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The Greys

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The face of countless Alien Abductions.

Mystic: You watch the skies night after night looking for your little green men...
Bishop: Little grey men, actually.

The modern version of the Little Green Men, and currently the most common depiction of extraterrestrials.

They have the same basic body plan as humans, but they're grey, somewhat shorter than an average adult human, and have enormous heads with equally-huge black eyes resembling an upside-down-raindrop. They probably have no nose (when they do, the nostrils are thin like reptiles), and they almost certainly wear no clothes (though they will have no visible genitals). In the older stories, they sometimes got silver spacesuits. Sometimes they will be a muted blue or green instead, and very occasionally a beige variant.

Like the Little Green Men before them, they still tend to come in Flying Saucers. However, the overtly hostile version is much rarer; abduction is their primary modus operandi (which naturally may be taken as still fairly sinister of course). They will not speak in beeping noises, though, and they certainly don't know English. Mostly they will not speak at all. They may be telepathic.


What they do with those abducted varies, but performing experiments on them, especially intrusive sexual experiments, is common. Specifically, Anal Probing and the creation of Half Human Hybrids. Why aliens would be so interested in human sex remains unclear, although the standard story is that they are nearing extinction, and they need human genetic material in order to restore both their reproductive capabilities, and their ability to experience emotion. (It has been noted that their appearance and modus operandi share more than a passing resemblance to those of the more traditional depictions of the Fair Folk, suggesting alternately an innate human need to believe in such beings or the length of time they've been studying us.)

Far from being black and grey, their beliefs are usually of the Blue and Orange sort. May be Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who haven't visited us since the time of the Pyramids. Despite the fact that Earth is an Insignificant Little Blue Planet, they will be obsessed with us for reasons which may vary. Perhaps they want to help us Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence. Perhaps we are the Precursors. Perhaps they merely want To Serve Man.


In other cases, they may be benevolent or much wiser than humanity, often in a hippie sort of way, granting the abductees really trippy cosmic visions. They'll hardly ever do much more than that, though.

A variant is much taller and more slim proportioned and somewhat more human in the face. Often used when they're meant to be less mysterious and more human to interact with.

Compare with Humanoid Aliens, Little Green Men, and The Reptilians.

Not to be confused with the movie starring Liam Neeson.


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This 1997 UK advert sees an otherworldly visitor announce an imminent turning point in human evolution, namely the dual provision of gas and electricity from Northern Electric.

  • A galactic TV host in Sgt. Frog, who's even named R Grey.
  • A Grey appears as a mysterious vision in Serial Experiments Lain, in an episode which also references the Roswell incident. It is referenced in other episodes as well. Unlike the usual nudist Greys, it is wearing a red and green striped shirt.
  • In the Shaman King manga, one of the plant guardians has a grey as his spirit. Later on it is revealed that the titular shaman king position was created by these aliens, as are all the pieces of odd technology in the series.
  • America's roommate Tony from Hetalia: Axis Powers. He's an illegal alien.
  • Dragon Ball:
  • A girl in Franken Fran ends up looking like one after too many surgeries to look like a chibi anime character in real life.

  • It's implied in Transmetropolitan that a grey like alien race exists, even though all we see are transients (people who have spliced themselves with alien DNA) and it's even offhandedly mentioned Earth has economically subjugated them. It is stated that they have a colony on Earth, and having already commodified their art and culture, their DNA is the last thing they had left to sell.
  • The Sons of Silence in the Archie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic.
  • Harry Vanderspeigle, the alien protagonist of Resident Alien, resembles a Grey, albeit with a more purplish skin tone.
  • In ElfQuest, the native forms of the High Ones kind of resemble elongated, yellow-orange variants of the Greys, with a bit of Rubber-Forehead Aliens thrown in.
  • In Cazador, they come from a planet called Juno and they are much more feisty than usual, being avid football fans who sing stadium chants as they invade the Earth.
  • Superboy and the Ravers: When Byron Stark finally tracks down the aliens that crashed a saucer into his parents home killing his parents, siblings, girlfriend and unborn child back in the '50s they're short Greys.
  • Sinestro: The people of the Naidroth Collective are short, hairless, grey skinned, large eyed aliens who travel in flying saucers abducting and experimenting on sentient lifeforms. Sinestro recruits one who is disturbed by her people's activities, and Sinestro's.
  • Star Trek: Untold Voyages: In "Odyssey's End", a species of grey aliens who call themselves the Abductors (as their true name is untranslatable) study inhabited planets for signs that they were seeded with non-indigenous lifeforms by their rivals, the Preservers. The Abductors believe that this seeding process robs the relevant planets of their individuality. They are on an ancient mission to remove the seeded lifeforms and return them to their planet of origin. One of the many planets that they visited was Earth, which gave rise to the numerous stories of Alien Abduction in the 20th Century.

    Fan Works 

  • Steven Spielberg seems quite fond of using these guys:
  • The alien invaders in Independence Day resembled Greys to an extent, including doing the stereotypical abductions and being behind the Roswell crash. The resemblance wasn't immediately apparent, as they wore biomechanical suits that looked more like Predators.
  • The alien invaders in Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956) once their helmets are removed.
  • The aliens in Fire in the Sky resemble Greys.
    • Their space suits even more so resemble the typical Grey, while their actual appearance is based more on abductee Travis Walton's descriptions.
  • In the horror anthology V/H/S/2, the Greys are the titular antagonists of Slumber Party Alien Abduction. Unlike traditional mythology that depicts Greys as being short and having waists and limbs as proportionally wide as humans, here the Greys appear to be inspired by Slender Man being incredibly tall with long slender arms, slim bodies and disrupt the camera's quality with their spaceships that emit white light, extremely loud noise and causes tremors.
  • Star Wars:
    • A good example are the Arconans, the very first nonhuman species not native to Tatooine to be seen in the entire franchise (in A New Hope, 1977). They are basically The Greys...except for their brown skin, green eyes, flattened heads, and claws on their hands and feet.
    • Bith could pass for Greys except for having pink skin, even more enormous foreheads, and weird ridges where their mouths should be.
    • The Kaminoan cloners in Attack of the Clones resemble Greys but are much larger, with long necks and the males possessing crests.
    • Neimoidians also fit the grey skin, no nose, large opaque eyes stereotype.
    • Quermians and Xexto also resemble Greys, although the Xexto also have multiple arms.
  • While green, the surreal (and possibly the first color example) 1953 Alien Invasion film Invaders From Mars features bug-eyed, drone-like aliens whose M.O. shares a more than passing resemblance to the Greys. Hmmmm.
  • Mr. Grey from the film version of Dreamcatcher. They're actually disgusting shit-weasels in disguise — to look like the popular conception of aliens.
    • They also have vertical mouths full of teeth.
  • Greys appear in the Mokumentary horror film Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County, in a sinister home invasion that pre-dated Signs by five years.
  • The Eldritch Abominations in Progeny project the "Grey" image as a psychic mask. This version of the Grey has a different body plan though, stalk-like with tendrils.
  • Paul: The titular alien looks like one. It's mentioned that his image has deliberately been put into pop culture for decades to make it easier for humanity to accept when they eventually learn about his race.
  • Signs, although a bit more sinister than most renditions. Signs Greys are the Proud Warrior Race Guy version; taller (human height) and more muscular than the standard, with thicker limbs.
  • The Forgotten has an alien who looks like a creepily-smiling human. He lets his human facade drop only once... and it resembles a typical Grey.
  • Dark Skies has the Greys as the antagonists, albeit taller and more skeletal-looking than typical portrayals. The film's aliens are definitely sinister and unsympathetic (Alien Abduction being the primary threat), but not precisely evil. Rather, the film specifies that they're so advanced and so other that they're beyond human comprehension.
  • Official Denial depicts greys, which at the end are revealed to be actually humans from the future.
  • Intruders portrays greys as well as grey/human hybrids, and deals with all the tropes associated with them, from Roswell to abductions and implants.
  • Stargate villain Ra was originally a grey-like alien that somehow managed to posess a human to survive as its own body was dying. Glimpses of this as well as a wall painting depicting his true form are seen throughout the film. Just before he is nuked at the end his true appearance is revealed for the last time. Once the show was created and the Asgard introduced (see below) this was explained that Ra's previous host was an Asgard.
  • The "keepers" from Jupiter Ascending. They're employed by Balem to guard Earth and maintain the Masquerade, and have all the hallmarks of the trope, including grey skin, large heads, and no clothes.
  • The little newborn alien baby in Men in Black is a grey with tentacles.
  • Played with in a segment of the horror Anthology Film All Hallow's Eve: The alien antagonist initially looks like a Grey, but it turns out that what looked like its face was a protective mask with built in goggles- the implication is the whole "grey" image is based on gear aliens use to survive earth's atmosphere, not what they actually look like.
  • Mars Attacks!: The Martians don't exactly resemble Greys, but their UFO's and one autopsy of them mirrors the rumors spread about the Roswell incident.

  • The Greys are featured in the science fiction series, Alterien. They have all the features common to the well-known aliens of legend. They are called the Shanda'ryn in this series.
  • The Visitors in Whitley Streiber's Communion — possible Trope Codifier.
  • As well as Streiber's fiction novel The Greys. In which they are a Hive Mind of clones dying out from lack of genetic diversity. They intend to harvest humanity's DNA to help them, and they're willing to help humanity survive the Mayan apocalypse in exchange.
  • "Angel Down, Sussex" revolves around an encounter in 1925 with strange beings who are interpreted by the people they meet as angels, demons, or fairies ("aliens from another planet" not being a popular meme yet). They're about the height of a child, and bald, with large black eyes and no nose to speak of, and are associated with strange lights in the sky. Witnesses variously describe them as being dressed in silvery cloth, or being completely naked and lacking in attributes.
  • Animorphs:
    • Played for Laughs with the Skrit Na, who go around in saucer-shaped ships and regularly steal from, abduct and experiment on other species...but it's not entirely clear why, so that other aliens see them as really weird. In a more creative twist, they have Bizarre Alien Biology: a "Skrit" is a giant, barely-sentient cochroach which eventually spins a cacoon and dies, only for a "Na" to be born from the corpse. Also, the Na usually walk on all fours ("like all sensible creatures"), though they'll occasionally stand upright to use their front legs as hands.
    • It's also interesting to note that, whether intentionally or due to an authorial mistake, they're one of the oldest sentient species still in existence—they were already around when the Ellimist was mortal, which was around the time that dinosaurs went extinct.
    • The Helmacrons look and act a bit like Greys as well, except they're the size of insects.
    • Word of God says that the Andalites were originally supposed to look like this, but the publishers asked for something more creative, especially since they hoped to one day make a TV show. It sort of backfired—Applegate responded by making the Andalites with all sorts of extra complexities (stalk eyes, tail blades, etc.), which made them almost impossible to replicate when said series actually got made.
  • Played With in Harry Potter—the Fictional Document tie-in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them describes how Crop Circles are actually made by a magical creature called a Mooncalf, which comes out during the full moon and does a mating dance while standing on its hind legs. From the description, it sounds like a Grey.
  • Although the hostile take-over of Earth is not always a primary motive, the Greys (dubbed Mr. Grey by the U.S. Military) in Stephen King's Dreamcatcher were certainly a well known enemy of humanity, also capable of some shapeshifting and possession. Technically the aliens don't actually look like typical Greys; they're more like giant eel/weasel creatures who simply shapeshift into the classic humanoid body in order to manipulate humans.
  • In the novel Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan, what humans believe to be grey aliens are revealed to actually be ancient demons who want to take over everything.
  • Occasional Greys make an appearance in the Nightside series, usually as a gag (e.g. seeing one lying in the gutter with a "Will probe for food" sign). One of the Nightside's most secure locales, the Fortress, was founded by traumatized alien abductees, who are determined to fight back with guns, napalm, and possibly even nukes if the little buggers ever come near them again.
  • In Aunt Dimity Digs In, the Peacocks have a new sign painted for their pub, depicting two faces on a dark background: "One face was slightly larger than the other, but apart from that, they were identical: hairless, triangular, and delicate, with enormous eyes, plug holes for nostrils, and thin slits for mouths. They wore dark brown hoods, and their skin was a pale shade of greenish-gray." Naturally, the new name of the pub is "The Green Men".
  • A race of diminutive grayish aliens with large heads appears in Andrey Belianin's The Thief of Baghdad novel, despite the novel's fantasy genre. They abduct the main character as he is fleeing from the guards. Needless to say, a glowing disc in the sky capturing their prey made a great impression on the superstitious denizens of Ancient Baghdad. Turns out, the aliens are from a peaceful interstellar alliance who have arrived to determine the best way to integrate humanity into the galactic community. They have used genetic engineering to become a one gender species (all of them are male, as certain factors of female biological cycle can make things... inconvenient) and wish the same "boon" on humanity. As can be expected, this idea doesn't go well with the main character, who instead offers to show them the benefits of two sexes. To that end, he uses their genetic manipulation machine to turn a female cat into something that looks like the female version of the aliens. They get excited and quickly kick the main character off the ship, excited to "study" this new creature. During the novel's climax, they once again appear before the main character, this time begging for him to take the female away from them, as they found that she is drastically upsetting their balance. He just laughs at them, and they fly away.
  • The inhabitants of Callisto (one of Jupiter's moons) in Spacehounds of I.P.C. by E. E. “Doc” Smith fit this description to a T. Like all humanoids in the book, they're on the side of the good guys.
  • The Greys make an appearance in the mashup novel The Tumbleweed Dossier. One even becomes a vampire.
  • The Fairies in Discworld are described as looking suspiciously similar to this on the rare occasion that their glamour fails. There are also offhand referances in The Truth to tabloid headlines about them that mirror real world tabloid headlines about The Greys.
  • The Fnrrns in Terra have large bald grey heads and large black shiny eyes. However, they're actually quite tall, and only one of them has any interest in Earth whatsoever.
  • Doctor Who Expanded Universe:
    • The Tzun, who try to invade Earth in the 1950s in First Frontier. The standard Tzun are Greys, but they also combine their DNA with humans to create the "Nordics" reported by some UFO abductees.
    • The Nedenah are peaceful Greys in the Past Doctor Adventures novel The Devil Goblins From Neptune. A later book explains the Nedenah are one of the races the Tzun got DNA grafts from.
  • Kobolds from the dimension Kobol in the Myth Adventures series are a race of mathematicians and computer experts. They look more than a bit like this trope (smaller than Klahds, gray-skinned, big eyes in tiny faces, large heads, short limbs), aside from having dark hair instead of bald heads.
  • The Sanksians from Chrysalis, of which Ambassadors Daokat and Nakstani are members, are described as humanoids with thin bodies, large eyes, smooth, silvery skin, and recognizably humanoid sexual dimorphism. In the absence of proper humans, these serve as the Everymen alien race of the story.
  • Jean Johnson explicitly includes them in Theirs Not to Reason Why, including their name and description, as well as giving the reasons why they have so much interest in humans and keep abducting us.
  • In Christopher G Nuttall's When The Empire Falls, Humanity must fight a Gray conquest. He also painstakingly includes real UFO lore, including the creation of hybrids, and their base as being at Zeta Reticuli.
  • Upon first reading At Winter's End by Robert Silverberg, one could be forgiven for believing that the hairless, pallid, flat-faced "Dream-Dreamer" seen at the beginning is a Gray. He's not; it's simply that the viewpoint characters are sapient mutant baboons. The "Dream-Dreamer" is the last living human.
  • In Alien Secrets, the Greys, or Ebens (short for Extraterrestrial Biological Entities), are one of the three alien races known to the secret branch of the US government, the other two being the Nordics and the Saurians. Shortly after being recruited into the program, the protagonist learns not only that the Nordics are actually time-traveling humans from about 11,000 years in the future, but the Greys are also descended from humanity, only roughly a million years from now. There are actually hundreds, if not thousands, of Grey-like branches of humanity in their time period, with the stereotypical "short humanoids with large heads and black eyes" look being just one of them. Despite a somewhat similar physical appearance to the Greys, the Saurians are a completely alien species. Unlike the Nordics, who are friendly to modern-day humans, and the Saurians, who are generally hostile, the Greys mostly treat humans as cattle or lab rats. When they first made contact with the US, they demanded the President Eisenhower sign an agreement allowing them to abduct a small number of Americans each year in exchange for some technology. When he initially refused, they threatened to sign the same agreement with the Soviets instead, forcing him to sign rather than let the Russians have alien tech. The protagonist also learns that the Greys have been interfering with human civilization for millennia, studying and modifying DNA, which he finds paradoxical, since it essentially means that they are ensuring their own evolution.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The first appearance of aliens meeting this description in Western pop culture was an episode of The Outer Limits (1963) entitled "The Bellero Shield," which first aired February 10th, 1964. People began claiming to have been abducted by aliens looking just like the ones from the TV show within weeks, which we are sure is merely a coincidence.
  • The Asgard in Stargate SG-1 are the wiser, benevolent version. This is a result of Clone Degeneration; they used to look more like Space Elves.
    • It's even discussed within the show that they resemble the typical Roswell Greys, and that the Roswell Greys may even be based on them, given how long the Asgard have been observing humans.
    • In one episode an Asgard criminal named Loki spends an episode abducting people and has been doing so for some time. The implication is that he's the origin of "grey alien abduction" stories.
    • Stargate Atlantis introduces a villainous splinter group of the Asgard called the Vanir who left for the Pegasus Galaxy long ago in order to avoid the Asgard ethical constraints. Interestingly, we have no idea who they are for most of the episode introducing them, as they tend to wear bulky encounter suits.
  • The greys are the main villains of the Myth Arc of the The X-Files, performing human abduction and experimentation so they can eventually invade and enslave humanity. The Greys from space are emotionless, sociopathic, greedy, and super intelligent. The Greys born from The Virus infecting humans begin as wild, thoughtlessly-violent, werewolf-like beasts, but mature into the calm, intelligent form.
  • The "star" of the Alien Autopsy video was purportedly an alien of this type.
  • The Vree in Babylon 5; in one episode, a station ombuds (something like a judge or arbitrator) has to deal with a lawsuit filed by the descendant of a UFO abductee against the descendant of the Vree who did the abducting. Naturally, their ships (seen in a few episodes) are round and flat.
    • There were three species that resemble Greys-the Streib and the Zener were the other two. And the Streib apparently abducted people as well...
      • The other two's names are Shout Outs: Whitley Streiber wrote the alien-contact novel Communion, and Zener cards are used by parapsychologists for psychic testing.
      • Unlike some examples of this trope, the Streib are not Sufficiently Advanced Aliens and when they attempt to prey upon powerful races can get a severe thrashing. When they tried to kidnap humans the humans intercepted and destroyed their ship, and when they tried that on Minbari, the Minbari "tracked them back to their homeworld and made sure they understood the depth of their mistake" as Delenn put it.
    • The Vorlons and Shadows apparently. The Vorlons after all abducted Jack the Ripper who for some odd reason wasn't missed much by Earthers.
    • According to the fluff, the Vree are very advanced technologically, second only to the Minbari. In fact, they are the only younger race except for the Minbari to have perfected Anti Matter reactors and weapons. The fluff also claims they have teleportation technology, a feat no other race can match.
  • Greys are the ones who created the Backstep Time Travel technology in Seven Days. One particularly nasty one named Adam is a villain.
    • Well, considering that the Roswell craft was actually a prison transport with Adam as the prisoner, it makes sense that he'd be a bad apple (no pun intended). Plus, what did the humans do when the wounded alien asked for help? Hit him in the face with the butt of a rifle, knocking him into a 50-year coma.
  • The TV show Dark Skies depicted an alternate version of the history of the 20th Century, with elements of the US government either battling or working with a covert invasion by the Hive, a race of Greys. Or, more precisely, a parasitic alien race that had conquered the Greys and were now working on us.
  • The few times we see the teen aliens' guardians in Roswell in their true form, they're classic Greys.
  • Taken: The aliens are classic greys who are about four foot tall and possess large heads, oval-shaped eyes, spindly bodies and three fingers and a thumb on each hand.
  • Doctor Who: The Silence resemble Greys crossed with The Men in Black. Their enlarged craniums have hollows below their (relatively normal-sized) eyes to make them appear black and huge. They first show up in America, influenced NASA to go to the moon, and reappear in the season finale - inside a pyramid with a US flag painted on one side, dubbed "Area 52". They are eventually revealed to be biologically-altered human time-travellers from the far future.
  • The Masters in The Tripods series have more then a few characteristics of this. They inspire a pseudo-religious awe in humans, even humans free from their mind control are awed by their incomprehensibility and they have mysterious psychology. Not to mention technological power amid a world of humans reverted to medievalism.
    • Physically, though, the Masters in no way resemble Greys in either the books or the TV show (the design in the TV show is significantly different from the description in the books, though both are non-humanoid).
  • Sliders's episode "The Return of Maggie Beckett" shows The Greys. They are known as Reticulans.
    • They existed in our dimension as well, but we didn't have the benefit of a President Adlai Stevenson to reveal their existence to the public. In the alternate universe encountered in this episode, the Greys are common knowledge, and Earth has traded technology with them.
  • Star Trek
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
      • Episode "Future Imperfect" has Commander Riker in a dream sequence telepathically caused by an orphan Grey alien kid named Barash.
      • Episode "Schisms" has creatures abducting several crew members including Riker and Worf for weird medical experiments and they resemble Greys. Interesting enough as the series is already settle IN SPACE! and with a society of aliens and humans interacting naturally, these Greys are the next step; creatures from Another Dimension.
    • Episode "Little Green Men" of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine deconstructs the Roswell crashing with the Ferengi as the species that crash-landed there, more specifically Quark, Rom and Nog after they accidentally travel back in time. Other than the big heads and small size, Ferengis do not look at all as Greys.
  • Grey Aliens appear in a Bizarro Episode of The Dukes of Hazzard. Yes, really.
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • In "Beyond the Veil", Eddie Wexler is plagued by flashbacks of being abducted by grey aliens.
    • In "Dark Child", Laura Sinclair was abducted by The Greys in 1984 and impregnated, which resulted in the birth of her daughter Tammy. Clips from "Beyond the Veil" are used to represent her nightmares.

  • One of the pool tournament players in Sharkey's Shootout is "Mr. Grey", an alien wearing a black suit.
  • Some animations in The X-Files (like the extra ball and Shoot Again ones) display these. (Notably, the one on the "Shoot Again" screen is smoking.)

  • In Sluggy Freelance, a quartet of Greys are characters in the "Oceans Unmoving" storyline. From what we know of them, they were grown in test tubes, are obsessed with Anal Probing, and got to Timeless Space via attempting to "probe" a Time Machine with a rake (in a parody of XCOM). They're also a homage to The A-Team, being named Murdock, Face, Hannibal, and B.A.
  • The Cyantian Chronicles has two species that qualify. The Cil, who have to merge with other species to survive in earth's environment and accidentally created the weres that way. And the Rumuah, who created the Cyantians from human and animal DNA but largely went extinct centuries before the anal-probing phenomenon.
  • The Architects in Alien Dice, aside from spooking primitives from some backwater planet they gave galactic society Nano Machines, but left when the AD corp stole a more advanced version for use in their Dice.
  • Melonpool has archetypical "lottle grey men" in the form of the G.R.A.I.S.E..
  • Trying Human has the Greys as both protagonists and antagonists, depending on whether you're Rose or Majestic 12. To Rose, they're mostly friendly (eventually) but to the government, they're evil. The government has even invented weapons specifically designated to stop them. PERMANENTLY via 'blooms' that stop their telepathy by exploding their brains. Other alien races are present, such as the creepily adorable Reptoids and the only-mentioned Nordics, but the Greys are almost the 'heroes' of the story.
  • They appear briefly in Rasputin Barxotka, using probing to harvest human sexual energy to power their ships.
  • The Zorblaxians, an alien race frequently featured in Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal look like Greys, except they are dark green and wear clothes. In some strips they fit the stereotypes pretty well, abducting humans for experiments; while in others they live on Earth among humans and are used as vehicles for social commentary.
  • The Graidani in Star Power have some resemblance to Greys. And they used to be enslaved by their cousins the Graidan, who might be based on the taller "leaders" that appear in some accounts.
  • The Furry Comic Starfire Agency has Grays as one of apparently several alien races that frequently abduct major character Denver, and the species he fears the most as they seem to be completely emotionless and uncaring about the experiments they perform on him, and they steal his clothes and send him back in different ones each time. In one arc a hybrid that looks like a tall, gaunt canid with large black eyes appears to fix the sleeper personality his creators put in Denver, or rather the clone they replaced him with a decade ago.
  • In El Goonish Shive, when Luke contemplates Tedd, Grace and Noah as being aliens, he pictures Tedd and Grace staring at him with faces like that of Greys.

    Web Original 
  • Villain Source recommends them as useful (though potentially treacherous) allies for Big Bad Wannabes, provided you protect your anus and wash them down once a week with a soft, damp cloth.
  • One of the winning entries (now with its own page) in Bogleech's Creepypasta Cook-Off 2013 features them and gives a pretty brilliant (and terrifying) explanation for why they always act the way they do.
  • Orion's Arm has a tweak Clade modeled after the Grays. Given that Time Travel is next to impossible in the setting it's highly unlikely they had anything to do with the subculture that created them.
  • Speaking of human subspecies, this short animation outlines a potential future in which humans evolve into something resembling Greys and invent time travel.
  • SCP-2020 is a sentient humanoid made out of rubber that resembles this trope. He claims to be from an advanced extraterrestrial society, but constantly flip-flops on his claims. He's also an amateur science fiction writer, but can only think of basic outlines (of other SCPs).
  • The Jenkinsverse knows the Greys as "Corti", a species so devoted to a eugenics program that favored intellect above all other concerns that their bodies and empathy have both allegedly atrophied (though in practice, they never had much of either to begin with). Corti are self-interested to a fault, but far from stupid: indeed, they're far more likely to make a mutually beneficial deal than an unfair one, because the mutually beneficial deal ensures that angry customers don't try to kill them. Still, they have a sideline in abducting specimens of "non-sapient" pre-FTL species for "zoological research" so that, when said species do join sapient civilization, they will find Corti merchants waiting with an assortment of suspiciously well-designed medicines, cybernetics and technological luxuries.
  • Mesut Eyezil in The442oons.
    "Eyezil, phone home!"
  • Partway through his Tomodachi Life LP, Vinny added several identical Miis called the Jahns, which heavily resemble the Grays (although due to the limitations of the Mii Maker, their skin isn't actually gray). They are revealed to be a group of alien researchers stranded on Earth after their ship crashed; Vinny mentions that he intends to study them, in hopes of seeing how they differentiate. However, they quickly turn out to be more than they seem, as they quickly turn the tables and begin studying Vinny, as well as making deals with Isaac and Hailey. Then, in Episode 48, they finally put their plans into effect, converting the other islanders into more Jahns, with Vinny himself under their control. Fortunately, they're driven off by Mulder and Scully two episodes later; apparently, they just wanted chicken cutlets the whole time.
  • The most commonly depicted alien species in Bedtime Stories (YouTube Channel)', where, among other things, are said to be responsible for several Alien Abduction incidents, as well as mysterious disappearances and killings.

    Western Animation 
  • The Greys make several appearances in South Park. They visit Earth to record everything as an intergalactic reality show. The Greys antagonize humans (especially Cartman for some reason) but praise cows.
    • There's an interesting aversion in one episode. As Chef and the boys are escaping the Greys, they suddenly see a light behind them and scream that the aliens are after them. However, it turns out that it's not a UFO chasing them but four Greys in a sedan, one of whom leans out of a window with a gun (a plain old Earth gun) to shoot at the escaping vehicle. Then they get The Dukes of Hazzard treatment.
  • Subverted in Futurama: Greys do appear but are depicted as backwoods hunters, humorously reminiscent of those who they reportedly abduct. Fry gets his nose stolen when he's abducted by them.
  • In the Tick episode "Tick vs the Big Nothing", an alien race called the What disguise themselves as Greys in order to avoid their enemies the Hey (who happen to look like Arthur.).
  • Roger from American Dad!
    • In one episode, Jesus meets Roger and mentions that Roger's people are one of his father's "side projects".
  • Phil Ken Sebben of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law mistakes The Jetsons for Greys, scattering his office with drawings of them with the distinctive large, black, almond-shaped eyes.
  • The Galvans from Ben 10 resemble this, albeit frog-sized.
  • In the CBBC Doctor Who animated serial "Dreamland" there are a couple of Grey aliens that were captured in Area 51.
  • In the Archer episode "Nellis", Krieger and Pam insist that the U.S. government is harboring these at Nellis AFB. They're right, and the Greys even walk around so casually that they enter an officer's club without bothering to check who is in there first (Archer & Co.). Although there is some suggestion it was All Just a Dream.
  • Steven Universe: Greys are something of a recurring symbol for Peridot—who herself is heavily based on their green cousins. In "Log Date 7 15 2" she puts on a pair of Goofy Print Underwear dotted with their heads, her tape recorder has a sticker of a grey's head, and Peridot falls in love with a large stuffed Grey doll in "Too Short To Ride", her desire to win one being part of the catalyst that starts the plot.
  • Men in Black introduces two races:
    • The Arquillians are exactly like a grey in their look, except for their tiny size. They are a pacifist race and pass as humans using big human-like suits.
    • The Baltians, another grey-looking alien race, albeit they are taller than humans (as some greys are allegedly in Real Life). The first race un doing "official" First Contact with humans and the ones giving humans all sorts of technologies that the MIB decide when they go public. They also travel in flying saucers.
  • The Roswellians in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command are design after the Greys (tho they are a little bit greenish) and appear in several episodes, but they are mostly an inversion of the Alien Invasion and Roswell That Ends Well tropes as their planet is actually the receptor of alien visits and not the otherway around.

    Real Life 
  • The Grey image may have originated with H.G. Wells essay "Man of the Year Million", a conjecture of what humans might evolve into in a million years as a technical civilization: having grey skin, an enlarged brain, and a weakened body. The image began showing up in UFO reports not long after it entered the media. Historically, descriptions of UFO aliens always matched the dominant pop-culture images of the time: Little Green Men in the late '40s, big scary monsters in the B-movie '50s, Human Aliens in the '60s when TV aliens were just actors in weird costumes. But by the time the Grey image came along, UFOs had become a pop-culture trope themselves and began feeding back into the media. So The Greys began appearing in productions like Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The X-Files, becoming a self-reinforcing trope.
  • Though they weren't the first to report humanoid grey-skinned aliens with large eyes, the alien abduction claims of Betty and Barney Hill in 1961 helped bring the Grey alien image to prominence in popular culture.
  • According to Kenneth Grant, Aleister Crowley met a Grey Alien named LAM after a series of magick rituals known as the Alamantrah Working.
  • The Las Vegas 51s minor league Baseball team are so called after Area 51. Their mascot? A Grey with baseball seams on his large head.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Grays



Furons are the stereotypical grey aliens that invaded Earth in the 50's to harvest human's brains to replenish their Furon DNA.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / TheGreys

Media sources:

Main / TheGreys