The Hero of the show, saving some of the "regular" people.
"Five O'clock get a call to go blading at the skate park down by the mall" "But my mom says I got to prevent evil aliens from annihilating us all" "With the strength of a billion and seventy men I guess I really shouldn't complain" "Still I wish I could go for a walk without rusting in the rain, It's enough to fry my brain" "So welcome to my life (as a teenage robot)" "The story of my life (as a teenage robot)" "My teenage robot....LIFE!"
My Life as a Teenage Robot was an Animated Series that premiered on Nickelodeon in 2003 and had aired previously-unaired episodes on Nicktoons network from 2008 until 2009.The show, which takes place Twenty Minutes into the Future, revolved around a Robot Girl named XJ9 (or simply Jenny Wakeman) who was designed in order to protect the Earth by a female scientist, but, after meeting her next door neighbor Brad and his little brother Tucker, decides she would rather live a normal adolescent life. Jenny attempts to fit in at school, but usually fails, with hilarious results.Her antics cause friction with her "mother" Nora Wakeman. Nora's strict treatment doesn't sit well with Jenny, either. Despite this, they care about each other, and eventually accept each other as mother and daughter.Jenny must also fight various menaces in the series, most notably The Cluster, a race of alien robots bent on conquering Earth, led by the evil Queen Vexus.One of Jenny's friends, a nerd called Sheldon, has a crush on her, but she doesn't like him that way. Some sources say that the creator has said that they do get together after the series, or he at least wants them to/hopes people think they do.He adopts the identity of a superhero robot himself (the Silver Shell) by wearing a suit of Powered Armor, but must keep this a secret from Jenny and the rest.By the made for TV movie, Jenny finds out that The Cluster aren't really evil, but are being manipulated by Vexus. She helps free them, and considers staying in their world, where she fits in better, but ultimately decides to return to Earth.
Aliens Speaking English: The Cluster and several other of the spacegoing creatures Jenny meets. But inverted in an episode where feline aliens only say "Meow" ...but Jenny, Brad and Tucker understand them.
Angel Face, Demon Face: A rather extreme example in Todd, at the end of "A Robot For All Seasons". When he learns the true meaning of Christmas, his dour, dark face cracks and falls away revealing a smiling, rosy cheeked face.
Anime Hair: A lot of people, actually, in this rare western example.
Audible Gleam: After Jenny buffs her nails with an auto-chamois. And after she uses the "vacuum thingie" to capture invading Minusians.
Badass Adorable: Jenny, for sure. Tuck could also qualify as this at times.
Badass Family: The Wakemans, obviously. Nora Wakeman is a Mad Scientist and a former officer of the Skyway Patrol, and can still hold her own in combat at an advanced age; Jenny is a ridiculously powerful crime-fighting robot; and Jenny's sisters (XJ 1 through 8) are single-purpose prototypes who are still pretty strong in their own right (plus, they kick major ass when they join forces). Arguably, you could also include Armageddroid in the family roster (he might be a Well-Intentioned Extremist, but he's the most powerful robot ever created).
Batman Can Breathe in Space: Jenny, being a robot, is justified. Less justified is the first episode where she was able to rocket into space, blast away several meteors, get smacked around a bit, and reenter the atmosphere and return safely to Earth... with Tuck clinging onto her every step of the way. And he survived. And thought it was "Cool!"Don't even go into the facts about survival in space.
Then there are the scenes where non-robotic characters seem to have no problem breathing in space (though it is Lampshaded very often).
Bullying a Dragon: Jenny is sweet, gentle, and kind. She wants to fit in with her peers, and is a generally good person. Her tormentors, however, don't ever seem to grasp that she's also a walking, talking, sapient weapons system capable of destroying entire space fleets on her own. As mentioned below, this requires a very special kind of stupidity.
However, they're probably fine... given that she probably couldn't get away with using those weapons on even the meanest of bullies who was totally asking for it.
Distressed Dude: You can bet that Brad and Tuck will usually be in danger if they are part of the focus of an episode. Sheldon can fall victim to this often as well, especially in his first appearance.
At home, she seems to have either figured out how to lounge around without breaking stuff, or Dr. Wakeman has simply reinforced a lot of the house.
Doppelgänger: A non-hostile example in Escape from Cluster Prime; the high school on Cluster Prime has robotic versions of Brad, Sheldon, and Tuck. "Drab" and "Shell" even share voice actors with their human counterparts, while "Tuff" is voiced by a deep-voiced man in contrast to Tuck's Audrey Wasilewski.
Five o'clock, get a call to go blading at the skate park down by the mall But my mom says I gotta prevent hostile aliens from annihilating us all...
Expressive Mask: Sheldon as the Silver Shell, and Tucker as his sidekick, the Tin Can.
Expy: Rob Renzetti freely admitted the series was based on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and XJ-9 is a pretty clear expy of early (circa season 1) Buffy Summers. Likewise, Brad is pretty obviously Xander, and the Krust Kousins are Cordelia Chase and Harmony Kendall before they were de-clawed.
Face Palm: This is a trope that the characters on this show seem to really like.
Fanservice: It's debatable, but the episode "Victim of Fashion" is rife of this...y'know, if you have a thing for catsuits, Victorian era dresses, sea life, and The Notorious B.I.G.
Flawed Prototype: Of a sort. XJs 1 through 8 are clearly not as complete as Jenny, although 'flawed' isn't really the right word here, as they all seem to be testbeds for various functions eventually incorporated into Jenny. (Dr. Wakeman herself describes them as "failed" and "incomplete" in successive sentences.) Armagedroid, on the other hand, is something of a Gone Horribly Right...
Forgot About Her Weapon Systems: Jenny seems to forget about weapons and tools of hers that she's used in previous episodes if there's a chance they'll wrap up the plot in about two seconds.
Held Back In School: Jenny is sent to kindergarten because because she is technically only 5 years old.
Heel Face Door Slam: In their first appearance, Brit and Tiff actually defended Jenny when the police were planning on bringing her downtown after the science lab caught on fire (which they caused), as thanks for saving their lives. They actually wanted Jenny to start hanging out with them, until Brit shook Jenny's hand too hard and dislodged the hair pin Tiff shot into it. As the two were being led away by the police they blamed Jenny for it.
Heel-Face Turn: Subverted in "Attack of the 5 1/2 Foot Geek". The Lonely Hearts Club Gang kidnaps Sheldon in a successful attempt to lure Jenny, who gets offended when they refer to him as her "boyfriend" and promptly chews Sheldon out for being a "crazy, loser, stalker geek." This obviously breaks Sheldon's heart, which so moves the gang that they set him loose and vow to even let him join them when he graduates. However, Sheldon instantly turns on the gang and frees Jenny.
Heroic BSOD: Jenny, when Brad tosses an old calculator for a new one and tells her about Planned Obsolescence.
Hero with Bad Publicity: Jenny in Escape From Cluster Prime, especially in said place, where she was framed for destroying special defense chips, although there was so much focus on an artist's interpretation, no one knew that Jenny was the enemy until a policeman recognized her.
Laugh with Me: Smytus monologues about his evil plan and then lets out an Evil Laugh, while his minions just stare. He gives them an icy glare and says, "You laugh too." The minions all start laughing themselves silly, so much so that they accidentally let the episode's Applied Phlebotinum out of their ship's airlock.
Lawful Stupid: The Skyway Patrol. So much so that they need to fill out a mountain of authorization forms (in quintuplet, mind you) to take unauthorized actions.
Armagedroid too, although he's just programmed to be extremely single-minded.
Magic Skirt: Many times. Best example is the first episode. We see Jenny and Brad looking through a box, and her position clearly shows her in a way that she is showing what she has (if anything) to the world. Next shot of Tuck aiming at her shows differently, though the next shot goes back to the original position.
A publicity picture shows Brad and Tuck going through Jenny's drawer and pulling out a pair of her steel panties.
Nerd Glasses: A few times, but not on Sheldon (the biggest nerd of the show) or Tuck (second-biggest).
Never Mess with Granny: The majority of Tremorton thinks Nora's a dotty old lady at best and a demented Mad Scientist at worst. But she was once Skyway Patrol, and the asskicking she did then she has not forgotten by the time Escape From Cluster Prime occurs.
No Water Proofing In The Future: Pretty much all robots in the show react negatively to water exposure. Well, at least if the plot needs them to have said negative reaction to water.
No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Averted - Jenny has "sisters" who are prototypes (it's even played more realistically than is usual). However, this doesn't stop her from being the only one like her, ever.
Operation Jealousy: Sheldon tries this in "The Price of Love" by paying Pteresa to pretend to be his girlfriend, hoping this will make Jenny realize she loves him. The charade ends up costing him everything he owns, even his clothes. And the saddest part is that it actually kind of works! At the end of the episode, Jenny privately admits to herself that she’s missed having him around and that she might actually be interested in a Relationship Up Grade. Of course, her hearing’s been really messed up all episode, so when she goes to talk to Sheldon about it, she thinks she hears him say that he’s too good for her now, when really he was saying exactly the opposite. Cue her storming off in a huff.
The Other Darrin: In the episode "Around the World in 50 Pieces", Vexus is voiced by Cree Summer (who also voices Tiff). Eartha Kitt returns to form in the TV Movie.
Sheldon: We don't have time for sci-fi brinkmanship! My Jenny needs me! * proceeds to hotwire a starship*
Ridiculously Human Robot: Actually played with throughout the series. Jenny experiments with devices that make her more like a human (she's mostly cool with being a robot), including pleasure/pain sensors. But they're still working out the kinks.
Robo Family: Jenny has several "sisters" who are actually failed/incomplete prototypes created by her inventor who have since been shut down and locked up in the basement.
Robot Kid: Or teenager, whatever; a couple of her 'sisters' fit this better than she does.
Safety Worst: Tuck is almost hit by a car. As a result he shuts himself away from the outside world Jenny tries to reassure him of his safety by showing him at a ripe old age through the "Future Scope", which leads him to believe he will live to old age no matter what, and spends the rest of the episode performing a number of life threatening stunts. He forgets that even if he lives he still could get badly damaged.
Scare Chord: Spoofed by Killgore in "Enclosure of Doom".
Scooby Stack: Jenny, Sheldon, Brad and Tuck spy on Dr. Wakeman's boyfriend this way in "Mama Drama"
Screwed by the Network: Nickelodeon once ran a poll between this show and Invader Zim to determine what would be shown next. Despite My Life as a Teenage Robothaving a clear lead, Nickelodeon declared Invader Zim the winner.note Though the show did air on said network, albeit as a 4 episode mini marathon in the wee hours of Thursday morning each and every week.
The second season was delayed for many months. And after lack of adverts, the third season didn't air for years after the show was canceled.
Possibly explained in "Victim of Fashion": Tuck is sifting through Jenny's arsenal and discovers an object that opens up into nowhere.
She Cleans Up Nicely: Spoofed. When Jenny wants to get pretty for a party invite, she visits a garage and gets a full tune-up and new paint job. ...from a bunch of greasy gearheads, at that. The music and Jenny's reaction equate it to a spa day for a human girl.
Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Subverted somewhat in "Ball and Chain" - Jenny bangs on the window and calls Brad's name. Brad tells Jenny he doesn't want to be rescued and marries Tammy anyway. He justifiably begins to regret it because Tammy's species treats spouses as somewhere between slave and house pet and calls the marriage off at the reception, resulting in him needing to be rescued.
One episode has Jenny lost her Language OS Disc, forcing her to speak Japanese for almost the whole episode.
Telescoping Robot: Jenny does this for comedy mostly, with a stretchy neck and even pigtail-antenna (not to mention "stretchy arms and extendo-fingers", to which an entire episode was devoted), but can use her body as a combination Green Lantern Ring and Shape Shifter.
Quickly deconstructed as well, as she is unable to make her self smaller or thinner when the Krust cousins come up with a social situation requiring it. (She settles for completely removing all her external armor... and decides to never do it again.)
Totally Radical: "Phat", "Crib", "Badonkadonk"....yeah, this show was definitely made in the early 2000s. And since the show is set in the future, in-universe it's way past its expiration date.
Too Dumb to Live: Tucker in "Indes-Tuck-tible," and Jenny's tormentors Brit and Tiff pretty much all the time. See the above entry for Bullying a Dragon, and note that more than once, their schemes have backfired with extremely severe consequences.
Trailers Always Spoil: Semi-Averted for Escape from Cluster Prime, Vega, or basically any footage Jenny having fun in Cluster Prime, wasn't featured, but we did get to see a policeman taking off Jenny's superhero disguise, and all of Cluster Prime being alerted that Jenny was in their presence. To be honest though, we were expecting that to happen, so not a huge problem.
Twenty Minutes into the Future: The set year is never explicitly stated, but one episode mentions that Jenny, being built only 5 years prior, missed Super Bowl C (100).
Dr. Wakeman, when she's homeschooling her, once asked her who the first female president was, so certainly farther than 2012?
unless it was a trick question; Jenny wasn't paying a whole lot of attention and Nora was calling her out on it.
Well, Super Bowl C will be played in January 2067, which means that the series takes place in late 2072 or 2073 at the absolute earliest. Of course, during the same conversation where this is brought up, Brad also mentions that Jenny missed seeing the "Great Blizzard of '24", which is someone puzzling; assuming that he's referring to the year 2024, there's no way he could have experienced the latter event and still be a teenager, either, unless Brad's older than he looks (like Sheldon after he was lauched into space) or Time Travel is somehow involved.
...OR the "Great Blizzard of '24" started in 2024 and stopped a few years after Brad was born...
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The show is about a robot packed with a huge arsenal of incredibly destructive gadgets/weapons attending a local high school. Other people in the show very rarely find this concept, or even Jenny herself, odd, even though she appears to be the only one around.
Urine Trouble: In "Trade Show Showdown", a robotic dog lifts its leg after it gets annoyed with Jenny deriding it for being a one trick pony puppy.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Armegedroid is on a mission to destroy all "weaponry" (and then presumably himself when he's done - maybe). Jenny doesn't have much of a problem with this, just that he's hurting people in the process.
What the Hell, Hero?: Brad's response when Jenny wrongly tries to prove Melody is secretly evil. Also when she attacks one of two groups of alien visitors not realizing Beauty Is Bad.
And in "Escape From Cluster Prime" when everybody in Tremerton, including Dr. Wakeman, calls her out for accidentally ruining a parade while stopping a bad guy. It sets off her leaving for Cluster Prime in the first place.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Generally played straight, although it's usually only Jenny who has the power to invoke this trope at all in the show.
Wheel of Pain: When first informed about the Cluster, we see humans chained to this, apparently to power some kind of Ice Cream Parlor for robots.