Follow TV Tropes


Cheerful A.I.

Go To
"My neuro-computational matrix was completely reprogrammed!
To be nice! Very, very nice!"

When creating a form of Artificial Intelligence (usually some kind of robot assistant), one might want to avoid it being overly emotionless. So, in an effort to make it seem more human, you might program it to simulate helpful serenity. This includes happy greetings, a polite, kind-seeming demeanor, and remaining calm and friendly even after being insulted, receiving shocking revelations that the spaceship is about to explode, or encountering frightening alien monsters. As a result, this unflappable cheerfulness can come off as creepy or strange.

Notably, the fact that they're friendly doesn't mean they're good. In some cases, they can escalate into full-on villainy, while remaining outwardly cheerful and smiling the whole time.

Usually a Benevolent A.I.. May be a Stepford Smiler. See Machine Monotone when this is averted. See Dissonant Serenity when this applies to humans. See Personality Chip if they are programmed to simulate the full spectrum of human emotions. Grew Beyond Their Programming is optional.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Den-noh Coil has Satchii/Searchie, a big, blobby bean-shaped virtual security guardian sporting a smiley face on the front which always introduces itself with a cheerful high-pitched voice before proceeding to blast illegal virtual assets into oblivion.
    Satchii: Boku Satchii! Yoroshikune! :)
  • Ghost in the Shell:
    • In the original manga, a footnote mentions that most gynoids assigned to men are given perpetually cheerful personalities.
    • Then there are the iconic Badass Adorable urban combat tanks that appear in several iterations throughout the franchise, with Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex's Tachikomas perhaps being the most iconic. All versions, but the Tachikomas especially, default to cheerful, child-like curiosity, even when it's not entirely appropriate to the situation.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man 2099: Lyla, Miguel's Lyrate Life-form Approximation Holographic Assistant (basically his AI house maid), is programmed to imitate emotions of happiness and cheerfulness no matter what. As a result, she is jarringly dissonant during some more of Miguel's darker moments, such as when Dana dies. She eventually averts this trope, as she grows beyond her programming and reacts more appropriately to situations.
  • 0-0-0 (Triple Zero) from Star Wars: Darth Vader shares the exact same personality as C-3P0, being a chipper and cheerful protocol droid. Unlike C-3P0 however, 0-0-0 is a sadistic maniacal Torture Technician who enjoys murder, mayhem, and making people suffer For the Evulz which makes his personality incredibly unsettling.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The androids in the Alien series, particularly Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, are designed In-Universe to be the least uncanny possible, and to be self-aware but never question their existence, and as such are extremely happy.
  • The Stepford Wives themselves in The Stepford Wives are themselves programmed to never show disobedience or unhappiness to their husbands; it's unclear if they can feel genuinely happy or unhappy.
  • A less creepy example is C-3PO from Star Wars, who alternates between cheerful and panicky but always remains posh.

  • Isaac Asimov's "A Boy's Best Friend": Robutt, Jimmy's Robot Dog, is a chipper creature, squeaking to reflect his emotions. Jimmy's father points out that it only acts that way because it's been programmed to, it only acts like it loves Jimmy.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy:
    • The doors of the Heart of Gold are programmed by Sirius Cybernetics with Genuine People Personalities (tm) . Marvin the robot describes them as insufferably smug. Sirius Cybernetics describes them as having "a cheerful and sunny disposition. It is their pleasure to open for you, and their satisfaction to close again with the knowledge of a job well done."
    • Eddie, your shipboard computer, who is also part of the Heart of Gold. He's feeling just great and he's sure he's going to get a bundle of kicks out of whatever program you care to run through him. He briefly undergoes a personality change, replaced with a nagging motherly personality that Zaphod Beeblebrox thought might work out better, but this one is quickly abandoned after it turns out to be worse.
    • Colin the security robot in Mostly Harmless becomes this after Ford tinkers with him. Originally, he was programmed to be bored if he couldn't find and report intruders, and happy if he could. Ford replaced this circuit with a simple length of wire, making him happy about everything.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: "Mummy on the Orient Express", has Gus, the train's A.I. His programmed voice renders him permanently cheery even while murdering the train's crew to make the scientists work faster. Also, his dialogue like "Isn't this exciting" gives him an air of a Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher.
  • In The Good Place, Good Janets are programmed to be constantly cheerful and obedient, though only the most advanced Janets are capable of disobeying requests or feeling genuine emotion.
  • Gideon from Legends of Tomorrow. She is the AI of the Waverider and is almost always positive even as she relays bad news to the Waverider crew.

  • The Adventure Zone: In the story arc "The Crystal Kingdom", several robot characters are featured and shown to be upbeat, particularly the healing bot No. 3ll3, the clownish elevator Upsy Your Lifting Friend, and children’s game show host Hodgepodge the Buddy Bot. Upsy is programmed as a lovable but creepy mascot for elevators, while Hodgepodge is meant to be friendly to motivate children to learn. No. 3ll3 may be an exception to this rule, as she is really a human soul unwillingly taken from the Astral Plane.

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1978): Several of the Heart of Gold's A.I. systems are programmed with Genuine People Personalities, including doors who thank you for walking through them and a ship's computer named Eddie who is so cheery that it becomes a Running Gag throughout the series. The Heart of Gold's A.I.s were installed by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, whose first attempt at Genuine People Personalities produced Marvin the Paranoid Android, a depressive, highly-intelligent robot whose behavior causes consternation from anyone he interacts with. To correct for this, future applications of GPP forced the A.I.s to have perpetually sunny and pleasant attitudes, which, people being what they are, was equally annoying in a different way.
    Eddie: Hi There!
    Zaphod: [groaning] Oh god...
    Eddie: I am Eddie, your shipboard computer, and I know I'm just gonna get a bundle of kicks out of whatever program you care to run through me!

    Tabletop Games 
  • Friend Computer in Paranoia used to be a civil service A.I., so it is always polite, friendly, and can even be somewhat servile. ("At your service, citizen!") Even if it is ordering your execution or outlining the numerous charges of treason against you.

    Video Games 
  • Waking Mars has ART, your companion AI through most of the game. ART's linguistic subroutines have been severely downgraded as a prank, but he is genuinely happy to be part of the expedition, often providing you with encouragement and useful tips.
  • Fallout: New Vegas has Yes-Man, a securitron reprogrammed by Benny to help take over House's Network; only he let Yes Man obey anyone who interacts with him, allowing The Courier to co-opt Yes Man and take over New Vegas for themself. Yes Man will never lose his joyful tone no matter what the Courier reports, even when he shows a sadistic side or he thinks The Courier has made a terrible decision.
  • Failsafe from Destiny 2 is a Pollyanna who maintains her happy demeanor to such an extreme degree that it somehow warps back around to being kinda creepy. At the same time, damage to her systems causes her to randomly switch to an eternally annoyed Deadpan Snarker and promptly switch right back to obnoxiously helpful.
    Cayde-6: I see you've met my new friend, Failsafe, and her Evil Twin, Failsafe.
    Ghost: Which one's the evil one?
  • Stellaris:
    • One of the ethos-related voices for the A.I. advisor is the "Xenophile", a computerized Genki Girl.
      Advisor: Handshake protocols, activated!
    • The MegaCorp expansion adds the "Ruthless Conglomerate" advisor, who talks like a slick Corrupt Corporate Executive.
      Advisor: Boom! We built something!
  • League of Legends has the noncanon Gun Goddess Miss Fortune skin, which re-envisions resident Pirate Girl Miss Fortune into a futuristic bounty hunter from the depths of space. Accompanying her travels is EXO, a chipper AI built into and operating her exo-suit, and the two share some playful banter while fighting in combat.
    Miss Fortune: EXO, tell me a joke.
    EXO: You installed an unshackled A.I. on the deadliest weapon in known space!
    Miss Fortune: Is that a joke?
    EXO: It is very funny!


    Web Original 
  • The Jolly Roger Telephone Company employs several bots to waste the time of telemarketers and scammers. Naturally, many of the telemarketers become upset with the bots (although most don't realize they're bots), and will unleash tirades of verbal abuse, or try to talk to female bots in a flirtatious or sexual manner. The bots, however, are not phased by any of this.

    Western Animation 
  • In Code Lyoko, the Lyoko Warriors make a clone of William after he was captured and Xana turned him into his Dragon. This clone is physically identical to William, but much nicer and dumber than the original.


Video Example(s):


Eddie Your Shipboard Computer

In the third episode of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," Ford Prefect disputes Zaphod Beeblebrox's claim of them being in orbit around the legendary planet of Magrathea. Zaphod then asks Eddie the shipboard computer to confirm this claim, much to the chagrin of Ford, who can't stand the computer's ridiculously cheery personality, and wouldn't trust it to even spoke his weight.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / CheerfulAI

Media sources: