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Rod Serling: Maple Street, U.S.A. Late summer. A tree-lined little world of front porch gliders, barbecues, the laughter of children, and the bell of an ice-cream vendor. At the sound of the roar and the flash of light, it will be precisely 6:43pm on Maple Street. This is Maple Street on a late Saturday afternoon. Maple Street, in the last calm and reflective moment before the monsters came.
A group of families are enjoying an evening when a supposed meteor flies closely overhead...and doesn't crash. Soon the power goes out, and when everyone starts asking questions, a boy comes forth with a comic book about aliens landing and disguising themselves as normal people. While everyone initially ignores him, they start thinking, and suspect everyone of being an alien based on arbitrary circumstances. After a man who returns from checking on neighbors is shot, the whole neighborhood goes insane, running around and blaming everyone. On a hill, two aliens conclude that this is the same reaction shown elsewhere in the world.
Rod Serling: The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own - for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone.
Remade as "The Monsters Are On Maple Street" for the 2003 revival, with the fear of aliens being changed to one of terrorists.
- Alien Invasion: Double subverted, the aliens plan to manipulate humanity into destroying themselves before taking over.
- Close Knit Community
- Divide and Conquer
- Humans Are Bastards
- Jerkass: Charlie
- Let's You and Him Fight
- Only Sane Man: Steve Brand
- Shaming the Mob: Steve does this to the neighbors for quickly accusing and blaming others. But it didn't last.