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Mars Wants Chocolate

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Image by rafikemil (Facebook page). Used with permission.

Crichton: Well, somebody got a sugar high. You been stealin' candy, Mr. Burroughs?
Rygel: Crichton, how illegal is this dren? You gotta get me more, I don't care what it costs!

Earth is not the center of the universe, but nonetheless it is special—we have a precious commodity. No, not our nubile Earth women, no matter how easy they may be. Something better.


Turns out, our common comestible X is an Impossibly Delicious Food to aliens, who go to absurd lengths to acquire it. UFOs are smuggling candy past border checks. Alien abductions happen because humans might have Hershey bars in their pockets. Cattle mutilations? Aliens will NOT give up until they figure out how to extract chocolate milk.

Chocolate is a common target, but almost any Earth snack food can be used here. Chocolate (or other snack foods) might be a Power-Up Food to the aliens, but if they need it to power their spaceships, it's What Do You Mean, It's Phlebotinum?.

Often the result of Aliens Love Human Food whereby said aliens then focus on a specific food.

Related to Alien Catnip, Alien Arts Are Appreciated, No Biochemical Barriers.

Compare Trademark Favorite Food, Spice of Life, I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!, One Man's Trash Is Another's Treasure, Mundane Object Amazement, and Far-Out Foreigner's Favorite Food. Might overlap with Mascots Love Sugar if the alien in question is a cute critter or the Team Pet.

Not to be redundant, this has nothing to do with the nougat bar and the confectionery company making said nougat bar.



    open/close all folders 

  • A comic book ad featuring the Justice League features aliens invading Earth in pursuit of Snickers bars. The twist being that, once they've eaten and are thinking straight, they realise they could have just asked for them.
  • A Woolworths advert from the late nineties featured an alien crashing into the aforementioned store. As soon as he comes out of his spaceship he starts singing about all the amazing things around him and then decides to take some treats and chocolate... "but only for scientific research back on Mars."

    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • In the Marvel Comics series Strikeforce: Morituri, the alien Planet Looters find chocolate to be a powerful intoxicant.
  • One issue of the 1970s Shazam! comic book had aliens invade Earth for its chocolate and candy—but then they learned the concept of cavities.
  • The Martian Manhunter himself is deeply fond of Oreo cookies (later renamed Chocos). It turns out they have an effect on his Martian biology equivalent to that of drugs on humans.

    Fan Works 
  • This is how SG-1 manages to open trade with the Tollan in XSGCOM. Earth doesn't really have anything that the Tollan want, until someone makes an off-hand comment about how the first global trading empires on Earth were built around spices and luxury foods. SG-1 decides to send a few crates of various spices, wines and sweets through, and distributes chocolate bars to a class of school kids as a goodwill gesture. The kids' reactions are enough to get a number of enterprising parents to start lobbying for a trade agreement as soon as possible.

  • In the Young Wizards series, chocolate has a variety of effects on different alien species: it acts as a drug for some, but others just like how it tastes. It's also the real reason UFOs visit Earth. In the eighth book, Carmela forces an entire battalion of aliens to back down by threatening them with a wrapped chocolate bar.
  • In The Company Novels, chocolate (referred to as Theobromos) is the only thing that can intoxicate the time-traveling operatives. Hence one character having a "dealer" in premium chocolate.
  • Subverted by the behind-the-scenes book to Men in Black. The volume contains a "field agents' guide," a passage of which states that most aliens cannot digest chocolate, and are therefore allergic to it.
  • In one of the stories in Old Venus, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, chocolate is as addictive as heroin, and a drug dealer is using addicted Venusians as slave labor. Needless to say the other Venusians don't like it and ensure that he 'disappears'.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor is able to bribe a Sontaran with chocolate.
  • John Crichton of Farscape has this reason to get back to Earth — although it's full of diseases: "You guys have no chocolate."

    Web Original 
  • Tennyo from the Whateley Universe pays aliens a fortune for what turns out to be a Hershey bar, smuggled from Earth at great cost.

    Western Animation 
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series: The chocolate-selling competition episode ends with Gantu buying the last bar because it is a miracle cure-all.
  • Danger Mouse: In "The Four Tasks of Danger Mouse," DM confronts the Fog Monster of Old London Town and needs a piece of it as part of a mission to rescue Penfold. The Fog Monster wants chocolate, which DM always has handy.

Other Consumables

  • After E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial gave them the best advertising they ever could have wanted, Reese's Pieces ran an advertising campaign for years featuring an alien "little blue guy with big ears'' who would come to Earth in search of Reese's Pieces. Back issues of comic books from the early to mid-Eighties are likely to feature print ads with the character.

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Dragon Ball Super (and the corresponding movies), Beerus discovers that Earth has the best food in the universe (which is part of why he spares and periodically visits Earth). He even enjoys ramen cups.

    Comic Books 
  • In Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire, it turns out that the main reason most alien species put up with humanity's presence is... popsicles.
  • In a non-canonical issue of Marvel Team-Up, Peter Parker's Aunt May feeds Galactus some Grosstest Twinkles, which he finds extremely fulfilling. She rescues Earth (and the rest of the universe) by finding him a cosmic baker who makes planet-sized Twinkles.
    • His ex-herald Firelord once came to Earth, made a big mess, and got in a fight with Spider-Man, all because he wanted some pizza.
  • In one issue of Superman, an alien who picks through the wreckage that the alien assassin Massacre leaves behind follows him to Earth, which is home to one of the most hard-to-acquire commodities in the galaxy. That commodity? Ice cream.

    Fan Works 
  • Played With in In Short Supply: Zim's main source of monies is selling hydroxylic acid (aka, water) on the Irken black market, where it can be marketed as a deadly poison. Apparently it's rare in Irken-controlled space, as one character wonders how the heck Zim's found so much on Earth. Played Straight in that one of his buyers is Sizz-Lorr, who stocks it for aliens who can actually drink it.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Product Placement-heavy Mac and Me contains an egregious example: the main liquid MAC and his family drank on their home-planet is the equivalent of Coca-Cola, of all things, to the point where the drink can be used as a medicine for them, by kids, no less. MAC also eats Skittles at one point.

  • In Animorphs, a Running Gag is that Ax, or any other Andalite who morphs into a human, becomes a Sense Freak due to suddenly having taste. Though chocolate is on Ax's list of favorite foods (along with motor oil and cigarette butts), his Trademark Favorite Food is cinnamon buns, and he imagines that one day other Andalites will come to Earth just to try them. Sure enough, the last book mentions that Cinnabon may be opening a branch on the Andalite homeworld soon.
  • In I Was a Sixth Grade Alien, the aliens visiting Earth want to find a reason to establish friendly relations with us, but we don't have anything they actually particularly want. Until, that is, they discover peanut butter. Not because it's so delicious, but because it supercharges their romantic and sexual drives.
  • In Roger Zelazny's This Immortal, the aliens view original-formula Coca-Cola as humanity's second-greatest contribution to galactic culture. The first being a new and interesting problem in the social sciences, namely, what to do with a species who managed to ruin their own homeworld. (They also apparently appreciate poetry).
  • Hal Clement's Ice World. Aliens (who live at a much higher temperature than humans) discover that burning tobacco is an extremely powerful and addictive drug to them. They violate their civilization's laws to smuggle it off Earth.
  • Fat Men from Space by Daniel Pinkwater has Earth being invaded by aliens who look like fat men and steal all the junk food on the planet. Pinkwater's plunderers are particularly partial to potato pancakes.
  • In Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot vs. the Voodoo Vultures from Venus, it's established that due to how hot Venus is, food usually melts before one can eat it without making a mess, so the eponymous vultures decide to invade Earth, "where the eatin' was good". They then manage to hypnotize everyone in the town of Squeakyville into giving them food.
  • The alien invaders in the Worldwar series can easily become addicted to ginger.
  • John Ringo's Troy Rising starts off by having Earth maple syrup be an extraordinarily valued intoxicant to the Glatun. Fortunately, they are peaceful and honest traders, and as such they will pay incredible sums of money and goods for more of it. The Horvath, on the other hand, think it is perfectly reasonable to demand all of it in return for not dropping large rocks on major cities.
  • In the Italian novel Memorie di un cuoco d'astronave ("Memoirs of a Spaceship Cook"), the two main products that made Earth known in the Galaxy are music and... garlic. It's also implied that Earth is keeping the existence of onions a secret, in case they ever need a new bargaining chip.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?" features a Martian who has become addicted to coffee and cigarettes.
  • The same gag is used in The Outer Limits (1963) episode "Controlled Experiment".
  • Supernatural: Downplayed, where the Grim Reaper (who notes that he does visit alien planets) decides to ignore Lucifer's orders to wipe Chicago off the map and killing millions more during the Apocalypse. One of the reasons he gives for this is that he likes the city's pizza—this Death is a fast food junkie.
  • The page quote comes from this scene of the Farscape episode "Kansas", where the cast are visiting Earth during Halloween, and Rygel gets a ridiculous sugar high from the candy. Later that episode, Rygel actually steals candy from trick-or-treating kids. In a later episode ("A Constellation of Doubt"), Rygel comments that most intelligent races consider sucrose to be an addictive poison; Earth is the first world he's ever visited where it was so abundant, let alone refined to the point where one is able to pick up hundreds of calories in the palm of their hand. As Earth isn't that health mad quite yet, it's available everywhere and Rygel is indulging himself. He might as well be in an opium den.
    • This also ends up blowing up huge for John by the end of the series. While on a Scarran base, he's offered a taste of a local delicacy, which he says tastes like the flowers used in hummingbird feeders, which are "common as muck" on his planet. This flower turns out to be central to Scarran intellectual development, and can only be grown in a few rare places. So when John blows up one of these deposits, after the Scarrans have picked up just enough wormhole knowledge to figure out where John's planet is...

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In one Calvin and Hobbes comic, Calvin disguises himself as an alien by styling his hair and wearing a visor.
    Calvin: Greetings, earth female. Do not be alarmed. Our planet is dying. We need cookies to survive. Do not interfere or you will be destroyed.
    Calvin's Mom: We'll see about that. Get back here.
    • In another one, he hides under a cardboard box and pretends to be a robot from Jupiter.
      Calvin: Greetings. I am an X-387 robot probe sent from Jupiter.
      Calvin's Mom: Mm hmm.
      Calvin: (sticks his hand out of a hole in the box) My sensors indicate trace amounts of chocolate in the pantry. Please load some in my scoop for analysis.
      Calvin's Mom: No, you'll spoil your appetite.
      Calvin: (points a suction dart gun at her) My mission must not fail. Prepare for annihilation, pitiful Earth female.
      Calvin's Mom: Go back to Jupiter, X-3 whatever.

  • Vexxarr:
    • The Bleen conquered a quarter of the galaxy for cake, though apparently every carbon-based species (except the Lattrox) makes it.
    • The Mahakalosians find that they like Oreos so much that they design a more efficient means of lifting mass into orbit for humanity just so they can ship more cookies.
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! the Pirates of Ipecac come to Earth looking for caramel — not to eat it, but as a necessary part of a super weapon. Not realizing their reasons for wanting it, Bob gives them a bag of caramels, and Hilarity Ensues.
    • On the other hand, aliens and other exotic beings all seem very fond of Bob's homemade cheesecake. Voluptua also liked a cheeseburger when she tried it.
      "This is rather good! Mammal meat. Who knew?"

    Web Video 
  • The Jahns, the eventual main antagonists of Vinny's playthrough of Tomodachi Life, apparently came to Vineland Island because they wanted chicken cutlets. Their Assimilation Plot was nothing more than their means to get more, even if it converted or killed several islanders in the process.

    Western Animation 
  • In Futurama, one of Earth's more notable creations is apparently the pizza bagel.
  • Cartoon Network had a Cross Through event in which each of the network's top shows at the time had an alien invasion plot. What were the aliens after? Cheese.
  • Invoked on Invader ZimTak wants to steal Zim's mission to prove she's the better Invader, but Earth is useless to the Irken Empire. However, since all Irkens seem to be junk food addicts, she plans to make it useful by hollowing it out and filling it with snacks. The normal version of this trope is totally Averted, however, since human food actually hurts Irkens.
  • In Megas XLR, Earth is apparently renowned throughout the universe for the snacks and beverages available at convenience stores, and extraterrestrials with Earth currency frequently visit incognito to purchase them if they're passing near Earth.
  • Danger Mouse: In a non-consumable variation, DM and Penfold trek to the moon to learn the cause of Earth's tide flooding all land. The crater of Copernicus is inundated with junked spacecrafts, and Keith—the proprietor of the junkyard—wants just one thing in exchange for the lot: eyebrows. And Penfold's eyebrows seem to fit the bill nicely.