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Alien Invasion

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"This isn't a war. It never was a war, any more than there's war between man and ants."
The Artilleryman, The War of the Worlds (1898)

One of the oldest stories in Speculative Fiction: Beings from space come to Earth to conquer.

There are a few ways this can go:

Sometimes, there are good aliens that help us against the invaders; unfortunately, they tend to be much weaker and/or less numerous, since if they were equally or more powerful, the focus would be taken off humanity. Then there's the Benevolent Alien Invasion, where the invaders are the good aliens.

Often an allegory for some Earth-based conflict, either one that's happened in the past or one that people fear may happen. The Infiltration is especially popular as a metaphor for the Red Scare.

This trope, in its modern form, was created by H. G. Wells's novel The War of the Worlds (1898). It was actually a variation on another theme popular at the time, the "invasion story", where another country's army, usually France or Germany (depending on who relations were worse with at the time), would try to conquer Britain. Xenophobia would often play up the foreigness of said foreign empires with the aliens in The War of the Worlds themselves being an allegory for imperialist powers invading and exploting supposedly "inferior people", the narrator noting that the Martian invasion wasn't so different from what Britain was doing around the world itself. Then World War I happened. Today, similar themes are found in techno-thrillers, and crop up in works like Red Dawn and The Tomorrow Series, where similar feelings of dread at being dominated by a foreign and advanced enemy proliferate.

A common Tomato Surprise nowadays is for the invaders to be human.

Most often a Science Fiction trope, but occasionally appears in Fantasy, in which case you have Fantasy Aliens.

See also Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion, We Come in Peace — Shoot to Kill and Aliens Are Bastards; and for fun, How to Invade an Alien Planet and Why You Should Destroy the Planet Earth. Contrast Benevolent Alien Invasion.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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  • Bread Barbershop: One of the wishes the genie grants in "Magic Kettle" is for a kid's school to be annihilated by aliens. When they arrive, the aliens proceed to shoot other buildings in the food town as well.
  • Happy Heroes: The climax of Season 2's premiere episode involves a bunch of Planet Gray spaceships filling the skies of Planet Xing, clearly intending to overtake the planet for themselves as the Supermen fight an amnesiac Careful S.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Albegas: In the first episode the Dellinger Empire invade Earth, which is coincidentally around the same time when Aoba High School was holding a robot building competition and three students creat heavily formidable robots. These three robots are fused together by Dr. Mizuki into the titular Albegas. Albegas then becomes the Dellinger's arch-enemy as it regularly counters their invasion efforts.
  • In Bakugan. After the Big Bad was destroyed in the first season finale, the next two seasons had extradimensional aliens as their main villains.
  • The Brave Fighter of Legend Da-Garn: One being launched against Earth is what causes it to select Seiji to awaken the Braves from their slumber.
  • In Cells at Work!, bacteria and viruses are effectively presented as alien invaders. All of the human cells are represented as humans. By contrast, bacteria - being cells foreign to the body - span myriads of monstrous forms, but are still able to speak and have their own personalities, representing the fact that just like our own cells, they are still living organisms. Viruses, meanwhile, are presented as Starfish Aliens that cause a Zombie Apocalypse by hijacking cells. They do not speak, have no discernible personality, and don't even look like living things - which is appropriate, since it's questionable whether viruses in Real Life are even alive.
  • Cannon God Exaxxion's invasion draws some (narratively intentional) parallels to 19th-century colonialism. The manga milks these for all it's worth.
  • In Daimos, the Baams/Brahmins (an alien race of Winged Humanoids) had no intention of invading Earth and wanted negotiating a peaceful settlement. However, the death by poisoning of their Emperor and the belief that the Earthlings had assassinated him changed that.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Subverted in Dragon Ball Z, with Raditz being the first invader and being killed by Piccolo and Goku anyway. A year after that, Vegeta and Nappa invade the earth and destroy a city immediately. Unlike Raditz, who's looking for his brother Kakarot/Goku, Vegeta and Nappa just want to find the Dragon Balls.
    • After hearing about the Dragon Balls, Frieza and his minions invade Namek and steal the ones there in a very brutal way. They kill almost every Namekian, except for some who are killed by Vegeta and the Grand Elder who dies of old age, but his death is accelerated by Frieza's invasion, and Nail is left the only survivor. However, all the Namekians are revived, anyway, except for those killed by Vegeta, since he's no longer acting as one of Frieza's men, and Nail, who, having fused with Piccolo, all but ceases to exist. The Grand Elder also dies permanently not long after his revival.
    • Frieza's arrival on Earth with his army in Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' is explicitly called an invasion.
    • Goku's arrival on Earth was supposed to be an alien invasion/genocide until he hit his head and forgot his mission.
    • This scenario happens in some of the Non Serial Movies. Most notable are the invader groups of Turles and Lord Slug. The former almost kills everything on Earth with a World Tree, and the latter actually has a real army and freezes the planet by darkening the sky with black clouds.
    • Paragas and his army invaded some planets; his son Broly destroyed them anyway.
    • Another notable example: Janemba mixes up the Living World and Other World, causing the villains who were killed earlier to invade Earth, including the Big Bads and their respective armies.
    • The alien wizard Babidi and his minions, a couple of whom are also aliens, sneak onto Earth to retrieve and revive Babidi's father's Living Weapon Majin Buu.
  • In the Eureka Seven TV series, the Scub Coral drove humanity off of Earth for 10,000 years (unintentionally) when it arrived. It grew and formed an outer layer around Earth, fooling humanity into thinking it was another planet when they returned and settled on the new surface. The Scub Coral later spawned human Coralians to live among humans to study and communicate with them. The Big Bad uses this planet takeover history to justify his actions against the Scub Coral which was just trying to communicate with humanity.
  • The Excel♡Saga anime has, among its several interwoven plots, a sinister infiltration of Earth by cartoonishly cute teddy bear-like things called the Puchuus. It leads up to a full-on Leijiverse parody Space Opera struggle between a group of Puchuus who want to conquer the Universe and another faction trying to stop them.
  • Future Robot Daltanious is set in the Bad Future of 1995note  where the Zaal Empire has successfully invaded Earth. While things look bleak at first, when the heroes discover the Heliosian Humongous Mecha Daltanious, they realize there's a chance for them to fight back. Daltanious's victiories against the Zaal set off a chain of La Résistance movements all over the galaxy.
  • Gantz: The various aliens that appear in the manga series. It is not known when and how the aliens got there, but the reason is revealed in the final story arc They're immigrants looking for a new home, since their solar system is no longer inhabitable. The aliens use a variety of technology and abilities to infiltrate the earth, where the Gantz team then hunts them. The aliens in the start and middle of the series didn't really launch full-scale invasions, as they were trying their best to blend in. It wasn't until the final arc that Humongous Mecha land on Earth and begin to level the planet, while capturing humans as a food source.
  • Genesis Climber MOSPEADA's entire premise involved Earth being invaded by Inbits thirty years before the present timeline with the colonies on other planets of the solar system mounting a liberation campaign.
  • In Gintama the story is set in an alternate late Edo period where is attacked by aliens called "Amanto" ("Sky People"). The samurai of Japan join the battle against the aliens, but when the Shogun realizes the power of aliens, he betrays the samurai and surrenders to the aliens. The Shogun writes an unequal contract with aliens which allows the aliens to enter the country and places a ban on carrying swords in public.
  • In GoLion it's done by the Galra empire to just about everywhere else.
  • Heroman has the Earth attacked by Big Creepy-Crawlies and giant spheres of doom.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers: Paint It White. The plot involves an alien invasion of Earth in which about 90% of the global population and their countries are transformed into what looks like white featureless humanoid clay, known as the Pict. In the final scene of the movie, billions of converted Pict can be seen walking into a giant mothership which then departs Earth after our heroes save the day. So even with the "happy" ending, there are still only a few hundred million people left on Earth. And the Swiss. And Iceland.
  • One-Punch Man:
    • A flashback panel in the manga demonstrating Saitama's boring invincibility has him punching a monster that's probably an invading alien, since there's a flying saucer in the background.
    • In a story arc corresponding to the last three episodes of the anime's first season, an evil alien warlord named Boros leads an army of space pirates called the Dark Matter Thieves to attack Earth. Their spaceship's energy cannon blows up most of City A, and they likely would've been able to conquer the whole planet had Saitama and the other elite superheroes not defeated them.
  • Subverted in Dowman Sayman's Paraiso. In simple 4koma format, the audience is shown a schoolgirl attempting to take down another girl and rape her. As this is happening, a nearby UFO's occupants are shown being repulsed and stopping whatever plans they had for a future invasion.
  • Parasyte: Infiltration by aliens called parasites which are worm-like creatures that enter human bodies and transform their brain, killing them. They then go about disguised as their host secretly eating other humans.
  • Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys: Rayquaza thinking this is happening is what kicks off its conflict with Deoxys.
  • Project Blue Earth SOS is essentially a homage to 1950s/1960s-style science fiction shows, with two kids acting as the main protagonists and finding out about the incoming invasion and doing everything they can to stop it.
  • The plot of all three entries of the Robot Romance Trilogy (Combattler V, Voltes V, Daimos) is begins with an alien invasion, each led by their own Conquering Alien Prince. They often send Robeasts to attack the Earth, that are beaten into a pulp by the titular Super Robots.
  • In Samurai Flamenco aliens have taken control of governments all over the globe, and Japan was the last stand until the Prime Minister was defeated.
  • In 7 Billion Needles, the alien Maelstrom takes a host and then goes on a killing spree. Horizon follows him an attempt to stop him. Repeat ad infinitum.
  • Parodied in Sgt. Frog. The main character is the alien-frog Sergeant Keroro, the leader of a recon team for an alien invasion from Keron, "the 58th Planet of the Gamma Nebula". But once his superiors realize he's been found out, they abort the mission and leave him and his crew behind. With no one else to turn to, Keroro ends up staying at the Hinata house with Fuyuki, Natsumi, and their mom Aki, living as something between a servant and a pet. He reunit with his squadron and still plot to take over the Earth....when he's not doing chores for the Hinata family or is distracted by such aspects of Earth culture as Gundam model kits and the Internet.
  • Set in 2199, Space Battleship Yamato see a long battle against an alien race known as Gamilas that has reduced the Earth to an uninhabitable radioactive wasteland.
  • Super Dimension Fortress Macross is also a deconstruction of this trope; it shows what would actually happen if a vastly superior alien race (which spends the majority of the series showing restraint, gathering intelligence, and generally being more reasonable than the Earthlings despite being genetically programmed for war) decides that Earth is a threat. Earth gets slagged, wiping out all of humanity in a single barrage. Only the titular Macross and her crew and refugees survive
  • In Tekkaman, Earth is invaded by the Waldarians and their mutant creations, complete with flying saucers.
  • UFO Robo Grendizer: An early Anime example and the third series of the Mazinger Z trilogy. The Vega homeworld had become unstable due to the radioactive materials within it and the King decided to expand his militaristic empire to find a suitable planet to settle on. The main character lived in Fleed, one of the first planets the Vegan army attacked and was forced to run away. He landed on Earth and settled peacefully in there. Then two years later the Vegan army struck his new homeworld.
  • Urusei Yatsura starts the unlucky (and pervert) boy Ataru chosen by lot to challenge a band of alien invaders from the planet Oni in a game of tag to decide the fate of the Earth. His opponent: the lovely Princess Lum, daughter of the Onis' leader, Mister Invader. He win, but make also an Accidental Proposal to Lum that fall in love with him...and the rest is history.
  • In World Trigger, Earth is caught in the middle of a vast interplanetary war. The Earthlings are able to fight back (though just barely) thanks to reverse-engineering technology they stumble upon, as well as help from Yuma, a soldier sent from one of these planets to defend it (among other goals).

    Audio Plays 

    Card Games 
  • The original Mars Attacks! trading cards shows the Martians invading Earth and committing all sorts of war crimes for the fun of it, so the audience won't feel sorry for them when the trope is later inverted and the humans invade and destroy Mars.

    Fan Works 
  • Calvin & Hobbes: The Series:
    • Calvin accidentally and unknowingly stops one of these with a firecracker.
    • Sheila later accuses Calvin of trying to cause this in "The Alien Huntress".
  • Many Deconstruction Fics for The Conversion Bureau depict the ponies as an invading force.
  • Earth's Alien History is a Mega Crossover which contains many of the other examples on this page happening one after the other. This, along with the fact that humanity keeps fighting them off, becomes the source of both an in-universe Running Gag about everyone attacking Earth and an in-universe view of humans as a species-wide Memetic Badass.
  • Equestria: Across the Multiverse features an extradimensional variant when the Flim Flam Brothers from their The Bad Guy Wins timeline from the Season 6 finale launch an invasion of mainline Equestria with a robot army and assisted by one of Ispita's sons. They have apparently done this to a larger number of worlds by this point, but Mainline Equestria ultimately proves too much for them.
  • Equestrian Alliance: Project Oblivion centers around an invasion by deadly creatures from another dimension, combated by ponies and security personnel from the ProteC corporation.
  • Geometry Dash Episodes: The project The Cookie Thieves is about aliens arriving in Geometrica to steal cookies. Given that they're threatening Totalpro64's Trademark Favorite Food and are easily defeated with a Goomba Stomp, they don't last long once he hears about it.
  • Hellsister Trilogy: Darkseid and his Apokoliptian troops strike both Earth and New Genesis during the second story arc.
  • Hunters of Justice, a RWBY/DC crossover, has a grand total of four: three in the backstory, one at the beginning.
    • The first occurred ten years ago and involved Darkseid invading Earth in search of the Anti-Life Equation. He was only defeated by the combined forces of Earth's militaries, the Amazons, and the DC Trinity.
    • The second occurred five years after the Darkseid Invasion and involved the Imperium/White Martians attempting to take over after nullifying Earth's defenses, only for J'onn J'onzz/The Martian Manhunter to thwart their attempts by bringing together the Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern and Hawkgirl. This invasion was notable for the subsequent creation of the Justice League itself.
    • The third occurred a few years after the Imperium Invasion and involved the Thanagarian Empire, of which Hawkgirl was an advanced scout, attempting to create a hyperspace bypass through Earth, the creation of which would have destroyed the planet. Hawkgirl ultimately betrayed her species to help the people of Earth, sparing it from destruction. Afterwards, the Justice League was expanded to its enlarged present state.
    • The fourth invasion was Brainiac's invasion of Remnant, which ended with him bottling Remnant's major cities and subsequently destroying the planet. RWBY and JNPR's failed attempt to stop him led to their arrival to Earth.
  • In the Warhammer 40k roleplay In the Beginning, There Was Man, the usual grimdarkness of the 43th millenium gets even worse as the Imperium cracks under pressure from the multitudes of Xeno races that assault it and a finishing blow coming in the form of the last Black Crusade. The God Emperor of Mankind must rally His people and deliver Humanity from its darkest hour.
  • Kim Possible: Axess Hero: Duo starts this later on, and after him comes the Forces of the Cybeasts. In between are the Lowardians, Aliens who were driven mad by Duo's quest for power.
  • In The Lion King Adventures story The Master Plan, an alien parasite known as the Vimelea attempts to invade the earth by possessing Mufasa and Sarabi.
  • Meanwhile, Back on Earth: The Newtopian Empires invasion of Earth during the Dimensional War.
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, Episode 14 deals with the Stardroids coming to Earth.
  • The fifth story of the MLP:FiM fan fiction The Monster Mash features an alien invasion of the infiltration variety.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, the Red Lantern Corp invaded Earth and tried to wipe out its population, causing the Green Lantern War to intervene and start the eponymous Lantern War. The devastation wrought by the conflict caused public opinion to turn against aliens in general, forcing alien superheroes and their supporters to go underground if they weren't killed.
  • The New Age of Monsters features the first Mechagodzilla and Gigan who both came from space and had the original mission to conquer the planet for their creators. Luckily, Mechagodzilla has since been reprogrammed and Gigan has broken free from their control long ago. Now he is doing it for fun.
  • The Pony POV Series: During the Dark World arc, it's revealed that at some point during the Epilogue timeline, Equestria was invaded by what is strongly implied to be the Imperium of Man. This forced all of Discord's remaining enemies to ally with him in order to repel the invasion, which they eventually succeeded in doing.
  • In Project Ignition it happens twice, by the same aliens, just a few hundreds of years apart.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Heroes of Mobius has had three so far, first by the Martians, then by the Devatrons, then by the Black Arms.
  • Superman of 2499: The Great Confrontation: At the beginning of the second part, Adam Kent is scheming to lead the Rokynians to invade Earth.
  • Tarkin's Fist: The Empire lands ground forces in America and China to tie down the world's two superpowers while engaging in a slave raid across the Pacific Islands. They also manage to bomb Great Britain from orbit to the point that the remnants of the British Government agree to surrender in exchange for a reprieve.
  • In the distant future Puella Magi Madoka Magica fanfic, To the Stars, humanity is fighting a genocidal war against an alien race. Given the possibility of human extinction, the war was the precipice that lead to magical girls dropping the masquerade.
  • Subverted in Wander over Foster's AU One-Shot. Bloo thinks that Wander is an alien spy sent to teach his invader comrades about Earth, but he isn't. Wander is just a benevolent alien who is stuck on Earth.
  • Warbound Widow has this happen with planet Earth via the Alternian Empire, which kickstarts the plot.
  • Worldfall features two simultaneous alien invasions of Earth by the Race and Fithp.
  • Worldwar: War of Equals has The Race invading Earth in 2011 instead of 1942.
  • Young Justice: Darkness Falls points out that this has become a recurring issue for the league, with first the kroletaens, then the reach, then Despero, then Mongul, then Starfire, and finally Darkseid all being threats that came via alien invasion to their planet. Blue Beetle even gives a little note to Starfire that 1 is more than enough for a year. (Star ends up being good, but that's besides the point)

    Films — Animation 
  • Inverted in Battle for Terra, where it's the humans who are invading the titular planet (not Earth).
  • In Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, alien creatures known as "Phantoms" have overrun the Earth.
  • Monsters vs. Aliens: An animated film that portrays an alien invasion by Gallaxhar seeking out the last remaining sources of quantonium. The invasion starts off with a giant robot sent to reclaim the remaining quantonium. Later the main character is kidnapped and has the quantonium she absorbed extracted from her allowing the villain to clone an invasion army from himself.
  • War of the Worlds: Goliath is a sequel to The War of the Worlds (1898) and has both the original invasion (as seen in the opening) and the one the movie focuses on.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Inverted in Avatar. The technologically-advanced humans colonise the moon of Pandora seeking to mine out a rare ore. When diplomacy with the native, peace and nature-loving Na'vi breaks down, the General Ripper steps in and declares war on them, destroying their home and killing thousands of them, elderly and children included. Only barely do the Na'vi succeed in pushing the human invaders off their planet, and even then, at great cost.
  • Battle: Los Angeles: The alien invaders land off the coast of California and immediately launch a military offensive. The movie is notable for being reasonably accurate in its presentation of the military and the aliens operating as a military force. They also bring in tens of millions of soldiers, something that would be required to take over and control a planet of billions.
  • The aliens in Battleship appear to be an advance scout force whose task is to notify their homeworld about humanity's defenses in preparation for an actual invasion.
  • Ben 10 live-action movies:
  • Captive State: The film opens with one in which an alien race conquers Earth easily.
  • In District 9, a government agent in the epilogue speculates that this is what is going to happen if CJ tells the people of his homeworld what the racist and savage humans are doing to the alien refugees, and he seems quietly terrified of that particular theory. Given the film demonstrates how... "ludicrously excessive" Prawn weaponry is against humans, and that Prawns are capable of tearing humans limb from limb even without them, he has every right to be.
  • Edge of Tomorrow is a typical example of an alien invasion with the aliens having extremely advanced technology, and human militaries are barely holding on.
  • In Extinction (2018), this is apparently what the story is about. However, the “Aliens” are actually humans, who have come back to Earth to reclaim it from the Androids that took it from them 50 years earlier.
  • The Faculty depicts a Puppeteer Parasite based Infiltration...starting with a high school in Ohio. Also one of the more self-aware examples as the trope is discussed a few times.
  • A recurring trope in the Godzilla films, always featuring hostile aliens finding a way to use Kaiju as weapons against humanity:
    • Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster: King Ghidorah is introduced as a spacefaring serial Planet Destroyer who moves from world to world, laying waste to each one. He is responsible for wiping Venus or Mars (depending on the dub) clean of life before he targets Earth, where he's fought by Godzilla and Mothra.
    • Invasion of Astro-Monster: Aliens from Planet X use Mind Control to sic Godzilla, Rodan and King Ghidorah on the Earth after pretending to come in peace.
    • Destroy All Monsters: aliens from the planet Kilaak set up a base on the moon and initially take control of 10 monsters native to Earth and send them to attack different cities around the world, then dispatch King Ghidorah as their ace in the hole when the other monsters are freed from their influence.
    • Godzilla vs. Gigan: Aliens from the Space Hunter Nebula build a weaponized headquarters on Earth (which looks like a giant statue of Godzilla) then try to demolish Tokyo with King Ghidorah and Gigan.
    • Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla and Terror of Mechagodzilla: aliens from a planet consumed by a black hole try to conquer Earth using Mechagodzilla, a colossal robot shaped like Godzilla, and Titanosaurus, an Earth-born monster they can control.
    • Godzilla 2000: in a twist on the formula, the invading alien Orga is a giant monster itself, with its own ship and goals beyond just fighting Godzilla. Orga is able to download huge amounts of data about humanity off the internet using its ship, with plans to conquer the planet solo once Godzilla is dealt with.
    • Godzilla: Final Wars has a reimagined version of the Planet X aliens basically pulling the exact same plan as the Kilaaks, but with the addition of a huge fleet of warships and fighter crafts just as dangerous as the monsters. Again, Ghidorah is the big gun pulled out during the climax.
    • Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019): It turns out that Ghidorah is actually an extraterrestrial invasive lifeform who arrived on Earth alone long ago, and his goal is wiping out humanity and the majority of life on Earth, by taking command of the Earth's native kaiju and leading them into engulfing the planet in a cataclysmic Natural Disaster Cascade and Perpetual Storms; ostensibly to xenoform the planet into a world more to Ghidorah's liking.
  • High Plains Invaders: Aliens invade an isolated town in order to steal uranium. They seem to feed on it, and Jules theorizes that pure uranium is like opium to them.
  • Hungerford: It started off with bugs the size of shoes burrowing into peoples' necks and taking over their minds. At the end of the movie, a spacecraft shows up.
  • Independence Day:
    • The aliens send several massive ships over major cities. They then use powerful Wave-Motion Gun to destroy the cities. They later launch assault with fighter craft to attack the human military attempting to fight back.
    • They're back in Independence Day: Resurgence, set 20 years later. Humanity has rebuilt in the meantime and was able to study and adapt some of the alien tech, but the second alien force appears to be much larger than the first one.
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Is one of the most famous versions of The Infiltration as Communist metaphor. Humans are kidnapped and replaced with alien lookalikes.
  • Invasion of the Neptune Men was a Japanese film where aliens start out with a downplayed attack, then go the infiltration route, and later go back to an all-out attack. Luckily, a hero known as Space Chief is there to fight them back. Has been shown on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
  • Invisible Invaders: invisible aliens attack the earth by possessing corpses
  • It Came from Outer Space (1953) : A subversion where the aliens appear to be carrying out a classic Infiltration-style attack, but are only trying to quietly repair their spacecraft which crashed due to a malfunction.
  • Killer Klowns from Outer Space: Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Clown-like aliens in a big-top UFO land in a town, using various fantastical circus gimmicks to cocoon some victims for consumption and kill others.
  • Knowing: Aliens have been secretly visiting Earth to prepare themselves in to extract the chosen life forms from Earth in light of the Earth's destruction by the Sun. They disguise themselves as humans to do so (though they never speak human language).
  • Little Shop of Horrors: In the ending, it is revealed that the plant is an alien invader that is using infilitration to conquer the planet by having humans unwittingly spread its seeds around the world.
  • In Man of Steel, Zod comes to Earth in search of Clark, aboard a Cool Starship with a Wave-Motion Gun.
  • Mars Attacks!: An Affectionate Parody of alien invasion movies which drew inspiration from the trading cards of the same name. Like the trading cards, the movie portrays a military invasion by the Martians.
  • Several examples in the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • The Avengers (2012): Loki brings the aliens known as the Chitauri to Earth to act as "his" army. Loki wants to rule Earth to spite his brother Thor, while the Chitauri merely want the Tesseract, so that they can conquer other worlds.
    • Thor: The Dark World: The Dark Elves attack London in order to use Earth as a staging point for unleashing the Aether to destroy the whole universe.
    • Avengers: Infinity War: The Children of Thanos invade Earth in order to gather the Infinity Stones hidden there. After two brief skirmishes in New York and Edinburgh, they bring an entire army of Outriders to Wakanda.
    • Captain Marvel (2019): The Skrulls are a race of shapeshifting aliens who invade and take over planets by infiltrating and destabilizing their leadership. The Kree have been at war with them, and Starforce's mission is to stop the Skrulls by wiping them out. During the events of the film, no alien invasion takes place, due to the Skrulls having already lost the war and are trying to escape somewhere the tyrannical Kree cannot find them. The Kree themselves only send a small squadron of elites to Earth in order to track Carol, although their leader does call in an orbital bombardment that almost blows up the planet if not for Carol unlocking her true potential shortly beforehand.
    • Avengers: Endgame:
      • The Chitauri invasion of New York City during The Avengers is revisited, although most of the action takes place after the invasion has been dealt with.
      • 2014 Thanos makes his way to the Earth of the prime timeline, along with his whole army. Only this time the Avengers and their allies are all able to gather at the same place for a welcome committee.
  • No One Will Save You follows a young outcast named Brynn as she attempts to survive an invasion of her home town by a race of grey aliens. The film is notable for having almost no dialogue, with only five words being spoken during its 93 minute runtime.
  • In Oblivion (2013), Earth has been invaded by a race called the Scavs. The setting is in the aftermath, about 60 years afterwards. Or so Jack believes. It turns out that the invasion was actually by the Tet, a giant autonomous AI, and the Scavengers are the human resistance.
  • Pacific Rim has a race of beings from another dimension create progressively-larger kaiju to obliterate humanity and prepare Earth for their arrival. They get to Earth through a portal at the bottom of the Pacific. They first tried to invade back when dinosaurs were around, but found the atmospheric conditions then inhospitable.
  • Pixels involves the aliens misinterpreting the recordings of arcade games from The '80s as a hostile message and modeling their attack on Earth as classic video game characters, such as Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. Adam Sandler and Kevin James assemble a team of retrogamers to fight them with video game-inspired weapons.
  • Save Yourselves!: The main conflict of the film arises from a hostile species of aliens referred to as "pouffes" landing on Earth. While their arrival seems to have been intentional, their actual motives are never known.
  • Signs:The aliens attempt a military invasion but are stopped by their crippling vulnerability to water.
  • Skyline: A military invasion aided by a blue light that mesmerizes humans allowing the aliens to suck them up into their ships. They also use large walking life forms and squid like entities on the ground. Is getting a sequel called Beyond Skyline.
  • Spaced Invaders is a comedy about a crew of inept Martians who intercept a rebroadcast of Orson Welles's The War of the Worlds (1938) radio drama and assume their fleet is attacking Earth (in fact, their fleet is in the process of being obliterated by their enemy the Arcturians). They crash-land in a small American town and begin their "invasion".
  • Slither: The alien invader uses infiltration by taking over human beings. The movie Includes a homage to the movie "Thing", by naming the town's mayor after Kurt Russell's character, R. J. MacReady. A character who gets a glimpse into the mind of the creature reveals that they have already taken over several other planets.
  • Inverted in Starship Troopers. After a series of attacks on human colonies and a direct attack on Buenos Aires on Earth, humanity declares war and invades the bug worlds.
  • They Live!: Space aliens use infiltration via technology and manipulation of the human mind to take over or place themselves in places of power.
  • The Thing (1982): A strange alien found in the arctic with the ability to mimic any living creature. Whether it intended to go to Earth in the first place is unclear. It still threatens to take over.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Everyone's favorite evil robots, the Decepticons, decide to give the All Out Attack a shot. The Autobots are of course the good aliens helping out humanity here.
  • The main plot in Warcraft (2016) is alien invasion, Fantasy-style. The orcs come from another world, want to use the local population to bring the rest of their Horde to Azeroth, and then intend to (or at least Gul'dan intends to) magically terraform their new home in Draenor's image.
  • The Whisperer in Darkness (2011). The Mi-Go plan to open a wormhole to Earth to bring through an invasion force. This is different from the short story by H. P. Lovecraft in which they've already decided the conquest of Earth is too much trouble.
  • In The World's End, extraterrestrial machines have invaded a small town in England. And 20,000 other locations on the planet.

  • Subverted in the Choose Your Own Adventure book Invaders of the Planet Earth. The Taurons have conquered Earth and rendered all electrical devices useless since their own technology is extremely vulnerable to the slightest exposure to electricity. The protagonist in most paths tries (and mostly fails, this is one of the less forgiving books in the series) to find a way to defeat the Taurons. However, in one path which is canon according to the sequel Planet of the Dragons, the protagonist has a chance to get the Taurons' side of the story. The Taurons were actually pursuing a very dangerous criminal (a member of the "good" Vork aliens opposing the Taurons) who found his way to Earth. The Taurons' occupation of Earth was merely a desperate attempt to keep the criminal trapped on Earth while they hunted him down. He is apparently so dangerous some Taurons want to destroy Earth just to get rid of him. The end of this path has the protagonist joining the very aliens he originally opposed.

  • All Tomorrows:
    • The Qu are Scary Dogmatic Aliens who are on a mission to remake the universe as they see fit, humans included. They win... But are destroyed by an aliance of humans and snake-like creatures many millenia later.
    • The homeworld of Bug Facers was at one point invaded by an alien species. The Bug Facers won, but the invasion left them with a deep, species-wide paranoia where extraterrestrial species were concerned.
    • The Gravital are Omnicidal Maniacs who want to destroy all other intelligent life in the galaxy. Their extreme level of technological advancement made wiping out most of the other human species trivially easy.
  • Animorphs: The aliens use infiltration, with only five kids armed with alien technology and one helpful alien available to fight the threat.
  • Arrivals from the Dark: Invasion by Mikhail Akhmanov: The novel details the arrival of a giant Human Alien starship from another galactic arm in order to conquer and enslave humans, who only have a tiny fleet of ships with no shields, Anti Matter, or FTL capability. After the humans barely survive (thanks to another alien), the following novels chronicle humanity using the leftover technology to build an interstellar empire (well, more of a federation but with Gunboat Diplomacy).
  • Auf zwei Planeten ("On Two Planets") by Kurd Laßwitz was published a year before War of the Worlds and is probably the first subversion of the genre: It turns out the Martians really are more advanced than humans.
  • Battlefield Earth: Has two of them, one a thousand years before the book starts when the evil Psychlos took over the planet, and then a coalition of other races swoop in after humanity retakes Earth. Thought it is more of an Alien Incursion or Alien Fracas than an all-out invasion in the second case, as the alliance is more interested in leftover Psychlo plunder and selling the humans into slavery than the planet itself.
  • Bolo book series: Several of the all-out invasion variety occur in the stories, one ultimately resulting in a near mutual genocide of humanity and their alien opponents.
  • Bruce Coville's Book of...: Both Aliens books have multiple stories that revolve around this.
    • Bruce Coville's Book of Aliens:
      • In Brian and the Aliens, a group of aliens plan to take over Earth and turn it into a rest stop for passing spaceships, but are stopped by the protagonists.
      • In To Serve Man, the Kanamits come to Earth supposedly to help, but turn out to be hostile.
      • In Zero Hour, aliens use children as a means of infiltrating and taking over Earth.
    • Bruce Coville's Book of Aliens II:
      • The aliens in George Pinkerton and the Space Waffles are checking out Earth to see if it's suitable for invading and colonizing.
      • Brandon & the Aliens features a trio of aliens invading and devouring local animals.
      • The Plant People revolves around a stealthy infiltration- and conversion-style invasion.
  • Chaos Squad: Alien invaders nicknamed the X during wartime.
  • The Hch'nyv from the fourth book of The Darksword Trilogy. They are basically an alien invasion taking place in a fantasy setting. Almost all of their actions take place offscreen, but from what little is mentioned about them, they seem to go for the all out attack.
  • Doom: Hell on Earth. As the name implies, is about the aliens and their genetically-engineered-to-scare-humans creations attacking planet earth.
  • In Eden Green, needle monsters make rare appearances on the edges of a recession-hit city. But before the main characters can figure out where the monsters are coming from and how to effectively kill them en masse, the floodgates open and the city is hit with hundreds of monsters at once. The invasion and its aftermath are explored extensively in the web serial City on the Edge of Nowhere and sequel novel, New Night.
  • Ender's Game:
    • It takes place after two barely-thwarted invasions by the Buggers/Formics. The titular character is part of a program to train commanders in preparation for the Third Invasion. Subverted in that the Buggers have no intention of attacking again, having experienced a What Have I Done moment after realizing that humans are not a Hive Mind like them but a collection of individuals. The Third Invasion is the reverse with humans sending a fleet to take out the Buggers.
    • The prequel novels Formic Wars describe the First Invasion (although differently from how it's remembered in Ender's Game).
  • Footfall: The 1985 Larry Niven / Jerry Pournelle novel has a hard science look at this trope; the elephant-like Fithp ruined their own planet and have come in a Sleeper Ship to claim ours. A military type invasion is launched against the earth.
  • In Fortunately, the Milk, a man pops down to the corner shop to buy some milk for his children's breakfast, and comes home after an exceptionally long time claiming that he's just foiled an alien invasion.
  • The Greks Bring Gifts has a unique form of infiltration; they make humanity dependent on their deliberately flawed technology.
  • The Kraken Wakes was written in 1953 by John Wyndham as an alternative to the direct attack version. No-one ever sees the aliens as they're in the deep ocean, and they fight via biotanks and melting the icecaps. It's implied the aliens aren't interested in conquering the Earth anyway, just responding to what they see as unprovoked human attacks.
  • Legacy of the Aldenata by John Ringo is initially presented as a Benevolent Alien Invasion, but not too far into the first book of the series hints start showing up that the Darhel, the putative leaders of the Galactic Federation, have other plans, which aren't terribly beneficial to mankind. Earth is also invaded by the rapacious Posleen who conquer and devour their way across the galaxy. This invasion folds into the plans of the Darhel.
  • The invasion took place a thousand years in the past, in Lone Huntress. The hive minded telepathic alien race known as the Fey inflitrated the top levels of human society and encouraged the development of a plethora of oppressive ideologies, fully intent on supplanting the leadership of whichever ideology ended up on top. A thousand years later, humanity's still nursing a grudge about it.
  • In David Weber's Out of the Dark, the last time Earth was surveyed was in 1415. The peaceful aliens were so disturbed at the human savagery they observed at the Battle of Agincourt that, 600 years later, they granted the predatory Shongairi the right to colonize Earth and subjugate its supposedly primitive population. When the Shongairi fleet arrives, they are shocked that humans are both far more advanced than expected (developing at triple the standard rate) and not as advanced as expected in certain areas (despite the discovery of nuclear power, we still continue to burn fossil fuels). While galactic law forbids colonizing a Stage 2 civilization like 21st century Earth, the Shongairi commander points out that the permission given to him by the other races doesn't actually specify the required stage, so he uses a Loophole Abuse to justify attacking Earth, figuring that the more peaceful races will be glad that humans are pacified regardless.
  • Perelandra is a peaceful planet free from suffering until the rulers of Thulcandra send a probe to invade and indoctrinate the Queen of the planet. The hope is that once the Queen has rejected her master Maleldil, she will turn her husband to reject Him too and all their descendants will descend into the hatred, war, and death that the black Archon desires. Thankfully, Maleldil's agents on Earth have recruited Ransom to launch a counter-invasion and stop the Queen from falling like Eve did on Thulcandra.
  • The Perfect Run: Late in the series, the heroes discover that this is what started the creation of superhumans, started the Genome Wars, and killed off a significant portion of the human race. An alien ship landed in Antarctica, and a scientist took the technology to painfully uplift humanity to a level where they could fight back. Unfortunately, she refused to accept that this ship was the last of the alien empire, and therefore did far more damage to the human race than they ever could.
  • The Puppet Masters by Robert A. Heinlein: A novel made into several movies. Of course, one of the major problems with making it into a movie is that near the end everyone walks around naked all the time, as it is a defense against the aliens. The aliens use, if you haven't guessed, the infiltration method.
  • In The Puppies Of Terra (a.k.a. White Fang Goes Dingo) by Thomas M. Disch, highly advanced energy beings take over earth with no difficulty at all. They're a race of aesthetes—they behave exactly like late-Victorian gay males—and they abandon Earth when humans will simply not cease thinking about disgusting things.
  • Played horrifyingly straight in Remember To Always Be Brave. And the characters feel that the invasion is due to a non military organization/corporation - and yet that non-military entity nearly wipes mankind out of existence.
  • In Harry Turtledove's "The Road Not Taken" short story, the Roxolani try to invade Earth, first by impressing humans with their Artificial Gravity-powered ship and then by their advanced weapons. These advanced weapons? Napoleonic muskets and appropriate tactics. To say "Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion" would be an understatement.
  • Played straight in the first book of Slingshot series. It is later revealed that the aliens attacked humans because they enslave A.I.s and lied to the aliens about wanting to abolish that slavery. So in a way a Benevolent Alien Invasion, but mostly for the A.I.s under human control.
  • Space Force (2018): The Chote invade the Earth but insist on a battle royale to determine who will control the planet.
  • One of the books in Harry Harrison's The Stainless Steel Rat deals with a full-blown invasion of human space by hyper-advanced (even by human standards) ugly-looking aliens. In a slight subversion, it's revealed that they're under the Mind Control of a rogue human faction. Once the Man Behind the Man is taken out, the aliens decide that maybe they don't feel like fighting any more.
  • Subverted in Supreme Commander by Nikolai Gudanets, loosely based on X-COM. This is the initial assumption for the alien attacks, and an international task force is created to combat them. When a new type of alien is taken captive, they find a way to communicate with it, and it reveals that the aliens are, in fact, Hunting the Most Dangerous Game. They have no interest in Earth beyond treating it like a fun outing. They do have a base on Earth, but it's actually a re-purposed Nazi sub pen far north.
  • The Synchronicity Trilogy by Michael McCloskey is a future story about nine alien cyborgs arriving in orbit and attempting to take over humanity's extensive orbital holdings, explored over a number of different viewpoints. From the military and governmental perspectives, an alien invasion is good news because the alternative explanation to the strange events in orbit was an AI rebellion, a similar event to one which nearly caused Armageddon some time before. From the aliens' perspective, the only reason they're here at all is as a punishment, as they were rejected by their society for a crime that would be a trivial matter to humans. The benevolent but inscrutable AI running their society tasked them with taking over Earth; the aliens aren't sure why or even if their AI has anything to gain if they succeed, but they all know that they're effectively exiled.
  • Tales Of Noreela: The Island by Tim Lebbon is a rather unusual Alien Invasion story as it's set in the fantasy world of Noreela. The Strangers from beyond keep trying to invade a small island off the coast of Noreela and they have the technological advantage of having flintlock-style guns in a setting that doesn't have them. Unfortunately for these invaders, Noreela has powerful magic instead and after the events of the book, the locals have also successfully reverse-engineered these weapons. While not an Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion, it's telling that no one on the mainland outside of a gov't secret organization knows about these invaders.
  • The Three-Body Problem is about Earth responding to a hostile alien colonization attempt... that will happen 450 years in the future, because their warships travel at 1/10th the speed of light. However, Trisolaris's mastery of picotechnology lets them force Modern Stasis on humanity and eavesdrop on all information they have and will ever create, thus hamstringing efforts to even formulate a defense.
  • In Transpecial, humans encounter the ky'iin, a race of aliens whose body language instinctively causes such fear and anger in humans that all attempts at communication between the species have resulted in humans attacking. After one too many unprovoked attacks, the ky'iin invade the solar system to destroy enough infrastructure to stop humans from destroying any more of their ships.
  • The True Meaning of Smekday: The Boov aliens are speaking to Gratuity's mother through a mole in her neck. They then abduct her to teach them English. Then they invade and force all the humans onto reservations in Florida. Then even more powerful aliens invade.
  • In Vernor Vinge's novella "True Names", this is discussed as one possible explanation for The Mailman's peculiar method of communication with the on-line world of The Other Plane. In particular, the time-lag would seem to place him in the Asteroid belt, far beyond where any human has visited.
  • Under Alien Stars a young-adult novel by Pamela Service: The planet is annexed as a military base by magenta-skinned Humanoid Aliens who are fighting a Bug War. Although generally arrogant, callous, quite willing to wipe out whole neighborhoods, and by no means fit the usual idea of a Benevolent Alien Invasion, they're by far the lesser of evils compared to their foes. Not that humanity doesn't have to find that out the hard way before the two races finally team up against the common enemy...
    • The climax of the book features the aforementioned enemy, the Hyknoi, invading as well.
  • Voidfarer from Sean McMullen features a War of the Worlds tripod invasion of the Moonworlds Saga fantasy setting. Given that these tripod aliens are more primitive than H.G. Wells's Martians and the setting has strong magic, the invasion is played much more for laughs rather than the horror of The War of the Worlds (1898)
  • The War of the Worlds (1898) by H. G. Wells is the Trope Maker. One of the most iconic depictions of an alien invasion in fiction, as well as one of the earliest sci-fi novels. The story follows an unnamed narrator as he attempts to survive a military invasion of the Earth by Mars, who proceed to decimate much of South East England with their fighting machines. Would eventually go on to spawn a multimedia franchise, including several film adaptations and unofficial sequels, a radio drama, videogames and a musical.
  • When The Tripods Came: The tripods utilize infiltration by mind control. A tv show is used to assert temporary control with caps used to assert permanent control. The populace is manipulated with the mind control until “The Capped” are in control in a majority of places.
  • Cloak of the Light, the first book in the Wars of the Realm trilogy, has the protagonists, Drew and Ben, discovering what they think is a secret, silent alien invasion a la Men in Black. It turns out that the "aliens" are actually angels and demons.
  • The Wild Boy: The Lindauzi, who killed off millions with a virus, then showed up with a cure to draw what was left of humanity to them. After getting rid of humanity's companion creatures, they began keeping humans like dogs and breeding them to be replacement bond creatures for themselves.
  • World-Eater: A newly arrived planet, orbiting the sun between Mercury and Venus, is about to hatch a creature which wants our solar system for breakfast.
  • The World War series by Harry Turtledove: The aliens invade during World War II and this forces the warring sides to unite against them. Also, the aliens are deliberately given contemporary (at time of writing, i.e. 1994) levels of technology plus a little extra to allow them to travel between stars, rather than the usual insanely advanced aliens vs. present day humans. They are also really, conservative. Like, they've been ruled by the same dynasty for tens of thousands of years and are surprised that humans have advanced from the medieval era to the present in only a few hundred years, conservative. By the end of the initial four-book series, the three superpowers (US, USSR, and Nazi Germany) manage to force the Race into a stalemate. Four books after that, and a human FTL-capable ship arrives to the Race's homeworld in a clear case of Gunboat Diplomacy.
  • We Knew They Were Coming: Humanity gets some advance notice of the alien fleet, fires first and accidentally nuke the world. Surviving bombardment and nukes is as much a part of the story as eventually fighting back.
  • In the early Science Fiction story Les Xipéhuz (from 1888), the eponymous beings nearly wipe out humanity. It's not clear if they are indeed aliens, but they are strange enough to count as Starfish Aliens and if they indeed are alien, it makes the story one of the first examples of this trope.

    Live-Action TV 
  • As seen in The Avengers (2012), and woven into the backstory in the Netflix Marvel Series, including Daredevil (2015), Jessica Jones (2015), Luke Cage (2016), Iron Fist (2017), The Defenders (2017), and The Punisher (2017). It's mostly kept in the background and referred to obliquely as "The Incident". It has however greatly impacted the value of property in Manhattan.
  • The 100 plays with the trope. The aliens are actually human beings descended from 21st Century astronauts, but they otherwise fit the trope to a T: they come from space, are more technologically advanced than the people of Earth, and intend to (re-)colonize the planet. They don't think of themselves as invaders, though: they've always thought of Earth as their real home, even if no living person among them has been there before, and when they first send people down to the planet, they thought Earth-based humanity had long since died out. It's not until one of Earth's natives gives them a What the Hell, Hero? moment that they realize how much they've been playing the alien invader role.
  • Arrowverse:
    • Invasion! (2016) deals with an attack by a race of hostile aliens called Dominators, necessitating Barry to gather an all-star team, composed of Team Flash, Team Arrow, the Legends, and Supergirl. Kara mentions that they also exist in her home universe and have attacked Krypton in the past. The Dominators have previously come to Earth in the 50s in Redmond, Oregon. The US Army attempted to stop them only for several hundred soldiers to be slaughtered and their bodies dragged away. They appear to attack civilizations with the potential to eventually challenge them. In the case of the Kryptonians, it's because they gain superpowers, when exposed to yellow suns. In the case of humans, it's because of metahumans. They are also somehow able to tell that Barry has changed history.
    • Additionally, in Legends of Tomorrow, there's a possibility of an invasion from the planet Thanagar in one particular Bad Future. Thanagar also exists in Supergirl's universe, by the way.
    • Near the end of Supergirl (2015) Season 2, a fleet of Daxamite ships arrives and attacks National City, and it all started because Mon-El didn't want to go home with his mom and dad. Supergirl ends up stopping the invasion by using a device modified by Lena to saturate the atmosphere with trace amounts of lead, which is lethal to Daxamites, but Mon-El is forced to leave the planet.
  • Colony takes place several years after an event called the Arrival, during which an alien race known only as "the Hosts" attacked and defeated all the world's militaries in about eight hours. Now, the survivors are herded into sealed off cities run as Police States by Les Collaborateurs, under threat of Orbital Bombardment. Part of the show's mystery is the question of just why the Hosts invaded.
  • Dark Skies was pretty much a textbook infiltration, infiltrating with parasites and (at the end) electronic implants. The point of the series was that many of the events of the 20th century were secretly part of the infiltration, such as the Kennedy assassination.
  • Defiance takes place in the aftermath of an attempted colonization of Earth by a coalition of seven alien races called the Votanis Collective from a star system destroyed by a nova. The war ended in a stalemate, with both the Collective and the Earth Republic each controlling small segments of the planet and vying for influence over independent settlements such as the mixed species town of Defiance, built on the ruins of St. Louis, Missouri.
  • Doctor Who has featured invasions from such things as shop dummies to satellite navigation systems. The series also inverts this tropes in many future-based stories, where humans are themselves the invaders. They're usually not outright malicious, but often quite destructive to native species, paralleling historical imperialism and colonization. Notable invasion-themed serials:
  • In an episode of Earth: Final Conflict, two characters end up in an alternate universe where the Taelons are in the process of conquering Earth through their human subjects with La Résistance actually having more advanced weapons technology than Prime!Earth. Despite this, the Taelons are clearly winning. In the Prime universe, the Taelons come to Earth bearing gifts and claiming to seek peaceful cooperation. Their true motives remain hidden. The key point appears to be the arrival of an ancient Taelon named Ma'el to Earth in the Prime universe, which he never did in the alternate one. Ma'el, apparently, encouraged humans to urbanize and form centralized civilizations in order to resist the arrival of Taelons in the future. The alternate humans live in villages with the closest equivalent of cities being trading centers.
  • Falling Skies: A TNT Show takes place about six months after an alien invasion devastates most major cities and wipes out a large percentage of the population. The show describes a ragtag group of survivors trying to find food and shelter to get by, while avoiding murderous aliens and roving bands of outlaws and trying to survive and fight back. While the series avoids showing the actual invasion (the background is told by a child and a series of drawings in the pilot), it involves huge circular Ominous Floating Spaceships appearing over major cities. They hang there for a while, but the world leaders decide not to strike first, hoping the aliens are friendly. They aren't. The ships emit powerful EMP waves, shutting down power grids and defense systems before proceeding to obliterate most major cities. They land ground troops with infantry and mechs (the survivors note that the mechs are bipedal, despite the aliens having 6 legs) that proceed to wipe out much of the adult population, while capturing children and putting Mind Control harnesses on them (presumably, to make them slaves). The large ships depart, while the invading forces begin constructing large structures in places of destroyed cities. The human survivors are forced to retreat and use only basic weaponry (rifles, machineguns, and C4), as any heavy munitions tend to piss off the aliens, and their bombers simply level the entire area. It's eventually revealed that the actual aliens are indeed humanoids; the Skitters are mutated human children.
  • First Wave: Presents an infiltration approach. The Gua aren't quite sure what to expect from humans and are trying to find ways to weaken Earth's defenses. Their goal is turn humans into slaves in preparation for an all-out attack.
    • One episode revealed that the government was secretly preparing for an alien attack, building a series of satellites armed with nukes which were set to face away from Earth. However, the Gua have no intention of attacking in a typical manner. Their goal is to grow an army of husks on Earth and start the invasion that way.
    • It's revealed early on that the Gua have themselves suffered this. After throwing off their oppressors, they have sworn to never be weak again (they used to be a race of scholars). A later-season episode reveals that they have destroyed at least one other civilization (that of Nostradamus).
  • The Invaders (1967) stars Roy Thinnes as a man who accidentally sees a flying saucer land and can't convince people that we've been invaded. They use the infiltration method, altering their bodies to look like humans. Because of the year there was a lot of heavy handed storylines involving race and the youth culture.
  • Invasion: A 1997 two-part miniseries about rocks falling from the sky. Anyone who touches them feels a little prick and later starts to change. It turns out that aliens are infecting humans with an intelligent virus that starts to transform them into aliens. Luke Perry's character becomes their leader, while a small resistance group forms.
  • Invasion: A 2005 ABC show is a bizarre case of the infiltration type in which the main aliens are seen only as glowing orange lights in the water, but the infiltrating "hybrids" have the exact appearances (sans scars or other non-genetic marks) and memories of the dead humans they replace. This makes (most of) them unaware that they are are infiltrating aliens. It was cancelled after one season, so the actual goals of the invaders are never made clear.
  • Kamen Rider
    • Kamen Rider Kabuto deals with an invasion by shapeshifting insectoid aliens called Worms who arrived on Earth in a meteorite, which the Riders are trying to stop. Humanity is aided by a benign offshoot of the Worm race called the Natives who arrived years earlier seeking protection.
    • Kamen Rider Build eventually reveals Blood Stalk is actually an ancient alien named Evolt who possessed his current host when he picked up Pandora's Box on Mars, which is actually Evolt's personal Doomsday Device. He's previously invaded Mars but, while destroying the Martians, was defeated by the Queen of Mars Vernage, leaving him stranded on the planet he destroyed for millions of years until humanity freed him. If not stopped, he will destroy Earth and resume his rampage across the universe where he left off. The Movie reveals three more of his kind, the Blood Tribe, are all that's left of his species and have arrived on Earth to help him in the invasion, but they're all dead by the end of the film leaving Evolt the Last of His Kind.
  • Ocean Girl: Downplayed with the people of Neri's home planet. They want to colonize Earth's oceans, not the surface.
  • Our Miss Brooks: In "Space, Who Needs It?", Walter Denton tricks Mr. Conklin into believing he's being attacked by aliens from a planet he thinks he's just discovered with his new telescope.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): The episode "Dead Man's Switch" deals with a group of people locked in bunkers completely unaware of what is happening in the world. The last thing they heard was that a fleet of alien ships was heading for Earth with suspicions that they were here to colonize. The episode ends with only one of these people alive, as he is preparing to be rescued, unaware that the invasion has already succeeded.
  • Extremely common as a source of villains in Power Rangers and Super Sentai. Always an all out attack, but the aliens never attack anywhere other than where the protagonists live (sometimes handwaved as being because they want to take out the threat first).
  • Stargate SG-1: The protagonists spend all their time trying to stop aliens from destroying Earth (and the Galaxy in general), only to end up with a Goa'uld infiltration of the NID on their hands. Several characters comment on this, citing the low priority this infiltration has compared to more pressing matters, such as the building of the McKay-Carter Intergalactic Gatebridge. Several episodes show us alternate universes where the aliens do succeed in taking Earth.
  • Star Trek:
  • Stranger Things: From Season 2 onward. The Mind Flayer wishes to conquer our dimension by using an army of Demogorgons, and spread its influence until Earth becomes another post-apocalyptic toxic wasteland, just like its home in the Upside Down.
  • Super Sentai: Alien invaders are among the most common foes faced by Sentai teams. As of 2021, Earth has been attacked by aliens approximately 14note  times, or 17 if one counts Himitsu Sentai Gorenger, J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai and Kishiryu Sentai Ryusoulgernote  It's to the point where you wonder why so many aliens have it out for the Insignificant Little Blue Planet, or how it's managed to not be destroyed after being attacked so many times.
  • Taken: In "Acid Tests", Owen Crawford tells Richard Nixon that the aliens are planning to invade and that the crop circle found in eastern Indiana is most likely a landing strip. However, he later admits to Marty Erickson that he has never had any idea what the aliens are planning and that an invasion is merely one possibility.
  • Threshold used the infiltration method. The aliens invade by having a probe project a signal which either transforms the victim into a superpowered individual under their control or kills them, leaving their corpses severely disfigured. The heroes are a task force trying to prevent the invasion while the infected attempt to spread the infection through various methods.
  • The BBC series based on The Tripods book trilogy. The aliens utilize mind control for their infiltration and subsequent invasion.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959) :
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "A Day in Beaumont", Dr. Kevin Carlson and Faith see a Flying Saucer crash in the desert and immediately assume that its insectoid crew are planning to invade Earth. It turns out that they are correct but not in the way that they think. It is all part of a commando training simulation on Altair IV to prepare troops for a future invasion. Kevin and Faith are themselves aliens who suffered memory loss and came to believe that they were humans.
  • Ultra Series practically runs on a combination of this trope and Kaiju (often with overlap as many of the aliens can become kaiju-sized to battle the Ultras or command a kaiju).
    • Ultraseven, in particular, used nothing but alien invaders as its Monsters of the Week (the occasional extraterrestrial kaiju as well). However, this was occasionally Deconstructed as sometimes the aliens sometimes meant no harm to Earth but were then provoked by humans in some way, and other times, Humans Are the Real Monsters.
    • Ultraman Leo also featured large numbers of these (only Seven had more aliens as Monsters of the Week). However, they never really had any big plans for Earth beyond "cause mayhem" and were treated no treated no differently from Leo's kaiju enemies.
    • Averted on more than one occasion in that the "Alien Invader of the Week" was sometimes not evil at all (or had a Heel–Face Turn after landing on Earth). However, conflict would still arise if: A) humans mistook the alien as an invader; B) the alien had a kaiju servant or a powerful weapon and they want the Ultra to help them dispose it; or C) a greater threat (usually a kaiju or an even worse alien) is after them.
    • The backstory of the franchise has Ultras themselves suffering this when their home planet was invaded by Alien Empera and his massive kaiju army. Said event is also what led the Ultras to organize themselves into a defense force against kaiju threats in the first place.
  • Season 3 of Under the Dome makes it clear that this is what the Eggs are supposed to accomplish, holding the life force of refugees from a destroyed planet, who are also fleeing their enemies.
  • V (1983) and its 2009 remake are about a Villain with Good Publicity form of The Infiltration, with familiar overtones. The aliens in the original series are more overtly fascist, while those of 2009 present a vaguer melange of sinister politics.
  • The War of the Worlds:

  • Running Wild's "Iron Heads" from the Death Metal split-album and Masquerade is about and alien invasion. While the chorus shows alien invaders in positive light ("They're coming tonight to make the world alright"), the end result is rather bleak ("Ruins are everywhere, the whole world is empty and dead").
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic wrote "Slime Monsters from Outer Space", which is a version 1. The joke in the song is that although the aliens have a complete technological advantage over the humans, and kill in inefficiently cruel ways, the narrator seems more annoyed than afraid of their presence.
  • Creature Feature's "Look To The Skies" from The Greatest Show Unearthed details an alien invasion that starts by a meteor falling to earth that goes full Invasion of the Body Snatchers to conquer the world.
  • X Japan's original 1994 anime PV for Rusty Nail centers around fighting an Alien Invasion of the combined types: an infiltration involving a Hypno Trinket, followed on by a full-scale invasion that destroyed the world. Humanity fights back with phallic weapons, the summoning of Crystal Dragon Jesus, roses, and roses as phallic weapons.

  • The premise of Attack from Mars and its sequel Revenge from Mars involves Martians invading the Earth, with the player being tasked with repelling them.
  • The final TV Mode in The Simpsons Pinball Party involves aliens invading Springfield.
  • According to the promotional comic book for Bally's Space Invaders, the pinball machines themselves are the alien infiltration force, disguised as addictive games that steal the minds (and quarters) of unsuspecting humans.
  • An invasion occurs if you go to Seattle in Red & Ted's Road Show.
  • Just like the video game, Defender pits the player against aliens kidnapping helpless humanoids.
  • One disaster in Dialed In! involves aliens invading, with the player helping them do so.
  • The plot of Godzilla (Stern) centers on the Xiliens invading the Earth, taking control of several monsters, and demanding the planet turn over its resources to them.

  • Several on John Dredge's various programmes:
    • On The Daily Dredge, the Prunes from Omicron 3 want to invade earth, but have to phone in and ask for the way:
      Listener: [calling in] Yeah, they need to take the A14. That'll take them directly from Omicron 3 to Prestwood Town Centre.
    • In a later episode, The Human League has to prevent a race of evil aliens from stealing all the synthesisers in the world:
      Phil Oakey: But don't they have / any synthesisers of their own?
      Secret Service Head: Their synth pop technology is way behind ours. They've only just mastered the LinnDrum.
    • And finally, on the Nothing to Do with Anything Show itself, there's the ongoing series of The Aliens That Came from a Completely Different Planet to Earth.


    Tabletop Games 

    Theme Parks 


    Video Games 
  • 1917 - The Alien Invasion DX features an alien invasion in the middle of the First World War. You're a German scientist-turned-pilot, who must use the Luftwaffe's secret weapon to fend off the invaders before taking the battle to the aliens' home world.
  • Achron starts immediately after the greatest space fleet humanity has ever assembled has been all but completely destroyed by the alien invaders. They did this despite actually being outnumbered and outgunned by the human forces. It turns out that Time Travel actually gives you a hell of an advantage.
  • Alge-Blaster 3 features an alien-on-alien example, with the friendly planet Quadratica getting invaded by the evil Red Nasties. You play as the Quadraticans.
  • AmsterDoom is set in the aftermath of an invasion in Amsterdam. When the UN decide to seal the city behind a forcefield, you're tasked with cleaning up all the aliens.
  • In Artemis: Spaceship Bridge Simulator you defend a sector of space from an alien invasion.
  • Inverted for comedy in Attack of the Earthlings. You play as an alien matriarch leading her swarm of chittering horrors to drive a greedy and stupid human corporate enterprise out of your home.
  • Burgmund Trilogy: The Pigmen's invasion of the hometown in The Return is reminiscent of this.
  • City of Heroes takes place in the aftermath of an extra dimensional alien invasion, which was hard-won and remnants of the Rikti forces still infest the world. And of course, it turns out that the Rikti are mutated humans. BUT, that leads into another possible future invasion by different aliens. The Rikti's weakness? Magic. The Shiva in Bloody Bay are the remains of a planet-devouring entity that was destroyed in deep space but is now trying to rebuild itself by conquering Earth for its resources.
  • An invasion by Lovecraft-inspired aliens is the main conflict in Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. To combat it, Abraham Lincoln assembles a team of Public Domain Characters.
  • Coffee Crisis has the players assuming the role of two nerdy baristas who have found themselves in the center of an alien invasion plot, and must stop the aliens from conquering Earth for humanity's rock music, wi-fi, and coffee.
  • Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars marks the debut of the Scrin, whose arrival throws the ongoing GDI-Brotherhood of Nod conflict into chaos and force the two sides to work together. But it's more complicated than an "All-Out Attack" example: the Scrin are trying to harvest the Tiberium they seeded the Earth with, and expected for the xenoforming crystals to have wiped out the planet's indigenous population, but Kane tricked them into arriving early. The Scrin expedition is actually a mining operation, not a formal army, and once they're driven back by the humans they vow to return with a proper invasion force... a Sequel Hook utterly ignored by Command & Conquer 4.
  • The Conduit: It starts off with an invasion by the Drudge, a race of Big Creepy-Crawlies. Later, it is revealed that the invaders are actually human-created clones as part of a Government Conspiracy.
  • In Coromon, the Big Bads are a group of aliens whose own planet was ruined and as a result they seek to use their Black Magic to corrupt the Earth and its mons and terraform it into a suitable replacement for their people.
  • Corridor 7: Alien Invasion. Go on, have a wild guess what the game is about.
  • CP3D: The Invaded Dimension is currently being invaded by aliens from Upzar II.
  • Dawn of the Monsters: The Nephilim are kaiju revealed to come from another dimension a la Pacific Rim.
  • Defender was an early video game example. The player controls a fighter craft in an effort to protect the humanoids of the planet from an All-Out Attack. There may be a small part of Infiltration if the lander and mutant enemies are any indication.
  • In Destroy All Humans!, YOU are the invading alien. Crypto utilizes both infiltration and outright military force.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In the first chapter of the adventure game "City of the Daleks", The Doctor and Amy arrive in London to discover it has been conquered by Daleks and have to travel back in time to stop the invasion.
    • The second chapter "Blood of the Cybermen" has a cybership discovered in the Arctic by a group of scientists. It turns out it crashed there thousands of years ago, and the discovery triggers a reactivation. The Cybermen's goal is to thaw out their army and "upgrade" humanity. Naturally, the Doctor and Amy have something to say about that.
  • Duke Nukem 3D with an all out assault and in Duke Nukem Forever the aliens come back. And they come back angry.
  • Earth Defense Force: The common theme throughout all the games series is that the alien invaders appear and suddenly attack Earth unprovoked.
  • Ecco the Dolphin: Both game storylines involve aliens. In the first game, the Vortex aliens have been content to just suck up critters from Earth's seas every 500 years, but after Ecco beats them, their Queen follows him back to Earth in the second game, where she and her children proceed to mess everything up. Eventually, she flees back in time to infiltrate Earth from there. Word of God has it that it worked, but not the way she wanted it to; the Vortex lose their identity as a species and give rise to arthropods. The third game involves some completely different aliens called the Foe; their time travelling shenanigans actually work to change Earth's future, until Ecco stops them.
  • Elite Beat Agents: In the final level, a race of aliens known as the Rhombulans take over Earth and outlaw music. If anyone is caught singing, dancing, or trying to enjoy music in general, they either get Taken for Granite or sent to what's basically a concentration camp. But as it turns out, they don't just hate music, music actually hurts them. Which leads to their inevitable downfall as a result of a worldwide rock concert.
  • The first two Escape Velocity games featured space combat against alien invaders. In the original, the Confederation nearly wiped them out completely. In Override, the United Earth pushed the Voinians back pretty darn far; the war continues (apparently. There is a peace treaty, but no one seems to bother about it outside the treaty station of Pax), but has devolved into frequent border skirmishes.
  • EXTRAPOWER: This is Dark Force's objective on a universal scale. After countless off-screen conquests and the invasion of the Shakun Star in EXTRAPOWER: Star Resistance, he sets his sights on Earth for EXTRAPOWER: Attack of Darkforce.
  • In the Ex Zeus series, the plot of the first installment has Earth retreating underground after an alien race crashes onto the planet and began attacking the human race. To address the alien invasion, the remain government of Earth developed battle robots to fight in a combat operation to back the alien forces and succeeded. It's sequel picks up hundreds of years after the first game with peace restored to Earth only for a new alien threat to emerge. This time they taken the three robots from the first ExZeus and combined them into a new battle robot and decided to take the fight into their turf.
  • FTL: Faster Than Light: Inverted. The premise of the game revolves around the human-supremacist Rebel fleet trying to destroy The Federation, which is comprised of other humans and various united alien races.
  • Feeding Frenzy 2: Shipwreck Showdown: A green alien called the Intruder lurks in the seas, with the intention of colonizing the entirety of the Earth's oceans. It is up to the local fauna to take this extraterrestrial down.
  • Fester's Quest Has Uncle Fester fighting off an alien invasion.
  • A variation in Freelancer, where it's not Earth that's under threat but the humans living in the Sirius Sector. The aliens are infiltrating the four Houses and are attempting to cripple the human fleets before making their move.
  • G.O.D.: Heed the Call to Awaken: The All-Out Attack variant; Happens within the first hour or so complete with the Title Drop and Theme Tune.
  • Gungrave: A race of parasitic aliens called "Methuselah" came to the planet eons ago and just wanted to infect all living things with the substance that the main characters know as the designer drug called "Seed". It turns humans and animals into mindless mutants subservient to the alien consciousness. It was these beings that manipulated and corrupted Harry in the original game, provided the technology that created the Necrolization Project, and gave Garino, the Big Bad of Overdose, power beyond imagination. Garino was even planning to leave the planet to continue spreading seed.
  • Half-Life is about aliens from Xen coming through a portal to Earth, albeit unintentionally (though given the chance, the Nihilanth was more than happy to conquer, or try it anyway). The second is set in a dystopia where different aliens, the Combine, came through and defeated both the Xenians and Earth in a Curb-Stomp Battle.
    • On a side note, the Opposing Force expansion pack for the first game introduced aliens from another dimension known as Race X, who began invading sometime into the second day of the incident.
  • Halo: The Covenant have a mission to wipe out every human world they can find. In order to prevent as many alien invasions as possible, humanity enacts "The Cole Protocol"; any human ship that is about to fall to the Covenant is required to wipe its memory banks and self-destruct, denying the aliens knowledge of human colony locations, as well as of Earth itself. In the end, the Covenant find Earth anyway (though they were looking for something else), but this particular strategy allowed humanity to hold out for almost three decades, when otherwise they would have been defeated in weeks or months.
  • This is Hello Kitty Roller Rescue's plot. Following his last, disastrous attempt at conquering a planet, the evil Emperor Block-O stumbles upon Earth and decides that this time, he will succeed.
  • Iji Starts six months after the almost all-out attack has succeeded, with the Tasen’s Alpha Strike incinerating large swathes of Earth and their soldiers busy occupying the rest. Then looms the danger of a really all-out attack, when the Komato empire which the Tasen are fleeing from arrives to finish the extermination of their species.
  • Insaniquarium features an alien invasion... of the planet's aquariums.
  • Invasion: The Abductors is a light gun rail shooter that revolves around saving the Earth from an invasion.
  • Kolibri functionally features this in the form of an alien crystal landing on Earth and corrupting the local lifeforms into its army.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising devotes an entire arc to the mythical gods fighting off a massive robotic alien invasion.
  • One of the special challenge paths you can play in Kingdom of Loathing involves an invasion of super-intelligent bugbears from outer space.
  • Kirby:
    • The Dark Matter trilogy consists of extraterrastial one-eyed beings called Dark Matters attempting to engulf Planet Popstar in darkness, they are sent by their boss Zero, a giant, white, red-eyed ball.
    • Kirby: Planet Robobot features different invaders called the Haltmann Works Company, they seek to mechanize and harvest the planet's energy in order to reactivate a supercomputer named Star Dream.
  • Krazy Ivan have aliens taking over most of the earth, and you're in control of Russia's best weapon to repel them once and for all.
  • Last Armageddon: The game's antagonists are an army of aliens come to take over a post-apocolyptic Earth. The protagonists are a group of monsters from the underworld come to take the Earth for themselves.
  • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time The main plot has the Mario Bros. team up with their infant selves to thwart the invasion of the alien Shroobs.
  • Mass Effect: The Reapers, the Man Behind the Man in the first two games, directly assault Earth (having already gone through the batarians) in a massed invasion in the opening of Mass Effect 3. Next on their list are the turians, and the krogan, and so on.
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda shows an alien-on-alien invasion, with the kett and angara. Seventy years prior, the kett showed up on the angaran doorstep, made overtures of peace... and then promptly killed or abducted the angara leaders, and spend the next several decades trying to wipe them out (or turn them into more kett). This has, not unreasonably, left the angara massively untrusting when a new bunch of aliens show up in their backyard from another galaxy. And the Andromeda Initiative was made up partially to get some people out of our galaxy before the Reapers showed up.
  • Max Blaster and Doris de Lightning Against the Parrot Creatures of Venus: Max and Doris have to stop a super-weapon that will be used by an alien bird race to enslave all of Earth's parrots.
  • Mega Man Star Force: In the story, alien life forms, called FM-ians, must fuse with humans who are very lonely through manipulation in order to attack other people. This is because being energy waves they have no physical form and thus can't harm physical beings under normal circumstances. They can't even be seen normally. Fusing with humans allows the FM-ian to materialize and thus cause physical harm. They can also disrupt electronic devices or if there is enough electromagnetic energy being emitted, turn people into energy waves to attack them. Kid Hero Geo Stelar and a renegade FM-ian, Omega-Xis, merge into Mega Man to defend the Earth from the FM-ians who, in turn, attempt to draw the pair out in order to defeat them and reclaim an item Omega-Xis has to unleash their Dooms Day Device on Earth.
  • Metal Slug 2: The Mars People are The War of the Worlds-style aliens who attack using flying saucers. When they're driven off, one of them impersonates Morden and tries to use the Rebellion Army as a weapon in Metal Slug 3. Once that's uncovered, the heroes attack their mothership and destroy their leader, Rootmars. Properly chastised, the Mars People become a bit more peaceful, and serve as allies in the sixth game to fight an invasion from Beneath the Earth that considers them snack food.
  • The Kreegans of Might and Magic and Heroes of Might and Magic turn out to be this. The twist is that it looks like a Demonic Invasion to most natives (the Kreegan look similar to the actual demons of the setting, and they are unambigiously evil), to the point that Heroes only presents a slight hint that there's something else going on.
  • Eons before the beginning of NieR: Automata, an alien invasion drove what was left of humanity to the Moon. Since then, humanity's android soldiers have been fighting against the alien's own machines to retake the Earth. As it turns out, not only had humanity already gone extinct years before the aliens first arrived, but the aliens themselves were annihilated by their own machines centuries ago.
  • The 2023 Halloween update for Pax Britannica, a Game Mod for Hearts of Iron IV, has Earth being invaded by Martians, warlike creatures from Mars who want to colonize Earth and make it the new Martian homeworld, after Mars has been left virtually uninhabitable by decades of war. Many of them want to exterminate the humans entirely, but some are willing to broker agreements with human leaders and enlist them as Les Collaborateurs; disagreements between the two factions can eventually boil over into a civil war. In addition, if things really go south for the Martians, humanity can beat back the invasion and turn the tables by invading Mars.
  • Portal Runner: In the last few stages of the game, the Martians usurp Bridgette as the villain and start attacking the other worlds.
  • One of the main threats for the mankind and player in Die Reise ins All is one from Martians. No big surprise, if you know what it is influenced by.
  • In Richman 4, there's a News (which functions like Chance spots) about an alien invasion that destroys random properties in the process.
  • The plot of Saints Row IV revolves around the Zin invading Earth, and it's up to the Saints to kill them and save Steelport and Earth altogether.
  • The premise of The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants is Bart trying to thwart an alien invasion.
  • Can be discussed in The Sims 4 if you're playing a Sim with the Geek trait. Sims with this trait have a unique social in the funny menu, "describe alien invasion."
  • Sonic the Hedgehog and his allies have dealt with a few:
    • The Black Arms invade in Shadow the Hedgehog, though the all-out assault on Earth had been planned out at least fifty years prior with their role in Shadow's creation. The purpose, however, is not so much to directly conquer or destroy as it is to obtain the Chaos Emeralds. As only with the Chaos Emeralds can Black Doom teleport the entire Black Comet safely down to Earth's surface and begin the process of Hostile Terraforming to render all of humanity helpless and make them the Black Arms' food supply.
    • Inverted in Sonic the Hedgehog CD: Doctor Eggman and his robot army invade the Little Planet in order to take it over. Eggman succeeds, covering the planet in a metallic shell, requiring Sonic to travel to the past.
    • The Marauders in Sonic Chronicles, though not strictly aliens as they are in fact natives to Earth some 4000 years removed thanks to being imprisoned by an interdimensional entity, do arrive en masse from an alternate dimension, and their attempt to conquer Earth plays out very much like one.
    • The Zeti attempt an invasion in Sonic Lost World, though the invasion force consists of only six members. They each can psychically hijack an unlimited number of machines to do whatever they want, making them a major threat anyway. Sonic immediately takes the fight over to their planet, the Lost Hex, and stops them before they can do any significant damage.
  • Space Invaders (and the spinoff, Space Raiders), of course. The Invaders use the all-out attack approach. And they always win.
  • Spider-Man 2: Mysterio stages one, posing himself as the leader of the invasion, and his robots as his minions. Helps justify the fishbowl helmet.
  • StarCraft: the Terrans are facing two invasions: the Zerg and Protoss. The Zerg favor infiltration infestation as a way to soften up targets for the Swarm. The Protoss, on the other hand, employ a range of tactics, from "shoot missiles at it" through "shoot more missiles at it" past "throw in lasers for good measure" and on to "screw it, let's just sterilize the planet". Notable in all of this is the Battle of Tarsonis, where the Zerg, Protoss, and Terran rebels all try the All-Out Attack on the poor planet at the same time. The Protoss were not as much invading the Terrans as they were containing the Zerg who would then perform an all out invasion on the Protoss.
  • Inverted in Stellaris, your empire, or AI empires for that matter, can invade pre-FTL species through either an all-out assault or infiltration. The primitives can sometimes thwart the latter, the former, not so much. However, primitives annexed into your empire by infiltration have a significant happiness bonus while those conquered by force will suffer severe culture shock for a decade.
  • Super Mario Fusion Revival has Martians invade World 2, which is based on our Earth (with a good helping of Metal Slug thrown in). In World 6, the Covenant and other alien forces are making war with each other.
  • Super Panda Adventures is about saving the planet, and the princess, from alien robots who've invaded and conquered.
  • The plot of Teenage Zombies: Invasion of the Alien Brain Thingys is that Earth is being invaded by the titular aliens, when said aliens meet unlikely resistance in the form of a trio of undead teenagers who see them as an all-they-can-eat brain buffet.
  • The old Konami arcade shooter, Teraburst, sees you dealing with a large-scale invasion when entire fleets of {flying saucer}}s suddenly appears in the skies and drop large number of alien mooks upon us.
  • Terra Invicta: The game starts with an alien spaceship crash-landing on Earth. The first of many. The Hydra do not come in peace, starting out with infiltration and manipulation before expanding to a full-scale invasion. Why they choose to do this instead of, say, dropping an asteroid on Earth is a question the more thoughtful factions openly wonder about; discovering their motivations forms a significant part of most factions' plots. (Except Humanity First, who don't have any question beyond "how do we exterminate the xeno scum?")
  • Timothy vs. the Aliens: The plot of the game is Timothy having to save mankind from aliens that have invaded his home of Little Fish City.
  • Inverted in ToeJam & Earl: Panic on Funkotron. The aliens on the planet of Funkotron are fending off an Earthling invasion.
  • In the UFO After Blank series, the aliens are launching all-out attacks. Unlike many examples, the first invasion was not only successful, but devastatingly so, and the human resistance is made up of the survivors of the initial invasion. In addition, the first invasion force, made up of the Reticulans, is actually a small renegade force from their main, benevolent empire who have limited resources, which is the only reason you're able to hold your own against them at first. The subsequent alien invasions in the later games have their own reasons for being limited in overall force. Ultimately, it turns out that all of the alien invaders from the first two games are subsets of larger civilizations, and have been mind-controlled by another alien force that are engaging in a massive interstellar mating ritual in which the "males" take over civilizations and have them fight to prove themselves worthy to mate with a female, which the first Reticulan invaders brought to Earth.
  • Universe at War: Earth Assault: An all out attack, In a subversion, humanity fails utterly at repelling the invading Hierarchy and are reduced to bit players, forced to watch as a race of mechanical Laser Guided Tykebombs arrive on Earth and the ancient Atlanteans awake, both species intent on bloody revenge against the Hierarchy for crimes committed against them in the past.
  • Warcraft:
    • The Burning Legion manages to be a demonic invasion and this trope at the same time. Most demons in the Warcraft universe are born from the Twisting Nether, the series' demonic realm that connects to all worlds. However, a good number of the Legion's ranks, such as the Eredar, were originally races from various planets who were corrupted with fel energy and then recruited by the demons. The Old Gods are a similar case, being horrific Planetary Parasites created by extradimensional Lovecraftian beings, sent to infest Azeroth long ago.
    • The First and Second Wars can also be seen as this, as Orcs are not native to Azeroth, having come through the Dark Portal from Draenor. They were meant to be the vanguard for the Burning Legion, but failed when the Alliance defeated them in the Second War.
  • WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$: At the end of Orbulon's chapter, he attempts to use his "alien powers" to hypnotize all Earthlings. But the Space Hares who tried to rescue him reject him back to his UFO, which then crash-lands into the planet, clashing against a tree next to Mona's Gelateria.
  • Wonderland Adventures: Planet of the Z-Bots is about the invasion of alien Z-Bots.
  • X-COM: The various aliens in the game series are generally set on utterly destroying humanity. The infiltration method they attempt in the first game was merely a tactic toward the goal of total destruction.
    • X-COM: Interceptor is an inversion, of sorts, as it's the humans who are trying to muscle in on the aliens' turf.
    • XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012) changes things up a bit. The aliens are still invading, but world domination or the extinction of humanity are not their goals this time around. They're actually testing humanity to see if we can A) survive their limited but devastating onslaught and B) see if we can develop Psychic Powers, and thus join the Ethereals as equals. The sequel XCOM 2 occupies an Alternate Continuity from the first game's good ending and assumes that the player failed (badly too). Earth is now firmly in alien hands, and what remains of XCOM is now La Résistance, attempting to get the remaining population of Earth to rise up.
    • And the theme returns in the X-COM series' Spiritual Successor, Xenonauts. The game even comes up with a plausible new reason for the escalation. It turns out that the alien ships are not designed for atmospheric flight, much less old-school dogfights, but the aliens are slowly modifying their craft with the smallest craft modified faster.
    • The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (which occupies an Alternate Continuity, despite being touted as a prequel), has the aliens as Planet Looters who need to constantly take other planets, as they quickly use up any planet under their rule. Any new race is added to Mozaic to be used as soldiers for the next invasion.
  • Zigfrak: The game's premise includes the Xenoids, an advanced alien civilization who are engaged in an ongoing attempt to conquer the people of the Nautilus galaxy. You play as a pilot for the Freerunners, defending against both human (the totalitarian Enforcers) and alien (Xenoids) threats.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Heaven Will Be Mine, the Existential Threat from outside the Native Sphere previously unified humanity, but their defeat signaled the end of the Cold War. ...Except, not. They're really just shadows of what humans think aliens are, because aliens can only be defined as not human. Iapetus' plan for Celestial Mechanics is to use eversion to turn the humanity in space into actual aliens to be fought against forever. Saturn twists it in the Celestial Mechanics ending to make them a bridge to something else, something that Earth can't even fight with.

    Web Animation 
  • AstroLOLogy: Sagittarius spends most of "In the Zone" playing a video game where she fights aliens, oblivious to everything around her, including an attack from real aliens. By the time she beats the Final Boss, she sees that her apartment was destroyed in the attack.
  • Super Mario Bros.: Heroes of the Stars: The main plot is the Shroobs invading.
  • T E T R I S ' D: Earth gets invaded by unknown spacecrafts to kidnap humans and build tall towers made of Tetris blocks.

  • The Earth of Deviant Universe has had two of them, led by the same individual.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Mr. Verres has prevented at one of these.
  • Enemy Quest: A coalition of alien races known as the Visitors invaded earth from another dimension and started slaughtering humanity. Internal strife and growing sympathy for the humans led to a truce.
  • In Galaxion 76432-69-GM has been infiltrated by Puppeteer Parasites a while ago.
  • The webcomic Hexenringe starts with a meteor crashing to Earth from which an alien Kaiju emerges. Soon after A very hip HenshinHero who is also an alien arrives to save the day.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!: Subverted, where the Nemesites have legally owned Earth since before mankind even evolved. Until we develop good enough technology to leave Earth, they don't particularly care whether or not we know they own the planet. Space Pirates do attack Earth once, not to conquer it but to randomly steal stuff. Nemesite Princess Voluptua comes to stop them, informing them, "Earth is a nature preserve, you feebs! This isn't even piracy—It's poaching!"
  • In Isla Aukate the Darnathi usually colonize planets by using a process called "prototyping" to assume the appearance of the native sophonts and then infiltrate their governments. The invasion of Earth got stalled by a revolution back home, and their ship crashing into a remote island in the Pacific, but one infiltrator got so far as Vice President of the USA.
  • Titanzer: They not only invaded but punched the head off the statue of liberty.

    Web Original 
  • How to Hero has an entire post dealing with alien invasions.
  • In The Last Angel, this is how the compact grows. Standard first contact protocol is to jump a fleet in above an enemy world and ask it to join. If they decline, the fleet starts shooting until they say yes.
  • Magic, Metahumans, Martians and Mushroom Clouds: An Alternate Cold War: In 1983, Earth is invaded by a race from Proxima Centauri called the Daemons, specifically a faction worshipping a Religion of Evil dedicated to killing non-practitioners in the name of feeding the "universal hunger". Their ships destroy multiple major cities with Wave Motion Guns that also open portals for ground troops to advance through and only close once the ships are destroyed. While major nations manage to repel the invasion after only a few months, other countries take years to claim victory.
  • SCP Foundation, SCP-2069 ("AEGIS"). SCP-2069 is the debris that washed up on the shore of Australia after falling into the Foundation's Earth through a transdimensional breach. In an Alternate Universe, an alien space fleet attacked the Earth and destroyed all major cities, then invaded. The Foundation and the Global Occult Coalition teamed up (calling themselves "AEGIS") to fight them, and ultimately deployed a weapon of mass destruction that caused the breach.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: Three separate times. The first time the Yolkians arrived to Earth they stole every adult in Retroville (except Miss Fowl) only to take them to their planet in order to feed them to their giant chicken god. The second time they arrived on Earth they successfully earned everyone's trust and tried to kill off all the adults once more. Then there is Grandma Taters, who's apparently one of many similar aliens that take over planets using hypnosis.
  • A common problem on Aquaman was aliens invading, including the Fiery Invaders, the Saturnians, and the Sea Raiders.
  • Ben 10: Alien Force's first season finale climaxed with the Highbreeds beginning their planned invasion of Earth. Oddly enough, they aren't so much as fought off as convinced to stop when the heroes learn their invading due to being a Dying Race whose genetics won't let them repopulate. It isn't until Ben uses the Omnitrix to mix various alien species with their own, saving them, that they call off their attack.
  • Bump in the Night featured a pair of aliens named Sleemoth and Gloog as minor antagonists, whose attempts at conquering Earth were always thwarted by Mr. Bumpy, Squishington, and Molly Coddle thanks to the aliens being highly arrogant and gravely underestimating our heroes.
  • Cartoon Network had a Crossover event called "Invaded" in 2007, which featured an alien invasion theme in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends (Cheese A Go-Go), Ed Eddn Eddy (The Eds Are Coming), My Gym Partner's a Monkey (That Darn Platypus), Camp Lazlo (Strange Trout From Outer Space/Cheese Orbs), and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy (Billy & Mandy Moon The Moon).
  • DuckTales (2017): The season 2 finale "Moonvasion!" features Scrooge and his family going up against an invasion of aliens living in a Hidden Elf Village on the Moon.
  • Futurama:
    • Happens from time to time. To paraphrase a Futurama comic:
      Fry: So what, Earth gets invaded twice a week. It's how I remember to brush my teeth.
    • The professor actually looks forward to them. According to him, the last invaders made all the smartest humans "pair off and mate continuously... oh yes."
    • And then the perspective is flipped in "War is the H-Word" where it turns out the planet Earth just won is the Ball alien's home planet.
      Fry: Wait, this is your home planet? We're the evil invading aliens?
      Brain Ball: Yes.
  • Invader Zim: The show is about an alien using the third method. He's really bad at it. However the Irkens are really good at what they're doing, no matter how bad Zim is. We've seen them successfully take over several planets and they seem to run a galactic monopoly that can't be challenged by any other being in the Universe (to our knowledge).
  • Invincible (2021): The All-Out Attack appears to be a periodic threat to Earth from multiple alien races which the superheroes always fight off. It's revealed at the end of the series that Omni-Man is the all-out/infiltration combo, as his original mission was to infiltrate Earth and weaken the planet's defenses before annexing it for the Viltrumite Empire, and it's indicated that the rest of his species are actively doing this to other worlds across the cosmos. Mars gets invaded by the Sequids' All-Out Attack.
  • Justice League and Justice League Unlimited:
    • The very first story arc, "Secret Origins", sees the Justice League come together for the first time to combat shapeshifting aliens. Initially, the aliens infiltrate society to undermine Earth's defense systems, then they begin their All-Out Attack. The Good Alien role is filled by J'onn J'onnz, the sole survivor of a Martian civilization that these invaders had destroyed centuries ago.
    • The Season Two Grand Finale "Starcrossed" sees the League nearly destroyed by another invasion. The Thanagarian infiltration was far more effective, because they had a Mole in the Justice League itself, providing them with the information to neutralize its members. These invaders initially present themselves as the Good Aliens, claiming that they're fortifying Earth to defend it from their enemies; the real Good Alien turns out to be their Mole, Hawkgirl, who learns of their true intentions for Earth and is unable to go through with it.
    • In the JLU episode "Dark Heart" the League faces Grey Goo from outer space.
    • The JLU Grand Finale "Destroyer" has Darkseid leading the forces of Apokolips on an All-Out Attack on Earth. The League is forced to temporarily team up with the remaining members of the Legion of Doom in order to fight them off.
  • Kim Possible: The Grand Finale had the previously once introduced Scary Dogmatic Aliens invade Earth for rather no real reason at all. All they did was send in Humongous Mechas while the two aliens just sat and relaxed. Rather than an "official" government-backed invasion, it appears that the whole attack was simply a private vendetta against Drakken/Earth on the part of Warmonga.
  • Little Audrey cartoon "Dizzy Dishes": In Audrey's dream there are alien invaders attacking with a disintegrator.
  • A recurring episodic plotline used in Men in Black: The Series. The Men in Black frequently have to protect Earth from covert or overt invasion attempts by hostile alien races, such as the Bugs, Fmeks, Blastulans, or Ixions.
  • Oh No! It's An Alien Invasion is about a group of kids dealing with, well, an alien invasion that has abducted all of the grown-ups.
  • The The Powerpuff Girls (1998) episode "Beat Your Greens" featured the Broccoloids, alien invaders who happen to be broccoli. The Girls and the kids of Townsville unite to stop the Broccoloids... by EATING them.
  • The Simpsons did this many times with Kang and Kodos. The best was in "Treehouse of Horror VII", where prior to the 1996 presidential election, they kidnap Clinton and Dole and take their places (infiltration method). In the end they are discovered but still win because they have both major candidates and "It's a two party system. You have to vote for one of us." Someone suggests voting for a third party candidate: Alien: Sure, THROW your vote away!" In the end they are our rulers.
  • The backstory of Steven Universe. Far from being magical protectors, it turns out that Gems are actually Starfish Aliens who arrived on Earth thousands and thousands of years ago to drain its resources, even if it would kill all life living there. The Crystal Gems are the only survivors of a rebellion. Then the Homeworld Gems start returning to finish the job...
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) : There was a 3-part episode "Space Invaders", which centered on the Triceratons invading Earth in their frantic search for the Fugitoid.
    • The episode "Aliens Among Us" featured a fake invasion set up by Bishop to gain funding for the Earth Protection Force.
  • Teen Titans (2003): Inverted in the episode "Troq", where the Titans launch a preemptive attack against the robotic, alien menace on their own, alien planet. Our heroes succeed in killing the entire planets’ population off! Then they tell off the guy who brought them there for being a racist douche.
  • Thunder Cats 2011 episode "Journey to the Tower of Omens": a massive invading army comprised of multiple Slave Races housed in a giant Battlestar are depicted invading an unidentified planet to serve as Planet Looters, combing over land and sea in seach of a single, extremely valuable Amulet of Concentrated Awesome called the War Stone, by order of their commander.
  • The second season of Young Justice (2010) (with the fitting subtitle of Invasion) revolves around The Reach, and their plot to ultimately invade and conquer the Earth. Due to their treaty with the Green Lantern Corps, they're unable to mount a full-scale invasion without repercussions, and so seek to ingratiate themselves with the world's governments under a Benevolent Alien Invasion facade.

    Real Life 
  • In his opening paragraph to The War of the Worlds (1898), H. G. Wells cited the British treatment of the Aborigines of Tasmania as morally akin to the Martians' invasion. Raphael Lemkin, coiner of the term "genocide", cited the extermination of the Tasmanians as an example of the concept. Thanks in large part to a deliberate campaign of extermination, which included bounties for dead children, between 1820 and 1840, the native population of Tasmania fell from about 1500 to just 47.
  • An Introduction to Planetary Defense by Travis S. Taylor, Bob Boan, R.C. Anding and T. Conley Powell: A nonfiction look at the possibilities of an alien invasion of Earth. They make various suggestions, discuss issues regarding first contact, and possible ways to help deal with an invasion.
  • When Aliens Attack: A production on the National Geographic Channel, and takes a look at the trope, using input from scientists, military personnel, and various other professionals.
  • Li Hongzhi, founder of Falun Gong, believes that aliens have been invading Earth and controlling humans since at least the early 1900s. This view is shared by many people who believe in alien contact, with some claiming the aliens been around since ancient times. It's often claimed to be a prelude toward aliens conquering humanity openly, with the infiltration for paving the way.

Alternative Title(s): Alien Invaders


Independence Day

On July 2, they attacked.

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