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"If it's not too much of a cliché, take me to your leader. If it is too much of a cliché, take me anyway."
—Luke Skywalker, Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor
An alien spaceship lands on Earth. The extra-terrestrial walks out and finds a human. They make the following statement:
"Take me to your leader".
Now a Dead Horse Trope, and never said seriously, or at least not without others complaining about what a terrible line it is. Even then, it's very rarely used unless I Always Wanted to Say That. See also How to Invade An Alien Planet.
- Not directly used, but invoked in Rinne no Lagrange, when Lan tells Madoka that she's an alien; Madoka asks if she really means a "Take Me to Your Leader" type alien. The answer is a non-surprised (she's apparently also familiar with the trope) yes.
- Annihilation: Conquest #2 -- Ronan the Accuser makes a big speech on how the bugs who tried to kill them really should unite with them against the evil robots, and ends it with "Or in other words.... Take us to your leader!"
- In a Green Lantern comic from the 1970s or 80s, the alien Katma Tui lands on Earth, says the phrase in all seriousness, and gets taken to the United Nations. However, the comic said something to the effect of "though the phrase is clichéd, the alien says it with no humor in mind" or something like that.
- World War Hulk: When Korg confronts a police officer and makes demands that he can't realistically meet (and is informed as much), bystanders are all barely containing their laughter or rolling their eyes as he insists that they "Take me to your leader."
- A Star Trek/X-Men crossover inverts the usual human/alien roles when Logan asks Commander Spock to take him to his leader.
- In one Woody Woodpecker comic, Woody dresses up as an alien to play a prank on Splinter and Topknot. However, they find out and decide to prank him back... and then a real alien appears (who happens to look just like Woody's costume). His main line is "Take Me to Your Leader", repeated in vain as the woodpecker kids expose him to a Humiliation Conga. Finally he gets fed up and escapes, but runs into Woody who is exhilarated that he gets to meat a real alien with the fame and fortune to follow, and offer to take him to his leader. However, the alien has had enough.
- NO! I am going back to MY leader and telling him that everyone on Earth is BONKERS!
- Luke once tells the extremely friendly Zeltrons this in Marvel Star Wars.
- "Far Out Friend", an Archie Comics story, features an alien who uses this line, although he admits it is corny.
- In Life, the Universe, and Everything, Trillian has a hard time keeping a straight face when she has to say this to the Krikkiters.
- Later on, in So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish, a different alien lands on Earth and asks to be taken to their lizard.
- Luke says this in Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, though not to aliens.
- Fate of the Jedi: Conviction, after Han blasts open a door lock, then stuns the guards inside:
Han Solo: Take me to your leader. We come in peace.
- In Protector, by Larry Niven, the alien whom Nick Sohl and Luke Garner meet on Mars says this to them. The twist: the alien is a human asteroid miner, Jack Brennan, who has accidentally been transformed into a human version of a Pak Protector.
Live Action TV
- Red Dwarf, "Rimmerworld":
Lister: This is going to sound like a bit of a corny line, but... I can hardly bring myself to say it.
- In the Doctor Who story "Voyage of the Damned", The Doctor says this phrase, then says "I Always Wanted to Say That".
- In fact, he has done it before in "Aliens of London" as he greets UNIT soldiers gathered around the TARDIS waiting for him. Of course, everyone involved in the former scene is an alien, and that was the Ninth Doctor anyway.
- Used by the Fourth Doctor back in the classic series, after threatening someone with a "deadly jelly-baby" didn't work out - not because they didn't buy it, but because they told him to kill the man he was threatening. The Doctor eats the jelly-baby and tells them he doesn't take orders from anyone.
- Glitz prefaces this with an "I can't believe I'm saying this" in "Trial of a Time Lord".
- The Evilly Affable Brother Cavil in the new Battlestar Galactica Reimagined does that when he is outed as a Cylon Spy. They take him to the brig instead.
(After having several guns pointed at him.) Well, this is an awkward moment. (Beat) Yes, uh, he's right, I am a Cylon. And I have a message, so.... take me to your leader.
- Spoofed in an episode of Legend of the Seeker. Kahlan has approached a D'Haran prison disguised as a Mord-Sith who has captured the Seeker:
Kahlan: Take me to your warden.
- Played straight in an episode of Andromeda, where a representative of the Consensus of Parts says this to Hunt and the crew. The kicker is, the only reason he said that was because he thought that's what aliens are supposed to say to humans upon meeting them first.
- Also subverted in that the Consensus is not actually looking for the ship's captain. They're looking for the ship's AI, as they consider organics to be inferior beings.
- Jack O'Neill of Stargate SG-1 uses this sometimes. Inverted in that he's a human speaking to aliens on their own planet. There's also an element of I Always Wanted to Say That to it.
- Lost: In Recon Sawyer delivers this line to Widmore's people as a deliberate mock-up.
- Lampshaded in an episode of The Tomorrow People when a species called the Sorsons arrive on Earth and make this request, TIM mentions that the Sorsons have been monitoring Earth broadcasts for a long time and are aware of the cliché:
TIM: The Sorsons are not without a sense of humour.
- Spoofed by Tom Lehrer in "Whatever Became of Hubert?":
"We must protest this treatment, Hubert!"
- The band Hanzel und Gretyl released a song called "Take Me To Your Leader". The music video uses a lot of scenes from old 1950's sci-fi flicks.
"Take us to the Supreme Earth Potentate"
- One Bloom County comic sees an alien step out of a spaceship and demand Opus take him to his leader. It's an election year, however, and as Opus lists off the candidates, the alien eventually gets so exasperated that he climbs back in his ship and leaves.
- Another appearance is in Berkeley Breathed's next strip Outland. This time, after summarizing the candidates, Opus instead directs the alien to Bill the Cat.
- In an early Dilbert strip, long before it became exclusively office humor, aliens ask Dogbert to take them to his leader. Dogbert asks them to specify what kind of leader: spiritual, economic, political, or military? They choose political, so Dogbert asks: city, county, state, federal, or world political leader? They choose world, only for Dogbert to tell them that Earth doesn't have a world leader. In the end, he directs them to a grocery store that claims to be the price leader...
- Made fun of in this joke:
Two aliens land in a godforsaken part of Earth, walk around a bit and find a small gas station. It's night, and no human is around. The aliens mistake the gas pump for a kind of robot, and of them commands: "Take Me to Your Leader!" The pump, of course, says nothing. The alien again threatens: "I said, take me to your leader!" The pump still isn't impressed. Now the alien gets angry: "If you don't take me to your leader right now, I'll shoot you with my laser!" But the other alien is getting nervous: "I wouldn't mess with that guy... better be nice." The first alien isn't impressed and points his laser at the pump: "Now take me to your leader, or I'll shoot you!" The other alien panics and runs away. Since the pump does nothing, the first alien shoots, and the gas station goes BOOM. By a sheer miracle, the alien survives. He asks his companion "How did you know that would happen?" - "I didn't", the other one replies. "But if I see a guy who can stick his dick in his ear, I surely don't mess with him!"
- Played straight in Lunar 2. Although she looks perfectly human and is not from very far away, Lucia arrives in the beginning of the game as an alien on a mission to meet with the local divinity, the Goddess Althena. Hiro is the first person she meets, and she calmly but immediately demands he take her to see the goddess.
- Implied in this strip of Order of the Stick.
- Spoofed in this Evil Inc. strip.
- Parodied in El Goonish Shive the first time an alien (or not?) appears in person:
- An "alien" in Mezzacotta either mixed up her messages or chose to skip formalities and get straight to the business.
- In a Halloween episode of The Simpsons, during the 1996 elections, the aliens ask this and are informed that America may be switching leaders soon. This gives the aliens an idea, and they abduct and replace both Clinton and Dole.
- Lampshaded in an episode of Garfield and Friends. When Little Green Men land in Garfield's backyard, they say this, and Garfield replies "I didn't know aliens really said that!"
- In the Mater's Tall Tales episode "Unidentified Flying Mater", Mater meets a Flying Saucer who asks "Take me to your leaders". Mater then takes him to his liters of motor oil.
- In one episode of Futurama, the cast, along with Zapp Brannigan, meets with a tribe of Martians. When one of them introduces himself as tribe chief, Zapp's reply is this line.
- Rocky and Bullwinkle; during the Moon Mice arc, Gibney and Cloyd tell Rocky about how Mr. Big conquered the Moon and forced the Moon-men to build giant metal-munching mice. When a Moon-man said, "Let me guess, you want us to take you to our leader?" Mr. Big answered, "Don't be silly. I am your leader!"
- Yes, people have really said it. Any explorer in an area he doesn't know will want to consider making friends of whomever is the local boss. And in time gone by, a visitor from another culture could be so strange that he might as well be from another planet.
- A sort-of example: in general, if you're arrested in a foreign country, you'll want to tell your captors that you demand to speak with the local consul of your home country, so it's more like, "take me to the representative of my leader in your area".
- Although the odds that you will actually be taken to see them are slim-to-none. The consulate might make an appointment for one of their staff to come see you, but consular assistance for an arrest, in most countries, will usually consist of recommending a lawyer who speaks your language.
- According to The Laws and Customs of War, officers that are P.O.W.s can demand to speak to an enemy commanding officer (usually of equal rank), such as to bargain with their captors about their treatment.