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Most Writers Are Human

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Image courtesy of Kirell Benzi

"That cloud of stars is our galaxy, the Milky Way. Our solar system is on the edge of it. We hurl through an incomprehensible darkness. In cosmic terms, we are subatomic particles in a grain of sand on an infinite beach.
I wonder what's on TV now."
Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes least that we can prove. There are no known non-human writers, outside of A.I. and a few non-human primates (authoring very simple works and probably dictating).

Let's not forget that Most Readers are Human as well, and people prefer characters they can relate to. This is why most fictional characters are H. sapiens instead of, say, T. rex or A. oryzae. The inherent human quality of relating to those like us and whom we can understand is also why all characters we connect and sympathize with, human or not, have at least some human qualities and psychological characteristics, or are at least perceived by us to have them note .

Besides the large number of stories concerning humans on Earth, this manifests in five major ways:

The inevitability of this varies by medium; after all, most actors are human, too. There are, however, more non-human actors than non-human writers, at least by common knowledge. For much more on the subject, see this series of Limyaael's Fantasy Rants.

Most game systems will reflexively assume that the default player character is human (or at best very nearly so) and allow this assumption to creep into their rules, setting, and suggested campaign styles. For example, nearly any combat system that goes into significant detail will be primarily written for roughly human-sized combatants with two arms, two legs, and one head on top of the body. Descriptions will almost unfailingly assume human-level perceptions with any "super-senses" that player characters might technically also have usually being given short shrift. And so on. At the extreme end, players may only ever be allowed to play humans and very-near-humans even in a setting where dozens or hundreds of other reasonably intelligent species also exist (such as many D&D campaigns).

Compare Anthropomorphic Shift, where an entirely non-human cast gradually slips into this trap. As such, this is one of the major sources of Furry Confusion. Sometimes characters are clearly not human but use phrases like "I'm only human" anyway. It can be a direct cause of a Human-Focused Adaptation.

Contrast Xenofiction, an attempt to avert this by taking the viewpoint of distinctly non-human characters, despite coming from human authors (as far as we know). No known Artificial Intelligence writing program is self-aware enough to write its own Xenofiction.

This trope is often the reason why Mammal Monsters Are More Heroic as humans are, after all, mammals. See also Aliens Speaking English, Bishōnen Line, Creator Provincialism, Earth Is the Center of the Universe, Human Aliens, Humanoid Abomination, Humanoid Animals, Monstrous Humanoid, and What Measure Is a Non-Human?. Related to Humans Are White, when the majority of important human characters in the setting appear to be Caucasian.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Digimon often makes the Digimon's initial and final forms humanoid or at the very least bipedal. This is partially a product of necessity, since the toys are designed to be able to evolve, so they need to have similar structures.
  • In My Hero Academia, aside from superpowers, many Quirks can also give people all sorts of mutations, such as weird skin color, abnormal body proportions, multiple limbs, animal characteristics, and more. Yet the main character, his love interest and female lead, his best friend, his two rivals, his mentor, the Big Bad, and the Greater-Scope Villain are all baseline humans, with unusual hair color being the weirdest part about them.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • In one of the first few episodes of the Sun and Moon anime, Meowth has a near-death experience in which he is lured by three Pokémon he immediately becomes infatuated with. Instead of using cat Pokémon you would reasonably expect a fellow cat Pokémon to be attracted to, the writers clearly chose the Pokémon based on whether the human fandom finds them attractive. This is odd, as when Meowth is required to show interest in another Pokémon, they usually do choose another feline Pokémon. Except for Glaceon, which looks a bit like a cat.
    • Also there's a high tendency for Ash's more powerful Pokémon to be bipedal and thus more human-like. While he does have other monsters who have decent levels of competency, none have ever been his regional ace. Just compare Torterra and Infernape's battling records. Though strangely enough, his Pokémon with the best battle record and possibly his smartestnote  is Bulbasaur, an unevolved, quadrupedal mon.
    • There's also a tendency for the rivals and gym leaders to have their ace as a humanoid Pokemon. Often changing the ace they used in the original games like Blaine. As Red and Blue only having Magmar for humanoid fire types it was his ace over the games Arcanine.
  • Even though Space☆Dandy takes place in a universe where countless aliens live with other aliens, somehow a large chunk of the shows prominent characters end up being humans, or look just like humans anyway.
  • The characters in Wolf's Rain are wolves who can make themselves look human. They appear human when around humans but otherwise look like wolves... In theory at least. There are a lot of scenes where there are no humans in sight, except for their Artificial Human friend, but they still appear as humans. Part of this can be fanservice, or that humans are easier for the artists to draw, but a large part probably comes from humans being more able to relate to humans than animals.

    Fan Works 
  • The writer of Apprentice and Pregnant admits to writing their cats very human-like, resulting in human terminology and gestures in a Warriors fanfic.
  • Rather pointedly averted in Bait and Switch (STO), whose author has argued on the Star Trek Online forums that even though out-of-universe Star Trek often allegorizes aspects of human culture and history, In-Universe the Federation is supposed to be more than just humans and therefore major nonhuman characters should be more common. The primary viewpoint character of The 'Verse, Kanril Eleya, is a Bajoran who only has one human on her Command Roster (the chief medical officer, who rarely has a speaking role due to being down in sickbay most of the time).
  • There is an entire sub-culture of this trope in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. It's called HiE, or "Human in Equestria". Even though FIM takes place in a vehemently human-less setting (not counting the traditionally human characters of past or later generations), it usually features humans as protagonists, or at least as deuteragonists, as they get confronted with the MLP-verse. Interestingly, this plot structure is much more commonly used than the other way around, proving that this trope is in full effect, with authors bringing their own experiences in direct comparison with the show's continuity.
  • The Night Unfurls: If there is a character of non-human fantasy race and is not a mook, they tend to have human-like intelligence and behaviour. While the main protagonist is an Eldritch Abomination disguised as a man, he Was Once a Man and his human form is meant to be A Form You Are Comfortable With, though he doesn't really find humans admirable in general.
  • Deconstructed in The War of the Masters. The overabundance of humans from Earth in canon Starfleet is attributed to a cultural dominance of Earthlings in the Federation writ large. This leads to resentment towards Earthlings by many groups in the Federation that rears its head during the Federation-Klingon War in the 2400s. It also leads to such things as Sandra Pickens, a colonial-born Starfleet captain with a very thick (Appalachian-based) accent, being repeatedly passed over for promotion when her very real skills as a starship commander would normally warrant it.

    Films — Animation 
  • Probably the strangest example: Why are there lemurs in Disney's Dinosaur? Seems the writers thought us selfish primates wouldn't like the movie unless there was something cute and furry to relate to. Actually, there were lemur-like creatures living during the time of the dinosaurs, however they would have looked more like shrews or rats than what we would recognize as lemurs and evolutionary-wise more closely related to modern marsupials and monotremes.
  • In all the preview ads for Monsters vs. Aliens, the focus was on the monstrous-type monsters. Then the movie itself came out... and our viewpoint character is a normal human woman who was turned 49-feet 11-inches tall by a meteorite. Apparently they didn't think we could focus on a really monstrous monster, so they gave us a dressed-up human.
  • Pixar is praised for humanizing things that are not human. So far, they have only had a handful of movies where only living humans were the main characters (The Incredibles, Up, Brave, Incredibles 2, Turning Red and Lightyear). In the commentary for Toy Story 3, the directors noted that they deliberately averted this trope, stating that they wanted the toys to deal with "toy problems, not people problems".
  • This trope was most likely the reason why Ralph from Wreck-It Ralph was made a human for his final design. Before this, he went through dozens of designs, from anthropomorphic animals, monstrous beast-men to even a steamroller. The artists then chose the one animal that's the most sympathetic for his situation (going through a mid-life crisis): A Human.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • James Cameron invoked this trope in his Word of God interview to explain why the Na'vi of Avatar look so human, published in the December 2010 issue of Discover magazine. Word-for-word, he says " fiction is not made for a galactic audience. It’s made by human beings for human beings." Which, considering who the bad guys are in the film, raises a few interesting points.
  • In Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, Death rolls his eyes when Bill & Ted assume that the greatest scientist in the universe must be human. However it wasn't such a bad assumption when it turns out that Station is the only (two) non human in Heaven!
  • The Dark Crystal is set on an alien world with several different sentient species. Some are humanoid, if odd-looking (they're like elves or dwarves and some have wings), others are much less so. Guess which ones are the heroes?
  • In Labyrinth, the two central roles of Sarah and Jareth are occupied by humans, while muppets are relegated to supporting roles. This was done deliberately to make the roles more relatable, due to the poor commercial reception of The Dark Crystal.
  • Lampshaded in Martian Child, which is about a sci-fi writer who becomes an adoptive father. When talking about a book of his he talks about how humans are always present in a sci-fi story so that they serve as a stand-in for the reader and allow the reader to identify with the major characters. He goes on to note that he doesn't actually identify most with the human characters himself, but rather with an alien.
  • All the major protagonists in Star Wars are human. The only alien who plays a major role is Yoda, and he is treated just like a very short, elderly human. R2-D2 is less humanlike, but he's more of a functional Team Pet than a character. Chewbacca is a main character, but had essentially zero personal effect on the plot.
  • This trope was actually a fairly major factor in the writing of Transformers, with the human characters taking a somewhat larger role than is traditional for the franchise. (This was also for pragmatic reasons; every single frame of one Transformer or more that appears on screen took twenty-four hours to render.) According to the Powers That Be, the main reason was the expense of the detailed robots. In the second film, however, there are many more non-humanoid Transformers, of all shapes and sizes, from insects to tiny spheres that roll through small spaces and assemble into one robot when it's gotten where it's going. One character is even a trio of motorcycles, whose robot forms are all oddly-shaped beings who have one wheel instead of legs. These three bikes together make the new Arcee. They can combine into one in the comics, but they don't in the movie proper. There's also more robot screentime than in the previous film. The entire Transformers franchise is prone to this trope. For a race of inorganic mechanical lifeforms with lifespans hundreds if not thousands of years old, more often than not they'll behave no differently than humans do.
  • TRON, where computer programs are shown looking like humans. Their appearances are even modeled after their programmers. This is true to the point that everyone thinks Flynn (the human transported into the computer) is a program whose User is Flynn.

  • The underrated Alien Chronicles series, written by Deborah Chester and commissioned by LucasFilm, thoroughly subvert this trope by taking place in a universe populated exclusively by various alien species (left over from the Star Wars character design bins, as a matter of fact).
  • Zig-Zagged in Animorphs. The team has four full-time humans, one human who's semi-permanently Shapeshifter Mode Locked as a bird, and an alien. The Rotating Protagonist order is initially set up so that the latter two only get half as many books, because it was assumed that they would be less popular; this turned out to be wrong, however, and the pattern eventually changes, albeit very late in the series.
    • There are also four Prequel books that focus mostly on aliens; twonote  have major human characters, but the othersnote  are basically pure Xenofiction, aside from the Framing Device.
  • Piers Anthony:
    • His Cluster series is a complete aversion. Anthony takes great delight in describing some Starfish Aliens, including a species that rolls around on giant ball-bearings (which also play a part in their reproductive cycle), one that rides on magnetic force lines and communicates using biologically-generated laser beams, and one that eats gasses and gets around by jet propulsion.
    • His Virtual Mode series introduced a creature from a reality based on the Burgess Shale.
  • A subtle example in Artemis Fowl. The first book introduces the centaur Foaly and the (quite different) dwarf Mulch, who remain recurring characters throughout the series. However, pretty much any other important fairy introduced in the later books (Opal and her minions, Doodah Day, Turnball, Vinyaya) are either an elf or a pixie—i.e., members of the two most human-like fairy races. This aside from Holly and Commander Root, who are also elves, and of course, the actual human protagonists. The Lost Colony is an exception, focusing on demons, likely because it's a Dolled-Up Installment.
Isaac Asimov: Despite being willing to create Human Aliens in his early stories and working out Bizarre Alien Psychology, Dr Asimov was frustrated with "aliens" that failed to seem convincingly alien. His own efforts failed to impress him, as did the attempts by other Science Fiction authors. This led, in part, to his frequent use of a human-only Milky Way.
  • Also literally averted by Atlanta Nights, where chapter 34 was produced by the Bonsai Story Generator. It fits as well in the story as any other 2 chapters not named 4 and 17 (which are exactly the same).
  • Averted in Black Beauty, which is written from the first horse — not first person — perspective.
  • Bolo novels are often done from the point of view of the large sentient battle fortresses. The biggest trouble is making it relate to an AI that is usually identified as 'smarter' than human. So many plot devices to either limit their out of combat AI or to have them damaged is the norm, with full Battle Reflex Mode having them figure out how to kill the enemy in .02 seconds and spend the rest of time in Battle Reflex Mode analyzing Music while carrying out the plans. It's also presented that it's a good thing that they are hard wired to be Knights in Shining Armour, because humans are often the villains of the piece as well as the Bolo-aligned protagonists.
  • Averted by Peter Watts in his uber-hard novel Blindsight where the alien is truly alien and even the human characters are alien.
  • Arguably, all The Chronicles of Narnia are examples of this trope, as Narnia can only have a human as a King, and the humans always show up to save the day.
  • Arthur C. Clarke nicely averts this trope in his Rama series. The few times any aliens interact with humans, great lengths must be gone to for an exchange of ideas to even become possible.
  • The often-reprinted short story "The Dance of the Changer and the Three" by author Terry Carr (not Terri Garr) both applies and subverts this trope. It is narrated by a human but concerns a race of pure-energy beings whose very motives are unclear even to the narrator as well as the reader.
  • Weirdly applied in Dinotopia. We're assured that only about ten percent of the population is human; everyone else is an Intellectual Animal. Funny, the illustrations suggest otherwise...
  • Embassytown somewhat averts this trope, as well as justifying it: the Hosts are very much not human, but become more human in their thinking (although still remaining Starfish Aliens) by the end of the book because of the actions of their human neighbors—and even then they are markedly different from the human characters. Humans make up the entirety of the main cast however, and it takes a long time for important Host characters to show up, of which there really are only three in the whole book.
  • Subverted and played straight in the Vernor Vinge novel, A Fire Upon the Deep. Humans are only one of a vast multitude of advanced aliens in the galaxy, and the main cast of characters includes aliens that are essentially mini- Hive Minds or sentient plants. Several times we see messages sent by aliens that are so inhuman that even the Super Advanced Translation Technology this universe contains can't keep up. However, the book is still mostly about humans; humans play the deciding role in whether or not the galaxy will get eaten by the Blight; and most of what we see of the interstellar internet is a posting group called "Homo Sapiens Interest Group." Which contains all humans as well as a number of alien races that just think humans are cool. Lampshaded in prequel, A Deepness in the Sky.
  • Literally averted (sort of) in a segment of Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid; a student of the author once designed a computer program to produce artificial Zen koans, and one early result is part of the book. Amusing, as a programming error caused the computer to print out a bit of code instead of an English word in one place.
  • From the title of The Horse and His Boy, you might expect that Bree, the Talking Animal, was the protagonist. Nope—it's the boy, Shasta, and arguably the deuteragonist is Aravis, a human girl.
  • Somewhat averted in The Iron Teeth web serial as the protagonist is a goblin, who doesn't act and think quite human. Most characters are human though.
  • Parodied to hell and back in a scene in Mostly Harmless where Arthur is looking for a planet of humanoids and must seek advice from a very alien Alien. And then further, when the planet it recommends has a population that might look human, but are psychologically less human than any alien he's met thus far. The book's title itself derives from an earlier joke where Ford Prefect named himself after the car under the mistaken assumption that cars and not humans were the dominant life-form on Earth (subsequently describing Earth in the Guide as "mostly harmless" after nearly being run over while trying to introduce himself).
  • The Xenofiction novel Raptor Red has a weird variant on this; most of the story is about a female Utahraptor's adventures, but for two chapters in the middle of the novel the story swerves into a random subplot about an insectivorous little mammal, mainly because he's one of humanity's ancestors. It isn't a bad subplot, just out of left field.
  • Lampshaded in the Star Trek: Titan novels, in which a nonhumanoid crew member takes bets on whether the ship's motto will be a human proverb despite the extreme diversity of the ship's crew, and loses when the Vulcan saying "Infinite diversity in infinite combinations" is chosen. He asks whether Vulcans count as human, as they're far more humanlike than a cybernetically-enhanced featherless ostrich with a prehensile tail.
  • At first, nearly every novel in the Star Wars Expanded Universe puts humans - and humans from the movies, at that - in all of the important positions. The same two human women (Leia Organa Solo and Mon Mothma) switch back and forth as President of the New Republic. Humans are the important Jedi, the major heroes, the minor characters, and quite often the major villains. Nonhumans are relatively rarely in prominent positive roles; they're typically the minor villains, the Non Human Sidekicks, in supporting roles at best, though sometimes they do manage to be Scary Dogmatic Aliens. Some books try to justify this by saying that when the New Republic was the Rebel Alliance it was humans who founded it and those who survived stayed in power, and that humans are probably the most populous species out there. However, this becomes downplayed as the EU develops, with later books including multiple major non-human characters, who often think and act differently than humans do.
    • Also lampshaded in the Coruscant Nights series, where a particular alien characters spends a while musing over how humans are so ridiculously common in the galaxy, and how because of this, everything is built or designed to their standards. That series had a few more alien leads then usual, but the humans were still much more common.
    • Humans are canonically the most common intelligent species in the galaxy, which to an extent explains why most characters are humans. But even then, most of the other species who are established to have numerous colony worlds the same as humans do, rather than living almost exclusively on a single homeworld (such as Duros, Neimoidians, and Rodians) are extremely under-represented. Especially the Duros, who canonically were the early humans' primary rivals in exploring the galaxy and creating colonies, and who (given their Hat of tending to be brilliant pilots and navigators) seem like they ought to be major players in an galaxy-wide society. Yet in most stories they're lucky if they get a token Duro in a pilot's suit in a cantina or spaceport scene. The only non-human species who (eventually) got representation anywhere approaching their canonical proportion of the galactic population were the Bothans. Conversely, the more human-like aliens such as Twi'leks (native to a mostly inhospitable planet, with no known colonies of their own) often get vastly disproportionate representation.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • J. R. R. Tolkien invoked this in one of his letters regarding Middle-Earth. The gist was that such fantastic stories should be centred on humans, since when you get down to it, a human writer won't be able to portray an elf as anything but a man in a funny suit. And yet, The Hobbit has no human main characters (unless you count the hobbit himselfnote  — Gandalf isn't a human at all), instead featuring Dwarves; and The Lord of the Rings only has two major human characters out of nine, one of which dies (again, unless you count Hobbits). Though Aragorn plays some important roles early on, and Boromir has the memorable death scene in book two, the first large-scale plot involving regular humans is the one with Rohan. In Book Three.
    • All this being said, Hobbits are effectively just small humans (plus a few other minor physical differences). Psychologically and culturally they're no more different from humans than any other two human cultures in the setting. Elves, Dwarves, Ents, Orcs, and so on are almost never focus characters in either The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings. The Elves do get quite a run in The Silmarillion, which is much more mythic and less familiar and homey; their relatability is probably highest when they're dealing with adversity (war, exile, futile attempts at revenge, and so on).
  • David Brin's Uplift series delights in mixing the viewpoint characters between humans, Uplifted Earth animals, and aliens ranging from humanoid-but-doesn't-think-like-humans to Starfish Aliens.
  • In Warrior Cats the cat have such human-like qualities and intelligence that they can do dexterous actions like splinting a broken leg. The cats also live in Clans (unlike real cats) and the bad guys are racist. The author even says she doesn't think about cats when coming up with ideas, giving them more humanity-based themes.
    • Poppy seeds are used in the series as a sedative/painkiller. While poppy is sometimes used in painkillers for humans, it's actually poisonous to cats.
    • A more obvious example: Firestar's most distinguishing feature is his red pelt and an entire prophecy revolves around it. In Real Life, cats can't see red.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: Our hero, a Human Alien called the Doctor, can go anywhere in time and space yet spends the majority of his time on Earth, on a human colony, or with a majority of humans. This is sometimes justified or averted in various ways over the course of its decades-long run.
  • Farscape somewhat averts this and somewhat doesn't—technically there is only one human character in the entire show (if you exclude Jack, who is usually either a memory of John's or an insectoid Starfish Alien in A Form You Are Comfortable With), many of the aliens who are encountered are Human Aliens (especially Sebaceans, who basically ARE humans), and most other aliens are Humanoid Aliens who behave like humans for instance Delvians (despite being Plant Aliens), and Luxans. There are a few aliens who either look (Hynerians, Pilots, Scarrans) and/or behave (Leviathans, Ancients, Drak) quite different from humans, however.
  • The speculative documentary series Life After People suffers a mild version of this in that, despite the title, more emphasis is given to the nonliving artifacts of human civilization than what happens to actual living animals. However, the show still covers possible evolutionary paths for the animals that we've domesticated or kept in zoos.
  • Power Rangers has this problem often. Despite the general premise of a group of humans saving Earth from alien invaders, they're always very humanoid alien invaders. There's also a recurring problem of the dialogue of the Monster of the Week. Most often, the aliens invaders spend little to no time on Earth, and the monsters are often created during the episode. Despite being only minutes or hours old, they still have enough of a grasp of Earth culture to snark to the Rangers (such as one monster calling the morphed rangers "The Jellybean Patrol").
  • The various Star Trek series: Every series in the franchise takes place on a Federation Starfleet ship or station. In spite of Earth being only one of many members in the United Federation of Planets, the cast of each show is predominantly human. Most senior officials are also human, and the capital of the Federation is on Earth, giving the impression that the Federation is itself a predominantly human organization. Dialogue across the shows often, whether intentionally or not, implies that "Federation" is synonymous with "human."

    Myths & Religion 
  • Zigzagged by many religions which claim certain holy books are dictated by deities, spirits, etc., but attribute human traits like jealousy and wrath to these spirits and portray them in anthropomorphic forms. Averted in pantheism and the Hindu elephant god Ganesha, monkey god Hanuman, and various other distinctly non-human deities.
  • Djinn authors may be an aversion, as The Qur'an says they have free will like humans. However what books, if any, are written by them is not common knowledge.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the great majority of fantasy settings (and science fiction too, for that matter), humans are always the dominant and major race.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: This was deliberately invoked in early editions, in which the world was assumed to be dominated by humans while other races kept largely to themselves. Adventurers from other races were supposed to be rare, and far normal representatives of their cultures. Obviously players often wanted to play as non-humans, which led to later editions defaulting to a general melting-pot society in which any combination of race, class and culture could be justified.
  • GURPS invokes this trope and all but refers to it by name. All customization is done by adding or subtracting features from a human template. The GURPS-based Discworld Roleplaying Game briefly invokes Humans Are Special to explain why humanity dominates the Disc instead of trolls, dwarfs or banshees, before acknowledging the real reason...
    At this point, it's traditional to explain at length how, despite the fact that humans are smaller, squidgier, less magical, or poorer at mining than other races, we have some kind of crucial edge – perhaps a willingness to kill, or willpower, or the ability to cooperate, or the favour of the gods, or just the capacity to out-breed everyone else. But the important point is that these stories and games are created by and for human beings.
  • Generally enforced in Magic: The Gathering; the majority of planeswalkers (the face characters of the franchise) are humans, and a large chunk of the nonhuman ones resemble humans and/or are humanoid. Furthermore, the vast majority of planes include humans on them. Word of God has noted several times that nonhumans simply don't appeal to the audience as much as humans. This trope has also been seen in the former lack of presence of merfolk. For years, Magic: the Gathering had not included merfolk in its sets, because as they lacked legs they could not go on dry land (and thus interact with humans). They eventually started giving merfolk legs, playing into this trope.
  • The rulebook of Nobilis specifies that Nobles (usually) start off as humans, in order to ground its rather strange and abstract concept into something approaching the human experience. Therefore players generally portray former humans (versus former something elses).
  • In Shadowrun, the metafiction and novels are overwhelmingly human-focused. It is stated multiple times in setting census data that humans are the most common race, despite Orks both maturing early and tending to have many children for cultural reasons. Taken to extremes with sourcebook art, where humans are nearly always featured, elves are a close second, trolls are very rarely seen, and orks even less so. Dwarves get it particularly bad, with almost no dwarf art existing anywhere outside of rulebooks with sections pertaining to dwarves. Downplayed in the 2nd edition run where the overarching plot becomes highly elf-centric instead.
  • Talislanta: Later editions have Loads and Loads of Races, but none that are explicitly called "human". The closest approximation to "human" is the designation of several humanoid types as "men", but even the races of "men" include people with weirdly-shaped facial features or skin colors unknown in Real Life.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Humans are the main focus in most of the stories. In fact there has only been one series focusing on the Eldar and two books and a video game (Shadowsun and the FPS Fire Warrior and its novelization) for the Tau. Even the novel Fire Caste isn't actually about the Tau Fire Caste, but rather more Imperial Guard characters (although this turns out to be a plot point).
    • One of the most commonly-stated truths about the Eldar, meant to emphasize their cruel pragmatism and lack of care for humanity, is a declaration along the lines of "the Eldar would cause the deaths of a thousand humans just to save the life of a single Eldar." While certainly not a pleasant viewpoint, it leaves out the fact that the Imperium would also kill a thousand Eldar to save the life of a single human—indeed, they would kill a thousand Eldar just for the sake of killing a thousand Eldar. Hell, in the case of the Imperium's leadership, it's pretty likely that killing a thousand humans just to kill one Eldar would be perceived as a pretty good trade.
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse has three main player-character origins: homids (werewolves born from werewolf/human pairings), lupus (werewolves born from werewolf/wolf pairings), and metis (werewolves born from two werewolf parents). The vast majority of viewpoint characters in the metaplot were homids, as lupus werewolves were extremely unpopular (due to equal parts the fact they're explicitly the result of a sapient being having sex with a wolf and their main faction, the Red Talons, being easily the most hated tribe in the game) and metis were heavily discriminated against in the fiction and thus unlikely to play major roles.

  • Parodied in the 20th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, with a speech by Neil Gaiman which "proved" that virtually all books are written by bacteria. But most of them are still about humans, for some reason.

    Video Games 
  • AI Dungeon 2: The AI tends to default the protagonist back to being a human often without explanation as to why or how. Even if you set up a detailed custom prompt to make it clear that the character you're playing as is not human, expect the character to eventually start performing human actions and movements as the story goes on; even if it would be physically impossible for the character to perform said actions. Ironically, this is one of the (very) rare examples of fiction which does not have a human writer (although the AI was created by humans, and trained using text written by humans, so even non-human writers can't escape human influence, it seems).
  • Dragon Age: This is the reason that humans are the dominant culture in Thedas (or at least in the regions the games let you explore), and why the glimpses into the elf, dwarven, and Qunari cultures are less prevalent. For instance, it's worth noting that the Blight is really only an immediate problem for the people living on the surface, but the dwarves get roped into helping to deal with it, anyway. This pops up a lot in the Dragon Age series. A number of times throughout the series, humans are treated as the race, with their dominance played up and other races (primarily elves) being downplayed more and more. A constant theme in particular is humans being better at elven culture than elves themselves, and Dragon Age: Inquisition constantly having the (voiced) PC be lectured on elven history, primarily by humans, even if they're an elf themselves and should know all this.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Many fans of Mass Effect believe this is the reason why Shepard could engage in a sexual relationship with Liara (an asari, the most human-like alien in the game's universe), but not with Tali, Garrus, or Wrex, all of which are very inhuman physically (especially Wrex!). This is totally averted in Mass Effect 2. Not only does the game allow you to have sex with the quarian, turian, drell or asari members of your crew, but the ship physician will send you notes on the relevant precautions. For example, he prescribes antibiotics to the quarian (to lessen- not eliminate- the aftereffects that out-of-suit exposure will have on her) and warns against "consuming turian tissue" (as it may cause an allergic reaction).
    • Also fits in the game's usage of humans as the Jack of All Stats, to an extent. Of the council races, salarians are known for being extremely intelligent, asari are known for their diplomatic talents, and turians are known for their military. The game lampshades this to an extent, by pointing out the talent diversity of humans. In the second game, Mordin even mentions that they have more genetic diversity than any other species, which is presumed to be the reason the collectors chose to target them over other species for the construction of a reaper (though no explanation is given for why humans might have more genetic variance, particularly given that we have an abnormal lack of variance by Earth standards).
  • Starbound: Each alien species has a culture based around a (usually stereotypical) human culture. Florans are cavemen, Hylotl are Japanese, and Novakids are Space Westerners.
  • Super Mario Bros.: While the main characters are human (or at least very human-like), they're often greatly outnumbered by the number of non-human characters, such as Bowser, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, various Mooks, and other characters both friendly and non-friendly, animal-like to having human-level intelligence. In spin-off titles, especially in the sports titles, greater emphasis is placed on the 7 most human-like characters (Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Wario, Waluigi and Rosalina).
  • World of Warcraft has been heading in this direction since Cataclysm. The major players of the Alliance are nearly all human in those two expansions, with the exception of a few Night Elves and Dwarves. In Mists, Varian is declared High King of the Alliance (a military rank), despite the Alliance containing individuals with much more experience such as Muradin and Tyrande (in fact, the scenario "A Little Patience" was written to discredit the idea of Tyrande leading the Alliance's armies and promote Varian) while the non-human faction leaders are kept in the background. Warlords of Draenor also seems to be a return to Warcraft II's of humans vs orcs, although the Draenei have a major role and most of the non-human Alliance characters are Night Elves.

    Visual Novels 
  • Hatoful Boyfriend takes place in a future where birds have become uplifted and taken over society, and humanity has declined. In the backstory we see that this decline was catastrophic and this was a hostile takeover, but bird society is almost identical to the human version, down to traffic laws, human-style chairs in classrooms, and Prime Ministers. Five years after the uplift virus started to spread birds wrote a declaration of independence, an act which is clearly based on human culture. Maybe birdkind was helped and taught by a few humans early on. note 

    Web Animation 
  • While the cast of The Amazing Digital Circus is formed by all sorts of bizarre creatures, protagonist Pomni looks like a normal girl in jester costume.
  • The demons in Hazbin Hotel come in all different shapes and sizes, but the most humanoid ones are the only ones that make up the main cast.
  • The Little Bit Beastly Faunus of RWBY run the gamut in terms of animal designs and characteristics when seen in crowds. Likely for animation purposes, most of the plot-critical faunus are the ones who could pass for normal humans in shape and characterization.

    Web Comics 
  • In Dragon City, the comic is about a race of dragons that live underground unbeknownst to the humans, but due to human culture saturation, the dragons essentially act human.
  • In Harkovast there are no humans, but all of the races are very human in their behaviours.
  • The Ambis in Jix are an alien race who act like Ancient Romans in that they move from planet to planet conquering them to build up their Empire. The main character, Jix suffers from the human mental ailment of split-personality, though being an intelligent race, it's possible that this might crop up in other intelligent races.
  • In SERGOM it is shown that while not one of the cast are human, they all act and go through their lives in a completely human manner. In fact, without the glaring visual representation that the crew aren't human, they can be mostly considered to act like humans.
  • The aliens in Schlock Mercenary are pretty varied physiologically (a being with two separate radio-linked bodies, a flightless avian with a prehensile tongue, a round...thing with four limbs evenly distributed on it's body, various genetically engineered terran animals, various AIs etc.), but most of them act human to a large degree, generally in the interest of humor.

    Western Animation 
  • Once Upon a Time... Life features humanoid red blood cells as protagonists. They carry oxygen to cells manned by even smaller humanoids, complete with factories, command centers and vehicles. Given that it's a show about human biology designed for young children, the heavy use of metaphors is justified.
  • Wait, shows with E. coli as the main characters? There's always Osmosis Jones, where the cast is made up of red blood cells and fat cells and cold medicine and viruses and.... oh, no, wait, they turned all of the characters into humanoids. Of course, since the show is a "Fantastic Voyage" Plot, most of the characters aren't just human, they're A human. When a dog cell get into Hector's body, it has a canine form and habits. Presumably if Ozzy and Drix had visited the dog's body, it would've been set up like a gargantuan kennel.
  • The Owl House: The Boiling Isles, the show's main setting, is home to many different bizarre creatures species. Yet the main witch species that makes up most of the main cast, are basically human-like beings with Pointy Ears and sometimes other different atributtes such as a Third Eye or horns, as well an organ that lets them perform magic.
  • Averted with Star Trek: Prodigy: none of the main characters are humans—and, since the show is animated, the alien characters are a bit more exotic than this franchise usually goes for. The only exception, kind of, is Janeway, who is actually a holographic copy of the Voyager character and serves as The Mentor. Granted, their personalities are still pretty human.

  • The hypothetical "Dinosauroid," which was a proposed possible evolutionary descendant of the troodon had it not gone extinct. Dale Russell, the guy who thought up the concept, has been criticized by other paleontologists since the 1980s, many of whom point out that Russell's Dinosauroid is overly anthropomorphic. Most paleontologists think that any possible descendant of the troodon would appear more bird-like than human-like. Some of the criticisms went too far the other way — one of them asserted, for instance, that a sapient evolved from a dromaeosaur would pick things up in its mouth, like a bird. Not implausible, since birds evolved from such dinosaurs and their hands turned into wings in the process, but picking things up is sorta what hands are for.
  • In a case of All Animals Are Humans, consider how many pet food companies boast of how their dog or cat foods contain only "real meat, not animal byproducts". "Animal byproducts" is a less squicky way of saying "ground bone meal, internal organs, and heads". Guess what parts of a kill predators in the wild tend to chow down on first? But no, our pets are just little furry humans, and have to share our dietary preferences. We certainly wouldn't want to give our dogs something made from bones, now would we? Oh, wait... Also, people in many cultures have no problem eating internal organs and heads (see Foreign Queasine), so it's not just human dietary preferences that our furry friends must share, but the preferences of a particular subset of humans (Western civilization). Bone meal, on the other hand... In fact, eating a certain amount of this stuff is good for cats and dogs, since they're adapted to it.