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Take Me to Your Leader

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"If it's not too much of a cliché, take me to your leader. If it is too much of a cliché, take me anyway."

An alien spaceship lands on Earth. The extra-terrestrial walks out and finds a human. The extra-terrestrial makes the following statement:

"Take me to your leader".

Now a Dead Horse Trope, and never said seriously, or at least not without others complaining about what a terrible line it is. Even then, it's very rarely used unless I Always Wanted to Say That. See also How to Invade an Alien Planet. May be preceded by the words I Come in Peace.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Japanese culture actually has its own equivalent of this phrase: "We are aliens" ("Wareware ha uchuujin da"), usually said with some kind of distorting voice mask.
  • In Doraemon after Nobita getting ill of staying up late due to being pranked by Gian and Suneo's toy UFO presented as UFO sightings, Nobita and Doraemon retaliates further... with life-sized remote-controlled UFO as well as remote-controlled alien model, to speak threateningly to Gian and Suneo demanding to meet their leader. All it accomplishes was Gian and Suneo making a fool of themselves with the local police and the next day, the schoolteacher.
  • Parodied in Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet. When Ledo arrives on Earth, he can't speak the local language and must rely on his ship's AI to act as a translator. The AI informs him that "I have requested an audience with their commander."
  • Not directly used, but invoked in Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne, when Lan tells Madoka that she's an alien; Madoka asks if she really means a "Take Me to Your Leader" type alien. The answer is a non-surprised (she's apparently also familiar with the trope) yes.

    Comic Books 
  • Annihilation: Conquest #2 — Ronan the Accuser makes a big speech on how the bugs who tried to kill them really should unite with them against the evil robots, and ends it with "Or in other words.... Take us to your leader!"
  • In a Green Lantern comic from the 1970s or 80s, the alien Katma Tui lands on Earth, says the phrase in all seriousness, and gets taken to the United Nations. However, the comic said something to the effect of "though the phrase is clichéd, the alien says it with no humor in mind" or something like that.
  • World War Hulk: When Korg confronts a police officer and makes demands that he can't realistically meet (and is informed as much), bystanders are all barely containing their laughter or rolling their eyes as he insists that they "Take me to your leader."
  • A Star Trek/X-Men crossover inverts the usual human/alien roles when Logan asks Commander Spock to take him to his leader.
  • In one Woody Woodpecker comic, Woody dresses up as an alien to play a prank on Splinter and Knothead. However, they find out and decide to prank him back... and then a real alien appears (who happens to look just like Woody's costume). His main line is "Take Me To Your Leader", repeated in vain as the woodpecker kids expose him to a Humiliation Conga. Finally he gets fed up and escapes, but runs into Woody who is exhilarated that he gets to meet a real alien with the fame and fortune to follow, and offers to take him to his leader. However, the alien has had enough.
    - NO! I am going back to MY leader and telling him that everyone on Earth is BONKERS!
  • Luke once tells the extremely friendly Zeltrons this in Star Wars (Marvel 1977).
  • "Far Out Friend", an Archie Comics story, features an alien who uses this line, although he admits it is corny.
  • Played straight in Oink! when an alien met an American. The subsequent encounter with Ronald Reagan led the alien to give up: a planet with a leader like that isn't worth conquering.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: When the Saturnians poison and kidnap Wonder Woman Steve Trevor takes the Saturnian ship he'd stolen earlier along with a contingent of Holliday Girls and flies to Titan where he demands to be taken to their Emperor.

    Comic Strips 
  • One Bloom County comic sees an alien step out of a spaceship and demand Opus take him to his leader. It's an election year, however, and as Opus lists off the candidates, the alien eventually gets so exasperated that he climbs back in his ship and leaves.
    • Another appearance is in Berkeley Breathed's next strip Outland. This time, after summarizing the candidates, Opus instead directs the alien to Bill the Cat.
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    Alien: Take us to the Supreme Earth Potentate.
    Calvin: Uh... Um… Speaking.
  • In an early Dilbert strip, long before it became exclusively office humor, aliens ask Dogbert to take them to his leader. Dogbert asks them to specify what kind of leader: spiritual, economic, political, or military? They choose political, so Dogbert asks: city, county, state, federal, or world political leader? They choose world, only for Dogbert to tell them that Earth doesn't have a world leader. In the end, he directs them to a grocery store that claims to be the price leader...
  • Parodied in one early Garfield strip. Garfield is playing with his food (which Jon tells him is for eating). As part of that, he puts tomatoes over his eyes, a lime in his mouth and celery stalks on his ears, and holds a banana in each hand as he says, "Take me to your leader, earthling, or I'll atomize your face."
    • This whole scene, "leader" and all, is seen in animated form in Here Comes Garfield.
    • In another strip, vegetarian aliens landed on earth and one alien asked Garfield, "Take me to your broccoli!"
  • One strip in The Far Side has two aliens visiting Earth and using a dictionary to deliver the famous line to the humans present at their landing. Unfortunately, the one doing the talking screws it up.
    Alien 2: Take me to your stove?! You idiot — give me that!

    Fan Works 
  • Mentioned in passing in The Next Frontier; apparently it's a tired old cliche in Kerbal popular fiction as well, and Bill jokingly (probably) threatens to make Jeb walk home if he can't come up with something better to say if they do make First Contact now they've reached another solar system. They do, and he does.
  • From Captain Proton and the Planet of Lesbians.
    Proton sighed, raised his hands, and gave the Authorised First Contact Protocol of the Patrol Fleet of the Incorporated Planets. "OK dolls. Take me to your leader."
  • The human ship sent to make First Contact with the Thranx in Incompatible System is called We Come In Peace. Not that the Thranx are likely to get the reference (although, with their similar thinking, it's not unlikely they have an analogous expression).
  • Rocketship Voyager
    • Lampshaded when it's pointed out they can't say this because the aliens they want to make First Contact with won't speak their language. Later the Caretaker wants The Captain of Voyager brought to him, so he sends his mercenaries with a Universal Translator to fetch her.
      "You [emphasis] Alpha/Captain [question fact]?" scoffed the Hirogen, staring down its snout at the short Terran.
      "Me, Alpha Captain, confirm fact," said Janeway, glaring right back at him. "Now take me to your leader."
      "I can't believe you actually said that," muttered Chakotay.
    • When she first meets Nee'Lix, the alien starts talking in his own language and Captain Janeway replies, "If that meant: 'Take me to your leader', I'm already here."
    • Later with another group of aliens Janeway says, "Aren't you going to take me to your leader? Or at least a tour guide?"

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Billion Dollar Brain. Harry Palmer is being used as a courier, but wants to meet the man in charge so he demands payment of 200 pounds for the package he just delivered. His contact doesn't have the money, so he quips, "Perhaps you ought to...take me to your leader."
  • In Dentist On The Job two men infiltrating a military lab pretend to have a conversation to act casually, one of them says this. An odd example in that neither of them is an extraterrestrial, just trespassers.
  • In Good Boy!, Hubble the dog says this to Owen, his owner, after Owen gains the ability to understand dogs. Hubble is from the dog star Sirius 7.
  • Iron Sky. The Moon Nazis bring their prisoner, celebrity astronaut James Washington, to Earth to get their hands on computers that aren't the size of an entire room. After landing in the United States they demand that Washington take them to the President.
    Washington: I thought I'd just take you to a Mac store.
  • Reign of Fire. A convoy of heavily-armed Americans turn up and point their guns at the settlement. Their commander shouts out to the settlement, "WHO'S IN CHARGE?" Creedy looks at Quinn, saying; "Well that would be you then."
  • Mars Attacks! has the Martians set up a negotiation conference with the White House... simply so they can vaporize Congress in a surprise attack.
  • Bumblebee's main antagonist Shatter asks this to Agent Burns when she and Dropkick encounter a road block of US Army soldiers.

  • Made fun of in this joke:
    Two aliens land in a godforsaken part of Earth, walk around a bit and find a small gas station. It's night, and no human is around. The aliens mistake the gas pump for a kind of robot and commands: "Take Me To Your Leader!" The pump, of course, says nothing. The alien again threatens: "I said, take me to your leader!" The pump still isn't impressed. Now the alien gets angry: "If you don't take me to your leader right now, I'll shoot you with my laser!" But the other alien gets nervous: "I wouldn't mess with that guy... better be nice." The first alien isn't doesn't care and points his laser at the pump: "Now take me to your leader, or I'll shoot you!" The other alien panics and runs away. Since the pump does nothing, the first alien shoots, and the gas station goes BOOM. By a sheer miracle, the alien survives. He asks his companion "How did you know that would happen?" - "I didn't", the other one replies. "But if I see a guy who can stick his dick in his ear, I surely don't mess with him!"
  • When the aliens arrive on earth, they land in {{Insert country of choice here, so as to illustrate the point}} and demand to be taken to the Leader. The person they are speaking to then grins a knowing sort of grin and assures the visitors they are happy to oblige. The aliens are then introduced to {{Insert name of world leader who is perceived to be a dolt, a bumbling idiot, corrupt, incompetent or generally a waste of space, here.}}
    The aliens look at each other in consternation or horror. Choose your punchline:
    "We came all this way - for this? what a fucking waste of time and effort!"
    "Yes, but the other Earthlings chose him as their leader. Therefore they really are a primitive life-form."
    "Don't suppose you could keep the bastard, could you?" the other humans asked, hopefully. "And don't bother warming the probes up."
  • There's a joke about how if aliens ever landed and wanted to speak to someone in charge, they'd take one look at a human dutifully picking up and bagging their dog's poop and conclude the dog is the one they need to talk to...

  • Discussed in John Scalzi's Agent to the Stars. When first meeting Joshua, Tom wonders why the Yherjak haven't followed this trope by landing next to the White House and asking to speak to the President. Joshua explains that it was their original intention until they arrived in Earth's orbit and started picking up our signals and learning that humans have an appalling number of movies featuring "evil aliens", some of which look like the Yherjak. After spending decades brushing up on Earth's culture (mostly gleamed from Hollywood films and TV shows), they sent Joshua to contact Tom's boss, so that he finds an agent (Tom) to prepare humanity to receive the Yherjak with open arms despite their appearance and smell.
  • In Calculating God, the trope is played with: the aliens arrive and say "Take me to your geologists." They are looking for evidence of behavior of the god they believe in, and could care less about who's in charge locally, except as it concerns the geological evidence they are looking for.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • Known Space: In Protector, the alien whom Nick Sohl and Luke Garner meet on Mars says this to them. The twist: the alien is a human asteroid miner, Jack Brennan, who has accidentally been transformed into a human version of a Pak Protector.
  • In the short novel The Librarian (2015), the people who have an alien in custody are talking about figuring out his intentions. One points out, "he asked to talk to his wife, not to 'take him to our leader'."
  • Out of the Silent Planet: The first thing Weston and Devine did upon meeting Martians was ask to speak to their ruler. When the Martians replied that they're ruled by an emissary from the divine, the humans decided the ruler is some man-made idol and went back to Earth to get a human sacrifice to offer to it. Said sacrifice ends up being Ransom, the book's protagonist.
  • Star Wars Legends:
  • In James P. Hogan's Voyage From Yesteryear, a military expedition from Earth tries this on a colony of Libertarians IN SPACE! and gets rather stymied by the fact that there aren't any leaders.
  • In Sphere, after the intelligence from the sphere asks the first contact team "Is there one control entity?", one of the team members laughs because of the similarity to the trope name.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played straight in an episode of Andromeda, where a representative of the Consensus of Parts says this to Hunt and the crew. The kicker is, the only reason he said that was because he thought that's what aliens are supposed to say to humans upon meeting them first.
    • Also subverted in that the Consensus is not actually looking for the ship's captain. They're looking for the ship's AI, as they consider organics to be inferior beings.
  • Brother Cavil in Battlestar Galactica (2003) does that when he is outed as a Cylon Spy. They take him to the brig instead.
    [after having several guns pointed at him.] Well, this is an awkward moment. [Beat] Yes, uh, he's right, I am a Cylon. And I have a message, so... take me to your leader.
  • Blake's 7. Inverted in "Powerplay" when Servalan (the President of the Terran Federation) is on the spaceship of a neutral species. Tired of how everyone is giving her the runaround, she puts her foot down and demands that their leader be brought to her immediately. It works.
  • Doctor Who:
  • Averted in The Goodies. Big Bunny plans to Take Over the World with an invasion of super-intelligent rabbits from the Moon. So he teaches his vanguard to speak the only rabbit words that humans will respect. "Ehhhh, what's up, Doc?"
  • Spoofed in an episode of Legend of the Seeker. Kahlan has approached a D'Haran prison disguised as a Mord-Sith who has captured the Seeker:
    Kahlan: Take me to your warden.
  • Lost: In Recon Sawyer delivers this line to Widmore's people as a deliberate mock-up.
  • My Favorite Martian: Lampshaded when Uncle Martin needs to see Tim's boss urgently.
    I never thought I would say this, Tim, but... take me to your leader.
  • Inverted and lampshaded in Power Rangers Megaforce. When a new "alien" teammate arrives, Troy tells him it's time they took him to their leader. Jake cracks up at the "classic alien move line".
  • Red Dwarf, "Rimmerworld":
    Lister: This is going to sound like a bit of a corny line, but... I can hardly bring myself to say it.
    Rimmer-Clone: Say what?
    Lister: "Take us to your leader."
    Kryten: Oh, sir, how could you?!
  • In the recent slew of Saturday Night Live's lampooning of Donald Trump, there was the sketch "Alien Attack Cold Open". When aliens attack the United States, Trump won't actually do his job as president and just keeps gloating about him having defeated Hillary in the election. Then the aliens arrives declaring they won and their leader tells this line to Trump. Trump, panicking over what to do, declares the general to his left as the President.
  • An alien on Spitting Image said this to British politicians David Owen and David Steel.
    David Owen: Well, now, that's a bit tricky. If you could wait until after the next election...
  • Jack O'Neill of Stargate SG-1 uses this sometimes. Inverted in that he's a human speaking to aliens on their own planet. There's also an element of I Always Wanted to Say That to it.
  • Star Trek: Strange New Worlds: In the pilot episode, during a covert away mission to an uncontacted planet, Pike realizes they have no choice but to reveal themselves. He and Spock step off an elevator in front of a bunch of astonished locals, he smiles wanly, and he delivers the line. It works - he's promptly taken to meet with the planetary leader!
  • Lampshaded in an episode of The Tomorrow People (1973) when a species called the Sorsons arrive on Earth and make this request, TIM mentions that the Sorsons have been monitoring Earth broadcasts for a long time and are aware of the cliché:
    TIM: The Sorsons are not without a sense of humour.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • In "Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up?", Avery says this to the Hi-Way Café jukebox that had spontaneously started playing music while police officers are searching for an alien. The jukebox of course ends up being an illusion created by an alien, and not an alien itself.
    • In "Black Leather Jackets", Fred, who is an alien in disguise, asks Stuart Tillman to take him, Scott and Steve to his leader.

  • The band Hanzel und Gretyl released a song called "Take Me To Your Leader". The music video uses a lot of scenes from old 1950's sci-fi flicks.
  • Spoofed by Tom Lehrer in "Whatever Became of Hubert?", on That Was the Year That Was:
    "We must protest this treatment, Hubert!"
    Says each newspaper reader;
    As someone once remarked to Schubert,
    "Take us to your Lieder!"
    ... (Sorry about that!)
  • Canadian band, Prism, has a song called "Take Me To the Kaptin" in which the narrator laments how messed up our world is. He wants to go to another world and invoke this trope.

    Print Media 

  • Babes In Outer Space, by Steve Lovett. Our heroes are confronted by the beautiful alien babes and ask to be taken to the man in charge. The women just laugh and take them to see their queen instead.

    Video Games 
  • Played straight in Lunar 2. Although she looks perfectly human and is not from very far away, Lucia arrives in the beginning of the game as an alien on a mission to meet with the local divinity, the Goddess Althena. Hiro is the first person she meets, and she calmly but immediately demands he take her to see the goddess.
  • So uh, a spaceship crashed in my yard.:
    Aria: Greetings Earthling. Take me to your leader.
    You: What, seriously?
    Aria: No. Your leaders are arseholes. Take me to your hardware store. I require parts to fix myself.
  • In the Rhythm Heaven Megamix minigame "First Contact", the alien asks "You want to meet my leader? ...Gotcha."
  • Tamagotchi: Zuccitchi says this as a joke in the intro to the CD-ROM adaption. He never gets to say it to a human though.
  • The Wonderful 101 has Luka ask to meet with the GEATHJERK's leader multiple times. This is so he can actually join the alien armada.
  • Subverted in Xenoblade Chronicles X, when this line gets used in a First Contact scenario with the Ma-Non. Unfortunately, the Ma-Non have no leaders (they're anarchists of the non-bomb-throwing kind) and the three random Ma-Non who just happened to be standing next to the spaceship when it landed (nobody had bothered to arrange a welcoming committee) got perplexed as to what to do next.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • A bumper from The Beatles show had Ringo confronted by a little alien who floats to Earth.
    Alien: Take... me... to... your... leader.
    Ringo: [doubling over laughing] "Take me to your leader?" You must be kidding with that old line! [Angered, the alien uses a ray gun to zap and shrink Ringo to tiny size; to the camera] Now here's a word from our leader.
  • In Ben 10: Alien Force, said by Gwen when Ben and company break out of the Highbreed prison in "War of the Worlds: Part 2."
  • Quoted directly by Nina in Camp Lazlo to what she thought were aliens.
  • In Ed, Edd n Eddy, Ed shouts this as a Pre Ass Kicking One Liner when he steps into the ring to wrestle the Kanker Sisters. He immediately loses.
    Ed: My mom says I can't fight girls.
  • The Flintstones: In "The Swimming Pool", Barney jokingly says this after spooking Wilma with his spear-fishing suit.
  • In one episode of Futurama, the cast, along with Zapp Brannigan, meets with a tribe of Martians. When one of them, Singing Wind, introduces himself as tribe chief, Zapp's reply is this line.
    Singing Wind: (glances in confusion) ...moving along...
  • Lampshaded in an episode of Garfield and Friends. When Little Green Men land in Garfield's backyard, they say this, and Garfield replies "I didn't know aliens really said that!"
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: In "House of Pain", Lord Pain commands Billy to take him to his master. Billy then takes him to his master — the TV set.
  • Pixar Shorts: In the Mater's Tall Tales episode "Unidentified Flying Mater", Mater asks a Flying Saucer if he should "take [him] to [his] leader". Mater then takes him to his liters of motor oil.
  • An Al Brodax Popeye cartoon had Popeye, Olive and Wimpy accidentally sent to the moon on an experimental rocket. They find the moon is made of cheese and are approached by a little cheese sentry:
    Popeye: What's your name, little fella?
    Sentry: Krantz, captain of the guards.
    Popeye: Takes me to your leader, Krantz!
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle; during the Moon Mice arc, Gidney and Cloyd tell Rocky about how Mr. Big conquered the Moon and forced the Moon-men to build giant metal-munching mice. When a Moon-man said, "Let me guess, you want us to take you to our leader?" Mr. Big answered, "Don't be silly. I am your leader!"
    • In the very first episode, Rocky and Bullwinkle arrive from the moon via makeshift rocket, and various diplomats believe them to be moon people.
      Rocky: Bullwinkle, they think we're moon people.
      Bullwinkle: They do? (to diplomats) Then, take me to your president!
  • In a Halloween episode of The Simpsons, during the 1996 elections, the aliens ask this and are informed that America may be switching leaders soon. This gives the aliens an idea, and they abduct and replace both Clinton and Dole.
  • In Transformers: Prime Silas tells Knock Out this line in Season 2's "The Human Factor". Ironically, it's a human asking this line to an alien robot in Nevada. Knock Out agrees to have Silas meet Megatron, and then Megatron pins Silas to a dissection table.
  • A non-alien variation in the Young Samson and Goliath episode "Salamandro". When Samson captures one of the villain Salamandro's Mooks, he tells him "Take me to your leader" (i.e. Salamandro).
  • Said by the Zod expy alien in Men in Black episode "The Supermen in Black Syndrome", then he smiles at the camera.
  • Watership Down. Hazel gives the line straight in "The Shadow of Efrafa". Though given that the leader is General Woundwort, that's pretty awesome in itself.

    Real Life 
  • One Fun T-Shirt shows a Grey alien smoking a joint with the words: TAKE ME TO YOUR DEALER.
  • When John Glenn was orbiting in the Friendship 7 in 1962, the mission planners weren't exactly sure where the capsule would land—somewhere near Australia, as in any part of Australia or the surrounding oceans or islands for a pretty far distance. Glenn was worried what the aboriginal Australians might think when seeing a man in silver emerge from something that fell from the sky so he took a short speech with him rendered phonetically: "I am a stranger. I come in peace. Take me to your leader, and there will be a massive reward for you in eternity."
  • According to The Laws and Customs of War, officers that are P.O.W.s can demand to speak to an enemy commanding officer (usually of equal rank), such as to bargain with their captors about their treatment.


Video Example(s):


Simpsons 1996 Election

Treehouse of Horror VII includes an election in which aliens kidnap and impersonate candidates President Bill Clinton and Senator Bob Dole. And though unfamiliar with democratic campaigning, they quickly get the hang of it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / ElectionDayEpisode

Media sources: