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Aliens and Monsters

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"He got an e-mail from his brother that said that aliens and monsters were attacking his place!"

The integral part of the Monster of the Week episode. They are strange, scary, and expendable. Some are different than what you'd expect them to be.

Of course, we can have alien protagonists and monstrous supporting characters; but the difference here is that, within the ethics of the shows that use them, it's okay to kill the specific threat-of-the-week version (which is usually a distinct species.) There is no need to deal with complicated intricacies of interstellar diplomacy to negotiate with aliens, consider ethics of advancing mankind via genetic engineering when dealing with mutants, and listen to a vampire's tragic past to understand him better. This time, there are no long term negative consequences to deal with either using what humanity does best.


In short, this trope is for a specific example of Black-and-White Morality when a non-human antagonist (and, likely, his entire species) is Always Chaotic Evil with a shallow, handwaved, or Played for Laughs justification. Different from Aliens Are Bastards, in which the reasons for hostility can be elaborate and well-explained, and often the subject of much debate and comparison to conflicts among humans.


Not to be confused with the DreamWorks movie Monsters vs. Aliens.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • At the beginning of Bleach this is presented as how the situation is supposed to be, with shinigami sallying forth to take out the Hollow of the Week. After the first season things get a bit more complicated.
  • In Gantz, the hunters are forced to fight a wide variety of enemies from this category.
  • In One-Punch Man, aliens are a particular subset of monsters, which all fall under the category of 'Mysterious Beings'. Most of them are from Earth, but one of the major antagonists was an alien space pirate.
  • The Monster of the Week in UFO Warrior Dai Apolon frequently adopt giant demon-like forms, all the better for the titular Humongous Mecha to beat up.

    Asian Animation 
  • In Happy Heroes, as the main characters live on a different planet, aliens aren't really considered that special. A cry of "monster", however, will send the heroes into action right away (though it's never really been made clear what this show's definition of a "monster" is).

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • These feature heavily in Calvinverse stories.
  • The fan fiction series The Lion King Adventures adopts a Monster of the Week format. Aliens and monsters crop up often:
    • The Inque and the Vimelea are alien parasites.
    • The unnamed creatures in The Chase are vicious monsters who eat anyone who crosses their path.
    • All of the other villains are, arguably, monsters. Particularly Death and the Writer. Most other examples are metaphorical.

    Film — Animated 
  • Monsters vs. Aliens features this. It's the aliens who are used this way; the monsters are the good guys we send to fight them.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Godzilla films feature various aliens attempting to take over the earth, often using some sort of giant monster to aid them in their quest for conquering the world (IE: Mechagodzilla, Gigan, King Ghidorah, etc).

  • The Chupacabra, an Urban Legend, is an alien and a monster that has been used as a menace in several TV shows and movies.

  • Isaac Asimov's "First Law": On Titan, which is covered in storms, is a species called a storm pup. These storm pup are the only creatures that can naturally survive a Titan storm and are also vicious creatures. Donovan believes that he's encountered one on his way back to base, but it was actually something else.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The show had many demons of the week. Remember that one that Buffy had to beat the crap out of, while Giles and Willow cast a spell on it?
    • Inverted in an episode of Angel. Cordelia has a vision about a demon and Angel proceeds to find and kill it as usual. Immediately afterwards, he finds out that the demon was actually on a mission from the Powers That Be and he should have been helping it. To be fair, he was also misled by an untrustworthy informant who told him the demon was evil.
  • Doctor Who is king of this trope, to the point where, eventually, monsters would make their way into stories in which they had no place ("The Caves of Androzani", for example, is a thriller about interplanetary politics and the ruthlessness of unfettered business practices against a weak military and political sector, with a strong cast of interesting villains in its own right...which features an unconvincing monster in a cave because, well, it's Doctor Who, innit?). Ironically, the show was supposed to be a historical edutainment program, until the Daleks showed up in the second story and royally EXTERMINATED that idea.
  • The Reavers serve this purpose on Firefly, but the trope is actually more often subverted than not, as there are no aliens and the characters are more likely to find themselves up against other humans than anything. In the Big Damn Movie, Serenity, the Reavers are revealed to be once-human survivors of an Alliance experiment aimed at pacifying an entire planet's population and had the opposite reaction to the drug they pumped into the atmosphere, which instilled such apathy in everyone else that they simply laid down and died.
  • The Outer Limits (1963) was specifically designed to have one "bear" every week, the producers' code term for aliens or monsters. One of the most popular episodes, "Demon With a Glass Hand," stuck the word demon in the title mostly to satisfy the network execs, who wanted a monster in every episode. There's certainly nothing demonic-looking about Robert Culp, and the bad guys are Human Aliens.
  • Let's not forget the antagonists in every episode of Power Rangers ever.
  • Special Unit 2 is based on this trope, combined with All Myths Are True (except vampires).
  • Pretty much every Tracker episode.
  • In the Ultra Series, the Monster of the Week is always either a Kaiju or an alien invader (usually able to make themselves kaiju-sized). However, it should be noted that the titular Ultramen are aliens themselves.
    • In a subversion of the trope, many of the shows feature friendly or nonviolent kaiju and aliens from time to time. Although there will often be a small fight if a misunderstanding occurs, most of the friendly monsters don't die in the end (and if they do, it's always a Tear Jerker).

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Afraid of Monsters has them both in the city, due to David's drugs.
  • The Half-Life has this primarily featured in the first game; by the second, one of the alien species had joined the resistance's side, all the others except for the headcrabs have mysteriously vanished, and most of the enemies are human cops and transhuman soldiers working for the unseen Combine, an interstellar and apparently multidimensional empire bent on universal conquest.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising has every single nonhuman living thing as an enemy. Even, later in the game, the centurions.
  • Last Armageddon features both monsters and aliens. The twist is that you play as the freakish-looking monsters, fighting against the even more freakish-looking aliens.
  • War of the Monsters features monsters being born from alien fuel, with both wreaking havoc on humanity and against one another.

  • Sluggy Freelance has plenty of aliens, demons, and vampires the cast kill without a qualm, even though they also count several aliens, demons, and vampires among their friends. Aylee called Torg out on this when he spent his time in another dimension killing the monstrous residents in sadistic and hilarious ways.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10 and its sequel, Ben 10: Alien Force.
  • Kim Possible: Considering the characters in the show, the Lorwardian invaders and the monsters made by a Mad Scientist are just icing on the cake.
  • Martin Mystery goes back and forth with this.
  • Many SWAT Kats villains fall into this trope.
  • Uncle Grandpa has a few, including Emperor Krell in "Space Emperor", the Night Wolves from "Belly Bros.", the titular entity of "Funny Face", the two-headed dragon from "Nickname", the mummy from "Uncle Grandpa Ate My Homework", the alien cactus in "Jorts", and the cartoon monsters from "Viewer Special".
  • A staple of Megas XLR, especially with the Glorft, an army of alien invaders from the future.


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