Sigourney Weaver Ellen Ripley Alien
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What would Ellen Ripley do?

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Jan 29, 2020, 1:00 PM EST

Have you ever looked towards the sky and asked yourself, "What would Ellen Ripley do?" It can't just be me. Ripley managed to deal with men, evil A.I., and xenomorphs on four separate occasions. (Although I know some would rather only consider two of the four, maybe three depending on the day.)

Each time, no matter what, Ripley always made sure she did everything within her power to keep xenomorphs as far away from Earth as possible. What an inspiration, truly. So why not take a moment to ask yourself throughout your day: What would Ellen Ripley do?

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Sigourney Weaver and Jones the cat in Alien (1979)


Right after someone becomes a parent, a WWERD handbook should magically appear. Ripley wasn't a perfect parent, but she was a parent who did the absolute best she could with what she had, and off Earth. If you're a parent, you already have something in common with Ripley, and if you're a mom, that Venn diagram starts to overlap.

As a mom myself, sometimes I think about how Ripley fought a xenomorph with flammables and a box perm because she was so determined to get back for her daughter's eleventh birthday. Most of us would move the stars and moon for our children if we could, but there are moments when you're on your third caffeinated drink, wishing your child could pick themselves up from school or take themselves to that afterschool activity on their own. There is a good chance Ripley felt that way from time to time; she's still human like the rest of us — even if she is a human who blew up a 42-million-dollar space freighter and then played hide-and-seek with a xenomorph.

So what would Ellen Ripley do when it comes to this scam called parenting? ANYTHING she could.

Sigourney Weaver in Aliens (1986)

The 9-to-5

Ripley's teachings aren't just applicable to parenthood; you can also apply them on the job. Now, if anyone isn't a stranger to workplace struggles, it's her. She had to deal with both incompetent and, at times, dangerous men and malicious A.I. on a few occasions. In the first Alien movie, she wanted everyone to listen to reason and follow protocol before bringing in a crew member with an alien vag on his face, and of course, they didn't. We all know how that turned out. In the sequel, she told the execs at Weyland-Yutani that there were thousands of eggs on LV-426, and did anyone listen? Nope. She even pulled a "per my last email" in the middle of that hearing, but they did nothing — until it was too late. Each time, Ripley did what she had to do. No one could ever say she didn't, even though their level of incompetence made it seem like she didn't.

The next time you get an email from a co-worker who didn't read anything in the entire string of emails, ask yourself WWERD. While their inability to look at what's in the email or attached to it might make you yell in frustration, you did what you had to do. Perhaps you're dealing with someone who isn't at all proficient in Excel as they claimed to be, so the Excel sheet you received is a hot mess. Just remember that Ellen Louise Ripley squared up with a xenomorph queen in an exo-suit meant for cargo loading. She made do with what she had to in order get the job done, because an entire tactical team of well-armed marines couldn't.

Alien3 (1992)

Space Force

Not bringing up Space Force would be a missed opportunity. We should be so lucky if we have a few Ripleys who join whatever the hell Space Force is — not that they'll be in the cosmos anytime soon before the current administration is in office leaves, but if they were, maybe that would be the only time Ripley would let one of those xenomorphs find their way back to Earth.

If it's harmful, Ripley would understand the vital importance of getting something dangerous up out of the paint, since there truly isn't much of a significant difference between the current administration and a gaggle of xenomorphs. She would just let them all figure it all on their own. That's what Ripley would do.

Sigourney Weaver in Alien (1979)

Taking a nap

Are you ever struggling just to get up in the morning because life is doing the most?

The answer, according to Ellen Ripley, could very well be to cut that alarm off and go back to sleep — just not for 57 years, though.