Alien Scrappy

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"Wesa gonna DIE!"
"Dropo, you're the laziest man on Mars!"

A Plucky Comic Relief character in a sci-fi, fantasy or Superhero story, with a supposedly "cute" appearance and actions, who comes from another planet or dimension, or is a member of some kind of magical race. Such characters are often the Non-Human Sidekick, Small Annoying Creature and/or The Scrappy of the story. Occasionally one of them is a villain, but it's hard to take such a stupid-looking villain seriously. In fact, it's hard to take any story seriously once one of these little buggers is introduced. Really, the trope is sort of a Hand Wave to allow for bloody ridiculous characters. The viewer asks, "Why the hell is that character so stupid and unrealistic, don't they realize he spoils the show?" and the unsatisfactory answer comes back, "Ah, but he's an alien, you see. Everyone's like him where he comes from."

How can you tell if it's an Alien Scrappy? Well, if you're not one of those people that despises all things cute and chirpy, in fact, you'll even squeal at a baby animal once in a while... and you still think the annoying little character should die? That's a pretty good hint.

Also see Amusing Alien, the source of many Alien Scrappies.

Examples of Alien Scrappy include:

Comics[edit | hide | hide all]

  • The DCU has a bunch of these, mostly spawned from Mr. Mxyzptlk from Superman. They're very often The Great Gazoo as well.
    • Batman has Bat-Mite. Post-Crisis, a Retcon suggested that he existed only in Bob Overdog's LSD hallucinations, but he was recently re-introduced as a character that may or may not be a figment of a drugged and crazed Batman's imagination.
    • Even Aquaman got into the act, with Quisp, the sea sprite. (A later Retcon made him a villainous being from Mxy's dimension called Qwsp.)
    • Possibly the worst of these was Zook, the Martian Manhuter's tiny friend. Unlike most of the above, who only appeared every so often, Zook was in all of the original Silver Age Martian Manhunter stories -- until they were Retooled into a Spy Drama.
      • Mopee was so disliked they retconned him away after his first and only appearance in The Flash.
    • Weirdly enough, all the sprites -- even Mopee! -- appeared in an issue of the new Super Friends comic book. And it was actually pretty amusing.
    • Proty, Chameleon Boy's shape-shifting pet from the Legion of Super-Heroes.
  • Supreme, Alan Moore's homage to Silver Age Superman has Szazs, the Sprite Supreme. Who comes from the same dimension as Nite-Mite (Professor Night's Bat-Mite analogue) and Qyrk (Roy Roman's Qwisp analogue).
  • In the Doctor Who comic strip that ran in Doctor Who Magazine, the Doctor was, for a time, accompanied by Frobisher, an alien shapeshifter who chose to spend most of him time looking like a penguin. Frobisher later appeared in some of the original audio adventures.
  • The Green Lantern G'nort, who is perceived (and rightly so) as The Scrappy within DC's continuity as well.
    • G'nort was retooled significantly after the pre-Emerald Twilight re-building of the Green Lantern Corps in the early '90s; in JLI he was a Deadpan Snarker and a hideous brown humanoid with Cyrano de Bergerac's nose; after Guy Gardner (occasionally a Scrappy in his own right) was re-named Green Lantern of Earth, he was saddled with G'nort as his sidekick, only now he was cute and naive and ended the story with a Crowning Moment of Awesome. He gradually lapsed back into being the Scrappy.


Films -- Live Action[edit | hide]

  • The Ewoks from Star Wars, in all their forms.
  • Even more so, Jar-Jar Binks from the Star Wars prequel trilogy (pictured). Some further complain that Jar-Jar resembles a Stepin Fetchitt-type "coon" caricature of a black man. He could therefore be said to overlap with the Ethnic Scrappy trope. It should be noted that even his own people consider him annoying: he was exiled from his homeland due to his clumsiness.
    • Conversely, the computer game LEGO Star Wars made Jar-Jar actually useful, with a helpful skillset and a decent gun. More importantly, he stayed quiet... one of many improvements the game made over the prequel trilogy.
    • Probably the worst offender is Watto, who is such a massive caricature of typical stereotypes of Jewish, Turk, Jamaican, Whosis traders it could almost be a parody... if it weren't played completely straight. Exactly what group is being caricatured is subject to a wide, wide range of discussion.
  • The pointless little chameleon-like alien from The Movie based on Lost in Space. In the original script, there was actually a plot-related reason (albeit a fairly weak one) for finding it, but in the final cut, it's just a waste of special effects budget.
    • Not to mention that the scene where the protagonists decide to adopt it is a real Wall Banger: they met a completely unknown lifeform, which could have been venomous or dangerous in plenty of ways for all they knew, yet they deem it perfectly harmless because it is cute, not noticing its extremely sharp teeth.
  • Dropo from Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. The Odious Comic Relief, now in extraterrestrial form!
  • To some extent, Scottie's companion in Star Trek (2009) is getting flack. He doesn't do much besides get in the way, and we have to wonder why he's even there.
    • Presumably he's just there to give Simon Pegg someone to yell at. Since the "Drunk Scot" stereotype would be inappropriate, they clearly decided to go with the "Angry Scot" stereotype instead.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Robert Heinlein would often subvert this in his sci-fi juveniles, where the annoying, bumbling alien "pet" would turn out to be a vastly more intelligent creature who regarded his "owner" as the annoying, bumbling alien pet! (To give one specific example: Red Planet.)
    • Basically the entire plot of The Star Beast, where John Thomas Stuart XI's "pet alien", Lummox (who he inherited from one of the earlier John Thomas Stuarts) has made "the raising of John Thomasses" into a multi-century hobby.
  • This also happens in one of Robert Asprin's later Myth books, where a chapter narrated by Skeeve's pet dragon, Gleep reveals it to be highly intelligent, and often considering incinerating some of Skeeve's friends it thinks might be a bad influence. Eventually Skeeve learns the truth, and Gleep evidently accepts Skeeve's choice of friends.
  • Sword of Truth: "Gratch luuuug Raaach Arrrrg!"
  • Animorphs: The Napoleon The Helmacrons, sorry.
    • As one troper put in on the Animorphs main page, "Fuck off Drode, no one wants to hear your shit."
    • Iskroot. The completely nonsensical background doesn't help either.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Chewbacca's father and son, Itchy and Lumpy from The Star Wars Holiday Special. It doesn't help that the viewer is subjected to about 15 minutes of Wookie dialog without subtitles.
  • Star Trek: Voyager's Neelix. Though not quite as silly as other characters on this page, he is frequently aggravating. And a lot of his skills (especially as a "survival expert") fall squarely in the ground of Informed Ability.
    • The sad thing being that, in the pilot episode, Neelix was comic relief, but he was competent comic relief. He owned his own starship, was a combat-hardened veteran, was a successful businessman, and had the stones to manipulate the Voyager crew into being weapons against his enemies. Next episode, he suddenly becomes the Alien Scrappy.
  • As noted on the Babylon 5 page, the Drazi were annoying because they became a dumping ground for every idiotic alien custom imaginable.
    • YMMV on this one; some people found the Drazi hilarious.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The entire race of Moogles in Final Fantasy IX. Though tolerable, and even sometimes popular, in the rest of the series, in IX their primary role is to send the player on a long, pointless series of (thankfully optional) literal Fed Ex Quests to deliver their cutesy letters to each other. Oh, and they also run most of the save points in the game, so you can't just avoid them for most of the game.
    • It only gets really bad after you get access to intercontinental travel since up to that point most moogles will conveniently be sending letters to the next moogle on your path. After that, you'll be pissed as shit to realize that Kuppo and Kupo are two different moogles, half a continent away from one another.
      • Quina Quen seems to get a lot more flak for being extremely unfunny and annoying.
  • Lamarr, Dr. Kleiner's debeaked pet headcrab in Half-Life 2. While she is clearly harmless and affectionate towards Kleiner, most of the time her purpose seems to be to annoy Barney and break things.
    • In Half-Life 2: Episode Two, she ends up getting unintentionally launched into space...with a Garden Gnome if you choose to...
      • To be fair, though, if it hadn't messed up the teleporter the game would've been about ten minutes long (although if that happened in real life it'd just be annoying).
  • Chu-Chu and all her race in Xenogears. She's so grotesquely cute that Bart, a hardened desert pirate and captain of a massively powerful battleship, was too disgusted to pick her up and put her aside when she was blocking the way to his own bridge. To add insult to injury, she's the only Gear-sized character who doesn't consume fuel and whose character stats actually matter in Gear battles.
  • Blasted Elvis/Elphais from Perfect Dark.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Orko from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, who went from a great (if eccentric) wizard on his homeworld of Trolla to a bumbling, annoying comic relief because his powers didn't work properly on Eternia.
    • In the 2002 series, Orko became comic relief because he lost his wand while rescuing a young Prince Adam and his pet tiger from sinking into a swamp. Without his wand none of his magic works correctly.
      • It was the same in the '80s series, save for it being a medallion rather than a wand.
  • Parodied in an episode of Count Duckula, when the Count took a trip to "Planet Cute".
  • Subverted in Futurama; Nibbler seems like just a cute little animal with a prodigious appetite, and usually acts that way, but turns out to be something very different.
  • Orbity from The Jetsons. Even worse are the Ewok-like Grungees from The Jetsons Movie. Spacely lost quite a few points with some members of the audience for not cackling insanely and turning the mine back on to collapse the asteroid. The one adopted by Elroy is named Squeak.
  • Glomer, the "leprechaun gopher" on the animated Punky Brewster. Yes, that's what they called it.
  • That Gleek... thing... on Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space. It looked like a prehensile bundle of cotton balls and seemed to exist solely to annoy the cat (and make Melody even more obnoxious than she already was).
    • His name was "Bleep," which was also the only word he could say. Melody was able to translate for him.
  • Let's not forget the other Gleek, from Superfriends.
  • The unforgivably awful Snarf from Thundercats. Has there ever been a more aggravating "cute" character in a cartoon?
    • Snarf's young nephew Snarfer, who is, if anything, even more annoying.
    • Lion-O in the blooper reel (NSFW) says what most of us are thinking:

Snarf: You--you've got to snap out of it, Lion-O! Call the Thundercats before--
Lion-O: Shut up, you fuck.

  • While not especially "cute", Gazoo from The Flintstones falls into this category as being the excessively annoying, and often un-necessary, alien.
  • Lampshaded in South Park with the Jackovasaurs, who are extremely annoying, but everyone is well aware of this fact and does their best to get rid of them.
  • Parodied once on Sealab 2021, when Dr. Quinn's character is changed from an Ethnic Scrappy into an Alien Scrappy.

Quinn: Why am I a friggin' Martian?
Director: Hey, sweet! Wardrobe got you set up, and listen, you are not a Martian. You're from a super-race of symbiotes. Little snake lives in your belly.
Quinn: Since when?
Director: Well, the writers were, you know, having trouble writing for, uh, urban characters.
Quinn: "Urban" meaning black.
Director: So now he's like Mr. Spock. But urban. Like, "Get at me, dawg!"
Quinn: This show sucks.

  • Gloop and Gleep from The Herculoids sometimes got a bit annoying, thanks to that headache-inducing gibbidygook "talking" of theirs. And their schmoo-like simplicity was rather jarring, when compared to the visual styling of the other Herculoid critters.
  • Roger from American Dad is one of these to Stan and his family in-universe.
  • Parodied relentlessly on Invader Zim -- not by GIR, but by Shloonktapooxis, that weird cone-looking guy on the Resisty Flagship. Just sort of stands around screaming "adorable" things. Weird.