Ridiculously-Human Robots

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search
He needs the alcohol for powering his batteries, but the smoking just makes him look cool.
"Being a robot's great, but we don't have emotions and sometimes that makes me very sad."
Bender, Futurama

Robots in television—particularly comedic television—are usually human-like in ways that very few sane programmers would deem useful. It can be something as simple as being philosophical (wanting to understand human emotion, wondering if they have a soul, etc.), but can extend to such things as robot social cliques, robot food, robot entertainment, robot religion, and even robot sex. It doesn't matter if it makes no sense in the context of a mechanical servant, or even if it's truly undesirable, the designers have put it in there for some twisted reason. This will often take the form of having an Artificial Human, a robot that looks exactly like a human.

The degree to which this is actually "ridiculous" varies depending on the setting. In some cases they get a free pass - it may be that an intelligence, artificial or not, needs to be vaguely human-like in its basic outlines, with emotions, interests, motivations, et cetera simply to be functional for certain tasks, such as those requiring a great deal of long-term autonomy. On the other hand, perhaps humans prefer sex bots not to behave like automated teller machines. Or it may be, if human intelligence itself is merely an evolved set of functions held together in an evolved psychological architecture, that any society with sufficiently ubiquitous and flexible automation will necessarily have the means to produce something human-like. Whatever serves the needs of the well-reasoned plot or setting. In these cases, Ridiculously-Human Robots make sense. Also, a few illogical design choices are a small price to pay for keeping robotic characters out of the Uncanny Valley. However, it's rare that a series explicitly spells this out, and often, these human-like AIs are put right up next to similar, yet emotionless equivalents that function perfectly.

A corollary to this is that robots are comfortable in their own oddball version of society, and consider human conventions bizarre and silly. You'd think they would be programmed to be familiar with human behavior, and find it perfectly normal. Robots from places without humans, who are exempt from this complaint, curiously tend to adapt to human customs faster.

Tin Can Robots cannot by definition have a Ridiculously Human Appearance like some examples, but may fit on the "Ridiculously Human Personality" part of the equation.

For an alternative, see Pick Your Human Half. Interestingly, there will usually be at least one character (or society in general) who insists it's "Just a Machine".

See also Instant AI, Just Add Water, Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids, and Robot Girl. Compare and contrast with Artificial Human, Robot Me or Mechanical Lifeforms. The more human-like ones are sometimes an Eating Machine. May become subject to a Robotic Reveal if the robot looks ridiculously human enough to pass as one. Expect the reveal to have some Squick if it's done via means like an Unusual User Interface. Contrast Deceptively-Human Robots, for when the apparent humanity is only skin deep. Also contrast Mechanical Monster, where it is completely inhuman in both psychology and appearance. The inverse on nearly every level of Cybernetics Will Eat Your Soul. Contrast Forgot He Was a Robot and Starfish Robots.

Examples of Ridiculously-Human Robots include:

Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Sexaroids Sylvie and Anri, in Bubblegum Crisis. However, given their intended function, this isn't so strange. Perhaps more unusual (and disturbing) is the fact that, of the two Boomer models designed to resemble women, only those purposely designed for sexual use appear to be sentient. And then there's Anri, who's apparently built to look permanently underage...
  • The comic relief robot in Uchuu Senkan Yamato (also known as Star Blazers) is apparently programmed specially for sexual harassment, though exceedingly nonhuman in form, vaguely resembling R2-D2.
    • I.Q.-9 (Analyzer) claims that, because of his larger mental capacity, he actually has a wider range of emotions than a human being. "I have more emotions than you." And his little soliloquy after Nova rejects his love is actually very sad.
  • Alpha from Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou eats, sleeps, dreams, cries, has fantasies and generally behaves in a very human manner, including having a romantic relationship (with another Robot Girl, no less). She never ages though while all the human beings around her do, making for quite some melancholic moments, especially in the manga. The robots of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou have in particular one feature that is especially ridiculously human: for some reason their data input ports are all in their mouths, which means that for one robot to transfer data to another, they have to kiss. Alpha even has an allergic reaction to milk products.
  • The androids from Armitage III are actually ranked according to how human they are. "Firsts" are basically non-human robots, "Seconds" are androids, and the "Thirds" are so close to human they can get pregnant.
  • The Cyberdolls in Hand Maid May are hinted to be capable of getting pregnant.
  • Nearly all the androids in Ghost in the Shell fit this, but generally only in appearance and behavior. The most humanlike robots in terms of emotions, behavior, and just maybe sentience are the Tachikoma's, spider tankettes with bubbly personalities.
  • As well as GitS, Shirow Masamune is quite fond of realistic robots. At least, enough so to cause confusion in the enemy when they're battle bots... The attack gynoid of Black Magic may not fool anyone once its taken a bit of battle damage, but it's got a head and hair right out of the uncanny valley, a bosom and feminine curves.
    • The anime series Stand Alone Complex gives a much greater role to the tachikoma than they have in the manga. Though their physical shape is more close to a Spider Tank and doesn't have any resemblance to humans, their advanced AIs have developed to the state of 5 year old children. In an interesting twist, humans in GitS are almost always shown as emotionaly cold, withdrawn, and even mechanical, while the tachikoma are full of curiosity, compassion, and optimism.
    • This also applies to Real Drive, where android Holon is so human-like that one of the main characters falls in love with her—and dumps his girlfriend who is the one after which Holon has been modeled. Interestingly, Holon mentions that she has no gender identity; she's a sexually neutral sentient AI - but does seem capable of falling in love with a human, or at least forming a strong emotional attachment.
    • And there's of course the Puma twins from Dominion/Tank Police... Leona is actually shocked to discover they are androids (rather than genetically or surgically engineered humans, presumably) while their artificial nature is a plot point in the sequel manga, Conflict 1: No more noise. Despite being fully aware of their mechanical nature, their behaviour is emphatically emotional and 'human'.
    • The total inversion of this trope occurs semi-regularly as well. "Jameson-type" cyborgs are nothing more than a small metal lunchbox with four legs and a single, telescoping robot arm on top. Human brain, human legal status, completely inhuman body.
  • Dolores from Zone of the Enders: Dolores, I has her own feelings and emotions, feels pain even when she's not particularly damaged, and even cries when she's sad, to the point of fluid leaking out of her primary optic sensors (once, she even smacks herself in the head to calm down). This, despite being a Humongous Mecha.
  • There isn't really a good reason why almost all of the persocoms in Chobits couldn't be replaced with spiders with a voice-box (besides the total demolition of the plot, of course).
    • And besides the fact that spiders couldn't perform any of the household chores for which persocoms are shown to be used, or be employed in stores, or provide "companionship" (in any sense of the word) equivalent to that provided by a human...I mean, I guess you could program a robotic spider to perform calculations and access the internet, but I can't exactly see a spider dressed up in a frilly costume handing out pastries in front of a bakery, or working as a waitress in a restaurant, or serving as a replacement daughter/sister/wife.
  • Good old Astro Boy inspired an entire country's culture with regards to this trope. Despite varying levels of humanoid physical appearance, robots have their own society and culture and even actual robot churches.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has the Wolkenritter (plural) and Reinforce, programs (albeit magical ones) with emotions and individual personalities. In addition to having physical forms, they eat, sleep, and bleed. The characters of the series pretty much consider them as humans.
    • Also, there are Agito and Reinforce II, who are functionally anthropomorphic magical wands taught proper Japanese. And, if the theories are correct, Lily Strosek from Force may be one of these, too.
  • Chachamaru from Mahou Sensei Negima, while she is programmed for certain things (being Evangeline's servant) possesses human traits, mainly emotions like embarrassment (complete with crying leaking laser fluid from her eyes), compassion (helping little old ladies up stairs and feeding stray cats), and, most obviously, love. Lampshaded by her creator, who can't figure out how the heck that happened, who (taking "hard science" a little to the extreme) takes personal offense that she's forced to consider philosophy to try and figure out what happened (though she resolves to be more of a mother figure to Chachamaru). Might be Justified Trope, since she's partly Magitek.
  • Played with in Outlaw Star. Gilliam II, the titular Cool Ship's computer, is entirely sentient with the sole exception that he is incapable of contemplating his purpose in life. To get over this hurdle, he instead decides to contemplate his inability to contemplate his purpose in life. Trippy.
  • Rozen Maiden has as its protagonists a cavalcade of animate dolls built specifically to kill each other in a There Can Be Only One tournament. This is all in the good, but one is left to wonder why they were built capable to feel pain, grief, fear and loss. Or, for that matter, affection, attachment and remorse toward their sisters. It's little wonder the tournament didn't get anywhere in hundreds of years.
    • This could actually be the Whopper Effect [from Wargames]: "The only winning move is not to play." By REFUSING to play the Alice Game BECAUSE they love their sisters, in other words GIVING UP their driving goal to spare the ones they love, may be the only way to come one step closer to becomming Alice. [After all, it boggles the mind for any other reason that an ideal such as the "perfect girl" who is supposed to embody love and compassion is based on the destruction/murder of her sisters. If, however, it is instead a test of purity it finally makes sense. "Only by sacrificing your love for love can you become love."]. If this IS true, then the "There can be only one" may = False as well.
  • In Steel Angel Kurumi, Kurumi and the other steel angels act exactly like humans except for their ridiculous power level. Be glad they're programmed to obey whoever activates them unconditionally, otherwise they'd almost certainly take over the world.
    • And it's also good that they need someone "special" to awake them up.
    • Don't forget that... Eh... if the one that is giving them orders gives them the order to conquer the world... The world is doomed, right?
  • Tima is basically this in Osamu Tezukas Metropolis.
  • Osamu Tezuka's Phoenix includes tales that hit on a group of robots who, despite looking like large metal canisters with limbs, connect better with their masters because they seem a little more human than most. They're connected to a hive mind and, when one is executed, the others walk en masse to kill themselves in lava pits. Furthermore, one who is on the moon at the time considers his more human characteristics at length, because it seems odd that he cannot follow the actions of the others. He eventually proves he's more than a robot by murdering his arrogant boss. And somewhere in the mix, we find out that the robots are more than mere machines, since the first one was made from the joined souls of a human and robot lover (who, yes, appears to have had a soul as well, oddly enough).
  • The robotic members of the GGG in GaoGaiGar could easily be mistaken for Autobots in both appearance and mannerisms. In one episode, HyoRyu and EnRyu both get into an argument over whether it's right to let 9-year-old Mamoru into combat because of his Zonder-detecting ability, while at the same time, both are drinking... something... out of gigantic cups complete with huge bendy-straws.
    • This is done again after the battle at Jupiter, when Hyoryu, Enryu, Fuuryu, Rairyu, Volfogg and Mic Sounders all drink that same stuff. If one looks closely on the cups, though, there's a small sign on them saying "Oil". Makes sense that the Strongest Brave Robo Team would need to drink oil to work properly...
  • Suzu in Hotori - Tada Saiwai o Koinegau clearly has a personality and emotions of his own, and is also (despite the fact that his internal mechanical workings are shown on several occasions and he doesn't really seem to have organs) capable of eating and crying.
  • Imo-chan from Sora Kake Girl eats, sleeps, goes to school, has a job as a maid, and belongs to a club that restores old vehicles. Pretty impressive for a pint-sized, flying robot that appears to be designed as a vehicular auto-pilot system.
  • Yuki the medical sexaroid from The Galaxy Railways looks and acts so human you'd never notice if she didn't point it out.
  • In All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku, a Slightly Mad Scientist roboticist makes an inexplicably human looking (and young, female, stacked, and athletic... ok he's just an old perv) robot for some reason, but can't get the AI part to work and bring it to "life". So, he loads it in the car to tinker with at home over the weekend, along with the kitten that's his young son's birthday present. However as soon as the kid's gone Squee and given the kitty its first hug, it runs out into the road and gets pancaked. Faced with a bawling child, a ruined birthday, a physically mangled but vaguely-conscious animal and a brainless bim-bot, he does what any self respecting mad prof family man would do... and transplants the cat's brain into the robot and gives it to the boy as a replacement. Voila, three birds, one stone (please don't ask how the life support mechanisms work). Piles of ridiculously human, ridiculously cat-like, cuckoo syndrome / fish out of water / social naivety hijinks ensue. That and gymnastically fighting off the evil corporation now coming after all of them with guns, wanting their very very expensive 6-foot pile of mechanics, microchips and pneumatics back.
  • Arale from Dr. Slump is a little robot girl built by Senbei with pretty much the specific purposes of this trope (so much so, she passes off as his little sister to the eyes of the Penguin Village residents), even being that the reason why she wears glasses - her eyesight is horrible without them.
  • Haruka's robot caregivers in Kurogane Communication are human enough that she considers them family; she also gets embarrassed when one of them walks in on her changing.
  • Eve no Jikan is centered around a club where commercially manufactured servant androids can go to interact with each other and humans as humanly as possible. The club specifically has a rule against discrimination against one side by the other. They're actually good enough to fool each other without meaning to! Pretty trippy when you consider that by the Asimovian conventions they're programmed to never disobey a human command unless it means bringing humans to harm.
    • It is implied that many robots have begun developing emotions, but they are afraid to express them around humans, especially considering the radical position of the Ethics Committee.
  • Parodied by Mechazawa in Cromartie High School, a ridiculously inhuman robot (essentially a giant tin can with arms and legs) who everyone treats as though he were human. In fact, everyone except the main characters (including Mechazawa himself) seems to believe Mechazawa is human, even when he's doing things like giving himself oil from an oilcan. "We don't say those things about Mechazawa!"
  • Yuria is ridiculously human, to the extent that she can get a stomachache from eating food that's gone off, to go along with the whole self-awareness and free will (free, at least, to the extent of her programming as a Sex Bot allows, i.e. constantly wanting to have sex).
  • Companion Autoraves in Ergo Proxy tend to look like this. The only indication that Pino is one is the fact that her limbs are made of metal, but they're usually covered in clothing anyway.
  • Although most robots on The Big O are clearly mechanical, R. Dorothy Wainwright and her Evil Twin are virtually indistinguishable from normal people. Aside from a pale skin tone and monotonous vocal inflections they look and sound perfectly human, and R. Dorothy had a copy of the personality of the girl she was modeled after that could be activated by her "grandfather". By the end of the series, it is heavily implied that R. Dorothy has developed genuine emotions and a great fondness/love for her partner, Roger Smith.
  • Saber Marionette J's entire female cast (minus Lorelei) fit this bill. Being a planet with no women, everybody is a clone and the only women are robots. The Saber Marionettes/Dolls are built with a "Maiden Circuit" that allows them to feel emotions and act more human than the rest of the Marionettes.
    • In one episode, Tiger effectively commits suicide/allows herself to take "fatal" damage rather than back out of a fight and disappoint Faust. When Lime questions her, she insists that she did it "because I have a heart" She gets better
  • Kikaider The Animation both plays this straight and averts it. Some robots look exactly like a human, others are cartoony looking robots, and some can transform between one and the other.
  • Casshern, from Casshern Sins, among many others. In between his episodes of Wangst, you might forget Casshern is a robot...until he goes Ax Crazy...
  • The robots in Karakuridouji Ultimo have been seen blushing, crying, feeling pain, and eating and drinking. Vice has even been said to have a favorite food.
  • In SD Gundam Force, we have a justice loving gundam whose heart is linked with a human friend via Power of Friendship, a lady man knight gundam, a hot blooded samurai gundam, a bike that's as annoying as an old man, and mecha mooks that have their own society and TV program.
  • Nano from Nichijou. Take the winding key off her back, and no one could tell that she isn't human.
  • Cutey Honey: Different revival versions are different of course, but if not for her abilities, it'd often be hard to tell that Honey Hisaragi wasn't completely human from the way she acts. With them, it just looks like her necklace is a Transformation Trinket. Most episodes would change little if she weren't a human character with a necklace of awesome.
    • Averted in Cutey Honey the Live, where Honey is so psychotically cheerful even when she shouldn't be that she's actually quite believable as a robot - has emotions or is good at simulating them, doesn't understand humans but designed to try and get along with them, able to laugh and cry but at a 4-year-old's level when it comes to knowing which is appropriate when. Unfortunately, this makes her not so good at The Masquerade. Passing for human purely based on You Didn't Ask, she doesn't see what's wrong with using her Healing Factor or transformations in front of civilians and even Panther Claw.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • SHIELD's Life Model Decoys in the Marvel Comics universe are meant to be completely indistinguishable from the people for whom they are body-doubles.
  • Doombots, programmed to act like the real Doctor Doom in his absence. Arguably, it's not very difficult to achieve perfect resemblance to the real thing when the template himself dresses like a robot with a hood and cape...
    • The resemblance is so perfect, various comic book writers have debated which appearances of Doom were actually Doombots. I.e., they're so good at impersonating Doom, even the writer of the story might not know it's really a Doombot.
  • Arguably justified to the point of deconstruction by Machine Man, in various Marvel Comics tales. The X-series robots are supposed to be, essentially, Terminators, but Abel Stack is convinced that a robot that can think as well as a human needs to think like a human; when the other fifty robots develop bizarre psychoses and X-51 remains sane, he's proven right, but X-51 also proves useless as a military device. Much later, in Earth X, Uatu the Watcher claims Abel made "Aaron" as an extension of himself, hoping to "live forever" in this way.
    • ...And then Nextwave came along. Aaron Stack's 'sanity', even in the mainstream, can now be said to be somewhat suspect. Ironically, his increasingly 'robot pride' behaviour also came with him stopping to use anything other than his human name as he finds codenames and serial numbers demeaning.
  • Both versions of The Vision from The Avengers: the original was married to the Scarlet Witch; the new one spent a year traveling around the world finding himself, likes to be called Jonas in private, and is now dating Stature.
  • The Vision's "brother", Victor Mancha, looks and acts so much like a normal teenager that he himself didn't know he was a robot for years. This was justified considering that he was built as part of an elaborate plot that required him to pass as human for a while.
  • DC's Red Tornado, who assumed the identity of John Smith, married a human woman and adopted a child with her.
  • The android Hourman, Matthew Tyler. He was even programmed with the 'geneware' of Rex Tyler, the original Hourman.
  • L-Ron, Maxwell Lord's assistant when he was running the Justice League, fits into this trope perfectly, as does Booster Gold's robot companion Skeets.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Robots, an entire movie built around the concept.
  • The Terminators from the titular movies are made of human skin stretched over a robotic skeleton. As robots that are meant to infiltrate human camps and slaughter them from inside, the only thing that seems to tell them from a normal human is their Nigh Invulnerability; putting that aside, they look, smell, sweat, bleed and walk like an actual human. Dogs, however, aren't fooled.
    • However, the Terminators don't act human (except the T-800 in Terminator 2, that learns things like "why humans cry", and the T-850 in the third movie, that has psychology in his programming and is thus able to do things such as lying).
      • There is a deleted scene in Terminator 2 (restored in the extended release) that clarifies that most Terminators have their learning switch turned off before being sent out on the field. The reason being that SkyNet fears (or whatever) the Terminators learning -too- much and becoming sentient and self-aware like itself or otherwise troublesome to control. This switch is turned on for the T-800 in the movie in the scene and thus why it was able to eventually learn such things. Assuming higher numbers mean later models, it can also be assumed that SkyNet incorporates better research into the later models - the T-1000 was much much better at being an infiltrator though it seemed to kill most anyone within a few minutes of meeting them. It maybe also that those Terminators that are on a specific mission of infiltration rather than a mission where it'll kill anything that gets in its way are given more learning time and/or directive to act human; this is suggested in the Sarah Connor Chronicles where the resident Terminator has a flashback to the time when it interrogated the human it's based on as it was intending to access a heavily defended base. Strangely, the flashback occurs because the Terminator gets hit on the head (or something) and gets amnesia.
      • Though it's never explained why SkyNet continually thinks like a human and keeps sending Terminators back to different points in time AFTER the first Terminator (allowing the humans to become better and better prepared) rather than sending a robot back to a point BEFORE the first Terminator appeared (thus adding the element of surprise AND less advanced technology), or just continually sending the same Terminator to the same point in time to increase the odds of the proper timeline taking place.
      • This can be Fanwanked away; presumably sending Terminators further backwards in time costs more resources, and as Future!John destroys more and more of SkyNet, it can no longer afford to send Terminators back as far.
  • Ridiculously Human AI was avoided in Sunshine. Although, like HAL, the computer can respond to natural-language commands and has a creepily calm voice, it has no internal mental life to speak of and therefore doesn't anticipate or adapt to problems outside its original mission profile. If you've ever tried to wrestle a computer program into doing something beyond its basic functions, you'll see how accurate this is.
    • It is, however, a plot point in [[2001: A Space Odyssey]], in which HAL becomes paranoid and psychotic after being given conflicting commands of equal importance. (At least, that is explanation offered outside of the film for his actions.)
  • The problems inherent in programming ridiculously human robots is explored in [[A.I.: Artificial Intelligence]], in which the robot David is programmed with genuine love, rather than the simulated love of previous models (like Gigolo Joe). This leads to a Pinocchio-like plot later on.
    • It shouldn't have, however. The original story by Brian Aldiss contained none of the "Pinocchio" subplot (and it was better). Aldiss begged Kubrick not to include the Pinocchian subplot, to no avail.
  • WALL-E never explains how robots, such as WALL-E and EVE, gained personalities, or why some do and some don't. It's probably better that way.
    • WALL-E is actually insane in a good way. 700 years with no-one to interact with but a cockroach will do that.
      • Essentially, all the character robots in the movie develop personality and emotion when they step outside of their primary directives. For some like M-O, this is a fairly short and abrupt step when he chooses to ignore the path he should be following in order to do something he wants to do (i.e. he gets annoyed enough to break a rule). For others like EVE, this is a more subtle development. Even the misfit robots in the robot infirmary aren't all depicted as insane - some just don't behave within their intended function.
      • Of course, that raises the question of why they were programmed to be able to make decisions like that.
    • Actually, WALL-E did a fairly good job of justifying most of the robotic personalities, presuming that all of the robots have at least partially adaptable AI. None of the robots (aside from possibly some of the 'insane' ones) are shown outright defying their intended purpose, only selecting one path toward that purpose over the other. M-O, for example, is supposed to ensure the ship is clean, and to follow a programmed track - causing a 'dilemma' when he spots dirt outside of said track. WALL-E might have had some kind of programming to recognize unusual objects and to keep track of them (not an unlikely possibility for a garbage collector robot), manifesting as 'curiosity' over time, and EVE, being designed to identify signs of life, might have had some kind of 'empathy' programming for this purpose. And AUTO, who commanded most of the ship bots, was just doing what he determined to be humanity's best chance for survival.
  • The droids in Star Wars. The Expanded Universe takes this further with "Human Replica Droids" such as Shadows of the Empire's Guri. It takes special equipment to recognize that they aren't human.
    • As for "regular" droids it is worth mentioning that most of them aren't programmed for personality, emotion or human behavior. Some, like the most commonly known R2-D2 and C-3PO, develop those traits. Others don't.
      • Although one could argue that even common, run-of-the-mill droids have emotions. The MSE droid ran away from Chewie in terror, the droid on Cloud City was rude to Threepio for no reason, and the Gonk droid screamed in terror when being tortured in Jabba's dungeons.
      • Of course, astromechs and protocol droids are explicitly amongst the most intelligent droids in the Star Wars universe; it's implied that the more intelligent a droid is and the more varied a life it leads, the more prone to illogical quirks and willful independence (or developing a genuine personality, depending on your point of view) it becomes. This is why most droids are regularly memory-wiped, something again that explicitly hasn't happened to R2 or 3PO for far longer than the norm.
      • Talking about protocol droids... why bother making a droid designed to communicate with thousands of species look humanoid at all? Especially considering C-3PO doesn't seem all that mobile compared to other droids like R2-D2.
      • Because humans are explicitly the most common and widespread species in the galaxy, to the point where human physiology is generally used as the baseline standard for sentient life. Hence the use of the terms "humanoid" and "near-human" in the Star Wars universe. It therefore makes sense that droid manufacturers would design their product to appeal to the widest possible demographic.
        • Also, C-3PO only resembles humans in that he has 2 arms, 2 legs, and a head. This seems to apply to at least 95% of alien species as well (you might just as easily say that a protocol droid is "Wookieeoid" rather than "Humanoid").
      • The X-wing series also introduces perhaps the most independent of droids a 3PO unit called Squeaky. Squeaky managed to subvert its programing and steal a ship to lead an escape from the prison/spice mine planet Kessel. For his actions he was freed from any present and future ownership. By the time of the X-Wing series he has a highly developed personality that goes in contrast to the standard demeanor of most 3PO units who are programmed to be courteous and polite to everyone. Squeaky routinely insults those around him and despite being originally a translator, has worked as a bartender and later as a quartermaster for the New Republic.
      • It's also worth noting that there are some droids in the Star Wars universe who are so human that they've freed themselves from any obligation to humans or even any moral code of any kind, such as IG-88, a ruthless bounty hunter, or HK-47, an assassin droid who relishes his work.
  • The intelligent bombs of Dark Star, most notably Bomb No. 20.
  • The "replicants" in Blade Runner are very difficult to distinguish from humans—it's very possible that protagonist Rick Deckard is, himself, a replicant. In fact, Ridley Scott has stated that Deckard is a replicant in at least one of the movie's two edited versions.
    • In fairness, the replicants are biological in nature, so it's much more plausible that their brains and minds would function as a living being's do, even if that were not their builder's stated intent. In fact, at least in Rachael's case, making them indistinguishable from humans is their builder's stated intent.
    • The Tyrell Corporation's slogan is, after all, More Human Than Human
    • Don't think of them as robots/androids at all - they are "genetically engineered" - more like the characters in The Island (2005) who are cloned humans, created to provide spare parts for the people they are cloned from. They were just "designed" to only live a few years, the idea being that they would not live long enough to develop personalities, emotions, free will, etc. As if!
  • Starchaser: the Legend of Orin is a huge example of this trope, as its various robot characters express just about every emotion that could possibly come up in an animated action b-movie (sarcasm, hysteria, cheering, evil laughter, frustration, indignation about being reprogrammed through circuits located in their metal asses, getting seduced by feminine robots, and so on).
  • Number 5 Johnny Five from Short Circuit gains sentience and self-awareness after being struck with lightning. Then, after a whole night of feeding on input (reading every book in Stephanie's house, and watching TV all the while) he grows a playful, childlike personality that is filled with wonder at the world around him. Most impressive of all, he develops his own set of morals without ever being told, going as far as to reject his original purpose as a war machine and refusing to "disassemble" any other living thing (or, indeed, other robots) even when his own existence is at stake.
    • As Nick says in Cavemen: "Cheesy?! What exactly is cheesy about a wise-cracking robot with a heart of gold fighting the military-industrial complex?"
  • The notorious Andy Kaufman-Bernadette Peters comedy Heartbeeps (1981), about a pair of robots who fall in love with each other, goes to town with this concept.
  • In the Alien movies, the androids Ash, Bishop, and Call all pass for human until they're "bleeding" a milk-colored Symbolic Blood. Call, in particular, conveys so much emotion that nobody ever would've suspected she was an android.
  • In Westworld (and its So Bad It's Horrible sequel, Futureworld), the robots are ridiculously human precisely because they're supposed to entertain the human Guests. Some robots are even "sex models" for people who want to swing that way. Of course, A.I. Is a Crapshoot...
  • In Halloween III Season of the Witch, there is a robot masquerading as a woman who actually has sex with the main character. Not to mention how in A.I. there are entire models of robots specifically designed for the same task.
  • Chitti in the Indian film Endhiran.
  • Werther in Guest From the Future. He is a janitor at the Time Institute, but is a romantic at heart, and would rather be writing poetry. He also cares enough for people to make a You Shall Not Pass Heroic Sacrifice against the Space Pirates.
  • The latest model of "Swords" in {Screamers}. One of them falls in love with the hero and fights so that he can escape the planet.
  • Although she was technically a computerized hologram instead of a robot, Loretta from the Disney Channel movie Pixel Perfect fits this trope, as she quickly developed very human-like emotions.
  • Creation Of The Humanoids combines this with an inversion of Transhuman Treachery to create a scenario where the despised robots, which are deliberately kept from becoming too human, conspire with a human scientist to create a new race of immortal human-replicating robots into which human personalities are downloaded at the time of the original human's death. The protagonist is the leader of the anti-robot movement, and it turns out that both he and the love interest he develops during the film have already been through the process.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Karel Capek's play, R.U.R. (which coined the very term "robot") probably created this trope. At one point the characters are discussing how human the robots are:

HELENA: Doctor, has Radius a soul?
DR. GALL: I don't know. He's got something nasty.

  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, there is the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation's "Genuine People Personalities" feature.
    • The elevator which refuses to take Zaphod Beeblebrox in the direction he wants to go because it's afraid really is an example of this trope. There is no reason why anyone would need an intelligent elevator, and all it does is make the whole thing a lot less efficient.
      • On the contrary, the elevator was given intelligence (and slight prescience, somehow) expressly for efficiency reasons - an elevator that already knew where you'd want to go would work much faster and better. The side effects were not as expected, however.
    • The Heart of Gold's doors are a good (or bad, depending on perspective) example of this. Of note is that this is most frequently criticized by Marvin, himself a perfect example of this trope; he doesn't like the one they gave him, so there's no unintentional irony/hypocrisy on his part.
    • Marvin is mostly dissatisfied with the GPP feature due to the fact that in his role and the way he is put to use on the Heart of Gold he is extremely subchallenged which causes him severe depression. The real problem is that his IQ is way too high for him to ever be challenged, so they really should just make stupider robots.
    • The short story "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe" argues that Ridiculously-Human Robots would be incredibly dangerous. The Sirius corporation's "Designer People" product were robots that were sort of super-sociopaths - some of them were built to look like people, and unlike most Genuine People Personalities they could act totally convincing if they wanted, but they lack certain normal thought processes of natural organisms like consciences or even sanity. One of them is described as being as dangerous as planet-killing weapons of mass destruction. In some editions of the story, its name is revealed as Reagan.
  • Doubly parodied and lampshaded in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, where an Electric Monk from an alien planet finds itself on Earth. Physically, it resembles a human being so closely that no one catches on that it's a robot ... even though, on its planet of origin, it was given such ridiculous features as two legs, two arms, and a single nose so it couldn't possibly be mistaken for a person. Mentally, it had been designed with a human-like ability to believe things—even quite ridiculous or self-contradictory things—which is something nobody's figured out how we do, let alone how to make a machine do it. The Electric Monk was given this ability so that it could listen to door-to-door evangelists in its owners' stead.
  • R. Daneel Olivaw, from Isaac Asimov's Robot series. In his introductory book The Caves of Steel, we learn that Dr. Sarton had a really hard time overcoming the Uncanny Valley when designing him, but eventually he managed to pull off a robot that actually feels like an actual human. Daneel can even eat: he does so by putting the food in a bag that can be later thrown away.
    • And in The Robots of Dawn, we meet the other humaniform robot ever constructed, R. Jander Panell, whose "murder" is the subject of the book's mystery. We also learn that Jander (and, presumably by extension, Daneel) is, like Data, "fully functioning".
      • Of course, there's a third robot made by the same scientist that is smarter than both of them and isn't any more human looking than the average robot.
    • And in Prelude to Foundation, set about ten thousand years after The Robots of Dawn, we meet R. Dors Venabili, yet "another" humaniform robot (this time female) designed by Daneel to become Hari Seldon's protector and companion. Not only is Dors fully functional, but she eventually develops genuine love for Seldon and actually violates the First Law to protect him.
    • There's also Stephen Byerley, in the short story 'Evidence.' His political opponent started a rumor that Byerley was a robot... and though Byerley denied it, he also declined to be X-rayed to prove his humanity.
      • He eventually convinced people that he was human by punching out a heckler, an act clearly impossible for a robot under the First Law if not for the fact that the heckler was another apparently-human robot constructed for the occasion.
    • And the 'Bicentennial Man,' who made himself a Ridiculously Human Robot. Over the course of two centuries, he started to make artwork, wear clothes, modify himself to be more human ... even to the point of choosing to become mortal and die (which probably broke the Third Law of Robotics, too).
    • 'Let's Get Together': eleven humaniform robots are constructed, each a copy of a scientist.
    • 'The Tercentenary Incident': the human President of the United States was disintegrated, and replaced with his robotic double, who was originally meant to just be a body double for him at formal events. It's implied that the robot did a much better job of being President than the human ever could have.
    • And there's the equal-rights metallos from an earlier story.
    • And please note that all of the above robots from Asimov's works had a solid, justified reason for being so human (namely, they had to pass as human in order to fulfill their function), except, arguably, for Jander Panell (but considering certain habits on Aurora we might let that slide).
      • Indeed, in most of Asimov's stories he avoided making robots too human. A typical Asimov robot story deals with a group of engineers trying to figure out why a robot is malfunctioning, and figuring it out by thinking like a robot instead of a human. This was all part of Asimov's efforts to portray robots not as objects for human pathos or frightening menaces, as they normally were, but as tools built for specific purposes. Human shaped robots were meant to operate pre-exisitng human machinery, and tended to be humanoid without being particularly human.
    • Tony from "Satisfaction Guaranteed". Ultimately, the trope is averted - Tony was so humanlike that the test subject became infatuated with him, and Dr. Calvin recommends that future TN models be made less anthropomorphic for this exact reason.
  • Despite the above examples, Asimov often averted this trope quite harshly, and went to great lengths to justify it. Even those robots that were roughly humanoid were explained to be such because they needed to be able to perform tasks which human tools for already existed and it wouldn't make sense to replace every piece of equipment when one robot could be made to use them. There is a notable exception with a certain robot designed to look roughly humanoid, even though a simple positronic computer could have been used, strictly to try and get it on Earth and weaken the whole Frankenstein Complex.
    • Even the intelligence that Asimov's robots have, which lead to the unexpected deductions they begin to make, ultimately stem from the incredible complexity of the positronic brain, and the need for them to be designed in such a way to understand human instructions as optimally as possible and know when to ignore these instructions in favor of the greater good.
  • This trope is averted in Robert L. Forward's Flight of the Dragonfly. The computers are programmed to seem human, but are clearly not. In one case, a computer refuses to waste the crew's air, even though they will die if it doesn't, but a simple order to override is all that is needed to make it follow through. Later, when a computer is destroyed and one crew member is emotional about it, another computer breaks the emotional attachment with a carefully designed reminder that "After all, we are just computers."
  • In Susan Swan's short short "The Man Doll", a cybernetic engineer builds an android lover as a gift for a friend, however the android's programmed need to serve the interests of those he emotionally bonds with ultimately leads him to abandon his owners and pioneer a political movement calling for the emancipation of other androids like himself whose basic functions require the existence of emotional capacities.
  • In Robert Heinlein's Time Enough for Love and the later stories in the loose "series" that follows, computers either are emotionless machines, or they learn to be human from close interactions with humans. In the second case, they learn to be self-aware emotional beings from watching us, and as a result act pretty much like we do.
    • In "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, a computer gains sentience and learns to be human over the course of the book. At the start, it's, at best, a petulant child.
  • In the classic "Helen O'Loy", by Lester del Rey, this trope was justified. The titular character was created to win a bet between an endocrinologist and a roboticist as to whether a robot could be made to act like a real woman. The endocrinologist insisted no robot could duplicate the complex biological system that created emotions, the roboticist insisted it could. The roboticist won, when the endocrinologist not only had to admit that she had human-like emotions, but eventually married her.
  • Fred Saberhagen's Berserker series averts this trope. Because the eponymous robots are out to kill everyone, nobody wants a human-like robot around. Furthermore, the robots that people do build will remind the people around them that they have no emotions, if necessary. Most importantly, it's the berserkers' utter lack of humanity that makes them so scary.
  • Justified in Charles Stross' Saturn's Children. The (extinct) "Creators" never figured out how to program self-aware A Is from scratch. Instead they just copied the way human brains work. And then you find out how they did it...
  • Also justified in Mind Scan, by Robert J. Sawyer, in which the androids have uploaded human consciousness (mind scans of the title) so their personalities are those of the original human. The book revolves over whether they're "really" human, persons with legal rights, and have "souls" or not.
  • Erasmus from the Legends of Dune trilogy (for those that admit he exists). He wasn't designed to be intelligent (although does look at least vaguely like a human - two arms, two legs etc) but ends up being far more so than any other robot, and this feat can't be replicated.
    • Seurat, Vorian Atreides's co-pilot, also exhibits vaguely human-like behavior and eventually learns treachery. These are the only independent robots in the books, although the reprogrammed combat mek Chirox also eventually learned to display several human qualities such as regret, pride, and self-sacrifice. Omnius himself feels anger and ambition.
  • Justified in Joel Shepherd's Cassandra Kresnov trilogy. The title character is an improved version of previous androids who made good foot soldiers but not great leaders. She was given enhanced intelligence, emotions, and lateral thinking ability in order to outsmart the other side in an interplanetary war. She was even given enhanced attractiveness and an increased libido to help her relate to humans better and form interpersonal relationships. However, although she made an excellent soldier and commander, she was intelligent and independent enough to rebel against her creators and escape in order to have a life as an ordinary human.
  • Keith Laumer's Bolo combat units don't look even remotely human—they're tanks the size of large buildings—but their personalities:

"What made you risk everything on a hopeless attack? Why did you do it?"
"For the honor of the regiment."



A Mark XXXI Combat Unit is the finest fighting machine the ancient wars of the Galaxy have ever known. I am not easily neutralized. But I wish that my Commander's voice were with me...

  • The lead protagonist of David Weber's Safehold series is a Personlity-Integrated Cybernetic Avatar, a robot with the personality of a woman named Nimue Alban downloaded into it. Nimue is fully aware of this from the get-go, and in fact wrestles on and off throughout the books with just where the line between "human" and "robot" lies with her.
  • Robert A. Heinlein examines this trope in Friday. A conversation about genetically engineered Artificial Humans and "Living Artifacts" (artificial non-human lifeforms) being used as airline pilots brings up the point that a non-human artificial pilot, organic or AI, might go suicidally or homicidally insane because of its lack of ties to a human world it can never belong to. Artifical Humans like the titular Friday have to face Fantastic Racism and alienation issues, but are able to pass as human. With luck, they can even possibly find acceptance in human society without hiding what they are.
  • In the Culture of Iain Banks, the Minds certainly qualify.
    • In terms of their personalities for story purposes, at least... justified in-universe in that all civilizations are obliged to build tendencies into AIs, because "perfect [unconstrained] A Is always Sublime," so presumably the Culture makes A Is which are naturally going to like its members and want to help them. Still, they are unfathomably mighty intellects, so there's always the suspicion in the Culture that the ridiculously human-like part of them is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Skinned does this, although with a thoroughly justifiable reason. The robots are created for the sole purpose of replacing the deceased, and so are made not only to seem like humans but to be as absolutely identical to them as possible.
  • Justified in Rick Griffin's Argo, as the "humans" aren't supposed to know that they're not organic.


Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • In Knight Rider, the Knight Industries 2000 (K.I.T.T) looks like a car, but is capable of remarkably human behavior, ranging from concern, to annoyance, to pride. He also somehow manages to distress the heck out of audience members when he gets gutted in an acid pit.
  • Twiki and Crichton in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Crichton at least in behavior if not appearance.
  • Stargate SG-1 has robot doppelgangers of the main characters who are so ridiculously human that they think they ARE the humans and have a rude awakening when they find out. When the Teal'c one died, he even said to the real Teal'c, "For our father!"
    • Fifth also counts as one of these, since he's a human-form replicator who wants revenge, falls in love, and even has a creepy stalker obsession with Carter.
    • The gynoid Reese is an interesting variation of this, because she has the mind of a whiny little girl in an adult robot body and all the emotions that go with it. Which is how she ended up destroying her planet. She even created "toys" aka Replicators to entertain herself!
      • The Human-Form Replicators, which were designed from Rees/from which Reese was designed (Depending on which galaxy you're in), are probably the most aggressive things you'll ever encounter - but they are nevertheless believably human.
  • The humanoid Cylons in the remake of Battlestar Galactica are the definition of robots being ridiculously human—most notably, "robot religion". And robots having robot or half-robot kids. Justified in that the series then asks all the philosophical questions about the nature of both sides.
    • Also notable that Doctor Cottle, upon having to do a Caesarian section on a Cylon, bitches her out for her race deciding to be so Ridiculously Human. As he puts it, even if they were gonna insist on having bodies that could pass for a fully functional human, there's no reason why they couldn't have made some basic upgrades to the "plumbing".
    • It gets weirder: the ancient tribe of humanoid Cylons on Earth One could reproduce sexually and had forgotten resurrection technology, basically becoming human (or at least, mortal). Then they went and built their own mechanical servants, who later nuked their Artificial Human masters.
    • Since the Cylons' entire goal from the start was to artificially be Human, potential weaknesses and all, this example actually isn't that ridiculous.
  • Caprica reveals that the Colonials could have designed human-looking, but not biological, robots before the Cylon War, but circumstances conspired to have Dr. Graystone's dead daughter stuck with a clunky Centurion body instead.
  • In The Twilight Zone episode "The Lonely", a convict, alone on an asteroid, is given a robot companion. He becomes so attached he insists she's a real person and needs to be brought on the rocket with them when he's given parole, until the police officer who gave him the robot just destroys it to get him to come along.
  • There is, ultimately, no good reason for Star Trek: The Next Generation's Lt. Commander Data to be "fully functional". Perhaps Data's creator deliberately set out to create an android as human as possible, setting a usable wang as a higher priority than basic emotional intelligence. Typical.
    • Given his older brother, Lore, had basic emotional intelligence and was a sociopath; it was easier to mold a working wang than create a stable emotion matrix.
      • Vibrators have been in existence for almost a hundred years. If a future genius wants to stick one on a robot it wouldn't seem that hard.
    • Data created his own daughter, Lal, an even more ridiculously human robot than himself or his brother. Looking flawlessly human, she developed actual emotions which rapidly overwhelmed her positronic brain, eventually destroying her.
  • Vicky and Vanessa's sibling rivalry on Small Wonder, though Vicky uses Robo Speak and misinterprets things and is generally not an example of this trope.
  • In Get Smart, this extended to openly robotic characters smoking.
  • The holographic Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager was unnecessarily human for a medical expert system. Bedside manner is vital to a doctor, but his was terrible, wiping out that excuse (the real reason is the engineer who created the Doctor program was a raging egomaniac; also, the person in charge of testing his interpersonal relations was Reg Barclay, for whom the description "poor social skills" would be a kind understatement). In an early episode, which was a combination of a holodeck malfunction and a Cuckoo Nest plot, he wonders why it was that he worried about the meaning of his existence. A character responds that it's natural to do so, but the Doctor counters that as a medical program he knows exactly what his purpose is and why he was created.
    • He was never actually intended to be so ridiculously human, but Voyager's situation pushed his programming to the limits, which caused him to develop in all sorts of ways he wasn't supposed to be able to.
    • In the last episode he gets married.
  • Parodied in Red Dwarf with Kryten, whose circuitry includes a guilt chip, a belief chip, a good taste chip which is sometimes bypassed by his humor circuits, etc. He also has more depending on which episodes require it: he has a "connoisseur chip" which is never mentioned again after "Legion," etc. He also has a Lie Mode and a Panic Mode.
    • Red Dwarf is probably mostly an aversion, though. In the episode "Out of Time", the crew pass through unreality pockets. One of these makes them think that Lister is a droid, which is apparently plausible. He is supposedly an "earlier model":

Rimmer (to Kryten): Well, if he's an earlier model, how come he looks so much more sophisticated than you?
Kryten: Sir, just because I have a head shaped like a freak formation of mashed potato does not mean I am unsophisticated!
Rimmer: Well, all right, how come he looks more realistically human?
Kryten: Humans have always found exact duplicates rather disturbing, sir. The 3000 series was notoriously unpopular.

    • He states in one later episode that he's quite proud of the character flaws he has (with Lister's help) deliberately developed.

Lister: Kryten, I'm going to teach you how to lie and cheat if it's the last thing I do. I'm going to teach you how to be unpleasant, cruel, and sarcastic. It's the only way to break your programming, man. Make you independent.
Kryten: And I'm truly grateful, sir. Don't you think I'd love to be deceitful, unpleasant, and offensive? Those are the human qualities I admire the most! But I just can't do it.

    • Also partially subverted; robots in the Red Dwarf universe have their own religion, but this is revealed to be a method of control programmed into them by their creators; 'good' robots, who obeyed their human masters unquestioningly, went to Silicon Heaven when they died. Even Kryten has no wish to stop believing in Silicon Heaven, even after he's used his newfound ability to lie to short-circuit another robot by telling him that Silicon Heaven doesn't exist.
      • This may have been intended as a Take That to Christianity, considering Lister's revulsion and horror when he hears about it. Also has elements of hypocrisy because Lister, when Kryten tells him about it, insists that the idea of Silicon Heaven is "completely wacko" but then asks Kryten if it's the same place as human Heaven—to which Kryten answers, "Don't be silly! Humans don't go to Heaven! No, someone just made that up to prevent you from all going nuts!"
    • Red Dwarf actually plays with this concept—and the Uncanny Valley—quite a lot. Kryten (along with Holly, and Hudzen-10) have suffered a bit of silicon rot and gone a bit crazy after 3 million years of existence... but all in very human ways, e.g. a quivering pile of neuroses (Kryten), general senility (Holly), homicidal psychopathy (Hudzen). The design of Kryten's head (and in a lesser way Hudzen, though he wears a helmet and mask most of the time) was apparently based upon that of his in-series creator's ex-husband (presumably the guy on the sales video introducing his replacement Hudzen), as she found him "ridiculous," but then further corrupted to look distinctly artificial and non-human (largely flat panels and angles) to avoid the creepiness effect (and we can probably assume his "funny walk" is for the same reason). During an episode where their perception of reality is being altered, and it is "discovered" that Lister is an android, Kryten reveals that the model series prior to his own actually looked completely human, Terminator style, and were withdrawn for being just too darn creepy. This therefore makes Lister, technically speaking, an inferior model (and subordinate) to the more angular "novelty condom head" Kryten, as well as a fugitive from the recall. (This turns out to be untrue, as it was only their perception and Lister still is human). They also play a bit with various personality-related parts burning out, like guilt/conscience chips (several times, as it's Kryten's main trait, including on purpose by Lister and via the wholly ridiculous action of a Polymorph "sucking" it out of him, with reactions such as him smoking cigarettes or "clearing his exhaust tubes in public"), negative emotion drives, and even a "metaphysical dichotomy" over the "lie" of Silicon Heaven existing... when as we all know, even calculators and talking toasters have sufficient quasi-human AI to be allowed entry.
      • Actually, Talkie Toaster fits this trope almost to a T -- the toaster can sing, expresses opinions on religion, and several times appears to be more intelligent than the actual crew—eg having a better understanding of the effects of lightspeed travel than the crew does and calling them "bozos" and such. The downside to having such an intelligent toaster is that it drives Lister up the wall, and he ends up hitting it in a few episodes—including once fatally. Based on the above criteria, it probably does genuinely have enough intelligence to get into Silicon Heaven. Why it needs to, however, is another question entirely.
      • One of the Red Dwarf books explains that Talkie Toaster was given intelligence and a personality with the intention that it would provide it's owner with polite banter and stimulating conversation over the breakfast table. This failed when the AI turned out to be pathologically obsessed with getting people to eat toast.
  • In Gekiranger's fourth episode, Geki Red, Jan, gets poisoned. In a rare case of a Ridiculously Human Robot that is not sentient, the antidote to the poison is administered by injecting it into the arm of the giant robot that everyone is piloting.
  • The Robot from Lost in Space shows several human emotions and even contemplates suicide on at least one occasion. Verda, the android who appeared in a couple episodes, actually turned into a human when she felt love for the Robinsons.
  • Robert's Robots was a comedy series in which most of the cast were robots with ridiculously human characteristics, such as suffering from "condensation forming on my eyes" at emotional moments.
  • Subverted in at least one Doctor Who episode, where a person who thinks that robots should be free of human rule is a maniac and the villain of the story. And is pursued by a secret agent robot.
    • It's a dangerous step to go from "Robots should be free" to "I must kill all my fellow humans to free the robots", but that villain takes it.
    • And "Victory of the Daleks" features a robot who's basically just a meek, sensitive, geeky Scotsman. Justified in that a major part of his purpose is that he be indistinguishable from a human.
    • "The Pandorica Opens"/"The Big Bang" had Auton duplicates posing as Romans based on Amy's memories, including her forgotten boyfriend Rory. They were so ridiculously human that the reveal that they were Autons was in fact a plot twist. Rory eventually fights and overcomes his programming, choosing to guard the Pandorica for two thousand years to make up for almost killing Amy.
    • The Cybermen are part human, but actually die if you give them back their emotions. They can't be this trope because being able to feel (being Ridiculously Human Robots) allows them to be horrified at being Cybermen, causing them to die.
  • Cameron shows some very interesting quirks, not the least of which is her odd affinity for ballet. This is discussed in the episode "The Demon Hand," where Sarah talks about how machines cannot do human things like appreciate beauty or create art, and adds that if they could, they won't need to destroy humanity, as they will be human. This monologue is spoken while Cameron is practicing ballet for no readily apparent reason other than because she wants to.
    • And the episode "Allison from Palmdale" shows her switching over to a normal human personality to disturbing effect. It is made even more disconcerting when we see in flashback that Cameron killed the woman who her personality was based on.
    • The question of her humanity is brought up from time to time within the series as well; Cameron will sometimes existentinal questions, and seems preoccupied with the idea of suicide and her inability to do so if she loses control of herself, along with worries about her own mental stability. At one point, she even asks if Sarah believes in the Resurrection, as it relates to Cameron's own "redemption" by John Connor, who is humanity's supposed savior.
    • She even develops humanlike possessiveness. In "The Brothers of Nablus" she gets upset (well, as upset as she can get) when her leather jacket gets stolen, and even goes so far as to single out the thief who stole said jacket.
    • John Henry qualifies even more so, since he doesn't have Cameron's baggage of being originally designed as a killing machine, and is actively being groomed to be as human as possible. He is shown capable of imaginative play, and loves to play with legos, among other things, and holds genuine affection for the people close to him.
  • On Farscape is a class of robot called bioloids, who are Ridiculously Human (or Sebacean, or Scarran, or Banak) for a good reason: they need to infiltrate organizations and replace the people they look like.
  • That Mitchell and Webb Look had the Cheesoid, a cylinder-vacuum / tea-urn-esque contrivance made by an ex-robotics engineer and ex-soup-chef (just go with it) to replace his sense of smell lost in an assault, inexplicably has rudimentary but quite human AI and some kind of self awareness. And a sense of smell as bad as its creator, only being able to semi-randomly "identify" (generic) Cheese, and "Petril", in a whiny electronic voice. It gets increasingly vocally depressed about its lot, until after a calamitous mistake (serving petrol on toast, and filling a car's tank with brie) it attempts to commit suicide ... by covering itself in cheddar and attempting to light it, succeeding only in creating a philosophical quandry for itself. "Why petril not burn? Why Cheesoid exist?".
    • It's not even semi-randomly. He has a switch on the side, when set to "Petrol" everything smells like petrol. When set to "cheese", everything smells like some variety of cheese. But... yes, most depressing character ever.
    • The pathos of that character... Poor Cheesoid... Oh, the pain!!
    • Then there's Simon, the contestant on Wordwang who's "from a factory and made from a special metal". It's implied that he has killed someone.
    • More importantly, HOW is a robot that is hardly intelligent or human looking an example of this trope? :/
      • The Cheesoid is intelligent and acts human-like. It may not be very smart, and that human it's like may be a paranoid emotionally distraught wreck, but it's still an example.
  • Mack Hartford in Power Rangers Operation Overdrive. His father had apparently decided that his biological clock was ticking, and for reasons unknown he decided to get one from a machine shop rather than a womb. Neither the robot in question nor the viewers were aware of his robotic nature until he picked up a computer virus.
  • Some say Top Gear's "tame racing driver," The Stig, is one of these...
    • All we know is - he's called The Stig.
  • Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot are so utterly described by this trope one doesn't know where to start, although the fact that they are often seen eating and drinking seems like a good place. All of this, of course, falls under both the Rule of Funny and the MST3K Mantra.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer had to deal with the robotic serial killer, Ted, and the two sexbots built by Warren Mears: April, and the BuffyBot.
    • Ted was not a serial killer though. He "only" imprisoned his victims through force, and lived with them until they died naturally from old age.
      • April and the Buffybot were both studies in the Uncanny Valley; in fact, April was set up to be a Monster of the Week, but turns out to just be tragic. Buffy stays with her while she shuts down. They don't try to fix her, though, since her whole AI is devoted to Warren and he doesn't want her anymore.
      • And the BuffyBot was milked for all kinds of humor even after they took out the sexbot programming, but her 'death' was carefully designed to have an emotional kick—on the other hand, Buffy's friends treated her terribly when they thought she was the 'bot.
  • Choujin Sentai Jetman's Grey. Looks completely robotic. Acts very humanlike, which includes liking wines, smoking, listening to music and having the closest thing to 'love' for fellow Vyram Maria. When you notice that most Vyrams are inhumanly Complete Monster, Grey ends up being the resident Noble Demon, who acts quite humanly.
    • The Toku genre had robots like this as allies often. To this day you have situations like Navi from Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger (temperamental, emotional, in ways that make getting information out of him/her harder.) More robots than not show emotions that you wouldn't expect to have been included, or are acted upon in a way that inhibits doing their job (any time one gets annoyed and storms off, or Peebo from Choudenshi Bioman being so terrified of Bio Hunter Silver she could hardly do anything.) Anri in Kyojuu Tokusou Juspion takes it to "you sure that's supposed to be a robot?" level, looking and acting completely human in every way at almost all times, to the point that you wonder why the writers chose to call her a robot. (However, on one occasion, an evil computer takes her over and makes her attack Juspion.)
  • Andromeda, the ship, has full-fledged sentience like all High-Guard ships. Indeed, an episode opens with a quote from the High-Guard, where they say, "Who would want a ship incapable of loyalty? Or of love?" The episode in question deals with a High-Guard ship that fell in love with its captain and murdered him and its crew with a planet-busting weapon. Maybe that's part of the reason the High-Guard were overrun by the Nietzscheans.
  • Get Smart had Hymie the robot who spoke in stilted robot-speak while looking human. Yoyo, the robot partner of the short-lived 1976 ABC comedy Holmes & Yoyo (played by John Schuck) was similar, actually speaking quite clearly except in certain areas where his speech pattern would repeat due to a faulty program.


Manhwa[edit | hide]

  • From Metal Heart Sia and the other EA units. They think they are the characters from the game and don't even know that they themselves are robots.
  • Chevrolet from 3 Level Combination.


Music[edit | hide]

  • Janelle Monae's Metropolis is based around an android named Cindi Mayweather who falls in love with a human.
  • KILROY of The Protomen is so human-like you'd swear he was wearing a mask.
  • Doctor Steel's robot band. Which malfunction on his Propaganda DVD, but finally work in his video for "Childhood Don't A-Go-Go". At least in miniature...
  • Vocaloid is a series of computer programs meant to immitate human voices, and the general consensus is that in-universe they qualify as these.


New Media[edit | hide]

  • All Vocaloids are such excellent examples of this, and it doesn't help that their personality varies with their song writers.
  • Utauloids can go even farther with this, not just with design and personality, but with voice quality, since the Utau program uses recorded-voice wav files. And thanks to VCV[1] voicebanks, a song by an Utauloid can sometimes sound completely indistinguishable from a human singer. Notably on this issue, Teto's voicebank has been known for sounding genuinely robotic, yet she also has a VCV voicebank which some people prefer.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The Mega Man X series slips ever-closer to this trope's existence with every installment, deliberately. This is in direct contrast to the true, pure robots of the original series. It's implied that even Mega Man himself was not truly capable of pure free will (except in the English version of 7, where he almost kills Wily over his specific objections that doing so would violate the first law of robotics. He doesn't care. In the Japanese version, Mega Man obediently lowers his Arm Cannon when Wily pointed this out). As reploids are designed to be as human-like, or at least as life-like, as possible, it makes sense for further advancements to make reploids more resemble and function like synthetic versions of humans and animals. Interestingly, X and Zero themselves, despite being the models from which all reploids originate and the series' primary protagonists, are still essentially more mechanical than human. By the time of Mega Man ZX, the trope starts to go in the other way as well, and the line gets so blurred that Humans and Reploids stop making distinctions between each other, so that when Mega Man Legends rolls around, they've forgotten that there is a distinction.
    • This is the same series that saw romance between robots (prominent, yet tragic, example:Zero and Iris) and later, even between robots and humans (an important part of the plot in Mega Man Zero's Grand Finale revolves around the romance between a human and a Reploid, in case anyone wants to know).
    • Look, this very same continuity has robot DNA as a plot point, in three games. This would imply robots have proteins, chromosomes, RNA, amino acids, etc. Fridge Logic at its finest.
      • "Robot DNA" is not like human DNA. It's referred to as such, but it is more like it contains codes and machine unique to that robot.
    • In Mega Man 9, the hero can't tell the difference between his human creator and a robot built by Dr. Wily, so either the Blue Bomber needs new optical sensors or the robots in the main series have gotten past the Uncanny Valley.
    • In the Battle Network continuity, the NetNavis of the Internet seem to have free will and consciousness, and by the sixth game they can even enter the real world with the help of a special robot shell.
      • Mega Man is even said to have a soul, since he's really Lan's late brother, Hub.
  • Lampshaded in the videogame Oni, where the Diabolical Mastermind Muro is torturing (yes, torturing) the android Shinatama for information in a cutscene.

Muro: "Curious. Why bother programming you to feel pain so intensely? Of course pain is a necessary response to certain stimuli, but they could have dulled the sensation or given you a threshold that would limit the extent and depth of your agony... I'm glad they didn't."

    • Justified, sort of, by Shinatama's original purpose of monitoring Konoko. ("I've seen everything you've seen, felt everything you've felt...")
  • In Grandia II, Tio is a robotic killing machine build to fight an ancient war, that inexplicably looks like a teenaged Japanese girl.
  • The robots in Scrap Land. The protagonist himself is said to have built himself up from scratch. Somewhat subverted in that, when a human inadvertently reaches the planet, they freak out.
  • The androids in the adventure game Zero Zone. One of the puzzles requires seducing one of the robots (yes, there is a sex scene). The ultimate goal of the game is to broadcast a song that sends the titular (and female, natch) Zero Zones in heat, explicitely sending them on a rape rampage, getting pregnant, and thus helping human/robot relationships thanks to the newborns. No, it's not hentai. But it is French, if you're asking.
  • Mostly in homage to the Terminator example, the titular robots in Snatcher are insanely powerful robotic skeletons covered in artificial skin - their Achilles' Heel, in that it turns cancerous far too quickly when exposed to sunlight. While they are incapable of perceiving things which require actual human perception (such as identifying optical illusions), they appear to feel emotions and act quite a lot like human religious fanatics. They run their own hospitals and biotechnology institutions on the sly, while imitating a real human perfectly to the point of being able to bleed and (it is implied) have sex. They even have a religious obsession with the Kremlin, and herald Dr. Modnar, their inventor, as their god.
  • Lamia Loveless from Super Robot Wars (Advance or OG). She is an android created by the Shadow Mirrors. Even though she's only supposed to follow orders, her creator go out of her way to make her just as ridiculously human as possible, giving her emotions and a very humanly appearance (maybe too humanly). Story development, however manages to make her evolve further than just a mere android and become even more human than her creator intended, valuing life and friendship above missions. Other 'humanly' factor includes facts that she can get knocked out with a Gargle Blaster, get drugged or heavily bleeding when wounded greatly.
    • Subverted in Lune Zoldark's mecha Valsione. Imagine a humongous mecha formed to have an girlish look, long hair, face that can mimic the pilot's expression (Lune's). And it's controlled with the Direct Motion Link which translates pilot movement into its own movement. Needless to say, this robot is like a giant, walking Lune, enough to make the resident Ascended Fanboy Ryusei go Squee... for the first time (he'd squee the next time he sees a girlish looking mecha. But this one is definitely the most ridiculously human). Unfortunately, unlike Lamia, Valsione is still a robot, meaning it won't have its own consciousness, thus it looks human, but does not act like one.
  • A large portion of the plot of Xenosaga revolves around KOS-MOS's strangely human behaviour. This is justified, however, as (warning: major series spoiler) she is actually a vessel for the reincarnated spirit of Mary Magdelene, as was intended by Kevin..
    • A detail deserving attention is MOMO's distress when finding out that, as a realian, her emotions are programed and her "heart is an optional function".
  • Xenogears has a robot gynoid made of nanites constructed by an ancient civilization named Emeralda. Her technology was a wonder even then. Upon meeting one of the main characters who looks like her creator, her childlike reaction is to call his name a dozen times. Later she gets an upgrade so she starts acting like a teenager instead of a kid.
  • The Mecha-Mooks in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the R.O.B. Squad. They're very clearly distressed when they and their comrades are torn apart by a Subspace Bomb. It's quite Tear Jerker-y. It also leads to Moral Dissonance sometimes.
  • Yumemi from the "kinetic novel" Planetarian may still have quite a few robotic quirks (which becomes ironic if you know the circumstances), but her appearance and behavior are human enough to enthrall the protagonist.
  • Aigis from Persona 3 is a justified case; if she didn't look human, her mind wouldn't self-identify as human, which is required in order for her to be able to summon a Persona (as Personae are physical manifestations of human personalities and emotions).
    • Well there's Koromaru, but I imagine it was easier for the researchers to replicate a human psyche than that of a supernaturally intelligent dog...
  • You wouldn't think the geth from Mass Effect would be humanlike in any way, right? And that's true, until you realize that mechanical screeching sound they make when you kill them is their equivalent of screaming in pain as they die.
    • Perhaps justified as the war between Geth and Quarian arose when the Geth started asking difficult self-aware/introspective questions the Quarians didn't want to answer and subsequently tried to kill them all; thus, it wasn't that the Quarians made them ridiculously Quarian robots but that the Geth developed it themselves. The other sentient A Is in the game also demonstrate such traits - one broadcasts static over communication frequencies when you destroy it. Translating the binary, however, reveals the 'static' to actually be the word 'Help' repeated over and over.
    • The Geth have even developed a religion on their own. One revolving around mechanical Eldritch Abominations, but a religion nonetheless.
    • In Mass Effect 2, it's revealed that the geth from the first games are actually a heretical offshoot of the main collective. The true geth have a religion of their own, though. We don't see a lot of it, but the central tenant seems to be "every intelligent creature has the right to make their own choices."
    • There's also Dr. Eva, the Cerberus plant, from the third game. She successfully tricks the personnel (including several very brilliant scientists) into thinking she's a human scientist... but she's really an AI in a very human-looking robot body, revealed when she walks out of a shuttle crash completely intact, except for her human-looking covering having been burned off. EDI later takes over this body to become a Ridiculously Human Robot herself, although her main core remains in the Normandy.
  • GLaDOS is a perfectly clinical android that also has a personality and even has multiple cores to define all of them. These include such things as "Anger", which definitely makes little sense. Then again, as this is the same company that came up with such brilliant ideas as the "Heimlich Counter-Manuever" and the "Take A Wish Foundation", it's obvious that they're not terribly practical people; and given that it's suggested GLaDOS was developed as an attempt to develop a fuel line de-icing system that somehow ended up also being "a fully funtional disc-operating system" and "arguably alive", they apparently didn't know when to stop adding on additional features. She also has an obsession with cake.
    • Turrets, for some reason, can also feel pain. Throw one into an Emancipation Grill and listen. They also tell you that they don't hate you, are disappointed when they can't function, spent the time between the two games learning to make music and are sorry to see Chell leave.

Wheatley: I shouldn't laugh; they do feel pain. All simulated of course, but, uh, real enough to them, I suppose.

    • On a technical note, GLaDOS has some variety of human consciousness inside her somewhere, in the form of Caroline. As to why? Recordings made by Aperture's founder Cave Johnson imply that GLaDOS was supposed to maintain the facility after Johnson's death and pursue portal gun testing with an almost single-minded intensity. Plus, it's implied that Personality Cores were somehow connected to Johnson's desire to upload his mind into a computer system so...
    • Wheatley is also a perfect example. In fact, he's even more realistic than GLaDOS because his voice isn't monotone and computerized like hers. He also possesses a very human brand of stupidity, and apparently experiences more varied and realistic emotions than she does.
    • ATLAS and P-Body (Blue and Orange), the robots from the multiplayer, were designed to have genders, masculine and feminine respectively (although Wheatley and GLaDOS have a male and female voice respectively, there's no evidence they particularly see themselves as anything but genderless robots).
    • If this makes any sense, the automated repair functions of the Aperture Testing Facility. There's an almost organic quality to the movements of the panels; it's most obvious in spots where debris is blocking them, as the system tries to force them into place.
  • Robin Good in Black Market.
  • The ur-example for Japanese games is probably Multi from the Visual Novel To Heart, who single-handedly popularized the "mechanical ears" look now commonly found in anime gynoids.
  • Some of the mobiles in Gunbound are robotic or mechanical in nature, and all of them are unusually emotive. They look focused/angry when charging for an attack, recoil in surprise when they get damaged, and become visibly tired when at low health.
  • The Shadow Robots in the final two stages of the True Neutral path of Shadow the Hedgehog are Ridiculously Anthropomorphized Hedgehog Robots, and Eggman implies that Shadow himself is a robot as well, although the other endings of the game seem to counter this assertion, and after beating the Perfect Run Final Boss, Eggman admits that he was lying about that and that Shadow is the real thing.
  • Kunzite from Tales of Hearts... the first one Tales (series) ever got. And that's not the only robot the game has to offer (but he's the only one playable).
    • He's the least ridiculously human Mechanoid in the game. Croaseraph is an Ax Crazy Omnicidal Maniac. His brother Crinoseraph turns out the same, just flat and subdued about it. Corundum is a Genki Girl turned up to twelve with an addiction to data. Incarose's repeated failures cause her to break down by the end of the game. Kunzite, meanwhile, is a mere Tin Man who slowly goes from a heartless robot to a fiercely loyal and sentimental but still mostly stoic soldier-knight.
  • Psychic Force's Sonia AKA Chris Ryan, Wendy's sister. Although an android, she looks very much human (and hot) and possesses some sort of motherly personality. Later justified when it's revealed that she's created using the consciousness of Chris.
  • Curly Brace from Cave Story is an elite combat android, and as revealed partway through the game, so is the protagonist himself. They drown if left underwater too long. This is explained as their shutting down to prevent short-circuiting. No explanation is given for how eating a mushroom restores Curly's memories, or how Quote is able to have implied off-screen sex with one of the Mimigas.[2] NPCs mention how, years ago, various groups sent squads of similar robots from the surface to claim the demon crown and kill the Mimigas. Rescuing Curly and restoring her memory reveals that she and Quote were sent to destroy the crown.
  • Starship Titanic: Nicely avoided, several of the robots look distinctly Art Deco, others look like furniture.
    • However due to their uploaded brains they act fairly human.
  • Miharu in Da Capo. Perhaps it's best not to think why someone would design a robot girl that's not only capable of sex, but also apparently possesses a hymen and other... you know what? Let's just stop there.
  • The player character in Innocent Life: A Futuristic Harvest Moon is a robot built by an enterprising professor to help save an island from apparent volcanic doom. Over the course of the game, he learns how to cook, clean, make friends, and watch television (though you never hear him talk).
  • The robots produced by Dreamfall's WATICorp tend to have this quality, as revealed during the protagonists' visit to their museum, where it's revealed that previous models of their trademark talking-animal toys had been programmed with features such as the ability to pee themselves and ADHD.
  • Alisa Boskonovitch is a Robot Girl that is also equipped with jetpacks and chainsaws as well as a detachable, explosive head. Get past that, and she's a Ridiculously Human Robot with a childish, sweet-hearted personality.
  • Robots being built to be ridiculously human, instead of being clearly nonhuman slaves, forms much of the plot of both Wonder Project J games.
  • Robo from Chrono Trigger is a prime example. When the player first meets him, Robo has no real emotion beyond willingness to serve. After witnessing compassion when Lucca fixes him up, Robo joins the party, and by the end of the game he has learned a full range of emotion. Heck, before he leaves he even says that Lucca taught him how to feel.
  • The Villagers who don't even know they are robots from Professor Layton and the Curious Village.
  • Popola and Devola in Nie R.
  • In SaGa 2 / Final Fantasy Legend II, the main story remains unchanged no matter what type of character you choose as protagonist. If you happen to choose a mecha, you end up with a story where it was given birth by two human parents, has notable daddy issues, and goes to school with humans, espers, monsters, and other mecha.
  • Some of the Dolls in Katahane count; Belle in particular stands out because her appearance and emotions are basically identical to any other human.
  • Playable robots are featured in The Sims 2 and 3. They allegedly exist to assist human Sims with their chores (indeed, in the first The Sims, that's all they do), but they have "Fun" and "Social" meters in the second game, which must be maintained for the robots' mood, they can form relationships, they can have "Woohoo", they can get married, etc. And in the third game, they have the same needs as human Sims except Hygiene, sleeping in beds (in the second, they were solar-powered), eating scraps of metal, and depositing their waste in toilets. They can't reproduce and they short out in water, but they're largely completely ordinary Sims.
  • Z features a whole society of Robots that are at a constant state of war. They sleep, they drink rocket fuel as beer, they have ranks and for some reason they can't design vehicles to drink themselves or come up with a better interface than humans can. Of course humans are never seen.
  • In Might and Magic, it is established that Corak can get a sun-tan. He also expresses hopes, desires... and he isn't the malfunctioning Guardian. This makes sense for Sheltem and the first Corak we see (they need to blend in on deliberately medieval fantasy-ish worlds, and act on their own for long, long times without the Ancients coming around to check up)... but why make the caretaker of a station in the interstellar portal network one, except to flaunt that yeah, your society can get past the Uncanny Valley?
  • Technically, The entire Shinkoku civilization from Asura's Wrath is an entire race of cyborgs descended from Genetically altered humans that look so humanlike, they and the regular humans of the setting, with the exception of the 8 gaurdian generals, are practically the exact same in appearance.


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Ping from Megatokyo sleeps like an actual human when she's in idle mode, can use the chemical energy from sugar to recharge her batteries, and in one chapter, she angrily tells Piro that she has real feelings even though these feelings are simulated. However, she does have a couple of robotic quirks: when she sees Piro all mopey because he couldn't wind up the courage to call Kimiko, Ping misrecognizes his posture and attitude as being rejected by Kimiko, and suddenly goes into Genki Girl mode. Not bad for a PlayStation 2 accessory.
    • She is also been explicitly stated to be "fully functional," and Word of God has even implied that she has a working uterus.
  • Some of the most memorable characters in the comic Freefall are robots. To be fair, discovering the reason for the robots' humanity has somewhat become a major plot arc.
    • "Can we at least try to solve this logically before you robots go all emotional?"
  • The webcomic Nine Planets Without Intelligent Life has a cast consisting of nothing but Ridiculously Human Robots, who eat (and gain/lose weight somehow), drink (and get drunk), feel pain and even date and wed each other. It justifies this by explaining that the humans that built them before humans went extinct wanted to make sure robots could better appreciate and interact with normally humans-only pleasantries, such as theme restaurants.
  • Pintsize in Questionable Content seems to have emotions (mostly schadenfreude and lust) and has even gone through a phase of questioning his gender/sexuality.
    • "AnthroPCs" in general seem to be designed to combine the functions of a desktop/laptop computer, a pet, and (inevitably) a child.
    • And apparently Roombas are fully functional enough to find mates and reproduce.
    • And Pintsize ended up with a laser because a government semi tried to mate with a Best Buy semi.
    • "No one is sure who decided it would be a good idea to give AnthroPCs libido, but everyone agrees it would be more trouble than it's worth to remove it. Besides, the horny little bastards would revolt."
  • Lie Bot and Vlad from Achewood are both robots which are constantly lying, and talking about Make-outs respectively. Vlad, for no reason at all, has an accent.
  • On the world of Terra, in Magical Misfits, magic makes artificial intelligences like computers, or robots, living things.
  • Robots in SSDD seem prone to developing into this unless they are designed with caps on their intelligence and personality or if they don't have them they usually have their memories erased every few months.
  • Various Robots from Gunnerkrigg Court display human-like personalites, and human-like comical incompetence. For example, they hide their presence by labeling their spare part storage room as "NO spare robot parts". Their gatekeeper, Doorbot, was fooled by Annie's Paper-Thin Disguise. And the Guardbots attempting to apprehend Annie are completely flummoxed when she runs away from them. A possible explanation for this arises later: the robots are Magitek.
    • Also, the latest arc features a Robot King (who draws emotions on 'his' face with markers), a Robot Society, in turmoil, nontheless. And let's not even count the fact that the robots aparrently have true emotions, are capable of being moved by a painting and upset by a wreckage. Magitek at its finest...
  • Warmech from Eight Bit Theater is convinced it is an example of this, despite being a walking tank.
    • Don't be ridiculous, he's clearly human. Just look at his human lip, and his human laser!
  • Shows up a few times in Sluggy Freelance, usually in different dimensions. Like in this strip:

Robot News Anchor: A massive search party is searching for the missing Secret Angel Princess-Princess as well as GOFOTRON's right arm. Our prayers go out for them both. But more for Secret Angel since she's a person and GOFOTRON's arm is a thing. But then again, I'm a thing, so who cares. Nobody cares about us things.
(beat)
I hate you all.

Master Payne: The Muses were renowned as miraculous, beautiful machines -- but few would believe they were truly aware. And maybe they're not. It would certainly be easier to create machines that merely simulate emotion. However ... even if her grief is artificial, it is destroying her.

  • Dr. Robot in The Incredible and Awe Inspiring Serial Adventures of the Amazing Plama-Man not only seems to have an almost sociopathic sense of humor, but is also evil, both of which are decidedly human traits.
  • Some of the robots in Schlock Mercenary are like this, especially the construction drones. They can even feel pain, although that's justified:

"Pain will help us cut maintenance costs." You didn't mention how much it would hurt.

  • Bob and George plays this trope even straighter than Mega Man in the name of comedy with robots, Mega Man in particular, being capable of eating ice cream, getting drunk and vomiting.
  • Never Mind the Gap is an unusually hard and justified example. The comic is about a town inhabited by a mix of humans and Ridiculously-Human Robots, which are almost exactly like humans personality-wise (though obviously robotic in appearance). They have to go through a very human-like childhood as they mature, and can become romantically involved with each other and with humans. The explanation is that in this universe, AI researchers found no way to make an AI with human-level intelligence except for modelling the AI very closely on the human mind, and also giving it a fairly humanoid body. Every attempt to make a less human-like AI either failed or resulted in insanity. Intelligent robots were initially found to be useful for a variety of tasks, which explains why people bothered to build them, but eventually, predictably, they wanted to be treated as people; the comic is set in a time and place where they've largely won this fight, and so now they no longer need to be "useful," as such, other than as equal members of society. It's notable that there are also non-human-like "smart" devices and non-humanoid robots in this setting, but their intelligence and abilities are limited. The Ridiculously-Human Robots are realistic in other ways—for instance, the complexities and limitations of their humanoid bodies, and the associated maintenance costs, are explicitly addressed.
  • In Sinfest, a woman talking to Slick malfunctions, and Satan shows up to repair her. She's once again apparently human at the end.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Parodied by Cracked TV. The host is an android but Michael Swaim does nothing to indicate this except introduce himself as "your host-droid Michael Swaim."
    • Though its Spiritual Successor, Does Not Compute, shows Michael Swaim without his face on (revealing a Terminator face underneath) in the opening sequence.
  • Although it's forced to behave, The Nostalgia Chick's Sex Bot feels unhappiness and snarks at her plenty.
  • Lopez of Red vs. Blue, despite being a robot and knowing it, is pretty much as well-rounded as any other character, with obvious emotions and ambitions (creating a robot army to conquer the world, being part of a freaky robot love triangle... with another robot, in the form of a tank, etc.). All of the A Is shown are similarly well-rounded, although that's justified by them being created from an "impression" of a human mind, complete with residual memories and emotions. In fact, they're human enough that two lived for many years without showing any sign that they weren't flesh-and-blood humans. Except for the whole, you know, being ghosts thing.
  • The Companions in Land Games.
  • In Friendship Is Witchcraft robot ponies act much like normal ones, except for their obviously mechanical voices, tendency to get stuck in loops, occasional Robo Speak, and apparently if they learn they're robots go on destructive rampages. And, at least in the case of Sweetie Belle, their immunity to the Comedic Sociopathy that other ponies possess.
  • Kara is this when she's fully assembled.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The main example is the robot society in Futurama, which peddles this trope to the point of comic redundancy, complete with separate-from-human Robot Hospitals, Robot Pornography and even Robot Insane Asylums for Robot Criminals. In a show that's ostensibly a science fiction satire, it fits in quite well as a subtle Running Gag. In the DVD commentary, the writers kind of lampshade it, pointing out that the funniest things about Hedonism-bot and Tinny Tim (see below) is that someone, for some reason, decided to build and program them that way.
    • Not to mention Jewish Robots who believe that Robot Jesus was constructed, and was a very well programmed robot, but was not their messiah.
    • Robots even have their own Hell with a Robot Devil. ...Which is located in New Jersey, making it easy to escape.
    • Seemingly taken to its absurd comedic conclusion with Hedonismbot, a robot grafted into a permanently reclining position with a roman couch as its legs, programmed for no purpose beyond its own earthly pleasures, but then taken to even further extremes once the viewer learns that Hedonismbot is "Your Tax Dollars at Work."
    • No, the absurd comedic conclusion is definitely Tinny Tim, a crippled, destitute, orphan robot. How that even works is never explained.
    • Directly parodied in an episode where the Planet Express Ship is upgraded with a very human (and needy) personality, allowing "her" to date Bender. Throughout the episode, this is shown to be an obnoxious, impractical trait which detracts from her ability to do her job and creates unnecessary awkwardness at work, culminating in an emotional breakdown with near fatal results.
  • Transformers. Need I say more? Their own wiki details how ridiculously human they can get, despite being not even human-made, but alien robots.
    • Special mention goes to Sari Sumdac and Alice, both of whom transform into humans (or, in Alice's case, a very humanlike animatron), and were actually mistaken for humans in their initial appearance.
      • The former of the two, though, is only half-machine.
    • It also bears mentioning that, despite what Fanfic writers would tell you, they diverge from humans in that two transformers reproducing isn't exactly as exciting or pleasurable as it is for us—what we evolved sex to accomplish, they accomplish by drawing up blueprints and maybe filling out forms for MacGuffin use, which doesn't exactly scream "hot eroticism."
    • Revenge of the Fallen raised questions: "Why would a robot need to fart, pee, or vomit? And why would it need testicles?"
  • Parodied on one episode of The Simpsons: a burning robot screams "Why? Why was I programmed to feel pain!?"

(removing robot's head) I really wish they wouldn't scream.

    • In The Movie, a bomb-dismantling robot cracks under the pressure and shoots itself in the head. Chief Wiggum comments that "he always talked about it, but I never thought he'd go through with it."
    • Referenced but not used in an episode that involved robot fighting.

Announcer #1: Can robots actually feel pain?
Announcer #2: If so, then we are horrible, horrible people.

  • This is pretty much the core concept of My Life as a Teenage Robot, featuring a superheroic Do-Anything Robot built to protect the world from threats from outer space, who happens to be programmed with the personality of a girl teenager. Why Dr. Wakeman felt XJ-9 needed such a frequently rebellious, attitude-prone personality is never really explored.
    • It is implied however that Dr. Wakeman, perhaps even subconsciously, created Jenny as a substitute daughter of sorts, which would explain at least some of her personality traits.
      • Also, Dr. Wakeman occasionally asks herself the same question.
  • Parodied in Invader Zim with the eponymous character's robot henchman, GIR. "He" eats, drinks, sleeps, cries, parties down and basically acts like a human child. "He" is also assembled from random bits of garbage, dangerously (and often explosively) defective and is the most insane recurring character in the series, which is quite a feat. The only other machines that even speak are a ship that had its owner's personality deliberately downloaded into it for security purposes and Zim's other robotic servants, which also seem to have been infected with his mania.
    • the apathetic and lazy "Computer," Zim's house AI. Though the least humanoid of robots—he's a glowing green house, after all—he ironically seems to be the most rational of Zim's servants, and thus one of the most "normal" characters on the show.
  • Speaking of "Computer"s, Dexter's Laboratory AI is a feminine presence in most of the facility, and sometimes surprises Dexter with quips and logic counter to his commands. Where it (she?) is not, there are rejected, obsoleted experiments, that are dejected, if not vengeful, over Dexter's negligence of them.
  • Mocked in South Park, where AWESOM-O is, according to naïve little Butters, a robot buddy. He's actually Cartman in disguise trying to recover an embarassing video. Butters, however, firmly believes he's a robot despite having creativity, breathing air and eating, and draws the line only after "AWESOM-O" farts.
    • While Butters is fooled by the disguise, he never sees AWESOM-O eating and knows that robots don't drink or need money.
  • The Robot in the "So Beautiful, So Dangerous" segment of Heavy Metal, while obviously a robot, actively makes a play for the human woman accidentally sucked up into his starship (this being typical robot behavior, according to one of his coworkers). After seducing her he wants to go steady. Also, he shows an essentially flawless grasp of colloquial speech, sarcasm, deceit (with conspiratorial wink), and profanity.
  • Cyber 6 in Cybersix; she sleeps, daydreams, eats, and for the most part doesn't even have any great trouble in socializing.
  • Zeta from The Zeta Project certainly qualifies. A soft spoken, innocent, and trusting naieve robot who doesn't want to hurt anyone and can't resist helping people, he's not only more emotional than most humans on the show, but he's also a better person than most of them. The amazing thing is, he was supposed to be a mindless killing machine, not an Actual Pacifist with a heart of gold, meaning Zeta is one of few examples on this list to be here by accident.
    • Which makes Zeta the most ridiculous example on this list. Though his appearance has an in-canon explanation, his full range of emotions, human-like body language and expressions don't make sense once you realize he's not supposed to have them. At least everybody else on this list was programmed/designed deliberately to be Ridiculously Human.
      • Zeta's creator didn't want to be building weapons systems, and included Zeta's conscience in an attempt to subvert his original purpose - "Selig never had the heart for creating a weapon, so he secretly created a module in Zeta without the NSA's knowledge that acted as a conscience, hoping that Zeta would evolve as a person."
  • Legion of Super-Heroes' Brainiac 5 might qualify. He's actually part of a robot race, but broke away from the hive mind for unknown reasons and acts acts like a normal obnoxious genius kid (who may or may not have a crush on Superman).
  • Octus from Sym-Bionic Titan. Whenever his human behavior is brought up he appears to get offended and replies with, "I'm not your average robot!"
  • The Giant Robo Ginrei Special appears to follow this when the titular giant robot gets a Nosebleed after seeing a scantily-clad woman. But subverted when it turns out to be strategically-ejected gasoline.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Seeking a way to defeat his nemesis Perry the Platypus, Dr. Doofenshmirtz discovers in an old newsreel that "the enemy of the platypus...is MAN." So, he builds Norm, a 10 foot robot that looks like a man wearing a suit and that, while trying to demolish Perry, spouts lines like "We should bring our wives next time" and "Secretly, I'm very lonely".
  • Robotboy. He speaks in robot-tone but he's curious about the human condition and seeks counsel from his interim owner Tommy.
  • The Robonic Stooges. The Three Stooges as robot superheroes. 'Nuff said.

Real Life[edit | hide]

  1. Vowel + Consonant + Vowel. Normal voicebanks are CV for Consonant + Vowel, which coincides with the way Japanese syllables work (ka, ki, ku, ke, ko, etc, one wav file for all instances in all songs). VCV records 6 different versions of all syllables, one for each leading vowel sound (a ka, e ka, i ka, u ka, o ka, n ka). People using the Utauloid use Utau to fade the syllables together using default options.
  2. not really, but Most Gamers Are Male was invoked so hard that he might as well have