Adam B. Vary
December 12, 2008 AT 05:00 AM EST

Even before the new Day the Earth Stood Still, aliens have been trying to wipe out our planet. And we keep stopping them — in breathtakingly lame ways. Be warned: Spoilers follow.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
(1986)
Alien Plan: Sap the planet’s energy and evaporate its oceans.
Human Counterplan: Travel back in time to find humpback whales.

Mars Attacks!
(1996)
Alien Plan: Vaporize Earth with lasers, prankster glee, and obnoxious laughter.
Human Counterplan: The high-pitched yodel of singer Slim Whitman.

Independence Day
(1996)
Alien Plan: Raze entire cities with a massive, expanding fireball.
Human Counterplan: A computer virus sent via Jeff Goldblum’s Apple laptop.

Men In Black
(1997)
Alien Plan: Blow up Earth to obliterate ”the Galaxy,” a giant energy source.
Human Counterplan: Find the Galaxy — a trinket on a cat’s collar.

Signs
(2002)
Alien Plan: Hand-to-hand combat coordinated with crop circles.
Human Counterplan: Water. It’s toxic to the aliens…who invaded a planet covered with it.

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