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Alien Abduction

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Now, which of these parts is the human nutbladder?

When an alien from another planet, whether one of the Little Green Men or one of The Greys or whatever, kidnaps a human (often by way of Tractor Beam). The alien generally leaves no trace of the human until it's done with it. Alien abductions do get witnessed, but the witnesses are almost always portrayed as a bit mad even when the alien abduction is real in canon.

Humans returned from alien abductions usually have had bad things happen to them. They may have had a complete physical, possibly without anesthesia. They may have a little tracker planted in them. They were most certainly probed and violated though. And even a benign alien can cause an abduction, and cause problems, if Time Travel in either direction happens. Or they have been forced to be The Chosen One.

Sometimes, if the alien is benign, the human will witness something that makes the abduction worth the trouble. If the aliens' interest is scientific research, expect them to be terrible at it: No Control Group, no reliable tranquilizers (because how else could abductees keep waking up too soon, so they can see they're in a spaceship?), and no acknowledgment that it's indiscreet to keep abducting idiots who'll rush to spill their story to the tabloids.


Malevolent aliens don't always bother to return the human. There might not be anything to return.

Before aliens from outer space became a popular concept, literature and folklore used fairy abductions, demon abductions, and gods abducting fair maidens. Many of these stories reflect sexual urges excused and resolved through the agency of an irresistible entity like a god or alien.

See also Anal Probing. Compare Aliens Steal Cattle. Contrast They Would Cut You Up, Alien Autopsy.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Crimson Rubeus, Prince Demande and Wiseman of the Black Moon Clan, aliens from the planet Nemesis, succeed in abducting multiple protagonists with some variation by medium.
    • In the Black Moon arc of the manga, three of the Sailor Senshi (Sailors Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter) are captured by Rubeus; only Sailor Venus and Sailor Moon remain. Eventually, Sailor Moon is captured as well when she is teleported from Crystal Tokyo to Planet Nemesis. There, Demand tries to brainwash her with his "third eye", but fails, and they soon free themselves en masse, only to have Wiseman kidnap Moon's young charge, Chibi-Usa, to successfully brainwash her for his own purposes.
    • In Sailor Moon R, Crimson Rubeus captures all the Sailor Senshi except Sailor Moon, who frees them after defeating Rubeus. In a later episode, Prince Demand captures Sailor Moon and tries to brainwash her into being his bride, but Tuxedo Mask intervenes and saves her. One episode later, Wiseman kidnaps Chibi-Usa as in the manga.
  • Cromartie High School: Freddie being abducted by aliens is seen as more important than knowing the name of Hokuto's lackey.
  • Hidamari Sketch: Yuno gets abducted by aliens while relaxing on the school roof... only it was All Just a Dream.
  • A darker-than-usual example takes place in the manga version of Chrono Crusade. The creatures known as demons are actually aliens that abduct human women to replace their Hive Queen, who was killed on impact when their mothership crashed. The last one to go through this process was Chrono and Aion's mother, who was pregnant with them at the time.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia:
    • Occurs on a global scale in the end of "Paint It White", where the invading Pict proceed to have billions of converted humans enter their mothership and then fly back home to their home planet. Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland seem to be the only ones to escape unscathed.
    • America's friend, Tony the alien, also seems fond of doing this.
  • This is what kicks off the Monkey Hunter arc in Gintama. Shinpachi wakes up one day to notice his index finger has been modified into a Phillips screwdriver, and recalls having a "dream" about seeing a strange light, then encountering some aliens who needed to fix their PSP. Gintoki doesn't think it's a big deal until he goes to the bathroom and discovers that his...joystick has been replaced with a hexagon screwdriver, at which point he snaps. They arguably have it better then the other victims, though, who more or less got turned into anthropomorphic screwdrivers.

    Comc Books 
  • The Skrulls, a shapeshifting alien race who are primarily Fantastic Four villains, are in the habit of abducting humans in order to replace them for espionage purposes (at first because Earth was strategically located in their Forever War with the rival Kree Empire, later because they've managed to make enemies of Earth's many superheroes). They normally keep their victims alive just in case they might be useful in the future.
  • The backstory of Cyclops of the X-Men has his parents being abducted by Shi'Ar Emperor D'Ken, who seemingly just picked them at random because he's nuts. His father survived captivity and eventually became the Space Pirate Corsair.
  • Superboy 1994: Kon-El, Dr. Sterling Roquette and a couple other Cadmus personnel get abducted and enslaved by the extraterrestrial slaver Kossak while Cadmus is trying to decipher the workings of a small space craft revealed to have been stolen from Kossak by an escaping slave before it crashed on earth.

    Comc Strips 
  • Calvin has used this as an excuse several times in Calvin and Hobbes; once he said that aliens came and drained all the math from his brain, while another time aliens arrive and replace him with an amoral robot duplicate (his mom was less than impressed by the story).
  • Pedro from The Wacky Adventures of Pedro frequently gets captured by aliens.
  • Garfield: Garfield is worried about his girlfriend Arlene because she believed his alien abduction excuse.
  • One Herman strip shows a man with a tracking collar and ear-tag yelling about "ALIENS!"

    Fan Works 
  • In The Conversion Bureau: Cold War, Xenolestia is responsible for over 2,000 Chinese citizens being kidnapped and forcibly turned into newfoals.
  • In Worldwar: War of Equals, the astronauts aboard the ISS are taken prisoner after The Race board the station two days before they invade. When the actual fighting starts, the capture 20,000 Egyptian soldiers after Cairo is overrun by Race forces. Later starts to be inverted when we start capturing Race personnel.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Communion: It's about a man who has to come to terms with being abducted by aliens who probed him. It's treated like rape, and he even has to see a psychiatrist who specializes in rape victims.
  • Intruders: Most of the film deals with aliens abducting successive generations in the same families. At the end, aliens themselves reveal their reasons to the abductees.
  • In Flight of the Navigator, the protagonist wakes up 8 years after being abducted and returned to Earth, and hasn't aged at all because of time dilation caused by faster-than-light travel.
  • In Independence Day, Russell Casse apparently was abducted by aliens, only nobody believed him and mocked him mercilessly about it (some even implying that his "alien abduction" was really some people who abducted him and abused him sexually) until they showed up. Of course, it's never entirely made clear if it was true, or if the aliens in the movie were even the ones who did it. If you accept the comics as canon, then it is, and they were.
  • It Came from Outer Space (1953). The aliens abduct humans both to copy their bodies (so they can covertly steal equipment to repair their spaceship) and as hostages. They have no malevolent intent, but believe their alien appearance will lead to conflict with the primitive humans.
  • Done in an unfriendly way in Fire in the Sky with examination/torture. It is worth noting that the abduction depicted in the movie is nothing like the account given by the real Travis Walton, whose story the movie is based on. In Walton's actual account, the aliens while frightening in appearance were not violent, and did not torture him.
  • In The Fourth Kind, the protagonist is interviewing people who claim to have been abducted.
  • In Mysterious Skin (which is also a book), Brian thinks this is what happened during a blank spot in his childhood. The truth is much, much worse.
  • Subverted in Race to Witch Mountain; Two alien siblings are captured by humans.
  • Oblivion (2013): What happened to the real Jack and Victoria. It was Harper's decision to uncouple the piloting section from the crew section as it was being swallowed by the Tet that prevented the rest of the "Odyssey"'s crew from becoming clones.
  • Dark Skies: The Greys are experimenting on a typical suburban family and abduct one of its members.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy begins with Peter Quill being abducted from Earth by the Ravagers.
  • Fire in the Sky: Loosely based on a true story, the movie doesn't focus on the abduction itself but on the struggle between those who are trying to prove it to be true and those who are trying to prove it to be false. Instead of believing the abduction, the police suspected Allan Dallas of murdering Travis Walton until Walton reappeared five days later.
  • Honeymoon: Bea is mind-controlled, abducted and impregnated by beings that are implied to be aliens.
  • As you can guess from its name, the segment "Slumber Party Alien Abduction" from the anthology V/H/S/2 deals with a family hosting a slumber party when they come under an extremely chaotic attack by Greys. They all end up abducted, except the family dog who is both literally and figuratively kicked off their spaceship.
  • The reason beyond Bernard Phillips' apparent virgin birth in God Told Me To is eventually revealed to be aliens who abducted his mother and impregnated her through artificial insemination. And this is how the hero was made as well.
  • The Signal (2014): This is the true explanation for what happened to the trio of protagonists.
  • Alien Abduction (2014) is inspired by the actual phenomenon of the Brown Mountain Lights (a UFO phenomenon frequently reported in North Carolina), and recounts the ordeal of a family hunted down and abducted by aliens while on a camping trip.
  • This is the premise of Predators, in which a bunch of killer humans (soldiers and criminals) are somehow abducted by the Predators and taken to a faraway planet to be hunted for sport.

  • The disappearance of Oberon Navarro in Adam R. Brown's Alterien fits this trope. Strange people, Oberon later learns are aliens, took him from his home and returned him completely changed and without any memory of his life.
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley:
    • In The Brass Dragon, the protagonist initially can't remember the last year of his life, but unexpectedly finds that he now knows a lot more about mathematics than he used to. He and his alien companions were trapped on Mars for most of that year, since they had to wait for an enemy ship to be available to ambush for transport back to Earth. They passed the time by teaching the protagonist a lot of math.
    • She co-wrote Hunters of the Red Moon with her brother Paul Edwin Zimmer, in which the protagonist, who is sailing around the world alone, is kidnapped off his boat by the Mekhar (who trade in slaves, and were expecting more people to be on the boat).
  • K.A. Applegate's Animorphs features the Skrit Na, a species that seems to be the basis of "The Greys". As an Andalite protagonist explains in their first appearance, the Skrit Na basically go around in their weird, saucer-shaped ships, abduct people from other planets and either do weird experiments on them or put them in zoos on their home planets. Interestingly, nobody knows why, making the Skrit Na the Cloudcuckoolanders of the galaxy. In this particular instance, the plot kicks off when the Andalites board the Skrit Na ship and rescue the two human teenagers whom they abducted, then try to bring them back to Earth.
  • In Christopher Buckley's novel Little Green Men, alien abductions are the work of a top-secret U.S. government agency which had been manufacturing evidence of alien activity since 1947, and didn't start doing abductions until UFO sightings, crop harvesting and cattle mutilations had lost their novelty value. The rectal probing and egg harvesting only started because the abductees seemed to demand it. Actual Little Green Men aren't used any more because of the difficulty of obtaining midgets with security clearances.
  • In Diane Duane's Young Wizards series the primary motivation aliens have for abducting humans is to steal their chocolate.
  • Communion by Whitley Strieber. Allegedly based on a true story; made into a movie starring Christopher Walken; helped establish jokes about rectal probes (to Strieber's dismay).
  • The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein. The titular aliens have been abducting humans for years, possibly centuries, as part of the plan to conquer Earth. It turns out that the protagonist's Love Interest was abducted from a human colony on Venus as a child; this provides a key to the eventual defeat of the invasion.
  • In Slaves of Spiegel by Daniel Pinkwater, Steve Nickelson is abducted by Space Pirates, who have him and everything in his Hoboken restaurant wrapped in aluminum foil, shrunk in size and taken to the planet Spiegel for the pirates' great interplanetary cook-off. Steve sends in a report to the Flying Saucer Club of Hudson County, New Jersey, who pronounce his report to be totally inauthentic since all aliens are either Little Green Men or blobby eye stalk creatures, not "fat people," and nobody has ever heard of a planet named Spiegel. When the Space Pirates then find out about Steve's assistant, Norman Bleistift, and kidnap him too.
  • Although Pratchett hasn't seen fit to pull this off on Discworld (yet), one of his footnotes does poke fun at this trope, remarking that so many aliens seem to hang around isolated backwoods roads, waiting to abduct humans, that they keep screwing up and abducting one another. Oh, and Bigfoot.
  • Similarly, the monster of Kim Newman's Diogenes Club story "Angel Down, Sussex", is obviously a by-the-book abductor alien. However, it's also an Empathic Shapeshifter, and the story's set in Edwardian times before such urban legends became widespread. Consequently, different people encounter it as a succubus, one of the Fair Folk, or whatever else the earlier equivalent would have been.
  • In Angry Lead Skies, Garrett's associate and housemate the Goddamn Parrot gets abducted by "silver elf" aliens, to the detective's considerable delight.
  • A non-scifi variant happens in Algernon Blackwood's "The Wendigo".
  • The Tumbleweed Dossier by Sugar Ray Dodge was written on the premise of "aliens abducting vampires."
  • Happens to the protagonist in Ancient Baghdad in Andrey Belianin's The Thief of Baghdad, who is snatched by a Tractor Beam while running away from the sultan's guards. The guards, seeing the hateful thief taken by Saint Hyzr's Chariot, assume he's gone for good. The thief, who is actually a modern-day man transported into the past by a genie, whose spell also caused Laser-Guided Amnesia, breaks away from the short grey aliens and forces them to engage in conversation. They use their telepathy to tell him that they are agents of an interstellar union, made up of various races. They are scouting Earth before announcing their presence and integrating humanity into the galactic community. They claim they wish to eliminate racial, religious, and sexual differences among humans. When the thief hears about the latter, he decides to show the aliens why humans enjoy their sexual differences.
  • In Mr Blank, Mina is abducted by aliens. Though in that world, the aliens (referred to as Little Green Men despite being of the modern Grey variety) are one of any number of conspiracies that secretly control the world. Other groups want power, the LGM just want to kidnap and probe.
  • H.P. Lovecraft's The Shadow Out of Time is very much a story of exactly this, once you get past the details that it's "only" the protagonist's mind that gets kidnapped (the better to leave his body available for use by the alien explorer taking his place in the meantime) and that the abduction is across time rather than space.
  • Mindwarp: The disappearance of Todd Aldridge is a major background event, and the other kids struggle to avoid his fate.
  • Intruders and all of Buddd Hopkins' catalogue apparently are real life narrations of alien abductees's experiences. Mostly jogged and brought to the surface via hypnosis.
  • Tunnels: The Styx, although they come from within the Earth and not from Outer Space, routinely do these to people who discover their secret city and scientists whose knowledge they desire.

    Live-Action TV 
  • An alternate ending to the Grand Finale of 3rd Rock from the Sun would have played this for laughs. After Dick removes Mary's memories of him and the Solomons return to their home planet, Mary regains consciousness and gets into the now abandoned Rambler. Then Dick beams in naked, yells "Alien abduction!", and beams out with her.
  • Arrowverse: In The Flash (2014)/Arrow/Legends of Tomorrow//Supergirl Crossover Episode, the Dominators abduct Oliver, Sara, Ray, Thea, and John with teleporters and put them into a Lotus-Eater Machine, where they live completely different lives. The Queen's Gambit never sank, Oliver is about to marry Laurel (still alive), Sara and Thea never became assassins, Ray is still a CEO and is set to marry Felicity, and John is the Hood. However, they quickly start to see that something is wrong and eventually remember the truth and break out. They manage to steal an alien fighter and flee The Mothership. A swarm of fighters gives chase, but the Waverider appears for a Gunship Rescue.
  • Babylon 5
    • Spoofed in the episode "Grail", in which the great-grandson of a human abductee sues the great-grandson of his alien abductor for damages.
    • They later did a reenactment of the torture scene from Fire in the Sky when a new race was scouting for easy invasion prospects.
    • There does not seem to be any indication that the Vree have ever abducted anyone, although there is a possibility that the Roswell incident involved a crashed Vree survey ship (their ships are saucer-shaped). The source material is very vague on what exactly happened, it only mentions that the Vree are greatly amused by the huge impact a "routine survey" had on Human society. The more likely abduction candidates are the Streib (who resemble the Vree despite being unrelated) and the Vorlons.
    • The Vorlons did abduct Jack the Ripper. Presumably on the assumption that no-one would be eager to have him back.
    • The Minbari abducted Sinclair and subjected him to the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique before discovering that he was Valen. Sinclair met Delenn there in those rather awkward circumstances. As far as we know he never talked about it with her even after his memory was restored.
  • In The Chronicle, one of the main characters claims that she was abducted several times when she was a child by at least two different alien races. One of these later returns to check up on their subjects... and remove their brains.
  • In the Dark Skies series finale, Majestic-12 replaces an official who is about to be abducted by the Hive with the protagonist in order to infiltrate the mothership. Since the series was cancelled, the outcome is unknown.
  • In Defiance, it's revealed that the Votan have abducted the crew of Space Station Bravery in order to experiment on them and create Indogene copies of them prior to engaging in First Contact. This fact remained a secret until many decades later.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor has been known to do this by accident if a companion is recruited by them wandering into the TARDIS and him taking off before noticing. Sarah Jane Smith became a companion this way.
    • The first two human companions, Barbara and Ian, stumbled aboard the TARDIS because they were worried and curious about a genius student of theirs named Susan, whose grandfather was an eccentric and unnamed doctor. When they saw that the TARDIS was bigger on the inside and saw proof that Susan and the Doctor were sufficiently advanced aliens, the Doctor felt they had seen too much and decided to abduct them. No one else liked this idea.
    • Tegan Jovanka is on her way to a garage to replace her aunt's dud spare tyre when she comes across the TARDIS and, mistaking it for a real police box, ventures inside. As a result, she becomes one of the Doctor's companions.
    • Donna Noble was another accidental example, notable for being beamed on board the TARDIS while it was in flight, which the Doctor had considered completely impossible.
    • "The Woman Who Fell to Earth": This is, in essence, what the Stenza's ritual hunt is, crossed with Hunting the Most Dangerous Game. Rahul's sister Asha is heavily implied to have been the previous target, seven years before.
  • Subverted in First Wave, where the members of the Alien Abduction Support Group are revealed to be hypnotized by aliens to recall false memories as part of an experiment. Aliens don't have starships in the series.
  • Is a plot point throughout Ghosted that people have been disappearing, and if they return they have been driven insane. Doctor Max Jennifer believes that aliens took his wife and destroyed his career trying to get people to listen to him. He's right.
  • The aliens that supplied the supersuit in The Greatest American Hero do this to various people, although for benign reasons.
  • Played with in Heroes. West Rosen was once abducted by the company for bagging and tagging purposes. When talking to Claire about the circumstances around the marks on his neck, he attributes it to aliens.
  • Played with and averted in House. A child patient is being treated due to having beliefs that he was abducted by aliens. Turns out that it was false, but not because the kid was making stuff up: He actually did believe it due to the "abduction memories" being a side-effect of his birth. He was originally supposed to have a twin brother who he absorbed in the womb. We end up seeing two Grey-like aliens appearing next to House, but this is just a figment of the boy's imagination, deliberately prompted by House in order to replicate the symptoms.
  • JAG:
    • In "Sightings", Harm and Meg debate the possibility of this, given the blinding lights in the sky, deafening noises, and strange smells people have been reporting. Harm is dismissive of it and tries to find mundane explanations, while Meg is more open to the possibility. Harm is right, as it is revealed to be drug runners employing an elaborate cover-up.
    • In the 3rd season episode "Vanished", an F-14 Tomcat has disappeared in The Bermuda Triangle. On a helicopter flight back to shore, skeptical Harm spots that nerdy Bud is reading a book titled The Abductee’s Survival Manual and starts a conversation on the topic (see quotes.) It eventually turns out that the missing F-14 has nothing to do with aliens, but they do manage to get several vital clues to the puzzle from UFO enthusiasts.
  • In Lois & Clark, Lois feels weird after coming home one day. A new neighbor, who is a trained hypnotist, helps her recover the memories, and she realizes that she was the subject of a typical alien abduction. When she confides in Clark, he expresses disbelief, even after she points out that he's an alien himself. However, it's eventually revealed that the memory was implanted by the episode's bad guy, who triggers a post-hypnotic suggestion in Lois several times in order to distract Superman, while the bad guy's people get away with some crime.
  • An episode of The Mentalist deals with the murder of a man who believed that he had been abducted by aliens and was planning to set up a charitable foundation for other abductees. Unusually, the show never settles whether he was really abducted or just crazy.
  • People of Earth is half Dramedy about a support group for abductees (or "Experiencers", as not all of them view the experience negatively), and half Work Com about the aliens who've been abducting them.
  • Soap: Poor Burt gets abducted, cloned and temporarily replaced.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • As always, the series came up with an "explanation" fitting into its cosmology. The abductions were carried out by Loki, a rogue Asgard scientist performing genetic experiments on humans by beaming them onto his starship, temporarily replacing them with short-lived clones.
    • Also, there was one episode where Thor did transport O'Neill to his ship, although its subverted in that it wasn't to do testing on O'Neill as much as request for his help (since the Replicators were attacking his planet, and it was very likely the Replicators would attack Earth next).
    • The entire Milky Way galaxy is populated by descendants of ancient humans who were abducted by the Goa'uld and made to serve as slaves.
    • Stargate Atlantis reveals that a rogue Asgard faction called the Vanir have been doing this for centuries in the Pegasus Galaxy for the same reason as Loki. Unlike Loki, they have partially succeeded and have outlived their Ida Galaxy cousins. However, thanks to the Wraith, they're stuck on their poisonous planet and are unable to leave the galaxy.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation did its own take of this in "Schisms", where the crew gradually realise that aliens from another dimension have been abducting and conducting sinister experiments on them, then wiping their memories and returning them to the Enterprise. Unusually for Star Trek, their actual purpose in doing so is never revealed.
    • There are at least a couple of inversions in the series - where the Enterprise beams up an unsuspecting local alien (at least one from a "bronze age" society). However, there was generally a lack of probing and prodding, but they do try to erase the alien's memories of the event.
      • To be fair, if you've already taken someone apart and put them back together again at a subatomic level then a rectal probe seems a bit blasé...
  • Star Trek: The Original Series did have that one time that the crew of the Enterprise accidentally abducted a 20th century US Air Force pilot during some unintentional Time Travel. Most of the rest of the episode's plot centered on trying to figure out what to do with him, having accidentally given him knowledge of the future.
  • Supernatural:
    • Played with in episode "Clap Your Hands If You Believe". A series of mysterious disappearances in a small town lead Sam and Dean to investigate. A group of UFO nuts are convinced that the abductions are alien in nature. Their theory seems to be confirmed when Dean is abducted (he escapes when he pulls a gun and just starts shooting everything, which, as he notes, he doesn't think anyone else had done), only for the perpetrators to be fairies, not aliens.
    • Played with in an earlier episode, "Tall Tales". Sam and Dean are investigating a campus where a bunch of bizarre urban legends are coming true, amongst them an Alien Abduction. It turns out to be a Trickster, a Reality Warper with a dark sense of humour.
  • The Illacks in Trip For Biscuits pretty much do this as their modus operandi. When Bajo finds this out about halfway through the series, it becomes a major plot point in regards to his parents' abductions.
  • UFO. Aliens from a dying world abduct humans in order to harvest them for their organs.
  • The X-Files. Subverted in "Jose Chung's From Outer Space" where the fake alien abductors got abducted by real aliens. Probably.
    • Of course this happened a fair bit in the X-Files. Mulder and Scully's first case together involved Alien Abduction, and later both of them were abducted, albeit at separate times - Scully in "Ascension" and Mulder in "Requiem".

  • Jazz musician Sun Ra claimed he was abducted by aliens and originated from the planet Saturn, a theme he elaborated futher on in his stage shows and albums.
  • In "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Everything You Know Is Wrong", the narrator accidentally walks into an alternate dimension and gets abducted by aliens who all look like Jamie Farr. They remove his internal organs and take pictures of them, then thank him for being so cooperative during the whole ordeal and offer to send him back in time to any point in history he wants. He chooses to go back to the previous Thursday night so he can pay his phone bill on time.
  • Spanish neoclassical metal band Dark Moor has a song which is all about this, appropriately titled "Abduction".

    Tabletop Games 
  • Changeling: The Lost, being about The Fair Folk and their victims, emphasizes the ties between Alien Abduction and the old faerie myths — some Keepers are described as androgynous, slender beings that put their victims through strange examinations involving horrifying equipment, and the Wizened in the illustrations appear to be a mixture of traditional goblins and The Greys. Of course, the book goes on to say in a sidebar that not all alien abductions in the World of Darkness may be the fault of The Fair Folk....
  • In the world of Pathfinder, hapless people sometimes disappear from their homes, only to reappear sometime later with mysterious surgical scars and no recollection of what happened beyond vague nightmares of short gray-skinned creatures with bulging eyes... except instead of aliens from outer space, they've been abducted by derros, fey-like humanoids from Beneath the Earth. A Shout-Out to the literature of Richard Sharpe Shaver and his "deros", which may have inspired the idea of The Grays in the first place.

    Video Games 
  • Prey (2006):
    • This happens to the protagonist, his girlfriend, his grandfather, and apparently half of Texas.
    • Also if you listen to the radio they have also done this to Garland, Texas, and if you look around they are planing on doing this to New York City. They already got a school bus filled with kids, you watch them take an airplane, and they have abducted other human-like people from different planets. Plus with a ship that size who knows what else could be up there?
    • The protagonist of the sequel is one of the passengers on that airliner. He has a few missing years in his memory (starting with the abduction) and is looking for the truth, while working as a bounty hunter on an alien world.
  • The Sims games allow your Sims to get abducted by aliens if they spend too long stargazing. (It's a very small chance without hacks or cheats.) In The Sims 2, they can also come back pregnant with an alien baby... if they're male. Now that's extreme Anal Probing. Even if they're not pregnant, there's a possibility of them starving to death after their return if they aren't fed immediately; the aliens don't have human food, it seems. This was also introduced in The Sims 3: Seasons expansion pack and The Sims 4: Get to Work expansion pack.
  • The Backstory of X-COM: UFO Defense includes humanity being terrorised by mass abductions, and the aliens continue mounting missions to abduct humans through the game... while it's up to you to stop them.
    • This is also a major component in the reboot. The most common mission type are alien abductions occurring in major cities across the world. It's also the most straightforward mission type: Kill all aliens on the ground. However, the aliens will always attack three cities on three different continents at the same time, forcing the player to make a choice, as each mission provides a different reward (all of them useful for different reasons), and panic increases in the continents you don't save, putting them at risk to stop funding you. Fortunately, every country with a satellite over them at the start of the month will no longer suffer abductions, so they can be minimized and eventually shut out entirely.
    • And the theme returns in the X-COM series' Spiritual Successor, Xenonauts.
  • The Fallout 3 add-on Mothership Zeta has the player and various wastelanders being abducted and studied aboard an alien ship. The evidence on the ship indicates that they have been doing this for centuries. In fact, one of the abductees is a Japanese samurai in full armor who proceeds to slice up his abductors with his katana. Naturally, you can't understand each other. Another is a Wild West cowboy, whose Colt comes in handy.
  • Metal Gear:
    • In the fourth game, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, the Colonel, shortly after Raiden manages to escape Arsenal Gear's torture room, suddenly starts telling what seems to be a typical UFO story where it is implied that he was abducted while trying to get home from work, giving the early implication that the Colonel is not who, or rather, what, he claims to be.
    • The third game, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, has Sigint remarking that Zero claimed that he was abducted by Aliens once as a reason for him to suspend disbelief in regards to Snake procuring the Spirit Camo.
    • In the novel within a video game, The Shocking Conspiracy on Shadow Moses, the main character once thought he was abducted by aliens.
    • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker implies that most of the UFO encounters, Alien abductions, and Cattle Mutilations were actually caused by the CIA, more specifically their rogue unit: the Peace Sentinels, and their AI weapons.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Land, where Mario had to save Princess Daisy (who made her debut here) from an evil alien who kidnapped her just so he can distract Mario while the game's real villain, Wario can succeed in his evil plans as revealed in the sequel.
    • Super Mario Galaxy: Rosalina, according to her backstory was actually abducted by the Lumas because one of them thought that she was its mother. When Rosalina realizes that her real family is now long dead since her departure, she eventually becomes their leader, and even helps Mario save both Peach and the entire Mushroom Galaxy from Bowser, who at the same time did this to Peach.
  • In Disgaea 4 all of the generic classes have introductory cutscenes which play when you create a new one to add to your team. The cyborg class's cutscene shows a female fighter being abducted in this manner, before being Strapped to an Operating Table and undergoing Unwilling Roboticisation.
  • Mass Effect 2 has mass alien abduction; the Collectors are abducting entire human colonies at once. They're using said colonists to build a Reaper.
  • In Phantasy Star Online 2, undertaking specific quests on Very Hard difficulty or above has a small chance of the players' campship getting abducted and thrown into the Darker Den.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, one of the side quests involves some aliens attacking Romani Ranch on the Night of the First Day. They mostly seem interested in the cows, but if Link fails to stop them, they'll abduct poor Romani as well (she was in the barn, trying to save the cows). If she's taken, she'll be dropped back around the afternoon of the Second Day, dazed and having obviously had her mind wiped.
  • In Shin Super Robot Wars, Professor Eri Anzai is kidnapped by the Ze Balmary Empire because of her vast knowledge on ancient history.
  • onEscapee is about a man who survives his abductors' shipwreck, leaving him stranded on a distant planet.
  • In Bully, after Jimmy Hopkins collects all the radio transistors for The Hobo, the latter is beamed up into the sky, implying that he was voluntarily picked up by a UFO.
  • In Stellaris empires that engage in "Active Observation" of a pre-FTL species will abduct specimens for study. Fanatic Xenophile empires won't tolerate the practice and it has a chance of making the natives more Xenophobic.
  • EarthBound Beginnings uses this twice. Nearly every adult resident of Youngtown was abducted by aliens at some point before the protagonists arrive there, leaving it to become a Never Land populated almost entirely by children. And in the game's Back Story, the protagonist's great-grandmother and great-grandfather, Maria and George, were abducted and held for an unspecified amount of time by a Sufficiently Advanced Alien race. Maria became the surrogate mother of the then-infant Big Bad Giegue and raised him to adulthood, while George studied and presumably gained the ability to use PSI, well against the alien race in question's wishes. George eventually made it back to Earth, but Maria wasn't so lucky.
  • In the shooting minigames of both Wii Play and Wii Play: Motion, there is one level in which some UFO will try to abduct Miis with Tractor Beams.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In some of The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror Halloween specials, Kang and Kodos are aliens from the planet Rigel VII who tend to abduct humans (especially the Simpsons of course) for various reasons. (Though obviously none of these events are canon.)
  • In the Futurama episode "Spanish Fry", Fry gets kidnapped and has his nose stolen by alien poachers, who intend to sell it as a black-market aphrodisiac to Lrr, ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8. Judging by a news report, alien abduction is a fairly common occurrence in 31st century life.
    Linda: "Alien abductions: Until now, a harmless nuisance. But recently they've taken on a sinister dimension as unsuspecting victims are returned... without noses."
  • In the Recess episode "The Experiment", there's an urban legend about a boy named Jimmy Cratner, who was allegedly beamed up by an alien spaceship and never seen again. At the end, they return Jimmy to his school, who thanks them for the ride.
  • In Kim Possible, Drakken is abducted by The Greys once, and the Lowardians snatch both him and Kim.
  • The Pilot episode of South Park, "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe." Almost a hundred episodes later ("Canceled") the aliens abducted him again, revealing that their secret motive this whole time was to monitor Earth because it's actually a giant intergalactic reality TV show.
  • Chuck Jones put out two alien-abduction themed Looney Tunes — "Hasty Hare" has Bugs captured by Marvin the Martian, and "Jumpin' Jupiter" has a mutant-turkey alien abduct a vacationing Porky Pig in a visually awesome scene where the flying saucer burrows beneath his campsite, and carries off a whole section of ground with tent, campfire, car and all.
  • The Walt Disney Presents special "Mars and Beyond" featured a frenetic take on a "typical sci-fi story" where a scientist's secretary is nabbed by aliens, done by Ward Kimball in peerless '50s style.
  • Played for laughs on Invader Zim, where the title character, an insane alien posing as a human, gets abducted by a pair of even-stupider aliens who think he really is human. We find out that the aliens are so stupid and ineffective at doing anything, all their victims escaped without harm.
  • Parodied and shown from the aliens' point of view in the Pixar Shorts film Lifted. A nervous trainee flying saucer pilot struggles to control his vessel, which is controlled by hundreds of unmarked, completely identical switches, and successfully abduct an Earthling.
  • Arthur:
    • Parodied in a special relating to an episode plot-making contest (of which the episode itself was the direct result of such a contest), where Buster's plot idea was having Buster's character trying to get aliens to come down; they do, landing on Buster's character, and take Arthur's character into their ship, doing anal probing (although, as it is a kids show, Arthur's character is just shown in his underpants, although the implications were still on there), then leave Arthur behind. Also, the entire sequence was a direct Shout-Out to South Park (ironic, considering how that show was anything but kid friendly).
    • Similarly, in the episode (and book) "Arthur's Slumber Party", a subplot involved a newspaper headline mentioning that someone thought they saw a UFO. DW got obsessed with UFOs as a result, and so during the slumber party, Arthur, Brain, and Buster decided to pull a few pranks on DW by first placing one of their sleeping bags and using a cutout of an alien to cause DW to think its a real alien, and then (episode only) create a UFO contraption for DW to take pictures of until it landed via Brain's remote control.
    • Hilariously implied to be what happened to D.W.'s Snowball in the episode "D.W.'s Snowball".
  • Happens to Danger Mouse and Penfold in "Close Encounters of the Absurd Kind". But DM thinks the alien captain is Baron Greenback in disguise.
  • Steven Universe: Homeworld initially seemed totally disinterested in humans, only invading Earth to take its resources. Later, we see they also abducted numerous humans to create the starting population of a People Zoo, because one of their leaders found humans interesting. More recently, they decide to expand their Zoo. Because of a misunderstanding from when Steven talked to a Homeworld gem, they start with his friends.
  • Kaeloo: Happens to Stumpy in Episode 98. The aliens abduct him from the couch he's sitting on and examine some acorns he happened to have with him. Turns out it was All Just a Dream ... Or Was It a Dream?

    Real Life 
  • Probably the most famous alleged alien abduction case was that of Betty and Barney Hill, A married couple who claimed to have been abducted by aliens in rural New Hampshire in 1961. Their claims were investigated by the government and media and became the Trope Codifier for alien abduction stories. Betty passed a lie detector and both she and her husband stuck by their claims till death.
  • One of the most unusual alien abduction stories was that of American logger Travis Walton. Walton was allegedly abducted by a UFO in Arizona in 1975. His abduction was reported by several coworkers who claimed to have witnessed the event, resulting in a state-wide manhunt (and a possible homicide investigation). Walton did not reappear until five days later, claiming he had been abducted by aliens. The movie Fire In the Sky is very loosely based on the alleged abduction.
  • Scientist/cultural analyst Jacques Vallee once investigated an abduction very similar to Travis' which had happened near his home town in France. He discovered it had been staged by the French equivalent of the CIA as a social experiment. He thinks this has happened more than once, and is not connected only to government agencies. He also believes there are real UFO sightings and "aliens", but they are not from outer space but are "multidimensional across space and time". Vallee inspired the character of Claude Lacombe in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
  • Wild animals captured by humans, examined and tagged, then released again. From their perspective this trope might be close to Truth in Television. One The Far Side strip uses this very setup, as does the film Happy Feet.
  • A widely accepted theory for why people have such vivid memories of alien abductions is because of a phenomenon that's basically "dreaming while awake". When you dream, not only do you have very strange and surreal images, but your body actually shuts down most muscles so you can't move and accidentally hurt yourself. Sometimes you can "wake up" — i.e. your eyes open and you're aware of the room you're in. So imagine; you wake up. You can't move your body. You're dreaming of strange lights. It fits all the tropes of alien abduction, further influencing your dream, and you become convinced it actually happened. This is why it's called "sleep paralysis". It can also lead to dreams of ghosts and other paranormal/supernatural beings. A common account was once of a "crushing hag" sitting on the person's chest, crushing them-hence the term "hag-ridden" for one plagued by nightmares. Demons that sucked people's breath away, or abused them sexually (familiar to UFO abduction) were prevalent in Medieval Europe. With multiple people, misidentification of natural phenomenon, hallucinations, and outright fraud are often proven behind many alien abduction stories.