Intrigued by Humanity
Okay, everyone knows that Evil Cannot Comprehend Good, right? And The Spock or Emotionless Girl can't really understand why humans do such crazy things. And don't even get me started on gods and Eldritch Abominations.
This is when some being (often one on a higher plane of existence) finds humanity interesting, amusing, or otherwise engaging, often enough to attempt to become one of them, (or at least disguise themselves as such). This is often the source behind Half Human Hybrids, where the inhuman half is Intrigued by Humanity enough to marry or mate with one. An Emergent Human or someone with Pinocchio Syndrome may have this as their reason for becoming more human. This trope is probably related to Humans Are Special—even god-like beings and Sufficiently Advanced Aliens find us fascinating!
This trope isn't always related to Pinocchio Syndrome though. Oftentimes you will see incredibly powerful beings who would consider themselves far superior to humans, and would be outright insulted at any suggestion that they may wish to become human. And yet they still find humans to be fascinating little critters. Most entomologists would find insects to be intriguing and fascinating, after all, and yet...
Note that this is a purely intellectual trope, seen from the side of the one Intrigued by Humanity. Humanity finding itself fascinating doesn't count, nor does every instance of inter-species romance where one partner is human.
Compare Humanity Is Infectious, The Xenophile (the human equivalent). Alien Arts Are Appreciated may ensue. In the case of the Green-Skinned Space Babe, this becomes equivalent to What Is This Thing You Call Love?. See also Humans Are Special. A Fantastic Anthropologist will often be this.
- In Death Note, Ryuk, a god of death takes an interest in the human world when he grows bored of his own. After meeting the sociopathic Villain Protagonist Light, he decides humans are fun.
- Aiwass from A Certain Magical Index bases all of its plans on what is most interesting, and screwing with and observing human lives takes the cake.
- Wonder Woman
- The Beyonder of Marvel Comics' Secret Wars.
- Most Silver Surfer stories are written around this trope being experienced by the titular character.
- Marvel Comics's Aaron Stack the Machine Man has been alternately fascinated and repulsed by humanity over the years. For most of his life, he experienced full-blown Pinocchio Syndrome, even if he did often get frustrated with our shortcomings. However, after a series of personal catastrophes (winding up Mostly Dead, being reactivated with his mind infected by Sentinel programming, getting a big chunk of his memory erased, getting kidnapped by aliens and then abandoned by them without explanation), he has become far more cynical in general and tends to view humanity mainly with disgust. His best friend these days isn't human either--Howard the Duck.
- First Contact, a Mass Effect fanfic that is based on the premise of a Council exploration ship discovering humanity in 2034—hours before humanity lands on Mars for the first time.
- Among the fandom of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, there is a great deal of fan content depicting background pony Lyra Heartstrings as being infatuated with humans, in a world where humans do not exist. She obsesses over these mythical bipedal creatures to the point of wanting to become one herself, mostly so she can trade in her hooves for hands, even though her unicorn magic already enables her to handle objects with greater control than hands would allow. This personality is entirely fan-generated, and has its roots in one famous scene from an early episode, where she is seen sitting upright on a bench, while every other pony in the series tends to sit on all fours like normal horses.
- Of special note should be the ongoing fanfic Anthropology, in which Lyra behaves much like an obsessed ufologist in our world, convinced humans are or at least were real. The series deals with the problems and worries this causes her surroundings, Lyra's growing paranoia that the Government is covering up the existence of humans and the revelation that humanity is real, but extinct in Equestria. However, there are humans in another, parallel world that seems to be our Earth... and Lyra is human herself, and somehow came over from here as a baby...
- The German film Wings of Desire (and its (a) sequel Faraway, So Close! & (b) Foreign Remake City of Angels) depict an angel who becomes human for the love of a good woman.
Starman: We are... interested in your species...You are a strange species, not like any other -- and you would be surprised how many there are. Intelligent but savage. Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.
- In the 2005 |The War of the Worlds film, the invading aliens stop to admire a bicycle tire, having never invented anything as simple and practical as the wheel. This is based on the original book, which states that all Martian technology uses legs instead of tires.
- In one particularly Mind Screw-y Animorphs, Jake is transported into the dystopian future (where he was captured, ending the resistance) by an unknown alien presence. When faced with a Sadistic Choice at the climax, we aren't told what he did, but a huge voice says "INTERESTING CHOICE. THEY WILL REQUIRE MORE STUDY, THESE HUMANS..." before sending him back to the story's beginning.
- Death of the Discworld finds humanity very interesting, and has created his domain in the style of a human house, even if he hasn't grasped all the subtleties of why the fittings and items inside look like they do.
- And played with in Thief of Time with the Auditors. They think themselves to be above humanity, and they despise (or they would if they had emotions) any individuality, but when they assume a human body, they become intrigued about their new feelings and senses, as much as they refuse to admit it.
- This trope has actually led to such improbable Character Development as the original Bogeyman evolving into the Tooth Fairy over thousands of years.
- Mr. Weasley from Harry Potter qualifies, being a wizard obsessed with all things muggle.
- In Tales of Kolmar the Kantri have a word for the ardent desire to talk with other intelligent species and see the world from different points of view - ferrinshadik. All of them feel it, some more than others. Some try to ease it by learning to speak to trees, but that takes a long time even by their lengthy standards and trees don't have much to say. Demons are intelligent but also Kantri's mortal enemy. That leaves humanity, and time and again those Kantri who don't simply dislike humans too much to talk quickly become enchanted by one or another, delighted by the smallest exchanges. Exposure to humans also makes Kantri more inclined to think in terms of hours or days as much as months or years, which can be good and bad.
- Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation—a being of almost limitless power who spoke disparagingly of humanity (and put it on trial), yet was also fascinated by humans, devising countless annoying and dangerous ways to explore our natures, and appearing as a human each time. The one time he was really turned human, as a punishment, he was not particularly happy about it, though. (But then, he was given the choice of which less-advanced alien to be turned into, he chose to be human.)
- Although its hinted that its not so much humanity he's intrigued by, but Picard in general.
- Other Star Trek characters, such as Data and Odo, have elements of this: though they interact with humans as equals and have emotional (or the nearest equivalent) connections as well as intellectual interest in humans, both also spend time observing and analyzing the people (human and alien alike) around them. Data even states in the pilot that he wants to become human, and Riker calls him Pinnochio in response.
- Spock himself is a particularly interesting example: he often seems to know more about Earth history and culture than the human characters, which at first seems odd but makes sense considering his dual human heritage—he may shun it in public, but is obviously intrigued by it in private.
- The Doctor in Doctor Who (old and new versions both) loves humanity and is constantly praising the qualities he admires in them.
- Until he remembers that Humans Are the Real Monsters.
- Illyra from the fifth season of Angel, which is definitely a precursor of a more serious Pinocchio Syndrome.
- Delenn on Babylon 5.
- G'Kar also, although its mostly because of the Earth women.
- Elvis of Perfect Dark is described as a "terraphile", which would explain why he speaks English, how he chose his name and why he wears a vest with an American flag pattern.
- If an alien doesn't consider humans annoying or dangerous, they're feeling this trope in Mass Effect.
- It turns out that the Cloud of Darkness feels this way after being defeated by the Onion Knight for the second time in Dissidia Final Fantasy. Seeing his resolve in the face of total annihilation led the perplexingly female-looking Anthropomorphic Personification of the Void to muse interesting humans are.
- The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob: Princess Voluptua has pointed out that she is the only member of her species who has spent enough time around humans to have developed some respect for them. She's trying to spread the word among her people that we're not totally worthless.
- The short flash game The Majesty of Colors is about an Eldritch Abomination who falls in love with "the majesty of colors" (it discovers a balloon) and then decides to investigate humanity. The player then chooses whether to play an angry, rampaging beast, or a kindly, helpful one.
- The punchline and hovertext of Dinosaur Comics #889.
- Starfire from Teen Titans seems to be fascinated by human culture.
- Marvin the Martian at the very start of "Mad as a Mars Hare" observes Earth with fascination through a powerful telescope. Though he believes there is no intelligent life on Earth, he doubtlessly finds humanity fascinating... he thinks "Man is the most interesting insect on Earth!"
- Yet he keeps wanting to destroy it...
- short-range telekinesis that every adult unicorn can use