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Little Green Men

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"Little Green Men about Four foot One,
Maybe they want to have some fun
Little Green Men about Four foot Two,
Maybe he wants to mate with you...
Little Green Men about Four foot Three,
Maybe they want to be set free...
Little Green Men about Four foot,
Maybe they want to kick some butt."
Steve Vai, "Little Green Men"

A formerly common depiction of aliens, now a Discredited Trope. They're green, they pilot Flying Saucers, and they're smaller than a human. The degree of "little" varies widely; they may be only a head or so shorter than people, or they may be small enough to pick up in one hand. They commonly have antennae.

Typically, they are either hostile or mysterious. If hostile, they will wield ray guns, speak English, and will ask anyone they find to take them to their leader. If mysterious, they will probably not speak, or speak only in weird beeping noises, possibly abduct people, and then disappear quickly and mysteriously, leaving little trace.

Since the Mariner and Viking probes of The '60s, they've been slowly replaced by The Greys in serious works. Basically done for comedy now. Also qualifies as an Dead Unicorn Trope, since the humorous depictions have always outnumbered the serious ones.


See also Green-Skinned Space Babe and The Reptilians. For the Christopher Buckley novel, see Little Green Men.


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  • This HP commercial features these kind of aliens on Mars.

    Asian Animation 
  • The alien in the Lamput episode "Alien" is a light green, one-eyed alien who owns a Flying Saucer.

    Comic Books 
  • The Skrulls in Marvel Comics started out as almost completely stereotypical little green men in the second issue of Fantastic Four. They even arrived in a literal flying saucer, which Reed stored in the Baxter Building for years afterward. Decades of stories since then have fleshed them out a lot (and they're generally portrayed to be of human height these days, although one could argue that height is arbitrary for a race of shapeshifters), but when all's said and done, they're still invading alien green guys with "bug eyes" and ray guns.
    • In particular, the original version of the Skrulls look a lot like the "space goblins" from the famous 1955 Sutton family farm UFO case in Kentucky.
  • Superman's enemy Brainiac started out as one of these. Later stories made him taller and revealed him to be an android, but he was still a green guy in a flying saucer for many years.
  • Martian Manhunter isn't little, but he's certainly green, as well as being a literal Martian.
  • The Captain, from Nextwave, got his powers as a gift from a pair of little green men. He then proceeded to murder them both and express dismay that he didn't get a pot of gold as a reward, having mistaken them for leprechauns. In his defense, he was exceptionally drunk at the time.
    • That's always his defence.
  • The Aldebarans, from Fantastic Worlds #6, are small, green and invade planets using small planetoids that they transformed into space fortresses.
  • The Blyntzyns, from Amazing Adventures #4, are small, green aliens that use androids to find the weaknesses of a civilization.
  • The Galaxians from Franco-Belgian Comics series Le Scrameustache, who are pretty much all friendly and helpful neighbours.
  • Pat Mallet's Petits hommes vertsnote  are small, green, male, horny and quite charming towards the ladies. Whether or not they came in peace depends on if you're a woman or her husband.
  • Dan Dare's arch-enemy, The Mekon is a little green man, but he's the product of deliberate "scientific experimentations", engineered to have a huge brain and atrophied body. His fellow Treens are equally green, but much the same size as humans.
  • The Xerbians from Paperinik New Adventures are green (with purple hands) and, on average, slightly shorter than the average Earthling (this isn't readily apparent, as they are mainly seen around the much shorter Paperinik, but the rare other interactions show them), and their (rarely used) weapons are indeed Ray Guns. On the other hand they don't follow the other parts of the trope: their ships don't look like flying saucers, they aren't hostile at all, and the only mysterious part was when one of their ships, left adrift after the Evronians boarded and captured the crew, followed its programming to establish first contact to take a passing Earth ship in and the security system (damaged by the Evronians and the failure to protect the crew) put the Earthlings under cryo stasis to recreate its crew.
  • Discussed in Ultimate Origins. When Captain America is sent to fight in WWII, he's told that there are aliens involved. He asked if they are Little Green Men, but no, they are not.

    Comic Strips 

    Film — Animated 
  • Most of the aliens from Planet 51. General Grawl is the notable exception — being roughly the same height as Chuck (a human male), he towers over the rest of his species. Then again, we have no idea how tall Chuck is among humans.
  • In all three Toy Story films, there have been Pizza Planet toys who are short compared to most other toys. They also have three eyes and worship "the CLAAAWWWW!!!!"

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Arquillians from Men in Black. Also a couple other races, in all likelihood.
  • Referenced (but not used) in Muppets from Space, when the alien devotees show up at the Muppet house, one kid mistakes Kermit the Frog for one of these.

  • Garfield meets some Martians in the children's book Garfield In Space, and they are diminutive, caterpillar-like green beings with antennae. ("They look like pickles with feet," thinks Garfield.)
  • Fredric Brown's novel Martians Go Home! features an invasion of little green men who attack Earth not with saucers or rayguns, but with an ability to appear anywhere, immunity to all harm, and absolutely no tact. They refer to all male humans as "Mac", and all female humans as "Toots". In one (obvious) scene, a Martian pops in on a pair of newlyweds, and refuses to leave until he observes human mating practices. Worse, the Martians are inveterate tattle-tale gossips, constantly ferreting out and blabbing every embarrassing human secret. Their stories always check out, so people can't ignore or dismiss them.
  • The Evil Gollarks in Murderous Maths. Notice we said evil.
  • Parodied in Diane Duane's Star Trek novel, Spock's World—a tabloid newspaper reports that Spock's mother, Amanda, has married a little green man. (As a Vulcan, Sarek has green blood and a slightly green complexion.) Amanda tells reporters at a press conference, "There is nothing little about my husband." Even Sarek cracks up once the context is fully explained.
  • This was the original title of The Word for World Is Forest. This is a reference to the Athsheans being only a meter tall with greenish fur.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: "Remembrance of the Daleks" has this exchange:
    Group Captain Gilmore: What are we looking for, little green men?
    The Doctor: No, little green blobs in bonded polycarbide armour!
  • Throughout the first two seasons of The Greatest American Hero, Bill Maxell refers to the aliens who gave Ralph Hinkley the super-suit as "the green guys". When we finally meet the alien, lo and behold, he really is green. And his spaceship is even circular, though not exactly saucer-shaped.
  • In Married... with Children, Little Green Men visited Al to collect his used socks as fuel to divert a comet that was about to destroy Earth.
  • Played with in the 1994 TV movie Roswell, when rancher Mac Brazel is being interviewed by the local radio station:
    Brazel: You know how they talk about "little green men?" Well... they ain't green.
  • Star Trek:
    • They're not smaller than humans, but the Andorians are blue-green and have antennae, apparently as a nod to this trope.
    • An episode of Deep Space Nine was named "Little Green Men" and featured Ferengi (who are not green, but smaller than humans) crashing in Roswell.
    • Referenced in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Tomorrow Is Yesterday", when a 1960s pilot is accidentally transported onto the Enterprise:
      Captain Christopher: I never have believed in little green men.
      Spock: [deadpan] Neither have I.
  • In the 1970's sci-fi TV series UFO, the aliens' green look is shown to be from the oxygenated-fluid used to cushion their bodies during months of faster-than-light travel.


    Tabletop Games 
  • The grots deserves a mention here, they are small, green and hostile, and they are aliens. It should be noted, however, that they also happen to be Goblins IN SPACE so it is kinda justified, even if they are technically part of the same species as da Orkz. Really played for laughs in every sense, since they are the ButtMonkeys of the orks. Also worth noting that the universe has both this trope and The Greys (The Tau), which really shows a great deal of contrast between the two.


    Video Games 


    Web Original 
  • In the Deep Fried Live episode "Fleeb Cooks A Cow", Chef Tako is kidnapped by an LGM who wants to learn... how to cook a cow. He's not hostile or mysterious, instead being rather friendly if a bit too fond of probing.
    • The cook turns out to be less than friendly near the end, when he tries to make Tako into a sidedish.

    Western Animation 
  • Zorp from Atomic Puppet is as tall as an average person, but his appearance strongly resembles one similar to Morbo below or the aliens from Mars Attacks! above and he fulfills the stereotype as a Galactic Conqueror who wants To Serve Man.
  • The Skrulls from The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!, just like their comic counterparts. When they try to interrogate Captain America, they demand to know why he doesn't break. His response is to laugh at them for being Little Green Men.
  • In the Toy Story Spin-Off Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, the three-eyed toy aliens are even referred to as "LGMs"—Grammar Nazis notwithstanding. In the first episode it's revealed that they share a psychic link that they call "Unimind", and their homeworld's name is a string of unpronounceable gibberish.
    • I believe that was Retconned into "Martians".
    • Aliens that look much more like the traditional little green men did show up later. They find the humanoid body of a small head and large torso to be "grotesque".
  • The Great Gazoo from The Flintstones.
  • Morbo from Futurama certainly isn't little (he's about the size of a well built human), he has green skin and hates humanity.
    • Kiff fits the bill for being small and green. However neither he, nor his species, has hostility towards humanity.
  • The Hillbilly Bears episode "Saucy Saucers" features two LGMs who subject Paw Rugg to Alien Abduction because they want to study Earth creatures. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The Irkens from Invader Zim, the race which the title character belongs to. They are more insect-like than normal, but are still very short (barring The Tallest), scientifically-advanced, and green.
  • There was actually once a British children's cartoon series about an alien that was called The Little Green Man.
  • Looney Tunes: Amusing Alien Marvin the Martian probably qualifies.
    • While he is little, he's also completely black. It's his helmet that's green.
  • Billy from Martin Mystery is a green alien the size of a small child or at least he looks like one. His true form is that of a much larger, Hulk-sized monster.
  • Parodied in Rocky and Bullwinkle with Gidney and Cloyd, the moon men.
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, "'Scuse Me While I Miss the Sky", Frink has a brief encounter with such an alien. There is also Ozmodiar, a parody of the Great Gazoo from The Flintstones. And the Martians whom the Stonecutters "keep under wraps".
  • Steven Universe: Peridot, one of the Gems, is a lot like a Cute Monster Girl version of an LGM: she's a green alien who came to Earth for mysterious reasons, has a nasal high-pitched voice, favors a clipped monotone pattern of speech, and without her fake arms and legs, she's actually about the size of a small child.
  • In Wanda and the Alien, the titular Alien is one of these.
  • Zula Patrol: Bula.

    Real Life 
  • When pulsars were first discovered in The '60s, astronomers had no idea what they were. Some suggested that they represented intelligent life. The first few to be discovered were named LGM 1, LGM 2, and so on. LGM meant "Little Green Men". Eventually, they were discovered to be spinning neutron stars.
  • A famous 1955 UFO close encounter case on the Sutton family farm in Kentucky helped establish this image in the public's mind. (In particular, the Skrulls look like they were based on the big-eared Sutton aliens).

Alternative Title(s): Little Green Man


Example of: