While the Amusing Alien might have a serious (or mundane) task in the story, a character belongs in this trope only if comedy is his primary reason for existing in the work. An elf archer who tells puns incessantly is not an Amusing Alien, whereas an elf archer whose arrows always take an unexpected path to hit their targets would be. If the character becomes irrelevant, uninteresting, or The Load when played seriously, then he's an Amusing Alien.
Most of the time, the Amusing Alien will be a secondary or background character, to avoid excessively derailing the plot with their antics. The primary exception is in comedies, where casting an Amusing Alien as the main character leads to lots of easy jokes.
May overlap with Funny Foreigner, but the two tropes are not identical. An otherworldly Funny Foreigner elicits laughs from their ignorance and bizarre behavior; an Amusing Alien, on the other hand, can be anything from The Smart Guy, a Deadpan Snarker, or a Genre Savvy Fourth Wall Observer. As a general rule, if the Amusing Alien is of a race or species that's common in the work, the trope is Funny Foreigner instead.
Given the subjective nature of comedy, the risk is high that an Amusing Alien can end up becoming an Alien Scrappy if not handled carefully. This trope documents Amusing Alien characters that were intended to be funny; whether or not they succeed is another matter...
- Mokona from Magic Knight Rayearth, until it's revealed that he's actually the creator of both Cephiro and Earth.
- 7-Zark-7, from Battle of the Planets, the American adaptation of Science Ninja Team Gatchaman.
- America's little buddy Tony of Axis Powers Hetalia, provided you find his habitual cursing and severe hatred of the English amusing.
- A good deal of the cast in Keroro Gunsou
Comic Books[edit | hide]
- From the Marvel Universe:
- The Impossible Man.
- Before he became Darker and Edgier, The Awesome Slapstick certainly qualified. The guy dunked a bucket of water on Ghost Rider's head, fer crissakes...
- The monsters of Fin Fang Four (Gorgilla, Fin Fang Foom, Elektro and Googam) probably qualify: they're former monsters who are "rehabilitated" and do mundane jobs (window washer, parking lot attendant) at the Baxter Building.
- Lockheed of the X-Men.
- From the DC Universe:
- Mr. Mxyzptlk
- Don't ferget Lobo, ya bastiches!
- Starfire in Teen Titans, broken English aside, is more Stripperiffic than anything else in the comic.
- 2000 AD had loads
- C-3PO, in all of the movies.
- Several in the Men in Black franchise, including Frank the Pug and the Worm Guys.
- Pizza the Hutt, Yogurt, Barf the Mawg, Dot Matrix, and the Dinks in Spaceballs.
- Gimli the Dwarf in The Lord of the Rings live-action movies.
- Bubo the mechanical owl from the original Clash of the Titans was this from time to time.
- The main character of the recent movie Paul is this. He is voiced by Seth Rogen.
Literature[edit | hide]
- Rincewind's Luggage from the Discworld novels, though the humor tends to be more... violent.
- An entire species of Amusing Aliens: the Hokas.
- An hilariously out-of-the-ordinary example of this trope occurs in Diane Duane's Young Wizards novel Wizard's Holiday, when Dairine attempts to lead her three alien wizard guests on a trip to the mall. Considering that one of them is a tree, one a giant centipede, and the third a sun prince who looks like an anime character, you can guess what kinds of Amusing Alien antics will happen.
- Animorphs the Iskoort are a species of amusing aliens. (and annoying too)
- Sometimes Ax falls into this trope, though he isn't exclusively it.
- Mork from Ork, probably the Trope Codifier and best example.
- The Coneheads
- Tom, Dick, Harry, and Sally from 3rd Rock from the Sun
- Along with their Supreme Leader, the Big Giant Head (as portrayed by William Shatner).
- All the eponymous Aliens In The Family.
- Uncle Martin from My Favorite Martian (TV). Also the film and Saturday Morning Cartoon versions.
- V.I.C.I. from Small Wonder.
- Alpha 5 from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
- The Pakleds start off as a straight example of this trope but actually use their ignorant appearance to deceive others.
- Double subverted by the Pakleds, actually: they're bright enough to steal technology and kidnap Geordi LaForge but not bright enough to actually use their stolen technology without the help of a kidnapped engineer...nor to see through the technobabble and bad acting the Enterprise crew uses to effect a rescue.
- And they are slow - just not quite as much as people tend to think
- Morn, the perpetual barfly at Quark's Bar on Deep Space Nine, is a meta example; he's described as an extremely talkative being who knows the funniest joke in the universe, and others have attributed various fantastic feats to him. Even so, he's always shown in stoic silence on the show.
- Meego, the Shape Shifter alien from the CBS sitcom of the same name.
- Angelo from Mike And Angelo.
- Twiki from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
- George Sunday/Thermoman from My Hero (TV).
- Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie.
- Brian and Sophie Johnson, the titular parents of My Parents Are Aliens.
- Hymie from Get Smart.
- Tom Servo and Crow from Mystery Science Theater 3000 (and Gypsy when she isn't running the ship).
- Mr. Ed
- The Addams Family and The Munsters.
- Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory is an Earthling example.
- Dex, also known as the Masked Rider, has traces of this at times. In one example would be that his race, Eltarians, derive from insects instead of apes. Now guess what he answered on an Earth biology test on the subject of human origins…
- Tripitaka's dragon-cum-horse-cum-human from Monkey.
Video Games[edit | hide]
Web Comics[edit | hide]
- Kiki from Sluggy Freelance, if a talking ferret is considered "otherworldly".
- Div from Penny Arcade, an alcoholic Deadpan Snarker DivX player.
- Also from Penny Arcade, the Fruit Fucker.
- Ahem in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob. A sort of three-legged jellyfish, he's described as a useless, cowardly slacker, but one who is fun to hang out with.
- Zorphbert and Fred
- Molly The Peanut Butter Monster from The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob
Web Original[edit | hide]
- Agamemnon Tiberius Vacuum and the Vacuum Consortium. SUBMIT WILLINGLY!
- Captn Crazy. Actually, this was a late development - for a long time, even the author wasn't sure WTH the Capt'n actually is.
- Bob of New Prime
- Utkon Mai of The Gungan Council, a tiny, spice-addicted Jawa. Returned from being assumed dead by singing "Bad Romance."
- Mr. Mxyzptlk from the DCAU, appropriately voiced by Gilbert Gottfried.
- Roger from American Dad.
- Pleakley from Liloand Stitch.
- Invader Zim
- There's a variety in Futurama, plus Zoidberg.
- Teen Titans: Starfire's odd Tamaranean customs and fish-out-of-waterness is the show's main source of funny.
- She drinks mustard as if it were soda and...
- Confuses the familiarity levels of social greetings and...
- Thinks it's a good idea to give spine-snapping hugs to nearly every new friend they make and...
- Misinterprets Earth Slang ("You diggin' the scene?" "I... did not know we were supposed to bring shovels!") and...
- is allergic to chromium (The reaction is sneezing star-bolts).
- Uni the unicorn from Dungeons and Dragons.
- Slimer in The Real Ghostbusters.
- Orko from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.
- 'alien' is not meant to be literal