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[[quoteright:245:[[Disney/{{Pinocchio}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/become_a_real_boy_pinocchio.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:245:"Prove yourself brave, truthful, and unselfish, and someday, you will be a real boy."]]

->''"Well, I just think that the concept of chi might be a little hard for her to grasp. She's not the descendant of a long line of mystical warriors, she's the descendant of a toaster oven."''
-->-- '''Anya''', ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', "Bargaining, Part One"

So, you've got your ArtificialHuman grown in the tank, or just put together your RobotGirl with an assembly kit. Unfortunately, your creation is not a {{ridiculously human robot|s}}, and thus, predictably, they have [[TheStoic all the emotional range of a tuning fork]]. RoboSpeak is a common manifestation of such emotional paralysis.

Not to worry, though! While in reality, socialization and emotional stability are the product of years and years of interaction with other people, in the world of fiction, all a robot or ArtificialHuman needs to become a functioning, well-balanced, emotionally resonant member of society is the proper [[EpiphanyTherapy life-altering event.]]

Much as any protagonist generally works out any personal issues and neuroses they may have over the course of an otherwise unrelated story, any emotionally-stunted individual, or creature conventionally incapable of emotion, will discover what it means to be human in their journey alongside the other heroes. That this may defy their programming, their [[OurSoulsAreDifferent lack of a soul]], or other such assumed limits is entirely besides the point -- it appears robots and clones are socialized like real people, only ''much'' faster.

Often, such a journey involves extreme violence and the simplistic black-and-white morality of "them vs. us". The fact that this bears no resemblance whatsoever to daily life almost never comes up. (One can only imagine the difficulties such characters will encounter when they are placed within a situation where you ''can't'' solve any problem with the proper application of violence.)

One also has to wonder if any such individuals later regret their humanization. HumanityEnsues, of course.

This is a common {{anime}} plot, and also appears in a number of Western {{movies}}.

Compare EmergentHuman (which describes a newly turned human getting used to the human condition) and PinocchioSyndrome (which solely describes the desire to become human). See also JustAMachine. A {{Living Toy|s}} born out of LoveImbuesLife may seek this.

Contrast MechanicalLifeforms, who start out with the same emotional range as their organic counterparts. Contrast TransNature, for when the creature trying to become human wasn't an artificial human.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* An essential part of Rei Ayanami's character in ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'', along with most of her [[ReiAyanamiExpy expys]].
* In the anime Cluster Edge, artificial soldiers are created by the government to fight wars. The soldiers have no memories and therefore no emotions due to being raised in test tubes. A right's activist gives memories to one of the main soldiers, Chrome, and although Chrome is self aware and very human, he still doesn't believe himself so.
* Despite ''Manga/AstroBoy'' being frequently compared with Pinocchio, he himself rarely expresses a desire to become a real boy (which is somewhat ironic, considering he was originally a ReplacementGoldfish for a real boy). In fact, on the few occasions he does get upgrades to become more human-like, he ends up regretting it and comes to the conclusion that being the best robot he can be is more important than being more like a human. This trope is played somewhat straight in the story of ''Zolomon's Jewel'' in the manga, which features L-44, a robot who signs up for a dangerous mission that ends up costing him his life because he wants to earn enough money to pay for a {{Nanomachine}} treatment that will supposedly turn him into a human. Also subverted in that the villain of the piece is trying to steal the titular jewel so he can pay for an operation to become a cyborg.
* Subverted in ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' in regards to Android 18. When Krillin wishes to Shen Long for her to become fully human, he is unable to, so Krillin wishes for the bomb in her body to be removed instead. Technically, 18 (and 17, her twin brother) is a cyborg, so her human parts are intact ([[BabiesEverAfter hence, Marron]]), whereas Androids such as 16, 19, and number 8 from the original ''Manga/DragonBall'', are purely robotic.
* In the ''[[LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya]]'', as part of [[spoiler:the world becoming "normal"]], Yuki goes from TheStoic RobotGirl to [[spoiler:a regular ShrinkingViolet human girl]]. This was, in fact, a result of Yuki's [[TinMan spontaneous development of emotions]], since she [[spoiler:was responsible for altering reality in the first place.]]
** [[spoiler: She did it exactly ''because'' she had no emotions from the start, which made her confused, angered and angsty, that the reaction was a rampage of highest degree. At least that is what Kyon tells us.]]
* Subverted in the anime ''Anime/ErgoProxy'', where the robots who become self-aware ''do'' typically come to regret it; in fact, the most common reaction to Becoming A Real Boy is a violent psychotic breakdown from crash-course existential angst and the inability to reconcile their new sapience with a lack of life experience.
* Subverted in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00''. As an [[ArtificialHuman Innovator]], Tieria Erde was created to be a tool in Aeolia Schenberg's grand plan for humanity. Over the course of the series he falls in love, gains a surrogate family, and learns to follow his own will instead of blindly obeying his creator. Yet eventually he[[spoiler: stops living in denial about his true nature, and sacrifices his biological body in order to upload his consciousness into the supercomputer VEDA. In the end, Tieria finds fulfillment as a thinking, feeling, fully sentient AI, rather than as a human.]]
* Jiro in the anime ''Series/{{Kikaider}}'' is motivated by an incomplete conscience circuit to try and achieve what his creator envisioned as what is required to be "human." However, the ending of the story twists what the audience might expect as the final goal of Jiro, and states that Jiro succeeds in becoming "a real boy" when he becomes capable of [[spoiler:killing the opposing MadScientist who tried to turn him into a heartless killing machine. In other words, humans must be capable of both good AND evil, and they must possess free will.]]
* Aiko from ''Anime/MagicalPokaan'' longs for a human body. She almost gets it at one point.
* Chachamaru from ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' goes through this rather quickly, as she already has the emotions programmed in; she just doesn't know what they are called. This is because she's approximately two years old and her "parents" are a MadScientist and a [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampire]], not the most ideal choice for social role models. She's amazingly well-adjusted regardless.\\\
She later goes through it again, briefly angsting over whether or not she has a soul. Turns out [[spoiler:she does indeed have a soul, as evidenced by the fact that her Pactio with Negi worked. She ''did'' have to, ahem, work a little harder for it than normal though]].
* Seira in the Pure arc of ''Manga/MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'', more so in the manga, has to journey along with Lucia (at least in spirit) and learn the different aspects of love before she can be "born". This is asked of Lucia ''before'' Seira's heart is shattered and absorbed, and even as she [[GottaCatchThemAll gets them back on a journey]], Seira continues to observe and gain the feelings she needs.
* ''Manga/GhostInTheShell'' is all about the nature of the "human self" and what remains of it when the original body and brain gets increasingly replaced by cybernetic machines and computer programs. In the [[AWorldHalfFull slighty dystopian future]] most characters struggle with maintaining their "humanity" in a society based on apathy, indifference, and decadence. In ''[[Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex Stand Alone Complex]]'' they are contrasted with the Tachikoma, which are completely mechanical beings with purely digital [=AIs=] that never had a soul to begin with, and completely subvert this trope. They are fully aware that they are machines and incapable of having a "ghost", which makes the nature of the "human self" all the much more fascinating and interesting to them. They are almost constantly debating amongst each other about the unique nature of humans, which can not be defined scientifically and therefore lies completely outside their own experience. But at the same time their personalities are defined by the amazement and curiosity about the world, their child-like joy of life, compassion and self-sacrifice [[HumansAreBastards that people have mostly lost, making them much more human than the actual humans]], but are completely oblivious about it.
** There's also Kim in ''Innocence'', who regards machines as perfect and wants to eventually become like one. It's [[ViewersAreGeniuses very]] [[MindScrew complicated]].
* Saati of ''Manga/AILoveYou'' runs off a feedback function that works with her interface (environment), so she continuously learns more. And she wants to be like a real girl for [[LoveInterest Hitoshi]]. [[spoiler: In the last volume, Hitoshi, upon seeing her ''bleed'' from an injury, explains that she basically has become human, because she ''wanted'' to be one. However, Saati decided to return to being an A.I. to rescue her siblings.]]
* Arguably the entire point of ''Anime/KeyTheMetalIdol''. However, [[spoiler: the trope is subverted and deconstructed, like many others in the series, when it is revealed that Key is a human the entire time.]]
* In ''LightNovel/ThePetGirlOfSakurasou'', Ryuunosuke's long-term goal for his ArtificialIntelligence "maid" is to turn her into a RidiculouslyHumanRobot.
* A key part of the plot of ''Manga/{{xxxHOLiC}}'' is this for [[spoiler: Watanuki]]. An unusual twist in that he ''is'' technically real... he's just a hollow placeholder generated by the world to fill in for his RetGone'd brother, and so Yuko tries to get him to develop enough emotional ties with the world that, when said brother returns, [[spoiler: Watanuki]] won't cease to have existed in the first place, with the said ties acting as anchors to make his ''temporary'' reality into ''permanent'' reality.
* Over the course of the ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'' books, the Arbelest and later Leviathan's Artificial Intelligence, Al, slowly starts to acquire consciousness as a byproduct of regularly reading the direct mental states of its pilot, Sousuke. Starting with jokes, it then progresses to having irrational preferences and complex emotional experiences such as guilt before finally acquiring the ability to [[spoiler:activate the [[PsychoactivePowers Lambda driver]] without Sousuke's involvement - just in time to save itself and Sousuke from an impending nuclear impact]].
* ''Manga/ArpeggioOfBlueSteel'' features battleships with RobotGirl avatars (called [[AnthropomorphicPersonification Mental Models]]). Some of them are initially seen as humanlike from the start (such as Takao) while other mental models start off emotionless and are shown adapting to human behaviour over time. A specific character who exhibits this is [[spoiler:Haruna who starts off quite [[TheStoic cold]] and becomes much more capable of emotions and sympathy after spending time with [[ChildProdigy Makie]] ]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The Creator/MarvelComics character, ComicBook/TheVision, has fluctuated in his emotional state many times over the years. Usually a writer will get him to nearly Become A Real Boy and a later one will reverse. Usually this is done by destroying the android's body and rebuilding him.
* In ''Comicbook/{{Fables}}'', the Disney/{{Pinocchio}} story is a BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor. He became a real boy. And he has remained a real ''boy'' for the hundreds of years since then. Now he wishes he was a real ''adult''.
* Amazo, the ComicBook/RedTornado and the android ComicBook/{{Hourman}} have at various times tried to become more 'human'.
* One [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] Franchise/{{Superman}} story had SufficientlyAdvanced aliens transform one of Superman's robots into a superpowered flesh-and-blood human being with free will, but the robot ended up [[HeroicSacrifice Heroically Sacrificing]] himself to save the day before the story's end.
* The ComicBook/{{New 52}} ''Comicbook/{{Superboy}}'''s character development seems to be headed in this direction. In fact, he uses these exact words in issue #6.
* Played with by Comicbook/{{X 23}}, the OppositeSexClone of Comicbook/{{Wolverine}}. Whether or not she's viewed as a real person depends largely on who gets asked. To her creator, Sarah Kinney, there is no doubt in her mind that Laura is a real person (especially after she disobeyed a direct order to kill a child, proving the Facility which created and trained her hadn't fully destroyed her humanity). Her friends and teammates take the similar position. By contrast, characters such as Kimura treat her as if she were something less than human, and it's common for anyone seeking to insult or hurt her to make derogatory remarks about her origins. Laura herself has been on both sides, and struggled with developing a sense of self-worth and accepting that she is a human being with feelings and desires of her own. All of this is driven home even further by the copy of ''Pinocchio'' which pops up throughout ''Innocence Lost'' and ''Target: X''.
** Used to symbolic effect in ''Comicbook/AllNewWolverine'' issue 17: Pinocchio's transformation from puppet to real boy is directly juxtaposed with Laura finally breaking free of her conditioning to the trigger scent, literally "cutting her strings" and making her a puppet no more.
* At the end of ''Franchise/{{Tron}}: [[VideoGame/TronTwoPointOh Ghost in the Machine]]'', [[spoiler: The unified Jet.exe]] gets offered a chance to be uploaded into the User world, [[spoiler: but when he learns it would mean the destruction of the server he lives on, [[DefiedTrope Jet.exe throws away the chance and chooses to live out his runtime as an ordinary Program]] without hesitation or regret.]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/CareBearsMovieIIANewGeneration,'' the villain, Dark Heart, is [[OurDemonsAreDifferent some sort of devilish being]] who spends most of the movie [[AFormYouAreComfortableWith looking like a kid]]. When he eventually [[LoveRedeems learns to care]] about his [[VillainousFriendship minion Christy]], [[ColorCodedForYourConvenience his eyes]] change from [[RedEyesTakeWarning red]] to [[InnocentBlueEyes blue]], which he realizes means he's turned into an actual child.
* Disney's FilmOfTheBook ''Disney/{{Pinocchio}}''.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek 2}}'' where Pinocchio gets his wish but...well, EasyComeEasyGo.
* Played straight at the end of ''WesternAnimation/DuckTalesTheMovieTreasureOfTheLostLamp'', when the BenevolentGenie of the lamp gets his own wish granted.
* Merlin in ''Disney/TheSwordInTheStone'' threatens to turn Archimedes into a human if he doesn't obey. Archimedes claims he wouldn't dare.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Creator/StevenSpielberg's ''Film/AIArtificialIntelligence''
* ''Film/ShortCircuit'': Johnny Five.
* The various ''{{Franchise/Terminator}}'' protagonists in ''[[Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay Terminator 2]]'' and ''[[Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines 3]].''
* Used and eventually subverted in the ''Film/ChildsPlay'' series. The premise of the first film is a serial killer who uses voodoo to transport his soul into a children's doll. For most of the series, he's trying to find another body to jump into. However, in the fifth film, he discards the idea. He decides that as "Chucky" he's become an icon and that he never needs to worry about getting sick or old.
** One of the reasons he wants to BodySurf to begin with is that the more time he spends in the body of the doll, the more human he becomes, so he's effectively undergoing this trope against his will. In the first film he's thrilled with his new body, until he gets shot and realizes that he can still be hurt and even bleed. And that's when he finds out he's turning human.
* In the movie adaptation of "Adventures of Electronic", the titular robot wants this. In the book he just wanted to overcome the limits of his programming.
* The two robot protagonists in ''DaftPunksElectroma'' have this as their main goal. [[spoiler:Their attempt to become human backfires, causing them to get exiled from their town. While hiking in the desert, [[DownerEnding they both commit suicide.]]]]

* Arguably, this trope can be applied to the original Hans Christian Andersen-authored "Literature/TheLittleMermaid". Though not an artificial life form, she is excessively different from us; Andersen's [[OurMermaidsAreDifferent mermaid]] would live for five hundred years and then dissolve into sea foam, having no afterlife of any kind. Her ongoing wish, even prior to her falling in love with the prince, is to become a human and acquire an [[OurSoulsAreDifferent immortal soul]].
* The main character in Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Literature/BicentennialMan'' is a big exception -- the process of humanization takes decades. It is also notable for how far the eponymous character is willing to go to become human -- by the end of the story, the only significant differences between him and humans is that he is immortal and (mostly because of that) not legally recognized as a human (a ''person'', certainly, but not a human) He therefore takes the step of making himself mortal, which would seem to violate the Third Law except he argues that in his perception giving up the dream of being human would be a greater death. [[spoiler: And so, shortly before his death, Andrew is officially recognized as a human by the World Congress.]]
* OlderThanRadio: This originates in Carlo Collodi's ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfPinocchio''. In [[http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Adventures_of_Pinocchio/Chapter_25 Chapter 25]] Pinocchio wants to grow up, but the Fairy tells him he can't grow without first becoming a real boy.
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein's titular ''Literature/StrangerInAStrangeLand'' suffered ParentalAbandonment on Mars as the infant survivor of the first human exploratory mission. Having been RaisedByNatives (who are StarfishAliens), he has to learn everything from scratch to relate to humans when the next mission comes along, after he's already a grown man.
** Minerva, the AI who runs Secundus, in ''Literature/TimeEnoughForLove'', desperately wants to gain a human form. Her motivation is that she's fallen in love with Ira and wants to be a real woman to be with him.
* Data actually becomes a real boy in one of the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' tie-in novels, Jean Lorrah's ''Metamorphosis'', in which mysterious aliens turn him into a living breathing being; he feels some emotions, mourns Tasha, falls in love, and gains weight from eating too many chocolate sundaes before a ResetButton makes it all go away.
* Subverted in the horror novel ''Literature/TheDollmaker'' as the dolls have no desire to become human. They want to understand what it means to be whatever it is they are.
* Subverted in ''Literature/{{Twig}}'', where the protagonist, Sylvester, is the project of regular chemical injections which alter his mind. At one point, he runs away from his creator, only to return just in time for his next injection, horrified at the idea of being a "real boy."
* In the seminal SciFi novel "R.U.R." by Karel Chapek the (biological) robots rebel against humanity and exterminate them until there is only one left. When he begs them to tell them why they killed all the people, he is told they wanted to be just like us, and that is what people do.
* Averted in a [[{{Mythopoeia}} fictional myth]] from ''Literature/TheCrocodileGod'': In the precolonial Philippines, the prince of the sambar deer wanted to marry a young human datu (Filipino chief), so he [[ImAHumanitarian killed and ate a defenseless little boy]]--which is emphatically NOT the right way to turn human. The gods are angered, but give him three chances to repent and tell the truth so he can BecomeARealBoy. First chance: He arrives to find the datu and her whole village in deep mourning, then finds out that the little boy he murdered was [[OhCrap her NEPHEW.]] Second chance: He finds out he can't eat meat--as in, he gets nauseous at the SMELL of cooking meat, so eating it is right out--and realizes that while his body is human, [[OurSoulsAreDifferent his soul is still a deer's]] because the gods refuse to change it. The sambar-prince [[IgnoredEpiphany sweeps both events under the rug,]] and after he marries the datu, he asks for tattoos. They start out normal, but while they heal, the gods change the designs [[RedRightHand to scenes of him killing and eating the datu's nephew.]] He tries to hide it with heavy clothes, but [[RealityEnsues tropical summer arrives and he can't bear the heat,]] so he takes off his shirt. When his new wife spots them and finds out the AwfulTruth, [[BerserkButton she pushes him off into a reef to drown.]] When the rest of the sambar deer find out what their leader did, [[DrivenToSuicide half of them try to drown themselves]] but are [[JustSoStory turned into the first stonefish]] by the sea-god Haik. The other half [[JustSoStory shrinks into the small deer of current-day Philippines.]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'': In season 4, this becomes Aida's goal [[spoiler: after she reads the [[TomeOfEldritchLore Darkhold]] and becomes self-aware.]] Deconstructed though. [[spoiler: Since she's never felt human emotions before, having them all be experienced at once is more than she knows how to process, and she doesn't respond to things like [[IfIcantHaveYou Fitz rejecting her]] [[{{Yandere}} romantic advances well at all]]. She gets compared to a newborn who doesn't know how to handle her feelings or accept not getting what she wants, but in this case she has enough power to kill hundreds of people because of it, having given her human body ''dozens'' of Inhuman powers.]]
* Kyle in ''Series/KyleXY'' manages it over the course of months. He didn't know ''anything'' at the start, even how to speak, but because of his advanced mind he picks it up relatively fast.
* Kai from ''Series/{{Lexx}}'' died and spent thousands of years as a re-animated corpse. In a subversion, he has little care for the idea of returning to life, and Xev is the one who entertains fantasies of Kai becoming alive, going so far as clinging to obvious stretches ("Kai did something unexpected! That's a sign of life!") until she learns better and accepts it. Subverted in the last season when Kai wins a DealWithTheDevil to be brought back to life, but the devil goes back on the bargain and leaves him dead [[spoiler: only to make him alive later, mere minutes before an event that would not destroy undead Kai, but that no living human could possibly survive]]. Double-subverted in that Kai [[spoiler: doesn't have a death-wish, per se, but welcomes true death after spending six thousand years only halfway there]].
* Data from ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' is an exception -- his socialization takes place over the course of years and he clearly has great difficulty with it at times, yet eventually becomes an essentially human personality. In fairness, he was built to be that way.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'':
** Subverted with Seven of Nine, who was born human, but assimilated by the Borg as a young girl. Many years later, she is forcibly separated from the Borg Collective by the crew of ''Voyager'' and most of her cybertech implants removed against her will. She is told she is now safe and free and can be with her people again...but (at least initially) she still thinks of the Borg as "her people". Seven does eventually accept her new existence and tries to simulate some human interpersonal emotions, but never feels entirely comfortable as a human, as she considers her nanite-augmented brain and body superior to those of humans and is currently exasperated with the emotionalism and "silliness" of other crew members. Seven is one of the few characters who dare to openly criticize Janeway's decisions.
** This trope is [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by the Doctor in one episode. He mentions that he once considered trying to become like a human, but realized early on that being a hologram is far better.
* Discussed in a typically BlackComedy way in a host segment to the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' episode "Film/IAccuseMyParents," when Tom wants to become a real live boy, so Crow paints him "nude" color.
-->'''Tom:''' Snips and snails and puppy dog tails! That's what Tommy's made of!\\
'''Joel:''' Yeah, really.\\
'''Crow:''' Um, no. Paint, actually.\\
'''Joel:''' But, Tom, why do you want to be a real-live boy? There are billions of real-live boys on Earth. There's only one Tom Servo.\\
'''Tom:''' I want to run, and jump, and skin my knees!\\
'''Crow:''' You don't have any legs.\\
'''Tom:''' I want to catch frogs down at the old swimming hole.\\
'''Crow:''' Your arms don't work.\\
'''Tom:''' I want to experience a world of emotions and feelings.\\
'''Crow:''' You'll get beat-up because you're a freak.
* ''Series/{{Space 1999}}'' had an episode where humanoid robots wanted to learn emotions [[spoiler:in order to be able to use violence and kill off their creators]]. One of them finally did in the end [[spoiler:, and in doing so destroyed them all.]]
* Parodied humorously in ''Series/{{Angel}}'', where the Blue Fairy comes and turns Spike into a 'real boy' in Angel's coma-dream in "Soul Purpose".
* In ''Series/TheXFiles'' episode "The Unnatural", Josh Exley is a gray alien shapeshifter who has disguised himself as an African-American minor league baseball player in the 1940s. When his secret is discovered, he explains that his race doesn't understand fun and don't have a word for laughter, and he needed to pretend to be human for that. [[spoiler: When he is ultimately killed by the relentless alien bounty hunter, he inexplicably bleeds red human blood. He stares at it in surprise for a moment, [[GoOutWithASmile then smiles, laughs, and dies]].]]
* Some of the Cylons on ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'' have this as a motivation, particularly ones who have had extensive contact with the humans and have begun integrating into human society. They were designed to be [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots as close to human as possible,]] although at least one of them [[BeingHumanSucks isn't too happy about it.]]

* This is essentially the plot of the Music/{{Vocaloid}} song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKv7cw_Z1P4 Kokoro]] (from [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGD0syOFKgk either]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvmL4Yx7eyk perspective.]])
* The Jon from Music/SteamPoweredGiraffe wishes to become a real boy.
* The plot of Music/DoctorSteel's "Lullabye Bye".
* The Israeli classic children television programmes [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075565/ Rega‘ with Dodley]] and [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083427/ At Fistuk’s House]] featured a puppet that turned into a boy. ([[WhatTheHellCastingAgency Who was played by]] [[CrosscastRole an adult woman]]).
* Music/{{NSYNC}}'s music video for "It's Gonna Be Me" features them as toy marionettes fighting other toys for the attention of a pretty girl. When she purchases them at the end of the video, the marionettes transform into the band themselves after being scanned at the register.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/PrometheanTheCreated'' presents this as the ultimate goal of most [[{{Golem}} Prometheans]]. The good news is that they can succeed in transforming themselves into humans, granting them souls and freeing them from the combination HatePlague and WalkingWasteland effects of Disquiet. The bad news is that this leaves them as a [[DePower De-Powered]] mortal in a CrapsackWorld, often [[LaserGuidedAmnesia losing some or all memories]] of their previous existence. And, of course, other Prometheans will ''really'' want to know how they managed it.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Tio in ''VideoGame/GrandiaII'' is an automaton with essentially no free will and no emotions. When she is told that she is free to go wherever she pleases, she doesn't understand the concept and tags along with the group. Of course, this all changes when [[spoiler:Mareg dies]]. Conveniently, this also gives her a new special move in combat.
* Aigis in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'', which is the crux of the story for The Answer in ''FES''. After being repaired of her injuries from her battle with [[spoiler:Ryoji]], Aigis finds her own humanity toward the end of 3, but in The Answer[[spoiler: it is revealed that Aigis slowly rekindles her urges and will of losing the side of humanity and the penalties a living being must face upon the protagonist' death. Her will and wishes to remove her side of humanity manifests as Metis, whom is known as her "sister" who doesn't want to be left alone. At the end, the sisters reconcile and merge into one being, returning all of Aigis' humanity.]]
** It's even taken far enough that [[spoiler: Aigis' brain is fried at the end of The Answer, and by all right she should be a robo-vegetable, but somehow comes out of it just fine.]] As an added bonus, because Aigis becomes a Persona main character, she has to have the power to equip all of the Persona's the player's managed to acquire thus far... which means the plot sets ''her'' Persona, which evolved to reflect her character growth, aside so she can fill her lost love's shoes, encapsulating all the worst issues with this trope through GameplayAndStoryIntegration: she became human by falling in love with the protagonist, and so once he's gone, she loses it altogether, and has to mimic him until she finds something else to rebuild her humanity on.
* Teddie in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}''. He's a cartoon character living in the TV world, but wants to join the rest of the cast in the real world as a human. [[spoiler:He doesn't go through the typical sudden-onset humanity that is typical of the trope, though, until he gets his own Persona just before the halfway point and then managing to manifest a human body.]]
* Labrys of ''VideoGame/Persona4Arena'', upon being thrown into the TV world, created a replica of Yasogami High in which she could try to live out this trope, forgetting that she wasn't human to begin with. The plot of Story Mode is centered on rescuing her before her [[EnemyWithout Shadow]] kills her for it.
* Morgana in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 5}}'' is a cat, cartoonish in the Metaverse but realistic in the real world. He's convinced that he WasOnceAMan, and aids the party with the goal of finding a way to become human. [[spoiler:Turns out he was never human to begin with, and realized that long before he actually admitted it out loud. Doesn't stop him from continuing to look for a way to gain a human form, his continued goal at the end of the game.]]
* Ahri in ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' has this as her goal in her backstory. She was a nine-tailed fox that wanted to be human, so she absorbed the soul of a dying human mage during a battle and gains human form. However, she doesn't see this as really being 'human', and wanted to go so far to be human in more than just form. As she absorbed more human souls and became more like a human, she also gained a conscience and realized [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone that what she had done was evil]].
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarIV'',
** Averted in that the androids of the party, Wren and Demi, are both hundreds of years old (Wren is actually closer to ''a thousand'' years old) and perfectly happy being androids with feelings, having presumably awakened to their emotions some time ago. Some fans speculate that Wren actually ''built'' Demi as a companion for himself, which is why she's small, cute, and more emotionally developed despite being some six hundred years younger than him.
** Played straight with Rika, an artificial humanoid; the player can watch her slowly grow up over the course of the game (including a childish phase and a know-it-all adolescent phase, before arriving at maturity). At one point, she even describes the difference between being informed of things and encountering them in the real world, but none of the things she counts among them are romantic love, and in fact her first experience with displays of human emotion is [[spoiler: mourning the death of Alys.]]
* Done in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration 2''. New main character Lamia Loveless is a cyborg spy for a villain group. She was taught how to socialize and everything, but aside from that, she is supposed to, like all 'W Numbers', lack a personality due to intentional programming. Unfortunately for the bad guys, all the W Numbers seen obtain a personality of their own, even if it only causes them to [[HeroicSacrifice sacrifice themselves]] to save their masters...
* KOS-MOS from ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'' skirts with this trope on and off, but eventually she becomes humanized, albeit through a somewhat supernatural mechanism.
* The motive of most members of Organization XIII in ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' is to get their hearts back. The leader, though., wants to become a "[[AGodAmI great being.]]" They are a bit unusual in that they were once human and want to be human again, rather than being artificial and wanting to become human. [[spoiler: Ultimately, it's revealed that they could naturally regain their hearts over time and were never truly inhuman.]]
** The [[spoiler: Riku Replica]] in [[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories Chain of Memories]] definitely qualifies, even more so in the remake. Being a [[spoiler: clone of a main character who's had his memories altered into making him think he's the real deal]] when the truth comes out and he encounters the person who he's a replica of he goes as far as trying to kill them so that he can get out of their shadow and become his own person.
* Defied by Legion in ''Franchise/MassEffect'' - [[MindHive they're]] not human or even particularly human-like, and are perfectly fine with this, even expressing bewilderment that humans view individuality as a beneficial thing. [[spoiler:Until ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', in which the choice ends up being, bluntly, become full individuals rather than a consensus of interfaced programming nodules, or die horribly, although you do get to choose which happens.]]
* Spirits in ''Franchise/DragonAge'' are entities born from the thoughts of mortals that reside in the Fade, the world of dreams. Many spirits have a fascination with the physical world that spawned them, and wish to know it. Demons are that wish gone horribly wrong, thanks to being exposed to the darker facets of mortals such as desire, pride, rage, and envy. Cole, a Spirit of Compassion who took on the form of a dying mage (the original Cole), has gone further down this road than any other spirit in the franchise [[spoiler:and depending on the result of his personal quest in ''Inquisition'' can continue down it or turn back and embrace his nature as a spirit]]. According to him, spirits such as himself aren't "real". Only through contact with mortals can they become "real".
* [[spoiler:Daniella]] in ''Videogame/HauntingGround'' is a homunculus who cannot feel anything, and believes she is incomplete. [[spoiler:Daniella]] pursues Fiona because [[spoiler:she believes the Azoth within Fiona's womb can change this.]] WordOfGod later revealed that [[spoiler:Daniella is actually human. She was kidnapped as a child, experimented on, and abused by Lorenzo and Ricardo.]]
* Curie, a Ms. Nanny robot in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}'' assigned to medical research, finds her research efforts stymied by the nature of her physical being. The course of her personal quest line involves her being uploaded into a braindead donor synth body, resulting in an [[FirstTimeFeeling expansion of consciousness]].
* In ''{{VideoGame/Undertale}}'', you encounter an angry ghost inhabiting a training dummy. If you go through the game killing everyone you meet, the ghost becomes so enraged that the built up emotion causes it to fuse with the dummy and become corporeal. [[spoiler:This makes it so happy that it fulfilled its life-long dream that it will immediately spare you.]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* In an episode of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', Sarge needs to steal Andy the bomb from the Blue Team so that he can translate the orders from command Lopez has stored on his hard drive, which against all logic are in extremely poor Spanish, just like Lopez' regular speech. So what's he do? Gets Caboose to turn his back and then replaces Andy... with Lopez. Caboose turns around and joyously cries, "Andy! You've Become a real boy!" Lopez is not amused. When Sarge realizes the fundamental barriers presented by the laws of physics (i.e., the inability to interact with something that isn't there), he pulls the same stunt with Lopez and a skull. CABOOSE is not amused, and mourns Andy's "death."
** The AI fragment Sigma of Project Freelancer was fascinated by the concept of "Metastability", which was basically the stage where an AI becomes indistinguishable from a normal mind. To accomplish this, he created the Meta by brainwashing Agent Maine and having him steal the other AI fragments in order to become whole. In season 13, Locus assumes the Meta was trying to become the perfect weapon, only for Aiden Price to explain that what the Meta truly wanted was to become human.
* Referenced by Penny in ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'', in which she tells Ruby, "I'm not a real girl." after the former stops a truck with her bare hands, exposing her secret.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Practically every single robotic or otherwise artificial character in an {{RPG}} undergoes this process. The webcomic ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}'' spoofed this trope -- about to be struck by a devastating attack, the character Spybot is told by the villain that he should be feeling terror, if he had learned emotions over the course of the adventure.
* Emile from ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'', an AI invented to ask and answer questions from and to clients, who wishes to become a human capable of love.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'', ALL of the humanoid or smarter AIs were designed to do this (through neural pruning). The people who mass-produced the robots to build their colony's infrastructure, however, don't realize this. To quote one of the robots: "[[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff1500/fc01428.htm Millions of robots walking off the job to pursue their own interests? Yes. I would describe that as a problem]]."

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-085 SCP-085]], hand-drawn "Cassy", an animate and intelligent 2D drawing of a young woman. When her canvas was photographed with a camera that produced a picture showing the subject doing what they most desired at that moment, the picture showed Cassy doing the same thing she'd been doing on the canvas, but as a 3D human.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* This trope is the entire premise of ''WesternAnimation/WhateverHappenedToRobotJones''. In his own kid-friendly show (notably, one of the last to ever be fully cel animated), Robot Jones spends each episode analyzing his high school so as to fit in with his human classmates. Like many tv shows, as it went on, it deviated more and more from this [[StrictlyFormula core episodic formula]].
* Played with very dark humor in ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy''. When Pinocchio and Gepetto are stuck in the whale, Billy is also eaten. Gepetto, thrilled to have a human companion, begins to act as if Billy were his real son. Pinocchio, out of jealousy, decides that the only way to become a real boy is to eat Billy (again) and get his soul. HilarityEnsues.
** Pinnocchio's first appearance in the show, "[[DerailedFairyTale Nursery Crimes]]", sees him try to eat Billy to become a real boy. He gets a big pot to boil Billy in too. Mandy has to save Billy and punished Pinnocchio by turning him into a tiny rocking chair. They ditch him at the Gingerbread Witch's house who winds up crushing him beneath her massive rear.
* In the second episode of ''WesternAnimation/MightyOrbots'', the little girl robot Oh No gets her wish granted to be a real girl [[spoiler: by the episode's mini-boss]]. Unfortunately, Oh No is necessary for the Mighty Orbots robot to combine...
* During ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''' episode "Krusty Gets Kancelled", his rival show is hosted by a ventriloquist and his puppet Gabbo. When their show collapses, we see a newspaper subheading reading "Gabbo to have 'Real Boy' operation".
* Invoked and deconstructed on ''WesternAnimation/BigGuyAndRustyTheBoyRobot''. While a race of alien machines are ''trying'' to become organic creatures, supposedly to replace their long-dead creators, Rusty can't understand ''why'' anyone wouldn't want to be a robot.
* This is the wish of ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' character Norm, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp_T6_3Tzkw as expressed in song.]]
* BMO from ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' has often expressed this wish.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSpongeBobSquarePantsMovie'', when unfreezing Mr. Krabs, King Neptune accidentally turns him into a human boy. Turns out he accidentally set his trident to "Real Boy" instead of "Unfreeze".
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' has this as a running theme, as Hank and Dean had been a succession of clones, educated by computers programmed decades ago, and virtually cut off from the outside world. As super-science mishaps and plain stupidity killed them, they were replaced, starting over in their teenage forms. Once all their reserve clones had been killed off, their father has been marginally more concerned with keeping them alive, and they've been encountering the larger world, largely unequipped to deal with it.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce'' episode "Dummy Love", the Aqua Teens get two murderous ventriloquist dummies and Shake uses them for a stage show. Unfortunately for him, Meatwad wishes them human, which leads to Shake getting pissed, trying to kill them and going to prison for attempted murder.