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Something mysterious falls to the earth
—Creature Feature, Look To The Skies
An object thought to be a meteorite will come crashing down to earth leaving a large crater, usually in the middle of nowhere, but farms are a popular target as well. The event will be noticed by someone (even in the middle of nowhere) who will be the first on scene to investigate (bonus points if it's a farmer with a shotgun).
What they find at the site will, 8 cases out of 10, be alien, and can range from fully grown adults, sometimes near death, to easily irritated hostile lifeforms, or just a baby. Other findings may include advanced alien tech, capsules holding something bad, or an actual meteorite with unearthly properties.
There's also a second type to this trope, where the impact happened a long time ago and the site was only recently discovered and excavated. Afterward, everything plays out the same.
- Dragon Ball: The origin story of Goku, found and adopted, How Raditz arrives on earth, complete with farmer and a shotgun.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion has the second type: there was a delay of a couple thousand years between the crash and when Adam & Lilith were discovered and excavated since Lilith had to create humanity first.
- One Piece has a unique one at the start of the Skypiea arc, a huge Galleon comes crashing down from the sky right next to the Strawhat crew nearly capsizing their ship, once they recover they immediately start investigating the wreckage and find items setting them up for their next adventure.
- Superman: According to his origin story, this is how he was adopted by the Kent family.
- One of Supergirl's origin stories, "The Supergirl from Krypton", had her found by Batman and Superman
- Green Lantern: Hal Jordan got taken to the site where he was given the Ring by a dying Abin Sur.
- When Marvel Comics wanted to bring Jean Grey back from the dead, they had hibernating in a cocoon at the Jamaica Bay crash site where Phoenix emerged.
- Creature Tech opens with a giant space eel crashing in Gold Rush-era Turlock, California. There are no survivors, not even the eel. Several generations later, the remains of the space eel become important.
Film - Animated
- Laputa: Castle in the Sky starts with an unconscious Sheeta slowly descending from the sky who was caught by Pazu and then there's a more traditional robot from Laputa comes crashing down on farm.
- Lilo and Stitch: Lilo and Nani see something crash near their house. Nani doesn't seem to care but Lilo thinks it's a shooting star and makes a wish for a friend, "Maybe an angel, the nicest angel you have." Cut to a decidedly non-angelic Experiment 626 emerging from the wreckage.
- Megamind and Metro Man both crashed to Earth. The latter lands at the doorstep of a rich family, the former in a prison yard.
- Monsters vs. Aliens: A young couple on a date see the giant robot land from their car and the girl drags her reluctant date to go see it.
- Superman/Batman: Apocalypse: Supergirl lands in Gotham harbor. Adapted from "The Supergirl from Krypton" Comic.
- The Iron Giant: The Giant is first seen by a fisherman lost in a storm. He first sees something fall from the sky, then runs into the Giant thinking its glowing eyes are the lighthouse.
Film - Live Action
- Lampshaded in Back to The Future: after crashing the time machine into a barn, Marty emerges to find himself face to face with a farmer with a shotgun, and the farmer's son holding a comic book depicting a crashed alien ship and a figure wearing a space suit startlingly similar to Marty's.
- Creepshow segment "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill starts with a meteor falling from the sky near the title character. Jordy pours water on it, causing it to crack open, and things go downhill from there.
- Evolution was the plot set up as a meteor crashed to Earth and the bacteria inside of it evolved rapidly into alien life forms to live on Earth.
- The origin story of Ghidorah from the Godzilla franchise has it crashing to Earth in a meteorite.
- Independence Day: Area 51 conceals a repaired attacker and three alien bodies recovered from Roswell in 1947. A fresh one also gets shotdown.
- It Came from Outer Space begins with a meteor-like object crashing near a small town. A local scientist named John Putman and his girlfriend investigate, thinking it's a UFO.
- Friday the 13th (film) ends with Jasons' burning remains re-entering the atmosphere and landing in the lake, but not before being mistaken for a falling star by a couple who decide to go have closer look.
- Men in Black had "The Bug" and The Animated Series had lots of background stories.
- Slither, which was an affectionate parody of a bunch of monster movies, had the nasty arrive from space via crashing to earth.
- Star Kid: A shy seventh-grader's life changes when a meteor falls into a junkyard near him. Inside it he finds a "Cybersuit", an exo-suit with AI from another galaxy.
- The Empire Strikes Back: Imperial probe droids do this. One lands on Hoth and was mistaken for a meteorite, Luke had intended to investigate the crash site, but was attacked by a snow creature (wampa).
- The Transformers Film Series uses this to explain how they get to Earth.
- Also has the second type where Megatron is discovered frozen a good while after he got here.
- The Blob, An old man pokes it with a stick.
- Various Adaptations of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds start this way.
- Similarly in the Planet of the Apes remake movie, where it's the human ship at the bottom of the crater.
- Thor's hammer in the live-action film of Thor.
- Also shown after the credits of Iron Man 2.
- H.P. Lovecraft's short story The Colour Out of Space. In the Backstory, a meteor fell on the farm of Nahum Gardner.
- H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds starts this way.
- Stardust: Due to an accident elsewhere in the story a star gets knocked out of the sky. A young man, Tristran, who wants nothing more than to win the heart of his beloved Victoria grandly declares that he'd even give her the star that just fell, and she challenges him to do just that in return for anything he wants from her. The fallen star turns out to be a girl named Yvaine.
- In The Andromeda Strain, a plague carrying meteor crashes into a satellite, knocking it from orbit, a recovery team is dispatched to retrieve it; during a live radio communication the team members suddenly die. Aerial surveillance reveals that everyone in the town closest to where the satellite landed, is apparently dead. This has also been adapted to film twice.
- Calcifer of Howl's Moving Castle fame is a falling star.
- The Orb of Aldur and the Sardion both fell from the sky in The Belgariad as well as the Thunderbolt Iron used to make Garion's sword. Beldin complains about this tendency in The Malloreon: "Why does everything fall out of the sky? Why can't something rise up out of the earth for a change?"
- Roswell TV series: The main characters are alien survivors of the Roswell UFO crash, who were adopted and raised by human families.
- Gilligan's Island episode "Meet the Meteor": A radioactive meteor falls onto the island.
- Happens very often in the Ultraman franchise.
- The Queller demon from season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- Creedence Clearwater Revival's Willy and the Poorboys album included a song called "It Came Out of the Sky":
Oh, it came out of the sky, landed just a little south of Moline.
- Champions supplement "The Circle and M.E.T.E.": A park ranger in Yellowstone National Park finds a large brownish blob in a 10-yard-wide charred circle of earth, presumably where the blob fell to earth.
- EarthBound: The game starts off with a meteorite crashing near Ness' house.
- King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride: Cheese mysteriously falls from the sky, leading to people getting hysterical because "The moon is falling!".
- Mushroom Men: The story begins when a comet crashes to the Earth, raining down a strange green dust in its wake. Scientists say the space dust is harmless to humans, but they failed to notice that flora,fauna and fungi including mushrooms, cacti, and kudzu gained sentience. A battle of not-so-epic proportions ensued.
- The Wii remake of A Boy and His Blob starts with what looks like a meteorite crashing near the boys' tree-house, he then heads to the landing site where he meets his Blob.
- Tales of Eternia starts off with Reid and Farah nearly getting hit by a crashing UFO. Farah wants to go see what nearly killed them. This leads to them finding Meredy, which kicks off the plot.
- Final Fantasy V begins with meteors crashing, and the wind stopping. These two events share a common cause.
- Halfway through Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, you learn that an object known as The Dark Star landed in the Mushroom Kingdom some time in the past and was incarcerated to prevent it causing damage. Naturally, it goes free later on in the game and ends up merging with Fawful to form the Final Boss.
- The Spore adventure titled "It Came From The Sky", which features a alien spaceship crash-landing near a research facility on an icy planet. The alien that was aboard said ship had, unknowingly, infected the entire base with a strange, mutagenic disease.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Oocco and her son come from the City in the Sky, the last dungeon level before Hyrule Castle. She fell off, and eventually gave up hope of getting back to the sky until she met Link.
- A random encounter in Dragon Age Origins has the party arrive at the site of a meteorite strike where two farmers have found a baby and decide to adopt it. The party itself finds a piece of metal that can be turned into the best melee weapon in the original campaign.
- In Chrono Trigger, the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs turns out to be the worlds-consuming alien Lavos.
- In the Gaia Online Facebook game Monster Galaxy, the player discovers their first monster when what appears to be a meteorite crashes outside of their home.
- The entire plot of Mardek RPG: Chapter One is Mardek and Deugan as kids trying to find a star that fell out of the sky into the nearby Canonia Woods. It turns out to be Rohoph's crashed galloper.
- Sluggy Freelance had Leono falling to Earth as a part of meteor shower (these creatures are adaptable and tough).
- Though it was never shown, this is how Owen is stated to have arrived in Project 0. Also the reason the kids decide to build a flying machine to get him home.
- Homestuck: This is part of the secret origin of Bec, the four kids, four of their guardians... you know what, let's say lots of stuff came from meteors and call it a day.
- The webcomic The Makeshift Miracle begins with a mysterious girl meteorically crashing down next to the protagonist.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: Book 3, Episode 4: "Sokka's Master", Sokka makes himself a sword from a meteorite that fell at the beginning of the episode.
- This is how Ben 10 got the Omnitrix.
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series: Episode 37, "Venom Returns", in an homage to The Blob. Some guy even pokes it with a stick.
- Superfriends episode "Menace of the White Dwarf": In the Backstory, a meteor fell next to the house of hillbilly Paul Martingale. It turns out to be a piece of kryptonite, carrying spores of Kyrptonian mushrooms that can cancel out the gravity of a white dwarf star fragment. Yes, really.
- The New Adventures of Superman episode "The Iron Eater". A meteor falls outside of Metropolis. After it hits the ground, it breaks open and reveals the title monster.
- Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy has a self described "evil meteor" that crashes into earth. It eats brains and also looks like a brain itself.