Singing, whinging, way up high.
Cosmic sugar, flutterby.
Flowing, freak-out, upside-down,
Come with me and you will see
I can kick it, hyper-drive
Hanging zero gravity.
They are distinct from Space Elves insofar as Space Elves are defined more by their personality (uptight and academic) and superiority complex than their appearance. The chief characteristics of the Space Angel are its beauty and grace, and it is not uncommon for them to be silent, adding to the high-class feel. (If they do talk, expect their voices to also be incredibly beautiful, as well as resonant.) Radiant and glowing, these beings leave humans awestruck and may prompt more superstitious characters to actually compare them to angels. If the appearance or abilities of the Space Angels validate traditional depictions of angels, it may be a case of Ancient Astronauts.
Their clothing will likely be composed of elaborate flowing robes, but it is just as common for Space Angels, particularly Energy Beings, to not wear them. This can be for any one of a number of reasons: They may be agender (or at least appear that way); they may lack clothing taboos; or their "clothes" might appear to be integrated into their bodies. There is a high chance that a Space Angel will have jellyfish-like frills and/or tendrils, likely as a form of Alien Hair.
They are likely to have advanced technology, telepathy, empathy and other hallmarks of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens and may indicate a race of Rubber-Forehead Aliens that has reached the apex of technological advancement or Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence.
The facial forms of Space Angels are likely to evoke The Greys (large eyes, small or no nose, small mouth), possibly due to the visual and mythological links between aliens, angels, and elves/fairies. However, unlike the Greys, Space Angels are normally kind, gentle beings who are friendly to humans, though they are sometimes depicted as unknowable, with morals and motives above and beyond our understanding.
Not to be confused with the 1960's animated series Space Angel, whose title character is a Captain Space, Defender of Earth! type; or with Casper and the Angels, where the "angels" in question are a pair of female space cops.
- The angels from Neon Genesis Evangelion were genetically engineered by a race of alien precursors. They don't actually look like (humanoid or otherwise) angels, they just get their individual and collective names from them.
- In Enki Bilal's Nikopol trilogy, Putto-like animals have been brought to Earth from a colony planet by a ruler who thinks they're angels sent by God. He sends them to spy on his underlings and hopes they'll chase off the Egyptian gods that have been plaguing Paris.
- Havanians from the DC Universe are a humanoid alien species notable for their angelic wings and beautiful appearance, the princess Bleez having once been labeled the most beautiful women in Seven Systems. When she was taken by a member of the Sinestro Corps, raped, tortured and had her wings torn off, she became a member of the Red Lantern Corps where she was given a new set of skeletal wings and a more demonic appearance.
- In the backstory of Wild CATS Wild Storm some Kherubim and their rivals, the Daemonites crash landed on Earth. They inspired humanity's legends of gods, angels, demons and monsters.
- The Hawkmen from Flash Gordon are Winged Humanoids that drew criticism from religious groups with accusations of blasphemy.
- The alien-looking Future Mechas at the end of A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, though slightly humanoid, have elongated arms, slender bodies and bioluminescent skin.
- The Abyss. The aliens inhabiting the eponymous abyss,◊ who are an aquatic version of this. They are able to manipulate water and are, for the most part, benign and pacifistic, protecting the lives of humans on multiple occasions. However, they show themselves as a species not to be messed with when they threaten to annihilate human civilization with massive tidal waves if they don't cease their warlike ways.
- Pygar from Barbarella is a simple Winged Humanoid referred to as an angel several times.
- The aliens from Knowing seem to combine this with Energy Beings. They have wings and are glowing and kind of see-through.
- Star Wars: From Attack of the Clones, the Kaminoans◊ are a hybrid of Space Angels and The Greys. They dwell on the ocean world of Kamino and possess advanced cloning technology. They are peaceful and polite, although they unwittingly provide the Sith with the clone army that would later form the foundation for the army of the Galactic Empire, and their grace is shown in long necks, slow speech, narrow robes, and desaturated colors.
- Mission to Mars: Unlike most Space Angels, the Martians of this film are depicted as tall, Grey-looking beings with a bright, orange skin and blue eyes.
- Inverted with the red devil look of the aliens in Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke. It's explained that the idea of the red devil is actually a sort of reverse species memory.
- The Space Trilogy: The sorns of Malacandra are incredibly tall beasts that Ransom comes to appreciate as beings of such intelligence and grace as the great titans and angels. Of course, the Trilogy also includes the "eldila" and "oyarsas" Energy Beings who are, apparently, literal angels.
- Isaac Asimov's Homo Sol: With over two hundred different Humanoid Aliens in the galaxy, some are beautiful to the people of Earth. The alien psychologists recognise the similarities between our mythological deities and utilize this to facilitate a God Guise.
- The guardians of God's last message in So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish look like angels with green wings and gold beards.
- The Doctor Who New Adventures novel, Lucifer Rising has the race of Angels from the planet Lucifer that look like shifting lights.
- Chindi by Jack McDevitt. A human expedition lands on a newly discovered planet and tries to establish First Contact with the incredibly beautiful winged humanoids who populate it. They seem peaceful at first, but then suddenly attack without provocation. Fortunately Priscilla Hutchins is carrying an improvised Ray Gun and is able to drive them off, though not without losses on their side. An epilogue notes that further studies have shown the aliens are generally peaceful, and it's theorized that they assumed the humans were their equivalent of demons, who are without wings in their religion.
- In Babylon 5, the Vorlons appear as angels to humans and the equivalent to other species. It's part of their grooming us to fight a proxy war against the Shadows.
- Doctor Who:
- In "The Mutants", an alien race's life cycle includes a phase where they become angelic energy beings◊ that glow in a rainbow of colors and are dressed in flowing robes (which somehow appear as part of the metamorphosis from the previous physical form).
- The Weeping Angels are a subversion. They are stone creatures that look like angel statues, but are among the most dangerous and evil creatures in the universe.
- Torchwood: The Arcateenians◊ are telepathic Energy Beings with the ability to take human form. The one in "Greeks Bearing Gifts" turns out to be hostile, killing humans in order to maintain her disguise, making her a malicious example of a Space Angel.
- The Sarah Jane Adventures: Another member of the angelic Arcateenians is shown in the first episode. This one seems benevolent, and is thus a more straight example of the trope.
- Masters of Horror. It is revealed at the end of "The Screwfly Solution" that the human extinction was engineered by this type of alien◊. The last surviving woman encounters them while fleeing from hunters in the woods. They kill by shooting jets of fire from their hands in a manner similar to a Bible passage quoted by a hunter, and are referred to throughout the segment as "angels". Although they appear to be hostile to humans, it's implied that they decided to wipe humans out as punishment for their immoral nature.
- The people of the Ship of Lights in the original Battlestar Galactica are this pretty explicitly, and are apparently connected to The Powers That Be.
- The Outer Limits: In "The Beholder", Kyra, who lives on a different plane of existence, is a beautiful young woman with an ethereal, angelic appearance.
- In Earth: Final Conflict, the Taelons are tall, bald, and graceful. They also go translucent when experiencing strong emotions. In season 1, they certainly do their best to portray benevolent visitors from the stars, and members of the Church of the Companions believe them to be angels, drawing them with halos around their heads. It's revealed that the reverend of the church is secretly working for the Taelons.
- The Red Angel from Star Trek: Discovery was thought to be one but turned out to be a time travelling human in Powered Armor.
- A few of the Ultra Series heroes have this appearance mixed with that of a standard Super Hero, such as Ultraman Nexus's final form Ultraman Noa, Ultraman X's final fusion form, and Ultraman Zero's Ultimate Aegis.
- The music video for Katy Perry's E.T. depicts several Space Angels, particularly the Kaminoan-esque alien in flowing robes floating in space. The lyrics speculate on whether the alien lover whom the song is about is an angel (or a devil).
- Styx's "Come Sail Away" is about a ship's crew encountering "angels", realizing they're actually aliens, and leaving the Earth with them.
I thought that they were angels
But to my surprise
We climbed aboard their starship
We headed for the skies
- Male Morrigi in Sword of the Stars project a psionic illusion that makes viewers see them as an attractive male of their own species with wings, and are explicitly stated to have inspired myths of angels on earth (along with a host of Trickster God legends). Though their actual appearance is a three-meter long feathered serpent with eight limbs, and females are up to six m and inspired myths of dragons.
- DOOM Eternal has the Makyrs, a race of aliens who look like cybernetic angels worshiped as gods by the civilization of Argent D'Nur. Despite this, they're in league with Hell, aiding them in their conquest in exchange for power and underneath their armor their true appearances are fairly monstrous.
- The Archangel that challenges Vincent in Catherine: Full Body turns out to be a load of tiny pink aliens clumped together in Winged Humanoid armour. Their race has been visiting Earth, guiding humanity and performing miracles while being mistaken for angels.
- The Archangels' younger brother, Qatherine/"Rin", has small feathered wings printed on his clothing, and is hinted to drop real feathers in his wake.
- The female Gazorpazorpians from Rick and Morty. As for the males, well...
- Subverted in The Simpsons episode "The Springfield Files". Homer sees in the woods what appears to be a glowing, smiling Grey saying, "I bring you peace" and "I bring you love." It turns out to be Mr. Burns, disoriented and high after a medical treatment "to cheat death," with the glow coming from his exposure to nuclear plant radiation.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Angels (pictured) are native to Milius Prime, a moon of the planet Iego. First mentioned in The Phantom Menace by a young Anakin Skywalker, who says they are the "most beautiful creatures in the universe", they were later depicted in the installment as tall, glowing humanoids with butterfly-like wings.
- The Aeons from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) possess various similarities to the image of angels, notably their wings. When corrupted, they take on demon-like characteristics.
- Subverted in Futurama's "The Beast with a Billion Backs": the beautiful otherworldly angels are just non-sentient birds that clean Yivo's surface.
- In Adventure Time one of the background characters is literally referred to as Space Angel Princess. Presumably she rules a kingdom of others like herself.
- "Nordic aliens" reportedly resemble extremely attractive Scandanavians (hence the name), and they often communicate that they come in peace and offer you a go at their wives. If you think that sounds awful familliar, well yeah, they're basically the Succubi/Incubi myth put through the lens of a Close Encounter of the Third Kind.