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Little Green Men

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"The Earthlings have put us on a trope page! Ooo-oooooh!"
"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 humans. The degree of "little" varies widely; they may be only a head or so shorter than humans, 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 a Dead Unicorn Trope, since the humorous depictions have always outnumbered the serious ones.

See also Green-Skinned Space Babe, Martians, and Reptilian Conspiracy. For the Christopher Buckley novel, see Little Green Men.


    open/close all folders 

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

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 
  • The DCU:
  • Marvel Universe:
    • The Skrulls 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.
    • 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... but then again, that's always his defense.
    • Discussed in Ultimate Origins. When Captain America is sent to fight in World War II, he's told that there are aliens (specifically, the Chitauri) involved. He asks if they are little green men, but no, they are not. This is probably a Mythology Gag referencing the Skrulls, above, who the Chitauri are the Ultimate Marvel counterpart of.
  • 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 The 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.

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Animation 
  • 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.
  • "Rocket-bye Baby" details the humorous consequences when a green Martian baby and an Earthling get accidentally switched at birth. It turns out that it was All Just a Dream on the baby's father's part... probably.
  • The Martians in Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars are depicted this way.
  • In all four 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!" They have variably been referred to as the “Little Green Men” in Toy Story media, specifically the Buzz Lightyear of Star Command TV show.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • While they're not aliens (in most media) leprechauns are typically depicted as little men in green suits, sometimes with green skin in modern works.
  • The Hopkinsville Goblins are a supposed alien species sighted in Hopkinsville Kentucky, which are also known as "Kelly Green Men", although they're ironically depicted as being white creatures.
  • The term "Little Green Man" is sometimes applied to gremlins.
  • Goblins are often depicted with green skin, and as short humanoids.

  • 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.)
  • This was the original title the Hainish novel of The Word for World is Forest. This is a reference to the Athsheans being only a meter tall with greenish fur.
  • 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 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.

    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.
  • Grogu from The Mandalorian is from the same species as Yoda. As Grogu is still an infant he's even smaller than the Jedi Master being roughly the size of a human newborn and small enough that the Mando can carry him with one arm.
  • 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 is titled "Little Green Men" and features Ferengi (who are not green, but are 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.
      • Later in the same episode, Kirk claims to be "a little green man from Alpha Centauri" while being interrogated by the Air Force.
    • And of course there's the Green-Skinned Space Babe we see dancing for Captain Pike in the original pilot. It's hard to imagine that the choice of color wasn't a reference to this trope; a way of making an "Orion slave girl" look alien while still remaining a Ms. Fanservice.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • In "The Little People of Killany Woods", Liam O'Shaughnessy sees several three-foot-tall green aliens in Killany Woods. Their size and color, as well as their toadstool-shaped ship, causes him to mistake them for Leprechauns but he eventually learns the truth.
    • Discussed in "A Saucer of Loneliness". Margaret's mother tells her that their neighbors have been looking at them strangely since Margaret's contact with the Flying Saucer and that they probably think that she is a traitor who is conspiring with little green men.
  • In UFO (1970), the aliens' green look is shown to be from the oxygenated fluid used to cushion their bodies during months of faster-than-light travel.


  • The Houston Astros' mascot is a stereotypical green alien named Orbit, and while he isn't little (like most sports mascots, he's roughly the size of a human), he certainly fits a lot of this trope's attributes, complete with antennae that have baseballs on the ends.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: The grots deserves a mention here. They are small, green and hostile, and they are aliens. It should be noted that they are also Goblins IN SPACE so it is kinda justified, even if they are technically part of the same species as da Orkz, who are defenitely not "little". Really played for laughs in every sense, since they are the Butt Monkeys 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.

  • Aliens designed and colored in this vein comprise the invading alien force of LEGO Alien Conquest, as part of its Affectionate Parody take on 1950s science-fiction tropes.
  • Invoked with Hasbro's Martian Matter Alien Maker; one of the colours for the liquid used to form the Martians is green, meaning the player can make their own Little Green Men. However, it also comes with a variety of other colours, including orange, yellow, and blue, and very few of the animated Martians seen in the commercial are fully green.

    Video Games 
  • The Ariloulaleelay in Star Control games are green humanoids with ships shaped like saucers. In the background it is mentioned that they have visited Earth before and are responsible of UFO sightings and abductions.
  • Fallout:
    • Fallout 3 has a crashed flying saucer in which one of the best weapons in the game can be found near the corpse of a very small pilot. Only the head is visible, but yup — he's green. The Mothership Zeta DLC shows that he's not alone — approaching the saucer causes you to get beamed up to a bigger starship where more aliens take you hostage.
    • They return for an Easter Egg in Fallout: New Vegas if you flip the Silliness Switch early on.
    • One returns again in Fallout 4, this time crashing his ship into the ground near a settlement and wandering into a nearby cave, providing another way to get the Alien Blaster.
  • The point of the Kerbal Space Program is to get these green guys into space or spiral into the ground.
  • In Destroy All Humans!, humans have a habit of referring to Crypto as a "little green spaceman" despite the fact that he's grey-skinned. Naturally, he absolutely hates it when this happens.
    Cryptosporidium-137: I. Am. Not. Green!
  • The title character of Alien Hominid, though, he is actually yellow.
  • The Cor-Dems of AdventureQuest.
  • The alien family in Banjo-Tooie.
  • Pokémon Black and White has Elgyem (pronounced as "L-G-M", little green man), a little green psychic alien. Fun with Acronyms, indeed.
    • Despite that, the mon itself is actually just as close in color to gray.
  • Martians in Scribblenauts.
  • The Bacontonians in Burger Shop, although they're more of a grayish-green.
  • In Touhou Shinpiroku ~ Urban Legend in Limbo, they show up as Shinmyoumaru's Urban Legend. If the opponent is facing away from them when they're on screen, the green men will charge at them. In her Occult Last Word, Shinmyoumaru used her Size Shifting power to enlarge them into a giant, ending up with a gigantic foot stomping on the opponent.
  • They appears in some Grow games. They even take over the island in the secret ending of Grow Island.
  • In Stellaris, one of the empires that can spawn in your galaxy is the Prikkiki-Ti, a race of creatures that resemble green geckoes. Their cuteness belies their extreme hostility to all non-Prikki sentient life, such that their homeworld was sealed off from the rest of the galaxy with a gigantic planetary shield.

    Web Animation 
  • In the Tako the Octopus 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 
  • Sparky of Atomic Betty is a short green alien, but also one of the main heroes of the show.
  • Zorp from Atomic Puppet is as tall as an average person, but his appearance strongly resembles the aliens from Mars Attacks! 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.
  • 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. They were retconned into "Martians".
    • Aliens that look much more like the traditional little green men combined with the more modern greys, residing on planet Roswell, did show up later. They find the humanoid body of a small head and large torso to be "grotesque". They're at a mid-20th century level of technology, and their government tries to pass off the Ranger's crashing ship as a weather balloon, parallelling the 1947 Roswell UFO crash landing (which turned out to be a weather balloon). The episode also parodied ET when Booster befriends an alien child.
  • The Fairly OddParents! briefly features one in gag after Timmy accidentally sends Australia flying off the globe.
  • The Great Gazoo from The Flintstones.
  • Futurama:
    • While Morbo certainly isn't little (he's about the size of a well-built human), he has green skin and hates humanity.
    • Kif and other Amphibiosans are humanoids slightly smaller than humans with green skin, no hair, and large heads and eyes. However none are hostile towards humanity.
  • The Hillbilly Bears: The episode "Saucy Saucers" features two LGMs who subject Paw Rugg to Alien Abduction because they want to study Earth creatures.
  • 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, although while he is little, his skin is literally black and 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.
  • Ema, the Token Alien of R.O.B. the Robot is a small, green alien girl.
  • Parodied in Rocky and Bullwinkle with Gidney and Cloyd, the moon men.
  • The Simpsons:
  • 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). However, the family referred to them as gremlins, not aliens.
  • In 1987, policeman Philip Spencer (a pseudonym), having taken a camera onto Ilkley Moor, Yorkshire, would later find himself surprised by unaccountable loss of time. From a distance, he photographed a small, green, long-armed figure. Under hypnosis, the policeman recalled floating through the air, behind such a being, towards a domed, disc-shaped craft, aboard which more such beings examined him; gave him a tour, and shared their concern about earthly pollution and famine. On analysis of the photo, all Kodak could confirm was that the negative hadn't been tampered with.


Alternative Title(s): Little Green Man



What happens when a Little Green (wo)Man visits a doctor.

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