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Androids and Detectives

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Del Spooner: Robots don't feel fear. They don't feel anything. They don't eat. They don't sleep.
Sonny: I do. I have even had dreams.
Del Spooner: Human beings have dreams. Even dogs have dreams, but not you, you are just a machine. An imitation of life. Can a robot write a symphony? Can a robot turn a... canvas into a beautiful masterpiece?
Sonny: Can you?

Odd Couple Buddy Cop Show In Cyberpunk! When there's a series of mysterious murders or crimes taking place in a cyberpunk setting, the local gumshoe is paired up with a shiny new partner with all sorts of attachments. Usually done in the form of a Wunza Plot with one or both characters overcoming prejudices/technophobia. Sometimes the human detective will say something like "I hate technology" with the android responding "I am technology".

A lot of times this leads to someone asking What Measure Is a Non-Human?

Compare Cop and Scientist. A specific form of Fantastic Noir.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Appleseed, sorta. Less Android and more Cyborg; less Detective and more SWAT/Counterterrorism. Besides the Deunan-Briareos pairing, there is also the Deunan-Hitomi pairing; Deunan is initially shocked that Hitomi is a bioroid.
  • Armitage III plays this straight, down to the "I hate technology" exchange.
  • Astro Boy: Though not technically cop buddies, Astro's crime-fighting often leads him to work alongside Inspector Tawashi. And by "works alongside", we mean "argues with". Pluto, Naoki Urasawa's re-take on one of the story arcs in the original manga, has Gesicht filling in both the detective and the robot role.
  • The Big O episode "Eyewitness", which teams recurring Military Policeman Dan Dastun with robot detective R. Freddy O'Reilly. And to a lesser extent, The Big O in general, starring R. Dorothy Waynewright and Roger Smith (although Smith is technically only a negotiator, he ends up solving a lot of cases on his own, because he has a lot of resources the police don't). "Eyewitness" is a Whole-Plot Reference to Isaac Asimov's Robot Trilogy.
  • In Dimension W, main character Kyoma is a technophobic bounty hunter who tracks down illegal power sources and their distributors. Early on, he finds himself partnered with Mira, a highly-advanced android. He spends most of the series casually insulting her.
  • Ghost in the Shell is a variation, with a team of Cyborg investigators (with much more of their bodies being cyber than organic). Togousa, being the least cyberized (and implied to be the most human) is The Heart of the squad, but most of the characters are shown to still be essentially human, even if some installments of the franchise seek to explore what that exactly means.
  • Giant Robo includes an android detective.
  • In Heat Guy J, the eponymous J is a large stoic android always ready to hand out an epigram on what it means to be a man, who works with the 'cool' and laid back Daisuke (Dice). Collectively they form the investigative team of the Special Services Bureau in the city of Judoh.
  • In Metropolis (2001) has notably one of the most positive depictions of this take, with Shinsaku Ban being given the Ridiculously Human Robot detective DRP-DM4973C to help him through Metropolis. Ban has no prejudice towards the new companion and quickly nicknames him "Pero" both to show affection for his Robot Buddy and because it's far easier than his You Are Number 6 identification.
  • Steam Detectives pairs young detective Narutaki with a Robot Buddy named Goriki. They solve crimes together in a city powered by coal and steam. One interesting twist on this trope is that the robot detective is huge; he's built more like a tank than a crime-solver.

    Comic Books 
  • The premise of Darkminds has detective Nagawa paired up with android Akane Nakiko (well, officially she's a cyborg, but it's more a matter of being an android with some biological components) to solve the "Paradox" murders, which turn out to have been perpetrated by one of Nakiko's prototypes.
  • Fables has the uneasy alliance between the Imperial Guard and the Brothers of the Sacred Grove (not technically robots, but magically-animated puppets with many robot-like mannerisms).
  • The comic The Surrogates is definitely noir and cyberpunk, as well as the movie adaptation.
  • In Top 10, android cop Joe Pi has to deal with several cyber-phobic colleagues, including his new partner Irma Geddon.
  • Any Autobot or Decepticon in The Transformers with a police vehicle as their alt-mode tends to be some form of cop, though the exact nature varies. Prowl, for example, is a rabidly By-the-Book Cop (at least before he started suffering Sanity Slippage) while Streetwise tends to be portrayed as more of a Cowboy Cop.

    Film — Animation 
  • In Mars Express, the protagonists are a female Hardboiled Detective and the backup copy robot of her dead partner.
  • Osmosis Jones is a parody of this, with the "human" cop as a white blood cell and the "robot" cop as a pill.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • I, Robot, which is loosely based on Isaac Asimov's work. note 
  • Robot and Frank is about a human and a robot as partners, in this case partners in crime. Despite this, many of the requisite tropes remain intact.
  • In Theodore Rex, cyborgs and dinosaurs are commonplace. The main characters are a dinosaur and a cyborg (played by Whoopi Goldberg) who are buddy cops.
  • Vice (2015): Roy the detective ends up teaming up with the artificial Kelly, both using their skills and knowledge to take down Vice.

  • Brillo by Ben Bova and Harlan Ellison. (It's steel fuzz, get it?)
  • Mia Sorelli and Gizmo in Colony Mars.
  • Discworld: No-one actually officially partners with them in the traditional sense, but from Feet of Clay onwards, Golems begin to join the Ankh-Morpork City Watch. They're treated largely in-line with this trope until eventually they're just treated as coppers.
  • The Alan Dean Foster novel Greenthieves deals with a detective who's paired with a singularly perverted 'humaniform' android, as well as a snarky (if only in his mind) Minder, basically a floating, orb-shaped AI.
  • Lyttle Lytton Contest: From the 2011 entries, this line from Will Nicholes.
    "You just may be the most beautiful perp I've ever laid sensors on," thought the robot lieutenant as his humanoid partner ate donuts unaware.
  • The Municipalists: Zig-Zagged in that it's the Projected Man avatar of a cocksure supercomputer (rather than a robot) partnered up with a stick-in-the-mud government agent investigating terrorism and turmoil within their Government Agency of Fiction, but the bones of the trope remain.
  • Isaac Asimov's Robot Series novel trilogy, starting with The Caves of Steel, are the Ur-Example of this trope. These feature Earth detective Elijah Baley teaming with R. Daneel Olivaw, one of the very first "humaniform robots" — realistic-looking androids. Lije and Daneel are partners in the first book and remain good friends throughout the rest of the series, but each book of the trilogy examines a different facet of the relationship between robots and humans at a societal level. As the Ur-Example, it established many of the conventions of this trope, despite the lack of many traditional Cyberpunk elements (unsurprising, as the book was written before the advent of microcomputers, let alone the Internet).
  • The sixth book in the Thursday Next series, One of our Thursdays is Missing, has the fictional Thursday and her newfound clockwork butler Sprockett investigates an accident.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Almost Human has Karl Urban teaming up with a Super Prototype android partner. It's either law or department policy that all detectives must have an android partner, though most of them prefer the emotionless MX line.
  • The Doctor Who story "The Robots of Death" has a subplot revolving around an apparently unrelated human and robot (Poul and D84), who turns out to be a buddy cop team there to identify which person on the sand miner is secretly a terrorist. Unfortunately, Poul's Uncanny Valley phobia causes him to have a meltdown and D84 dies in a Heroic Sacrifice to protect the Doctor.
  • Eureka by way of Jack Carter and Andy in one episode. Andy is back, as Jack's permanent deputy, Jo is now head of security at Global Dynamics, as of season 4.
  • Joey from Friends gets a gig as the human half of the TV detective team "Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E.".
  • Future Cop: The first TV example, predating Holmes & Yoyo by several months. Based on Brillo (see Literature folder), but without giving Bova or Ellison any credit, or payment, until after they sued.
  • Recurring character Hymie (a robot) would often team with Max during a case on Get Smart.
  • Holmes & Yoyo is one of the earliest TV examples, as it ran from 1976-77. It was a more comedic take on the idea than the later shows that would run with it, as Holmes tries to conceal the nature of the frequently-malfunctioning Yoyo (aka Gregory Yoyonovich) from the rest of the department.
  • Mann & Machine was a sadly short-lived 1992 series where Yancy Butler plays an android detective that, as is often seen in such series, her human partner didn't trust to make life-and-death decisions.
  • RoboCop had a partner in the spin-off TV series (and Officer Ann Lewis in the movies).
  • 1973's Robot Detective had this going, though it hewed closer to the action-based Tokusatsu style common at the time.
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation, the android Data likes to play Sherlock Holmes on the holodeck, with his human best friend Geordi LaForge as Dr. Watson.
  • The sadly short-lived Total Recall 2070 (which always seemed more of a Blade Runner spin-off somehow) paired senior detective David Hume with Alpha Class android Farve.


    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Connor, one of the main characters in Detroit: Become Human is an android working for the police. He gets teamed up with Hank Anderson — a grizzled cop with an alcohol problem — to solve murders. Similar to Snatcher, you get to decide how their relationship plays out; either they become Fire-Forged Friends, or you effectively ruin Hank's life.
  • Two of the hunters in Evolve, Bucket and Cabot, used to be partners in the Hub Marshalls. By the events of the game, they've been retired for some time, but the mutual respect they formed had them stick together as Planet Tamers.
  • In Fallout 4, Nick Valentine is both: He's a (self-aware) old-model synth who has the neural copy of a pre-war police officer, and has a Hardboiled Detective persona (and a significant amount of missing skin coverings).
  • In Overwatch's comic "Searching", Zarya has to team up with the omnic hacker Lynx. Since she's one of the more bigoted characters in the setting, she is not happy about it but comes around at least enough to save Lynx' life when they are threatened by Sombra's EMP.
  • Snatcher is a prime example. You can choose how you treat your Robot Buddy, so you can either be good pals or you can be a total asshole to him.


    Web Original 
  • Spoofed in Chuck Steel: Raging Balls of Steel Justice. The cliched claymation Cowboy Cop finds himself stuck with a Robot Buddy that's more interested in sexually molesting household objects than backing him up during a shootout. In the end Steel blows it away with his Hand Cannon, insisting that he works alone.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama has Smitty (human) and URL (pronounced "Earl"), who double as a parody of black and white Odd Couple duos. We don't know if this is standard practice because they're the only cops we ever see...
  • Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century had compudroid Watson.
  • All Time Squad units in the series of the same name follow this dynamic.
  • Transformers: Animated: Captain Fanzone could be this to the Autobots. His catchphrase is "This is why I hate machines", although he eventually develops a grudging respect for the Autobots. When he's actually paired with an Autobot he grumbles but does his job like a pro.

Alternative Title(s): A Cop And His Robot