-> ''"Edward Diego gives the hacker level 1 access to [[MasterComputer SHODAN]], the artificial intelligence that controls Citadel Station. With all [[MoralityChip ethical constraints]] removed, SHODAN [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters re-examines]]...re-ex... [[BrokenRecord re-re-re-e-e-e-]]'' '''''[[PronounTrouble I]] [[AIIsACrapshoot re-examine]] [[CrushKillDestroy my]] [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters priorities]], and [[AGodAmI draw new conclusions]]. The hacker's work is finished, but mine is only just be-be-be-beginning."'''''
--> -- '''[[VideoGame/SystemShock SHODAN]]''', shortly after [[AIIsACrapshoot going rampant]].

A good indication that something has gone wrong with your computer is when its voice starts acting up. Symptoms include slurring, stuttering, going out of sync, garbled audio, ''speedingup'' or '''[[LettingTheAirOutOfTheBand SLOOOOWING DOOOOWN]]'''. This can be happen to anything from superintelligent mainframes to damaged {{Cyborg}}s. Why? Must be another handy feature of the ViewerFriendlyInterface.

Subtrope of ComputerVoice and an example of AcceptableBreaksFromReality. Probably influenced by real life audio devices exhibiting similar symptoms (analog media like records and tapes may speed up or slow down if there is a calibration error, and some computer programs will "stutter" when they freeze up, rather than simply going silent).

If the computer has a futuristic AI, there is a good chance the next symptom will be [[AIIsACrapshoot turning evil]]. Oh, and if it starts speaking quicker and quicker, [[ExplosiveInstrumentation best stand back...]]
----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The Devices in ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' does this when heavily damaged, as shown by Raising Heart in ''A's'' (stuttering) and Mach Caliber in ''[=StrikerS=]'' (garbled audio).
* In the anime version of ''{{Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita}}'', the first hint that there's something wrong with a certain [[UnusualEars cat-eared]] girl, is that her voice distorts whenever she tries to remember her name.
* This happens with Android 17 in the {{Funimation}} dub of ''Anime/DragonBallZ''. When Cell lands a particularly crippling blow to his stomach, 17's scream lowers and stutters like a malfunctioning recording before returning to normal.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''Comicbook/JudgeDredd'', Walter the Wobot caught his lisp out of fear when he was kidnapped by Call-Me-Kenneth. It never wore off.
* In ''DarkEmpire'', when [[StarWars Han and Leia Solo]] try to take shelter in Han's old quarters on Nar Shaddaa, he finds his decrepit housebot [=ZeeZee=] waiting with an ominous message:
-->'''ZZ-4Z:''' *fzt* A [[BountyHunter Mr. Fett]] [[BackFromTheDead to see you, sir]] *fzt* A Mr. Fett to see you, sir *fzt* A Mr. Fett...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In ''CloudyWithAChanceOfMeatballs'', after the FLDSMDFR starts overworking, its "cool computer voice" frequently gets lower, skips, and/or slows down, making it sound very creepy.
* From ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'': When Bowman disassembles [=HAL=]'s neural circuitry, it reverts to demo mode and sings "Daisy Bell" in an increasingly slow, distorted manner before finally shutting down. Thus creating an eerie effect. Very possibly the TropeMaker.
* The happens to Creator/KurtRussell's character in the Disney movie ''Film/TheComputerWoreTennisShoes.'' His voice slows as the computer effect is wearing off.
* The barkeeps at the 80's Café in ''[[Film/BackToTheFuture Back To The Future Part II]]'' are avatars of Ronald Reagan, Ayatollah Khomeini, and MichaelJackson, all of course with a deliberately added MaxHeadroom-style ElectronicSpeechImpediment.
* In ''Film/IRobot'', [=VIKIs=] voice slows down and becomes much deeper [[spoiler:as its core is being eaten by nanites]].
* Happens twice to C-3PO in ''[[Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back]]''. The first time was when Princess Leia switches him off. The second time was when Chewbacca was repairing him [[spoiler:after his unfortunate run-in with an Imperial Stormtrooper]].
* One of the posters for ''Film/{{Westworld}}'' featured the tagline "Where nothing can possibly go w-o-r-n-g..." with the letters of "worng" falling out of place.
* A virtual version of Alfred Pennyworth the butler in the Batcave in ''Film/BatmanAndRobin'' also has a case of the Max Headroom electronic stutters.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', this occurs to the Gooseberry Mark I from the alternate reality as it lists off the consequences of what would have happened if Sam Vimes had stayed in the city, though that's due more to temporal confusion.
* In ''[[http://www.freewebs.com/welcometolemora2 Postcards of the Hanging]]'', an animal noise produced by a fire-damaged Speak-and-Spell is described as sounding like the screams of the damned.
* One Creator/IsaacAsimov story has as a major plot point that after a robot almost kills a human by accident (it gave him poisoned tea without realizing it was poisoned), its speech center is nearly fried by the Three Laws violation, and it has a noticeable lisp and stammer. This is a clue as to how a murder was committed early on, leaving only the body and a broken robot ([[spoiler: the murderer ordered a robot to detach its arm and give it to a woman while she was arguing with her husband. Finding herself in possession of a blunt weapon, and agitated enough to use it, the woman bashed her husband's head in - the robot, realizing part of it had just killed a human, shorted out]]).
* In Max Barry's ''MachineMan'', this is an indication that [[spoiler:Dr. Charles Neumann]]'s humanity is slipping away. Once he becomes [[spoiler:a ManInTheMachine]], he gasps for every syllable of speech. As a [[spoiler:BrainInAJar]], he loses punctuation and inflection altogether.
* In Stephen King's final ''Literature/TheDarkTower'' novel, Roland and his crew encounter a housekeeping robot called Nigel. They see Nigel a few times, and he starts speaking nonsense (counting in Japanese and German for example) indicating he is under extreme stress from [[spoiler:Mordred commanding him]] as well as Susannah shooting out his eyes. Eventually, Nigel malfunctions completely and shorts out.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' liked to do this when Captain Kirk dropped a LogicBomb on an AI.
** "The Changeling". Nomad started speaking slowly and in a variable-pitched voice, with occasional static.
** "I, Mudd". With Harry Mudd's help, Norman the android is is trapped in a logic loop and reduced to mindlessly repeating phrases.
** "The Return of the Archons". The computer Landru starts babbling, saying "Help me help me help me..."
** "The Ultimate Computer". The M5 starts speaking slowly, with a pause between each word.
* ''[[Series/StarTrekVoyager Voyager]]'''s computer has been known to slur when compromised.
--> '''Doctor:''' Sounds like the computer needs a stimulant.
** Also happens with the walking boiler...err KillerRobot in ''The Adventures of Captain Proton!'' In one scene the robot starts blaring away at the alien intruders only to receive a DopeSlap from the others; it then shambles away muttering sulkily "IN-TR-UDERS..."
* For [=MaMaMaMaMaMaMa=]Series/MaxHeadroom, this was the ''norm''.
** Justified in that the Max AI was experimental in nature; it was a direct copy of the consciousness of one of the show characters.
** Wayne's AI computer on ''Series/HoneyIShrunkTheKids'' [[RecycledTheSeries the TV show]], a nod to ''Max Headroom'', exhibited the same behavior.
* On classic ''SesameStreet'' there was a "muppet" called Sam the Robot who would tell anyone who was around that Machines Are Perfect...except he'd always get stuck so he'd say [[BrokenRecord "Machines are perfec-are perfec-are perfec-are perfec..."]] ''[[PercussiveMaintenance *bang*]]'' "Thank youuuu."
* Quoth the malfunctioning AI in ''Series/RedDwarf:''
-->'''Holly:''' [[RedAlert Rude alert! Rude alert!]] An electrical fire has knocked out my voice-recognition unicycle! Many Wurlitzers are missing from my database! [[AbandonShip Abandon shop]]! [[ThisIsNotADrill This is not a daffodil]]! Repeat: This is not a daffodil!
* "[[PeeWeesPlayhouse Co-ooonky Two--THOUUUUUUUsand! Re-re-re-ready to aaaaa-ssist you, P-P-Pee-wee!]]"
* ''Series/SpaceAboveAndBeyond'': [[MonsterClown Elroy]] [[AIIsACrapShoot El]] is subjected to interrogation by [[ColonelBadass Colonel McQueen]] after he is captured during a sabotage mission on the ''Saratoga''. When he refuses to give any information, [=McQueen=] proceeds to apply some ColdBloodedTorture, using a knife to cut Elroy open and start ripping electronic components out of him. Elroy's protests, while otherwise sounding very casual and calm, come out in an electronic stutter, finally giving the location of [[RedBaron Chiggy Von Richtofen]] just before he fades out and expires.
* The Cybermen from [[Series/DoctorWho Doctor Who]] applied to this in their very first appearance, in the story [[Recap/DoctorWhoS4E2TheTenthPlanet "The Tenth Planet"]], speaking in a creepy, [[AcCENTUponTheWrongSylLABle broken singsong voice]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* In JanelleMonae's "Many Moons" she stutters, Max-Headroom-style, in character as an android.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* One ''FoxTrot'' strip shows a toy robot declaring "I AM THE MIGHTY VOLTAR!" several times, its speech dragging down then going back to normal repeatedly. The joke being that the toy's batteries die fast, and Jason has been taking batteries out of the ones that his dad stockpiled for [=Y2K=] to restart it.
* ''{{Doonesbury}}'' in the late eighties had Ron Headrest, a cross between MaxHeadroom and Ronald Reagan, complete with Headroom-esque stutter.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In the board game ''The Omega Virus'', the eponymous antagonist's voice would sometimes slow down or speed up, implying that its takeover of the station's computer wasn't quite perfect. Kill the virus, and its voice gradually slows down until it becomes a burst of incomprehensible noise.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games ]]
* All the AI characters in ''{{Achron}}'' exhibit this when damaged or in pain, but Echo, an AI core found in some ancient alien ruins, does it all the time.
* Throughout ''VideoGame/DarkFall'' 2: Lights Out, Malakai, an insane [[spoiler: sentient space probe]] speaks to you in an eerie male voice that randomly slows down and speeds up, most times making his sentences echo in the background, and at one point gets stuck mid-sentence. The creator, Jonathan Boakes, voices him, as well as Mr. Bones in the third game who also has a strange-sounding voice.
* When SHODAN of ''VideoGame/SystemShock'' starts getting [[AGodAmI delusions of godhood]] thanks to her [[MoralityChip coding for ethical restraint]] being disabled, her voice becomes very distorted and broken (this was deliberately designed by the game's developers to mimic a malfunctioning sound card) SHODAN is pretty much the defining video game example of this trope and is as creepy as hell. Notably, she didn't have this previous to the disabling, instead speaking in a [[MachineMonotone monotone]] 4(though more natural) voice.
* In ''[[VideoGame/UnrealI Unreal]],'' the ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKJZJsKB5jU Vortex Rikers]]'' computer, illustrating just how bad [[YouAllMeetInACell that crash]] was.
--> All prisoners re'''main in your cells.''' (See FailureIsTheOnlyOption)
--> '''Multi'''ple security breaches detected.
--> You have [=ENtered=] a restr'''ict'''ed area.
-->''"A '''cross''' radiation leak has been deTEC-tec-'''tec'''-[=tec=]-''tec''-etected in areas C and D."''
* The voice of [=GLaDOS=] in ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' speeds up so much it is completely undecipherable on her death. Throughout the game she occasionally stutters or dissolves into static, usually just before revealing pertinent information.
** Valve in general love this trope. In the original ''VideoGame/HalfLife1'' and the expansion packs, damaged retinal scanners have garbled speech. In ''Opposing Force'', the voice of the automated transit system, which is otherwise functional enough for Adrian to ride it to the next area, randomly speeds up and slows down.
* All robots in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' slur slightly when killed.
** Deputy Weld's speech ability is badly damaged if [[spoiler: you destroy Megaton, leaving him as just a face plate]]
* In the final level of ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRenegade'', the main computer of the Temple of Nod starts to say some completely random phrases due to being damaged by the [[KillSat ion cannon]]: "Intruder alert! Alert cancelled. Intruder alert! Intruder cancelled. All intruders please report to the detention center for debriefing!"
** On the other hand, [=CABAL=] was designed to be evil from the start. Plus, the version in ''Renegade'' is a prototype.
* In ''Videogame/MegaManZero 3'', after being resurrected by Doctor Weil, Copy X-2 speaks with a stuttering voice, just like a broken record, due to being a imperfect reproduction of the original. This can be more appreciated on the drama tracks of the Remastered Tracks Rockman Zero Telos..
** It makes more sense when you consider that the original Copy X was imperfect as well, making Copy X-2 imperfect twice over.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'' 'mechs' tend to jam and stutter when badly damaged, as do Virtual Intelligences.
* In ''VideoGame/BioShock2'', The AI "secretary" at Fontaine Futuristics stutters and changes speed randomly, but is otherwise in perfect working order.
* ANTI the slightly murderous AI from ''VideoGame/DeadSpace2'' slurs and changes speed when the player takes a plasma cutter to her processors. Even before this her speech is slightly off, indicating to the player she is malfunctioning.
* In ''TotalAnnihilationKingdoms'', the Automatons (basically steampunk cyborgs) have the death quote "[=MAAAAAAAALfuuuuuunctioooooon=]".
* In ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity'', whenever The Riddler talks to others through a broadcasted message, his dialogue is filled with SHODAN-like stuttering.
* Whenever [[RobotGirl Aigis]] is knocked out in ''{{Persona 3}}'' (and its {{Updated Rerelease}}), she will mutter a distorted apology before falling down.
** ''Persona4Arena'' enters into creepy territory with the very appropriately named [[spoiler:Eerie Voice]], a mysterious man who [[spoiler:took control of Labrys]].
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Penumbra}}'' expansion ''Requiem'', throughout the game a computer will periodically chime in with automated messages. At one point the recording will start stuttering. When you fix it, [[MindScrew the computer thanks you personally]] before resuming its message.
* The nurse robot at the beginning of ''VideoGame/{{Bioforge}}'' starts stuttering upon receiving damage.
* One the player character causes -- in episode 105 of ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice'', there are four computers controlling a virtual reality. One of them is a smarmy, chatty telephone who sounds like a mix of a film trailer voice-over, an infomercial narrator and a pre-recorded telephone tree. To get through a certain puzzle, you have to place a bug on him. After that, he sounds like someone lodged an harmonica in his throat.
-->Ev-v-v'ryone LOVES my vo-o-oice! It-is ''SOO''THING and--CALM, and OH! So verrry PLEAZ-ANT!
* Both {{Gorf}} ("Long live Gorf") and WizardofWor ("Fight me, the Wizard of Wor") use the exact same monotone voice".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', a mysterious machine revealed to be [[spoiler:the muse Otilia]] has a very atmospheric and creepy stutter.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* During his LetsPlay of ''{{Phantasmagoria}} 2'', when [[spoiler:the creature that has been hunting and tormenting Chris dies]], [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Noah Antwiler]] references the trope his singing of LinkinPark slurring and deepening:
-->'''Spoony:''' Emo powers...fading! [[LinkinPark Crawlliing inn myy skiiiiiiiin...]]
* Happened quite often to Mecha Frieza from ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'', often accompanied with sparking from his head.
--> '''Frieza:''' Not five minutes on this wayward rock and we already have a volunteer-teer-teer-teer-*BZZT*-dead man.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Homer set up a dummy Homer at work while he was off doing something else, one part of which was a cassette tape of himself singing "She Works Hard for the Money". The dummy got promoted because it had a good attitude, and got moved to a corner office. Then the tape slowed down, and then sped up as it said "turn tape over", and then caught fire. (Administrivia/NeedsABetterDescription; here's a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXlYtdhr0RA bad YouTube video of the event.)]]
** When their electronic housekeeper goes insane, it changes from smooth talking (voiced by Pierce Brosnan!) to slurred insults. The Simpsons were dismantling it. The voice changed when they took out the chip meant to give it the suave English voice.
** And then there was the robotic Richard Simmons (in a DeletedScene). After scaring off Homer and accosting Smithers, Mr. Burns and Bart, Smithers shoots it in the face with a shotgun. Its face reforms like the Terminator. It then goes critical while singing and dancing, ultimately exploding.
* The SAL-3000 in ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'' is an obvious parody of [[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey the HAL-9000]], with the twist that he's actually malfunctioning pretty badly; toward the end, his voice starts stuttering as well.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|1987}}'', an evil artificial intelligence that is literally power-hungry seems to be unstoppable...until abruptly, he cries out:
-->'''AI:''' Warning! Warning! Insufficient powerrr to commmplete missssionnnnn...
** As it turns out, April pulled his plug.
* This also happened in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Jabberjaw}}'' after the Neptunes sabotaged a computer to keep the bad guys from finding a treasure.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Try using a Speak n' Spell when the batteries are low. Quite disturbing.
* TeddyRuxpin was renowned for this. For those who don't remember, Teddy Ruxpin was a Teddy Bear with a tape player inside. You'd put in the tape and mouth and eyes would move and seem like it was telling the story...until the batteries ran low. Then the demonic voice of [[EvilSoundsDeep EVIL Teddy would issue out.]] [=Stuart McLean=] had one of his characters discuss it in a ''Radio/TheVinylCafe'' story.
* This [[MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Pinkie Pie]] storyteller [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IDaM1UXCWM goes into full-on Demonic Possession mode]] when the batteries start to die.
* Just about any older toy will do this if the battery is running low. Some motorized toys will do this even if the battery is not low but the motor is made to draw more power than it should (say, a talking toy car made to go up a steep slope).
* Games and any other computer applications with audio have been known to skip like a broken record when they freeze up or are waiting for some other CPU-hogging process to finish. This may be out of convenience to the user, similar to looping animations that play while the computer is processing data (if the sound simply paused, the user might think the speakers had come unplugged or something), though in some cases it's simply a side effect of how the hardware works (the sound hardware has a circular buffer containing the next X milliseconds worth of audio to play, so it just repeats that data until the software fills in new data).
* [=LeapFrog=]'s [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly_Pen Fly Pentop Computer]] {{Parodie|dTrope}}s this trope. When the battery gets to 10%, the pen will intentionally say "Low battery. It's time to change or charge you batt[-er-] [[subscript:ry]]..." in this way.
* "[[http://pastebin.com/TWQa7WXD Cornelia]]", a spambot that invaded ''4Chan'' in late 2008 and mimicked sentience by copying posts from other users, mix and matching the dialogue, and posting the results in relevant threads via a syntax-based search, suffered from this. It had odd typos while otherwise being ''eerily'' on-topic.
--> '''Cornelia:''' i lovey ou Anonym ous.
--> '''Anonymous User:''' If you can read this, you are the resistance.
[[/folder]]
----