Created By: Elbruno on May 5, 2013 Last Edited By: Elbruno on June 5, 2013
Troped

Robo Love

Romance between mechanical beings. *NAME CROWNER* *To be launched soon*

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Alternative titles crowner HERE

Alternative image: Bjork's "All is Full of Love"
Caption: Looks like the Clap wants a piece of that cake.

"So, are you two an item? I mean, I know you're both items, but..."
-- Philip J. Fry, Futurama

Robots and Artificial Intelligences are supposed to be these cold and calculating beings bound by carefully constructed progamming and code. Sure, they could display emotions, or at least something resembling them; but love? That one emotion even organic beings have trouble understanding? Surely that has to be a totally different story, right?

Well, it turns out that isn't always the case, and love can bloom amongst those cables and sensors.

Robo Love covers those moments where non-organic beings, be it robots, AI, or anything along those lines, display romantic emotions towards a fellow mechanical being. Love Tropes can apply just like they would with any regular romance, meaning we can wind up with all sorts of situations, such as both growing to love eachother, one of the involved malfunctioning at the other's precense, or one side's romatic advances being thorougly ignored by lack of interest, emotions, or any trace of sentience whatsoever.

Related to Ridiculously Human Robots and Robo Family. Compare/contrast Robosexual, when an organic being feels attraction to a mechanical one, and Robo Ship, when a Shipping pairing involves one or two bots.

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • The 1980s series of Astro Boy had an episode called "Robio and Robiette", which was a retelling of Romeo and Juliet featuring robots.

Film - Animated
  • WALL•E: The focus of the entire plot is the romance between the titular WALL-E and EVE. In their case, their concept of love may have come from the Hello, Dolly! clip WALL-E showed to EVE.

Film - Live Action
  • Heartbeeps: The robots Val Com 17485 and Aqua Com 89045 meet at a factory while awaiting repairs and fall in love. They decide to escape and set out on a journey to find a place to live as well as a supply of electricity. They assemble a robot out of spare parts and treat it as their child, this becoming a Robo Family.

Literature
  • In one short story by Robert Sheckley, a successful businessman decides to court a successful businesswoman but since he has no time for proper courtship, he has a specialized "lover" android built in his likeness and sends him on all the dates. One day, the android doesn't return from a date, and it soon turns out that the businesswoman had no time, either, and also sent a "lover" android looking like herself. The androids simply decided to run away. Later on, when the two (human) protagonists are married, the woman has a nervous breakdown when she realizes that they are the robots, while the androids they built are real people who live for love.
  • In the third Jack Blank book, The End of Infinity, Virtua, an AI with a holographic avatar, acts unusually possessive of Jazen Knight, a Ridiculously Human Robot, when he ends up in trouble. They had hooked up offscreen between the end of the second book and the beginning of the third, but it never came up to mention it until the end.

Live-Action TV
  • Eureka: Android Deputy Andy developed a romantic relationship with Carter's house, SARAH. They almost got married too, but SARAH had cold feet.
  • Red Dwarf:
    • In one episode, Kryten meets a female android (played by Kryten actor Robert Llewellyn's own girlfriend.) She turns out to be a hideous artificial lifeform, but he keeps the relationship going until she leaves the ship so as not to hurt her.
    • The ship's computer Holly claims to have once had a love affair with a ZX Spectrum, and falls in love with his female counterpart Hilly in a parallel universe.
  • Star Trek: Voyager has the holographic Doctor fall in love with the recovering Borg Seven of Nine.

Music
  • In Björk's music video for "All is Full of Love", two robots (allegedly both of them were modeled on Bjork) kiss and embrace each other.

Theatre
  • In Karel Capek's play R.U.R., the last living human Alquist sees robots Primus and Helena who fell in love despite being robots as new Adam and Eve and hope for intelligent life.

Video Games

Webcomics
  • In Manly Guys Doing Manly Things the Commander apparently helped GLaDOS break up with AM at some point, which is why she lets his interns live when they use the portal room for training.

Web Original

Western Animation
  • Nelvana made a robotic version of Romeo and Juliet called Romie 0 And Julie 8 which had this as its theme. The two androids are from different manufacturers, and androids in general aren't supposed to feel love.
  • Futurama: The robot of the cast, Bender, has many "love" affairs with other robots. It isn't very romantic until the crew's ship is upgraded with Artificial Intelligence. They form a romantic relationship, but she suffocates him into leaving... that is, if his own adulterous nature didn't do it first.
  • One episode of The Flintstones has Fred living an idyllic, lazy life because he owns a robot that goes to work in his place. This ends when Barney buys a robot of his own, which turns out to be female, and brings it to Fred's house. Cue both robots immediately escaping to pursue their romance.
  • The Looney Tunes short "Robot Rabbit" has Bugs disguise himself as a female robot in order to lure Elmer's pest-control robot into a pile driver.
  • Hanna-Barbera's The Jetsons has the episode "Rosie's Boyfriend", where building super Henry Orbit builds a robot assistant named Mac. Mac meets Rosie, the Jetsons' robotic maid, by chance, and starts malfunctioning much more than usual.
  • Transformers Generation 1: Optimus Prime and Elita One, the female Autobot leader, were in a Long Distance Relationship, since she and the other female Autobots had remained stationed on Cybertron.

Indexes: Love Tropes, Robot Roll Call
Community Feedback Replies: 32
  • May 5, 2013
    DunDun
    There's too much happening in the image; I suggest getting rid of it. I'm not even sure if this trope would need one, actually.

    Also, may want the name to reflect the robo on robo aspect of this: Robo On Robo Romance (or is that too many O's to be clever)?
  • May 5, 2013
    Elbruno
    ^I agree that the first version of the picture looks cluttered, but I think that cleaned up it'd make a good image; there's a clearly robotic being giving a rose to another clearly robotic being, and it also shows that they don't need to be alike for the trope to take place. In any case, I've uploaded an improved version up there in case someone agrees with me. Previous version.

    I find that title rather long, but I'll leave it in the list of alternative titles in case someone else likes it.
  • May 5, 2013
    DunDun
    I don't have any issue with the current edit of the image.

    And to help with the Futurama example: The robot of the cast, Bender, has many "love" affairs with other robots. It isn't very romantic until the crew's ship is upgraded with Artificial Intelligence. They form a romantic relationship, but she suffocates him into leaving... that is, if his own adulterous nature didn't do it first.
  • May 5, 2013
    foxley
    The 1980s series of Astro Boy had an episode called "Robio and Robiette", which was a retelling of Romeo And Juliet featuring robots.
  • May 5, 2013
    Marz1200
    Live Action TV:

    • On Eureka android Deputy Andy developed a romantic relationship with Carter's house SARAH. They almost got married too, but SARAH had cold feet.
  • May 5, 2013
    zarpaulus
    Related to Robo Family
  • May 5, 2013
    McKathlin
    Here's a detail for the WALL-E example: Their concept of love may have come from the Hello Dolly clip that WALL-E showed to EVE.
  • May 5, 2013
    Generality
    I don't know what to say about the romance in WALL-E except that it's the focus of the entire plot.

    There's a line from the Futurama example that might make a good page quote-
    Fry: So, are you two an item? I mean I know you're both items, but...
  • May 5, 2013
    Elbruno
    @eerock Changing a picture without discussion, without properly cleaning the caption of the previous one, and without adding the relevant example? Not cool man, not cool.

    I'll leave the previous image where it was and move the I Robot one as an alternative. Questionable edit aside, I'd be fine with any of those two. I do prefer Claptrap and G La DOS, since like I said before, it shows two very different robots, thus illustrating the scope this trope can cover on that regard.

    ^That sounds good for a quote.
  • May 5, 2013
    Korodzik
    One Flintstones cartoon (can someone recall what it was? :P) episode has Fred living an idyllic, lazy life because he owns a robot that goes to work in his place. This ends when Barney buys a robot of his own, which turns out to be female, and brings it to Fred's house. Cue both robots immediately escaping to pursue their romance.

    The Looney Tunes short "Robot Rabbit" has Bugs disguise himself as a female robot in order to lure Elmer's pest-control robot into a pile driver.
  • May 5, 2013
    Arivne
    Film
    • Heartbeeps. The robots Val Com 17485 and Aqua Com 89045 meet at a factory while awaiting repairs and fall in love. They decide to escape and set out on a journey to find a place to live as well as a supply of electricity. They assemble a robot out of spare parts and treat it as their child, this becoming a Robo Family.
  • May 5, 2013
    randomsurfer
    There was a robotic version of Romeo And Juliet called Romie 0 And Julie 8 by Nelvana which had this as its theme. The two androids are from different manufacturers, and androids in general aren't supposed to feel love.
  • May 6, 2013
    Koveras
    • In one short story by Robert Sheckley, a successful businessman decides to court a successful businesswoman but since he has no time for proper courtship, he has a specialized "lover" android built in his likeness and sends him on all the dates. One day, the android doesn't return from a date, and it soon turns out that the businesswoman had no time, either, and also sent a "lover" android looking like herself. The androids simply decided to run away. Later on, when the two (human) protagonists are married, the woman has a nervous breakdown when she realizes that they are the robots, while the androids they built are real people who live for love.
  • May 6, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • Hanna-Barbera's The Jetsons has the episode Rosie's Boyfriend, where building super Henry Orbit builds a robot assistant named Mac. Mac meets Rosie by chance, and starts malfunctioning much more than usual.
  • May 9, 2013
    Raconteur
    I'm in favor of keeping the current image. It's cute and you know exactly what's gong on. The iRobot one is fine too. But this one seems more symbolic and emphasizes the romance aspect.

    Is there a trope for a Human on Robot sort of romance?
  • May 9, 2013
    Elbruno
    ^ That'd be Robosexual. It's mentioned in the final paragraph of the description.
  • May 15, 2013
    Larkmarn
    I'm fine with the image.

    That said, I'm not sure if this is tropable. Or rather, it doesn't seem distinct from Mechanical Lifeform. After all, that trope is entirely about robots being only mechanically different from organic life. As such, this would follow suit. It would be like making tropes for "Robots Feeling Sad" or "Robots Feeling Angry."

    Just my two cents.
  • May 16, 2013
    Elbruno
    ^Mechanical Lifeforms is about actual lifeforms that happen to be mechanical. I think what you meant there is closer to Ridiculously Human Robots, which is such a broad trope that I feel a subtrope wouldn't hurt, especially considering that robots feeling love for another tends to be played with a lot more than robots feeling other emotions.
  • May 18, 2013
    zarpaulus
    Webcomics
  • May 28, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    • In the third Jack Blank book, The End of Infinity, Virtua, an AI with a holographic avatar, acts unusually possessive of Jazen Knight, a Ridiculously Human Robot, when he ends up in trouble. They had Hooked Up Offscreen between the end of the second book and the beginning of the third but it never came up to mention it until the end.
  • May 28, 2013
    robinjohnson
    • Red Dwarf:
      • In one episode, Kryten meets a female android (played by Kryten actor Robert Llewellyn's own girlfriend.) She turns out to be a hideous artificial lifeform, but he keeps the relationship going until she leaves the ship so as not to hurt her.
      • The ship's computer Holly claims to have once had a love affair with a ZX Spectrum, and falls in love with his female counterpart Hilly in a parallel universe.
    • Star Trek: Voyager has the holographic Doctor fall in love with the recovering Borg Seven of Nine.
  • May 28, 2013
    robinjohnson
    How about Robo-Romance for a title?
  • May 28, 2013
    Elbruno
    ^Added it.
  • May 28, 2013
    sgamer82
    • Implied in Chrono Trigger at the Geno Dome with Robo and Atropos. The ending can feature them sitting side by side watching the Epoch fly by.
  • May 28, 2013
    thewriter
    For titles, how about Robosexual, a term from Futurama. (Romosexual is another term that is apparently insulting to male robots.)

    EDIT: nevermind, already a trope
  • May 28, 2013
    thebiguglyalien
  • May 31, 2013
    Quag15
    Elbruno, I've seen the image that you put as I Robot. It's not from that movie, but from Bjork's music video for "All Is Full Of Love". Which also means:

    Music
    • In Bjork's music video for "All Is Full Of Love", two robots (allegedly both of them were modeled on Bjork) kiss and embrace each other.
  • May 31, 2013
    Elbruno
    ^*Edit* And that's why you should do more research before tagging a picture kids!
  • May 31, 2013
    MiinU

    Western animation

  • May 31, 2013
    MiinU
    Slight correction to the Transformers Generation 1 example: I misspelled Elita One's name, and the relationship was confirmed. She and Optimus were lovers...
  • June 2, 2013
    XFllo
    I like the alternative pic (this one) more -- it's very clear what'S happening. The current - not so much.

    One example (with spoilers)

    Theatre
    • In Karel Capek's play RUR, the last living human Alquist sees robots Primus and Helena who fell in love despite being robots as new Adam and Eve and hope for intelligent life.
  • June 4, 2013
    Elbruno
    The crowner is leaning towards Robo-Romance as the final title. I'll leave this up one more day before launching.

    Regarding the picture, I'll launch this picture-less and make an Image Pickin thread to discuss it.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=24tsx4n7bcdjm442w4xc5hs1&trope=RoboRomance