identify this trope
December 2, 2019 3:52 PM   Subscribe

A (group?) of primitive (cave men?)(or possibly some kind of animals?) beat up a (robot? computer? alien?) because it is baffling them.

I feel like this was a scene in a movie. It might have been this scene from Zoolander but in the scenario I'm thinking of, the people or animals beat up the thing not because it isn't working (as in the Zoolander scene), but rather because it is too magical/baffling/unnatural/unexpected and their confusion turns into fury. Am I just misremembering the Zoolander scene, or is there another source for this image?
posted by fingersandtoes to Media & Arts (20 answers total)
There is a part of Stephen King's "From a Buick 8" which could be close to what you are thinking of. I haven't read it in years, but it stuck with me.

AFAICT it has never made into a movie, although there have been various adaptations discussed.
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:58 PM on December 2, 2019

I don't know if the Twilight Zone episode with woman who gets visited by little space men counts - they were trying to hurt her.
posted by LionIndex at 4:07 PM on December 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

Could it have been a parody of the opening scene of 2001: A Space Odyssey?
posted by XMLicious at 4:07 PM on December 2, 2019 [21 favorites]

Are you by any chance thinking of what happens in Office Space when they have absolutely had it with the printer? (soundtrack NSFW)
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:09 PM on December 2, 2019 [3 favorites]

The Old Man in the Cave?
posted by brook horse at 4:47 PM on December 2, 2019 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Genesis (Star Trek: The Next Generation) (Wikipedia)
Worf fires a torpedo that veers off course during weapons exercises, and Picard and Data leave in a shuttlecraft to retrieve it from space. [...] Several days later, when they have retrieved the torpedo from space, Picard and Data return to find the ship adrift, with the main power off-line. One of the bridge officers is dead, torn open in his seat, [...] and most of the crew are de-evolving. Worf has reverted into an aggressive predator attempting to mate with Troi; Riker an Australopithecine (Caveman); Troi an amphibian; and Barclay a spider.
Genesis (episode) (Memory Alpha)
Picard is unable to restore power to the ship due to the entire power-transfer grid being damaged. Suddenly, they hear a noise coming from the ready room. There they discover Riker, now a brutish proto-Human, attacking the captain's aquarium (in which Livingston, the captain's lionfish, has also devolved into a jellyfish).
posted by katra at 7:18 PM on December 2, 2019

Yes, I'm fairly certain the Zoolander scene is supposed to be parody of 2001.
posted by Crystalinne at 7:22 PM on December 2, 2019 [4 favorites]

It's 2001.
posted by ominous_paws at 10:17 PM on December 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

Could you be misremembering the scene from 2001 itself? The apes do get quite agitated about the monolith.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:18 PM on December 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: (as a side note, I am astonished that "Fearing/Destroying What You Do Not Understand" does not appear on TV Tropes)
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:19 PM on December 2, 2019 [3 favorites]

There is a James Kolchaka comic entitled Monkey vs. Robot that does nothing but explore this idea.
posted by benzenedream at 10:58 PM on December 2, 2019

The Planet WYH from Fargo season 3?
posted by flabdablet at 11:38 PM on December 2, 2019

Best answer: This happens in the music video for Neil Innes' Humanoid Boogie from his 1980s BBC show The Innes Book of Records. A group of cave people (played by children) encounter a Scottish Frankenstein's monster singing in a cave, they are perplexed by this strange sight, and they conk him on the head with a club and pummel him with rocks. (Note that the video features potentially NSFW naked mannequins with creepy painted-on nipples and pubic hair.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:12 AM on December 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I'll watch that TNG episode again and see if that's it. It sounds promising. I've never seen the Kolchaka comic or the Stephen King book so those aren't what I'm remembering.

It's not 2001 -- I thought so too at first but the monkeys don't interact with technology in that. They just beat up one of the monkeys. Or was there something special about the monkey they kill?

Favorited Tell Me No Lies' comment because omg doesn't it SEEM like something we've all seen many times?
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:03 AM on December 3, 2019

Response by poster: haha well I just watched the TNG scene and while it is awesome, and I always loved that goofy episode and enjoyed revisiting it, that isn't what I was thinking of. I've never seen the one Ursula links to, although it sounds on point. I think I must have just been mis-remembering the Zoolander scene. Oh well. Carry on.
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:29 AM on December 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

This sounds very Futurama-ish.
posted by Pig Tail Orchestra at 9:50 AM on December 3, 2019

Twilight Zone, The Old Man in the Cave?

The old man is helping post apocalypse survivors but is really a computer that they end up destroying.
posted by snsranch at 10:01 AM on December 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

The old The Tick cartoon had something like this. The line was something like "The ancient cave bear is battling his natural enemy, the robot".
posted by The_Vegetables at 12:34 PM on December 3, 2019

Probably a stretch , but this reminded me of The Gods Must Be Crazy, where a group of bushmen is confronted with an empty coke bottle. It baffles them, but the soon find many uses for it. However, when it causes fights, they determine the thing is evil and one of the men is appointed to drop it off the edge of the world.
posted by Ms. Next at 5:32 PM on December 3, 2019

Response by poster: UPDATE: I have remembered the source!! Not that anyone is checking, but for posterity: it's a scene in the 7th Harry Potter book, where Harry learns what happened to Dumbledore's little sister.
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:41 AM on January 24, 2020

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