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."
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.
- This HP commercial features these kind of aliens on Mars.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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 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!!!!"
- The alien in the somewhat cheesy (yet surprisingly effective) Haxan Films movie Altered is certainly little and green, although it's built somewhat like a cross between a Grey and a xenomorph. And so are the rest of them when they show up at the climax. As for whether the "men" part actually applies, it's worth noting that the alien is played by stuntwoman Misty Rosas.
- In Contact, when she's introduced to her new co-workers at Arecibo, Dr. Arroway jokes that she's looking for little green men.
- Arguably, ET is a cute cross between this and The Greys.
- Feeders and its sequel feature papier-maché Little Green Men who occasionally venture to Earth for a feeding frenzy.
- 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.
- Star Wars: Master Yoda is diminutive and green, but has none of the typical Amusing Alien characterization (well, except for the Obfuscating Stupidity act he puts on when we first meet him The Empire Strikes Back to literally test Luke's patience).
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Warhammer 40,000'': 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 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.
- 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 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 he's not alone either- 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.
- And 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.
- Referred to in Destroy All Humans!
Farmer wife: AAAAAAAEEEIIII!! LITTLE GREEN SPACEMAN! AAAAAAAEEEIIII!!!
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.
- 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 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.
- The Law of Purple: Green technically counts as this until he hits a growth spurt that makes him not-so-little.
- Uryuoms from El Goonish Shive are humanoid shape shifters who in appearance are a mix of little green men and The Greys but predominantly the former.
- In Last Stop, Blurg fits this trope, although he's only the supporting character, an assistant to Klunk (who's a big blue seven-eyed slug).
- Ufo's race in Captain Ufo.
- Played with in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! Ahem is an Amusing Alien, he is apparently green, he's usually shown as a bit below average human height, and he pilots a literal flying saucer — but unlike most examples, he isn't remotely humanoid.
- Axel from Ennui GO! is a green man (or at least a male) with huge, almond-shaped, pure black eyes, but he's the size of a regular person, Bizarre Alien Biology nonwithstanding.
- 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 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 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, although while he is little, his skin is literally black and it's his helmet that's green.
- The Merrie Melodies short "Rocket-Bye Baby" details the humorous consequences when a green Martian baby and an Earthling get accidentally switched at birth. It turns out It Was All Just A Dream on the baby's father's part. Probably.
- 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.
- The Simpsons:
- In "Homer the Great", we briefly see a Martian, of whom the Stonecutters "keep under wraps".
- The end of "The Simpsons Spinoff Showcase" claims Homer is joined by Ozmodiar, a parody of the Great Gazoo from The Flintstones.
- In the ending montage of "'Scuse Me While I Miss the Sky", Frink finds a meteorite that he believes could contain alien life. A little green man then climbs out, curtly tells him to shut up, and walks out with the rock.
- 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.
- 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.