A young boy is found wandering without any memory of who he is. A family takes him in and begin to look for clues to help him find his way home. In the meantime, they notice that the boy seems to have certain special abilities, not usually found in kids his age, or even fully-grown adults.
D.A.R.Y.L provides examples of:
- Adorably Precocious Child: Daryl demonstrates some (but not all) of the characteristics of the trope.
- Armies Are Evil: The military is the main antagonist of the show, wanting to destroy Daryl and build an adult Super Soldier version without the human emotions that Daryl demonstrates like friendship and fear.
- Artificial Human: Daryl has an artificially grown organic body almost identical to a human body. He eats, sleeps and even grows. What makes him robotic is his computer brain. One could say that he is a Cyborg in that he mixes organic and robotic, but unlike most cyborgs the robotic part is not an addition to an already existing human.
- Artificial Intelligence
- Badass Driver: Daryl learns how to become one by watching a TV show about a stunt drivers, and demonstrates these skills during a Chase Scene on the interstate.
- Baseball Episode: Daryl's foster parent is a baseball coach, so when Daryl demonstrates that he is an Instant Expert with batting, Daryl is put on the team for the Big Game against the Opposing Sports Team that has always beaten them in the past. Daryl's batting skills givens his team an early lead, but when he quits, it come Down to the Last Pitch and Turtle makes the winning hit.
- Car Skiing: Daryl does this when driving through heavy traffic.
- Chekhov's Skill: See Badass Driver.
- Cool Plane: The SR-71. Which in Real Life could not be started on the ground without a large and complex "starter cart" to spin the engines to speed and took off with very little fuel due to leaky fuselage tanks at normal temperature, being filled up with fuel in flight.
- Cranial Processing Unit: It is his robotic brain which makes Daryl a robot, and it is located in his skull where a normal brain would be.
- Creepy Child: Not quite creepy in a scary or uncomfortable way, but Daryl's foster mother seems to be upset that he is too perfect and doesn't really seem to need a mother's care.
- Emergent Human: Either that or Personality Chip. Daryl develops the ability to feel emotions, express subjective preferences, make friendships, empathize with other people, enjoys things like ice cream and baseball, etc.
- Everytown, America: The place where Daryl ends up living with his Muggle Foster Parents. At least some of the scenes were filmed in Orlando, Florida.
- Fun with Acronyms: Data-Analyzing Robot Youth Life-form
- Good with Numbers: Not suprisingly, considering he has a robotic computer for a brain, Daryl can do very advanced mathematics with little effort.
- Happily Adopted: The implied fate of Daryl, who manages to escape government custody a second time, convince the government he is destroyed, and returns to the Richardson family.
- Identity Amnesia: Daryl has the knowledge of his real identity and robotic nature blocked at the beginning of the film, making him think he is just a normal boy with amnesia.
- Initialism Title
- Instant Expert: Daryl with just about everything he does.
- Muggle Best Friend: Turtle to Daryl.
- Muggle Foster Parents: Daryl was originally raised and created in a lab, but when he is found beside a road with no memory of who he is, he is mistaken for a normal child and put in foster care with Joyce and Andy Richardson.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Turtle, apparently, unless the writers really intended that to be his name.
- Ridiculously Human Robots: Daryl, both in appearance and personality.
- Robot Kid: Daryl
- Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: Not exactly. It is more of a case of having lots of Awesome Training but not the one particular set of Awesome Training needed at the moment. When the scientist that created him is shot and dying, he expresses regret that he was never given medical programming that would have allowed him to save the scientist's life. Tear Jerker time.
- Science Is Bad: Subverted, if not inverted. The scientists that created him are the ones arguing that Daryl has become more than an experiment, and that shutting him down would be equivalent to murder.
- Super Intelligence: Daryl presents the appearance of having Super Intelligence, although it turns out to be more of a case of Super Artificial Intelligence.
- Super Reflexes
- Super Soldier: The Youth Lifeform project was a prototype for a military adult Super Soldier project.
- Technopath: Daryl has the ability to easily take over any computer system and make it do whatever he wants, even if it is beyond the original design of the system. For example, he uses an ATM machine to increase the balance of his foster father dramatically.
- Television Geography
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The military has no problems with thinking of Daryl as a simple machine, easily disposed of without any moral qualms, however the scientists that created him come to view him as having real personhood and equal value to a human.