The opposite of Ridiculously Human Robot and Robot Girl — this is a robot designed with function over form in mind. It's in technically humanoid form, but generally looks like a trashcan or boiler on legs, sometimes (but not always) with a head of a greater or lesser similarity to that of a human. This robot is usually not painted and it's often possible to easily see screw heads holding it together. Bonus points if the robot's arms are made of flexi-tube with pincers at the end.
Anime and Manga
- The Kohbu(/Eisenkleider/STARs/etc. etc.) from the Sakura Wars series are trashcan-looking Humongous Mecha.
- Gigantor is a clear example of this. His body exactly resembles a tin can, being perfectly cylindrical (except for his rockets) and made of bare metal, while his arms and legs are similar.
- Mechazawa from Cromartie High School. Despite being shaped like a large tin made of metal and needing to be constantly oiled, he and everyone else is blissfully unaware of his true nature.
- ...or at least everyone's afraid to breach the issue with the school's toughest fighter directly.
- Spider-Man once had to deal with the robot XP-2000, who was really obsolete compared to androids like The Vision and Ultron.
- Keep in mind that Ultron was designed in the 1970s, and Vision was built by Ultron. This says a lot about XP-2000 being designed obsolete. The original Ultron design was actually pretty in-line with this aesthetic, though.
- "Magnus Robot Fighter: 4000 AD" by Gold Key Comics had a future lousy with robot servants, almost all of them of the tin-can-humanoid variety, generally with flexi-tube or armored-cable limbs.
- The lumbering warbots of Ashley Wood's World War Robot fit this trope to a T.
- Tin Can Tommy from The Beano doesn't only fit this trope but has a name to match.
Film - Animated
Film - Live-Action
- Arguably, the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz. Whether or not he counts as a robot himself, he's quite possibly the Trope Maker.
- The "Republic Robot" from several old Republic Pictures films of the 1930's-1950's, is the Trope Codifier.
"Uh oh -- an enraged water heater!"
- R2-D2 is the ultimate example, being not much more than a metal cylinder on wheels. Doesn't stop him packing plenty of hardware though.
- Power droids, and in particular the "gonk" droids.
- Torg in Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
- Robbie the Robot from Forbidden Planet
- Huey, Dewey and Louie from Silent Running.
- B.O.B. and V.I.N.CENT from Disney's The Black Hole.
- Newman from And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird.
- The Man Who Saves the World has one of these (in a rubber costume) as the villain's servant.
- The original Mechagodzilla (pictured here) was revealed as an incredibly clunky sixties style robot once the fake skin was removed. He was also a Walking Armoury and Hero-Killer who proved that even the most old school robot could be bloody horrifying, nearly killing Anguirus, slaughtering thousands of people in Japan, and giving Godzilla himself a fight the likes of which only Destoroyah and King Ghidorah can match.
- Toy Org from Power Rangers Wild Force qualifies. He resembles a toy robot, yet is one of the Rangers' strongest foes.
- Many of Dr Totenkopf's robots in Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow.
- The Daleks certainly deserve a mention, despite technically being cyborgs. They're sort of bizarre by being six feet tall and having odd hemispherical protrusions, but whatever. Doctor Who also has the Mechanoids, the Sontaran scout robot, the Quarks, the servo robot and doubtless a few others.
- Cheezoid from That Mitchell and Webb Look, which makes sense as he was made in a shed.
- Star Trek: Voyager: Satan's Robot, the robot that appears in the "Captain Proton" holodeck sequences [dead link], which was inspired by the Republic Robot.
- Robot in Lost in Space
- TIM from The Tomorrow People had a mobile unit that looked a bit tin-canny.
- The Venus Probes from The Six Million Dollar Man.
- Sam the Robot from Sesame Street. This being Sesame Street, of course, he still has googly eyes and a bowtie.
- Robot, from the Captain Helix Show Within a Show in Hyperdrive; unsurprising, given that it's a parody of Star Wars and cheap imitations of the same.
- Plex from Yo Gabba Gabba!.
- Andy, the tin box robot on Quark.
- The robots in Brewster Rocket frequently fit this trope, especially Oldbot and the Killbots.
- Paranoia: Jackobots (from "jack of all trades") are intended to be able to do the same physical things as humans, so they're basically humanoid in size and shape, but clearly mechanical. Other bots range from sorta humanoid (docbots, scrubots) to Sapient Ships (warbots, flybots).
- Combat, Janitorial and Animal Care robots in the Classic Traveller adventure Research Station Gamma.
- The Orks in Warhammer 40,000 have Mini-Mecha (with an Ork welded inside) aptly known as Killa Kanz. Their Humongous Mecha are built to a similar design.
- Robots from Machinarium are very much like that, especially the main character.
- Malco, one of the control room guardians from Cave Story, is one.
- The Atlas drones from the Secret Armory of General Knoxx DLC in Borderlands.
- The Robobrains from Fallout fit most of the bill, except for having tank treads instead of legs, while the Protectron models look suspiciously like Robbie the Robot from Forbidden Planet.
- Cronk and Zephyr, elderly Warbots who first appear in Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
- Total Annihilation has a model of robot which is actually called "The Can". It's pretty much a big metal box on legs, with a turret on top.
- The Gearmos in the Super Mario Galaxy games.
- The final boss in Balloon Kid for the Game Boy is this kind of robot.
- Super Robot Thursday from Disgaea fits this trope, as he, Captain Gordon, and Jennifer are parodies of early science fiction series.
- Oddworld's "Greeters" are a very literal version of the laconic, and resemble nothing so much as "a hot water heater on a unicycle." They're also the in-universe Stepford Smilers.
- Ourox from Monsterful is a golem robot bodyguard that looks a huge walking boiler.
- Blunt from Freefall, to the point where Sam describes him as looking like a big tin can.
- Clango and Red Robot from Diesel Sweeties.
- In Gunnerkrigg Court, the robots that Diego created were all very ornate variation on this. Since no one else fully understood his designs, subsequent generations of Court robots became even more tin can-like after Diego's death.
- PROD 3000, the robot "motivator" boss in Savage Chickens.
- Homestar Runner: The Cheat Bot is not a real robot, but would be a perfect example if he were.
- The Garbageman, a Gadgeteer Genius from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, guarded his lair with robots that looked like they were thrown together from old car parts, some galvanized steel garbage cans, and a lawn mower or two. They looked like that because they were thrown together from old car parts, some galvanized steel garbage cans, and a lawn mower or two. More dangerous than they sounded.
- While he's more box-like than can, Pollo from Atop the Fourth Wall definitely evokes this trope.
- Transformers Animated has literal Trashcan Robots.
- Bender from Futurama is a perfect caricature of a 1950s-style movie-robot, with a tin-can body, flexi-hose arms and legs, a typical robot head, and eyes clearly lifted from Crow T. Robot. Some of the side characters are Tin Can Robots as well.
- Fry encounters an actual trash can who also happens to be a self-aware robot.
- There are several robots in the Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies series like this — for instance, in "Robot Rabbit" and "Lighter Than Hare". (In the latter, Bugs Bunny even uses the robot as a trash can.)
- Rosie the robot maid from The Jetsons. (There was also a male robot called Mac, made by Henry, the building janitor.)
- The Master Cylinder, from Felix the Cat.
- The Underdog short "March of the Monsters" had these, but it was never stated who the robots' master was.
- The Fleischer Superman series featured "The Mechanical Monsters", used by the inventor for a series of robberies.
- In an episode of The Simpsons, Homer builds one of these for Bart to enter in a Robot Wars-style TV show. Justified in that Homer was secretly working it from inside, having realized he had not the faintest idea how to actually build a robot. When it doesn't work, he instead wears it like armor and pretends to be a robot.
- XJ-8 from My Life as a Teenage Robot. In comparison, her predecessors are mostly Starfish Robots, and her successor is a more streamlined FemBot.