Aliens Made Them Do It
|Trope · Genre|
|Related:||Fuck or Die, Sex Pollen, Non-Con, Rapefic|
|See Also:||Plot Coupon|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
And by 'it' we mean have sex. With each other. Sometimes the aliens are threatening them with death and/or violence, and sometimes the characters are trying for diplomatic or economic reasons to please the aliens or not to offend them. A frequent version has the characters accidentally or unwillingly taking part in a ritual as part of the aliens' religion.
Stories where this happens approach the sex with varying degrees of seriousness. Sometimes it's a major trauma and treated as a kind of rape for both parties; sometimes the situation is played for humor and the characters later get together of their own free will. (find examples)
While this plot device is distinct from Sex Pollen, there's a great deal of overlap. Generally, if Aliens Make Them Do It, the characters are not in an altered state and are both under duress, while Sex Pollen focuses on at least one character being drugged or otherwise influenced. However, several Aliens Make Them Do It stories involve the aliens drugging the characters, and several Sex Pollen stories involve aliens and/or alien cultures in some way.
Examples in Canon
The original Star Trek pilot, The Cage, had a basic AMTDI plot. Pike managed to escape without sex after it was pointed out that the woman involved was not, in fact, young and beautiful.
Isaac Asimov's short story "What Is This Thing Called Love?" (written for Playboy) involves single-sex aliens who have abducted a human couple to study their mating act. In an inversion of the trope, the aliens are unable to actually Make Them Do It, but after the aliens have left, the humans do it anyway.
In Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series, when dragons mate their human bondmates are compelled to mate as well. A similar arrangement occurs in Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear's A Companion to Wolves. This could be considered AMTDI or a variant of sex pollen.
For some reason, the trope became incredibly common in Stargate Atlantis fic. In response to the increasingly clichéd use of this plot device, stories have been written where aliens pointedly don't make them do it, or wherein characters comment on the endless fertility rituals to which they're subjected, where the aliens force them to do other things instead, where the aliens theatrically show them how they could be doing it, or where the characters somehow make the aliens have sex instead.
While the trope remains popular, some fans object to a perceived racism in the unexamined use of generic "primitive tribes" and "fertility rituals" as plot devices. This is part of a larger issue with how science fiction and fantasy fandoms, in particular Stargate Atlantis, depict alien cultures in fanfic. In SGA, the "Aliens" in question are nearly always humans in the Pegasus galaxy, who both canon and fandom often portray as othered from the main characters from Earth. (find examples of discussions)
Examples in Fanworks
- "Another Mountain to Climb" by Carolyn McTarrell in Naked Times #14, Star Trek: TOS. An imprisoned Kirk and Chapel are rescued only after being forced to have sex, and now Kirk must deal with what this will do to his and Spockʼs budding romance. (1987)
- "Two's Company" by Susan Humphries in Duet #19, Star Trek: TOS. captured and drugged, Spock is unable to resist when he and Kirk are forced to have sex with an alien ruler, but all are surprised when the woman is not the object of his affections. (1988)
- Hanging Like Bricks Don't by minglingcrab: an example of this trope in a distinctly non-scifi fandom (American Idol RPF), in which Kris and Adam are abducted for purely academic reasons (there's a research grant at stake). (2010)
- Extenuating Circumstances by rallamajoop. The xxxHolic version of Aliens Made Them Do It is "Spirits Made Them Do It." (2007)
- Mating Rituals in the Pegasus Galaxy by thefourthvine. Stargate Atlantis, McKay/Sheppard. Charitable aliens are determined to solve the Pegasus Galaxy's underpopulation problem. Using all the clichés in the book, and special jello.
- The Art of the Deal by thefourthvine. Stargate SG1, gen. "We are big or major fanatics of your Earthian artistes," eight-eyes said. "We would so like to view a skilled performance of your great Earthian art in person. In fact, it is why we have contactualized you." (2005)
- Fanworks tagged "Aliens Make Them Do It" at Archive of Our Own
- SG-1 - Thematic List of 74 AMTDI Jack/Daniel stories. (last updated 6/2009)
- SGA - The Ultimate "Aliens Made Them Do It" List, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5! by ellex42 of John Sheppard/Rodney McKay fics (9/2005 - 1/2007)
- SGA - Aliens Made Them Do It tag at Crossroads SGA slash fic index site
- Delicious links for the LJ Kirk/Spock community show that that in the first year after Star Trek XI was released, 20 stories featuring the Aliens Made Them Do It trope were published on this one comm alone.
- Abstain, by Resonant
- Aliens made them commentfic challenge post by Resonant offering (multifandom) non-sex ideas and ficlets in comments, 8 Apr 2005. (Accessed 10 Feb 2012)
- SGA also came up with the AMT Hula Hoop subgenre: See Aliens Make Them ... Hula Hoop? by epiphanyx7, 9 Oct 2007, and one of the scenes in Monday to Friday, Saturday on Agreement by lavvyan, 30 Dec 2007. (Accessed 10 Feb 2012).
- (Part of) Intimacy of Man by Samdonne, 13 Apr 2007. (Accessed 10 Feb 2012)
- The Birds and the Bees and the Bats and the Robots by Bernice
- RatCreature. meta-ish sga fanfic thoughts. Posted 13 March 2007. (Accessed 12 November 2008)