Androids and Detectives

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Del Spooner: Robots don't feel fear. They don't feel anything. They don't eat. They don't sleep.
Sonny: I do. I have even had dreams.
Del Spooner: Human beings have dreams. Even dogs have dreams, but not you, you are just a machine. An imitation of life. Can a robot write a symphony? Can a robot turn a... canvas into a beautiful masterpiece?

Sonny: Can you?

Salt and Pepper Buddy Cop Show In Cyberpunk! When there's a series of mysterious murders or crimes taking place in a cyberpunk setting, the local gumshoe is paired up with a shiny new partner with all sorts of attachments. Usually done in They Fight Crime style with one or both characters overcoming prejudices/technophobia. Sometimes the human detective will say something like "I hate technology" with the android responding "I am technology".

A lot of times this leads to someone asking What Measure Is a Non-Human?.

Examples of Androids and Detectives include:

Anime and Manga


  • The comic The Surrogates is definitely noir and cyberpunk, as well as the movie adaptation.
  • Fables had the uneasy alliance between the imperial guard regime and the brothers of the sacred grove.
  • In Top Ten, android cop Joe Pi has to deal with several cyber-phobic colleagues, including his new partner Irma Geddon.



  • Isaac Asimov's Robot Trilogy , starting with The Caves of Steel, are the Ur Example of this trope. These feature Earth detective Elijah Baley teaming with R. Daneel Olivaw, one of the very first "humaniform robots" - realistic-looking androids.
    • As the Ur Example, it established many of the conventions of this trope, despite the lack of many traditional Cyberpunk elements (unsurprising, as the book was written before the advent of microcomputers, let alone the Internet).
  • Brillo by Ben Bova and Harlan Ellison (It's steel fuzz, get it?)

Live Action TV

  • Joey from Friends gets a gig as the human half of the TV detective team "Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E."
  • Eureka by way of Jack Carter and Andy in one episode. Andy is back, as Jack's permanent deputy, Jo is now head of security at Global Dynamics, as of season 4
  • Mann & Machine
  • Holmes and Yo-yo. It's one of the (if not the) earliest TV examples, as it ran from 1976-77.
  • Recurring character Hymie (a robot) would often team with Max during a case on Get Smart.
  • RoboCop had a partner in the Spin-Off TV series (and Officer Ann Lewis in the movies).
  • Future Cop: based on Brillo, but without giving Bova or Ellison any credit, or payment, until after they sued.
  • The sadly short-lived Total Recall 2070 (which always seemed more of a Blade Runner spin-off somehow) paired senior detective David Hume with Alpha Class android Farve.
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation, the android Data likes to play Sherlock Holmes on the holodeck, with his human best friend Geordi La Forge as Dr. Watson.

Video Games

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century had compudroid!Watson.
  • In Futurama the cop is paired up with a robot. We don't know if this is standard practice because they're the only cops we ever see...
  • Transformers Animated: Captain Fanzone could be this to the Autobots. His Catch Phrase is "This is why I hate machines," although he eventually develops a grudging respect for the Autobots. When he's actually paired with an Autobot he grumbles, but does his job like a pro.
  • All Time Squad units in the series of the same name follow this dynamic.
  • Arguably the Chief in the 'Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego' cartoon. A few episodes show him to have at one point had a robot body (which he describes as 'useless') and was Carmen's partner before she had a face heel turn.