Aliens Are Bastards
When man looks up at the stars, the sense of wonder, and emptiness, can be as overwhelming as the questions they inspire. Is there life out there? Is it intelligent? Are they friendly? In fiction, the short answers are: "Yes", "Yes" and "Hell no!" Why? Because Aliens Are Bastards.
In Speculative Fiction stories dealing with the extraterrestrial and otherworldly, the beings from beyond the veil are rarely friendly, and if they are it's usually a pretense so they can eat us or make us mommies less than consensually. The reason is that it makes good drama, it exploits humanity's latent fear of the unknown with implacable and indecipherable menaces. Traditionally this trope uses aliens not as characters but as forces of nature. They will be the Monster of the Week for the heroes to fight, a terrifying and nigh-unstoppable foe with little to no motivation other than violence for its own sake.
This type of alien bastard is usually very visually distinct from "good" aliens (who tend to be Green Skinned Space Babes). They will be ugly, obviously inhuman and rarely humanoid. Of course, they won't be friendly, do not understand love, want to steal our women, natural resources and possibly leave nothing behind of the planet itself. Despite having the technology needed for space travel, they will make no attempt to communicate or explain their actions and seem to have targeted us for no good or readily apparent reason.
Where this trope gets interesting is when the aliens' motivations for bastardry are explored and placed parallel to our own penchant for bastardry. Humans bulldoze over entire habitats for housing with nary a thought, but imagine an Eldritch Abomination un-Terraforming the planet so it can live here? Alternately, America Wins the War is a pretty common trope, but ever wonder how those losing said wars feel when being steamrollered by the invincible American war machine? Enter the typical Alien Invasion work where our guns are useless. Then there are stories where aliens use us (sometimes even after they create us) so that they can survive, prosper, or just get high and toss us aside afterwards... just like what humans would do.
In different decades, aliens have been used as allegories for different groups or ideologies. In the 50's during the Red Scare, aliens who were Hive Minds or body snatchers were popular, while in the modern age dominated by fear of terrorism, they will tend to be groups of individuals motivated by some religion or quest for vengeance, frequently using propaganda against their own people. Alternately, the aliens might be better than us in a lot of ways... because they fully embraced eradicating The Evils of Free Will, and want to make our lives easier by taking the difficulty of choice out of our hands. With recent ecological concerns, a new trend is for bastard aliens to come teach us a Green Aesop about not killing trees, usually by way of genocide.
On a lesser scale, there are, of course, The Greys with the reputed stereotype of mutilating cattle and abducting humans for the sole sake of probing them in the name of Science for their own, vague, nefarious purposes.
NOTE: This trope does not apply to animalistic aliens without intellect. Violent as they are, they aren't knowingly being bastards.
- In Suzumiya Haruhi, it is eventually revealed that both the Data Integration Thought Entity and the Sky Canopy Dominion, the two opposing races of Sufficiently Advanced Alien, are too concerned with fighting each other than caring about the effect their actions will have on humans, or even their own interfaces. Indeed, The DITE is willing to send Yuki as an ambassador to the Dominion, in order to break her, as punishment for going rogue due to an error which wasn't her fault in the first place. The only reason they can't enforce a more direct punishment is because Kyon is threatening them with a trump card that could potentially fuck over the universe. Of course, the Sky Canopy are the villains, so they're even worse than that. When Kyon tells another DITE Interface that "Earth is not a playground for aliens", the response is, roughly, "What an entertaining joke." So at this point, it seems that the only unambiguously good alien is Yuki.
- The aliens in Seikimatsu Occult Gakuen.
- UFO Robo Grendizer plays with this trope: At the start Kouji believes he can try to communicate with the Vegans -the alien invaders- and befriend them, but Daisuke tries to warn him they are NOT his friends and are NOT peaceful or reasonable. However, Daisuke himself was an alien and a decent person. And although the Big Bad, Great King Vega and his subordinates are Complete Monsters, throughout the series more aliens -including Vegans- are introduced are decent people or at the worst are Well-Intentioned Extremists who believe Utopia Justifies the Means.
- Of course, this approach on alien morality is common within many other Super Robot Genre series of Grendizer's ilk.
- In the 2000 AD strip, Bec & Kawl, The Greys who abduct Pierre seem to view humans as play-things to be abused and toyed with for their amusement, at least when not partaking in the traditional Anal Probing and alien-human hybrid experiments, of course. When The Greys decide to recruit Pierre (who is a pest control expert) for the job of "taking on the filthiest vermin of all" (a separate malevolent alien race hiding amongst us on Earth, waiting for the opportune moment to strike), it turns out to be a Batman Gambit for The Greys' own benefit of helping them conquer Earth themselves.
- Pick an alien race from Marvel Comics. Any of them will do:
- The Skrulls like to infiltrate other planets with their shape-shifting power in order to destroy them from the inside. This is usually because they're (ironically enough) just that damn paranoid.
- The Kree like to play god with genetics, are big fans of enslavement, and are basically Nazis In Space!
- The Brood are basically expies of the Xenomorphs from the Alien franchise except they are a bit more intelligent, thus giving them no excuse to act like animals.
- The Shi'Ar Empire are probably the "nicest" aliens. They're a militristic empire that bounce back and forth between well intentioned extremists, anti-heroes, and social darwinists depending on who is in charge of the empire and what mood they are in. They tend to fight against Earth's heroes as often as they team up with them.
- The aliens in Guardians of the Galaxy killed Earth's heroes and took over the galaxy for a time as the backstory for the series. Which alien race is responsible depends on the Retcon.
- In the current run take the Spartax for example. Amongst a slew of galaxy spanning cosmic superpowers and these guys stand out as a bunch of Traitors and Hypocrites of the interstellar lot. Not to mention they're dirtbag leader whom was caste out only to be re-indoctrinated as monarch, After the fact he turned out to be insane gangster trash who sold his people out to the brood after they had deposed him.
- The symbiotes from Spider-Man are parasitic organisms that cling to people who are violently insane and then drive them even more insane before killing them. It has been noted that Spidey's villain, Venom, has a rare symbiote in that it actually cares for "her" hosts. Yes, that's right. Venom is the nicest product of that race.
- Subverted in the fact that Klyntar; they race's true name, are actually peaceful creatures who wish to bond with and empower other races. True due to their prior affiliation, Knull creating them to be the naturally chaotic evil forces in his army. Exposure to the light of the universe which he sought to destroy changed them for the better.
- The Badoon not only hate you, but they hate women as well.
- The Dire Wraiths are related to Skrulls but use magic instead of technology.
- The Phalanx combine the Borg with a Zombie Apocalypse. Fun!
- The technarchy they come from want to eat everything, the phalanx are why they don't play with their food. Keeping their numbers low is that technarcy are also bastards to each other.
- There are some races such as the The Inhumans and Eternals who are more or less aliens but they are also off-shoots of humanity. They are usually good guys but they've had their moments (read War of Kings to see what the Inhumans have been doing lately). In this way, they combine Aliens Are Bastards with Humans Are the Real Monsters in one, neat package.
- Oh, and some races have evolved into nigh-cosmic beings such as the Celestials. That doesn't always make them nicer but rather, turns this trope Up to Eleven by making these alien assholes nigh unstoppable. The best you have to hope for is to run into a Watcher who will stand there and take notes while something really bad happens.
- The crossover event "Maximum Security" debuted with a conference of many different alien races voting on what to do about Earth, since Earthlings were always meddling in their affairs. Only a few races either standing against the Council's decree or speaking up for our betterment were the Kymellians from Power Pack, who seem to be pretty much Always Lawful Good and knew us mostly from their dealings with the friendly Power children. And/or the Shi'Ar of X-Men, the former leader of whom; Princess Lilandra, having a deep relationship with the X-Mutants. Particularly with they're founder Prof. Xavier.
- And speaking of Power Pack, the Snarks count too. Though apparently not all Kymellians weren't as entirely good as Aelfyre.
- This is less true over at DC Comics, probably because so many DC alien races first appeared as members of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
- Prior to the DC reboot, the most recent depiction of the Kryptonians cast them in an unflattering light. Lack of Empathy for anyone that isn't a Kryptonian is their Hat.
- The Daxamites' Hat is vicious xenophobia. Ironically, the Daxamites are taught their entire lives that Aliens Are Bastards, which makes them bastards when they kill any alien they meet just for existing. Notably, Daxamites are the product of a genetically-diverged Kryptonian Lost Colony, so at least the genus is consistently xenophobic.
- The people of Apokolips. All of them. Even the downtrodden Lowlies prove themselves to be total bastards if they are given power -- Darkseid's Torture Technician Granny Goodness used to be one of the Lowlies. Heck, one of Darkseid's hobbies is to free some slaves and make them his new overseers just so he can watch them become as cruel as their former tormentors.
- The Thanagarians from Hawkman, Tamaranians from Teen Titans, and the citizens of Rann from Adam Strange have all had turns being antagonists at some point but they tend to be more gray than many of the aliens here.
- The DC Crossover Invasion! involved many races forming an alliance to invade Earth, this included the aforementioned Thanagarians and Chameleon Boy's race. A race called the Dominators were the main villains, however.
- The Mars Attacks! series, based on the trading card series from The Sixties (see page image), featured Martians running amuk on Earth. This race seemed to be Exclusively Evil in every version.
- The comic Brain Camp, whose alien birds were collaborating with the leaders of a kids' camp to use the kids as incubators for their young. True the race was dying on its own, but it's still squicky to see aliens bursting out of teenagers.
- The Day the Earth Stood Still, the remake, has aliens nearly wipe us out because we were potentially about to destroy the environment. They were going to negotiate first, but then their envoy was shot and captured, and his request to speak to the UN was denied. None of this went far toward proving that humans were no longer careless, violent, or wasteful.
- In the original version the aliens only come to Earth after Earth developed nuclear ICBMs... they don't care at all what humans do on their own planet, but the instant they can launch weapons towards other planets they intervene.
- Mars Attacks! parodies the whole thing with The Unintelligible belligerent Martians.
- Accentuated, if only because all the Humans Are Morons.
- Independence Day. And How! They are a scavaging race who take what they need and wipe out what's left of the planets they ravage.
- War of the Worlds has the Martians attack Earth. The remake shows them using people as compost; for Alien Kudzu, in fact.
- Fresh addition: Skyline's aliens are complete assholes. Sure they invade the planet, hypnotize people with their blue lights and brutally steal the brains of anyone they capture, but what do they do when they come across pregnant women? They try to suck the babies out of them, that's what.
- The Predators, who use Earth as a game reserve for Hunting the Most Dangerous Game. The Expanded Universe of the Alien vs. Predator comics show they regularly seed other planets with Aliens so they'll have a good hunting spot later on.
- In Battle: Los Angeles, within minutes of the first alien craft crashing down in the ocean, they're opening fire on civilians and shooting indiscriminately. Corpses of massacred human civilians and soldiers are visible nearly everywhere throughout the movie, and news reports state that the aliens are rounding up humans with death squads and executing them in the streets. One scientist suggests that the aliens are using textbook "colonization" tactics: invade, wipe out the indigenous population, and take their resources.
- Cowboys and Aliens featured a race of alien miners who make it a point to capture and disect humans out of curiosity.
- The Martians from War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells of course, although it's a somewhat complex example. The author notes that Mars is a dying world, and that the Martians are only carrying warfare sunward so that their species can survive (in the epilogue, it is implied that after the invasion failed they settled for colonising Venus instead). He also compares them with Imperialists of the 19th century, making the Martians something of a This Loser Is You to his primarily British readers.
- The Pierson's Puppeteers from Larry Niven's Known Space series are not just alien bastards, they are alien manipulative bastards. How so? They maneuvered all of humanity into the sights of the predatory, warlike, technologically superior Kzinti, just to give them some breathing room, then after the war was over used humans as as if we were a race of Polish landmine detectors. Not to mention the thousands of humans they kidnapped and enslaved under the guise of "spacecraft failures".
- On the side of helping us to screw over other races, the Puppeteers set up a starseed lure because they knew that (for their own impenetrable reasons) the Outsiders follow the starseeds. When the Outsiders encountered humanity, they sold us the hyperspace drive. Humans quickly become a much bigger problem for the Kzinti.
- When a Puppeteer told a Human and a Kzinti the truth about their manipulation in Ringworld, both were furious. The human was furious that his race had been forced to fight, the Kzinti was furious that his race had been forced to lose.
- As far back as the 1940s, CS Lewis noted the tendency in sci-fi literature for aliens more advanced than humans to be amoral and regard humanity as inferiors. Lewis' own Space Trilogy was a deliberate reaction against this trend—his aliens are more moral than humanity.
- Lisanne Norman's Sholan Alliance series gives us two examples out of numerous interstellar species who are willing to be nice.
- The Chemerians are conniving, double dealing tree-climbing...
- The Valtegans from planet M'Zull have already wiped ALL life off the face of two Sholan colony planets for no other reason than that of being Sholans. They then go off and do the same to another planet of Valtegans simply because they are rivals.
- A rather nasty science fiction novel by Charles R Pellegrino, Flying to Valhalla is built around the theory that a species looks out for itself only, destroying all competitors. Also a sort-of-sequel, The Killing Star.
- The Prador of the Polity Series are a Giant Enemy Crab race whose culture revolves around a Social Darwinist "kill-or-be-killed" mindset. Members of the species are cruel to those weaker than themselves and maim or even eat their own children. They are just as sadistic when they go to war with humanity.
- Subverted Trope in Animorphs, which often explores the implications of any sentient species supposedly being Exclusively Evil. The main antagonists, the Yeerks, are trying to enslave humans as hosts, but only because their natural forms are weak, blind slugs desperate for the lives other races can enjoy. It's explored further with the Howlers, servants of the Sufficiently Advanced Alien Eldritch Abomination Crayak; while totally dedicated to wiping out every other species in the universe, it's revealed that Crayak keeps them unaware that other species have any sort of sentience or sapience, allowing them to slaughter other races as easily as people playing a video game.
- Discussed in passing in Blindsight: a mention is made of benevolent aliens of Carl Sagan, then compared with the idea that someone who ventures into space must have strong instincts of conquest and expansion.
- Zig Zagged Trope in Pamela Service's Under Alien Stars: Yes, Tsorians are brutal, paternalistic bastards. Humans don't have much of a moral high ground. And compared to the Hykzoi, both races look like saints.
- The Alori in The Peregrine by Poul Anderson are a zig-zag. They are treacherous but basically have a goal of surviving like any human does.
- Anderson seldom uses perfectly evil beings and most have some reason for attracting sympathy.
- The Toralii in Lacuna destroy three major cities on Earth just because Humans were developing jump drive.
- The Vogons of Hitch Hikers Guide to The Galaxy are every Obstructive Bureaucrat stereotype turned Up to Eleven and armed with planet destroying weaponry. Even evolution considers them to be a mistake.
- The Silastic Armorfiends of Striterax are actually worse - the whole Krikkit War fiasco was basically an indirect result of their desire to destroy the entire universe.
- Ender's Game is a long deconstruction of this trope. The Formics, during the First and Second Invasions, would board captured ships and colonies and brutally murder the captives - while the recording equipment was still transmitting. Naturally, the humans have a deep hatred and fear of them because of this. It turns out the aliens did this because they operate as a Hive Mind. Killing all the individuals aboard a ship was simply their way of disabling the ship's communications equipment, and they never imagined until it was too late that each individual was an independent, thinking, feeling being. By the time the humans launch their counterattack, the Formics have figured this out and are deeply remorseful for their actions.
- Robert Reed's short story, Five Thrillers has an unknown race of aliens shooting the sun with a relativistic ship, causing it to eject plasma straight at the Earth. Because they can.
- The Masters in The Tripods, who enslaved humanity with mind control caps and then planned to annihilate life on Earth in the process of making the planet's atmosphere breathable for themselves.
- The Lindauzi of The Wild Boy. Their motives don't make them Complete Monsters; they were trying to avoid their entire race regressing to wild animals. But they still released a virus on Earth, then released a second wave, killing millions before it was over. And to further endear us, they came with a vaccine, appearing to be saviors. They killed off our pets, cats and dogs, then started breeding humans like dogs to re-engineer the bond they once shared with the Iani, the creatures who originally created them.
- In Flint and Wentworth's The Course of Empire series, the Jao are just ordinary imperialists with the vices and virtues of such. And at least, being another species, they are not inclined to indulge in a typical activity of conquerors. The Ekrat on the other hand, are not just imperialist but |exterminationist.
- On Doctor Who, there are, however, plenty of good aliens, most notably the Doctor himself. However, the Doctor fights all manner of sundry horrors bent on our demise every other episode.
- Foremost on the list are The Daleks; super-intelligent, genetically engineered, Exclusively Evil space Nazis designed to feel no other emotion than hate (though they sometimes display fear and others). They are utterly fanatical about their own inherent superiority, to the point where civil wars have broken out among them if factions start displaying minor differences, and to where they have chosen death when "contaminated" by foreign DNA. Their goal is nothing less than to exterminate every living thing in the universe (and, once, the multiverse) other than themselves, and they often tend to find themselves dealing with Earth.
- The Cybermen are, basically, alternate humans, from Earth's twin planet Mondas (and in the new series, a parallel universe, though the last ones to show up were Mondasian according to Word of God, despite the costume design) who converted themselves into emotionless cyborgs obsessed with the survival of their race, and the best way to do that is to forcibly convert humanity into them. That they are a direct threat to mankind means that they have also sought to destroy them, or sizable chunks, in the distant future when we manage to successfully fight back.
- The Time Lords themselves are a race of supposed non-interventionists, but they are really a controlling and elitist, and somewhat stagnant, race of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens who, as their name suggests, have mastered Time Travel, among other technologies. Generally they are not malevolent and have plenty of decent members—notably The Doctor himself—but they throw up plenty of maniacs like The Master and The Rani, not to mention their insane founders Rassilon and Omega, among other miscreants. As the Time War drew to a bloody close they became a race of Omnicidal Maniacs who were ready to put an end to time itself in an effort to avoid ultimate defeat, which means they last showed up as a villain race.
- The Sontarans are an entire race of Blood Knights who are engaged in a 50,000-year war with another species, and to ensure a ready supply of troops turned to cloning, to the point where practically every living Sontaran is now a clone of someone else, resulting in a buttload of uniformity. They usually attack Earth as part of a strategy aimed at achieving victory in their war rather than any particular feelings about us, though they enjoy it when we fight back because War Is Glorious.
- Torchwood has a lot more bastard aliens than its parent show, but the Children of Earth miniseries goes much further: Aliens repeatedly subject humans to Sadistic Choices involving Human Sacrifice just so that they can get high ...off children.
- The Stargate Verse is full of these:
- Stargate SG-1 has the Goa'uld, the Ori and the Replicators.
- Stargate Atlantis has the Wraith and the Asurans.
- Stargate Universe deserves special mention because it seems like every alien race they encounter makes no attempt to communicate beyond "SURRENDER" and then tries to kill them. Lampshaded by Volker when Rush wants to investigate an energy signature that could be intelligent life; he reminds them that the last time they encountered aliens didn't work out so well. And the time before that. And the time before that... Maybe they should have listened to him.
- The last case was probably subverted. Or doubly subverted. Let's see how cliffhanger will resolve.
- Also, the franchise as a whole has the Ancients themselves, who are (bar a few notable exceptions) the poster boys for Neglectful Precursors (although from what we see of their present-day actions or lack thereof and how those threaten their own survival, it may be more of another trope than this one).
- "We are of peace, always". More Blatant Lies were never spoken.
- And the predecessor.
- One of the main themes of Star Trek in all its incarnations is a deliberate aversion of this Trope. There is a huge variety of alien cultures out there, and only a handful are treated as objectively better or worse than humanity. And of those, fewer still are depicted as irredeemably evil, with some even becoming allies or members of the Federation eventually.
- The Borg Collective is one of the few truly irredeemably evil races in all of Star Trek, being an insane Hive Mind of cyborgs with an insatiable appetite to assimilate anything that might benefit the Collective—which is just about everything. Drones that gain individuality are usually decent people, but since they aren't part of the Collective anymore they arguably aren't really Borg either.
- The Pah-Wraiths of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. There's a reason the Bajorans consider them to be devils.
- The Vardians of Tracker. Apparently they *could* cooperate with other races, they just hate doing it and prefer to be in control. They did create a Doomsday Device capable of destroying an entire planet. They're also notorious for betrayal, apparently. The fugitives were of all six of the series' races, but not all of the species were as evil as Vardians. Most of the others were just all the races' criminal element rather than the norm.
Zin: Never trust a Vardian. Sorry.
- The Skins in Series/Roswell, plus Kivar. The Skins wore human skin to blend into Earth's environment. Kivar was the resident Big Bad who'd taken over Antar and who the Pod Squad were meant to defeat.
- The Annunaki. Just research them and your mind will be blown. It might not be in a good way, though...
- Pretty much every alien species in Warhammer 40,000 except the Tyranids (who aren't sentient) and the Tau (who are generally construed as well-intentioned).
- Sadly, from the perspective of every other race, this includes humans.
- Averted in Traveller . The closest to this is the K'kree which are herbivores on a holy war against carnivores (and omnivores, since those also eat meat), but even the K'kree have good qualities and are not an "evil race" as such. There is no "evil races" in Traveller.
- Likewise in Traveller's harder cousin 2300 AD. The major races avoid this trope except for the Kafer, and even then it's Justified Trope in that their biology only allows them full intelligence when they're fighting or fearful via an adrenaline analog.
- The Decepticons in (almost) every version of the Transformers franchise. Usually, they're on Earth for a reason, but even if they get what they want, they mostly still decide to stay and cause untold devastation anyway. Of course, they are a faction of merciless warriors, led by a fanatical tyrant (Megatron) who willingly destroyed most of their home planet, as well as a large percentage of their own species, so it probably shouldn't be surprising that they would show even more disdain to another species that are like insects by comparison.
- Some versions of the franchise (*ahem*Animated*ahem*) have less than flattering portrayals of the Autobots as well.
- The Grekim and Vecgir from Achron introduce themselves by wiping out three human colonies. They then engage and shatter the largest and most advanced fleet humanity has ever assembled... and then turn on each other.
- Destroy All Humans!.
- The Combine from the Half-Life series had been draining the Earth of its resources for the past two decades, and letting roads and cities rot. The surviving humans are essentially imprisoned in the few cities not overrun by alien fauna and are ruled with an iron fist, chemicals in the water, and a dampening field that prevents natural reproduction.
- And that's not the worst of it. The Combine is experimenting with humans in order to find the best method of converting them into a new Synth race like the Gunships. The Overwatch is the most successful; the Stalkers the least. By the time the Combine is done, humanity won't be human any longer.
- Hell, this trope in video games dates back to Space Invaders.
- The X-COM games use this in spades. Attempts to communicate with the aliens are made, but it's generally a bad idea.
- Portrayed to some extent in Stars! and other 4X space empire games. Each race is alien to each other, and the players generally think nothing of bombing/killing literally millions of colonists of the opposing players whose only crime, presumably, is not being the same race. No concept of assimilation (or at least subjugation, sparing lives) is typically offered.
- Master of Orion is an exception, as a planet's civilian population can be either annihilated or assimilated after its military is dealt with. Certain government types get bonuses or penalties for how quickly assimilation happens (for example, Unification Governments assimilate new populations very slowly, while Feudal Governments will have their planets instantly assimilate as the local Baron kowtows to a new master), and the Democracy government doesn't even have the option to annihilate. The depth of bastardry depends entirely on the player's actions.
- The Zerg from StarCraft are pretty bastardly. As a Horde of Alien Locusts, they desire to assimilate the most favorable genetic traits from sentient species and essentially swallow them whole. They get a dose of Humans Are the Real Monsters mixed in when Sarah "Queen of Blades" Kerrigan takes over, even explicitly referring to herself as "Queen Bitch of the Universe".
- The Shroobs in Mario & Luigi: Partners In Time play this as straight as possible, destroying entire towns for very little reason and using the life force of native species like Toads for UFO fuel. Not set on Earth, but the town being destroyed during Christmas is definitely the bastard part of this trope.
- The Mass Effect series generally averts this, giving every species more or less the same saint-to-asshole ratio. The batarians are as close as it gets, and that's largely because any batarian outside their home space is, by definition, an outlaw.
- The Reapers are pretty much this trope incarnate, though. Can't get much worse than Abusive Precursors who are also omnicidal and Sufficiently Advanced Aliens.
- Duke Nukem 3D, coupled with Mars Needs Women. Those alien bastards are gonna pay for shooting up his ride.
"Nobody steals our chicks...and lives!"
- Sins of a Solar Empire has the Vasari who eventually get a racial bonus towards enslavement.
- Halo gives us the Covenant. Which is led by its 'Prophets'. These Prophets have decided that humans are sacrilege incarnate and must be cleansed from the galaxy. Bastards indeed.
- Not even that. They realized that WE are their gods' real descendants and they passed their Mantle to us, so they resolve to kill us lest their thousand-year-old covenant founded on convincing their people that THEY are destined for godhood goes down the drain.
- Subverted with (most of) the other members of the Covenant. The Elites are the Proud Warrior Race Guy types who just follows orders, and actually respect the Humans for their fighting spirit. When they found out the truth, they ally themselves with the Humans and win the war for them. The Grunts are just an enslaved race who are forced to work as Cannon Fodder and don't have any real grudge against the humans. Same thing with the Hunters, who were forced by the Covenant to join them if they wanted their planet saved from been nuked, and the Engineers, who even tried to make peace from day one of the war. The major part of them would ally with the Humans too during the Covenant Civil War. The Jackals are just Hired Guns who are Only in It For the Money, but they remained loyal to the Prophets during the civil war. Played straight with the Brutes, who are savages in the Covenant For the Evulz anyway, and the Drones, who are too hive minded to think independently, and played completely straight with the Flood.
- What do you get when you blend this trope with the Humans Are the Real Monsters trope? You get Alien vs. Predator, there is all-out war between everyone and everything and they all kill each other for petty reasons (Xenomorphs for fun, Yautja for some few more bits of pride and humans for resources they don't need, power or fun as well).
- UFO: After Blank starts off with aliens called Reticulans seeding Earth with a biological agent that eventually kills off most of the life on the planet. The agent was actually used to grow a huge web of alien biomass called Mycelium, which the Reticulans planned to incorporate into a planet-sized supercomputer with godlike psionic powers.
- The Terrans in Free Space had once outright hated the Vasudans for this reason during the Great War. Naturally, the Vasudans had the same opinion about Terrans. Then came along the vastly more powerful Shivans...
- Deconstructed in Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds. The Martians only invade Earth because their planet and their species are both dying, all their efforts to maintain a habitable biosphere have failed, and the surviving population are so desperate that they have actually started lynching their leaders until they come up with a solution.
- The Burning Legion of the Warcraft franchise. They all hail from other worlds—some from other dimensions—and thanks to Fel corruption, are all bastards.
- The Star Control series has several fairly nice (if quirky) alien races, but has its share of bastards as well. The most obvious are of course main antagonists the Ur-Quan, who depending on which faction you're dealing with either gives you a choice between becoming their slave-soldiers and being stuck forever on your home planet, or kill you dead, no choice given (although their Start of Darkness does give them an understandable motivation for their acts).
- The Dnyarri are an evil race of powerful psychics who enslave other races because they are too lazy to do anything for themselves. When they enslaved the Ur-Quan in the distant past, their first orders were to have them attempt genocide on their former allies in the Sentient Millieu. The Chmmr outright call the Dnyarri the devil.
- The Vortex from Ecco the Dolphin, who use Earth as their all-you-can-eat buffet every 500 years until Ecco fights back.
- The Foe in the reboot timeline seem to exist only to conquer various worlds.
- The Cyantian Chronicles gives us the Moulin Phedra, AKA the Squid They wanted to have some new sport fighters for their fighting pits. Their creations drove them off.
- More recently we have been introduced to the Rastin. One of them kidnapped one of the main characters. The Rastin ship's commander implied that some of his passengers/crew did this sort of thing all the time.
- The trolls in Homestuck start out as literal Internet Trolls, and are revealed to be children of a race consisting of Scary Dogmatic Aliens who created our universe. However, in some ways subverted, in that some of the trolls (such as Feferi and Tavros) are actually fairly nice once we learn more about them, and some of the ones who are jerks get a fair amount of Character Development over the course of the story. It's implied that the trolls being forced to work together, along with their interactions with the human kids, is "humanizing" them to an extent.
- It turns out the trolls were only Scary Dogmatic Aliens thanks to the influence of Lord English's agents -- Doc Scratch, the Handmaiden, and the Condesce. In a session without this outside interference, the trolls were a peaceful race.
- The Lydian Option involves a prison filled with aliens hostile to humanity. Outside the prison, aliens resent humanity for winning the Spiral War - inside, humans lack protection and must travel together as a group.
- In Cradleland, the alien ba'thulaz had used humans as cattle and slaves, and still viewed them as such even a thousand years after they were overthrown in a slave uprising and forced to flee. Of course, humans were not much better, as the slaves were purchased from human slave traders on Earth during the Middle Ages.
- In the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, the Daribi invade the Earth three times because once, two hundred thousand years ago, they used the planet as a forward base and now want "their" planet back. They get beaten back worse after each invasion, killing nearly three million people and levelling three cities in the process.
- Also the Xorn, a Proud Warrior Race who invaded Earth just because it was there to invade. They ended up killing nearly a billion people worldwide and came close to wrecking Earth's ecology by introducing alien life. And when they left, they stranded hundreds of thousands of imported alien slaves, who had to find new lives on a new planet, surrounded by humans who were hostile to most of them.
- In Freeman's Mind, Gordon frustratedly provides this page's quote after getting ambushed and zapped by a Vortigaunt for the nth time.
- Which is pretty ironic, since Vortigaunts are some of the only aliens that aren't bastards after they are freed.
- Looney Tunes: Marvin the Martian was a bit of an Affably Evil bastard in his shorts, though like most of Bugs Bunny's foils, he's not too bright.
- Invader Zim: The Irken Empire once destroyed all the life on a planet just to turn it into one big parking lot. Oh sure, that planet was Blorch, home of The Slaughtering Rat People, but let's not mince words here: they committed genocide just to make something that could be built just as easily on a lifeless rock.
- American Dad: Roger, so very much. However, it is later revealed that this is justified, as his species needs to "let their bitchiness out", or else it will turn to bile and poison them to death.
- Averted and subverted in the Ben 10 series, where there are good aliens, evil aliens, and everything in between.
- Teen Titans did have some good aliens (one of the main heroes was one, afterall), but normally an alien species would only show up if some of their members were going to be the episode's villains. Lampshaded with The Source, whose only reason for wanting to blow up the Earth is "It is our way."
- Steven Universe: The Diamond Authority, the Gem Homeworld's ruling party, is made up of three tyrannical Gems known as the Diamonds: specifically known as Yellow Diamond, Blue Diamond, and White Diamond. Together, they rule Homeworld with an iron fist and have conquered and wiped out all life from countless planets partly due to a desire to expand their territory, and partly because they hate organic life. And they don't treat their own kind much better, either: Yellow tried to kill her minion Peridot over an insult and created the Cluster, which serves as part geoweapon and part hellish punishment for the rebel Gems whose body's make up the weapon because they participated in the war against Homeworld on Rose Quartz's side, while Blue tried to kill Ruby for fusing with a member of her court and likely had some kind of punishment waiting for Sapphire as well.