Basically this is fans Shipping a sentient machine, whether a robot, computer or otherwise, with someone else, usually an organic lifeform or human, or even another machine. Overlapping heavily with Fan-Preferred Couple, robo ships differ in that the relationship is not sexual in nature and sex should not even be possible for the couple in question... And people ship them together anyway due to compatible personalities. Or even despite incompatible personalities.
Remember that Robosexual is a popular trope all by itself, so in many stories it can be natural to expect a romantic turn sooner or later. Sometimes, writers who emphasize a robot's developing interpersonal relationship can Fumble it up, making friendship or what-have-you seem like something more. Robo Ship pairings tend to run into some problems due to What Measure Is a Non-Human? and Fan Dumb, so expect the same amount of Die for Our Ship as you would with a normal coupling.
- The possible relationship between Negi and Chachamaru in Mahou Sensei Negima! (They recently had a pactio kiss).
- A really, really long kiss. It went for four pages. Though this was because Chachamaru, who as a robot at least partially believes she has no soul - a requirement for the pactio. Negi ends up apparently pushing it through out of sheer will and magical power, though this could have something to do with his heritage (the royal magic his mother had, and that his line established the pactio system).
- Mazinger Z: Mazinger-Z and Aphrodite A (and later Diana-A). Also, Mazinger-Z and Minerva-X (a sentient Fem Bot was expressly designed to be Mazinger's Battle Couple). Minerva-X considered matter-of-fact she was Mazinger's partner. Action Girl Sayaka insisted only HER Fem Bot -Aphrodite-A- was true's Mazinger partner.
- In Great Mazinger, Great Mazinger and Venus A.
- If you check the Trinity Blood section of Fanfiction.net, you will see that Tres X Abel is a very popular pairing.
- Roger and Dorothy in The Big O.
- Shugo/Aura in .hack//Legend of the Twilight.
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 - Gundam Meister Tieria Erde (an Artificial Human) is often paired with, well, almost everyone, but that includes the AI supercomputer Veda. Which actually has more canon support than any pairing for him except Tieria/Lockon. There's also Setsuna, who's sometimes paired with his Gundams, but that's more of a Cargo Ship since they're not sentient.
- Made canon in the movie, where Mileina admits her love for him, much to her father's dismay
- In Digimon, human/Digimon pairings can be seen this way, as Digimon are actually computer programs. It's less Squicky than in that other monster show because Digimon are clearly sentient.
- Ryuunosuke Natsume and Atsuko Higuchi from Nuku Nuku Dash. He's pure human. She is a super powered cyborg with the brain of a cat. Are we sure this isn't actually a demented form of bestiality, instead?
- Neon Genesis Evangelion has a very strange twist: Gendo/Unit 01. The twist is that Unit 01 contains his wife's soul, and he is seeking to reunite with her through his version of Instrumentality.
- 90% of the shipping in Rozen Maiden falls either into this category or Cargo Ship, depending on what you consider the dolls to be.
- Time of Eve has these in both the robot/robot (Koji/Rina) and robot/human (Rikuo/Sammy) varieties, although only the former is official.
- Medabots: Metabee and Brass, helped by the fact that their Medafighters (Ikki and Arika) are also a Fan-Preferred Couple.
- Nejikawa and Sapphie of Jewelpet Sunshine. It's canon at least on Nejikawa's part.
- Arguably Coagula and Robotman in Rachel Pollack's Doom Patrol run. Arguable because Cliff has a human mind in a robot body.
- One issue of Sonic Universe implies that Omega has a bit of a thing for Blaze, based on them both being Persons Of Mass Destruction.
"I like you! Let us burn things together!"
- Both the JLA and the Avengers main android members, Red Tornado and The Vision respectively, are or have been in the past married to human women.
- Technically, Victor Mancha from Runaways is a cyborg, but because his machine parts will eventually override his human parts, he'll be a full machine one day. This hasn't stopped him from hooking up with Nico or a random Girl of the Week in the time travel arc.
- Fanfiction based on Isaac Asimov's books is not that common, but what exists seems to really like Elijah/Daneel.
- Doctor Who – Expanded Universe carries on the TARDIS love:
- Along the same lines as the audio Zagreus below, the short story "The Lying Witch and the Wardrobe" had a jealous TARDIS try to impersonate Romana, the Doctor's then-companion.
- One rather odd Short Trips story suggests Kameleon had sex with the TARDIS and got pregnant.
- Then there's the Faction Paradox story where the TARDIS's sister accuses the TARDIS of wanting to have a kid with the Doctor. And that's quite apart from the fact said story reveals the TARDIS has parents...
- 2001: A Space Odyssey. HAL/David Bowman. Squick.
- It gets either more or less squicky in 2010: The Year We Make Contact and the last two books when Dave rescues HAL's consciousness from Discovery just before Jupiter turns nova, destroying the ship. In the third book, they're shacked up together in the monolith. By the fourth book, they have merged into a single entity referred to as 'Halman.'
- Common as dirt in TRON fandom. Justified because at least half the characters are sentient computer code. There seems to be some downplayed chemistry between Sam and Quorra in TRON: Legacy, but Kevin Flynn actually kisses Yori in the original. note For those who prefer slash, the scenes with Ram and Flynn make a good argument for Ho Yay. Then there's Yori and Tron, the canon couple, though the fact she's Sequel Non-Entity come TRON: Legacy make a case for Flynn and Tron. A common and very dark take on this trope is Clu/"Rinzler", as the latter is a brainwashed slave of the former. There's also TRON: Uprising, with the Dating Catwoman situation between Beck and Paige and Zed's hopeless crush on Mara. In the Alternate Continuity of Tron 2.0, there's some Ship Tease between Jet (human) and Mercury (Program) and a case to be made for Alan Bradley and Ma3a, given Ma3a is a Virtual Ghost of his wife.
- To this day, Star Trek: The Next Generation's Data and Yar are still very popular. Or Data and Geordi, if you swing that way. Or Take a Third Option and go with all three of them.
- Or for those who want a straight ship, but don't want to set it when Yar was alive, there's always Data/Troi as well. Or heck, you could just go with Data/Enterprise...
- John Connor and Cameron in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
- Star Trek: Voyager has Seven of Nine/the Doctor. It's canon that the Doctor had a crush on Seven, but not that it was reciprocated - she officially ends up with Chakotay.
- Eureka has Sheriff Andy and SARAH seeing each other, after SARAH got a hold of an emotional subroutine and gave it to Andy.
- There were also the brief, bittersweet moments between Henry and the biological computer version of his dead girlfriend.
- Doctor Who has the Doctor and various companions and his part-organic TARDIS.
Sarah Jane: Does he still stroke bits of the TARDIS?
- Doctor/TARDIS got a bit of Ship Tease in the Classic series as an Actor-Inspired Element from Tom Baker, who begun the practice of always referring to the TARDIS as 'she' and tended to caress its controls very sensually, unlike his more businesslike predecessors. It was then very much made canon in the new series. First, with hints:
Rose: Yeah! Yeah! He does! I'm like, "Do you two wanna be alone?"
Eleventh Doctor: Look at you. Oh, you sexy thing.
- Then a bit more explicit:
- Eleven says "Thanks, dear" when it gives him a new screwdriver. In series 6, Eleven actually kisses the front door of the TARDIS when he's reunited with it in the sickbay of the ghost ship where the missing crew and Rory were being held.
- Then properly, with a human manifestation of the TARDIS kissing and... biting him, and insisting that her name is "Sexy", since that's what he always calls her.
The Doctor: She's the TARDIS ... and she's a woman!Amy: (beat) Did you wish really hard?
- Some people started shipping Rory/TARDIS after the aforementioned human manifestation called him "the pretty one" and briefly shared a telepathic connection with him. As it turns out a few episodes later, Rory, the TARDIS and Amy conceive a child together. All three of them. That's 100% canon now. The Doctor is a bit weirded out by it, then proceeds to marry said child — long story.
- Also, Master/TARDIS.
- Season 10 added more confirmation for Doctor/TARDIS, as well as introducing Bill/TARDIS.
Bill: So the TARDIS has dresses and likes a bit of trouble? Yeah, I think I'm low-key in love with her.The Doctor: Me too.
- There's a few three-way fics of Doctor×female Companion×TARDIS.
- One fic had the Threesome of the TARDIS, the statue of Aneurin Bevan in the pedestrianised bit of Cardiff city centre (it was wearing Captain Jack's coat, and the fic was unclear as to whether or not it was channelling his spirit) and the Weasleys' Ford Anglia.
- TARDIS/Impala also happens to be a popular ship
- Red Dwarf crossover "Incompatable": K9×Skutter.
- The "Scream of the Shalka" continuity depicts the Doctor living with a robotic version of the Master, and they seem to be extremely fond of each other. Also, the TARDIS's answering machine message comes across as having been recorded while they were engaging in hanky-panky. A good bit of the popularity of "Scream of the Shalka" has to do with the ship.
- The original Knight Rider has Michael Knight bickering with his sentient car like they're an old married couple. KITT tends to worry after him and micromanage like an overprotective girlfriend, too.
- In Blake's 7 it appears Kerr Avon gets along best with Orac, the resident irritating computer, which has led to some rather interesting speculations. In-universe there is one excellent, though mercifully brief, romance scene:
Orac: I love you.Vila: Orac!Orac: My emotions are deeper than the seas of space. One times one is only possible in the ultra-dimensional.Avon: Turn Orac off.Orac: I love you.Avon: Off!
- Legends of Tomorrow has hinted at a ship between Rip Hunter and the sentient AI that operates his timeship the Waverider, Gideon. Confirmed in the episode "Land of the Lost" when Gideon creates a human-looking avatar of herself and she and Rip share a Big Damn Kiss.
- There's also Gideon/Sara, as when Sara sees Gideon's avatar she calls her hot.
- In Mystery Science Theater 3000 half the cast are robots, and the fans have plenty of pairings to chose from, particularly Tom Servo and Crow.
- Person of Interest occasionally hints at Root and artificial superintelligence The Machine being not entirely platonic.
Root: You have the relationship with her that you wanted. My relationship is more... intimate.Harold: Sorry I asked.
- Nastya Rasputina of The Mechanisms is in a relationship with their sentient starship, Aurora. The other crew members (Jonny especially) are a bit squicked-out by this, but the engineer and her girlfriend are perfectly happy together.
- One of the Big Finish Doctor Who audios, Zagreus, had fun with this idea — the TARDIS appears as a personification in the form of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and announces it is betraying the Doctor after what it feels has been gross mistreatment. Later on, this personification fires at a trio of companions with its handgun whilst shouting about them "leaving their dirty knickers all over the place". If there was still an "I'm not making this up" page the link would go here.
- This is pretty much the only way to go when shipping in the BIONICLE fandom, since until 2009 every character was more or less a robot (and even after that point, only one character was female, so...). As far as canon is concerned, No Hugging, No Kissing is in full effect owing to universal asexuality, but with so much (adorably animated) early source material contradicting this, no-one ever cares about that. Popular ships, many of which originate from said early source material, include Hewkii x Macku, Jaller x Hahli, Tahu x Gali, and Pohatu x Kopaka.
- GLaDOS/Chell, Portal, which tends to accompany fan interpretations of GLaDOS as a Psycho Lesbian Yandere computer.
Claptrap (upon first seeing GLaDOS for the first time): "Hubba hubba!"
- As of the sequel, Wheatley/Chell have gotten a healthy dose of this as well—not to mention Rick the Adventure Sphere.
- Atlas and P-body of Portal 2's co-operative play mode get a lot of this too. Given this picture, and being another of those games with hug gesture, Valve may be invoking this deliberately.
- Crossover version in Poker Night 2, where Claptrap appears to have a crush on GLaDOS, even giving her a rose in a PS3 crossover wallpaper.
- Aigis and the Protagonist from Persona 3, as she 'always wants to be by your [the protagonist's] side'. Protagonist's gender irrelevant.
- Ciel and Zero of Mega Man Zero. It's canon, on the former's part, that is...
- As if that's not enough, Zero 4 introduces us to Craft and Neige. Unlike the ship above, it's canon on both sides. And a very important part of the game's plot.
- Fans tend to think of Curly and Quote from Cave Story as a Battle Couple.
- Roll and Bass/Forte. It's just dang CUTE. And not only that, the apparent ages of the two make it something of a Toy Ship as well.
- Mega Man X has the X/Zero ship, which can be considered pretty close to canon due to the fact that the two are both already best friends.
- After X7, fans began shipping Axl with X and Zero, forming a One True Threesome.
- Mass Effect 2:
- Joker/EDI, which is even alluded to in-game ("I think you're taking the human-machine interface a little far.") In Mass Effect 3 this pairing can become canon when encouraged by Shepard.
- Shepard/Legion, which is partially supported by the fact that Legion, despite being a robotic Mind Hive with no real emotions, seems to somehow fanboy over Shepard.
- There's also Tali/Legion◊.
- Technically applies to everyone in the Galaxy after the Synthesis Ending.
- Taken to a Squicky level with a sidequest in Knights of the Old Republic. A grieving widow becomes far too attached to her assistance droid. The droid does not reciprocate the feelings.
C8-42: She tried to treat me as her dead husband. It was not healthy for her.Player Character: Er... all the time?C8-42: You Do Not Want To Know.
- A version with less Squick shows up in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Dr. Tharan Cedrax, the Consular's healing companion, is accompanied by a sentient hologram named Holiday. Tharan liberated Holiday from a Hutt who saw her as nothing more than an exotic toy, and she is his trusted confidante and assistant. It's clear they love one another, even if her insubstantial state means he has to seek out short-term flings to satisfy his physical needs.
- This was inevitable for Lamia Loveless of Super Robot Wars Advance (and subsequently Original Generation). When given an option between male and female player characters, it's tradition for fans to ship them with each other, and thus Axel/Lamia was born. Fans will ship her with anyone they can find in order to teach her how to love. One would think that the writers were encouraging this by giving her the last name "Loveless". Of course, the catch is, usually they keep their attitudes as professional as possible and Axel's designated pair is usually Alfimi, while Lamia gets dragged to whoever is hyper enough to make fun of her overly serious attitude (Excellen, or her sister Aschen)
- Big Al from the Ratchet & Clank series is shown to have a crush on Helga, accidentally professing his love for the fembot over the intercom on the Phoenix. The fact that he upgrades himself with cybernetics after a blaster shot to the butt in Ratchet: Deadlocked has lead some fans to theorize that perhaps he installed a "robotic interface" along with the new arm and half-head.
- Butch Deloria and Chief Harkness from Fallout 3.
- Fallout: New Vegas gives us a semi-canon example: The Courier (gender irrelevant) and the Stealth Suit MK II, as the stealth suit is quite infatuated with the Courier (for example, injecting him/her with a stimpak when he/she is hurt, saying "please take this. I don't want you to die.", or "would you love me if I helped you hide?").
- A popular pairing in the Fallout 4 fandom is Sole Survivor and Nick Valentine, the synth detective who helps you track down your son—odd, considering he's got glowing yellow eyes and missing a good chunk of grayish 'skin', but not completely unsurprising, since he's also a Nice Guy Deadpan Snarker badass who stays useful in a firefight or hacking terminals. Sadly, he's not romanceable in the game, due to a combination of being a synth and being programmed with memories of his murdered fiancee, Jennifer Lands. X6-88, an Institute-aligned synth, is also popular in the fandom, despite also being un-romanceable.
- Seto and Crow from Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon are a popular couple after Crow steals Seto's first kiss. The reveal that Crow is an android doesn't seem to phase anyone.
- A romantic relationship between Alisa Bosconovitch and Lars Alexandersson is pretty heavily hinted at in Tekken 6's main story, which continues on to Tag Tournament 2 and especially 7 (complete with Lee Chaolan seemingly casting his lot with the pair). Meanwhile, the film Tekken: Blood Vengeance launched an Alisa/Xiaoyu ship.
- Canon in the third season of Sam & Max: Freelance Police. May also qualify as a Cargo Ship, since it's between Curt, a sentient computer, and Carol, a questionably-sentient scanner. She later dumps him for Bluster Blaster, a sentient arcade machine.
Curt: I just want her to be happy.Sam: Hey, who needs her, am I right?Curt: You shut your mouth. She was an angel. Designed in California and manufactured in Heaven.
- Xenosaga has its protagonist Shion Uzuki with KOS-MOS, which for most of the series, is heavily supported by the Les Yay between the two of them, most obviously that the more influence Shion has over KOS-MOS's design the more revealing her outfits are, and their interactions often delve into Romantic Two-Girl Friendship territory, especially in the third game where it's revealed that part of the Big Bad's plan involved manipulating events that would cause the two of them to grow closer together to awaken the soul sealed in KOS-MOS the success of which adds even more Ship Tease to a pair that had been getting a ton throughout the whole game.
- Halo, with Master Chief and Cortana, which gets some bittersweet fulfillment in Halo 4.
- Despite not being even slightly canon, the Five Nights at Freddy's fandom is gushing with this trope. The most popular ships seem to be Foxy/Chica, Foxy/Mangle,and Springtrap/Mangle, though there are plenty of ships as well.
- However, Fan Dumb and shipping wars are both in effect here. Many people use the fact that the characters are robots as a reason that they probably shouldn't be shipped. On top of that, many are also squicked out by it, too, since after all, 11/12 of the robots are possessed by the souls of murder victims, all of whom happen to be children. The 12th robot, meanwhile, is possessed by an adult. Nevermind that this is essentially pedophilia, since the adult in question is the same person who murdered the aforementioned children.
- The Marathon fandom may be tiny but the bulk of what little shipping there is involves the Security Officer and Durandal and is somewhat supported by Durandal occasionally coming across as being rather tsundere and/or possessive towards the player character.
- Given their disparate personalities, it should come as no surprise to a player of Analogue that one of two such pairings could become canon. Or both of them.
- Although it doesn't really go anywhere, Takeshi/Sora from Ever17 almost counts ("almost" because Sora is a hologram, rather than a robot). Kaburaki/Sora from Drama CDs plays this straight, as she has acquired a robot body by that time.
- Super Dangan Ronpa 2 has the implied pairing of Hajime Hinata and Chiaki Nanami. Note that for most of the story, the audience and Hinata are unaware of Nanami's status as an NPC, until The Reveal comes along. She's still sentient enough to have genuine feelings for him, especially if you max out their Free Time Events. She's also aware that Hinata will have to leave her behind in the simulation one day, and can only ask him to not forget her once he wakes up in the real world.
- Questionable Content has Sven and Momo-tan.
- Homestuck: Aradia, as a Cute Ghost Girl possessing a robot body, combines this with Ghost Shipping, at least until her robot body explodes. Interestingly enough, being a robot actually made her relationship more convenient, as her boyfriend has a major case of Does Not Know His Own Strength.
- Some people ship Roxy with Dirk's Auto-responder because they "ironically FlirtLARP."
- In the web original game Guardian Rock it is stated in the end that the titular rock gets together with a hot spirit block chick named Greta.
"They lived normally with good times and bad, cosy candlelit evenings and occasional quarrels, for the rest of their eternal lives."
- The Lopez-Sheila-Caboose freaky love triangle from Red vs. Blue, as Lopez is a robot and Sheila is a sentient tank. Tex and Church also qualify.
- RWBY has the fairly popular ship of Ruby and Penny, aka Nuts and Dolts. The two of them develop a close relationship over volumes 2 and 3 to the point that Penny considers slipping away from her superiors to stay with Ruby at Beacon. Lindsay (Ruby's voice actress) has voiced her support for the ship as well.
- Transformers has many, most involving the "male" Transformers. Daniel/Arcee can be seen by some as a near-canon Ship, with the ending three-parter having them nearly inseparable, missing each other if apart for a short time, and the exchange where he's hugging one of her consoles as best he can during a textbook I "Uh" You, Too:
Daniel: It's good to be together again. Arcee, I just wanna say... Arcee, I... I...Arcee: [Touching the part of her head where Daniel is, not for the first time since he started riding shotgun there] You don't have to, Daniel. I feel the same way, too.
June: Where's Optimus?Ratchet: On a scouting mission with Bumblebee. Sorry to disappoint.June: And I wore heels and everything...Jack: MOM!
- If it weren't a giant robot woman and a ten-year-old human boy, it would be taken without question as the day the Official Couple got their Relationship Upgrade, but, well, they are. So there's the divide between those who say "that's a new one, but we all heard it" and "that's just wrong, they *had* to have meant it as something platonic!"
- Let's not forget Kiss Players.
- Interestingly, there's less actual romance there than the TV shows' moments. In Kiss Players, girls kiss robots to power them up. However, the whole series is played for as much shock value and Squick as possible, with creator Yuki Oshima having the stated goal to "make jaws drop" with the manga and the radio program - we are talking licensed Troll Fic. Less "The Girl Who Loved Powerglide" and more cyborg horrors with penis-tongues, Covered in Gunge, and protagonists consisting almost entirely of girls who are stated to be adults but drawn to look elementary-school age.
- Movie fandom has Bumblebee/Sam.
- Transformers Animated has Bumblebee/Sari. It looks like a human/machine pairing at first, but she's a Robot Girl...
- And of course, the Generation 1 episode "The Girl Who Loved Powerglide". It features a Slap-Slap-Kiss relationship between a grouchy A-10 and a Walking Techbane Girl of the Week with a MacGuffin the bad guys wanted.
- The Transformers Wiki has an article on the subject. It's actually quite common in Canon.
- Transformers Prime gives us this exchange Jack's mother June:
- Not that Jack has any room to talk, due to the severe Relationship Writing Fumble between him and Arcee.
- Brainiac 5/Superman are a popular ship on the Legion Of Superheroes cartoon. Brainy's simulation of himself dying in Supes' arms to melodramatic music (also programmed in, apparently) might have something to do with it.
- Zeta/Ro, according to 99% of the The Zeta Project fandom. When that's not in play, expect for Zeta to still fall for someone or have romantic feelings to play up the What Measure Is a Non-Human?. In addition, fan wank has produced the theory that he may have been in love with the wife of the man he impersonated in his debut episode.
- In-Universe example with Jimmy and Schmeloise in one episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes. Much to the anger of Heloise and many, many Jimmy/Heloise shippers (which is understandable considering how much of a Jerkass Jimmy was being to Heloise in the episode).
- Octus and Kimmy in Sym-Bionic Titan. Where the cheerleader, Kimmy, falls for the alien robot disguised as a nerd.
- Time Squad: Buck Tuddrussel and Larry 3000. Sometimes it seemed like the writers shipped it.
- During the Motorcity finale, when the fans were asking Titmouse animator McKenzie Kerman for an Official Couple, he declared "R.O.T.H. and Cyborg Dan.
- Green Lantern: The Animated Series has Razer and Aya.
- This actually became canon in the series. Second arc episodes attempted to explore their relationship, but, well, we all know how well any sort of romance turns out in regards to DC and Marvel superheroes...
- My Life as a Teenage Robot: Fans are torn between those who ship Jenny/Brad or Jenny/Sheldon, but both are Robo Ships nonetheless, since Jenny's a robot. Word of God confirmed that the latter would have become official if the show had lasted longer.
- Cyborg from Teen Titans is by far the least shipped major character, which could be due to him being part robot. Early in the fandom many shipped him with either teammate Raven or villain Jinx; however, the fandom soon gravitated towards shipping him in a Slap-Slap-Kiss relationship with Bumblebee instead, despite the fact Word of God said their intentions were the opposite.
- Futurama: Fry and Bender are a ship of choice amongst fans of Slash. Not helping is Bender's Ho Yay towards Fry (which happens more frequently than you might expect).
- Scruffy the Janitor was revealed to be in a Star-Crossed Lovers-type relationship with his robot washbucket in one episode.
- If DeviantArt fan art is anything to go by, Mira and XR seems to be a popular pairing in the Buzz Lightyear of Star Command fandom.
- What? Not Ro-boat?