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Elvis Has Left the Planet

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Jesus and Elvis IN SPACE by vern-argh

Agent J: You do know Elvis is dead, right?
Agent K: No, Elvis is not dead, he just went home.

Elvis Presley's death shocked millions of people. Many of these were so shocked that, rather than simply believe he had died, they decided that something was up — that he was faking, like Roy Orbison, or that he had been abducted by aliens, or that he was an alien himself, or any of a million different explanations. Today, we (or at least most of us) understand that Elvis is dead, but the media continues to utilize/poke fun at/abuse the general idea.

If he's still on Earth rather than in space, it's a case of Elvis Lives.

Compare He's Just Hiding, Beethoven Was an Alien Spy. See also Elvish Presley.

A Discredited Trope by this point, since even if Elvis had survived, he'd likely have died of old age by now anyway. Then again, presumably the aliens could fix that one.

Not to be confused with the phrase "Elvis has left the building," which is a form of That's All, Folks!


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  • A radio advertisement had The King returning to Earth to partake of the advertised product, "but then people saw me and called the newspapers. So it's back to Pluto!"

    Comic Books 
  • One Marvel comic book What If? story inverts this by having recurring Planet Eater Galactus facing a Fate Worse than Death: Being turned into a human and put down on Earth. The kicker? He's a perfect replica of the King. He gets taken in by a kindly lady and takes up singing, but at the end, just as his career revival's reaching its peak, he is reminded of who he truly is by Adam Warlock. Given the choice of returning to his former existence as Galactus, he instead chooses to keep his new identity, ensuring that Elvis will literally live forever. And this story was in a "What If?" parody issue.
  • Another Marvel example: in the final issue of Secret Invasion (2008), multiple characters who had been replaced by Skrulls were recovered and returned to Earth. And, yes, in a throw-away gag, Elvis was amongst them.
  • A non-Elvis related example. In the Marvel Universe The Beatles were replaced by Skrulls to influence Earth Pop culture but they decided they like Earth better than the Skrull empire. Amazingly all of them were alive into the 21st Century, only for three of them (except Skrull John who got killed by enemy Skrulls later) to be tortured and killed by the British government at the start of Secret Invasion.
  • In a non-Elvis example, an annual of the original Teen Titans has the team discovering that John F. Kennedy had been abducted by aliens and brainwashed to lead their armies while a doppelganger remained on Earth. After the Titans manage to save President Kennedy, they discover that the doppelganger had been killed in Dallas and the President decides to remain in space leading the resistance against his abducters.
  • Bloom County; in one storyline, Steve is abducted by aliens who plan to transplant Elvis' brain into him, leading to an odd result:
    Steve: Read my lips you ugly yam-faced goon, I'm gonna sue! I'm gonna send your liability premiums clear into orbit! Even if I have to do it with Elvis' brain! He was a pretty level-headed guy in most respects.
    Alien: (shouting offscreen) Thaw out Andy Kaufman's brain instead!
    Steve: ARGH!

    Fan Works 
  • Codex Equus: An In-Universe example with Blue Suede Heartstrings, a Ponified version of Elvis. Because Blue Suede suddenly left Ponyland after his 'farewell' concert and didn't return for quite some time, multiple conspiracy theories popped up. One theory depicted him as a descendant of alien 'Visitors' who returned to the planet of his ancestors.

  • Men in Black: According to Agent K, "Elvis is not dead, he just went home."
  • In Independence Day, one of the people who wish to meet the aliens, when shown on TV, shouts "Oh God, I hope they bring back Elvis!"
  • Implied in Lilo & Stitch. While Jumba, one of the aliens looking for Stitch, hears Elvis' "Hound Dog", to his delight.

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy
    • In Mostly Harmless, the fifth book in the series, Elvis (who is never explicitly identified, but it's obvious) is the bar singer at the Domain of (who else?) The King Bar & Grill. He says he wasn't actually abducted by aliens; he went of his own accord.
    • The Quintessential Phase of the radio series (which, unlike earlier Phases, was an adaptation of the book, rather than the other way around) adds, mostly as a throwaway gag, that another Elvis exists on the alternate Earth that replaced the "original" Earth of the series (destroyed way back in the initial Hitchhiker's Guide radio series), one who survived at least into the first decade of the 21st century and continued to record music, including an album of Oasis covers. Thus, as far as the radio series is concerned, Elvis both has and has not left the planet (at least until the end of the series, when the alternate and all other Earths are simultaneously destroyed).
  • A Zig & Zag book mentions that the titular duo's aunt Zelda married Elvis and they live on Mars.
  • In the Outernet series of books, the main characters meet a far older, far fatter Elvis performing on an alien planet.
  • Robert Rankin's Armageddon! The Musical trilogy reveals that Elvis faked his death, but how and why would take a lot of explaining. (Really. Part of it involves a talking vegetable, and that's the relatively sane part.)
    • In the second book, he may or may not have actually died during a Time Skip. Then again, that book is something of a Mind Screw, so...
    • Let's be clear: it's a talking, time travelling vegetable. That spends its time stuffed in his ear, and has an evil twin. Or possibly is the evil twin. He really needs to reread the Armageddon trilogy...
  • The "gonzo" sci-fi collection Alien Pregnant by Elvis is full of stories that involve this trope in various ways. The stories are all supposed to be evocative of tabloid stories.
  • The short story "The Return of the King" by Susan Wade and Don Webb had Elvis as a prince of the elves (his name was apparently not supposed to be a pun) who came to Earth so that he could indulge his musical side. The Elvis that got fat, grew addicted to drugs and died was an artificial copy fueled by magic to cover Elvis's return home.
  • Elvis is dead in the Stephen King short story You Know They Got a Hell of a Band. He is, however, still on the planet in a small town called "Rock and Roll Heaven" off the beaten path, where he is mayor over a town full of dead musicians and a few hapless locals. Strangely, the residents — including Elvis himself — never get older, never die, and can never leave. One wonders if Michael Jackson gave him a run for his money in the last election.
  • Buddy Holly Is Alive And Well On Ganymede offers a variation. The clue is in the title.

    Live Action TV 
  • The trope name is dropped in the cheesecake (not that kind, the food!) episode of Good Eats.
    • Before that it a variant was used on Homicide: Life on the Street. Munch asks Bolander what kind of music he likes, and Bolander grudgingly admits to liking Elvis. Munch responds, "The man's left the planet."
  • On Sliders the team landed on a world where Native!Rembrandt Brown had died (and enjoyed Elvis-level popularity); Rembrandt planned to stay on that Earth, "return from the dead" and have a musical career. Then they discovered that Native!Rembrandt had faked his death, but due to the resurgent popularity ensuing from Rembrandt's activities decided to come back himself.
  • This is the premise of Elvis And Slick Monty, only Elvis escaped, wound up in Another Dimension, befriended an anthropomorphic fly named Slick, and returned to Earth with him. The finale ends with him re-captured.
  • Sanctuary: "Elvis isn't dead, he's just... never mind."
  • Red Dwarf: When the crew comes across a derelict vessel in "DNA", Rimmer speculates that it's an alien vessel that's going to return Glenn Miller.
    Rimmer: We don't want him! Go away! You took him, you can keep the smegger!

  • Ray Stevens' song I Saw Elvis in a UFO centers on the concept of Elvis' abduction. (Along with Howard Hughes, Jimmy Hoffa, Liberace and Colonel Tom Parker, with the ending implying they took Ray too.)
  • "Elvis Has Just Left The Building" by Frank Zappa from Broadway the Hard Way is a song about the fact that Elvis passed away to Heaven, but they want Jesus to bring him back.
  • The song Elvis is Everywhere by Mojo Nixon is based around the precept, and goes so far as to state that the cause of the mysterious phenomena attributed to The Bermuda Triangle is that "Elvis needs boats!"
  • The Arrogant Worms' "Don't Go Into Politics" cites various deceased figures of political, scientific, and entertainment history as proof that going into such fields means you'll end up dead. Recounting the names of numerous dead musicians, they add the corollary: "Well, we're not so sure about Elvis..."
  • The song "We're Not Alone" by Son of Dork has the lines:
    I hope they bring back Elvis
    Cause how crazy would that be?
    I know he's up there somewhere
    Playing Halo with ET
  • Michael Jackson and Tupac Shakur have rumours like this now. Meanwhile, Paul McCartney is said to have died in The '60s and been replaced by a lookalike.
  • "Elvis Isn't Dead" by Scouting For Girls. 'Cos they heard him on the radio.
  • Art Sirota's 'Norton Songs' album has a song about how Elvis was abducted by aliens, but came back because he couldn't get parts for his motorcycle on their planet.
  • The British metal band Neonfly mention the trope in their song 'I Think I Saw a UFO': "I know they're green, I know they're fast/I know that Elvis is alive/They took him more than twenty years ago".

    Video Games 
  • In Bubsy 3D, Bubsy leaves Rayon dressed as Elvis. The Woolie leader declares, "Bubsy has left the planet."
  • In Grand Theft Auto III, if you examine the newspapers on the ground, you can see that the headlines read, 'Zombie Elvis Found'. The best part about that? Next to the headline, is a picture of the player character.
  • In LEGO Rock Band, it's not Elvis, but rather Freddie Mercury who joins aliens in abducting your band's bassist.
  • In Alien Carnage, Elvis is the leader of the alien fleet, and the last boss.
  • Possibly poked at in Perfect Dark with Maian Protector One, who insists that the humans call him Elvis.
  • In Earthworm Jim 3D, Elvis is kidnapped by aliens just so their leader can use him as part of a burger.
  • In Banjo-Tooie, upon first encountering the Little Green Men inside their UFO, Kazooie asks them, "Are any of you called Elvis?" No, not this time.
  • Parodied in Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders: The Caponian leader is an Elvis impersonator known as The King.


    Web Original 
  • A Virtual Paper Doll game from early Neopets had, as one of its prearranged "solutions", a costume that added up to Elvis Presley by way of a Blumaroo where, upon completion of the outfit (complete with a hamburger), the background shifts to reflect the idea that he's in space.

    Western Animation 
  • An episode of Eek! The Cat involving Alien Abduction featured a brief shot of Elvis among some captives in People Jars.
    • In another episode Eek gets hit by a shrink ray and meets Elvis (not named as such, but he looks like Elvis at least), who had a shrink-ray related accident years ago. After the episode, he gets back to normal size, remembers who he is, and then gets kidnapped by aliens.
  • Elvis shows up briefly in a talent competition in one episode of Rex the Runt, and gets beamed up before he can finish his act.
  • In an episode of Animaniacs, the Warner siblings are taken aboard an alien spaceship. Yakko Warner briefly sees Elvis playing cards with Amelia Earhart, Bigfoot and Jimmy Hoffa. Yakko says "A lot of people are looking for you guys!", gets kicked out by Elvis and then goes off to see the rest of the ship. It's a throwaway gag, as Elvis and company aren't seen again in that episode.
    • Some of the ending Couch Gags feature the Warners saying "good night" to each other, The Waltons-style. One variation ended with:
      Yakko: G'night, Elvis.
      Elvis: Thank you very much, but I don't want anyone to know I'm here.
    • And the Wheel of Morality has
      Elvis lives on in our hearts, in his music and in a trailer park outside Milwaukee.
  • An episode of Garfield and Friends had a network asking for a photo of Bigfoot with Elvis, since Bigfoot pictures are so common that are worthless. As Jon walks away, lamenting on his failed photographer career, Elvis asks him what time it is... and only after he goes do Jon and his pets realise who it was.
  • In one episode of Fairly OddParents Elvis is shown to live in a secret underground kingdom at the Dimsdale beach.
  • Robot Chicken did a skit where aliens replaced Michael Jackson (who still had black skin) with a white look-alike to take over the world somehow.
    • Well, Michael was Elvis' son-in-law for a brief time...
  • Biker Mice from Mars: Played with in that the minor recurring villain Evil Eye Weevil (himself a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of both Elvis Presley and Evel Knievel) is said to be Elvis' alien brother.
  • In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) season 3 episode "Burne's Blues", a trio of Elvis aliens abduct and tickle their victims.
  • MAD had Elvis standing in a space station overlooking Earth and insisting that his companion blow up the earth because Miley Cyrus found out that Usher was her real father in lieu of Billy Ray Cyrus. They happily oblige and blow up the earth with the press of a button. but don't rack your brain too hard about that one. After all It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context as the narrator will gladly tell you.
  • In the Quack Pack episode "Tasty Paste", one of the newspaper headlines describing the titular Tasty Paste's popularity claims that Tasty Paste is enjoyed by a two-headed Elvis alien.

  • Back when Saddam Hussein was still at large, a common theme in political cartoons was to suggest that he was hanging out with Elvis. One cartoon threw in Osama bin Laden:
    Osama: Look on the bright side... I still have my video camera!
    Saddam: Maybe we can do a trio with Elvis.
    Elvis: Dude, I don't want anything to do with either of you.

  • Fortean Times ran a main article which over six pages brought together all the stories that not only Elvis, but also Liberace had left the planet in an alien spacecraft. Apparently Space Liberace returned to play a gig somewhere in the backwoods of the USA.