Martians begin to surround Earth with an array of flying saucers. James Dale, the President of the United States, addresses America. The message attracts attention within the news media in New York City, employees and common goers at the Luxor Las Vegas hotel, and a trailer trash family in Perkinsville, Kansas. The Presidential scientific aides are able to set a meeting with the Martians in Pahrump, Nevada.
The Martians announce they have "come in peace" by way of a universal translator. But after a hippie releases a dove (as a symbol of peace), the Martians begin to kill the humans that have gathered. Believing the meeting to be a "cultural misunderstanding", President Dale has Professor Donald Kessler resume negotiations with the Martians. The two species decide to have a Martian ambassador address the United States Congress. However, the event goes wrong once more, leading to the total incineration of Congress.
General Decker tries to convince President Dale to take revenge by nuclear warfare, but Dale refuses. After a mysterious Martian assassin disguised as a woman enters the White House and unsuccessfully attempts to kill the President, the invaders start their full-scale invasion of Earth. They descend upon the planet, destroying Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, Tokyo, the Washington Monument, a planetarium, a music venue, one of the Great Pyramids, a Hawaiian paradise and the Great Donut, and end up killing Dale. Richie Norris, a teenage boy from Kansas, inadvertently discovers the Martians' deadly weakness (the noise of Slim Whitman's song, "Indian Love Call") after rescuing his grandma from a retirement home. Both Richie and his grandma are awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroic efforts. Humans begin cleaning up the Martians' destruction in an attempt to improve their lifestyle. Richie, in particular, believes everyone should start living in tipis(also te(e)pee).
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