aka: Robo Love
"So, are you two an item? I mean, I know you're both items, but..."Robots and Artificial Intelligences are supposed to be these cold and calculating beings bound by carefully constructed programming 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 Romance 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 each other, one of the involved malfunctioning at the other's presence, or one side's romantic advances being thoroughly ignored by lack of interest, emotions, or any trace of sentience whatsoever. Compare Ridiculously Human Robots, Robo Family, Robosexual (an organic being feels attraction to a mechanical one), Robo Ship (a Shipping pairing involves one or more bots).
— Philip J. Fry, Futurama
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Anime & Manga
- The 1980s series of Astro Boy had an episode called "Robio and Robiette", which was a retelling of Romeo and Juliet featuring robots.
- Zima and Dita in Chobits.
- Battle of the Planets has 7-Zark-7's robot girlfriend Susan, whose voice we hear over the computer, but whom we never get to see.
- One episode of Space Dandy is about QT having a romantic relationship with a sentient female coffee maker machine, though ultimately she chooses another robot over QT.
- In Madman, two robots, Astro Man and Mechania, become lovers. Extra points go to the fact that they were made by other robots and were programmed to have emotions, resulting in, for all intents and purposes, sentient organic beings.
Films — Animation
- WALL•E: The focus of the entire plot is the romance between the title WALL•E and EVE. In their case, their concept of love may have come from the Hello, Dolly! clip WALL•E showed to EVE.
- 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.
Films — 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.
- In The Matrix Revolutions, Neo comes across a pair of Programs named Rama Kandra and Kamala in Limbo. Despite their artificial nature, they state they love each other and have created a daughter Program they call Sati to raise. Neo is a bit surprised at seeing emotional expressions from an A.I., but Rama Kandra says that "love" is just a concept, not something distinctly human.
- TRON: Tron and Yori are one of the earliest film examples, depicted as a parallel to their Users who are also a romantic couple. Unfortunately, come TRON: Legacy their Users are Happily Married, but there is no word as to what became of Yori and if what happened to Tron is any indication, her survival odds appear dim.
- The little floating robots in Batteries Not Included can not only fall in love with each other, they can even procreate.
- 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, a Projected Woman, 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.
- In Fritz Leiber's Silver Eggheads, sentient robots can have sex with one another (it includes connecting wires), and have their own complex sexual culture, complete with romance novels and fanservice.
- 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.
- In Björk's music video for "All is Full of Love" from Homogenic, two robots (allegedly both of them were modeled on Bjork) kiss and embrace each other.
- "Don't Unplug Me" by ALL CAPS, features a Robo Romance as its subject matter.
"I remember our software was compatibleI think I felt my circuit board igniteYou held my hand in your metallic gripWe may be machines, but I'm in love tonight"
- In Poker Night 2, Claptrap of Borderlands fame has a crush on Portal's GLaDOS. The crush is extremely one-sided, with every single one of Clap's advances being answered with even more apathy than usual from her. However, she does say his diesel fuel-scented cologne drives her insane — Lizzie Borden insane.
Claptrap: I might as well say it now. I've always loved you, baby.
GLaDOS: Were I outfitted with a dry-heave subroutine, I'd activate it now.
- Implied in Chrono Trigger at the Geno Dome with Robo and Atropos. One of the endings features them sitting side by side watching the Epoch fly by.
- 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 a later Flintstones series 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.
- Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!: SPRX-77 and Nova are two robotic monkeys with an ongoing Belligerent Sexual Tension.
- This is not uncommon in the Transformers francise in general.