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The Men in Black

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"You'll dress only in attire specially sanctioned by MIB special services. You'll conform to the identity we give you, eat where we tell you, live where we tell you. From now on you'll have no identifying marks of any kind. You'll not stand out in any way. Your entire image is crafted to leave no lasting memory with anyone you encounter. You are a rumor, recognizable only as déjà vu and dismissed just as quickly. You don't exist. You were never even born. Anonymity is your name; silence, your native tongue. You're no longer part of the System. You're above the System. Over it. Beyond it. We're 'them'. We're 'they'. We are the Men in Black."

Black suit. White shirt. Black tie. Sinister Shades. Ominous and overbearing manner. Speaking in code. No indication of emotions or a personality. Ostensibly some kind of covert operative, but very conspicuous. They are simultaneously imposing and nondescript, which fits their mission perfectly.

The Men In Black are the generic intimidating agents. If they have names, expect them to be along the lines of an obvious pseudonym, one of the most common Anglo-Saxon names (although they're often described as being very racially ambiguous), such as "Mr. Smith", "Mr. Jones", "Mr. Brown", etc., or else they'll be Mister Strangenoun. They're there to loom over you and make you feel afraid, whether they're sent by The Government, Shadow Government, The Mafia, a Corrupt Corporate Executive, or aliens from outer space. They're almost never there to help you - and if they are, you probably won't like their methods.

Generally, they're in the business of keeping secrets. Laser-Guided Amnesia is a pretty common tool in their arsenal, especially in more idealistic versions, wiping out a memory you're probably better off without so you can go back to a normal life. More cynical portrayals just bully you into keeping your mouth shut. Or just make you disappear, one way or another. Less often, they'll make An Offer You Can't Refuse: join or forget. Or die.

Conspiracy Theorists live in fear of the Men In Black. They know too much.

Despite being the symbolic presence of The Oppression Of The Man, The Men in Black have the mystique of being badass and cool, so heroes can be associated with them. In those cases they are merely protecting panicky Muggles by doing what's ultimately best. Watch out for Conspiracy Redemption if they go too far, though.

The Men In Black tend to have access to vast material resources through their inclusion in budgets that never appear on the public books. They often have new super-secret weapons and devices and are in constant contact with Mission Control via Obligatory Earpiece Touch. If The Men in Black are hunting a character, he should look over his shoulder for the Van in Black and scan the skies for the Black Helicopters. Finally, The Men in Black frequently do not officially exist, so good luck finding out anything about them.

The term comes from fringe UFO research, where the Men In Black have become the primary boogeymen. The earliest citation comes from 1953: UFO researcher Albert Bender, who published a small newsletter called "Space Review", explained a missed issue (which he had promised would blow the lid off the secrecy about UFOs) by claiming that "three men wearing dark suits" had approached him and ordered him "emphatically" to stop publishing material about flying saucers. Years later, he would admit that he just didn't have the promised material and made up the story to explain why, but not before milking the story with a 1963 book called Flying Saucers and the Three Men In Black, and spawning an entire mythology.

Or maybe that's what they told him to say...

Usually male, Distaff Counterparts are somewhat uncommon. May employ (or have a division that is) a Creature-Hunter Organization to keep Muggles from discovering monsters from The Masquerade, and are also frequently associated with Artifact Collection Agencies.

Compare with Secret Police. See also the Men in Black franchise, named after and based upon this trope.

Not to be confused with a single Man in Black, or Black Shirt, or the related but distinct trope Evil Wears Black.


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  • An advert for Mars bars had the Men in Black questioning a First Contact Farmer about his out-of-this-world experience, though whether it involved Alien Abduction or eating a Mars bar was left vague.
    MIB: Spread out and search. We're looking for some kind of energy source.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Oddly, the title page for one chapter of Ai Yori Aoshi has Tina and Mayu dressed as Men in Black. This has no relationship to anything in the story.
  • Attack on Titan: The First Interior Squad of the Military Brigade, particularly Kenny Ackerman's Anti-Personnel 3DMG Squad, are the primary government agents in charge of mainting the Government Conspiracy in the Uprising arc.
  • Roger Smith from The Big O, emphasis on the "B": everything he wears (apart from his white shirts) has to be black, as does anything worn by his butler and android companion. Subverted, though, in that he's not a shady government agent, rather a freelance negotiator, but he is in the business of keeping secrets, like his Humongous Mecha-based vigilantism.
  • A bunch of these show up in Marika's cafe in the pilot of Bodacious Space Pirates. Later, Chiaki identifies them as working for various government agencies. Possibly subverted in that they were mostly there to protect her.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Tomoyo had her Men in Black (or should we say Women in Black) female bodyguards. They also show up in Tsubasa in the alternate world of Piffle.
  • Case Closed's black-clothed organization, who are responsible for turning Shinichi into what he is now. Though they seem to be a very small criminal gang, they are extraordinarily powerful, mainly because the world at large doesn't even know they exist. They basically live off of this trope, committing crimes by blackmailing others into doing it for them, killing those who learn of their existence and anybody they might possibly have contacted, and even killing members whom they consider even a potential threat. Many of their members even wear black outfits and shades (when not in disguise)! It is implied the organization is at least somewhat larger than what we see (how large is anyone's guess) and that the main foes are in fact several of the top ranking members that report directly to the boss. Also, they are always in disguise, because their very existence is a secret to the world and they want to keep it that way.
  • Mr. K from Crayon Shin-chan is a parody of this trope, but he's more of a Badly Battered Babysitter to a spoiled rich kid than actual agent.
  • Digimon:
  • The main characters of Ga-Rei -Zero- are essentially MIB working to protect the ignorant masses from supernatural threats.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry has strange "janitors" seen at different points in the story. It's not clear what they are doing, who organized them, or even if they're not just normal people and any suspicious actions they appear to do is just a manifestation of a character's paranoia. They're part of a Government Conspiracy to cover up the medical research going on in the village.
  • The GOP in Kurau Phantom Memory is populated by Men in Black, with the one in charge being a female version, complete with cool sunglasses and bad-ass attitude, inspired by her hatred for the two protagonists and their kind.
  • First District in My-HiME deployed MIB to "clean up" memories of encounters between the public and the monstrous "Orphans".
  • The Nasuverse has two groups of supernatural MIB's: the Enforcers of the Mage's Association, and the Executors of the Holy Church. The Enforcers are sent out to kill magi who threaten to reveal magic's existence (or who are just pure evil and need to be put down), while the Executors are sent to kill anything supernatural that is a threat to humanity. The two groups often come into conflict with one another, resulting in bloody skirmishes, though on rare occasions they will cooperate as well. Ciel from Tsukihime and Kotomine Kirei from Fate/stay night are both Executors, Bazett Fraga McRemitz from Fate/hollow ataraxia is an Enforcer. Both groups predominantly wear black (priest robes for the Executors, business suits for the Enforcers).
  • In chapter 214 of Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Kaede and Setsuna are dressed quite literally as Men in Black, though perhaps WIB would be more appropriate. Regardless, in looks they fit the part perfectly.
  • NERV agents in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Unusual in its depiction, as the agents act like real agents. They're only in a couple scenes throughout the whole thing, but their influence and subtlety is implied to be enormous. They don't go Cowboy Cop. They don't need to.
  • In Noir, the "Knights" deployed by the Ancient Conspiracy.
  • CP9 in One Piece qualifies, given that everyone thought that the Cipher Pol divisions only went up to 8 (similar to how MI6 exists as the super-secret extra number in the James Bond continuities), but it's different in that CP9 has a number of very colorful characters who operate under what are presumably their real names. A number of literal "men in black" work for them as Mooks, however. Another alternative would be Baroque Works, whose upper membership operated in a more conventional cloak-and-dagger scenario, with people like Mr. 2 a.k.a. Bon Clay a.k.a. Bentham.
  • This Eye Catch from Pani Poni Dash! shows several of the main girls dressed like the MIB.
  • The Mooks of the Kiga Group in Penguindrum wear a more classic combination of black overcoat and fedora, but they are definitely men in black in appearance and action.
  • In Reborn! (2004), since it centers on the mafia world, practically everything is all about black suits and ties. The younger tenth generation kept it generic by wearing white shirts, but their older versions go with colored shirts depending on their flames and TYL Tsuna wears a pinstripped suit.
  • Lain has several encounters with the MIB watching her in Serial Experiments Lain.
  • In Sgt. Frog episode 9, Fuyuki theorizes that the reason Mutsumi, one of Natsumi's classmates, wants to come over is that he's secretly a MIB and wants to capture the aliens (Keroro and friends).
  • Tsuritama has Akira and his crew of Indians. They all appear to be a part of a mysterious organization called "Duck" (as in the aquatic fowl) that monitors alien activity on Earth, namely Haru and Coco.
  • Urusei Yatsura:
    • Shutaro Mendo has an army of Men in Black bodyguards, usually calling them "Men in Black Glasses" due to their signature shades. In a subversion, they're all incompetent idiots who frequently misunderstand his commands and are easily fooled — in one chapter of the manga, Lum, Shinobu and Ryuunosuke easily infiltrated them by putting on black suits and glasses.
    • His sister, Ryoko Mendo, is served by a team of kuroko, kabuki stagehands that officially aren't there and fulfill her every order, including playing her horse when she's feeling particularly dramatic. They pop up from the strangest places and are much more organized than her brother's minions. Of course, that does not stop the two groups having tea together when their masters are not throwing grenades at each other and complaining about their difficult life.
  • Waiting in the Summer has this as a Running Gag in the movie they're making, and then it turns out that a member of the main cast is their leader, and a relative of another one who was referred to a few times is a member of the real MIB. They even show up in the final episode as The Cavalry!
  • Saruwatari (best known as the Hair Guy) and other Industrial Illusions and Kaiba Corp employees from Yu-Gi-Oh! have this theme going on.

    Comic Books 
  • The Big Book of the Unexplained has a chapter on Men in Black, of which there are several varieties. All have access to various suits and uniforms and unusually well-taken-care-of older model cars:
  • The Men in Black as a concept is brought up multiple times in The Department of Truth, and either the Department of Truth or Black Hat acts as a stand-in to these, or they manifest as Tulpas that the Department have to deal with regularly. It's hard to tell which one starts and the other begins given the nature of this world. The comic also references to the Men in Black franchise multiple times, claiming that they don't have neuralyzers or fancy Science Fiction spy-gadgets to help maintain normalcy.
  • Parodied in some European Donald Duck comics with the secret bureau T.N.T. (Tamers of Non-human Threats), of which Donald and his cousin Fethry are freelance agents. Their job is to take care of supernatural or alien threats against humanity, while keeping such things hidden from the general public — though there's an almost complete lack of Laser-Guided Amnesia (they resort to making up stories about special effects or humans in disguise), no code names, and the uniform resembles a janitor's outfit more than the usual stylish suits and shades. All this, combined with the fact that they're always in a protagonist role (and their boss being a Reasonable Authority Figure) makes them much less sinister than many of the example of this trope.
  • In Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol run, the Men in Black are only one subgroup of a massive organization that has different suits for ostensibly different purposes (the Men in Green, for instance, are more scatterbrained, whereas the Men in Mauve are implied to be completely ruthless).
    Man In Green: There are ranks and there are orders. There are faces at every window. Just be glad they didn't send the Men In Mauve.
  • In Fables, the army of wooden soldiers that attack Fabletown dress in typical MIB attire.
  • Subverted in The Filth, where the secretive operatives of The Hand actually wear day-glo suits and wigs. It turns out the suits are designed to inspire psychosexual urges to make whoever looks at them want to repress them like a bad memory, in effect making them invisible but still able to exert authority.
  • Gold Digger has Agency Zero, which was a traditional Super Team that switched over to this trope to avoid the downsides of traditional superheroism (supervillains going after them or their loved ones, etc.)
  • In the universe of Little Victory, England, and several of the Commonwealth nations, employ the O.D.A., who go with a Men in Black look utilizing trench coats and bowler caps.
  • The Maxx featured something of a parody of MIBs, a squad of quasi-informed, dark-suited supernatural investigators who are led by psychic messages delivered from the ashes of their dead founder, which they carry around in an urn.
  • The 6-issue comic that Men in Black was originally based upon. There's a number of differences: one, threats both explicitly supernatural and mundane are also investigated; two, Kay is a lot nastier, acting more like a walking branch of the SCP Foundation; three, we don't see any other MIBs apart from Jay and Kay.
  • The Sandman: Endless Nights: In Destruction's story, black-suited men in sunglasses arrive to shut the dig down, aware of the spacetime distortions that have occurred on the site. Rachel angrily leaves, but it turns out to have been for the best, as the peninsula disappears from reality shortly afterwards.
  • Stormwatch (2011), in the New 52. They've been protecting the planet since at least the Middle Ages, completely in secret. As one member puts it, superheroes are amateurs: Stormwatch are the professionals.
  • Gleefully subverted in an issue of Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, in which two Men in Black show up to debrief the turtles' friend Casey Jones after an encounter with an alien robot. However, the agents are actually aliens themselves, testing human reactions to see whether Earth is ready to be contacted openly by their race.
  • An issue of The X-Files comic has a brief background gag of a UFO enthusiast at a convention mistaking the heroes for this. Humorously, he refers to Scully as "a female MIB"

    Fan Works 
  • Advice and Trust: The Nerv's agents. Asuka calls them "Gendo's private Gestapo". After the battle against Bardiel they arrested Shinji and Asuka per orders of the Commander, and after the battle against Zeruel they dragged both teens to meet Gendo. In no instance they were remotely kind, warm or agreeable.
  • Child of the Storm has this to various degrees with SHIELD, who're publicly known, and considerably weakened by the reveal of the HYDRA Agents within their ranks at the end of the first book - though unlike in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it survives largely intact, thanks to the HYDRA infiltration not being as comprehensive as in the MCU. However, they can and do still do a pretty good imitation, especially during their steady resurgence in the sequel, Ghosts of the Past.
    • MI13 dial all the tropes up, especially after Peter Wisdom a.k.a. Regulus Black becomes Director, excepting only their anonymity - in supernatural circles, at least, some of their most prominent agents are known and feared. However, even the upper ranks of the British government don't know very much about them or what exactly they do, with Wisdom being entirely capable of secretly rearming the HMS Belfast as 'Project Wolftrap'. By the end of Child of the Storm and the start of the sequel, it is increasingly implied that Wisdom is the de facto ruler of Muggle Britain behind the scenes, and he's making a play for Magical Britain too.
  • Desperately Seeking Ranma features Ms Aoyama. She dresses in the sharp black suit and sunglasses mode, regardless of time of day or current lighting conditions. She generally has final discussions with those whom 'her employers' are displeased with. Who does she work for? 'That information is unavailable.' She seems to see all, know all, and would seem to give liquid nitrogen a cold.
  • Higher Learning: NERV's Section-2 agents. They were seen escorting Gendo when he went to have "words" with Kaoru. Their role and modus operandi was explored a bit when Shinji left NERV for a short while.
  • Last Child of Krypton: NERV's Section-2 agents wear black suits and sunglasses and are tasked with protecting the pilots. However they often are useless or a nuisance. Kaji and Misato got several disputes with some of them.
  • In Marionettes, Trixie finds herself being hunted by a pair of these named Cover Story and Gear Shift. In addition to being The Stoic and wearing the proper attire, they prove to be Implacable Stallions and shrug off everything she throws at them. Their words imply they're part of a larger organization. For one thing, Spoiled Rich and Sweetie Drops are retired agents. It is revealed their organization is called S.M.I.L.E., but they use The Stallions in Black as an informal name. They were originally created to safeguard the heroes and counter Princess Celestia should she ever become a Nightmare, but lost sight of their goal and are obsessed with manipulating fate.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, they're mentioned by Hisashi while arguing with his wife over whether or not to adopt the alien baby they found. Later, a group of mysterious unnamed individuals intervene while Detective Shitsugen is interrogating the Midoriyas and Bakugous, taking over the investigation as Izuku blacks out from the stress of his Super-Hearing.
    Hisashi: If anyone finds out that we were the ones who took him, our lives are over, Inko. I work in government, I hear whispers about this all the time. Guys in black suits will be at our doorstep in the dead of night to cart us off for interrogation and torture. After that, all of our neighbors and family will think we just disappeared, when really we 'disappeared'. Do you want that to happen?
  • Once More with Feeling: The NERV's special agents. Shinji mentions them when he goes to talk Fuyutsuki in chapter 9. They are seen in chapters 11, 12 and 13 when several Section-2 bodyguards have to follow Asuka, Rei, Hikari and Misato around and carrying their purchases while they go shopping.
  • Persona: The Sougawa Files has the Shadow Syndicate, a group of thugs led by Nobuyuki Itou. They start to oppose the Freedom Fighters when they begin getting into Persona business, and this leads to the two forces clashing.
  • In the Pony POV Series, an Alternate Universe is shown were a group of these keep the pony races ignorant of one another through brainwashing, memory erasing, and kidnapping. Laughter!Applejack and her group end up defeating them and freeing the world from their group.
  • NERV’s Section-2 security detail in The Second Try look and act like this. One of their actions was arresting Shinji and Asuka after Kaworu's death.
  • In Discworld crossover fanfic Slipping Between Worlds, when a group of soldiers from "Roundworld" inadvertently arrive in Ankh-Morpork, they set off a The War of the Worlds mass panic about alien invasion. Two of the displaced British squaddies, having stolen civilian clothes, blend into a rally in Hide Park and, un-noticed in the crowd, gleefully watch Ankh-Morpork's homegrown UFO nuts demanding an end to Vetinari's clearly blatant cover-up of proof of alien visitation. Discreetly monitoring the speakers, there are indeed Men In Black - Lord Vetinari's Dark Clerks, assigned there to listen and take notes....
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: NERV's Section-2 agents look and play the part: they wear black suits and black sunglasses and act as agents or bodyguards. However they are completely useless (Asuka can easily slip her so-called security detail, and Shinji's bodyguards were unable to prevent his kidnapping) or downright evil (they often harass people or torture witnesses, and their chief is experienced in torturing people to get information).
  • In Thousand Shinji, NERV and SEELE's agents wear the proper attire and their tasks include protecting their bosses' secrets, watching over the pilots, spying on the pilots... They find several grisly fates at the hands of the above-mentioned pilots, since the Children don't like people spying on them. Later on, Shinji and his family use men in black as their security detail.
  • They hang around the President of Amarican in Twillight Sparkle's awesome adventure, and prove their badass nature by being the only characters ADMIRAL Awesome can't beat in a fight.

    Films — Animated 
  • The heroes of Castle in the Sky are pursued by a quartet of Men In Black (whom they at first call "kuromeganetachi", "the guys in dark glasses"), who indeed turn out to be shady government agents (with an even shadier hidden agenda).
  • Agent Rick Dicker from The Incredibles is older than the usual MIB, his suit is brown, and his demeanor is more that of an overworked bureaucrat that a sinister government agent. All the same, he uses bribes and Laser-Guided Amnesia to keep superhero Secret Identities secret.
  • Lilo & Stitch subverts this trope with Cobra Bubbles, who dresses like a Man In Black despite being only a social worker making sure Nani takes care of Lilo. This becomes a Double Subversion at the end of the movie, when we discover that he used to be a CIA agent responsible for dealing with alien visitors.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Blues Brothers: Jake and Elwood are dressed in black suits, white shirts, and shades. When they relentlessly question a woman while trying to get their band together, she says "Are you the police?" and Dan Aykroyd replies, in perfect police deadpan "No, ma'am. We're musicians." Jake and Elwood's costumes were left over from SNL skits in which they played Secret Service agents guarding Chevy Chase.
  • The Brother from Another Planet is an escaped alien slave. Two alien slave-hunters are after him, dressed in black suits and posing as INS agents. They are utterly unconvincing in their oddly-affected manner. One woman angrily bawls them out in Spanish, the words "Johnny Cash" and "Roy Orbison" heard in her rapid-fire shouting.
  • The Strangers in Dark City are actual aliens, which shows in the way they get details wrong: notably, their idea of common, everyday names includes "Mr. Book", "Mr. Wall", and "Mr. Hand".
  • The Men in Black in the Halloween franchise are followers of the Cult of Thorne, the Pagan cult that actually made Michael Myers so he could kill his family in a form of Human Sacrifice out of ancient Celtic tribes customs. They only appear in movies 4, 5 and 6, as they are their own continuity (the franchise has a lot of reboots).
  • Hellboy (2004) features regular human agents in suits and ties alongside the superpowered specialists. They tend to not fare particularly well.
  • The Hunt for Red October makes Men in Black of the CIA when Adm. Greer has his I Was Never Here moment.
  • I Come in Peace: After the two aliens have a shoot-out in a convenience store, the crime scene is quickly cordoned off by these people and the case closed. It's implied that Larry's boss is one of them, as he reveals that they want to make a deal with the alien and ignore how many he's already killed on Earth.
  • Several films dating from the time of J. Edgar Hoover featured G-Men as an early version of the MIB. Those steely-eyed, strait-laced, straight-jawed, two-fisted suit-and-tie and hat-wearing (to hide the stuntmen) heroes of the silver screen. Ah, the days when you didn't use Laser-Guided Amnesia, you just told people to shut up in the name of the US Government. And they did! Of course, all this came crashing down when Hoover's image got revamped into that of a power-hungry transvestite, wantonly violating the civil rights of anyone whose politics he didn't agree with.
  • Spoofed in J-Men Forever, in which the tight-assed straights... umm straight-jawed men-in-tights fight an alien attempt to take over the world with Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll.
    Barton: That kook said something about aliens being behind the whole thing.
    The Chief: Aliens? Suuure. Listen, Mexicans and Canadians are always a problem. Next thing you know, they're going to be blaming it on little guys in shiny suits from outer space!
  • The bleached-blond Strangers of Knowing also seem to embody this trope. They're either angels or aliens, depending on your interpretation.
  • Laserblast has a character who's obviously supposed to be one of these despite him wearing the clever disguise of an olive-green casual suit straight from the depths of The '70s.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Iron Man defies this trope to an extent. S.H.I.E.L.D. fulfill many of the traditional MIB roles, but are affable, a bit goofy and not very powerful (despite their high-tech lockbreaking device).
    • In Thor, the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. dress and act like Men In Black, even though they're portrayed as fairly polite and good guys once you get to know them.
    • Other examples of the MCU show this well may be Obfuscating Stupidity, and that the friendly/goofy facade may well be a deliberate tactic to throw potential threats off or to gain trust faster. Coulson is, of course, the prime example.
    • This impression is confirmed by Captain America: The Winter Soldier, when its showed just what it's like when SHIELD sheds the Obfuscating Stupidity facade. Admittedly, the fact that they're controlled by HYDRA doesn't hurt.
  • The Agents of The Matrix (though they technically wear dark green instead of black, save for Smith in the sequels) are programs that act as the Machines' enforcers within the titular Lotus-Eater Machine; they're generally tasked with hunting down human rebels, though as shown in the second film, part of their job is also hunting down programs from their own side that have gone rogue. As part of the Masquerade, they're given very generic names ("Smith", "Brown", and "Jones" in the first film, and the "upgraded" ones "Jackson", "Johnson", and "Thompson" in the second) and seem to hold some ambiguous government position that gives them command over both the police and military.
  • The Men in Black movies and cartoon are unusual; they present Men in Black in a positive light, acting as an immigration and naturalization agency for extraterrestrials, acclimating alien refugees to live among Earth society in secret and policing any manner of alien activity for the safety of all on the planet. Anything bad they do is usually Played for Laughs, such as the uncertainty over how much brain damage the neuralyzer does.
  • In The Monster Club, Pickering heads The Blini (or B-Squad): a group of vampire hunters who dress in black suits and bowler and carry Wooden Stakes and hammers in violin cases.
  • The alien-hunting organization, hidden beneath a cement factory, run by K. Edgar Singer in Muppets from Space.
  • The President's Analyst defined the cultivated image of the G-man early on (in 1967), showing them as suit-and-tie and hat-wearing, quick-to-kill, unquestioning drones, all shorter than their stunted leader, whose grudge against the title character is based on moral differences. Most other spy agencies fare little better: a major scene has spies of all stripes sneaking up on the analyst in a grassy country meadow. All of them, from FBI men to African agents with tribal face scars, to a Genghis Khan-looking Asian, wear the same regulation black suit and tie (only a Russian agent has the sense to dress like a farmer).
  • While Jules and Vincent from Pulp Fiction are not government operatives (in fact, they're actually hitmen for Marsellus Wallace's mafia), they dress in black suits and ties for the same intimidating effect of more "official" Men in Black.
  • Repo Man features one of the most popular concept of the Men in Black before Men in Black came out. They're all tall, pale, and have unnaturally shaped and colored blond hair.
  • Transformers Film Series:
    • Section Seven from Transformers (2007) is an Over-the-Top Secret agency created by Theodore Roosevelt to deal with Cybertronians and what they could give to mankind (it turns out that stuff like the microchip was developed from reverse-engineering Megatron). Their immense secrecy gives the heroic U.S. Army soldiers about to pull an insane stunt (take the Allspark away and right to a city for extraction) a good answer to agent Simmons (up until then a hard-core Smug Snake) ordering them to stop:
      Agent Seymour Simmons: I'm ordering you under S-Seven executive jurisdiction.
      Sergeant Robert Epps: S-Seven don't exist.
      Captain William Lennox: Right, and we don't take orders from people who don't exist.
    • After Section Seven is disbanded, Transformers: Age of Extinction has as human antagonists a super-secret anti-Cybertronian CIA division called "Cemetery Wind", that has no problem flaunting how much above the law they are by threatening to kill innocent people out of sheer sadism.
  • Tremors 6: A Cold Day in Hell: Cutts is a shifty government agent who wears Sinister Shades and all-black winter clothing. Mac even name-drops the trope while observing him.

  • In Adaptation. by Malinda Lo, sinister federal agents are spying on Reese, the main character. They kidnap her and take her to a secret government facility. Lampshaded- when her friend refers to them as Men In Black, Reese asks, "Isn't that a Will Smith Movie?"
  • Neil Gaiman's book American Gods did something similar, with the "Spookshow" taking names like Town, Wood, Stone, and World. The character of Sam commented on this by asking if they had driven here in Mr. Car, along Mr. Road, in a Mr. Lampshade Hanging. One of the titular gods comments that, like pretty much everything else in the book, "they exist because everybody believes that they exist."
    • The fact that they are, collectively, the Anthropomorphic Personification(s) of conspiracy theories takes them to the point of being a De Construction: when we get a POV from one of them, it notes that he is unsure whether he works for the government or went into the private sector, recalling it different ways on different days (and rationalizes this to himself by saying that "only suckers still think there's a difference"), speaks almost entirely in cliched one-liners, and has no real identity as himself. And because all the Spookshow agents are just MIB tropes without any idea what they're really doing (since none of the theories agree on that), it's easy for Mr. World to come in and take over, just by acting like the sort of person who would be running a huge conspiracy.
  • The Organization in Matt Ruff's Bad Monkeys, complete with NC guns (Natural Causes) which make it look like their victims died of either a heart attack or an aneurysm.
  • In Daniel Faust series, Vigilant Lock in Harmony Black's spin-off series is a black ops government agency that deals with magical threats under the table. They were originally the latest in a series of catspaws for the eastern United States demon courts to nettle the larger courts to the west, but Harmony and her team officially take control of it in Cold Spectrum and its cover identity becomes its real identity.
  • Declare, by Tim Powers, features a mixture of international intrigue and the supernatural; there are several spy agencies hidden within larger spy agencies responsible for dealing with the djinn. Since the book draws its roots from hard espionage, though, said spies do not wear black suits and sunglasses, nor are they there to cover things up from the public. (Though they do cover things up from pretty much everybody as a matter of course.)
  • From the same author we have Lord Vertinari's "Dark Clerks" in the Discworld series, nondescript men in nondescript dark suits who are occasionally called upon to stand around looking vaguely ominous on the rare occasions when the Patrician needs some Living Props to help him intimidate someone, and are members some sort of rather vaguely-defined intelligence service. (But most emphatically not any kind of Secret Police, however, because that's not Vetinari's style.) Most of them are said to be former Scholarship Students from the Guild of Assassins, including Inigo Skinner from The Fifth Elephant, the only individual Dark Clerk to have a notable speaking role.
    • The History Monks are nicknamed 'The Men in Saffron' in a nod to this trope note .
    • In Thief of Time, when the Auditors of Reality take human form, they appear as very serious, very formal men (and a few women) with names like Mr. Green, Mr. Black, and Miss Red, who don't quite understand how to act like regular humans. When The Igor first sees them, he assumes they're lawyers.
  • Kim Newman's Diogenes Club stories include "The Undertaking", an Edwardian British group of Men in Black, who are a rival organisation to the heroes (the Diogenes is, essentially, UNIT to the Undertaking's Torchwood). They have Code Names like Mr. Hay, Mr. Bee and Mr. Sea, which is probably a Shout-Out to the names in Men In Black. Their first appearance in "Angel Down, Sussex", where they show up briefly to carry off the evidence of an alien visitation, is ambiguous about whether they're the homegrown variety of the trope or the variety that's aliens covering their tracks; later appearances fill out their backstory.
  • The Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Alien Bodies features a UNISYC (20 Minutes into the Future UNIT) infiltration of Area 51. There are a number of men there who wear dark suits despite the heat, and dark glasses despite the fashion in the 2060s being for light-reactive contacts.
  • The Everything Box has the Department of Peculiar Science, which investigates (and employs) paranormal entities from The Greys to Fallen Angels to zombies. They're highly secretive and make liberal use of Perception Filters, but don't seem to care much about the Masquerade beyond the fact that it makes their bureaucratic work easier.
  • The Ackerberg Institute in Michael Dahl's Finnegan Zwake books are these, down to the sunglasses and obvious pseudonyms.
  • Good Omens has The Them speculate about MIB, who they reckon probably cause traffic accidents because of all the big black cars going around telling people they haven't seen aliens. Unlike most of Adam's ideas they don't show up, although it's possible that America did suddenly start swarming with them and none of the main cast heard about it.
  • The Unspeakables in Harry Potter are the wizarding world's version of this, although the secrecy is emphasized more than the intimidation. They conduct confidential research on forces of nature like spacetime and death while the magical public knows very little about what they actually do, and they're unable to talk about it (hence the name).
    • The Wizarding World also has the Obliviators, whose job it is to "Obliviate", or wipe the memory of, any muggle (not closely related to any wizards or witches, and even then...) who witness magical acts or manage to discover the truth of the Wizarding World.
  • Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King features the sinister "Low Men in Yellow Coats" who, in addition to their gaudy yellow outfits, drove cars that exuded a feeling of being alive (they were). They're actually aliens searching for the main character's Reality Warper friend, an old man (played by Anthony Hopkins in The Movie). They're not afraid to bribe and kill to get what they want either, though they don't so much go in for memory-suppression. This is expanded upon in The Dark Tower.
  • Hunt For The Skin Walker the book mentions reports of men driving around in black Cadillacs in a place where seeing a car would be extremely unusual.
  • Ralph's initial impression of the "Little Bald Doctors" is of alien MIBs in Insomnia.
  • Played for laughs in the Kitty Norville series. The titular character notices that human employees of a vampire happen to act like Men in Black - well-dressed, mysterious, brusque and emotionless, and the normal law enforcement is at their beck and call. However, once Kitty sees behind the scenes she realizes that they are more or less normal people, and they were oblivious to their appearance until Kitty pointed it out. She uses them to intimidate someone who's being annoying and they enjoy it.
  • The Laundry Files has, well, The Laundry, the British department tasked with dealing with cosmic threats. Unlike most of their counterparts here, and like British Government departments in real life, funding is a main concern and middle-managers are perhaps a slightly bigger threat to national security than shoggoths. Also mentioned are the Black Chamber (the US counterpart, with far better funding and far fewer morals), the GSA (modern German Men in Black, nicknamed the Faust Force), and the Thirteenth Directorate (Russian agency, descended from certain KGB elements), among others. The "black suits and sunglasses" part is averted, though, since they are civil servants.
  • In Monster Hunter International, the Americans' Monster Control Bureau uses intimidation and various kinds of underhanded acts to maintain the masquerade by silencing witnesses to supernatural creatures, often acting as if they're from other federal agencies to hide the existence of the MCB from the general public.
  • The Mothman Prophecies the book talks about MIB agents snooping around town where the sightings were going on. This book is, in fact, probably the Trope Codifier, and is based on witness testimonials from actual people author John Keel interviewed about a rash of UFO/monster sightings in rural West Virginia. The movie made no mention of them. The documentary Eyes of the Mothman devoted an entire chapter to them.
    • The Men in Black described were the creepiest sort as well. They had reptilian features, always sported a Slasher Smile, didn't quite seem to know how to use the correct inflections in their speech (much like the G-Man from Half-Life), were completely puzzled by everyday objects, drove dated cars that were somehow brand new, and sometimes giggled unnervingly. The one journalist Mary Hyre encountered was extremely short and acted like a Cloud Cuckoo Lander. One of them called himself "Indrid Cold", whom Woodrow Derenberger claimed used telepathy to speak to him.
  • Victor Charlie in Mr Blank and its sequel is a Man in Black in service to the Little Green Men, though it's possible he has other more sinister motivations (how you can get more sinister than that is best left to the imagination). His brain has been repeatedly scrambled to the point that he can only communicate in pseudo-science words and outdated slang.
  • The Gentlemen of Last Resort in Nation by Terry Pratchett, who owe allegiance to the British Crown but not to the actual monarch, and know the full version of the Magna Carta, which is seventy times bigger than the official version. They wear black suits, and are named Mr. Black, Mr. Brown, Mr. Red and Mr. Amber.
  • Once More from the Top by A. Scott Glancy has two apparent MIBs interviewing a old soldier who survived the Innsmouth operation, but also subverts the trope by having it be revealed that the Secret War against the Deep Ones is a shoestring operation because the authorities decided to suppress the evidence rather than confront it (see Delta Green).
  • In the Paradox Trilogy, the Joint Investigatory Spatial Anomaly Task Force, more commonly known as the Eyes. They are tasked with both killing phantoms and hiding their existence from the general public, including mind-wiping or killing those who learn too much.
  • The premise of the Red Room series is that Derek and Shannon are both members of one of these organizations. They Lampshade it by mentioning that it would be the opposite of their job (to cover-up supernatural events) be so conspicuous as to wear the 'uniform.'
  • Subverted in Mercedes Lackey's S.E.R.R.Ated Edge universe in which her covert government elf hunting organization dress are the Men In Green. The green is because of their special suits, which make them invisible to the Sidhe they're after.
  • H. P. Lovecraft mentioned a sort of precursor version in The Shadow Over Innsmouth — Federal authorities descend on the titular Town with a Dark Secret, dynamite half the buildings, send many of the inhabitants off to secret prisons, and launch torpedoes at the offshore underwater city. The Deep Ones take it as just a temporary setback.
  • Sharpe features a subversion: Lord Pumphrey is as far from inconspicuous as it is possible to get - he wears flamboyant outfits, is very Camp Gay, incredibly effeminate... which just makes people underestimate him. He's considerably more ruthless than Sharpe himself (and Sharpe is no wilting violet) and, while officially a diplomat working for the Foreign Office, he acts as a one-man M.I.B for the British government. He can start a war with three watermelons, twenty slaves and a copy of Ovid. And end one with just the Ovid.
  • The Solomon Code sort-of has this with the secretive DEVAS organization, but they're never very mysterious from the book's POV. To outsiders, though, they would be.
  • Iain Banks's novel Transition utilises the trope in the form of a faction of L'Expédience, a parallel-world hopping secret service, suborned by Madame d'Ortolan to suppress the search for extraterrestrials across the many Earths. Subverted somewhat in that Banks gives L'Expédience an internal politics and diverging aims.
  • In Unique we never even learn what agency Agent Smith actually works for. We only know that he regularly acts as liason between the Federal government and the assorted supernatural creatures living on U.S. soil, and that he believes the government can be a powerful force for good. “As long as you abide by the rule of law, you are subject to the law. And that includes... protection by the law.”
  • The mysterious men in the Wayside School books are there mainly for surrealistic flavor. There are three of them: a bald man, a man with a black mustache, and another man with a black mustache who also carries an attaché case. Their appearance is random, but usually has a connection to a character making life decisions. In one instance, they offer an emotionally fragile boy a choice between safety or freedom. When he chooses the latter, they hand him a contract, which he signs, and then leave. No explanation is given as to what that contract means, although it's shown that that character no longer has to do anything he doesn't want to, like take tests or do homework.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In one episode of Bones, Hodgins calls in a false criminal report to ensure that a suspect, who is protected by Diplomatic Impunity, is detained at the airport long enough for the FBI to arrive. At the end of the episode, he is seen being led away by men in black suits for interrogation. Being Hodgins, he is ecstatic.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the season one episode "Out of Mind, Out of Sight", involving an invisible girl, ends with her being taken away by two black-suited FBI agents who speak entirely in monotone stock quotes, with the reveal of some kind of underground Spy School full of invisible people. The concept later returns with The Initiative in season 4, their unnamed successors in seasons 5 and 6, and their predecessors in the Angel season 5 episode "Why We Fight".
  • Subverted with Argentine comedy show Caiga Quien Caiga and its multinational versions (Brazil, Chile, Italy and Portugal to name a few), in which the "MIB" part stays only in the presenters and reporters' attires; otherwise they are very (hyper)active and the funny-guy types, even though they deal with Serious Business from time to time (most of the staff in the Brazilian version, for example, is made up of stand-up comedians, after all).
  • One episode of Castle had Rick Castle call in some help from a friend who at least played the part of being in the CIA, though whether he really was or not is only useful in figuring out whether the dead guy in the case Castle and Beckett are working on was actually in the CIA. The friend comes and goes into the wind, a la Batman, has to be very secretive about everything, and, in not so many words, tells Beckett and Castle, "I can tell you, but I might have to kill you."
    • Another episode has a MIB played by Lyle Lovett.
  • The Cleaners on Charmed (1998) exist for the sole purpose of preventing magic from being exposed to the world. When magic is exposed they will either rewind time, alter reality, erase memories or in extreme cases erase people from existence to keep magic a secret.
  • In the SciFi Channel's game show Cha$e, the "Hunters" are Men in Black tasked with hunting down and tagging the contestants. They move at a brisk walk, stone-faced, unless they see the runners. It can be surprisingly creepy, despite the amounts of Narm their "heads up displays" provide.
  • Whoniverse show Class (2016) has the sinister school inspector "Paul Smith", whose dress sense and behaviour perfectly play up to MIB stereotypes. He is in fact a robot, and works for a Path of Inspiration rather than the government.
  • At the very end of Community episode "Epidemiology" they show up and roofie everyone so they'll forget the zombies.
  • CSI once lampshaded this part, when one of their suspects was actually being watched by the government. Grissom calmly said, "I guess we'll be expecting some men in black suits with Ray-Bans around anytime soon."
    • A band of men in black suits once tried to steal a body from the morgue (the as-yet-unidentified father of another Victim of the Week) only to be thwarted by Morpheus AKA Dr. Langston and a ton of Bullet Time shots. These didn't work for the government, however, as they had a number of Russian mob tattoos.
  • The main character of Dark Skies first joins, then goes on the run from an MIB-type organization (Majestic 12).
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Idiot's Lantern" features a few sinister men in black from the fifties who make people disappear. They're just regular, overwhelmed government agents who have no idea what to do about faceless "zombies" other than hide them.
    • The Big Bads of the Eleventh Doctor's run are the Silence, a.k.a. the Slender-Men in black, who look like The Greys in suits. They can make people disappear (by disintegrating them), and messing with your memory is their main gimmick — you forget they exist as soon as you look away from them.
  • One episode of Even Stevens has Louis and Twitty believing Beans is an alien, which is further reinforced when a MIB is after Beans. Turns out he works for the library and was after an overdue book.
  • The "Hands of Blue" in Firefly acted very MIB-like. As seen in "Ariel", they deal with those who know too much by making them weep Tears of Blood with a nasty sonic weapon.
  • Fringe has an interesting variation in the form of The Observers, strange hairless men in black suits and hats, who exist outside of normal time, have been present at virtually every important historical event, and speak with an odd, stilted inflection. They subvert the usual behavior of the MIB in that their Blue-and-Orange Morality dictates absolute noninterference (except when fixing an earlier interference). As such, they try not to interact directly with people at all, do not employ Laser-Guided Amnesia, and make no attempt to cover anything up. They just...observe.
  • A cooking show, Alton Brown's Good Eats, has fun by invoking this trope whenever they make note of FDA standards. There are always three Men in Black, and the only one who talks is played by Brown himself.
  • Heroes: Primatech, for most of the series. Later on, the Department of Homeland Security gets in on the action.
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The Series had a group of these. They were involved in all sorts of conspiracies, up to and including the meaning of the pyramid on the back of one dollar bills. They are themselves aliens, and are killed by the family by tricking them into eating shrunk car tires that expand to their original size shortly afterwards.
  • JAG: Lampshaded by Admiral Chegwidden in "Vanished" when an F-14 has disappeared in The Bermuda Triangle.
    Rear Admiral A.J. Chegwidden: Oh, lieutenant, if you get a visit from any strangers in black suits and sunglasses, don't talk to them.
  • Kamen Rider Dragon Knight has the No Men, a sort of No Celebrities Were Harmed version of the Men in Black. They were attempting to capture the Kamen Riders (succeeding only with the main character, until he escaped) until they were able to determine who the real bad guys were.
  • Lost has several creepy suited characters at certain points, such as a mysterious lawyer who demands proof that Kate is Aaron's mother, which she isn't, or Richard Alpert watching baby Locke through a hospital window (which adult Locke told him to do) and particularly Matthew Abbadon, a Scary Black Man who had posed as a physical therapist to tell Locke to go on a Walkabout (thus ending up on The Island), set up the Freighter Crew AND knew about the Oceanic Six hoax. However, the term MIB, or Man in Black, is most commonly used to refer to a mysterious, currently unnamed man wearing black clothes who appears in the fifth season finale and is the archenemy of Jacob, the "Man In White."
    • As of season 6, we now know one other longtime name for the Man in Black: the smoke monster.
  • Mr. Robot: Elliot is aware that he's had delusions in the past about men in black stalking him, but the events of the show make him more paranoid that he might really be under observation.
  • Agent Terrence Meyers in Murdoch Mysteries has some MIB elements, especially in his first appearance, the episode "The Annoying Red Planet", which is a UFO conspiracy story.
  • In a delightful call-back to the more classical conspiracy Man in Black, the NUMB3RS episode "Dreamland" featured a mysterious Pentagon agent by the name of Floyd Mayborne. Claiming to be from a nebulous "Department 44", he wore outdated clothing, spoke in outdated phrases, displayed at once incredibly in-depth knowledge of advanced technology yet was fascinated by mundane objects and confused by social norms, not to mention his inexplicably high clearance, "invisible cell phone," and ability to seemingly appear and disappear at will, the mysterious Mr. Mayborne fit all the criteria for the classical Man in Black. In subversion of the more modern interpretation of the Men in Black, he was not only a willing and helpful part of the investigation, but was also instrumental in solving the case. Furthering this, he wasn't trying to cover up anything alien, but stop development of a weapon that wasn't just failing to work properly but was soaking up money like a sponge.
  • Ocean Girl had an MIB organization called PRAXIS (Preventative Response And eXtraterritorial Intelligence Service) as antagonists in Season 4. They even had their own faux-Mulder and faux-Scully.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue's members were approached, and recruited, by pairs of these. The Rangers themselves, by contrast, were much more open than any previous team, demorphing in public after their first battle.
    • In Power Rangers S.P.D., SPD becomes an MIB organization whenever time travel becomes involved. After their second team-up with the Dino Thunder Rangers, Doggie goes so far as to erase both team's memories - including his own.
    • In Power Rangers RPM, a five-year-old Dr. K was basically kidnapped by Men in Black and placed into an organization called Alphabet Soup.
  • The last season of Relic Hunter introduces a men in black-style secret organization that interferes with Sydney's investigation and recovery of American Indian relics that would've proven the existence of aliens visiting Earth. They're shown to possess extensive surveillance and hacking capabilities, and when they find the opportunity, they systematically confiscate every last shred of evidence and destroy what they can't take, leaving absolutely no trace of of the relics behind and rendering Sydney and company's efforts for naught.
  • In "Welcome Aliens" from Resident Alien, Max Hawthorne and the girl Sahar pay a visit to the cabin of the Hugh Mann alien Harry Vanderspeigle, whose human disguise Max can see through. Harry claims that he's trying to restore his "radio" (actually his doomsday device) to contact his people and Sahar asks Harry why he doesn't simply fly away from his spaceship and realizes from the look on his face that the government took it. She tells him that it could be any of a number of agencies, but that it's probably the Men in Black, though they're not all men and don't all wear black. He asks why they're called that then and she replies that it sounds better than "People in Clothes." Later, said "Men in Black" (Lisa Casper and David Logan) have dinner with Max's parents, posing as a married couple who are having problems having children and Lisa Casper sneaks into Max's room and discovers his piece of Harry's spaceship. Later, Max returns home and sees the incident on a recording on his computer. Played with later on in that when David Logan asks General McAllister if they're Men in Black, she tells him that he's watched too many movies and that she would have called her superiors if she wanted them involved.
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures Season 4 episode "The Vault of Secrets" features the return of the Alliance of Shades from the Doctor Who animated serial "Dreamland". While they used to collect evidence of aliens and erase memories, they are now mostly defunct and only guard the titular vault.
  • Parodied in Spaced. Daisy is tailed by a trio of black suited agents in sunglasses from the airport and confronted in the pub. After Mike's attempt to defuse the situation with a gun fails, Daisy kicks their asses using skills she learned on her travels to Asia. It turns out that she was duped by a fellow passenger on her flight back into carrying an unknown item into the UK and Marsha finds evidence to clear her name in the form of a videotape of her bag being switched for another. Naturally, this being Spaced, the Agents are a Shout-Out to The Matrix.
  • The NID is this in Stargate SG-1 in both a negative and positive version of this. Early seasons featured sinister NID agents subverting Stargate Command policy for their own ends; later on, honest and righteous NID agents are introduced, whose main job becomes hunting down their corrupt counterparts from the earlier season.
  • Section 31 from Star Trek, introduced in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. They are essentially the MIB for The Federation. Technically they do not exist, they have no headquarters, their agents are scattered incognito among Starfleet and other groups. They explain that whether or not you accept an invitation to join, they manage to use you to further their goals anyway. They said that they have existed since the beginning of Starfleet, and Star Trek: Enterprise revealed this to be true. Their goal is essentially to protect the Federation's interests at all costs. Their clothing isn't the black dress suit, but a comparable futuristic black leather outfit.
    • To clarify, their organisation's goal and name derives from Article 14, Section 31 of the original Starfleet Charter (meaning the Earth Starfleet, not the later Federation Starfleet; the authority that founded them no longer actually exists, but that simply allows Section 31 to not answer to anyone), which allows the rules to be bent or even suspended whenever Earth is threatened. And considering that Earth has made a lot of enemies, that's pretty much a full-time gig.
    • Star Trek: Discovery reveals that the secrecy of the organization has fluctuated over the centuries, as evidenced by Christopher Pike, Michael Burnham, and Ash Tyler instantly recognizing their black insignia, and officers with black insignia shown walking the hallways of the Discovery, and also by a Starfleet admiral being able to give orders to a Section 31 operative, even though they ought to be in separate command structures. It's likely that, in the 115 or so years between DIS and DS9, the organization has gone underground and has wiped all evidence of its existence from history books. The show also reveals that Section 31 possesses tech far in advance of the curve, such as combadges (wouldn't be adopted by Starfleet at large until the 24th century) and ships utilizing holographic disguises (probably made illegal by the Treaty of Algeron since the tech borders on cloaking).
  • Star Trek: Voyager: The alien MIB version turns up in the episode "Bride of Chaotica!" when two photonic aliens appear on the holodeck program The Adventures of Captain Proton, dressed as grey-suited men in fedoras. They speak in a stilted manner and though dressed like humans of the 1930's are unfamiliar with their society, mistaking the holodeck characters for Energy Beings like themselves and assuming the Large Ham supervillains they encounter are a genuine threat.
  • Supergirl (2015) has the Department of Extranormal Operations (DEO), which is where many of the main cast members are either working with them or are actual agents.
  • Torchwood's members are, essentially, Men in Black who are doing the MIB equivalent of Not Wearing Tights. They wipe memories of alien encounters as well as confiscate, and reverse-engineer any alien technology which finds its way to Earth. What do they get up to behind the scenes? Well, in the case of Torchwood 3 (Cardiff) at least... lots of sex.
  • The AIB (Alien Investigation Bureau) in Ultraman Geed could be considered this, as their duty is to monitor Earth's hidden population of aliens for troublemakers, deport them, and make sure humans don't know about it. In a twist however, every member of the organization (except Riku's friend Moa Aizaki) is a disguised alien as well.
  • Ultraman Nexus has the Night Raiders and their parent organization TLT. While they don't dress the same, their role is similar - to keep humanity safe from and ignorant of the Space Beasts (as well as Ultraman Nexus), complete with memory wipes and other hyperadvanced technology to do the job.
  • Warehouse 13 features two Secret Service agents who are unknowingly recruited to become MIB-like enforcers. Lampshaded in Season 4:
    Guy who thinks his wife's turned into a monster: Are you like the Men In Black?
    Pete: Yeah, we kinda are.
    Myka: Sure, why not?
  • Although not fitting the "secret government entity" mold of the trope, the Sea Shepherds portrayed in Whale Wars operate black ships, a black helicopter, and in one episode, Peter Bethune wore a black "commando suit" as he put it when he boarded the Japanese whaling vessel Shonan Maru #2.
  • Parodied in Wizards of Waverly Place with the Emergency Wizards, agents of various magical species who dress in black suits, with the mandate to keep mortals in the dark regarding the existence of wizards.
  • The X-Files occasionally had Men in Black as nameless grunts for the Ancient Conspiracy that ran the government. However, when Men in Black were specifically referred to in the episode Jose Chung's "From Outer Space", it was spoofed by casting Jeopardy!'s Alex Trebek and wrestler/future governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura in the roles. The Celebrity Paradox was zig zagged: the MIB played by Ventura was described as "creepy", while the one played by Trebek "looked incredibly like Alex Trebek", which made those reporting them seem all the more crazy. Meanwhile, another witness in the same episode describes Mulder himself as a man-in-black-government-authority-figure type.
    • Deconstructed in the Two-Part Episode "Dreamland" and "Dreamland II", in which Mulder switches his body and life with MIB Morris Fletcher (played by Michael McKean). It turns out that the Men in Black live mundane lives as well and aren't any closer to the Truth than Mulder is. Morris actually prefers to be an FBI agent, as he thinks that Mulder's life is more exciting (or it would be, if he had more sex).
    • Since Mulder and Scully deal exclusively with paranormal phenomena and rarely explain themselves, they could appear to be MIB's to simple folk who don't know any better.

  • True to the sci-fi nature of their songs, the Blue Öyster Cult have multiple instances of MIB in their songs. Most noticeably in the song "Take Me Away" as well as its music video.
    • The "Agents of Fortune" mentioned in "E.T.I." (and possibly depicted on the cover of their live album) are definitely an example.
    Hey! Come and hear the music, check out this!
    Three Men In Black said - "Don't report this!"
  • The Stranglers have a very paranoid release called "The Gospel According to the Men in Black"
  • Frank Black's "Men In Black": The narrator anticipates a visit from the title figures because he has video proof of a UFO sighting that he plans to give to the media. He also speculates on whether they're humans sent by the government or aliens in disguise ("Are they Grey or is it my own nation?"). Some men in black are lurking around in the otherwise straightforward Performance Video too, but they don't actually seem to do anything... Unless the bright strobe lights used at the end of the video were supposed to be their method of wiping the band's memories.
  • Will Smith's theme songs to the films, "Men In Black" and "Nod Ya Head (Black Suits Coming)".
  • Running Wild's "Men in Black" from Masquerade album portrays them as villains for hiding the truth about aliens.
  • For a while in the summer/fall of 2010 Kanye West and his whole crew started using a smart tailored aesthetic that he called "Rosewood Movement", which had the side effect of making all of them look like Men in Black
  • In the video for the Kate Bush song "Cloudbusting" (about the eccentric psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich, who was imprisoned for his pseudoscientific and highly dubious treatments - see The Other Wiki for the whole story) the federal agents who come to Reich's farm to arrest him are like this. In the song itself, it's mentioned they arrive in a black car, which may allude to this trope.


  • The Adventure Zone: Amnesty has Agent Stern, an agent from the paranormal division of the FBI who came to Kepler to research Bigfoot sightings in the area. Unbeknownst to him, however, Bigfoot (actually a Sylph named Barclay, who can turn himself into a human form) serves him breakfast every single day at the titular Amnesty Lodge.
  • The Last Podcast on the Left has a multi-episode series on the Men in Black, citing The Mothman Prophecies as one of its primary sources and delving into the lives of Albert Bender and Grey Barker. They focus on the creepy version of the MIB described in Mothman, with Harry Zebrowski providing voices that speak in gravelly and/or disjointed voices. Theories about them include their being Tulpas created from Bender's image of them, Eldritch Abominations in a new form, and even Time Police.
  • In The Magnus Archives, the archivist hints at their existence when he mentions that the Institute he works for has contacts in government and law enforcement who appear to have taken considerable interest in at least one of their collection of statements about alleged supernatural encounters.
  • Pretending to Be People features agents of Myriad, an apparently-governmental agency whose MIBs are ambiguously human at best. Marvin Glass appears to be a fallen member of their ranks.
  • Welcome to Night Vale

  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, Agent Travers is a black-suited government agent put in charge of dealing with the superpowered kids as covertly as possible. When one of the teachers clues in to what's happening, he mysteriously disappears and is replaced by Travers disguised as a substitute.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Age of Aquarius, the Institute is this. In the first edition, the standard campaign was playing as them; in the second edition, they are one of several playable organisations. Subverted in that they are mostly plainclothes agents, but their intents and purpose are exactly this trope.
  • Bureau 13 note  - Released long before MIB or X-Files. Players create agents of the titular government bureau and hunt down the things that go bump in the night and keep their existance secret from the nation at large. A classic setting combining supernatural horror with a touch of tongue in cheek comedy, the long awaited d20 version came out at Gen Con in 2008.
  • The whole setting of Conspiracy X pits two secret organizations - Aegis and the NDD - against each other in a world better off not knowing too much of paranormal activities and alien incursions. Both conspiracies rely heavily on hte typical image of Men in Black, which occasionally can make it awkward for polayers trying to find a contact.
  • Dark•Matter (1999) is positively crowded with these, being a Conspiracy Kitchen Sink. Everyone from PC's working for the more-or-less benevolent Hoffman Institute to agents of many governments, to representatives of various other conspiracies all tend to take this look and behavior. There's also an alien race with distinctly inhuman features like six fingers that have their advance scouts on Earth using this guise as cover.
  • Deadlands features The Agency (an offshoot of the Pinkerton Detectives) and the Texas Rangers, organizations used by the United States and Confederate States respectively. Publicly, they are national law enforcement agents. Less well known to the public is that the two groups are employed to spy on the other group's government, but this itself is a cover for their real activities as Men and Women In Black (literally in The Agency's case; the Rangers wear gray), investigating and suppressing knowledge of the weirdness inherent to the game's setting.
    • The head of Agency operations in the Weird West is none other than Abe Lincoln himself, risen from the grave.
  • Delta Green in the Call of Cthulhu RPG were the official Men in Black of the setting until a giant snafu in the Seventies that resulted in massive losses and the dismantling of the organization. Now it exists as a conspiracy within several government agencies, while their arch-rivals, the MAJESTIC conspiracy, have risen to the roost with an even less moral approach to skullduggery. At least, until the War on Terror shook things up, with Delta Green invited back into the fold as an interagency network known only as "The Program." Add in some international counterparts such as PISCES in the United Kingdom and GRU SV-8 in Russia and at times the Delta Green setting gets positively crowded with sinister guys in sunglasses, all trying to intimidate each other.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has the Keepers; mysterious, unnerving, and inhuman aberrations clad in black. They appear human at first glance, but closer inspection reveals the truth - their flesh is livid and rubbery, their joints bend in any direction, and if one removes the goggles or masks they wear, it becomes apparent that they have no eyes. As the name implies, they keep secrets. They seek out beings who know them - any kind of secret will do, as long as it is important on a large scale (or pertains to the keepers themselves). Then they appear, demanding silence and enforcing it in a tried and true manner.
    • In 5th edition, the Unearthed Arcana subclass “Oath of the Watchers” lets you create a Paladin who investigates extraterrestrial—- err, extraplanar strangeness.
  • Project Ozma in Eclipse Phase. It's even Lampshaded that they essentially break the laws of physics in this setting, since it's essentially impossible to keep secrets buried this deep without someone exposing them, but Ozma does it anyway. (Firewall, the contrasting Secret Organization, is less concerned about keeping secrets as such and more about simply ensuring that nothing becomes an existential risk to what's left of humankind.)
  • GURPS:
    • The Company in GURPS Black Ops tries to conceal information about extranormal events from the public.
    • Also referenced directly in GURPS Illuminati, the Third Edition supplement about worlds based on conspiracy theory. GURPS Warehouse 23, a companion piece to Illuminati, says that the Warehouse contains thousands of records of MIB sightings that the Secret Masters didn't authorise and don't understand.
    • In the setting of The Madness Dossier, agents of Project SANDMAN engage in mind control and memory wiping, implant electronic chips in people's brains, and can and will divert the full resources of major governments to their secret purposes. They're also the heroes, and by default, include the PCs. Their opponents really are much, much worse.
    • In GURPS Technomancer, "Mages in Black" are part of the general lore around Seelie sightings and abductions (which may or may not actually happen).
  • Hollow Earth Expedition. In the Secrets of the Surface World supplement, the Paranormal Investigator archetype works for the FBI's Special Investigations Unit. He investigates and deals with supernatural events and things and covers up the truth from the general public. He even has a Neuraliz... er, Amnesia Ray device.
  • New World of Darkness:
    • The nWoD has the Men in Black, mysterious entities from beyond who show up in pristine suits, don't quite act human, go by names like "Mr. Door" and "Agent Clock" and act to "neutralize" any individual who's had an encounter with the supernatural. And if you admit that you are a supernatural being, they will either try to kill you, or attempt to perform a crude lobotomy with whatever tools happen to be available, to "cure" you of your condition.
    • In Hunter: The Vigil, there are three Hunter Compacts or Conspiracies, at least, who essentially fit under this archetype.
      • Firstly, there's the Conspiracy officially designated Task Force: VALKYRIE. They're a secret black ops group under the vague control of the US government, dedicated to fighting monsters. These differ from the standard MIBs in that they operate more like a paramilitary group or SWAT force than secret agents.
      • Then there's a Compact, Division Six, that thinks it's the Men in Black, but they're actually being used as a hitman squad by the Seers of the Throne from Mage: The Awakening. Division Six is a direct reference and possible Shout-Out to Men in Black, referring to the cover story ("(Name of Agency), Division Six") most often used by the MIB agents in the movies and especially in the animated series.
      • Ironically, the Compact known as Network Zero manages to cross this over with Agent Mulder. It's a loose organization of new media fans who seek out and document breaches in the supernaturals' veil of secrecy — however, one faction, known as the Secret Keepers, then actively covers up these breaches to ensure the rest of humanity doesn't figure it out. Their justification is that "obviously" the monsters are too well-entrenched in politics, the media, etcetera to face just yet; if Network Zero acts too soon, the monsters will tighten their procedures and become even harder to uproot. They want to wait and gather evidence until they have enough that they can blow the veil right off and force all of humanity to accept the truth about the monsters in their midst.
  • Old World of Darkness:
    • MIB were a common enemy in Mage: The Ascension. The faction they belonged to, the New World Order convention of the Technocracy, also included Men in Grey (infiltrators, who rarely actually wore grey suits) and Men in White (who acted as internal police). It is noted that this is just one of many guises they have used throughout the centuries.
    • Also appeared in Werewolf: The Apocalypse, this time as drones of the Weaver; armed with an impressive array of supernatural powers and devices, they can talk their way into any crime scene with hypnotic ID cards and track fleeing suspects across great distances by means of their Hive Mind. For good measure, a note in Book Of The City specifically observed that the Technocracy's Men In Black are not allied with the Weaver drones, and may actually be at war with them.
    • The Second Inquisition (or "FIRSTLIGHT") in Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition. An organization formed by various secret services around the world and the Catholic Church's Society of Leopold, after the NSA accidentally cracked the vampire intra-net SchreckNet. The Second Inquisition send its agents in attempts to hunt and kill any vampires.
  • Many conspiracies in Over the Edge use people fitting in the description as their Mooks, but the Movers are probably the most eponymous, having presence in pretty much every government.
  • Paranoia has the Men in Infrared, whose black clothes let them hide among regular Infrareds (low-level grunts making up something like 80% to 90% of the population).
  • Agents of The Shop in Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution fit this trope to a T, probably intentionally. One character even notes that they look exactly like the MIBs he'd seen in movies and on TV.
  • Teenagers from Outer Space has its Alien Control Officers, who are supposed to keep the chaos caused by alien students to a minimum. Since they're equipped with black suits, black sunglasses, excessive ultra-tech firepower, and "All the tactical sense of a pithed hamster", this rarely works.
  • The Imperial Inquisition of Warhammer 40,000 can be seen as an unusually well-developed version, which does seek to keep Imperial citizens as ignorant of Chaos (among other things) as possible, and they don't hesitate to silence those who have seen too much in a rather permanent fashion. Including entire planetary populations.
    • They don't exactly wear black, but they do have black spaceships.
    • Less "Men in Black" and more "Men in Silver Powered Armor", but the Grey Knights are an elite Space Marines chapter founded in secrecy after the Horus Heresy. All possessing psyker powers and consecrated weapons and armour, they're specially trained and equipped to deal with daemonic incursions of all kinds, and their existence is one of the most closely guarded secrets of the Imperium. If circumstances dictate they must fight alongside other Imperial forces, the secret is maintained by executing the allied forces when the fighting is over (in the case of the Imperial Guard and PDF) or applied Laser-Guided Amnesia (in the case of other Space Marines, or other forces who are too special to be simply "disposed of").
    • The Alpha Legion served this role during the Great Crusade, created and operating in secrecy for specialised stealth missions like assassination, sabotage, espionage and recovery of important artifacts and persons. Often they wore black power armour bearing no insignia, and occasionally they posed as members of other legions. When Alpharius was discovered these rogue legionnaires were folded into a formal Alpha Legion which gave the appearance that a legion of highly-trained and experienced marines had materialised from nowhere, and even then the legion retained their own black ops division, the Headhunter kill teams - black power armour, no discernible markings, and a unique pattern of twin-linked bolter firing specialised anti-armour ammunition.


    Urban Legends 
  • It is said Men In Black from the FBI either took notes from kids playing the Polybius video game, or that they came after hours to collect the data from the console.

    Video Games 
  • The online Flash RPG AdventureQuest has N.O.V.A. (The Network of Vesparian Agents) that work for the Devourer Uncreator The'Galin.
  • In Alpha Protocol, the agents in the CIA post in Rome wear outfits similar to the traditional MIB garb, though they're not actively hostile to Mike (except that he's intruding in their listening post). Also, there are Conrad Marburg's agents, Deus Vult, who often sport the sunglasses-and-suits look, though some of them prefer dark T-shirts and combat fatigues instead. The goggle-and-jumpsuit-clad G22 agents most accurately fit the role of MIB, but not the outfit.
  • Genya Arikado from the Castlevania series. He's got the suit, personality, and he belongs to a secret Japanese government agency that deals with the paranormal.
  • Champions Online has you going through Area 51 during your run through the Southwest Desert. It's run by VIPER, and you naturally have to face off against VIPER Conspiracists as part of your crop of enemies, who are this trope through and through.
  • City of Heroes gives your character a "Man In Black" or "Woman In Black" badge for defeating 200 Shivans, enemies that are a combination of alien goo and human corpses that spawned from meteors. There is also the Crey faction (a mega-corporation), which has people in the same familiar attire and are assumed to have the roles of infiltrating and bullying other companies. And while the actual attire isn't in the MIB style, the Malta group has mostly the same role of silencing and subverting the general populace.
  • Destroy All Humans!, as a series of games about an alien (singular) invasion of Earth, naturally feature these as enemies. In the first game, they belong to a secret US government organization known as Project MAJESTIC. The trope gets parodied somewhat, as Mission Control insists on referring to MAJESTIC agents as "the men in really, really dark brown".
  • Deus Ex Universe:
    • Men in Black and Women in Black are semi-common enemies in Deus Ex. These individuals are Series P augmented agents (Physiopharmaceutical) whose modifications have rendered them albino. To quote the game, "so far the simple addition of sunglasses and dark clothing appear to have resolved the matter in a practical fashion." Deus Ex is very fond of using tropes and memes to enforce Genre Blindness on the population in the game — it's remarkably easy to scoff at the idea of an MIB, whereas a towering albino with an automatic shotgun is so far off the conspiracy radar that people might actually start listening. The game is also one of the few pieces of media illustrating Albert Bender's claim that the Men in Black had "electronic sounding voices".
    • Deus Ex: Human Revolution has more "conventional" Men in Black seen mostly in sidequests: agents of the conspiracy dressed in black suits with common sounding names as aliases (one of them slips up and almost says Hugh Darrow's real name before switching back to "Mr. Grey").
  • Drowned God: Conspiracy of the Ages has a bald MIB who stalks you occasionally as you collect the ancient relics. The entities who sent you on this mission, Kether and Malchut, accuse each other of sending the MIB to impede you, but it turns out the organization known as Majestic Twelve were the ones who sent him, hoping to use the relics' phenomanal power for their own purposes.
  • The Elite Beat Agents from the Nintendo DS game of the same name are over-the-top caricatures of this trope. Unlike many other examples, the EBA are actually out to help people by literally channeling their dancing powers to help their targets succeed in their goals. Clad in sharp black suits, they seem to be vaguely part of some secret government organization and are lead by a guy named Commander Kahn.
    • Apparently, the MIB aesthetic was selected for its similarity to the stern, black-clad male cheerleaders used in the Japanese game Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan (of which Elite Beat Agents is an Americanized adaptation of), as well as the lead developer's love of The Blues Brothers.
  • Escape From St. Mary's lets a couple men in black loose in a private school to hunt down an alien.
  • Evil Genius. The Investigator/Agent mooks from PATRIOT come without shades and in suits of various colors, but otherwise conforming to the MIB template. SABRE's equivalent MIGs may also count. The other defense organizations stick to a more military garb.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Giant Fist: This makes up the majority of the Mars Corp enemy type in the America stages. On the streets, its swarms of men in black running stiffly in their suits to attack the player characters, sometimes pulling up in a fancy limo to release a squad of them at once. They default to standing in place with a hand on their ear piece if the player reaches a level above or below them. In the Mars Corp building, half the enemies are MIB while the other half are paramilitary mercs dressed in fatigues.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VII has the Turks. Well, most of them fit the bill, except they use dark blue suits with zippers, and only Rude is obsessed with the sunglasses. Tseng, Elena and Cissnei doesn't use any and Reno settles for goggles. Reno and Rude are popular for being Punch Clock Villains, and it is implied that the others are mostly the same.
    • The Shikaree or Sin Hunters are a fantasy version of this to the Mithra nations in Final Fantasy XI, hunting down those who committed crimes against the Nations. The ones seen in the Chains of Promathia come across as a group of Inspector Javerts, but this is partially subverted in the Ranger quest storyline wherein they are more concerned about the retrieval or destruction of the Artifact of Doom that the criminal stole than the actual criminal, although the player doesn't find this out till the final Artifact Armor quest.
  • The Invaders from Gatekeepers resembled Men In Black, although they were a variant of The Heartless.
  • Men in Black show up in two missions in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Their lines seem to imply that they're the aliens: "Carbon-based buffon!" and "You evolved from shrews!"
  • The otherwise nameless G-Man from the Half-Life series. Not only is he Gordon Freeman's employer, but he is also his observer: Gordon occasionally glimpses him watching from a distance.
    • He takes on a more direct role in the expansion pack, Opposing Force, where he both helps and hinders Adrian Shephard and rearms a disarmed nuke meant to destroy Black Mesa.
    • According to himself, he has a fondness for people who know how to "survive". Though who he works for is entirely unknown; he seems to just be styling himself after actual G-men when dealing with his human "agents".
  • The Watchdog hunters in Manhunt 2 work for the Project and are their "clean-up crew". Between the suits, shades and masks, they don the look pretty well.
  • While they don't wear suits, this is essentially the role of the Spectres in Mass Effect. The Council gives them the paralegal authority to act above the law and take action as they see fit. Naturally, most of the files relating to them are highly classified.
  • In Max Payne, the Big Bad's mooks all dress in fashionable business suits and shades, and are referred to by title only in the game's credits, which name them the 'Killer Suits'.
  • There is even one in Mega Man Battle Network, however this one doesn't wear all black. Instead he wears a black undershirt with a red vest on top of it. He appears three times over the course of the series, first in the first game where he is in ACDC Town on offical government business investigating WWW, when Lan messes in his undercover work, and then in the fifth game where he is tasked with the creation of a task force to stop Dr. Regal's evil plans.
    • This actually carries over to the task force as since they are under his leadership, they become Men in Black too. It also appears in the cartoon also as Lan and Chaud both become Men in Black in the second season.
  • No More Heroes III: "The Return" story trailer shows Damon quickly grabbing FU and fleeing from them as they investigate FU's ship crash. They nearly get the jump on the two at their tree house, only getting blown away as FU takes off in his new ship.
  • Persona:
    • Persona: The game features enemies literally named Men in Black. In the original English port Revelations: Persona, they are named Blackman. They are also cybernetically enhanced as well.
    • Persona 5:
      • The "Shadow Operatives" DLC outfits put your party members in futuristic looking black dress suits and sunglasses similar to Mitsuru's black Spy Catsuit in Persona 4: Arena Ultimax.
      • Several can be seen pursuing the party near the end of both the Vanilla ending and Royal's true ending. In Persona 5 Strikers, it was revealed that those were actually Tokyo Metropolitan Police who were pursuing the protagonist out of a desparate attempt to save their PR.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Black and White has Men in Black standing around the Unova reigion, their existence is unexplained, but they do give you items.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon has Anabel in the post-game content; she wears a suit, is part of a secret group in the government, meets with you clandestinely in hotel rooms, deals with aliens, etc.
  • One level of Psychonauts, "The Milkman Conspiracy", is infested with shady-looking "G-Men" wearing flimsy disguises consisting of a single prop and unconvincing acting (Raz can use this to his advantage: "I am on the road crew. This is my stop sign.") If they catch Raz trespassing in their territory, they drag him off to a dark room and ask him prying questions like "Who are you working for?", "What is the purpose of the goggles?", and "Who is the Milkman?" before unceremoniously dumping him back where he started. It later turns out that they are in fact "good guys" in Boyd's mental world, as they are trying to locate and detain the "Milkman" persona that was forcibly programmed into Boyd's mind, and are seen cooperating with the Censors.
  • In Realms of the Haunting they appear as a type of enemy, and one of the more dangerous ones, adept at firing guns and magical projectiles.
  • Mr. X in Resident Evil 2 (Remake) is changed into a spook who wears a big black trench coat and fedora and does spook things, such as caving in the skulls of those who might uncover the truth behind the Raccoon City incident. The anachronistic clothes aren't there just for style, but to cover up his horrifyingly inhuman features.
  • Agent Superball in Telltale's Sam & Max: Freelance Police games, the doorman of choice for shady organisations. In Chariot of the Dogs he is a classical, UFO-denying MIB, complete with weather-ballon quips and the ability to cause Laser-Guided Amnesia.
  • In The Secret World, players and NPCs of the Illuminati faction can not only fill in the role but also rock many different variants of the sinister suit-and-sunglasses look. They also have gas mask options to further enhance the sinister look.
  • Streets of Rage 3 have men in black suits, tie, and sunglasses as enemies working for The Syndicate and they usually show up in levels where the average person wouldn't want to go near unless they want to know more than they should (such as the robot factory out in the middle of the woods in the final level). The men in black mostly shoot you with a pistol, though they will punch and throw you if you get too close. In the Japanese version they are named after metals (Silver, Gold, etc) and in the US release, have strange "Scottish" style names such as "Macleod." They also show up in the fourth game and only start appearing in the final few levels where you're deep in Syndicate territory.
  • The ultra-rich Ijuin family of the Tokimeki Memorial series has an army of MIB, ready to obey to their every wishes. But this being Tokimeki Memorial, they're always used for Hilarity Ensues purposes.
  • Touch Detective: The Stinger for Case 5 shows everyone arriving back on Earth after defeating the aliens, greeted by hundreds of men in black after they're mistook for the aliens.
  • In the Touhou Project fighting game Touhou Shinpiroku ~ Urban Legend in Limbo, where all the playable characters have some kind of Urban Legend as their theme, Mamizou's theme is the Men in Black. For her Last Word, she dons a suit and sunglasses and uses a neuralizer in an obvious reference to the films.
  • The prologue of Valkyrie Profile has a few mysterious "men in black" (who are really slavers with sinister sunglasses and black coats) causing children to disappear from Lucian and Platina's village. To avoid the same fate, the two escape.
  • Watch_Dogs: The final mission of the Weapons Trade side-quest pits Aiden against a group of fixers who his ally Tobias is convinced are MIBs. It's worth noting that Tobias himself is a conspiracy theorist, so it's more an invocation of Men In Black as an urban legend rather than a straight example.
  • In World of Warcraft, the gates of the town "Area 52" in the Netherstorm zone in Outland are flanked by so-called "Netherstorm Agents", goblins dressed in black suits with sunglasses. Furthermore, any Player Character who passes through said gates gets a short spell called "A-52 Neuralyzer" applied to them, the tooltip of which reads "The flash of light you did not see did not erase your memories.".
  • X-COM:
    • The titular organization is an international specialist force responsible for defending the planet against alien threats and suppressing information about them, by retrieving downed UFOs, securing abductees for debriefing and processing, deleting vital intelligence before someone else can get to it, and silencing suspected collaborators. X-Com soldiers wear proper armor in combat, but the strategic notification pop-ups in X Com UFO Defense feature a lot of stern men in business suits and sunglasses, to fit the MIB aesthetic.
    • The Bureau: XCOM Declassified sets XCOM during the Cold War, with investigators in fedoras and white shirts trying to both defeat an alien invasion and cover up any evidence that it happened.
    • XCOM: Enemy Unknown introduces the Thin Men, alien infiltrators that appear as unnaturally tall and lanky men in business suits and sunglasses, the better to hide their scaly patches of skin and Hellish Pupils — they're really bio-engineered Snake People.
    • The XCOM: Enemy Within expansion focuses on XCOM's covert war against EXALT, an illuminati-like group trying to take advantage of the alien invasion to further their own interests. They wear "business casual" attire — pinstripe pants, white shirts and ties — underneath tactical vests and face-concealing bandanas, since they're basically white-collar workers ready to gear up at a moment's notice when it's time to run an operation.

  • The MIB in Addictive Science mostly serve as comic relief, ineffectually trying to "classify" the various acts of mad science and/or magic that spring up around the main characters, getting transformed into fox girls, and crashing helicarriers.
  • The unnamed agency in charge of dealing with aliens in Alien Dice seems to have relaxed the dress code and is actually pretty reasonable, especially compared to one of the author's other series...
  • In Autumn Bay, the Masquerade is maintained by this sort of group, known colloquially as "The Shroud".
  • In Axe Cop, when Uni-Baby gets thrown down to Earth from space, for some reason everyone thinks she's an alien (which is technically true) and that someone should fight her. A group of men in black, possibly the Alien Police, show up pointing guns at her, but Axe Cop happens to be driving by and saves her, chopping all their heads off when they refuse to listen to reason.
  • The Royal Secret Chancellory agents from Baskets of Guts have the reputation of these.
    Vincent Gardier: They are people with great authority. Guards, military, trade guilds with their little armies, wizarding institutes - all are obliged to aid them. Any resistance is considered treason.
  • The Continentals is a steampunk murder, mystery, adventure featuring two "Continental Operatives" named Jeffrey Tiffen Smythe and Lady Fiona Fiziwigg who work for an official government agency that doesn't offically exist known as the A.T.S.T.K
  • The Cyantian Chronicles, whose AMIB aggressively hunts down any aliens, humans modified by captured alien tech, and humans who've met aliens. Made even worse by the fact that the Cyantians actually want to help humanity. Fortunately some other countries' versions of the MIB are suggested to be more reasonable, particularly the JMIB with whom the Cyantians are preparing for formal First Contact.
  • Dela The Hooda: Canada's version are the somewhat lower-budget "Men in Plaid." After initially presenting as antagonists they become somewhat reluctant allies of Dela and Peabow's other extraterrestrial residents.
  • Mr. Verres, Tedd's Dad, is a high ranking offical in a similar organization in El Goonish Shive.
    • In a recent comic, a bit of (relative)realism was injected into the situation, after Mr. Verres became personally involved, and nearly killed a wizard who was attacking his niece:
    Director: Edward, your supernatural and extraterrestrial connections make you invaluable, but I have suspected for a while now that you have too much of a personal connection to much of what happens around here. Your loss of control today confirms it. As of this moment, you are no longer head of the paranormal division, and will not take part in investigations.
    Mr. Verres: You're firing me?!
    Director: Oh no, nothing of the sort. You have too may important friends who would raise hell, myself included. No, I'm doing the best thing I can do for everyone, Ed. I'm promoting you to head of Paranormal Diplomacy.
    Mr. Verres: There is no such position.
    Director: There is now.
    • Although Mr. Verres seems to be extremely well suite to the position.
  • In Elf Blood, King, the leader of the secretive paramilitary government-sanctioned magitek-wielding unethically-experimenting Council, naturally favours a dark grey suit and a dark burgundy tie.
  • Present by implication in The End. Some governing body is apparently aware of and monitors alien activity on earth, and has composed a series of files on the main characters who were taken off planet at a sci fi convention, but no organization members have made an appearance thus far.
  • The main characters of Exterminatus Now are part of the Mobian Inquisition, though most Inquisitors prefer black trenchcoats to suits (and Eastwood recently switched to a brown one). Once they had to correct a drunken Conspiracy Theorist.
  • Fans! had its Fantasmagorical Integration Board, or FIB, whose theoretical purpose was the defense of the world from destructive forces. Initially antagonists, then untrusted allies, then antagonists again, then... and so on. Largely a sort of over-arching sendup of this concept and all related ones. Most notably, "Miller" and "Sully" were agents, and "The XYZ-Files" was a way for them to cover their tracks using fiction. They were semi-sympathetic, which was exactly what their "first" leader wanted. It's easier to get away with things when they like you.
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court, a Flash Back reveals that two rather benign Men in Black were responsible for Zimmy and Gamma's enrollment at the Court, apparently for the girls' own protection. Word Of Tom has since revealed that they were Court staff. The group they're a member of (or possibly another one with the same look) are later described as the Shadow Men, "an autonomous group that pretty much only answers directly to the Court".
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! has Agent Ben and Agent Jerry. Initially just a pair of FBI agents who had the bad luck to be stuck with the task of investigating Bob, they have since been officially promoted to the status of a "paranormal taskforce", and now get undesirable jobs like investigating "Fish People reports" in Innsmouth. Jerry blames Bob for this development in his career.
  • Irregular Webcomic!'s Martians theme has repeated appearances by an MIB agent, who shows up out of nowhere to deny all of Ishmael's claims of Martians, no matter how much proof there is. His most memorable moments include denying the existance of aliens to the Martians themselves, preemptively denying Ishmael's next alien sighting, claiming that Venus was actually the one using Ishmal's computer, denying Ishmael's claims that they can move from one room to the other, and many other leaps of horrible logic.
  • The Law of Purple features an MIB. Ironically, the Men in Black film also exists in this universe.
  • Leif & Thorn has the Woman in Black, working for the Secret Order of Monster Hunters. Anyone who meets her has their memories of her disrupted/obscured by a magical effect that she can't turn off.
  • Delta Green show up in Ow, my sanity as the requisite spec-ops team responsible for hush-hush procedures in situations where "squamous and rugose" are operative words. Their attire is not unlike that of traditional MIBs, with the exception of the telltale green triangle badge.
  • Once the eponymous organisation of Skin Horse gets enough budget to actually have squads, and Sweetheart gets enough power to enforce a dress code, they start looking like this. This is despite the fact they're social services. They don't want to cover up the paranormal, they want to help it find a place in society! Skin Horse is just one department of a Shadow Government as complex and faction-ridden as regular government, and it's implied other agencies might fit the description better.
  • Sluggy Freelance: In "Aylee", when some government agents have been killed and Sharon Gall tries to inquire about what's happened, she's told to forget and not to talk to anyone about it by a couple of men in black representing the government, who want to keep the whole thing internal due to the sensitive positions the victims worked in. She tells one of them sarcastically that he was cooler in The Matrix than in person.
  • Times Like This has Agent Scott, who's actually with the FBI's Paranormal Case Department. His division is charged with not letting time travel get out of control. His dwarf status makes it easier for him to disguise himself as everyday objects or small animals. And he has his own neuralyzer too.
  • All the members of Trying Human's Majestic 12 fit very well, following the dress code (except for 3, who wears a white suit) and being an organization totally dedicated to dealing with alien activity on Earth. Unlike most examples of this trope, a good number of Majic agents are female.
  • Such a group is said to exist in Wapsi Square although they have never been seen, only talked about. They seem to be very reasonable, although they seem to have let the protagonists deal with most of the supernatural problems.

    Web Original 
  • Anonymous riffs on the Men in Black motif. One of their insignias is a black-suited man with a question mark instead of a head. Some members will often wear black suits and a Guy Fawkes mask when making a public appearance.
  • Bedtime Stories (YouTube Channel) has an episode dedicated to them, where they're implied to be part of an intergalactic Government Conspiracy related to the existence of aliens. In addition, they also make an appearance in another episode about the so-called "Black-eyed Children'', where they're said to be the "guardians" of the children in question.
  • The Protectors of the Plot Continuum wear black uniforms and use neuralyzers (or Obliviate spells, or memory-erasing drugs, or...) to make canon characters forget that bad fan fiction ever happened. Oh, and they often assassinate Mary Sues, too.
  • In Roll to Roll to Dodge, the Men in Black are agents tasked with ensuring that nobody has unauthorized access to the Raws. The only two whom we see, Passedrims and Salvenames, are subsequently killed; one by rogue Raw modifiers, the other by an knife thrown by Frelock which explodes on the ground after Passedrims dodges it.
  • In the original Something Awful forums, there were mentions of a shadowy group known as "Optic Nerve", who fulfilled the role of like traditional MIB.
  • The main character of The Slender Man Mythos is an odd case: while he's a Humanoid Abomination and in some interpretations an utter monster, he bears a surprising similarity to the men in black: a sharp suit, the ability to rearrange memories of oddity, and the interest in those who know things which should not be known.
  • The SCP Foundation is a super-secret international organization that hides the existence of the paranormal, and is a great example of this trope. Its documents even specifically mention using a "standard 'Man in Black' concealment pattern" to retrieve SCPs from the UIU.
    • The Foundation is of course a non-government organization. More fitting the stereotypical MIB are:
      • The aforementioned UIU, or Unusual Incidents Unit (commonly called the UIUseless) are part of the FBI, and as such work for the US federal government. They're so underfunded that most other anomalous organizations consider them a joke.
      • The GOC, Global Occult Coalition, are the UN's answer to the UIU. They're far better funded, can even seriously compete with the Foundation, and the UIU call them "Suits".
      • The ORIA, or Office for Reclamation of Islamic Artifacts fit the bill, but operate solely in Middle Eastern countries. Contrary to the name, they do not solely deal in Islamic artifacts.
    • SCP-1749 ("Trans-American Murder Messengers"). SCP-1749-2 are Caucasian men between 24 and 36 years old and about 6 and a half feet tall. They dress in black business suits and dress shoes and carry a loaded handgun. When they appear they kill the nearest human being and then commit suicide with a Cyanide Pill.
  • In the Whateley Universe, these are likely to be members of the Mutant Commission Office, whose international task is to monitor mutants and be prepared to handle mutant threats. Since the protagonists are all mutants at the Super Hero School Whateley Academy, this is not a good thing.

    Western Animation 
  • The Dai Li from Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra are a Far East variant of this.
    "There is no war in Ba Sing Se./There are no airbenders in Ba Sing Se."
  • Ben 10:
    • The Plumbers, a secret organization to which the hero's grandfather used to belong — "used to" because in the series, we're told that the agency was shut down years ago. The sequel series retcons that they're a still-active intergalactic police force. A further retcon, most likely meant to appease those who found the sequels making no sense, reveals that they got back into work sometime after the first series ended, with far more alien recruits being added to the lineup.
    • There's also SECT, headed by Lieutenant Steel. They handle alien threats as well, but seem a lot less efficacious and less well-informed than the Plumbers (Also don't seem to be a secret from the public).
    • And, lest we forget, the Forever Knights. They're kind of like a pre-Canary-Wharf Torchwood, interested mostly in killing aliens and hijacking their tech. The same series that retconned the Plumbers also revealed that the Knights' ultimate goal is to use alien tech to slay an alien dragon they captured 1000 years ago. Even later, the same series reveals that this is just one of many factions of the Forever Knights, though all have similar "get rid of the aliens and steal their tech" motives.
  • The S.U.M.A. (Shut Up and Move Along) agents from the Class of 3000 episode "Brotha from the Third Rock". Competence optional.
  • Code Lyoko also has its Men In Black, seen mostly in flashbacks relative to Franz Hopper and Project Carthage. Two secret agents appears in episode "False Lead" but don't seem to linked to the other MIB. Parodied when they confess that they are so secret, even the president don't know they exist, and they are not so sure who they are working for. But school directors are allowed to know what even the president must not.
  • In Danny Phantom, the U.S. government's answer to ghosts at first comes off as a typical example, with the little twist that they're called Guys in White and invert the usual fashion choices accordingly. Then we learn that they're paranoid, anything but subtle, not particularly effective at dealing with ghosts, and obsessed with keeping their uniforms clean. Then played straight in later appearances when they appear much more competent, and actually pose a threat to Danny.
  • The Doctor Who animation "Dreamland", set in Area 51, introduces Men in Black early on. They eventually turn out to be robotic agents of the Alliance of Shades, named Mr. Dread, Mr. Fear, Mr. Terror and Mr. Apprehension.
  • The Fairly OddParents! has MERF, the Military Extraterrestrial Response Force, whose purpose it to protect Earth from otherwordly threats. Considering that Adults Are Useless on this show, you can guess how well that works out.
  • While a lot... quirkier than most examples, Glitch Techs certainly act as a local MIB. They deal with threats that could cause serious damage if left unchecked, and their equipment allows them to erase memories and repair any damage caused by glitches or a Glitch Tech's fight with a glitch.
  • The Gravity Falls' episode "Scary-oke" begins with such agents coming to town. These agents were named Agent Powers and Agent Trigger and they were the main antagonists of the episode the appeared in. The episode's events convince them that there's definitely something going on.
  • The Head: Dr. Elliot has two working for him, Agents Smithee and Marshall. Though they're called "Feds" and don't actually wear black, they fit the rest of the trope to a tee.
  • Invader Zim:
  • Jackie Chan Adventures has Section 13, which is technically just a law enforcement / intelligence agency, but they now have to help Jackie Chan with fighting supernatural enemies. While they are not very familiar with magic, they are good at transportation, are very good against technology-based threats, and have been known to slow the bad guys down long enough for Jackie and co. to conjure up the spell needed to win. They are a very rare heroic example.
  • Johnny Test spoofs this: a pair of bumbling Men in Black are recurring characters who constantly fail to save the day.
  • The Kim Possible episode "Rufus vs. Commodore Puddles" centers around Area 51. Kim's ride for the mission is a pair of Men in Black named "Agent Smith" and "Agent Smith". Kim's usual formulaic response to their "don't mention it" line, to humbly recount how simple it was to help them in the past, is interrupted by, "No, really! Don't mention it."
  • As per the film and comic books, Men in Black: The Series features these guys as the protagonists. It also shows that this is a thing among the aliens as well! The alien policeman Temblor is a seven-foot-tall humanoid wearing a black coat, sunglasses, and a fedora. The only thing off model is his gas mask and facial bandages.
  • The Alliance in Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legends operates like the Men in Black. A secret agency comprised mostly of humans, and some aliens, who track down and deal with abnormal alien activity on Earth, and keeping the unaware civilian population sated with convenient cover stories.
  • Super Noobs has Memnock and Zenblock, who are virus warriors and agents for the Benevolent Alliance. Their role in this only applies to them on Earth due to the fact that its citizens do not know about The Benevolent Alliance. Memnock and Zenblock fit in this category because they are aliens, wear black colored armor, own a memory erasing device, fight The Virus while trying to maintain the status quo of Earth, hide their alien identities and reason for being on Earth from the public while disguising themselves as two basic human men when they go own in public, and their backstories are extremely vague and are not touched on very much.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), the antagonist Bishop is a Man in Black.
  • The Transformers mythos has several different takes on the concept in various segments of the mythos, as befits a franchise that often has an Alien Among Us story.
    • Sector Seven from the live-action movie and associated side-stories. We could tell you more, but A, that would be spoilers and B, we'd have to kill you. This site has no budget, and assassins are expensive. Save us the trouble.
    • Colonel Franklin, from Transformers: Cybertron, and his people seem like bad guys at first, but Franklin turns out to be a good guy at heart. The reason he was so eagerly looking for the Transformers? When Colonel Franklin was just a young boy, a mysterious and otherworldly figure saved his life. That figure, it turns out, is none other than the Autobot hero Evac, and their reunion goes pretty nicely.
  • The Venture Bros. has Cardholder and Doe, a pair of "exterminators" sent by [OSI] to deal with Jonas Jr.'s "butterfly problem". Another episode has an entire squad of Men in Black being ominously briefed for a mission, that turns out to be working security for Dr. Venture's yard sale.
  • In one episode of Watch My Chops, after Bernie succeeds with his alien prank that even makes it into the school newspaper. A couple of individuals in black suits show up and takes Bernie into custody for questioning on he understood the "alien"'s language.
  • In the What A Cartoon! Show short "Podunk Possum in: One Step Beyond", Podunk gets a visit from a pair of mysterious government agents who (with the help of a hypnotic "shiny badge") assure him he did not see anything unusual in the skies tonight. They also happen to be aliens in disguise.
    Aliens: Those stupid Earthlings fall for that "government agent" bit every time!

    Real Life 
  • Based on the secretive government agents of the Cold War era, following the President's every footstep and whispering coded security updates at every turn.
  • J. Edgar Hoover revamped the popular image of law enforcement from a corrupt, overweight, bumbling brute wielding a blood-spattered nightstick to a handsome, tommy gun-toting, college-educated nemesis of America's Public Enemy No. 1. This public relations campaign gave rise to the "G-man" as a forerunning to the MIB — see the Film section above.
  • Apparently, the standard MIB get-up has become something of an Ascended Meme where the Secret Service and similar government agents are concerned, though it's possible and in fact fairly likely that the guys in the sharp suits are mostly there as decoys and an equal or greater number are wearing band T-shirts, worn cargo pants and sneakers.
  • In the British civil service they have been known as "boxers" as according to the mythology the only address they give for their department is always a PO box. Box 500 and Box 850 are the most well known.
  • Part of the culture of 'Geek Squad' is a parody on this. Employees refer to themselves as 'Agent [last name or sometimes first name]', wear a uniform designed to be a nerdy version of a secret service agent's uniform, and are often portrayed as being 'super cereal' about what they're doing in both commercials and training videos. Of course, many tech illiterate people find some agents to be overbearing, dressed to kill, speaking an incomprehensible code language to mask the simplicity of their operations, and specially trained by experts to deal in matters too arcane for the normal mind to comprehend, so the parody practically writes itself.
  • The Securitate was Romania's attempt at The Men in Black during the Communist era. This is more of a subversion though, since most of them were nothing more than common street muscle and bar thugs, dressed in black suits.
  • The term is also used tongue-in-cheek to refer to "Revenue Protection Officers" on UK railways, the people who check tickets and issue fines for evasion. They are almost universally seen in pairs, wearing long black coats (more following the "bouncer" image than a Man in Black proper) and acting like the High Lords of the Universe.
  • Bouncers and other high class security people the world over abuse this trope to the hilt, simply because it looks badass and intimidating to anyone thinking of starting trouble (which is half the point of security staff). Occasionally leads to the fridge logic of bouncers at nightclubs wearing sunglasses.
  • The people sent by the Troikanote  to those EU countries that received financial bail-outs to supervise how things were going were often nicknamed in news "Men in Black".
  • The Oprichniki, a quasi-monastic order of political police founded by Ivan the Terrible to monitor the nobility for treachery, wore black habits, rode black horses, and had the legal right to horribly kill anyone they felt posed a threat to Ivan.
  • There are several reports of people, after experiencing abnormal phenomena, claiming that the men in black sought them out.


Video Example(s):


The KGB says hello

Regardless if you're a Soviet national or a foreigner in the USSR, it's a dreadful thing to see (or hear) that the KGB pays you a social visit.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheMenInBlack

Media sources: