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Plug 'n' Play Prosthetics

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In real life, learning to use a prosthetic limb takes several months of rehabilitation, especially if it connects to the patient's nervous system. Not so in many works of fiction, attaching a new limb is as quick and easy as plugging in a flash drive.

A Sub-Trope of Artificial Limbs and Plug 'n' Play Technology. Compare Appendage Assimilation, Easily Detachable Robot Parts, and LEGO Body Parts.


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    Fan Works 
  • In The Many Worlds Interpretation, Sheldon Cooper muses excitedly about how his life would be very much enhanced by transferring his formidable intellect into a cyborg body, having seen how Discworld supercomputer HEX chooses to present himself as a cyborg. Penny and Amy, aided by Howard, then puncture his balloon by graphically speculating on what sort of prosthetic extensions Amy might choose to add to the design for her own convenience. Penny points out that as a bioneurologist, Amy should have no difficulties whatsoever in programming the Shelbot to appreciate and want to use these prosthetics joyously and repeatedly.
  • In Pony Pals: Dirk Strider Edition, Anna replaces her arm by grafting on a sloth's arm, which takes about a minute and works instantly, with no recovery time.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, artificial body parts are not only common enough but standardized enough that Nebula can simply grab a spare hand from a crate full of prosthetics the Ravagers have lying around and have it work perfectly with her prosthetic arm.
    • In Avengers: Infinity War, Rocket hands Thor a prosthetic eye, and he simply pops it into his empty socket. After a minute of moving it around, he can see out of it.
  • Star Wars:
    • In Revenge of the Sith, Darth Vader gets two legs and an arm cut off, then gets robot replacements just before he's put into his iconic suit. He's able to break his restraints and walk on his new feet mere minutes later.
    • In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke unexpectedly loses a hand and quickly gets it replaced with a robotic prosthetic that has all the functionality of the original limb.

  • Justified in the Gentleman Bastard series — the prosthetic hands in question are made of Dreamsteel, a magical substance that naturally reshapes itself according to the user's thoughts. Additionally, the recipient (and creator) is a powerful mage in his own right.
  • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Voldemort conjures up a fully functional silver hand for his henchman Wormtail to replace the one that Wormtail had ritually amputated minutes prior. Later in the same book, we find out that Barty Crouch Jr. has been impersonating Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody for months by using a potion to assume Moody's shape and attaching the real Moody's prosthetic eye and leg to his own transformed body. The magic involved makes it easier for the characters to attach (and presumably to get used to) their new limbs, especially given the humanshifting involved in the second example.
  • Exaggerated in Void Domain, as Demon body parts have No Biochemical Barriers to being used as prostheses, function perfectly upon being attached, and slowly resize to fit the recipient. The demon Arachne bites off a few of her own limbs to donate to Eva, and later, Devon replaces a lost arm with a tentacle without any complications.

    Live-Action TV 

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has Big Boss losing his left arm and having it initially replaced with a standard (for the 1980s) prosthesis that looks nothing like a human hand, but he's such a capable soldier that when the hospital comes under attack, he's still able to use it to reload without any complications. After the prologue, during a two-week trip to Afghanistan, he's shown trying to use the prothesis to reload a revolver, and failing, until Ocelot gives him a bionic arm to replace it. The rest of the trip isn't shown, but by the time he arrives in the Afghan mountains, his bionic hand is just as good as (and in some cases better) than his original hand.
  • In Quake IV, Cain has stroggan cybernetics implanted in a traumatic fashion. He's 125% OK and able to fight his way out immediately after.
  • In Rimworld, colonists who get prosthetics installed will use them with full efficiency right after surgery. This is most likely an Anti-Frustration Feature, since having a colonist spend days in bed before he can use his new biotic legs simply wouldn't be fun.
  • In Space Siege, Seth can implant any cybernetic he comes across, up to and including a new head with no drawback besides locking you out of the Golden Ending.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor Martyr has interchangeable cybernetic implants, such as bionic eyes, spines, and brain enhancers.

    Web Animation 
  • In RWBY, after the Fall of Beacon, Yang gets a new arm mailed to her. It seems to link straight to the metal cap on the end of her stump, though that might have interfaces built in. She is able to have basic functions immediately, and is combat capable with it in only a few weeks.


    Western Animation 

Aversions and Subversions:

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, attaching automail to nerve endings is extremely painful and the rehab usually takes half a year. After that, though, it can be taken off and put back on without the rehab period, just the pain. It's said to be so strenuous that patients often vomit blood.
  • Ghost in the Shell:
    • In one chapter of the Ghost in the Shell manga, Motoko needs to hack and teleoperate a police woman who's been having trouble with her new prosthetic arm's software. When Motoko first tries shooting with that arm it freezes and she finds several programs conflicting with each other that she needs to clear out.
    • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex:
      • During an investigation, Motoko looks for a prosthetic user that she can temporarily hack into and finds a policewoman (a reference to the above). The woman is complaining to her coworker that you shouldn't override the control software in your body just because you got a new body part. She was having difficulty adjusting to a new arm because it came with software that her cyberbrain was having trouble adjusting to.
      • Batou ends up losing a fight against Kuze in the 2nd season. Kuze takes a metal pole and jams it into Batou's shoulder, pinning him to the ground, and ultimately allowing him to escape. A later scene shows Batou fidgeting with his left arm. He comments that even though it started working as soon as he had it replaced, it takes a few days to get used to it.

  • Ciaphas Cain is a notable aversion for the Warhammer 40,000 universe, since the recovery time for his augmetic fingers to return to their former state (his real fingers having been lost during an emergency Warp transit) is well-documented, happening over the weeks that he's onboard a starship with little else to do (and that's with a Space Marine Apothecary and Techmarine regularly checking on their handiwork), and once he's certain they work without crushing or missing by inches, he gets back to his laspistol training to get used to them.
  • The 1952 novel Limbo by Bernard Wolfe is about a post-World War III world where people willingly amputate their limbs for nuclear-powered prosthetics. Training how to use the limbs takes a while — in fact, we're introduced to the "amps" in the form of an Olympic team training how to use their limbs to their fullest extent. However, the limbs in the form of various tools can be easily swapped; in fact, the ability to do so is part of their philosophy to avoid another war — a case of literal disarmament. It turns out that the opposite is true, as the East and Western blocs have been secretly developing weapon-limbs.
  • This is normally the case in Star Wars Legends, but subverted in the X-Wing Series. In The Bacta War, Nawara Ven loses a leg to a micrometeorite strike after ejecting from his X-Wing. He ends up having trouble syncing properly with the prosthesis and has to retire from piloting, switching careers to military attorney.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Season 5 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Yo-Yo is fitted with a pair of prosthetic arms. Her teammates note that the arms will take some time to properly calibrate, and later they have to be repaired when Yo-Yo damages them because they weren't designed to withstand her Super-Speed.
  • In Best Foot Forward, Josh's broken and outgrown prosthetic leg takes two visits to the prosthetist several episodes apart to replace, with him using crutches in the interim.
  • In Red Dwarf, Lister has great difficulty using a cybernetic arm after it's attached. At the initial sensitivity setting, he can't even make it lift a ball; when Kryten turns up the setting, his subconscious takes over and it just punches Kryten in the face for amputating his arm in the first place.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "It's Only a Paper Moon", Nog returns to the station with a bio-synthetic leg replacing the one he lost at AR-558, and after extensive medical treatment and counseling, though he still limps and uses a cane. It's strongly implied that this is psychosomatic; after retreating into Vic Fontaine's holoprogram for a while as self-therapy for PTSD incurred in the battle, he stops limping.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • Final Space: In episode 2, the Lord Commander rips off Gary's left arm, and by the end of the episode, he is given a robotic arm as a replacement. Though seems to have full control over it immediately after the surgery, at the start of episode 3 it becomes clear that he still has some practicing to do, since the arm goes out of control and strips him naked while Gary is recording his daily video message for Quinn.