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Basic Trope: A race of clown-like people.

  • Straight: Clowns are an alien race from another planet. They know how to do slight-of-hand magic tricks, they have weapons that look like squirting flowers and custard pies and their favorite snack is your children.
  • Justified:
    • The Clowns were created by a different alien species as a means of luring humans into their space ship disguised as a tent, having based them off of regular human performers.
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    • The profession of clowns and jesters were deliberately based off of the otherworldly Clowns when they first came to our world.
  • Inverted: People with No Sense of Humor are depicted as aliens.
  • Subverted: An alien race appears that looks exactly what Earth clowns look like... only to reveal that they were wearing actual clown costumes and the aliens look like regular humans.
  • Double Subverted: An alien race appears that looks exactly what Earth clowns look like, only to reveal that they were wearing actual clown costumes and the aliens look like regular humans. Then it is revealed that their true forms actually are similar to clowns and they are using holograms to disguise themselves.
  • Parodied: The Clowns come to Earth in their massive Big Top flying saucer and land on Earth. They proceed to declare the Earth their's, but everyone just applauds at them because the way they communicate comes across as a comedy routine.
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  • Deconstructed: ???
  • Reconstructed: ???
  • Zig Zagged: The Free-Range Children of a Close-Knit Community believe that the new neighbor is a some kind of vampire because they see his costume and all of his strange perifinelia. They tell their parents and they all find out that he was actually a retired circus clown and all of his things were moments from his old job. It turns out though that the neighbor is kidnapping people while in his clown costume for some nefarious purpose. The kids catch him in the act and he transforms into a massive Monster Clown speaking Black Speech before they exploit a weakness and he seemingly melts into a viscous puddle. One of the kids explains that he was an alien sent to Earth from his clown planet to abduct children... only to then reveal that the clown was a demon summoned by the actual neighbor who really was a vampire.
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  • Averted: Clowns are just humans that dress up as they do and act they way they are as a performance.
  • Enforced: Clowns are an easily exploitable fear in audiences and the studio saw franchise potential in an entire species of otherworldly clowns.
  • Implied: A mysterious Humanoid Abomination with the likeness of a clown is chased away from an angry mob, only for the protagonist to check the news and find out that very similar Humanoid Abominations have been spotted in every other town in the country at the same time.
  • Logical Extreme: All clowns are secretly supernatural monsters that have successfully infiltrated humanity and have every intention of taking us over from the inside.
  • Played for Laughs: Clowns come to invade the Earth, but because they are clowns, all of their means of doing so are comically inept. They try shooting us, but they are just watering guns. They try to beat us to death, but they try to do this with balloon animals. They try to trap us in cages made of cotton candy, but we easily tear out of it.
  • Played for Drama: A clown from another dimension ends up in our dimension and is desperate to get home. He tries telling everyone about it, but his means of communicating do not let anyone take him seriously. Alone and on the streets, the constant ridicule leaves him in a suicidal depression.
  • Played for Horror: A Monster Clown appears out of nowhere and walks into a small country town. It is indestructible, it can warp reality to their own twisted whims and it likes nothing more to inflict and prolong suffering to any individual. It picks a house in the outskirts of town and slowly tortures the homeowner's grandchildren to death in sadistic ways as he breaks the poor man's mind. After his will has been broken, the Clown turns the old man into another clown identical to him as they go their separate ways, both off to repeat the process somewhere else.
  • Exaggerated: All aliens, demons, Eldritch Abominations, etc look like clowns compared to the human race.
  • Downplayed: Clowns are humans like you and me, but the face paint, strange clothing and odd behavior is all a part of their ethnic/cultural heritage.
  • Lampshaded: "I always knew that clowns weren't human, what with their giant feet and red noses."
  • Invoked: All clowns were humans that sold their souls to an Eldritch Abominations to take on its characteristics, their new forms a sort of halfway between it and their old human selves.
  • Defied: "Oh come on! Clowns aren't some otherworldly conspiracy. I dressed up like one for Halloween, remember?"
  • Exploited: A monster hunter is looking for a creature that has been kidnapping children and his first suspect is a traveling carnival that had just set up shop around the time the children started to go missing.
  • Discussed: "If Stephen King has taught me anything, it is that clowns are evil and are probably coming with reinforcements."
  • Conversed: ???
  • Untwisted: The monster hunter first suspects all of the clowns of a local carnival on account of the way they all silently stares at him in a creepy and unnatural way, and his various magic tricks and comedic stunts they do have a lot in common with that of commonly done Satanic rituals that he has encountered. Then one of the clowns turns up dead and they are all clearly disturbed by it, implying that none of them are the monsters that he was looking for. The it is revealed that they were the monsters they were looking for and that the lone clown's death and their mock-horror at it was all a part of a ritual for them to return to their home dimension.
  • Unparodied: Clowns come to invade the earth. The generals and politicians that were there to greet them mock their feeble attempts at intimidation, only to reveal that their clown tools are actually very dangerous. Their water squirting flowers actually squirt an infection zombie pollen, the candy they bring are actually seeds for a vicious Alien Kudzu and their novelty hammers can crush cars.
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