He admits that he used to get good grades, but started failing on purpose because he wanted to fit in and got sick of the other kids picking on him for being a nerd.
  • Butt-Monkey: Ricky. (Not that he doesn't deserve every second of it.)
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Only applies to Tom, who gets in trouble for everything everyone else does.
    Mr. Pearson: (to the Sheriff) Look, the kids made a big mistake, and I assure you Tom will be punished.
  • Cassandra Truth: Hannah tells the adults about the aliens right away, but they don't believe her.
  • Competence Zone: The alien Mind-Control Device only works on adults (with an arbitrary cut-off apparently around 18), so it's not even worth telling them anything.
  • Defcon 5: Averted.
  • Depraved Dwarf: The evil, toddler-sized aliens. Subverted with Sparks, who’s the Token Good Teammate.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Bethany gets to fight the female Zirkonian Razor in the climax of the movie.
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: Six kids and one turncoat is all it takes.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Barring the opening and ending scenes, the entire movie takes place over a single day.
  • Fanservice: Ashley Tisdale wears a bikini twice in this relatively short movie.
  • Groin Attack: Ricky suffers three of these, the last of which he was forced to inflict upon himself. In the climax, when the kids use the aliens’ mind-control device to make Commander Skip fight Tazer, they defeat Tazer by making Skip kick him in the crotch.
  • Hate Sink: Ricky is a Jerkass college student who dates a teenage girl four years younger than him, lies to her parents about his age, bullies her brother, and breaks up with her for petty reasons. Needless to say, his Butt-Monkey status is entirely deserved.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: The kids use the aliens’ own mind-control device to take control of Commander Skip.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Bethany and her parents thought Ricky was a nice guy. He really isn’t.
  • Humiliation Conga: Ricky goes through a lot of suffering after falling victim to the aliens’ mind-control device.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: The kids manage to use a mind-controlled adult against the invaders because the Mind Control remotes work like game controllers.
  • I Lied: When Ricky is alone with Tom, he tells him that he lied to Tom’s parents about a lot of things, like that he’s a high school senior instead of a college senior.
  • Immune to Mind Control: The kids discover that the aliens’ mind-control device only works on adults. Kids and teenagers are immune to it.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Tom used to get bullied for being a straight-A student and being on the school’s math team.
  • Intimate Lotion Application: When Ricky and Bethany are hanging out by the pool, he comes on to her by taking out his shirt and asks her help to rub lotion on him. She's clearly into him, but her little brother who's watching in the bushes isn't, and opens fire on Ricky with a paintball gun.
  • Jerkass: Ricky, even worse when considering he's actually a college student trying to take advantage of a high schooler.
  • Laborious Laziness: Tom is accused of this when he gets Cs and Ds in his report but manages to hack the school computer system to give himself As and Bs; as his father points out, if he's smart enough to hack the system he's smart enough to get the good grades in the first place. This is justified as Tom was deliberately "dumbing down" to try and fit in with the other kids.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Ricky bullies Tom and lies to Tom and Bethany’s parents. He then gets put through a lot of well-deserved pain and humiliation, and accidentally damages his belief car, due to getting shot with the aliens’ mind-control device.
  • The Leader: Tom becomes the leader of the kids, as stated by the twins.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Tom's cousin Jake attempts to just attack the aliens with his paintball gun and various tools taken from the basement, which results in them triggering their anti-gravity weapon before Tom shows up and convinces his cousins to form a clearer plan.
  • Little Green Men: All the Zirkonians barely reach the knees of the kids and have grayish-green skin.
  • Mind-Control Device: Pretty much the only weapon the aliens have. And it uses a video game controller!
  • Multi-Armed Multitasking: Sparks, the four-armed Zirkonian, is able to play many toy musical instruments at once.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: The youngest girl does actually tell the parents, but they assume she's just playing. She also calls the police, which results in the sheriff showing up to berate them for making prank calls.
  • Pac Man Fever: The kids get affected with a grenade that makes them all float and one of the twins says: "They turned off the gravity like in Halo!" What?
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: It's okay for the main characters to completely humiliate the admittedly Jerkass boyfriend because hey, it's fine if the good guys do it (to be fair, he deliberately sent them into dangerous situations even before the aliens showed up, and most of the time they just rely on the mind control system to use him as a distraction).
  • Puny Earthlings: Inverted: The aliens are only around two feet tall and only one shows above-human intelligence. This doesn't stop them from referring to the humans as such, though.
    • Played straight when Skip and Tazer use the molecule expander.
  • Rule of Cool: Nana versus Ricky: An eighty-year-old woman and the older sister's Jerkass boyfriend have a Matrix-style battle while under the influence of mind control plugs. The pinnacle of this sequence: Nana - AKA Raymond's Mom - beaning Ricky with an honest-to-God Shoryuken.
  • School Grade Hacking: Tom is guilty of this. See Laborious Laziness.
  • Separated from the Adults: Enforced by the above-mentioned mind control device's odd inability to affect children and teens.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slimeball: Ricky. He’s a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who dates a high school senior (despite the fact that he’s a college senior), lies to her parents about his age, and bullies her brother behind the rest of the family’s back.
  • Soda-Candy 'Splosion: Jake uses Mentos to create soda grenades to fight against the aliens during the climax. The soda grenades become ineffective when the aliens use the molecular expander.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Hannah often gives these, such as insisting that the contents of a metal box are "definitely not an alien", but justified as she's only six.
  • Swallow the Key: Skip makes a mind-controlled Ricky do this for good measure after locking the basement door to keep the Pearson kids from interfering in their plans.
  • Tagalong Kid: Hannah amounts to this as she doesn't do much actual fighting, although she helps Sparks decide to turn against the other aliens.
  • Token Good Teammate: Sparks dislikes the idea of conquering Earth at the start of the invasion, and swiftly comes to sympathise with the humans, later leaving his team and joining the human family’s side.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The parents and sheriff. *monumental bizarre explosion in the sky* "Ooh, what a pretty meteor shower!"
  • Two Girls to a Team: Bethany and Hannah are the only girls in the main cast, though Bethany spends half the film unaware of the crisis.
  • Unholy Matrimony: Tazer and Razor.
  • Wedgie: The main characters use mind control to make Ricky give himself one.