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Deceptively Human Robots
aka: Deceptively Human Robot

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Peter: Do you think there'll ever come a day, like in Westworld or Terminator, where you could have killer robots posing as normal human beings?
Jason: *beep* Parsing query... Checking language dataset... Generating optimal response...
Jason: No, brother. You have nothing to worry about. Sleep well tonight.
Peter: Note, I said normal human beings.
Jason: *beep* Parsing sarcasm...
Foxtrot, "Poser"

Sometimes what seems to be a Ridiculously Human Robot isn't actually all that ridiculously human after all. It may look human, it may even be anatomically correct, but the illusion of humanity lasts only as long as that robot is silent or stationary, since the moment it speaks or moves the illusion goes flying out the window. Can occasionally invoke the Uncanny Valley. Happens often with a Rotten Robotic Replacement.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Evangeline has a bunch of maids that are deceptively human robots.
  • Vexille's plot revolves around Japan's insistence on building deceptively human robots even after the rest of the world has banned them.
  • Naomi Armitage from Armitage III, owing to the fact that she is in truth one of the rare and highly illegal Third series of cyborgs; her kind are fully capable of human emotions, taste, smell, and later revealed to be capable of sexual intercourse and finally, the conception and birth of a fully natural human child. Thus, she is able to pass off as a regular human being....until she goes into battle, during which her skin sheath suffers serious damage and reveals her mechanical form where there should be ordinary bullet wounds.
  • D from Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure speaks in a dull monotone and avoids contractions.
  • Dorothy from The Big O is one, she looks human but her movements are far too precise, she often speaks in a flat monotone and never changes her facial expression no matter what's going on. There's also the fact that she's insanely heavy.
  • In the Time of Eve, the robots appear to belong to this category with their human appearance contrasted by their Uncanny Valley movements and Machine Monotone speech, but it appears that they actually do this for the humans' convenience. When they are free of restraints in the titular café that allows no discrimination between humans and robots they become Ridiculously Human Robots good enough to fool each other!
  • Placido from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's looks like a normal human until he interfaces with his futuristic motorcycle - at which point his hips split into two sections, his knees bend backwards, and cable ports come out of his back.
  • Asobi Asobase: Rich girl Hanako and her butler Maeda build a robot copy of Hanako's friend Olivia to perform in an English test. It's clear that the robot isn't Olivia... and then she starts talking. The worst part is that "she" chooses to do this!
    Mecha-Oliva: Shut the fuck up! Fucking Bitch!

    Comic Books 
  • Robot from Invincible subverts this, at first appearing to be a socially maladjusted (and obviously mechanical) robot who honestly can't (and honestly doesn't want to) relate to his teammates' problems. Then it's revealed that he's actually a human who acts incredibly like a robot. Sort of.
  • The titular Livewires from Marvel Comics. They seem like Ridiculously Human Robots (and are even anatomically correct), but because of procedures they performed on themselves, they lack fear and doubt, distancing them from humanity by an incalculable magnitude.
  • There are also the X model androids, from Machine Man. They look human enough, but earlier models, like "Father Blood Drench Robo Crush" from Nextwave often spout threats like, "I MAKE YOU DIE WITH STEAMY ELECTRIC MEK BITS NOW KLAK KLAK KLAK!"

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Pick a Terminator, any Terminator. Their human appearance is generally flawless, but their behavior very quickly reveals their true nature. The only reason they tend to pass as human after going to the past is people in the past don't think robots disguised as humans exist, so the thought never enters their minds.
  • Michael in Pixels looks like a human until you hear his mechanical way of speaking and see mechanical parts sticking out from the back of his head.
  • Inverted in Battle Beyond the Stars. Shad is assumed to be one of her androids by Nanelia until he expresses his annoyance at being strapped to a Shackle Seat Trap. Her own androids look human but have jerky movements and speak with a reverb.

  • R. Daneel Olivaw in Isaac Asimov's The Caves of Steel and The Naked Sun. Dr. Sarton spent many years overcoming the Uncanny Valley, and as a result Daneel can shake hands like a real human and even eat, but he is still identifiable as a robot even from visual clues. He breathes at irregular intervals sometimes several minutes apart, he eats in identical mechanical motions and his body is unable to "naturally" remove food waste, instead requiring him to literally empty the food sack in his abdomen. However, because humans do not expect a robot to look human, he is passable to anybody except for robotic experts.
  • Isaac Asimov:
    In science fiction it is not uncommon to have a robot built with a surface, at least, of synthetic flesh; and an appearance that is, at best, indistinguishable from the human being. Sometimes such humanoid robots are called "androids" (from a Greek term meaning "manlike") and some writers are meticulous in making the distinction. I am not. To me a robot is a robot.
  • The android duplicates in Andre Norton's Victory on Janus were instantly detectable by the Iftin (and canine) sense of smell, but were otherwise externally identical to specific Iftin and human individuals, down to imitating their voices. The first android "corpse" encountered was torn apart by guard dogs, revealing that the androids didn't bleed and were obviously mechanical.
  • Mike Kelly and Tjale Mosasa, from SA Swann's Hostile Takeover series, look entirely human, but those who rely on smell or can see deeper into the spectrum than humans can aren't fooled, and each does something impossible in view of others, revealing their true nature.
  • In Alien in a Small Town, Indira figures out Kim is an android because of her body language. Most people would never notice it, but Indira is an engineer.
    Wait... The movements of the arms. The hands. The head. Are they... Moving on smooth trilateral compound arcs like Figsbuy pivots. Oh... hell...
  • Robots in the world of Quicksand House look extremely human, but they still have circuitry and wiring under the skin, and they can break down in strange and unsettling ways if not given proper maintenance.
  • Animorphs: Erek and the other Chee are able to project holograms that look perfectly human, but underneath they look like their alien creators, the Pemalites—basically, bipedal dogs. This is only a problem in book #27, when the Drode disables their holograms and paralyzes them, forcing the Animorphs to save them.
  • Full Metal Panic! has the Alastor, which is much more robotic than most examples on this page. What makes it qualify is that nobody thought it was possible to scale a Humongous Mecha down to six feet until they actually did it. It acts as Leonard Testarossa's bodyguard and tends to go around in a hat and trench coat.
  • Trinity Blood: Tres Iqus looks just like a young man in his early 20s but most certainly doesn't act the part, having exactly one facial expression and saying 'Positive' or 'Negative' instead of yes or no, and '"Requesting damage report" instead of, "Are you hurt?".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The Buffybot, who didn't pull off snappy lines the way the original model did. "That'll put marzipan in your pie plate, Bingo!" She still fooled the other Scoobies though, to the real Buffy's annoyance.
    • Also Ted, the evil robot who tried to romance Buffy's mother. He qualified for Ridiculously Human (albeit a reject from Leave It to Beaver) until Buffy kicked him down the stairs, at which point he ran into hardware trouble.
    • And April. In deliberate contrast to Ted, everyone who met her figured out she was a robot in ten seconds, leading to her creator Warren announcing this as a shocking revelation.
  • Doctor Who:
  • Extant: By all outward appearances, Ethan is completely human, but he behaves This is something John is working to correct.
  • Synths in Humans look and sound human, although very limited in what they say. They are also, apparently, "fully functional" but don't enjoy it. On the other hand, those that have become self-aware behave in a very human-like manner.
  • Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation. One Expanded Universe novel (Ghostship) even lampshaded this in a semi-mocking tone, in that it made no sense to design an android to blend in with human society, to give it human characteristics such as blinking, drinking, breathing... and then give it chrome-colored skin.
  • Westworld. The first episode shows Ford drinking with one of his early model Hosts. Its movements are noisy and jerky and it repeats phrases. Ford comments that "even a simple handshake would give them away." The latter may be a Mythology Gag to the original film, where the hands were the only way of telling a robot from a real person as they couldn't get them quite right.

    Video Games 
  • Makoto from the MySims series. Built by the mad Dr. F. to be indistinguishable from a real human, she appears to be a perfectly normal Asian schoolgirl, but has an unfortunate tendency to talk about how she is definitely a real human AND NOT A ROBOT AT ALL. This is then subverted in My Sims Agents, when two villainesses persuade her to steal a huge gizmo that no normal human could possibly lift, yet are still genuinely amazed when you later inform them she's a robot.
  • Snatchers do look and often act like the humans they're replacing, but their form is very delicate. Their artificial skin gets cancer with any sun exposure (and leaving a tell-tale smell), and apparently the skin isn't that durable since at least one is shown with pieces of it missing from a fight earlier. So really, any person that's suddenly avoiding sunlight looks pretty suspicious. Also: animals hate them.
  • The Adjutant robots in StarCraft II hold this. The concept art of them even notes that they are deliberately being put into the Uncanny Valley, being made to look attractive but not actually look human.
  • The Marathon series has Pfhor-created bio-android infiltrators/suicide bombers called Simulacrums, which appear human from a distance but look noticeably disfigured and uncanny at close range. This isn't a pressing concern for the Pfhor since "close range" usually means "within the blast radius", but their tendency to shout nonsense such as "Frog Blast the Vent Core!" while trying to blend in tends to give them away even quicker.

  • Mulberry has a comic in which Mulberry guides an android through the literal "Game of Life". He looks inhuman due to the bolts sticking out of his neck, as well as his metallic sheen. He also seems to have an electronic-sounding voice. Despite these, people who encounter the robot don't immediately recognize him as a machine. They also fall for his consummate lies.

    Western Animation 
  • The Hardac trilogy of episodes in Batman: The Animated Series featured an AI named Hardac who planned to conquer the world with deceptively human robots. The first two parts played this straight, but the third one, "His Silicon Soul", subverted it. The Batman robot started out as a deceptively human robot, but became a Ridiculously Human Robot over the course of the episode. So human, in fact, that it sacrificed itself to prevent the scheme it had set in motion from hurting people. Because like the real Batman, the robot copy is unwilling to kill, ever.
  • The Lucy Liu-bot from the Futurama episode "I Dated a Robot" looked and acted just like the real actress, except it occasionally spoke in Robo Speak. "I love you more than the moon or the stars or POETIC IMAGE #36 NOT FOUND."
  • Kaeloo: A variant with a "Deceptively Sheep Robot" which Mr. Cat built to infiltrate a group of sheep. The robot sheep looks almost exactly like a real sheep when stationary, but bleats in a robotic voice and moves in a very robotic manner. Not that anybody realized it, since they're all portrayed as idiots.
  • The Chameleonbot in Xiaolin Showdown looks like Kimiko, but uses outdated slang and occasionally says, "Processing..."

    Real Life 
  • Unfortunately, most robots designed to look human fall under this. Technology still has not advanced far enough to get real-life robots out of the Uncanny Valley. However, Jules comes pretty close. Not only can he form fairly realistic (and mood-appropriate) expressions, but he is advanced enough to hold a fairly decent conversation with someone.

Alternative Title(s): Deceptively Human Robot