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Killer Robot

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"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 subtly 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):

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:
  • 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.


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Alternative Title(s): Badass Automaton


Amazing Adrenalini Brothers

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