At the end of the ten-minute opening scene of the re-imagining of 'V' (debuting tonight on ABC), two overly excited guys are being interviewed by TV. "Dude! This is Independence Day!" one of them says of the by-now familiar site of giant spaceships hovering in the sky. "Which was a rip off of any number of alien invasion predecessors," says his annoyed friend. It's a smart, self-aware way to deflect the obvious: by now we've seen so many alien invasion images, that you'd think we'd be pretty blase about it in real life. (Another giant spaceship hovering over a major city? Booooring.) And when you factor in the all-true scenes of 9-11, alien invasions can be pretty boring, indeed.

Let's take a look back at some of the most memorable alien movie and TV invasions to get a better look at the originators and the copycats.