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Killer Robot

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Crush! Kill! Destroy!note 

"Two robots walk into an eating establishment... and destroy all humans!"
Robot Stand-Up Comedian, Fairly OddParents

A robot or other physically autonomous machine guided by a level of intelligence and a homicidal urge to Kill All Humans. Prone to ending sentences with exclamation points as well as Spock Speak. Killer Robots are so common because A.I. Is a Crapshoot.

Humanoid killer robots abound, such as the original R.U.R., or those in Doctor Who's unsubtly named serial The Robots of Death. However, killing machines come in all shapes and sizes; from robotic dreadnoughts in space to airborne robo-fighters, through small drones and down to microscopic or even nanoscopic killers.

Although the traditional versions of this trope were robots built in a Mad Scientist Laboratory who Turned Against Their Masters, today a more common plot involves the villain finding and turning the switch on a kid's Robot Buddy from "good" to "evil", forcing the cast to either destroy it or find a way to turn it back. Especially scary because this was a good friend who has become completely heartless and bent on death.


Mechanical Lifeforms are capable of veering into this, but generally tend to skimp on the Spock Speak in favor of something a bit more colorful.


See "Second Law" My Ass! for a milder form of this behavior.


Examples (please only put examples here that don't fit into any of the subtropes listed above):

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 
  • Shakara: Shakara is a relentless killing machine designed to avenge the destruction of the noble Skakara race at the hands of the coalition of alien empires. He's fucking unstoppable, destroying entire fleets and massacring evil aliens by the billions.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Professor Menace builds a killer Wonder Woman robot, which functions just as he'd intended until Wondy shorts it out in a fight.

  • Isaac Asimov:
    • The Complete Robot: Throughout this collection, Dr Asimov calls this trope Robots-as-Menace; stories where the audience is expected to fear technology/science because the robot that represents our advancement turns violent and dangerous.
    • "Lenny": US Robots has an alarm for 'Robot out of control'. This story is the first time it is ever used, and at first nobody recognizes what it is for.
    • "Little Lost Robot" is about a robot modified so that it only possesses part of the First Law. Normally, the First Law reads "A robot cannot harm a human or through inaction allow a human to come to harm"; the modified robot has everything from "or" on removed. Dr. Calvin, on being told about this, flips out, pointing out that this allows for a ridiculous number of ways to kill a human (her example is a robot that drops a heavy weight above a human, knowing full well it can catch the weight again before it hits - and, now that the weight is in motion, it can choose not to catch it, since it's not hurting the human, the weight is). At the end of the story, when the modified robot is revealed, its programming snaps and it attempts to strangle Dr. Calvin to death.
    • "The Tercentenary Incident": Edwards expresses concern that a robot, bound by the Three Laws, has found a way to circumvent the First Law by getting an accomplice to kill the President so that he can replace them.
  • The second storyline of Toy Terror Batteries Included revolves around the protagonist fleeing for his life against a human-sized malfunctioning automaton called the Annihilator 3000.
  • In Rama II, The cosonauts especially R Eggie discover that the crab biots can be killer robots if attacked. The crab biots (along with centipede and other biots) perform maintenance on the spaceship. When Brown goes ahead with a capture plan that was hasty, after the biots resisted his initial capture by hunkering down, the robots go after Sabatini, and Reggie drives his vehicle into one to protect them. For all his troubles, since he gets stuck in the vehicle and it is destroyed, he is torn apart, alive, by the crab biots which are none the worse for wear.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Bad Robots: Tez One is pretty much one, being the mysterious head of TezCorp and wanting to teach humanity a lesson for mistreating their electronic appliances.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • Megas XLR: The Villain of the Week in "Viva Las Megas" is a robot from Area 50 called R.E.C.R. (Reverse-Engineered Collective Robot). Its prime programming was to defeat "the enemy", but due to a programming flaw, it considered everything to be that enemy. It was awakened by Coop and fed off of MEGAS' electrical energy to become stronger. After trapping MEGAS in Area 50, R.E.C.R went in search of power for its need to consume vast amounts of energy to operate properly.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Badass Automaton


Armstrong's Defeat

Launchpad inadvertently stops the rogue robot Armstrong by pulling on the dump lever of his bi-plane's water tank.

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Main / NoWaterProofingInTheFuture

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