- Cyberpunk: The original series was set in pretty much this kind of future before cyberpunk even became a widely used term.
- Too Good to Last
- Uncanny Valley: Buddy's girlfriend—revealed as a robot, disassembled, boxed, and still talking inanely about how she wants to be his friend. Even knowing what she is, he weeps for her.
- Unbuilt Trope: As many fans will tell you, the original 1974 series used a lot of tropes that wouldn't become common until much later. In fact, one of the most common reasons given for its Too Good to Last status was that it was too innovative, to the point that seventies audiences ended up being completely lost at concepts like Kill Sats, Ridiculously Human Robots, Corrupt Corporate Executives Unfettered by the law, and even a creepily prescient plot centering around a water baron (which is totally a real thing, though the real ones don't use laser beams).
- What an Idiot : In the 90's Byrne miniseries, a depowered Buddy has been sent back to the 1930's, and married a woman named Molly, the daughter of the policeman who found him in that era. In the time between, the police officer was framed as dirty and then killed by the Big Bad Buddy is hunting through time. Buddy finds work, even in the heart of the Depression, possibly because he has lived in a worse future. When Molly brings home a bag of groceries, a neighbor woman shames/guilts her into giving up a can of beans, citing how unfair it is Buddy has work when her husband doesn't. The neighbor then promptly makes snide remarks about the accusations against Molly's father. Without missing a beat, Molly snatches the can back and leaves the neighbor with a stunned look on her face, food on the table in a very bad time traded away for an unneeded remark.
- The Woobie: Buddy Blank.