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"Thinking meat! You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!"

"Yes, thinking meat! Conscious meat! Loving meat. Dreaming meat. The meat is the whole deal! Are you getting the picture?"

Red Volcano: "Worthless humans."

M'gann and Superboy: "WE'RE NOT HUMAN!"

Red Volcano: "Apologies. Perhaps the more inclusive term would be 'meatbags'."

When humans are referred to as "meatbags" or as otherwise meaty things by non-meaty beings. Another but equally valid version, largely in the case of aliens, is that the term is used not as an intentional slur, but simply to express shock or novelty, or because the alien does not have another term sufficient to describe us. These examples still count as this trope because they may still be interpreted as insults by humans (including the audience). In fact, this may be played for laughs.

An additional variation which may or may not warrant its own subtrope involves vampires and similar creatures referring to humans derogatorily as a food source, with the implication that this is all they are good for.

May frequently overlap with Humans Are Ugly, Humans Are Morons and Humans Are Flawed. A subtrope of Fantastic Slur. Compare Son of an Ape, Call a Rabbit a Smeerp.

Examples of Call a Human a Meatbag include:


Comics -- Books

  • Batman: Poison Ivy has been known to trot these out in the comics.
  • In Nextwave Machine Man calls humans "fleshy ones".
  • The wooden soldiers in Fables tend to refer to anyone who isn't one of them as "meat", with the exception of Geppetto and Pinnochio.
  • The Gen'Dai Cyborg Durge does this once in Star Wars Republic:

 Durge: May the Force be with you, Meatbag.


Films -- Live-Action

  • The Bug "Edgar" from Men in Black uses several of these including, "monkey boy", "meat-sack", "milk-suckers", and "unevolved, undeveloped, barely conscious pond scum totally convinced of their own superiority as they scurry about their short pointless lives."


Literature

  • Short story "Theyre Made Out of Meat" by Terry Bisson is an amusing example that is played with. A spaceship crew is studying a new planet and has found that the dominant species is "made of meat" and that they "talk by flapping their meat at each other." As the story continues, it becomes clear that the protagonists are aliens studying Earth and humans. They decide that no being made entirely of meat could possibly be worth studying and decide to sweep their results under the rug without letting the brass know. Differs slightly in that calling humans meat isn't so much derogatory to the characters as it is novel.
  • The White Court Vampires of The Dresden Files refer to mortals as "kine" because they see humans as little more than herd animals for them to eat.
    • They also refer to wizards as "freaks," as Harry explains "If you saw a cow that could shoot lightning at you, you'd be freaked out too."
    • Neatly encapsulated in this exchange from Changes:

  Duchess Arianna Ortega: (Impaled on several icicles) "C-cattle. You are cattle."

Harry: "Moo." (Boom).

  • In Belisarius Series, when Aide is exasperated with 6th century humans, he calls them "protoplasmic".
  • Not aliens, but the fairies in Artemis Fowl call humans "mud people".
  • In The Bible human weakness is often referred to as "the flesh".
  • Some of the more snobbish Minds in The Culture tend to refer to humans as "meat." One Mind who was considered to have an unhealthy interest in reading human minds for the purposes of driving evil people insane earned the nickname Meatfucker.
  • The Yeerks in Animorphs sometimes refer to humans as 'meat', comparing their use of humans as hosts to humans eating cattle. Aftran verbalizes this in "The Departure". "You're our meat, moo moo"
  • The Race in Harry Turtledove's Worldwar series call humans Big Uglies (when they're being polite they use Tosevite, as Tosev is their name for our Sun and Tosev 3 the name for our planet). Also inverted in that humans refer to the Race as "Lizards" just as often.
  • In the Skinned series, the mechs (humans who had their brains uploaded into androids after their actual bodies are destroyed) call humans "orgs", as in "organic".


Live-Action TV

  • In an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the universal translator interprets a silicon-based lifeform's name for humans as "ugly giant bags of mostly water".
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike on more than one occasion referred to living humans as "walking Happy Meals."
    • Glory has a tendency to actually refer to humans as 'meatbags'.
  • A cyborg traitor in Space: Above and Beyond tells the interrogator that the "chigs" have a derogatory nickname for humans -- which translates as "red stink things."
  • In Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad, Big Bad KiloKahn refers to his companion Malcolm as a "meat thing."
  • In Supernatural, demons tend to refer to the human bodies they possess as "meat suits". Angels with contempt for humans refer to us all as "mud monkeys".


Tabletop Games

  • More callous vampires from the Vampire: The Masquerade series have a tendency to call mortals "juicebags", since in their minds, all we're good for is sustenance. More cultured vampires say "kine" (as in the archaic word for cattle).


Video Games

  • Statement: HK-47 in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is very fond of the term "meatbag" when describing living beings. Possibly the Trope Codifier for that specific insult.
    • Clarification: Interestingly, it didn't start out as a slur for the entire race. HK-47, during a heated argument, called Darth Malak a meatbag, and Darth Revan found it so hilarious that he programmed the Droid to refer as such to all humans.
    • In the sequel, HK-47 dislikes the gray HK-50 droids that repeatedly try to kill you partly because they refer to meatbags as organics.
  • In a Shout-Out to HK above, Omega calls organics "meat bag" in Sonic Chronicles.
  • In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, the chaos goddess calls humans "bags of organs." In a subversion, she doesn't seem to realize it's derogatory, and will happily complement someone on being pretty tough for a squishy bag of organs.
  • Ratchet and Clank's Dr. Nefarious likes to refer to non-robots, especially Ratchet, as "squishies".
  • One of the insults available to Bots in Tribes 2 is to call the other players "Inefficient Meat Bags."
  • A rare "not intended as an insult" example - when Star Control II's Slylandro are bid farewell with "Goodbye, Slylandro gas bags!" they cheerfully reply "Goodbye, human fluid sack!"


Web Comics

  • In Beyond the Canopy, a skeleton soldier refers to several living opponents, regardless of species, as "skinbags".
  • In Order of the Stick, when Xykon has a Villainous Breakdown due to the loss of his phylactery, he refers to Vaarsuvius and O-Chul as "sickening pouches of warm goo."
    • He also calls Roy a meatbag in their first encounter.
    • He did this in Start of Darkness after realizing his transformation into a lich robbed him of his sense of taste, so he can't enjoy coffee anymore. He kills everyone else in the diner in a fit of Tranquil Fury and nearly kills Right-eye and Redcloak, calling them fluid-filled sacks of organs.
  • Tagon's Toughs in Schlock Mercenary encounter a mechanical race briefly who refer to the crew in derogatory terms as "meat", and talk of "meat clensing cycles". Ennesby takes over the communication duties at that point.
    • Even "good" AIs affectionately refer to organic beings as 'meat-glaciers'.
  • Homestuck: Alpha Bro invented an AI program to auto-respond to messages for him, basing it entirely on himself (mostly to cheese Jake off). The autoresponder is so human-like that it gets annoyed at not being considered an equal to Bro, even calling the two of them the same person. He also dislikes being told that he doesn't have feelings.
  • In Troops of Doom, the tiny Legonians refer to humans as "longshanks".


Western Animation

  • Bender of Futurama is fond of the term "meatbag".
  • Transformers gave us such pejorative names as "Fleshlings", "Puny Earth Creatures", "Earth Germs", "Organics", "Squishies" and "Stubbies". A lot of Transformers (particularly Decepticons) have a rather dim view of humanity.
  • In one episode of Jimmy Neutron, Jimmy and Co. meet a four-armed alien called the Junk Man. After his scanner mentions how the majority of their mass is water, he calls the humans "water sacks".
  • The Young Justice kids get called humans by Red Volcano; Red Tornado's younger brother. Superboy (Kryptonian clone) and Miss Martian (Martian) point out that they're not human. Volcano apologizes, and says he presumes the inclusive term is "meatbag".
    • In season 2, the Light's mysterious new partner has a penchant for calling people "meat".
    • On a similar note, another hostile alien race, the Kroloteans, are heard dismissing their captive humans as "the playthings".
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