Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Isn't the zombie here supposed to be the so-called 'philosophical zombie', i.e. a being that behaves in every aspect like a human being, except that it lacks experience?
MCE Is there any suggestion that those with autistic spectrum disorders are les likely to be bothered by uncanny valley characters?
Dankna: I'd like to question the existence of the Uncanny Valley. Is it really the fact that things are human-like but not enough so that makes them squicky, or are they just plain bad art/makeup? I'm honestly still undecided...

—I don't believe in the Uncanny Valley. Final Fantasy: TSW wasn't perfect, but I could easily suspend disbelief and accept the characters as human just as I would cartoons or real humans. What people call "uncanny valley" is really just bad art or animation.

Antheia: Doesn't explain why people find it creepy, though.

MGlBlaze: It's very subjective, but basically the Uncanny Valley will strike if someone feels as though something is... wrong with something that as close to, or is meant to represent, a human. Being human, we know what a human looks like, how they should move, how they should speak, etc. When things are off enough to be noticable, but not enough to make things seem not human, it can bring about being unsettled or feelings of disgust. It's a case of "something is very wrong here..." This can also be invoced by far less subtle things, though. Google 'uncanny homer' and you'll see what I mean.

Licky Lindsay: Anybody else sometimes find Rubber-Forehead Aliens to be in your own personal uncanny valley?

YYZ: I don't think Kaworu fits. He doesn't look significantly less human than any of the other characters, in a series where a blue-haired Japanese and a redheaded German are not unusual enough to be remarked on... this is more a matter of physical appearance than of actual behavior, and there's not enough of a difference between him and anyone else.

Ununnilium: Agreed.

osh: I'm almost tempted to make a trope for such a thing. Evangelion is otherwise normal color-wise, but I never understood why Ayanami's psuedo-albino appearance is never commented on.

Trouser Wearing Barbarian: What's so odd about a redheaded German?
The robots of death are in my uncanny valley, if not the editor who mentioned them on the article's.

Anon English Major: Where's the Frued? He was wayyy ahead of this Japanese guy by about 50 years. One of the definitions of Uncanny is talking to an automaton after all.

Ununnilium: bwah? You may have to explain further; not all of us are psychology majors.

A Carlssin: I wish I could find this... a few years ago I read an article that flight simulators (used for training pilots) must be made with graphics that are deliberately a bit unrealistic. The problem is that if the graphics were too real-looking, student pilots would get physically ill.

Kilyle: Is that why the Burger King commercials annoy me so much that I change channels by reflex? I thought it was just 'cuz they turned me off with their sexed-up cowgirl commercials a few months ago (I'm now on a silent boycott). But Burger King is really diving off the deep edge with its feeble attempts at publicity, and if they were planning to have "The King" compete with the good spokesmen (Jack and Ronald Mc Donald), they failed beyond all reasonable meaning of the word.
Andyroid: Guess Who:
  • Retarded people are very much in the Uncanny Valley, and there can even be something supernatural about them.
No. Just no.

Whitewings I hate to say this, but in all honesty, a lot of people with Downs Syndrome do edge onto the Uncanny Valley. At least in my perception.

Tanto: I can't even believe he thought that edit had a snowball's chance of survival.

Morgan Wick: He just needs to learn the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment.

Caswin: While I agree that it probably wouldn't last here, I've had the same feeling. Downs Syndrome and its ilk have that kind of effect. (Well, maybe not "supernatural"...)

Tyhm: You're just saying it wrong - "Facial muscular deformities" trigger an Uncanny Valley response. Downs Syndrome, Stroke Patients, bad Plastic Surgery - it's a tautology, truth by definition. Saying Corky's in the Uncanny Valley is mean, saying facial palsy is in the uncanny valley is the definition of The Uncanny Valley. Likewise necrotizing fascitis (sp?) is Uncanny Valley Territory, because it triggers the "There but for the grace of god go I" in (some) people; and the nurses and holy people and just plain nice people that can see past it are better people than I.

onyhow: Just rearrange the page. Someone should check about series placement, since I might be wrong.
UT: Deleted this line:
  • In the penultimate episode of the 4th season of House, House is involved in a bus accident and suffers short-term memory loss. Later on he tries various ways to recollect the events of that fateful bus ride. The way Amber acts in his recollections is just positively bone-chillingly creepy (particularly when she turns to the camera and slowly breaks a big smile).
This isn't Uncanny Valley, it's personal weird-out zone. The actress playing Amber does not look like a corpse or an oddly re-animated CGI human, so she doesn't belong here.
  • Tyhm: That'd be Creepy Clown. Here's how you tell: does it get exponentially creepier if you play the "Can't sleep, clowns will eat me" music in the background? Creepy Clown. Fake smiles are menacing.
And I return!
  • Human Statues
It needs an explanation, and again, this does not fit the Uncanny Valley in terms of an artificially created face that has a Glamor Failure. Personal weird-out zone, again.

Fast Eddie: Somebody else will have to strike the Mrs. MCain thing. That woman scares me.
Tyhm: Would it cause more trouble than its worth to make a Sliding Scale of Uncanny Valley (or Robot Realism)? I think it'd be interesting to see these examples plotted out, from C-3PO to Bicentenial Man to Sonny to The Terminator Robot and on...
Fast Eddie: moving natter...
  • To be fair, the Megatokyo example is a pretty piss-poor depiction. For one thing, kigurumi performers do not talk: they're like mascot performers (depicting anime characters). And although a significant percentage of the cosplayers are males portraying females, professional kigurumi performers (who work for the anime companies to promote their new shows) are almost universally female.
  • Another puppetry example: the puppet troupe Royal de Luxe frequently combines the Uncanny Valley with the Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever. (See example of their work here.) It's part of the travelling show The Sultan's Elephant.

Of course, it may also be a race memory of when Earth was invaded by department-store mannequins.

AKK: So anyways, I just remembered the old Cussons Imperial Leather ads from the '80s. I wasn't really creeped out at the time(regular soap people melting while the Cussons ones barely shrank), but searching for an image turned up baby-hands made from soap. O_o

Shiralee: Dark Crystal and Enchanted? Forrellyreals? Are you Mc F*king kidding me? o,O My namesake is a much scarier dragon. Not just the face, but the fact that he has missile pods in place of his normal hands too! MISSILE PODS!!!!!! If anything you should be scared that she'll talk your ears off not how she looks. I think Gelflings are too close to cat-human crossovers to squick me. (the Moreau kind not the Japanese kind). Plus their emotions seemed realistic enough, thanks to ol' Jimbo.

  • This troper doesn't know about the rest of you, but he preferred the Samus from the original Metroid Prime to the plastic looking girl in Echoes.
  • This troper agrees. The realistic Samus in Prime 1 is gorgeous. The later ones? She looks like a Barbie with bad hair. The MP:Hunters version looks best in this troper's opinion. For this troper, the Uncanny Valley hits in the MP 2 & 3 versions of Samus (as well as No Just No and They Changed It, Now It Sucks.)

Skazka: The first person who commented about asian ball joint dolls put, oh— about five seconds of thought into it. There are much, much more easy ways of making the Uncanny Valley clear without simply being offensive to the people who do like BJD. (And re. the "eww! doll porn!" factor... it only looks like teddy bear porn if they're doing it wrong.)

R Taco: I removed this, since the characters in Coraline are designed in a far-from-realistic style:
  • The Film of the Book of Coraline is dripping with this all throughout (probably on purpose, given the nature of the story). However, as bad as it gets in the actual film, taking a look at the original concept art shows that the uncanny-ness was actually toned down in the transition from drawings to models...

Redbaroness: Removed link to artwork as it is not permitted according to Deviant ART TOS. Plus it's my art and I don't appreciate people linking to it without asking permission.

Peppermintsheep: Didn't anyone else wet their pants and weep when they say the Skittles commercial of the Pinata Man? If this isn't Uncanny Valley, nothing is!!

Squeegy: What happened to the old Uncanny Valley chart? It was much better.

Nezumi: Okay, now that I've actually taken the time to watch it, I'm not sure how anyone could interpret the children in "Empty Walls" as not re-enacting the War on Terror, short of total obliviousness. It kicks off with a shot of the "Playground Alert Level", and from there, goes into recreations of the 9/11 attack, the toppling of the Saddam statue, the Mission Accomplished incident, one of the most iconic Abu Ghraib torture photos... and ends with a re-enactment of a car bombing being interrupted by the children gathering to see an actual military funeral procession. The only way it could be more blatant is if the text "THESE CHILDREN ARE RE-ENACTING THE WAR ON TERROR" flashed across the screen in bright red letters throughout the video.

Shapeshifter The Troper: Should Ghostfreak's real appearance from Ben 10 be added to the real page? Is it enough that his head looks like an upside-down human skull, he has only one eye (the other "socket" is not deep enough to indicate a second one would be natural, but is still there for some reason), and, in a manner reminiscent of recently-dead corpses, he has very long, straight teeth and nails?

Particleman: I persnally thought it was kind of odd that RealDolls (NOT SAFE FOR WORK) weren't mentioned. I've heard lots of people say that having one around would creep them out, like having a corpse around. Should they be added, or is the NSFW factor a problem?
  • As long as you make sure to mention that the link is NSFW in the writeup, that's fine; there are many such links already in the wiki.

Lelouch Zero: Erring on the side of caution, I put the initial mention of it in Troper Tales, but I feel that it may warrant an inclusion on the main page. This attempt at cosplaying Yoshika Miyafuji from Strike Witches. Full stop.
  • Willbyr: I didn't get creeped out...honestly, I'd put that as more Kawaiiko than Uncanny Valley.

Willbyr: Regarding the Bruce Timm artwork of Rei Ayanami...I agree with the last edit; that artwork doesn't come close to fitting this trope, at least for me. Remove, or make a note of Your Mileage May Vary?

Tokenmaster: Changed the picture provided for the Amélie example from the soundtrack cover to the actual poster, because the picture of her on the soundtrack cover actually does look pretty normal, while the poster has that white chalky skin and those black a doll's eyes...then she bites you, and those eyes roll over white...

Eggie: Is it just me, or does Family Guy suffer from Uncanny Valley? Something about the animation in the newer seasons seems too smooth and too robotic. It's probably the animators taking shortcuts with newer animation technology, but the smoothness in the characters' movement and camera movement seems so unnatural.

A more general question to the Uncanny Valley, or rather what just bugs me about it. It is described, a human corpse is supposed to be at the very bottom of the Uncanny Valley. Am I the only one who thinks this is quite odd? As most examples of the Uncanny Valley feature a rather "artificially clean" look while corpses are rather in the filthy department?

  • When people see corpses,they have usually been embalmed, made up, and otherwise made to look impossibly perfect. It fits.

Should Gigolo Joe from AI be included here? ALL the characters from that movie were supposed to be robots, but he was the only one that really sunk into the depths of uncanny Valley. It was intentional, but kind of ruined my sympathy for his character.