Follow TV Tropes

Following

Bar Full of Aliens

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cantina_denizens_2.jpg

"I feel like Han Solo, you're Chewie, she's Ben Kenobi, and we're all in that fucked-up bar!"
Jay, Dogma

And to set the mood...

What better way to establish your sci-fi setting than to show a bar full of strange alien species? Bars, night clubs and cantinas are known for their varied clientele and as a gathering of diversity in itself. This is also an opportunity to show some more Starfish Aliens and other non-humanoids as background characters, taking advantage of the fact that they most likely will be seated (making things easier for the effects crew due to their legs being unshown among other things). If it has waiters, they might be Green Skinned Space Babes or a Multi-Armed Multitasking alien, or both. Also expect an alien band playing music.

Also used in fantasy settings, normally with mythological creatures. It could be used to show cases of Fantastic Racism when a character is denied service because of its species. It is also very commonly a Bad Guy Bar, and it's not uncommon to have a Bar Brawl either. Compare Bazaar of the Bizarre and Inn Between the Worlds, other places of business often visited by strange creatures.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Crayon Shin-chan has a Star Wars Parody episode with Shin-chan, Hiroshi, and expies of R2-D2, Princess Leia, and Han Solo (Gender Flipped into a hot chick) trying to look for the Yoda expy in an alien bar. Their waiter is notably a Xenomorph.
  • Space☆Dandy has "BooBies", which is basically Hooters IN SPACE! Apart of having the girls as the main eye candy, it's also a common place to reunite for most of alien species and even some of the waitresses are alien too.
  • Outlaw Star: There're plenty of space bars, the first one seen in "Clyde's Bar", one frequently visited by Gene Starwind before he went to travel into space (usually with humans, but in the first chapter Gene had to fight a cyborg) and later there's "Blue Heaven", an asteroid which is a little city (plenty of bars, by the way) considered as a popular place for outlaws.

    Comic Books 
  • The Brave and the Bold: In the story arc The Lords of Luck, Supergirl needs to hire Lobo to take her to planet Rann, and her "guide" insists on stopping by every seedy alien bar he knows along the way.
  • Cleopatra in Space: The Deathstalker Tavern is full of creatures of different planets. It also functions as a Bad-Guy Bar.
  • Doctor Strange: The "Bar with No Doors" was a bar with no doors, where the magical inhabitants of New York liked to hang out in some runs. Why is this here? Well, for starters the owner/bartender was a floating head in a jar, and patrons ranged from mortal spell-casters to freaking Man-Thing when he was in the neighbourhood. Why the past tense? Because the assholes frequenting it managed to piss off Loki, who made the whole place disappear in retaliation.
  • Justice League of America: In Justice League United #5, four Leaguers -Green Arrow, Supergirl, Stargirl and Animal Man- barge in Block-C20, a derelict space station turned into a bar for all stripes of alien bounty hunters.
  • Star Wars: Darth Vader: One issue has a group of criminals planning a heist in a seedy bar full of aliens.
  • Superman:
    • Superboy and the Ravers mostly takes place at a constantly moving rave full of aliens that exists in a pocket dimension.
    • In The Killers of Krypton, Supergirl passes by an intergalactic dive bar at the far end from the Vega system, at the outskirts of the galaxy. Most of patrons look humanoid except for some trait like strange skin colors, horned heads, multi-armed bodies, bug-like faces, lumpy heads or furred hides.
    • Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow: Kara and Ruthye often make stops on some intergalactic bar where some alien with a grudge invariably picks a -very brief- fight with Supergirl.

    Comic Strips 
  • Mike Deporter's Crazy Planet dealt with this occassionally - the protagonists visiting an alien bar, one of them complains that a fly has drowned in his glass, and the waiter, a man-sized fly alien, recognizes the fly as his son.

    Films — Animation 
  • Heavy Metal 2000 has one of this bars in a space station mixed with strip-bar and Bad Guy Bar. Some of the strippers are also blessed with Multiboobage.
  • Shrek: The Poisoned Apple, where some of the tougher fairy tale characters hang out.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Dungeons & Dragons (2000) has a fantasy version. The bar is full of orcs, goblins, dwarves and what seem to be gargoyles...
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has another fantasy setting: a bar run by a goblin mobster played by Ron Perlman and full of both human and non-human clients.
  • Star Trek (2009): Kirk meets Uhura in one of this multi-species bars. He even starts hitting on her to the dismay of the alien in-between the two.
  • Star Wars has many of these, which serve to show how truly diverse the galaxy is even if our heroes only visit a few important locations in the films:
  • Attack of the Clones: Anakin and Obi-Wan pursue Zam Wessell into The Outlander's Club in the lower levels of Coruscant. The clientele includes Twi'leks and Rodians as well as other classic species of the franchise in the background and a Balosar vendor named Elan Sleazebaggano who tries to sell Obi-Wan "death-sticks".
  • The Force Awakens: There is one of these on the planet Takodana, run by the orange alien Maz Kanata, whom Rey, Finn and Han Solo seek out for help. The scene might be a deliberate Call-Back to the Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars: A New Hope. This scene introduces many new species to the franchise, like the Ubdurians, the Culisetto, the Dowutins, the Haassk and the Blarina to name a few.
  • Solo has two — a high-class one owned by crime lord Dryden Vos and a seedier dive where Han meets Lando.
  • The Last Jedi: In addition to its casinos, Canto Bight also has multiple areas where the extraterrestrial gamblers and costumers can refresh themselves with a drink.

    Gamebooks 
  • Starship Traveller, a gamebook inspired by both Star Trek and Star Wars, have an encounter where you visit one such bar. The accompanying illustration even resembles the cantina club from A New Hope.

    Literature 
  • The Draco Tavern: The principal setting is a bar on Earth (in Greenland, specifically) that caters to the various alien species visiting our planet.
  • Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, a series of short stories and novels, is set in Callahan's Place, a bar located off Route 25A somewhere in Suffolk County, Long Island. Tended by the compassionate but no-nonsense Mike Callahan, the bar is known as a place that will be found by anyone who needs to. The regulars, while mostly human, include aliens, time travellers, a talking dog and a vampire. After the bar's destruction by a pocket nuke, the subsequent bars continue to amass patrons, including a were-beagle, an artificial intelligence that grew from the early internet, a half-human half-púca, a cluricaune, and Nikola Tesla!
  • E.T.: The Book of the Green Planet: The Micro Tech Club not only has the titular Micro Techs, but Flopglopples and various sentient plants helping to run the place.
  • A Fire Upon the Deep: Ravna encounters the Skroderiders Blueshell and Greenstalk (basically sentient trees) in her favourite bar The Wandering Company, though not by coincidence as they are seeking her out. When the man she's with suggests they go looking for more familiar-looking company to drink with, she has to point out they're the only humans in thousands of light-years.
  • InCryptid focuses on cryptids rather than aliens, but the principle is the same:
    • Dave's Fish and Strips, later renamed The Freakshow, is a strip club in New York, owned by a bogeyman and staffed almost entirely by cryptids (albeit largely human-passing ones). The clientele includes some humans, but the owners figure that those not already in the know will be drunk enough that they'll just think the dancers are wearing unusual costumes.
    • The Red Angel, a bar in Buckley Township, Michigan, is owned by a huldra and has a reputation as one of the only bars in the state catering to cryptids. It seems to be avoided by Muggles, though the Price-Healy family are welcome as old friends of the owner.
  • Restaurant to Another World: The titular place is the fantasy restaurant version. An apparently normal restaurant appears every Saturday in a fantasy world (via Portal Door) where their inhabitants can go to eat and drink, including Beast Men, Horned Humanoids, Physical Gods and other creatures like faeries, elves and so on.
  • "A Tangled Web", a Joe Haldeman short story, features a tavern like this on Morocho III, called Lucille's. note 
  • Young Jedi Knights: Shanko's Hive. Shanko is a spider-like alien and his bartender is a multi-armed humanoid with eyes on every side of his body. In the bar's first appearance Tenel Ka accidentally orders a Gargle Blaster and pours it into a potted plant that turns out to be a patron rather than a decoration. Another time, two patrons of different species clink glasses and their drinks react explosively with one another.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: Lorne's bar Caritas is run by and for demons living in the human world. In Caritas, violence is forbidden and demons go there to relax and sing karaoke.
  • Babylon 5:
    • One of the most used sets on the titular space station is a bar in the market that serves as a meeting place for all kinds of interplanetary dealings.
    • "Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi": Citizen G'Kar is captured by the Centauri in one of these.
  • Battlestar Galactica (1978): The Tucana Bar with Diana Ross as the alien Tucana Sisters with multiple mouths and eyes.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willy's place is a Bad Guy Bar, the owner Willy himself is human but his clientele is exclusively demonic (vampires, demons and the like).
  • Doctor Who: In "The End of Time", Captain Jack is hanging out in a bar that includes Hath, a Judoon, a Raxacoricofallapatorian, an Adipose and other alien creatures.
  • Farscape
    • Subverted in "DNA Mad Scientist", where the bar full of bizarre aliens turn out to be the end result of the Mad Scientist's Body Horror experiments. Crichton and Aeryn don't notice anything amiss about the place until they see how everyone scurries out of the scientist's way whenever he pays a visit.
    • In "Suns and Lovers" there's one in a commerce station near the Twin Suns of Qell run by an spider-walrus bartender.
  • The Mandalorian: As befits a show exploring the adventures of a bounty hunter in the Star Wars universe, the main character goes to a lot of these places. Indeed, the opening scene of the first episode has him entering one on an icy hellhole of a planet in search of a target. He also frequents a cantina on the planet Nevarro, as this is where he is usually given new assignments. Mando even gets to visit the Mos Eisley cantina (and to sit in the booth once occupied by Han Solo and Chewbacca) although, in the wake of Jabba the Hutt's demise and the fall of the Empire, the Cantina is a shadow of its former self.
  • Red Dwarf: In "Better Than Life", we see several exotic-looking creatures at the bar inside the virtual reality. Given the show's strict application of the Absent Aliens trope, it is likely they were Genetically Engineered Life Forms, though Rimmer did have an obsession with aliens in the early seasons so if they are aliens, they might be conscious/subconscious creations of his.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Quark's, owned by Jerkass with a Heart of Gold Quark and a very frequent scenario on the series. It even has a recurrent silent alien character named Morn based on Norm from Cheers.
  • Supergirl (2015): The second season introduces a bar where almost all of the customers are benevolent aliens who just want to live a peaceful life on Earth, but are under the threat of CADMUS, an organisation that wants to eliminate all aliens on Earth.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Planebreaker: The clientele of Savva's Crossplane Cantina includes an assortment of beings gathered from across the multiverse, apparent by the wide variation in dress and languages spoken. They are sometimes members of usually-evil species.
  • The Strange: An exclusive nightclub called Club Gr3y is popular in New York Grey. Humans and greys looking for a good time might enjoy one of the many shows or dances hosted by the club.

    Video Games 
  • Fortunes Run have one of these early on, including a stage filled with human and alien strippers.
  • Gene Troopers has one that's constantly populated by various alien races that you periodically stop by.
  • Rebel Galaxy: You'll probably be meeting a lot of people, both humans and aliens, in bars on space stations. The first NPC you talk to is actually an alien who owns one of those bars.
  • Space Quest: A recurring theme in the series, from the Rocket Bar on Kerona in the first game, the Space Bar in Space Quest V, and Orion's Belt in Space Quest VI.

    Visual Novels 
  • Sweet Enchantments: The eponymous cafe which is the primary setting serves the magical community, and while all of the main cast are humanoid, the clientele are much more widely varied, from pixies to plant-people, giant sapient snails, and a creature that can only be described as a human-sized praying mantis with the head of a cat.

    Web Comics 
  • Nova 44: Most of the comic, seeing as the band tends to play in bars and other music venues full of aliens.

    Web Original 
  • Pay Me, Bug!: Dyorbid's is a multispecies watering hole frequented by the crew of the Fool's Errand.
  • Bravest Warriors: Cereal Bar, run by Cereal Master, is an outdoor bar on Mars.
  • Minilife TV: The Burton Night Club, first introduced in the episode "Snowball's Late Night Adventure", is a monster-exclusive club that Snowball the vampire regularly visits in Season 5.

    Western Animation 
  • 3-2-1 Penguins!: The Comet Lounge serves as this, with its variety of Humanoid Aliens and Starfish Aliens, as well as its bartender, Sol.
  • Ben 10:
    • Ben 10: Alien Force: During "The Con of Rath", Ben's Team drops by at a space station serving as an alien restaurant due to Rath being hungry.
    • Ben 10: Omniverse retroactively reveals there is an Underground City beneath Bellwood called "Undertown" which is inhabited by the city's extraterrestrial community. It largely has shops and stalls run by aliens, although humans are welcome too.
  • The ChubbChubbs!: The Ale-E-Inn has various creatures, most of them the same species as Meeper, but also many other well-known sci-fi characters, for example Darth Vader and Yoda arm wrestling.1
  • Dungeons & Dragons (1983): "The Hall of Bones" has the heroes visit a tavern full of weird critters from the old 1st edition Monster Manual. Given the setting, they're not aliens per se, but the tavern is clearly based on Mos Eisley.
  • Justice League: In "Comfort and Joy", Green Lantern and Hawkgirl spend their holiday at a tavern on a distant planet. Hawkgirl soon decides to start a Bar Brawl just for fun.
  • Rick and Morty:
    • "Meeseeks and Destroy": The duo visits a fantasy world with one of these, named "The Thirsty Step", built under one of the steps of the giants' Courthouse. It is visited by all sorts of weird fantasy creatures, including Mr. Jellybean.
    • Blips and Chitz is an intergalactic arcade room where all the players of the galaxy meet to play, there is a great variety of aliens and a video game is a simulation of a human life called "Roy: A Life Well Lived".
  • Samurai Jack: In the second part of the series premiere, Jack unwittingly walks into a nightclub featuring exotic alien dancers, which is also patronized by alien criminals. Jack is forced to defend himself from a group of alien gangsters, who don't want any humans in their presence.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power features two, one at a port-of-call where they meet Sea-Hawk, in "The Sea Gate", and again with the Bad Guy Bar in the Crimson Waste, where they meet Huntara. They're both chock full of strange creatures that really sell that Etheria is an alien world in an strange realm.
  • Star Wars Rebels features one on Lothal, the Pit Stop. The proprietor, Old Jho, is friendly with La Résistance.
  • Super Friends: In one episode, Superman and Wonder Woman travel to future Metropolis in the year 3000 finding an alien bar with a Multi-Armed Multitasking waitress and all. One of the aliens that they interrogate looks a lot like a Jawa.

Top