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File:Jesus and Elvis in Space.jpg


Agent J: You do know Elvis is dead, right?

Agent K: No, Elvis is not dead, he just went home.

Elvis Presley's death shocked millions of people. Many of these were so shocked that, rather than simply believe he had died, they decided that something was up — that he was faking, like Roy Orbison, or that he had been abducted by aliens, or that he was an alien himself, or any of a million different explanations. Today, we (or at least most of us) understand that Elvis is dead (if only by the sheer passage of time), but the media continues to utilize, poke fun at and abuse the general idea.

If he's still on Earth rather than in space, it's a case of Elvis Lives.

Compare He's Just Hiding, Beethoven Was an Alien Spy. See also Elvish Presley.

Not to be confused with the phrase "Elvis has left the building," which is a form of That's All Folks.

Examples of Elvis Has Left the Planet include:

Comic Books

  • One Marvel comic book "What If?" story had recurring Planet Eater Galactus facing a Fate Worse Than Death: being turned into a human. The kicker? He's a perfect replica of the King. He gets taken in by a kindly lady but at the end, just as his career revival's reaching its peak, is reminded of who he truly is. Given the choice of returning to his former existence as Galactus, he instead chooses to keep his new identity, ensuring that Elvis will literally live forever. And this story was in a "What If?" parody issue.
    • Another Marvel example: in the final issue of Secret Invasion, multiple characters who had been replaced by Skrulls were recovered and returned to Earth. And, yes, in a throw-away gag, Elvis was amongst them.
    • A non-Elvis related example. In the Marvel Universe The Beatles were replaced by Skrulls to influence Earth Pop culture but they decided they like Earth better than the Skrull empire. Amazingly all of them were alive into the 21st Century, only for three of them (except Skrull John who got killed by enemy Skrulls beforehand) to be tortured and killed by the British government at the start of Secret Invasion.


  • Men in Black: According to Agent K, "Elvis is not dead, he just went home."
  • The film Death Becomes Her holds Elvis to be an immortal who faked his own death.
  • As Bubba Ho-Tep explains, the Elvis who died wasn't the real one.
  • In Independence Day, one of the people who wish to meet the aliens, when shown on TV, shouts "Oh God, I hope they bring back Elvis!"
  • In an interesting inversion (sort of), during the Good Times Montage in Ghostbusters, an interviewer asks Ray, "How is Elvis, and have you seen him lately?"


  • In Mostly Harmless, the fifth book in the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, Elvis (who is never explicitly identified, but it's obvious) is the bar singer at the Domain of (who else?) The King Bar & Grill. He says he wasn't actually abducted by aliens; he went of his own accord.
    • The Quintessential Phase of the Hitchhiker's Guide radio series (which, unlike earlier Phases, was an adaptation of the book, rather than the other way around) adds, mostly as a throwaway gag, that another Elvis exists on the alternate Earth that replaced the "original" Earth of the series (destroyed way back in the initial Hitchhiker's Guide radio series), one who survived at least into the first decade of the 21st century and continued to record music, including an album of Oasis covers. Thus, as far as the radio series is concerned, Elvis both has and has not left the planet (at least until the end of the series, when the alternate and all other Earths are simultaneously destroyed).
  • On the other hand, The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries holds that he did die, and was brought back by a vampire who worked at the morgue where they took the body. Only they botched it, so he isn't quite right in the head anymore...
  • A Zig & Zag book mentions that the titular duo's aunt Zelda married Elvis and they live on Mars.
  • In the Outernet series of books, the main characters meet a far older, far fatter Elvis performing on an alien planet.
  • Robert Rankin's Armageddon! The Musical trilogy reveals that Elvis faked his death, but how and why would take a lot of explaining. (Really. Part of it involves a talking vegetable, and that's the relatively sane part.)
    • In the second book, he may or may not have actually died during a Time Skip. Then again, that book is something of a Mind Screw, so...
    • Let's be clear: it's a talking, time travelling vegetable. That, if this troper remembers rightly, spends its time stuffed in his ear, and has an evil twin. Or possibly is the evil twin. He really needs to reread the Armageddon trilogy...
  • The "gonzo" sci-fi collection Alien Pregnant by Elvis is full of stories that involve this trope in various ways. The stories are all supposed to be evocative of tabloid stories.
  • One fantasy story this editor read (but no longer recalls the title of) had Elvis as a prince of the elves (his name was apparently not supposed to be a pun) who came to Earth so that he could indulge his musical side. The Elvis that got fat, grew addicted to drugs and died was an artificial copy fueled by magic to cover Elvis's return home.
  • Elvis is dead in the Stephen King short story "Rock-and-Roll Heaven". He is, however, still on the planet in a small town off the beaten path, where he is mayor over a town full of dead musicians and a few hapless locals, who never get older, never die, and can never leave. One wonders if Michael Jackson gave him a run for his money in the last election.
  • In Good Omens, a mysterious stranger is taking an electronic pub quiz game. When the game asks when Elvis Presley died, the stranger remarks "'I don't care what anyone says, I never touched him.'"
  • Subverted in that it's not elvis but Buddy Holly Is Alive And Well On Ganymede.

Live Action TV

  • An episode of The Chronicle implies that Elvis faked his death after discovering a cult of Elvis-impersonating vampires used him to further their goals and devoted his life to becoming a vampire hunter.
    • Then the episode throws in a twist at the end, suggesting that the hunter isn't Elvis, but his (presumed) stillborn twin, Jesse Garon.
  • In Eerie Indiana, Elvis ran the local malt shop.
    • And he's on the protagonist's paper route.
    • At one point the protagonist's younger brother finds an Elvis lamp and wonders why someone would have a lamp that looks like a guy on the paper route.
  • The trope name is dropped in the Cheesecake (not that kind, the food!) episode of Good Eats.
    • Before that it a variant was used on Homicide: Life On the Street. Munch asks Bolander what kind of music he likes, and Bolander grudgingly admits to liking Elvis. Munch responds, "The man's left the planet."
  • On Sliders the team landed on a world where Native!Rembrandt Brown had died (and enjoyed Elvis-level popularity); Rembrandt planned to stay on that Earth, "return from the dead" and have a musical career. Then they discovered that Native!Rembrandt had faked his death, but due to the resurgent popularity ensuing from Rembrandt's activities decided to come back himself.
  • This is the premise of Elvis And Slick Monty, only Elvis escaped, wound up in Another Dimension, befriended an anthropomorphic fly named Slick, and returned to Earth with him. The finale ends with him re-captured.
  • Sanctuary: "Elvis isn't dead, he's just... never mind."


  • Ray Stevens' song I Saw Elvis in a UFO centers on the concept of Elvis' abduction.
  • The song Elvis is Everywhere by Mojo Nixon is based around the precept, and goes so far as to state that the cause of the mysterious phenomena attributed to The Bermuda Triangle is that "Elvis needs boats!"
  • The Arrogant Worms' "Don't Go Into Politics" cites various deceased figures of political, scientific, and entertainment history as proof that going into such fields means you'll end up dead. Recounting the names of numerous dead musicians, they add the corollary: "Well, we're not so sure about Elvis..."
  • The song "We're Not Alone" by Son of Dork has the lines:

 I hope they bring back Elvis

Cause how crazy would that be?

I know he's up there somewhere

Playing halo with ET

  • Tupac seems to have rumors like this now.
    • And Michael Jackson.
  • "Elvis Isn't Dead" by Scouting For Girls. 'Cos they heard him on the radio.
  • Art Sirota's 'Norton Songs' album has a song about how Elvis was abducted by aliens, but came back because he couldn't get parts for his motorcycle on their planet.

Video Games

  • In Grand Theft Auto III, if you examine the newspapers on the ground, you can see that the headlines read, 'Zombie Elvis Found'. The best part about that? Next to the headline, is a picture of the player character.
  • In Lego Rock Band, it's not Elvis, but rather Freddie Mercury who joins aliens in abducting your band's bassist.
  • In Halloween Harry (a.k.a Alien Carnage), Elvis is the leader of the alien fleet, and the last boss.
  • Possibly poked at in Perfect Dark with Maian Protector One, who insists that the humans call him Elvis.
  • In Earthworm Jim 3D, Elvis is kidnapped by aliens just so their leader can use him as part of a burger.

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • An episode of Eek the Cat involving Alien Abduction featured a brief shot of Elvis among some captives in People Jars.
    • In another episode Eek gets hit by a shrink ray and meets Elvis (not named as such, but he looks like Elvis at least), who had a shrink-ray related acident years ago.
      • It Gets Better , after the ep, he gets back to normal size, remembers who he is, and then gets kidnapped by aliens.
  • Elvis shows up briefly in a talent competition in one episode of Rex the Runt, and gets beamed up before he can finish his act.
  • In an episode of Animaniacs, the Warner siblings are taken aboard an alien spaceship. Yakko Warner briefly sees Elvis playing cards with Amelia Earhart, Bigfoot and Jimmy Hoffa. Yakko says "A lot of people are looking for you guys!", gets kicked out by Elvis and then goes off to see the rest of the ship. It's a throwaway gag, as Elvis and company aren't seen again in that episode.
    • Some of the ending Couch Gags feature the Warners saying "good night" to each other, The Waltons-style. One variation ended with:

 Yakko: "G'night, Elvis."

Elvis: "Thank you very much, but I don't want anyone to know I'm here."


  Elvis lives on in our hearts, in his music and in a trailer park outside Milwaukee.

  • An episode of Garfield and Friends had a network asking for a photo of Bigfoot with Elvis, since Bigfoot pictures are so common that are worthless. As Jon walks away, lamenting on his failed photographer career, Elvis asks him what time it us... and only after he goes do Jon and his pets realise who it was.
  • In one episode of Fairly Oddparents Elvis is shown to live in a secret underground kingdom at the Dimsdale beach.
  • Robot Chicken did a skit where aliens replaced Michael Jackson (who still had black skin) with a white look-alike to take over the world somehow.


  • Back when Saddam Hussein was still at large, a common theme in political cartoons was to suggest that he was hanging out with Elvis. One cartoon threw in Osama Bin Laden:

 Osama: Look on the bright side... I still have my video camera!

Saddam: Maybe we can do a trio with Elvis.

Elvis: Dude, I don't want anything to do with either of you.