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Amusing Alien

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He's got the whole world in his hands... and no clue whatsoever to do with it.

"Heh. Dumb alien. That's good material."
Stan Smith, American Dad!

An Amusing Alien is a sci-fi, fantasy, or otherworldly character whose main purpose is to amuse the audience.

While the Amusing Alien might have a mundane purpose in the story, a character belongs in this trope only if comedy is their primary reason for existing in the work. Most of the time, the Amusing Alien will be a secondary or background character, to avoid excessively derailing the plot with their antics. The primary exception is in comedies, where casting an Amusing Alien as the main character leads to lots of easy jokes.

May overlap with Funny Foreigner, but the two tropes are not identical. An otherworldly Funny Foreigner elicits laughs from their ignorance and bizarre behavior; an Amusing Alien, on the other hand, can be anything from The Smart Guy, a Deadpan Snarker, or a Genre Savvy Fourth-Wall Observer. As a general rule, if the Amusing Alien is of a race or species that's common in the work, the trope is Funny Foreigner instead.


If there's a multi-character party, the Amusing Alien will probably be the Team Pet, the Non-Human Sidekick, or the Token Non-Human.

Given the subjective nature of comedy, the risk is high that an Amusing Alien can end up becoming a Scrappy if not handled carefully. This trope documents alien characters that were intended to be funny; whether or not they succeed is another matter...

Also see Alien Among Us, Pet Monstrosity, Plucky Comic Relief, Fantastic Anthropologist, and Crazy Cultural Comparison. Supertrope to Funny Robot.



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     Anime & Manga  

     Comic Books  

  • From the DC Universe:
    • Mr. Mxyzptlk, a Reality Warper from Another Dimension whose favorite pastime in life is coming to the main universe and pranking Superman and his friends.
    • Similarly, there's Bat-Mite for Batman, who tends to show up only at the most annoying or inconvenient times.
    • Lobo, an egotistical Bounty Hunter who indulges in various forms of Black Comedy.
    • Starfire in Teen Titans, broken English aside, is more Stripperiffic than anything else in the comic.
  • From the Marvel Universe:
    • Before he became Darker and Edgier, The Awesome Slapstick certainly qualified. The guy dunked a bucket of water on Ghost Rider's head, fer crissakes...
    • The monsters of Fin Fang Four (Gorgilla, Fin Fang Foom, Elektro and Googam) probably qualify: they're former monsters who are "rehabilitated" and do mundane jobs (window washer, parking lot attendant) at the Baxter Building.
    • From the X-Men, there's Kitty Pryde's pet dragon, Lockheed. He mostly flies around as a background pet, with occasional pantomime reactions to the events around him.
    • There's also Doop from the mutant team X-Staxix, a floating green blob who talked in alien wingdings. From later X-Men comics, there's Broo, the outcast Brood, who's adorable as well as amusing.
  • Wally Wood's Sally Forth was a comic about a squad of US soldiers and their Innocent Fanservice Girl... along with the martian Snorky, who provided wry observations of their actions.


  • Men in Black has several:
    • Frank the Pug is an alien who disguises himself as a dog, speaks in a heavy New York accent and wears sunglasses. His main scene in the first movie? Being interrogated by K. By being shaken. Tommy Lee Jones is barely keeping a straight face.
    • The Worm Guys can frequently be found in MIB headquarters drinking coffee.
  • Star Wars:
    • A New Hope has Greedo, the unfortunate Rodian that Han shoots in the cantina. Note that he wasn't trying to be funny, but his only purpose in the film was to be a punchline for Han Solo.
    • The Phantom Menace has Jar-Jar Binks and Boss Nass, who are more deliberately amusing but less successful.


  • The Presger ambassadors in Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy, being completely unaware of human culture, biology and psychology, tend to act out in a funny way as a result. On the flipside they serve as a reminder of just how terrifyingly alien the Presger are, in that they're able to make 'humans' to communicate with that still act in some ways terrifyingly inhuman.
  • Animorphs
    • Ax falls into this trope when in human form. Being unused to having a mouth, he tends to play with sounds of words and put odd things in his mouth.
    • The Iskoort are a species of amusing and annoying aliens.
  • Discworld:
    • Rincewind's Luggage, though the humor tends to be more... violent.
    • The Death of Rats. Regular Death can often be The Comically Serious, but has plenty of dramatic moments as well.
  • An entire species of Amusing Aliens: the Hokas. For reference: they look like living teddy bears, and they spend all their time reenacting various Earth concepts, not really understanding them. Hilarity Ensues.
  • An hilariously out-of-the-ordinary example of this trope occurs in Diane Duane's Young Wizards novel Wizard's Holiday, when Dairine attempts to lead her three alien wizard guests on a trip to the mall. Considering that one of them is a tree, one a giant centipede, and the third a sun prince who looks like an anime character, you can guess what kinds of Amusing Alien antics will happen.

     Live Action TV  

  • Doctor Who: Sontaran Combat Medic Strax, an ally of the Doctor's. Also, after his death and resurrection, a complete Cloudcuckoolander who is incapable of distinguishing genders, declared war on the Moon and has terrible bedside manner. And a Large Ham, which was a trait he possessed from the beginning.
  • Dex, also known as the Masked Rider, has traces of this at times. In one example would be that his race, Eltarians, derive from insects instead of apes. Now guess what he answered on an Earth biology test on the subject of human origins...
  • Everybody in Hidden Hills on The Neighbors, though whether the Zabvrons or the Weavers are the "aliens" depends on how you look at it.


  • The Super Sonic Robotic Comic in The Party Zone is a meta example — his lines are unintelligible gibberish, but everyone else reacts with uproarious laughter.

     Tabletop Games  

  • In Rocket Age Europan Emissaries insert themselves into cultures they have no real understanding of, meaning they often commit such faux pas such as wearing men's and women's clothing on alternate nights or giving themselves inappropriate names. They also can latch themselves onto social outcasts and take on their mannerisms.
  • War Hammer 40000 the Orks have this as a hat. They are a an entire race of violent manchildren who will start a war for any reason they can think of, the main reason being it's fun, and their philosphy operates on Insane Troll Logic.

     Video Games  

  • The Elcor from the Mass Effect series. They are large, quadrupedal aliens who can only speak in a low monotone, and thus have to precede every sentence with the corresponding emotion behind it.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X has L, an alien who learned English from watching archived American films and has a questionable grasp of metaphors.
    L: [Ambushed] "It's a horse-eat-horse world!"
    L: [Enemy reinforcements] "What a nice hot welcome!"
    L: [Asking for healing] "Could someone get our party started?"
    L: [KO'd] "This number has been… disconnected."
    L: [Low HP] "It's not over until the fat baby sings!"
    • The Nopon, a highly ecentric Proud Merchant Race. Tatsu, the game's main comic relief character, ironiclly proves to one of the more normal ones.
      • Tatsu's younger siblings all mistake him for their father.
      • Like in the original Xenoblade, the Nopon have a tradition where they nominate somone to become their Legendary Heropon. The "Legendary Heropon" being a position given to a new Nopon each year, often as a way for the Nopon to work off debt.
      • The Nopon are very cute. They know other races find them cute, and will use it to swindle them.

     Web Comics  

  • The Aliens in It's Walky!, so-called because they come from the planet Alien, are ostensibly trying to take over the world, but in reality they're lost on Earth and their activity consists of random hijinks that result in them being slaughtered in chunky droves. Their leader, the Head Alien, is originally treated as a Harmless Villain (and described as sounding like Jon Lovitz), until Cerebus Syndrome hits and suddenly he was a terrifying mastermind all along, though even when his plans are at their most gruesome, he comes across as Laughably Evil much of the time.
  • Div from Penny Arcade, an alcoholic Deadpan Snarker DivX player.
  • Even though he abducts Thaddeus, Gwog from The Petri Dish is actually pretty comical. His species doesn't have a nudity taboo and he thinks people at Comic Con are freaks despite looking weird himself. His pet is also comical, insisting that he's not his pet and it's a "symbiotic relationship".
  • Kiki from Sluggy Freelance, if a talking ferret is considered "otherworldly".
  • Capt'n Crazy. Actually, this was a late development - for a long time, even the author wasn't sure WTH the Capt'n actually is.

     Web Original  

     Western Animation  

  • Peridot from Steven Universe is this, in a show already heavily populated by (for the most part more Earth-smart) aliens. She briefly barricaded herself in the bathroom at Steven's house and tried to escape by flushing herself down the toilet, has an affinity for Earth clothes such as boxer shorts and is obsessed with a daytime drama called Camp Pining Hearts despite her lack of understanding of its content (when two characters kiss she thinks they're "attempting fusion"). She once pushed Steven's father off a roof, apparently out of sheer curiosity.
    • Her official Twitter account details such antics as running across the countryside for hours with a pizza because she had no idea what to do when the delivery guy showed up.
    • Also, Rubies play this role whenever they show up. Most of them are ditzy, brutish, and way too naive for their own good. A squad of them put their mission at risk over a baseball game, and then promptly left Earth when told a very obvious lie that their target was on Neptune. There are two exceptions: Crystal Gem Ruby does have some of these quirks, but her appearing usually means Garnet has some sort of internal conflict, so she's not used for laughs as often. The other exception is Eyeball Ruby, who seems as harmless as the other Rubies until she reveals unsettling details about Pink Diamond's fate, and an episode later tries to stab Steven to death.
  • Teen Titans: Starfire's odd Tamaranean customs and fish-out-of-waterness is the show's main source of funny.
    • She drinks mustard as if it were soda and...
    • Confuses the familiarity levels of social greetings and...
    • Thinks it's a good idea to give spine-snapping hugs to nearly every new friend they make and...
    • Misinterprets Earth Slang ("You diggin' the scene?" "I... did not know we were supposed to bring shovels!") and...
    • is allergic to chromium (The reaction is sneezing star-bolts).
  • The Venture Bros. had a pretty amusing example with the very tall alien who just shows up one day. He had a very scratchy translator, like someone speaking too close to an old microphone. His Catchphrase was a very loud "IGNORE ME!"
  • Quark from the first Danger Mouse series (1981-92) spoke in a Scottish accent and had an obedient robot who he had the verve to name Grovel. When he arrives on Earth to take charge (through a cosmic charter he inherited), his first thought is to make the Mediterranean Sea his own private swimming pool.
  • The Propulsions from Ready Jet Go! may as well be the prime example for this trope. They talk in a rather eccentric English (for example, they say "way the by" instead of "by the way"), cook odd dishes such as deep-fried lollipops, think that Valentine's Day decorations are scary enough to put in a haunted house. Overall, they are just very wacky.


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