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Humans Are The Real Monsters / Live-Action TV

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  • In Andromeda, the character Seamus Harper is a human who grew up on Earth. Earth in this 'verse has been invaded by both the Horde of Alien Locusts Magog and the genetically-engineered Nietzscheans. As Harper tells his alien shipmate Trance Gemini in one episode, the Nietzscheans were worse because they were human. Granted, not that they just were capable of even more oppressive, creative cruelty than the brutal monstrosity of the Magog, but that the fact that, despite their superior attitude and holding themselves apart like a different race entirely, they are not another species and that makes it worse.
    • In another episode, Harper wonders aloud if Castalians (a genetically-engineered human variant that breathe water) eat fish or if it would be like humans eating monkeys, and Captain Dylan Hunt points out that humans have eaten monkeys, and other humans.
  • Byron from Season 5 of Babylon 5 is convinced Mundanes Are Bastards, that when telepaths engage in actions such as murder and Mind Rape, it's only because mundanes have pushed them to it. However, this is obviously not the case, as he and his people end up doing plenty of horrible things out of a sense of entitlement, and Byron's statements probably made things worse with ideas of "we deserve this" and "it's their fault, not mine".
    • When humans dig up a Shadow Battle Crab on Mars, they look at its horrible blackness that induces internal screaming, and immediately think " can we make this work for us?"
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  • Battlestar Galactica: While the Cylons definitely hold that view towards humanity, at least in the first couple of seasons, Cylons are pretty much better than humanity at everything. Including self-righteous hypocrisy (given they make statements like "humans don't respect life like we do" after exterminating most of humanity in a nuclear holocaust and about to gun someone down).
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Anya felt this, which is why it was easy for her to be a vengeance demon. Three years of fighting alongside the Scoobies allowed her to see the goodness in people and made it hard to go back to vengeance.
    • During Season 6, both Xander and Dawn openly state that Warren is just as much of a monster as the vampires and demons that the Scoobies slay regularly and thus support Dark Willow's plan to kill him, whereas Buffy simply cannot condone killing humans for any reason.
  • Doctor Who: Sometimes humanity comes off as worse than the monster of the week, and as much as the Doctor likes humanity, he doesn't have a problem pointing this out.
    The Doctor: Humans have got such limited little minds. I don't know why I like you so much.
    Sarah Jane Smith: Because you have such good taste.
    The Doctor: That's true. That's very true.
    • Some stories of the First Doctor feature this trope. In "The Sensorites", the first Doctor Who story to feature humans interacting with aliens outside the main cast, Sensorites fear humans because a previous expedition of humans that came to the Sensesphere have been poisoning the water supply in order to claim the planet as theirs. In a subversion, it later turns out the poisoners were driven half-mad (unintentionally) by the Sensorites' telepathic interference, and were as much victims as anyone else. The true villain of the story, as with the Silurians below, is a xenophobic Sensorite.
    • "The Rescue": The villain of the piece is a man who killed the survivors of his spaceship crash, as well as the local alien population. He has been posing as one of those aliens to keep the only other survivor, Vicki, in check. He does all this because he killed a man on the spaceship, but it had not yet been reported to Earth before the crash, prompting him to kill all the witnesses and use Vicki to corroborate his own story.
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    • "Doctor Who and the Silurians", in which despite all the Doctor's best efforts the humans' greed, stubbornness and fear sends the situation spiralling out of control, culminating in the Brigadier murdering an entire race of hibernating people (or at least, a large population of them, as Silurians continue to pop up). While the Silurians wanted to destroy the humans at least as much (and one in particular was a xenocidal maniac) they do show nobler tendencies, as the Old Silurian is the only morally respectable character aside from the Doctor and Liz. Even the "bad" Silurian's choice to sacrifice himself for the good of his people contrasts with the petty, selfish and emotional reactions of the "bad" human characters. In fact, every appearance by the Silurians throughout the series will invoke this trope at least once or twice, to differing levels of success.
    • "The Mutants": The titular mutations are a natural stage of an alien culture's life cycle, and the main villains are a group of bigoted human colonialists plotting to commit genocide via Hostile Terraforming. The story was consciously written as a satire on the white supremacist regime in the former British colony of Rhodesia.
    • "Warriors' Gate" features an interesting use of this trope. The villains of the story are the human crew of a spaceship that's transporting alien slaves. With the possible exception of the captain, the slavers aren't characterised as evil or malicious, they're just ordinary people who think nothing of enslaving (and sometimes killing) sapient creatures. This makes their immoral actions all the more disturbing.
    • "The Christmas Invasion": After Harriet Jones has the retreating Sycorax ship blasted into smithereens, the Doctor is so angry that he briefly seems to lose all respect for humans in general: "I should have told them to run, as fast as they can, run and hide, because the monsters are coming: the human race!"
      • Though this scenario is a little more complicated, since the Sycorax had spent the day essentially attempting to extort humanity by holding a gun to their head, then murdered a couple of peace envoys for no particular reason, and Harriet Jones' reasoning (that the Sycorax would go out and tell people about the Earth and that it's a pretty rich planet, with just one bloke in a phone box defending it) is proved to be correct — the Doctor isn't always going to be around, and Earth can't just spend its time Holding Out for a Hero. The Doctor ignores her and promptly arranges her deposition, which allows the Master to take power the following season.
    • "Daleks in Manhattan"/"Evolution of the Daleks": Dalek Sec gives this as the reason why he chooses to merge with a human, noting that humans feel hatred and ambition, and possess a genius for war.
    • "Last of the Time Lords": The creatures that the Master uses to terrorize the planet, literally decimate the population, and enslave the human race turn out to be the human race from the future.
      "The human race. Greatest monsters of them all."
      • Even more of a downer when you realize that these are the same humans that the Doctor gave such a giddy "humans are indomitable" speech about in an earlier episode of the finale.
    • "Planet of the Ood": The humans who found them isolated the Ood Brain (the core of their hive mind) and after an indefinite amount of time started to hack off the Oods' hind-brains (the external chunk of brain sticking out of their face that governs personality) and replace them with translator orbs. They're treated like cattle and gassed if they become violent. Of course, not all humans are bastards: there are people protesting against the slavery. They're called "Friends of the Ood".
    • "The Doctor's Daughter": Humans are far more violent than the Hath. The Doctor comes within a finger twitch of shooting one of them.
    • A prime example in "Midnight": no one knows what the Monster of the Week is, or what it can do. It's possessed a woman, and the humans trapped in the shuttle with her start discussing what to do. If the Doctor weren't there to talk them down, they would have thrown her out of the shuttle they were on. When it possesses the Doctor (or rather steals his voice), they almost throw HIM out. All because they were scared.
    • "The Beast Below": It's revealed that the engine for Starship UK is actually a Star Whale, the last of its kind. In order to keep the ship afloat, the whale is regularly tortured. The Queen chooses to forget this every 10 years, as she believes the alternative is to doom the entire population by releasing the whale from captivity.
      • Worse, every five years, citizens go into a room and learn the truth. They then get a vote: Forget or Protest. The first button causes the last few minutes to be erased from their memories, allowing them to live in blissful ignorance. The second button drops them into the basement to be fed to the Star Whale. Children who fail in class are also treated to the latter, although the Star Whale doesn't want to eat them.
      • Amy overcomes this trait after first succumbing to it. Despite the seemingly impossible situation, she realizes the Star Whale's fondness of children is what led it to Earth in the first place, and if she frees it from prison, it will stay for the children's sake.
      • The discovery of Amy having made the "forget" choice herself and the Doctor thinking he has to choose between dooming the ship or mercy killing the whale leads to him raising his voice in anger for one of only two occasions in Eleven's run on the show.
        "Nobody human has anything to say to me today!!"
    • "A Town Called Mercy" has the Doctor longing for Daleks. "Frightened people... give me a Dalek any day."
    • "Arachnids in the UK": Corrupt Corporate Executive Jack Robertson, whose shoddy, cost-cutting and illegal business practices created the Giant Spiders in the first place, is far more the villain than they are. His shooting of the mother spider, which was already dying due to the Square-Cube Law, is portrayed as cruel and cowardly.
    • "Demons of the Punjab": The Thijarians look menacing and have a bad reputation, but turn out to be visiting Earth to fulfill a peaceful mission. The real villain of the episode is Manish, a Hindu fanatic and Islamophobe who murdered an old priest in cold blood to prevent his brother from marrying a Muslim woman, and when that fails, he arranges the murder of his brother instead.
  • Shown a couple times in Farscape, especially in the episode "A Human Reaction" where John returns to Earth and the government immediately imprisons and kills both D'argo and Rygel to study alien anatomy. The entire episode paints a particularly bleak picture of the human race. Possibly subverted in that it is actually all an engineered environment made by aliens that are using John's memories and knowledge of the human race to judge how humans will react to aliens. Apparently John doesn't have too much faith in humanity.
    • Somewhat justified in the Season 4 episodes dealing with several of the humans' reactions and the crew's interactions when they actually do reach Earth.
    • Subverted/inverts another trope at the same time. Sebacians aren't Scary Dogmatic Aliens. They're genetically engineered humans.
  • Given the kind of person Jim Henson was, he usually had a more thoughtful take on this issue. To wit:
    • Fraggle Rock stands dedicatedly on the "humans are misguided" side. Uncle Traveling Matt quickly dubs us "the Silly Creatures", which really says it all. On the few occasions Doc threatened the others, he did so without realizing it (shutting down the pipes in his house shuts down the water supply for the Fraggles, Doozers, and Gorgs). When he finally meets Gobo face-to-face, he's careful to take this sort of thing into consideration.
      • Most behaviors that Traveling Matt observed in humans weren't silly at all — not even, in many cases, the way he misinterpreted them. For example, he thought paperboys fed hungry houses. The main exception is that when humans noticed him, they apparently mistook him for one of them.
    • Not really avoided in The Muppet Show or its movie spin-offs. As far as the biggest bastard Kermit ever met is concerned, Roger Ebert said it best: "As soon as Kermit gains legs, he meets a human with an unsavory use for them."
    • The famous anti-hunting rendition of "For What It's Worth" featured little woodland animals singing about "a man with a gun over there", and periodically ducking under cover as trigger-happy human hunters blundered through the scene, firing at everything that moved. And then promptly subverted at the end when the hunters reveal they were trying to bag construction equipment.
    • Henson also wasn't above taking a stab at the trope:
  • One of Kamen Rider's central tropes is the Phlebotinum Rebel; the man who has became monstrous against his will and uses his new power for good. As a result, they're regularly contrasted with humans who are not monstrous yet are more evil then the actual monsters. The Big Bad of each season is often an irredeemable human who has made himself monstrous in pursuit of his goal.
    • In the backstory of Kamen Rider Kuuga, the Grongi are revealed to be humans who were affected by a meteor and transformed into demonic monsters. A fragment of the meteor is used to make the belt our hero Yusuke has to use against them. However, the Grongi are attacking of their own free will, as part of a game to see who can wipe out the most humans, or Linto, and the worst of them all appears as a normal human man.
    • While Mirror Monsters serve as the standard Monster of the Week in Kamen Rider Ryuki, all of the major antagonists are other Kamen Riders, who are also human. This is handily pointed out when Takeshi Asakura/Kamen Rider Ouja is called a monster by Ren Akiyama/Kamen Rider Knight, using the same terminology used to describe the Mirror Monsters. And the ultimate Big Bad was a human who didn't care how much death and destruction he wreaked so long as he could save his sister.
    • In Kamen Rider Double, Kamen Rider Fourze, and Kamen Rider Zi-O; all the monsters are humans who have been transformed. Some didn't know what they were getting into, or they meant well before their power corrupted them; but others were perfectly willing to throw away their humanity for power. The former two series' Big Bads were the ones who created the Transformation Trinkets, humans in full control of their minds and who were willing to corrupt innocents and ultimately destroy entire populations if it meant their Well-Intentioned Extremist goals were met. Meanwhile, Zi-O's Big Bad is a simply a sociopath who is obsessed with gaining power for its own sake and its Greater-Scope Villain is the evil future self of the hero.
    • In Kamen Rider OOO, the Big Bad Ensemble of Greeed (not a typo) were created hundreds of years ago by an ambitious human king in a bid for world domination. They suffer from the need to be 'complete,' made impossible by their creator (ten 'core medals' make up their selves; they wouldn't come to life until given need through the removal of one of those medals). Therefore, they seek what they think will fulfill them, ever more ravenously as it proves to never be enough. But while the Greeed are willing to screw everyone else over to fill their desires, the final villain is Dr. Maki, a nihilist who turned himself into a Greeed in order to end everything. The Greeed are Tragic Monsters acting out their nature; the bad humans who are the authors of all the major problems have no excuse.
    • In Kamen Rider Wizard, most Phantoms just act out their nature, trying to hatch other Phantoms from the human hosts in which they incubate. What they do is cruel, but they're born seeing humans about the same way a bird sees an eggshell. The most genuinely evil Phantoms were so bad because they retained their human selves.:
      • Wiseman turned himself into a Phantom in order to give himself magic powers to revive his dead daughter, and then kicked off the plot by committing mass human sacrifice in an occult ritual. And when that didn't work, he manipulated both Wizard and the Phantoms created by the ritual in order to set up an even bigger mass sacrifice.
      • Another example is Sora the Gremlin Phantom, the only victim to survive the ritual instead of die and be replaced by their Phantom. He turns out to have been a figurative monster way before becoming a literal one, being a sociopathic serial killer. His transformation didn't affect his personality in the slightest.
    • In Kamen Rider Gaim's conflict, the world is facing being overrun by invasive species, but most of the problems come from human antagonists trying to take advantage of the situation. In a twist, the one that becomes a monster and acts as the final boss is an Anti-Villain; not truly evil but misguided in his methods.
    • Kamen Rider Drive: The enemies are Roidmudes, artificial life forms trying to supplant humanity. The real monster turns out to be their creator, Professor Banno, a Mad Scientist with a god complex who not only deliberately corrupted his creations to be evil, but his abuse of them is what convinced them that humans were evil and deserve to be overthrown. And of course, creating the monsters was just a step to becoming one himself.
    • Played with in Kamen Rider Ghost: The Gamma monsters were originally presented as demonic spirits, but it was later discovered that they were humans (or Human Aliens) making use of soul-manipulating technology, thereby playing the trope straight. However, all of the Gamma turned out to either be good, decent people, or redeemed themselves into becoming so by the end. The true threat came from the Gammaizers, artificially-created enforcers who enacted a Zeroth Law Rebellion. The theme of the season was "bonds between people", so it makes thematic sense that the villains were beings who had no such bonds.
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid features computer viruses called "Bugsters" that manifest in the real world as video game bosses. They're not good, but they at least have Freudian Excuses for their behavior: As video game enemies, most of them are programmed to want to destroy their opponents; and they resent how their purpose is to be defeated by game players. The very first show of real emotion from major villain Parad is when his confident persona as a player who enjoys 'playing the game' with his worthy Rider opponents slips and we get near-tearful rage about how his kind were created to suffer and die at human hands over and over and over. There's no such excuse for the human enemies:
      • Kuroto Dan, the game dev who first discovered the virus, thinks himself a god because he can program whatever he wants into a game, and the Bugsters mean that he can potentially control the real world the same way. Kuroto is also really petty, going out of his way to deliver Disproportionate Retribution on anyone who angers him for the smallest reasons. He eventually does get his own Freudian Excuse and a Pet the Dog moment, but that doesn't do much to tone down his narcissism; his fighting alongside the heroes after that point is more of an Enemy Mine than anything else.
      • Masamune Dan, Kuroto's father. A Corrupt Corporate Executive who considers everything connected to his corporation as company property, including the Bugsters, Kuroto and all his accomplishments, and even the lives of the people who play his company's games. Anyone who plays The Most Dangerous Video Game and loses has their life at his mercy... all for the apparent purpose of selling more games, as loved ones will buy the game and try to play it themselves to have a chance of rescuing the hostages.
    • Kamen Rider Amazons runs on Gray-and-Gray Morality with even the Monsters of the Week being primarily Tragic Monsters who would rather live normal lives than eat people if it wasn't literally hardwired into their existence to do so, no matter how much they don't want to. However, the single most vile character in the series is a perfectly normal human, Takaaki Tenjo, the head of Nozama Pharmacy. Not only does he intentionally endanger countless lives by covering up the Amazons' existence solely to keep the Amazon Cells the Pharmacy's property, he released them to begin with solely to create a Social Darwinist manmade ecosystem of humans killing Amazons or being killed by them, resulting in untold numbers of deaths and every bad thing in the entire series. Despite being more or less physically harmless due to being an Evil Cripple, Tenjo comes off as more of a monster than the Amazons.
    • Kamen Rider Build quickly establishes that the Smash monsters are innocent victims of illegal experimentation; and the real villains are those doing the experimenting. Most of the main villains are power-hungry politicians willing to declare war on each other in pursuit of ultimate power, and another is a war profiteer seeking to line his pockets by equipping everyone's armies. Later subverted, as the politicians were affected psychologically to become more aggressive (though the profiteer doesn't have that excuse), and the whole situation was engineered by an alien life form named Evolt. Evolt claims that humans are monsters due to their tendency towards warfare, but it's clear he's just making excuses for his own genocidal plans.
    • Kamen Rider Zero-One: might be the central antagonist group with the main goal of humanity's extinction by hacking HumaGear androids into Magia Killer Robots, but in turn they are victims of Gai Amatsu, a Corrupt Corporate Executive responsible for tampering its "leader" AI Ark with with information regarding criminal psychology and human history of wars, leading to its hatred toward them and its plot of their extinction; hence the creation of said cyber-terrorist and its crusade against humanity. He did all this just to undermine a rival company that manufactures HumaGears; and while Gai talks big about how he wants to prove humanity as superior to machines, his real goal is almost purely corporate greed mixed with some revenge against a (now-dead) former friend and business partner. He cares little about the lives ruined by the threat he created and ultimately treats people little better than the robots, as he reveals that he's been using cybernetic implants to control the actions of two of the heroes without their knowledge and boasts about them being soulless tools.
    • Kamen Rider Saber: The leaders of the Megid are revealed to be former humans who used to be followers of a woman who connected Earth and Wonder World, but later on stole parts of the Book of Omnipotence, willingly turning themselves into Megid out of a selfish desire for power and now spend the entire series subjecting countless innocents to And I Must Scream situations in order to create more Alter Books in order to recreate the Great Book in order to twist the world into their own image. The worst of the three is someone who is heavily implied to actually remember his past as a human unlike the other two, but still went on ahead to do his horrible acts in the story, even going as far as to engineer the downfall of his two companions for his own ends.
      • The current Master Logos is Issac, a man who completely abandoned the duties of his clan - protecting the peace and balance of Earth and Wonder World - that have been upheld for centuries to focus on his own sinister and destructive goal of becoming a god and destroying the world. He even outright claims that humanity is his to control and once he obtains his own WonderRide Book, sends a message all over the world to try and make everyone fight and kill each other to survive and live in the world he's about to send into ruins.
    Isaac: I simply aim to remake this world into one brimming with strife. Imagine the sound of birds chirping in the morning as it turns into the dying wails of humans. Does that not sound joyous?
  • Lexx: The Divine Order is a fanatical Religion of Evil that enslaves 20,000 worlds. Genocide, sexual slavery, mutilations, and Mind Rape are everyday affairs. The leader of the Divine Order, His Shadow, turns out to be the last survivor of an insectoid species that humanity wiped out in a war thousands of years previous. Rather than directly attack humanity for revenge, His Shadow instead decided to found the Divine Order with itself as the godlike leader, and use humanity's own darkest impulses to destroy itself. Thousands of years later, the human race proved not to disappoint, carrying out His Shadow's monstrous directives with great enthusiasm.
  • Lost seems to be going this route with the overriding conflict between Jacob and the Man in Black/Smoke Monster:
    MIB: They come, they fight, they destroy, they corrupt. It always ends the same.
    Jacob: It only ends once. Everything that happens before that... is just progress.
  • Rod Serling's other series Night Gallery had an episode where a professor is teaching the students to hurt one another. The class are robots. There was a global war and the world needs to be repopulated. The robots aren't being taught to be assholes, they were being taught to be human.
  • In Once Upon a Time, Giants see humans like this. They turned out to be right, because Two humans fool the one giant that believed that humans are not only violent, ambitious creatures into giving a way the location of the beanstalk and thus allowing them to wipe most of the giants for treasure and beans.
  • In some of the more serious seasons of Power Rangers, of all things, this trope is in play:
    • In Power Rangers Time Force, Ransik is a mutant. However, it turns out that in the future, humans are perfect Designer Babies for the most part, and when the process doesn't go right, the results are hated and shunned by a society that doesn't have much room for the imperfect. The "monsters" were Driven to Villainy by the "perfect" humans. (Of course, we saw what Ransik did to the one guy who did help him, so it's hard to know just how much pity he himself is owed.)
    • In Power Rangers Wild Force, the villains suspect their Big Bad isn't what he seems. Turns out Master Org was once Viktor Adler, a human who's taken the role and powers of the real deal so he could get revenge for a petty jealousy against the parents of the eventual Red Ranger. He became a murderer and the kind of guy who'd seek to become Master Org all on his own, and rejected every chance to leave his destructive path since then, while no less than three purely-Org major villains have a change of heart.
    • In Power Rangers Ninja Storm, one of the least serious seasons, the man behind the monsters is indeed a man — in fact, the twin brother of the mentor!
    • In Power Rangers Mystic Force, though the true Big Bad was the Cthulhu-esque "Master" who spent most of the season as an eye peeking through a big hole in the floor of the lair, the absolute worst of the three generals who took the role of The Heavy during each arc of the series was Imperious, who proves to be a member of the mystic order who'd turned against them in the past purely out of lust for power.
  • Played for laughs in QI in the tenth season episode "Jeopardy". The question was "What is the deadliest creature in Australia?" Australian comic Julia Zamiro answered "Rupert Murdoch" (and oddly enough didn't get the klaxon). After the other guests wrongly answered with "Shark", "Box jellyfish" and "Snake", Ross Noble chimed in with, "Is it...MAN? The most DEADLY of ALL CREATURES?" note 
  • In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, the Affably Evil humanoid lizard Tribune keeps humans as slaves and occasionally eats them. Yet, he claims, "To kill is in our nature. To pull the wings off a fly... that's a human thing."
  • Semi-subversion in Mongrels, the animal characters are as bad if not worse than the humans, with the possible exception of Nelson.
    • In episode 5 Kali decides that the human race needs to be wiped out after her date is shot in a pigeon culling. Her plan involves breeding a master race of "pigeox" and when it turns out to be a normal pigeon with red feathers she tells Vince to eat it.
  • In an episode of Smallville, Brainiac claims that humans are worthless and trying to save them is a waste of time. To prove it, he causes a blackout (one that affected airplanes in flight), and everyone except for the main characters goes completely nuts: rioting, looting, sending a car through a building. Clark Kent exhausts himself running around the city trying to keep the peace, until his friend Chloe tells him to just find Brainiac and defeat him.
    • Clark starts thinking this when Davis Bloom proves that he is pure evil after he had been cured of his Hulk-like transformations into Doomsday.
  • As a whole, Star Trek — especially the Next Generation — posits a world in which humans were bastards, and rarely loses the opportunity to lecture their 20th-century viewers on how far we still have to go. Good news, though; we get better. In fact, we're even sorta charming, especially to advanced races who gauge others for 'potential'.
    • Even so, in one episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Quark the Ferengi lectures Commander Sisko about how his species never practiced slavery or genocide (particularly anvilicious as it's already established that Ferengi not only did keep slaves but still do (sort of) — anyone who goes into debt they can't repay is legally enslaved to their debtor. This also ignores the extreme sexism his race continues to practice). He also tells Nog in "The Siege of AR-558":
      "Let me tell you something about Humans, nephew. They're a wonderful, friendly people — as long as their bellies are full and their holosuites are working. But take away their creature comforts... deprive them of food, sleep, sonic showers... put their lives in jeopardy over an extended period of time... and those same friendly, intelligent, wonderful people will become as nasty and violent as the most bloodthirsty Klingon. You don't believe me? Look at those faces, look at their eyes..."
      • The franchise as a whole also tends to have healthy doses of Humans Are Warriors, and Beware the Nice Ones. Captain Kirk was very willing to engage in Gunboat Diplomacy when he needed to, and even the Klingons recognize that it's better to form an alliance with humanity than risk all out war with it. The Founders found this out the hard way when humans infected their entire species with a deadly disease, and only gave them the cure after the Dominion unconditionally surrendered. This is succinctly summed up in Nog's reply to Quark's monologue:
      Nog: I feel sorry for the Jem'Hadar.
      • But then Nog points out the situation: they're in the middle of a battlefield. If the humans are like this now, it's because they've been defending a key installation against a very determined adversary (the Jem-Hadar). When you're defending yourself, things get rough. And later, Nog's point is proven when Quark attacks a Jem-Hadar to protect Nog. You can see the utter shock on his face when he realizes when it matters, Ferengi are no different.
    • The Vulcans are a more extreme example of former bastards. They often act condescending to other species, but the subtext is often that they realize that since they were bastards, other species can benefit from logic as well, and often get shirty when they don't. A young Tuvok from Voyager was once shown complaining about humanity always expecting other species to be like them, apparently not recognizing a classic Vulcan move when he sees one.
    • This is expanded upon in Star Trek: Enterprise. Vulcans are cold to humans, because they recognize so much of themselves in us. We went from a nuclear holocaust to warp travel in 100 years. It took the Vulcans 1500 years to do the same, and they learned to calm their violent nature through logic in the meantime. They see us as their unreformed society, but with the same technology, and it horrifies them how violent that means we could be.
    • The jabs at humans that Spock and other Vulcans like to make via examples from human history, however, go uncalled-out, even though all indications are that Vulcans were just as bad in their own early history. Spock himself admitted that Vulcan, like Earth, had its warring colonizing period that was considered brutal even by our standards, and that some Vulcans (you might know them as Romulans) still hold to their warlike roots.
  • Supernatural: While Sam and Dean usually fight supernatural monsters, the first season episode "The Benders" involves humans who hunt down other humans for fun, the second season episode "Houses of the Holy" involves a man with dead bodies in his basement, an email-using pedophile, and an attempted rapist, all of whom deserved their instant death, and the third season episode "Sin City" features a demon talking to Dean about how much humans suck. The fourth season episode "Family Remains" involves a man who raped his daughter and then shut the resulting twins away under the house, where they became animalistic scavengers. "The Benders", "Family Remains" and "Thin Man" are notable for being the only episodes so far that don't actually involve anything supernatural, just urban legend-like events of a mundane sort. Dean: "Demons I get, people are crazy."
    • Interestingly, Lucifer believed that Humans Are The Real Monsters and was furious that God showed more attention to those "murderous hairless apes" than to someone who was perfect and wonderful, like him.
    • The Horsemen of the Apocalypse also hold this view. War claims that he just gives people a little push, and then we kill each other on our own; Famine, similarly, states that our cravings for what we can't have are already there, and he just makes us realize. Pestilence notes that germs aren't destructive, we are. The one exception is Death, who just views us as insignificant.
  • Torchwood uses this trope too.
    • Perhaps the most disturbing example is the episode Countrycide, which is notable as the only episode in the Whoniverse not to contain any science fiction elements (other than Jack's immortality and a few pieces of Torchwood technology, both of which are incidental to the plot). The villains are human cannibals who engage in horrifying acts purely For the Evulz.
    • However, it is brought out on a truly large scale in Torchwood: Children of Earth and Torchwood: Miracle Day, where the primary antagonists that the Torchwood team must deal with are really evil humans, with the alien threat being more of a catalyst than a core issue.
  • Ultimately what happens to most of the human cast in True Blood. In Season 7, the Humans prove to be just as dangerous if not even more so than the infected Vampires, plan to kill anyone different than they are, and kill Alcide.
  • The original The Twilight Zone (1959) is rife with this trope. In "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street" as well as in "The Shelter" a suburban town tears itself apart after a perceived invasion/attack; "The Gift" demonstrates that fear turned against outsiders, no matter how well-intentioned. "The Eye Of The Beholder" and "Number 12 Looks Just Like You" highlight our superficial views on aesthetics (True Beauty Is on the Inside). "Third From The Sun" (with a hint of Nuclear Weapons Taboo) and "Probe 7, Over and Out" show our repetitive barbarous irresponsibility. "I Shot An Arrow In The Air" shows our hatred and evil tendencies in the face of death. "The Rip Van Winkle Caper" shows how greedy we can be even with our "friends". "The Little People" shows Drunk with Power, and perhaps the best example of this trope; "People Are Alike All Over" where alien benefactors who shower gifts upon an earthling reveal their demeanor as a ruse when they abduct him for exhibition in a martian zoo (Face–Heel Turn)
  • Subverted in an episode of The Twilight Zone (1985) revival, when aliens arrive on Earth and announce that they seeded the planet with humans ages ago, but now they are destroying us because they were attempting to breed warriors, and we aren't big enough bastards.
  • While the trope isn't as much as ubiquitous compared to Kamen Rider, the Ultra Series is also not a stranger to the fact that some humans can be as morally corrupt and heinous than the kaiju and evil aliens that their respective titular Ultras fought, thus making the possibility for humans to coexist with kaiju and aliens in peace even more difficult, or if anything, be rendered moot.
    • Ultraseven: Majority of alien attacks in the series are attributed to this trope. Poignantly so in the episodes "Dark Zone" and "Envoy from Nonmalto", the latter episode comes to a conclusion where even Dan is left wondering if it's true. While half of the rationale are for aliens trying to invade the Earth just because they can. The Heisei Ultraseven spin-off series takes the trope a step further; where humans would attempt to exploit the alien technology salvaged from the invaders they defeated and use it against them, with terrifying results.
    • Ultraman Tiga: Keigo Masaki, a minor antagonist in episodes 43 and 44, believes he can achieve godhood and superiority over humanity through harnessing the power of Evil Tiga. The fact that Evil Tiga was driven insane by Masaki's ambition and greed serves as a harsh reminder of how mankind will go far to extreme lengths to seek power not realizing the destructive consequences it could bring to the user and to the rest of the world. And the real kicker? Ultra warriors bond with a human that possess a courageous and selfless heart like Daigo; Masaki is everything what Daigo is not — arrogant and selfish who desires power in order to be worshipped as a god.
    • Subverted in Ultraman Gaia, the Radical Destruction Bringer views humanity as malignant lifeforms and brought its minions to Kill All Humans for posing a threat to the Earth. Half-way to the series' endgame, the RDB's true intentions come to light as they want to exterminate the human race merely because they really mean it under the hypocritical pretense of claiming to be a protector of the universe. Let's not forget the fact that the RDB even manipulate a few humans into turning against humanity, Fujimiya in particular. Let that sink in.
    • An underlying theme of Ultraman Z from episode 20 onwards, and it's made apparent there are some humans proved to be unrepentant scumbags compared to the kaiju and aliens that the titular Ultra and STORAGE fought, from a group of ruffians trying to kidnap an artificially-created lifeform for its blood sample to constructing an ultra-powerful Wave-Motion Gun using the remains of a Choju that could break the fabric of dimensions; the development of said weapon is from the very organization that established STORAGE and their mechas. Even the heroes oppose the idea of firing said weapon, that even includes Juggler of all people, just as the Earth was about to be overwhelmed by a Kelbim horde, and the weapon is used either way with disastrous results. What's even worse that said organization also built a robot modeled after an Ultraman, in this case, Ultraman Zero, for the purpose of fitting the aforementioned Wave-Motion Gun, thus invoking a Beware the Superman vibe. As it turned out that the trope is exploited by Celebro as part of his omnicidal endgame in that he wants to make sure humanity is in its absolute worst by creating weapons in what they thought to protect the Earth but would lead to their downfall because he knows that self-destruction is part of human nature.
  • HG Wells in Warehouse 13 comes to this conclusion after her eight-year-old daughter was murdered.
    '"Open your eyes, Myka! Have you seen the world in which you live? The divide between rich and poor! Hunger and famine! War and violence and hatred all flourishing beyond control! Indeed, men have found new ways to kill each other that were inconceivable in my day, even by fiction writers!"


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