Little Green Men

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

A formerly common depiction of aliens, now a Discredited Trope. They're green, they pilot Flying Saucers, and they're smaller than a human. The degree of "little" varies widely; they may be only a head or so shorter than people, or they may be small enough to pick up in one hand. They commonly have antennae.

Typically, they are either hostile or mysterious. If hostile, they will wield ray guns, speak English, and will ask anyone they find to take them to their leader. If mysterious, they will probably not speak, or speak only in weird beeping noises, possibly abduct people, and then disappear quickly and mysteriously, leaving little trace.

Since the Mariner and Viking probes of The Sixties, they've been slowly replaced by The Greys in serious works. Basically done for comedy now.

See also Green-Skinned Space Babe and The Reptilians.

Examples of Little Green Men include:

Comic Books

  • Roswell Little Green Man.
  • The Skrulls in Marvel Comics started out as almost completely stereotypical little green men in the second issue of Fantastic Four. They even arrived in a literal flying saucer, which Reed stored in the Baxter Building for years afterward. Decades of stories since then have fleshed them out a lot (and they're generally portrayed to be of human height these days, although one could argue that height is arbitrary for a race of shapeshifters), but when all's said and done, they're still invading alien green guys with "bug eyes" and ray guns.
  • Superman's enemy Brainiac started out as one of these. Later stories made him taller and revealed him to be an android, but he was still a green guy in a flying saucer for many years.
  • Martian Manhunter isn't little, but he's certainly green, as well as being a literal Martian.
  • The Captain, from Nextwave, got his powers as a gift from a pair of little green men. He then proceeded to murder them both and express dismay that he didn't get a pot of gold as a reward, having mistaken them for leprechauns. In his defense, he was exceptionally drunk at the time.
    • That's always his defence.
  • The Aldebarans, from Fantastic Worlds #6, are small, green and invade planets using small planetoids that they transformed into space fortresses.
  • The Blyntzyns, from Amazing Adventures #4, are small, green aliens that use androids to find the weaknesses of a civilization.
  • Appeared in Herbie at least as background characters (standing on some asteroid, when Loch Ness Monster flew by).


  • Mars Attacks!
  • The Arquillians from Men in Black. Also a couple other races, in all likelihood.
  • Spaced Invaders
  • Arguably, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a cute cross between this and The Greys.
  • Yoda from Star Wars.
    • Rodians also qualify, as they have green skin, and their face resembles an insect. They even have attenae.
  • In all three Toy Story films, there have been Pizza Planet toys who are short compared to most other toys. This would barely be enough to really qualify as an example of Little Green Men, if not for the fact that in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, their species is actually referred to as Little Green Men.
  • Feeders and it's sequel feature paper-maché Little Green Men who occasional venture to Earth for a feeding frenzy.
  • In Contact, when she's introduced to her new co-workers at Aricebo, Dr. Arroway jokes that she's looking for little green men.
  • Most of the aliens from Planet 51. General Grawl is the notable exception - being roughly the same height as Chuck (a human male), he towers over the rest of his species. Then again, we have no idea how tall Chuck is among humans.


  • Frederic Brown's novel Martians Go Home! features an invasion of little green men who attack Earth not with saucers or rayguns, but with an ability to appear anywhere, immunity to all harm, and absolutely no tact. They refer to all male humans as "Mac", and all female humans as "Toots". In one (obvious) scene, a Martian pops in on a pair of newlyweds, and refuses to leave until he observes human mating practices.
  • The Evil Gollarks in Murderous Maths. Notice we said evil.
  • The natives of the eponymous satellite of Earth in The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron are faintly greenish in hue when they get all the necessary nutrients in their diet. The cover to the first edition of the book makes the green hue even more pronounced.
  • Parodied in Diane Duane's Star Trek novel, Spock's World—a tabloid newspaper reports that Spock's mother, Amanda, has married a little green man. (As a Vulcan, Sarek has green blood and a slightly green complexion.) Amanda tells reporters at a press conference, "There is nothing little about my husband." Even Sarek cracks up once the context is fully explained.

Live-Action TV

  • Star Trek has them, actually: they're not smaller than humans, but the Andorians are blue-green and have antennae, apparently as a nod to this trope. And given their hemocyan-based blood, Vulcans also technically green.
    • An episode of Deep Space Nine was named "Little Green Men" and featured Ferengi (who are not green, but smaller than humans) crashing in Roswell.
    • Referenced in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Tomorrow Is Yesterday", when a 1960s pilot is accidentally transported onto the Enterprise:

Captain Christopher: I never have believed in little green men.
Spock: (deadpan) Neither have I.

  • In the 1970's sci-fi TV series UFO, the aliens' green look is shown to be from the oxygenated-fluid used to cushion their bodies during months of faster-than-light travel.
  • The alien in The Greatest American Hero who gave Ralph Hinkley the suit is revealed to be green. And his spaceship is even circular, though not exactly saucer-shaped.

Tabletop Games

  • The grots from Warhammer 40,000 deserve a mention here. They are small, green and hostile, and they are aliens. It should be noted, however, that they also happen to be Goblins IN SPACE so it is kinda justified, even if they are technically part of the same species as da Orkz. Really played for laughs in every sense, since they are the ButtMonkeys of the orks. Also worth noting that the universe has both this trope and The Greys (The Tau), which really shows a great deal of contrast between the two.


Video Games

  • The Ariloulaleelay in Star Control games are green humanoids with ships shaped like saucers. In the background it is mentioned that they have visited Earth before and are responsible of UFO sightings and abductions.
  • Fallout 3 has a crashed flying saucer in which one of the best weapons in the game can be found near the corpse of a very small pilot. Only the head is visible, but yup—he's green.
    • The Mothership Zeta DLC shows he's not alone either.
  • The point of the Kerbal Space Program is to get three of these into space or deep into the ground
  • The Sims 2. If you spend too much time looking through a telescope, you get abducted by these. If the sim is a male, they'll later have a Half-Human Hybrid. Only the males have a kid, females just waste time in space.
    • You can also put them in your neighborhoods. They're really just like any other Sims, except green. (They are, however, also the same size as "normal" Sims. Unless you use a mod or cheat to make them shorter.)
    • They're really more green Greys than little green men.
  • Referred to in Destroy All Humans!! "I am not green!"
  • The title character of Alien Hominid, though, he is actually yellow.
  • The Cor-Dems of Adventure Quest.
  • The alien family in Banjo-Tooie.
  • Pokémon Black and White has Elgyem (pronounced as "L-G-M", little green man), a little green psychic alien. Fun with Acronyms, indeed.
    • Despite that, the Mon itself is actually just as close in color to gray.

Web Comics

  • The Law of Purple: Green technically counts as this until he hits a growth spurt that makes him not-so-little.
  • Uryuoms from El Goonish Shive are humanoid shape shifters who in appearance are a mix of Little Green Men and The Greys but predominantly the former.

Web Original

  • In the Deep Fried Live episode "Fleeb Cooks A Cow", Chef Tako is kidnapped by an LGM who wants to learn... how to cook a cow. He's not hostile or mysterious, instead being rather friendly if a bit too fond of probing.
    • The cook turns out to be less than friendly near the end, when he tries to make Tako into a sidedish.

Western Animation

  • The Irkens from Invader Zim, the race which the title character belongs to.
  • Great Gazoo from The Flintstones
  • The three-eyed toy aliens in Toy Story. In the Spin-Off Buzz Lightyear of Star Command they are even referred to as "LGMs"--Grammar Nazis notwithstanding. In the first episode it's revealed that they share a psychic link that they call "Unimind", and their homeworld's name is a string of unpronounceable gibberish.
    • I believe that was Ret Conned into "Martians."
    • Aliens that look much more like the traditional little green men did show up later. They find the humanoid body of a small head and large torso to be "grotesque".
  • The Looney Tunes character "Marvin the Martian" probably qualifies.
    • While he is little, he's also completely black. It's his helmet that's green.
  • Morbo from Futurama certainly isn't little (he's about the size of a well built human), he has green skin and hates humanity.
    • Kiff fits the bill for being small and green. However neither he, nor his species, has hostility towards humanity.
  • Martin Mystery
  • Zula Patrol: Bula.
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, "'Scuse Me While I Miss the Sky", Frink has a brief encounter with such an alien. There is also Ozmodiar, a parody of the Great Gazoo from The Flintstones.

Real Life

  • When pulsars were first discovered in The Sixties, astronomers had no idea what they were. Some suggested that they represented intelligent life. The first few to be discovered were named LGM 1, LGM 2, etc. Eventually, they were discovered to be spinning neutron stars.