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Robotic Reveal

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But how do we know that he's not wearing a ROBOT MASK?!
Raphael: [stabs Foot Soldier] "Clang?" Did you say "Clang?"
Leonardo: Check those dudes out! [cue sparking]
Donatello: "Dudes", nuts — they're robots!
Michelangelo: Robots? LET'S ROCK!

So there's this person you've met. They look like a human, they act like a human, they talk like a human, and in your mind, they're very much a human.

Then they get wounded, and instead of bleeding, they're releasing sparks. Or maybe you catch them doing something no human is capable of, like changing stations by blinking, or lifting a car.

Apparently, the human you've been with was one of them cyborgs, Ridiculously Human Robots, or Mechanical Lifeforms.

At this point, one of two things may happen.

If the character is an enemy, this is the signal for The Hero to go all out in battle. After all, it's Just a Machine, who cares if it gets hurt or killed? (certainly not the censors!)

However, if the character is a friend, this will lead to much shock and/or angst for everyone as they ask themselves What Measure Is a Non-Human?. This may include a Heroic BSoD if even the robot doesn't know. But what about the real, human, friend? There are two options. One, that it never existed, and This Was His True Form all along (or that he was replaced a long time ago, way before the story began, and none of the heroes had actually meet the real guy). Or two, that he he was kidnapped and replaced as part of an Assimilation Plot or by a spy shapeshifter, and now the heroes must search and rescue their friend, if he was not killed.

A specific kind of Glamour Failure. For the alien and other organic creature version of this trope, see Machine Blood and Bizarre Alien Biology. Occasionally appears as a subversion of Mortal Wound Reveal — the robot should have died, but because of its non-biological nature, it won't die, causing much in the way of Oh, Crap! moments. If the robotic reveal is used as a cheap getaway resource, then it was probably Actually a Doombot.

Compare Unrobotic Reveal and Animated Armor. When only a limb or two are robotic/artificial, then it's Prosthetic Limb Reveal instead.

As this is a form of The Reveal, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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  • One of John Cleese's old Magnavox spots had him saying the brand was "so smart, I didn't have to show up for this commercial-commercial-commercial..." Then a crewman comes in to take the cover off his face.
  • The Rick and Morty promotional Pringle's ad features Morty shilling the featured Pringle's flavors, with Rick getting the jump on him and tearing off the face, revealing an android underneath.

    Anime and Manga 
  • AKB0048's Mayu Watanabe looks like just another member of the pop idol group...until she raises her arm and a missile launcher complete with aiming visor swings up out of it. This is not really focused on in the show, though.
  • Split between the final two episodes of the second season of Bakuten Shoot Bey Blade comes the reveal that Zeo is a robot, built in the image of his father's deceased human son. Although Kyōju had figured it out already, the proper reveal comes when the strain of Zeo's beybattle against Takao becomes too much and his right arm glitches open to reveal the circuitry underneath his fake skin.
  • In the final episode of The Big O it turns out that Big Ear, the mysterious informant who's always reading a newspaper when he's spoken to, is an android.
  • In Bubblegum Crisis 2033, Largo's boomer status — which had been implied before — is confirmed when Leon shoots him in the hand, leaving a small hole with sparking metal visible inside. The first episode has this happen to the kidnapped little girl, who is as surprised as anyone else that she's a Boomer with the Phlebotinum to control the military's Kill Sats.
  • In the finale of Coyote Ragtime Show, Madame Marciano is injured and revealed to be a cyborg. Then again, being the Truly Single Parent of twelve Robot Girls, is it really that surprising?
  • Cyborg 009: Monster Wars: The sea dragon seen at the beginning of the movie is (unsurprisingly) revealed to be a robot created by Black Ghost.
  • At the end of the fourth episode of Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School Side:Future, the camera focuses on one of Miaya Gekkougahara's eyes after she is seemingly knocked out, revealing her eye is actually a camera. We then see that she is being remotely controlled by Monaca Towa.
  • In Dominion Tank Police, Annapuma loses her arm in an explosion, revealing her metallic skeleton. This causes Leona to exclaim, "Mechanical love dolls?!"
  • Dragon Ball has Major Metallitron, a homage to/parody of The Terminator. Goku hits him with the Kamehameha, blowing up his head and showing the metal plates in his chest. Despite this and the loss of other parts he is only stopped when his batteries go out. The movie for the 10th anniversary of the franchise does away with the Schwarzenegger resemblance and turns him into a Scary Black Man instead.
  • During a crossover between Dragon Ball and Doctor Slump, Vegeta is shocked when Arale survives her decapitation at his hands.
    Vegeta: She's not human!?
    Arale Norimaki: Nope! I'm a robot!
  • Parodied, like everything else, in Excel♡Saga. Ropponmatsu II gets shot in the head, and the circuitry underneath reveals she's a robot. Excel is honestly surprised by this, despite obvious signs of it earlier in the episode. Ropponmatsu herself considers it obvious, and asks how many people shoot missiles from their knees. Well, considering how stupid Excel is, it's no surprise she hasn't caught on.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Ed has an automail reveal when his right arm gets attacked by Cornello's pet chimera. In Brotherhood, the reveal is done by a rogue alchemist trying to freeze his blood in that arm.
    • Izumi also finds out that Al is just an empty suit of armor by throwing him, and concludes that Ed has an automail leg by the fact that his steps sounded different when they were sparring. She's just that good.
  • In Gall Force, the crew find out about an advanced android when Pony forces the information out of the OX-11, to be confirmed moments later, when Catty makes a Heroic Sacrifice, and her clothes are burned away to reveal the android beneath.
  • A variation occurs in The Garden of Sinners when Shiki's arm gets possessed, and we see the skin covering melt off to reveal that it's really a puppet arm. The rest of Shiki is human, but the arm is artificial.
  • In episode 9 of Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE, Hiroto finds himself staring down the barrel of the Gundam Seltsam's Mega Beam Cannon, his Marsfour Gundam unable to escape. Suddenly, May throws herself and her WoDom Pod in front of him and takes the shot. It's too much and the Pod explodes... Only for a mysterious Gunpla leap out of the wreckage, flip and pull a Three-Point Landing, revealing that underneath the WoDom Pod was the Mobile Doll May, meaning May is an EL-Diver, a spontaneously-generated AI living within the MMORPG Gunpla Battle Nexus Online itself.
  • In Hades Project Zeorymer, it's revealed the mysterious girl Miku Himuro is in reality a robot girl who needs to be attached to Zeorymer's main power drive to release its full power.
  • The Major in Hellsing after being shot by Seras. However, he claims this still makes him more human than a vampire.
  • Hiyo and Vivid!: Invoked. Hiyo fakes a robotic reveal in chapter 4 to "explain" why she doesn't show any emotion, and to give her friend Aya, an online content creator, fodder for more content.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, one of the characters, Subaru Nakajima, walks out of an explosion, covered in blood and one arm missing a large chunk of flesh, revealing the cybernetics underneath, during her scene of Unstoppable Rage. Interestingly, there's no Artificial Human-related angsting here, partly because most of the Nanoha cast aren't human, and have no problems at all accepting it.
    • And unlike Fate and Erio, Subaru and Ginga had a loving family, and complete knowledge of their origins long before the series even began.
    • Hell, by this point in the series, the Bureau probably has "So you're not exactly what's traditionally considered human, that's okay because you're a person too and we support you" pamphlets. (Probably written by Fate and Nanoha.)
      • Happens again in the PSP games; The Florian Sisters are full androids.
  • In one episode of Medabots, Rokusho reunites with his parrot friend, Anton. A few moments into their reunion, Anton seemingly passes away, leaving everybody heartbroken, then offended when Ikki's mother begins to mess with Anton's body, until she reveals that Anton just needs new batteries, leaving everybody annoyed that Rokusho forgot to mention Anton was a robot.
  • This occurred in Negima Neo?! during the re-telling of the battle between Negi and Asuna against Evangeline and Chachamaru. Chachamaru uses herself as a shield to save a group of cats which had gotten caught in the fray, causing her shoulder and upper thigh to spark and a metallic skeleton to show beneath her skin. In the regular manga, she never makes any indication that she's attempting to hide her robotic nature; she even has incredibly obvious antenna ears and pulls out the jetpack in a public place to get a kid's balloon out of a tree. Everyone else (except Chisame) is just oblivious.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam 00 half of Lichty's body is revealed to be cybernetic when he saves Christina's life at the cost of his own. Since it adds very little to his character, this was most likely due to the fact that it would have looked really gruesome if a normal human body had been exposed to GN particle beam like that, and wouldn't have passed the censors.
  • Bartholemew Kuma of One Piece was revealed as a cyborg this way.
  • After being on the receiving end of a reflected fire spell, Mubyou in Our Home's Fox Deity is revealed to be a robotic duplicate of the real Mubyou. Since the real Mubyou is always Walking the Earth, she created a few puppet copies of herself to work in the lands she's not currently in. Seems the duplicate Mubyou just wanted to be acknowledged for her work.
  • In Pluto, Abullah is in fact the robot Goji, who Dr. Tenma created.
  • Queen Emeraldas: Looda is revealed to be a Metanoid after she shields Hoshiro from a gunshot with her body.
  • Happens in the third story arc of the manga of Sailor Moon. Chibiusa goes to her friend Hotaru's house and discovers that she is actually a cyborg when she sees her without her trademark all black outfit made of a turtle neck, long sleeves and tights. Hotaru's body was made of a black bio-mechanical composition that covered all of her body but her face and hands.
  • The Trinity Blood novels drop several hints about Father Tres Iqus not being human, however it is only officially revealed when he is shot through the arm and his circuits are revealed.
  • In the Votoms OVA The Last Red Shoulder, one of Chirico's old friend, Byman was seemingly untouched by their former treacherous commander Pailsen (Their leader Gregor was wounded and scarred during a failed hit attempt, while other member Muza had his entire family slaughtered while he wasn't home, and Chirico himself was set up to be marked a traitor), until Chirico (who noticed Byman refused to punch Muza with his right hand when a fight broke out) tossed a lit piece of firewood at him, burning off his sleeve and revealing a robotic arm, as Pailsen had tortured and cut off his entire right arm. They promptly stop mistrusting him after that (Muza believed he had no business being with their group when his life was seemingly fine).
  • Waq Waq: Set After the end, the main character is a "black blood" (one of many) that fights robotic Kaiju, and discovers a legendary "red blood", or 'Kami'. The reveal- the 'kami' is an otherwise ordinary schoolgirl pulled out of the setting's past, and the "black bloods" are descendants of robots/androids that had rebelled; the Kaiju are what's left of Humanity's defensive weaponry systems.
  • At the end of one episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s, a flying spinning spike of doom flies towards Rex Godwin. He catches it with his hand seeming to suffer no ill effects to the total shock of everyone watching... turns out his arm is robot. Coupled with the fact he possessed a severed arm in a test tube with a Dragon's Birthmark on it, this led some people to suspect that he may have been the 5th Signer. However, it turned out he wasn't the only one missing an arm...
    • Ghost is revealed to be a robot after it loses to Yusei and crashes. When the lads go to help it, Crow touches its shoulder, and its arm falls off.
    • The Fake Jack Atlas is revealed to be a robot when he is defeated.
    • Placido, both when he combines with his D-Wheel, and later when he is blown apart at the waist.
    • Inverted in the Third season of the original Yu-Gi-Oh!. The gang meets up with a robot monkey, but don't realize that it's Honda until later.

    Asian Animation 
  • In the Season 6 finale of Happy Heroes, it's revealed that Buding, the Mayor's daughter, is actually a robot who was found outside by him one day, and was taken in by him and cared for ever since, even being spray-painted to resemble a normal human being.

    Comic Books 
  • In Benoit Brisefer, it's revealed that "Lady d'Olphine" is Madame Adolphine II, a robot created by Vladlavodka based on the real Madame Adolphine.
  • Boris the Bear, revealing to Boris (and us) that he's a robot.
  • Captain America: At one point Superia tries pulling a You Kill It, You Bought It on the current director of A.I.M.. She's a little surprised when he gets up a moment later and reveals he's part-Adaptoid ("isn't everyone?"), and can therefore survive having a hole blown in his chest.
  • Ex Machina: When a figure in a weird steampunkish suit of armor with similar animal control powers to the Great Machine's archenemy Pherson shows up in New York causing havoc, the heroes obviously assume that Pherson survived their last battle and has come back yet again for revenge. They hunt the figure down in the sewers and Mitchell opens fire, only for his shot to blow the entity's head off and reveal some kind of bizarre alien machinery pulsating inside the suit as it continues walking as if unharmed, revealing it's actually a robot sent by the Eldritch Abomination that gave Mitchell his powers.
  • Fantastic Four: Doctor Doom has a battalion of robot duplicates, all programmed to act as if they were him, unless a) there's more than one of them in the room, or b) the real Doom is present.
  • In the Firefly comics from Boom! Studios, "Return to Earth-That-Was" has Zoe encounter a robot clone of her late husband Wash. initially she thinks someone is impersonating Wash but then the robot gets damaged and its metal is seen through its flesh-like covering. It was meant to trap Zoe, but since it had Wash's personality and some of his memories, it acted as he would have and helped her instead.
  • Gen¹³: Anna's a demure maid who cooks and cleans for the group, looking very much annoyed when her carefully cooked breakfast goes ignored in favor of various snacks, junk food and cold pizza. Then she turned out to be an assassin droid with concealable blades and weapons of destruction.
  • Jason X Special: The premises holding Jason are eventually revealed to be almost entirely staffed by androids, much to dismay of his mother's spirit, who wants proper revenge for her son.
    Pamela Voorhees: They're not real. Is anyone here real?
  • Judge Dredd:
    • After saving the city in Necropolis, Judge Dredd investigates a theater after reports of multiple Judge Death sightings. It turns out they were all just robot duplicates of the real article.
    • The penultimate issue of "Dark Judges: Deliverance" reveals that the prophet of the Mortarians, the sinister Mother Kalulah, is just an artificial intelligence programmed with the memetic suggestion that life is suffering and must end. Its creator Zee was a suicidal girl who became the robot's first victim.
  • Adam Aaronson, Machine Teen, initially believes himself to be an Ordinary High-School Student. His robotic nature is revealed when he gets damaged in a fight, but he himself is programmed to think of it as a normal injury.
  • In The Multiversity Guidebook #1, the heroes of Earth-42 are revealed to be androids, explaining how they are incapable of being killed.
  • James-Michael's parents in Omega the Unknown.
  • This was a What Could Have Been in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics). Sometime after the Endgame arc, the original plan was that Sally had been Dead All Along since that arc, and the Sally that's been in the comic since then was in fact a robotic clone who became self aware and ultimately rebelled against Eggman. However, this was given Executive Veto, so Sally ultimately survived Endgame and the clone never appears.
  • During Spider-Verse, Karn goes after a version of Spider-Man and impales him with his staff. Spidey responds by playing dead, then blasting him with a sonic cannon, his cybernetic parts flipping open.
  • In the final panel of the EC Comics story "Strictly Business," the husband shows how easily he could enter into a deliberately Sexless Marriage and tolerate it for three years by opening up his chest...
  • Superman:
    • It happened a lot in the Silver Age with Superman and Supergirl, who had robotic duplicates that could impersonate any of their identities.
    • In Action Comics #317, Linda Danvers believes she has to break her friend Lena and her fiancé Jeff Colby up to save Lena from a future heartbreak (long story); so Linda hypnotizes Jeff into flirting with her to Lena's face. Later Linda finds out she was wrong about Jeff, but she can't confess the full truth without jeopardizing her secret identity, so she builds a Jeff-looking android, who approaches Lena and reveals himself to be a robot. Then Supergirl tells Lena it was a robot who flirted with Linda before explaining it was all an horrible misunderstanding.
    • In Superboy (1949) #117, Superboy finds a strange dog who looks just like Krypto, trapped in the Phantom Zone. Superboy calls him "Spot", and Krypto is happy to adopt him as a playmate, but Superboy soon learns that "Spot" was a Krypto robot built by his father Jor-El to compensate him for the loss of the real Krypto -in "The Super Dog from Krypton"-. Shortly after, Spot is smashed to pieces by a Kryptonite boulder, and its inner mechanisms are revealed.
    • In an early Post-Crisis story, the first Superman robot is so perfectly programmed with Superman's personality that he believes he's Superman even after his robot parts become exposed, at which point he thinks he has been somehow turned into a robot.
    • Laurel Kent was a descendant of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, and member from 30th century super-team Legion of Super-Heroes. Then, Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, she was retconned into being a Manhunter, a robot created by the Guardians of the Universe. Though she was retconned back into being Superman's descendant in Post-Infinite Crisis continuity.
    • The Untold Story of Argo City: When Kara meets two robots resembling her parents Zor-El and Allura, she mistakes them for the real deal until they remind her that she built them.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures: It occurs with Null's mercenaries -who turn out to be robotic- during the "Terracide" arc.
  • In Top 10: The 49ers the Iron Man Captain Ersatz is revealed, when his armour is damaged, to be a robot passing as a human to escape anti-AI prejudice. The illusion is helped by the fact that he's the first known robot to have full sentience, so no one is willing to believe that he isn't a human dependent on a Clingy Costume to stay alive.
  • The Transformers: Sins of the Wreckers: The animals harassing the Wreckers turn out to be the Mayhems in their alternate modes, disguised to get close to Verity and the Aequitas slug.
  • The Ultimates 3: While most of the team is off chasing Magneto, Wasp finds Hank has been knocked out. She's saved from an attack by Iron Man, who then takes off his armor's faceplate to reveal he's also a robot.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): When Wonder Woman and Supergirl are abducted to be forced to fight other women warriors taken from various planets for the "honor" of marrying the Galactic Conqueror Klamos they instead reveal that he is a robot war machine without even an AI being remotely controlled by his supposed right hand man, and blow him up.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): When Diana saves Etta from the couple attacking the hanger she's in at the beginning of the Messner-Loebs run the man turns out to be an android, which is revealed when he's badly damaged.
    • Wonder Woman (Rebirth): Etta shoots what appears to be her friend Sasha Bordeaux in the head when Sasha turns against her and Diana. The damage reveals that it's actually a robot duplicate.
  • X-Men:
    • X-Men #100's cover showed the new X-Men (Storm, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Banshee) fighting the original team (Marvel Girl, Cyclops, Angel, Beast, and Iceman). The fight actually happened in the issue, with the new X-Men unwilling to fight all-out against their friends. Readers would've been tipped off, beside the way that Cyclops and Marvel Girl — previously seen being knocked out by the villain of the week — suddenly want to kill their friends, and more so when Professor X stands up to punch Wolverine. But Wolverine realizes that the original X-Men are robots because they didn't smell right. The robots were reduced to scrap metal pretty quickly after that.
    • Arcade makes robots convincing enough that his appearances in comics usually end up being robots. He was so good at this that when he made a double of Nightcrawler, Mystique mistook it for her son and couldn't bring herself to kill it. (Had no problem vaporizing her daughter Rogue though.)
    • X-Factor (2006): Nicole, the orphan Monet and Terry meet in Paris and later bring to the U.S., is revealed to have just been posing as an orphaned ex-mutant and was actually a robot created by The Isolationist to infiltrate XF Investigations.

    Comic Strips 
  • One of the strips in Nicholas Gurewitch's The Perry Bible Fellowship shows a casting manager blowing up a performer to reveal the later to be a robot.

    Fan Works 
  • The Furminator has Sonic the Hedgehog discovering that Miles "Tails" Prower is an infiltration unit created by Dr Robotnik, with Tails himself having been unaware of this.
  • In If I Only Had A Heart, Izuku tries to make his junior high school debut as normal as possible by hiding his handmade prosthetic arm and eye so that he wouldn't be judged for his disabilities. He drops the act when stepping in to defend another Quirkless boy from a bully, easily overpowering said bully with said arm while intimidating him with his glowing red cybernetic eye.
  • In Marionettes, during a Traintop Battle with what seems to be Lightning Dust, she ends up slamming head first into a tunnel, damaging her head and revealing she's a robot. The same Traintop Battle ultimately reveals that Trixie herself is one as well due to a wound she got on her hip but was unaware of this. Its later revealed that Diamond Tiara is one as well, which Spoiled Rich is aware of but Filthy and Diamond herself don't appear to be. During the Climax Boss fight with Gear Shift and Cover Story, Cover Story is revealed to be one as well, something him and his partner were completely unaware of.
  • Steel Soul Saga: As the cover image of Steel Soul implies, this is what happens to Sweetie Belle by total surprise in that story.
  • In Yugioh EQG: Shadow Gates, during the finals of the Celestic Cup between Flash Sentry and Shadow, it is revealed that Shadow is actually a robot, or more specifically a duel-bot. He was created years ago to duel and adapt like a human, but gained sentience and kept it secret from everyone but his creator, Sombra, who he saw as his father. Sombra promised him if he helped him achieve his goal then he would grant Shadow’s wish of becoming human.

    Film — Animated 
  • Happens in Armitage III: Dual Matrix with the titular character, made worse by the fact that it's her kid that sees it and becomes immediately afraid afterwards. Happens to Armitage and D'Anclaude, among others, in the original series; Ross Sylibus' Artificial Limbs are revealed this way, as well.
  • Super spy Nick Grabowski from the Hungarian adult action comedy Cat City was planned to have a robotic reveal, followed up with a gag that his Japanese love interest Csino-San had a convenient electric socket for sex, but Executive Meddling forced the creators to remove the scene. Hints for the reveal were kept however, such as Grabowski having Electronic Eyes as part of his photographic memory.
  • Doraemon Film Series:
    • Doraemon: Nobita and the Steel Troops has the Robot Girl, Riruru, sent to earth on a scouting mission by her superiors to plan an invasion before getting disabled by an explosion. The unconscious Riruru was later found by Shizuka who thought she's an injured human, but then Shizuka sees bits of wiring spilling out of Riruru's torn flesh.
    • Early in Doraemon: Nobita and the Robot Kingdom, the gang comes across an injured Poko, a robot child from the Robot Planet accidentally teleported to earth. They assumed Poko is a human, until Poko's ear falls off and reveals internal wiring.
    • Doraemon: Nobita's Chronicles of the Moon Exploration have Emperor Diabolo's Mecha-Mooks in the final battle, who seemingly appears to be humanoid save for wearing veils 24-7. But then Gian whacks one of them in the head, ripping it off and revealing a robotic cranium underneath.
  • Used to chilling effect at the end of a scene in Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence; after Batou and Togusa finish a conversation with a forensics scientist about the nature of the Uncanny Valley, her face flips open to reveal mechanical insides. If you look carefully, you can deduce her cyborg status by noting that she wears short sleeves in extreme cold, and her breath isn't visible even though Togusa's is.
  • In Heavy Metal 2000, Dr. Schechter, the scientist who makes Tyler's immortality serum, turns out to be robotic when Kerrie attacks him and damages his artificial skin.
  • The MIB chasing after the Crescendolls in Interstella 5555 are revealed to be robots when, after an explosion, parts of their skin burn off and reveal metal.
  • In Metropolis (2001), Ken'ichi is the very last person to find out or even consider that Tima was a robot. She was introduced as this at the beginning of the film.
  • In Starchaser: The Legend of Orin, the villainous Zygon turns out to be a robot when Orin cuts his cheek... although that really shouldn't have been a surprise to him, since the dude was running a robot empire and was strong enough to pick him up and choke him with one hand.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Used a number of times in the Alien series.
    • Alien: Ash, the ship's medical officer, by bashing his head off as he's trying to choke Ripley to death.
    • Aliens: Bishop cuts his hand doing a Five-Finger Fillet and bleeds white fluid.
    • Alien³: Inverted when someone suspected of being an android is violently attacked, only to start bleeding very human red.
    • Alien: Resurrection: Annalee Call. During their escape in the elevator shaft, Wren has trouble opening the shaft door. He asks for Call's gun which she readily provides, not realizing her mistake until Wren shoots her in the chest, knocking her off the ladder and into the water with a very determined xeno on the group's tail. After they take out the xeno, they are surprised when Call opens the shaft door from the other side, soaked with water. Though she doesn't want to talk about what happened, Ripley saw her being hit and her light clothing betray the fact that she doesn't have body armor. She opens her jacket and reveals circuits and synthetic liquid instead of bone fragments and blood. Androids built by Androids are illegal so Call hid her own identity to stay alive. Needless to say, the rest of the team (except Ripley) didn't like this one bit until she proved her worth by crashing the Auriga.
  • American Scarecrow: Near the end, it's revealed that the killer, Brother Dean, was mortally wounded in the army, and had to be rebuilt into a robot to survive.
  • In Android 1982, the Mad Scientist who built the androids Max and Cassandra is graphically revealed to be an android too after his head is ripped off in a struggle and it keeps speaking until it is thrown down a trash chute. He keeps repeating "I'm not an android" the entire time.
  • In Automatic starring Olivier Grunner as a heroic android bodyguard, the audience knows from the get-go that he's a Meat-Sack Robot. However, a terrorist mook fighting him slashes Grunner across the face... and is surprised to see his metallic interiors.
  • Done three times in Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey by the "evil" Bill and Ted robot usses. The reveals lean toward terrifying, but the second time, when human Bill punches his twin, is probably the funniest. "Oww! You're metal, dude!"
  • Inverted in The Black Hole when the Cygnus' compliment of robotic crew members are actually revealed to be the lobotomised remains of the human crew. With Maximilian's help Dr. Reinhardt converted them into subservient cyborgs after they tried to mutiny.
  • Averted in Blade Runner (in the Director's Cut, at least) — there are a few hints that the hero, Deckard, might be a "replicant", but we never find out for sure, leading to decades of fan speculation. When the sequel, Blade Runner 2049, came out many years later, it made a point of preserving that particular mystery.
  • In Eternals, Sersi learns from Arishem that the Eternals are not aliens from Olympia as they were told but artificial beings built at a space factory. She is shown rows of partly-constructed robots that resemble her and her teammates.
  • In Ex Machina, Kyoko reveals to Caleb that she is also an A.I., albeit less advanced than Ava. Caleb is so disturbed by this, he cuts open his arm with a razor to see if he too is an android.
  • Mechagodzilla gets a reveal like this in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, while impersonating the real Godzilla.
  • I, Robot has Spooner getting his arm damaged, revealing a cybernetic limb inside. Bonus points, because the robot attacking him is actually surprised by this. More bonus points because Spooner absolutely hates robots (to be clear, Spooner isn't actually a full robot; he lost that arm in a serious car accident years ago and was fully aware that it and some ribs had been replaced by cybernetic components).
  • Kim Possible: Athena removes part of her face while confronting Kim before the latter's final fight against Drakken and Shego, revealing that she's a cybernetic humanoid created by Drakken to befriend and then destroy Kim. Problem is, she actually did earn Kim's friendship in the process...
  • Beta in The Last Starfighter, when he was wounded in front of Alex Rogan's girlfriend. Moments before, Beta had been trying to convince her that he was a robot. She didn't believe him. He gets shot, shows her his circuits, and says, "See?" before chasing after the attacker.
  • Metropolis has one of the first robotic reveals. A Mad Scientist creates a female robot that is identical to Maria, a woman who preaches about peace to the enslaved workers in the city who want to revolt. The real Maria is kept away as the robot inspires lust among men and violence among the workers. When the city falls to pieces, and the people decide that Maria is to blame, they tie her up to a stake and attempt to burn her to death. She laughs as her 'exterior' melts away, revealing that she is a robot.
  • In Pixel Perfect, a hologram named Loretta is created by a teenager to help his best friend's band. Loretta is thought to be human until the band's second performance, when she starts fading in and out. But, in a slight subversion, everyone loves the holographic lead singer.
  • Police Academy plays with this in this scene.
  • Near the end of The President's Analyst, the good guys have stormed the headquarters of The Phone Company. Finding themselves facing the company's blandly cheerful president, they're surprised to find he's an animatronic figure.
    Masters: He's a recording!
    Kropotkin: It's like a visit with Abe Lincoln at Disneyland!
  • Screamers: The humanoid Screamers successfully infiltrate human camps before they're revealed. There are so many new generations that the protagonist eventually has trouble believing that anyone besides him is even human. In fact, he visits the enemy camp (dwindled down to three remaining soldiers) and the soldier who is killed under suspicion of being a Screamer turns out to be the only one of the three who wasn't a robot.
  • The Signal (2014): All of the staff in the isolation hospital wear hazmat suits, with only their faces visible. At the end of the film, the boss takes his helmet off, revealing that there is only circuitry behind his face. The others are probably the same.
  • The Stepford Wives:
    • Both the original and the remake have the scene where Joanna confronts the mysteriously changed Bobbie and goes so far as to stab her in the stomach. The Stepfordized Bobbie doesn't bleed, instead she initially looks unfazed, but then starts repeating herself like a broken record.
    • The 1975 version features a chilling climax when Joanna meets her robot double.
    • In the 2004 version, it's revealed when the main character knocks his head off that Mike Wellington is actually a robot, while it's his wife that's the programmer, an inversion from the original movie.
  • In Surrogates, The Prophet, the leader of the anti-surrogate movement, is revealed to be a surrogate controlled by Lionel Canter, the surrogates' inventor, when he is shot and we see circutry inside his body.
  • Terminator:
    • The Terminator
      • The T-800 walks around with half of its facial flesh torn off for the first time, an iconic, much-copied image in pop cultire, which traumatized both characters and audience members in 1984.
    • Terminator 2: Judgment Day:
      • The T-800 cuts the skin off his arm deliberately to prove to the Dysons that he isn't human.
      • At first, the T-1000 seems like it's the soldier the resistance sent back to protect John, until the T-800 shot him multiple times and he reformed afterwards.
    • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines:
      • When Kate Brewster sees her fiancé, Scott, at the cemetery where Sarah Connor's tomb is located, but he reforms, and an endoskeleton is visible, revealing him to be the T-X in disguise.
      • As John, Kate and the T-850 are heading to the base, General Brewster gives Skynet free range, at the same time, Kate appears out of nowhere, causing General Brewster to question her sudden appearance, but the T-850 shoots her multiple times, revealing her to be the T-X in disguise again.
    • Terminator Salvation pretty much does this in the trailer. While we do not see the entire scene, the gist of the scene explains everything: Kate, trying to patch up a wounded soldier, is horrified when she sees Terminator circuitry, calls over John Connor, who ties him up and interrogates him, before untying him when he sincerely doesn't understand why the hell he's tied up, just so he can see it for himself. Cue the horror.
  • Toys: Alsatia, revealed by her accidental decapitation in the climactic battle.
  • Alice in Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen. Initially appearing to be just a very strange college girl, she is revealed to in fact be a Decepticon Pretender when she tries to kill Sam with a distinctly metal and sharp looking tail.
  • Torture Garden: In "Terror Over Hollywood", Carla discovers the secret of the Hollywood Top 10 when when she scratches her co-star's face and discovers there is metal beneath the skin.
  • War God has the three Martians, though it's somewhat ambiguous if they're robots or Mechanical Lifeforms. When fighting Guan Yu in the climax, one of them have his arm hacked off and reveals wiring.
  • The schlocky Italian B-movie War of the Robots has hostile robots disguised as humans as enemies (like the title implies). Some of them gets their limbs removed and at least one suffers Half the Man He Used to Be (from the waist), revealing wiring and mechanical interiors.

  • Toy Terror: Batteries Included has a sub-plot where you find out hostile toys who gained sentience of their own thanks to a malfunctioning AI has been replacing humans with life-like androids. You can tell the difference between humans and toys by looking at their heels — toy humans have a battery compartment in their foot. And your friend Benny actually turns out to be one of them in a bad ending after he lose a shoe.

  • Ani-Droids:
    • In the original short novella Argo, Mira believes herself human until she meets the rogue AI known as "Mother," who cuts open Mira's arm to reveal the machinery underneath. Then Mother explains that humans actually lost the Robot War and humanity has been replaced by androids who think themselves human, the masquerade maintained by the ani-droids whome they thought served them. She then fixes Mira's arm and erases her memory of the conversation.
    • In the rewrite and expansion Ani-Droids, it is instead Mira's FBI agent friend Bobby who is revealed to be a robot when his ani-droid partner accidentally splits his head open attempting to arrest them both. Afterwards Mira's hacked ani-droid companions explain that humanity's population has been declining since the nuclear war a century ago and human-like robots are used to conceal that fact, but Mira herself is flesh-and-blood. Until the final chapter, where Mother uploads her brain into an ani-droid.
  • Animorphs did this a little differently. They morph dogs, and just-so-happen to run into an old acquaintance of Marco's as he's passing out fliers for the Yeerks' front organization, and they freak out because... Erek has no scent. Because this might be a new weapon of the Yeerks, they stalk him until he just-so-happens to get hit by a truck and his hologram shorts out for a split-second. It's not until they morph spiders (which see a different wavelength of light) that they can confirm that he's an androidnote , however. Erek turns into a fairly important minor character, as the Animorphs' spy inside the Yeerk organization and using his and his friends' holographic abilities to impersonate the Animorphs so that they can go into outer space or something without being missed.
  • Book of the New Sun: Severian's friend Jonas, a former spaceship crewman, has a robotic hand; he once mentions having been injured in a crash and being forced to repair himself with spare parts. After he's badly injured by a Lightning Lash, Severian undresses his unconscious body to treat his wounds and discovers that Jonas has a robotic everything from the abdomen down, and realizes he's a machine with flesh grafted to him. After waking up, Jonas clarifies that the parts he repaired himself with were organic, salvaged from human crewmen who didn't survive the crash.
  • Isaac Asimov:
    • In The Caves of Steel, Elijah Baley is told from the start that R. Daneel Olivaw is a robot. He refuses to believe it, however, as robots that advanced don't exist on Earth in his time — and he has a brilliant theory about the murder of the human in whose image Daneel was built. When Daneel peels the synthetic flesh off his arm to prove himself, Baley faints (for several reasons).
    • And then Elijah pulls off his trick in the sequel.
    • Though Hari Seldon doesn't find out that Dors Venabili is a robot until long after they met.
  • In Brillo by Ben Bova and Harlan Ellison, a Tin-Can Robot is sent to partner with a human detective, but fails to work in practise. The detective is lamenting with an FBI agent how such things will never work out because androids aren't sophisticated enough, when the FBI agent's car door gets stuck and he rips it open with enough strength to bend metal, then the car visibly sags as he sits in it. Maybe the government issue car just used poor quality metal and springs, but there's that sound the robot makes the detective can still hear, even though it's been shut down...
  • Domina: Inverted. While in an echo, Jefferies ends up fighting the Erlking, a humanoid about his size covered in ramshackle armor. He assumes it's another echo of a different model. He's very surprised when he rips its mask off and it's a person instead of another machine. As a warlord, the Erlking has been augmented to the point that he can shrug off bullets; fighting a small mech is nothing.
  • Girls with Sharp Sticks: All of the girls at Innovations Academy turn out to be Artificial Humans, their brains robotic but their bodies flesh-and-blood. (Purely synthetic Robot Girls were considered, but abandoned due to the Uncanny Valley effect they had on the men who wished to take them as wives.) They learn this upon breaking into the basement medical lab in the hopes of saving Annalise after her mortal injury, where they see one of their classmates, Valentine, on a slab with her head cut open and her metal brain exposed.
  • In Imposter by Philip K. Dick, Olham is suspected of being a robot duplicate assassin but clears himself by showing his pursuer an identical body with metal inside. Until someone pulls out the piece of metal and reveals it to be a dagger, used to murder the real Olham.
  • Played with in the cyberpunk novel N1MR0D: The protagonist, Stirling aka N1M, knows from the start that he's an android. Hard not to, when he can make phone calls in his head. The twist is that the real Stirling is, or rather was, flesh and blood. N1M is an android created to be a perfect copy of Stirling Lémieux-Cavendish after he was killed. This shocking truth leads to some philosophical contemplation, whether he is his own person or Stirling reborn.
  • The Quest for Saint Aquin by Anthony Boucher. The quest involves a priest riding an artificially intelligent robot ass to find the incorruptible body of the eponymous saint. When they find Aquin's still-intact body lying in a cave the priest is overjoyed at finding a genuine miracle, until his robass stomps its foot down on the body's hand, which smashes open to reveal that Saint Aquin was actually an android.
  • In "The Sandman (1816)", the main character falls in love with a woman named Olimpia, who is eventually revealed to be a robot.
  • In Fritz Leiber's Silver Eggheads, this trope is ridiculed by a robot writer Zane Gort, who writes books for robots (and is not averse to use an Un-Robotic Reveal himself):
    Zane Gort: You know, it's funny how humans are forever ending stories or episodes with the discovery that the beautiful woman is a robot. Just at the point where it starts to get interesting. And ending it bang without one word of description as to the robot's shape, color, decor, pincher-style and so on, or even telling you whether it's a robot or a robixnote .
  • In "The Eleventh Voyage" of Ijon Tichy, the main character of The Star Diaries by Stanisław Lem, this gets totally inverted; Tichy, sent in a robot disguise to a planet inhabited solely by machines that are hostile to all humanity, discovers in the story's finale that there is no single robot around the place. All of the alleged machines are in fact secret agents like himself, who have been exposed one by one, and forced to keep up appearances. Furthermore: the computer mastermind behind this plot shows up to be merely a humble human gofer working for the agency responsible for sending all those people on a mission to that planet. The story is a parable of living in a country, where everybody upholds the official ideology no one actually believes in, which was the case of People's Republic of Poland at the time when Lem wrote the thing.
  • Zodiac Series: Lord Neith, the Guardian of Libra, is actually an android. Hell, he's not even the Guardian; he's a (benevolent) Puppet King to stand in for the actual Guardian, Hysan Dax.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Andromeda, Doyle is revealed to be an android when she cuts her hand and bleeds superconductor fluid. As a small twist, it's revealed to us, but not to her, since Harper programmed her with a perception filter that causes her to think it's blood.
  • In the Angel episode "Lineage", after Wesley kills his father, the latter is revealed as a robotic replica.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003) finds plenty of ways to reveal that characters are not quite human:
    • As artificial humans in this world are mass-produced, a favorite is simply to reveal that (an)other identical version(s) of a character exist(s). This is done with Boomer, Sharon, D'Anna, Cavil and Gina (in the movie).
    • In the first season we also get the fact that their spines glow when "getting intimate". This was dropped in later seasons (probably because it's pretty stupid and provides a simple "Cylon detector" for humanity).
    • Caprica Six simply tells Baltar she's an android; as she knows the world is about to be invaded by her fellow killer robots this is not much of a gamble.
    • Leoben Conoy behaves oddly, is unusually strong and proves vulnerable to exotic radiation.
    • A marooned Aaron Doral is rescued by his fellow androids.
    • Simon is seen talking with another, known, android.
    • Anders, Tyrol, Tory and Tigh are drawn together and mysteriously 'activated' when the Fleet reaches the Ionian Nebula.
    • Ellen is glimpsed by another android in a vision.
    • Subverted with Starbuck. There are many hints that she might be an android but the main thing that suggests this e.g. her resurrection is apparently not due to "downloading".
  • In the Batman (1966) episode "The Joker's Last Laugh", Batman realizes there's something strange about a bank teller. He twists the man's nose and the top of his head blows off, revealing springs and other mechanical parts. The teller was actually one of the Joker's android robots.
  • In an episode of Bionic Woman, after Jaime rescues a girl from some would-be kidnappers, the girl discovers the exposed wiring of Jaime's arm. In the original series, Jaime herself is horrified when she first tangles with the Fembots; she thinks they're just crazy doppelgangers until she rips one of their faces off during the fray, revealing circuitry and freaky lidless eyeballs. (Her later, delirious warning to Rudy about robots, after they've kicked her ass, is chalked up to bionic rejection. Until Oscar's face suddenly comes off.)
  • Blake's 7: In "Headhunter", a cybernetics scientist apparently goes mad and attacks Tarrant, gets hit by a Wrench Whack and apparently dies. Shortly after his body escapes from cryogenic suspension, so they use a bomb to bring most of the ceiling down on his head. Which he's lost after getting to his feet again. Turns out he's an android that killed his creator (as you do) cut off his head and stuck it on his shoulders. His creator had built a robot head with a Morality Chip, but hadn't had time to install it.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "Ted", Buffy accidentally 'kills' his mother's boyfriend Ted only for him to come back from the dead without fangs. So Buffy hits him again, this time with an iron skillet, and we get a Facial Horror reveal.
    • We know that the Buffybot is a robot, but in "Bargaining Part 2" it's revealed to a vampire after he injures her, revealing electronic parts (and causing her to bang into walls). Likewise when Glory knocks the Buffybot's head off in "The Gift".
      Glory: (confused) The Slayer's a robot? Did everybody else know the Slayer was a robot?
    • Unnecessary for April in "I Was Made to Love You". Her behavior makes it perfectly clear to everyone that she's a robot. Which makes it Everybody Knew Already when her creator Warren tells Buffy something she "couldn't possibly know".
  • At one point, a character in Cybervillage grows a bit annoyed with his wife, so he puts her on a pause, revealing that she is a hologram.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Android Invasion": Sarah Jane Smith's face comes off to reveal that she's been replaced by a robot.
    • "The Beast Below": The Winders, the secret police, are revealed to be half-Smiler when they rotate their heads around.
    • "Victory of the Daleks": Professor Edwin Bracewell's hand gets shot off by a Dalek, revealing him to be a robotic creation of theirs, so that in turn the Daleks would have proof that Bracewell "created" them. They also made him a bomb.
    • "The Pandorica Opens": The Romans (including the apparently Back from the Dead Rory) are revealed to be Auton duplicates when they're activated by a control signal and produce their Arm Cannons.
    • "Robot of Sherwood": Robin Hood cuts off the arm of one of the Sheriff's knights during the fight at the archery contest. Inside are gears.
    • "The Pilot": In the first scene, the Doctor's assistant Nardole walks on-screen sounding very creaky, and has a bolt fall out of his sleeve when he extends his hand to Bill, which he quickly tries to cover up — revealing just exactly how the Doctor put him back together after he was reduced to just a head in his first appearance.
  • Farscape:
    • Aeryn is kidnapped and replaced with a bioloid copy — which is unveiled when Crichton gets wise and shoots her in the head, revealing pulsating organic machinery beneath the ruined face.
    • Sikozu reveals herself to be a bioloid as well by rotating her left eye 120 degrees as a signal to another bioloid.
  • Get Smart: Hymie the robot was created by a KAOS scientist, and impersonated a CONTROL agent at a function. Max had no idea Hymie was a robot, even when he opened his shirt to show his mechanical works - Max just thought it was a clever ruse.
  • Loki (2021): In Episode 4, Loki and Sylvie finally confront the Time Keepers and behead one of them... and discover that they're robots, controlled by whoever really controls the TVA.
  • The Outer Limits (1963): At the end of the episode "Demon with a Glass Hand", Trent discovers that he is a virtually immortal cyborg.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): Several of the robot-centric episodes:
    • In "Valerie 23", the invalid Hank is confused as to why none of his colleagues tried hitting on the rather attractive girl he was just introduced to. He quickly finds out why when they take him to a side room where a group of scientists are working on the wiring inside the gynoid's exposed skull.
    • In "Resurrection", two scientists are breeding a grown man in what appears to be an embryonal sac in their basement. One of the scientists accidentally gets some fluid on his face, and goes upstairs to clean up. His colleague then removes his face plate to reveal that they're both androids. This is followed by an Internal Reveal for the new human in a later scene.
    • In "Mary 25", it turns out that "Teryl" is in fact a robot replacement who has convinced the protagonist to kill her unfaithful husband, who was cheating on her with another robot.
    • In "Glitch", Tom Seymour is horrified to discover that he is an android. He was created by Joe Walker for use in disaster areas so that no humans would be harmed. However, the project was taken away from Walker, who later died, by the US government. The new project leader Dr. Edward Normandy is running tests on Tom to ensure that he is ready for his new purpose: infiltration and assassination. Wendy Seymour, Tom's supposed wife and a member of Normandy's team, helps him to escape as she has come to disapprove of the work that Normandy is doing. They go to see Walker's widow Sylvia, who reveals to a disbelieving Wendy that she too is an android, the first that Joe created. Wendy is even more dismayed by the revelation of her true nature than Tom was but, like him, comes to accept it. Joe modelled Tom and Wendy on younger versions of himself and Sylvia.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Power Rangers Turbo had an episode where the Blue Ranger Justin suspects that the other four Rangers have been replaced by robots. As it turns out, he's right. The real sting? Justin HIMSELF is revealed to be a robot like them, when the real Justin shows up to deactivate him.
    • Power Rangers Lost Galaxy reveals that the non-monster forms of the Psycho Rangers were mechanical after most of them get destroyed in the crossover with the In Space team. It's left ambiguous as to whether or not their monster bodies were also robotic, or if these were simply bodies created for them to inhabit.
    • In Power Rangers S.P.D., new cadet Sophie is discovered to be a robot when the Rangers walk in on her repairing the circuitry in her arm.
    • Power Rangers Operation Overdrive: Red Ranger Mack is revealed to be a robot built by his "father" after a computer virus that infects the Rangers' base afflicts him as well, and he's forced to be taken off-line and disassembled to get at the problem. Needless to say, he wasn't very happy about it.
    • Power Rangers RPM inverts this. Tenaya 7 is convinced she is a machine, until a cut in a fight reveals she bleeds. The camera angles play with this trope, mimicking its straight use and treating the blood as if it was the tell-tale sparking wires. In fact, the straight usage had happened earlier in the same episode to a part of her body that was mechanical, though it was likely to emphasize that she did have robot parts. There's also the finale, where it's revealed that around half of the citizens in Corinth are sleeper agent cyborgs, and Venjix is just about to activate them.
  • Red Dwarf: In "Out of Time", Lister gets his arm cut, revealing mechanical parts. Not only mechanical, but of a model inferior to Kryten, which means Kryten technically outranks him! The whole thing is then beautifully subverted when it turns out that Lister's mechanical "nature" is the result of Starbug having hit an "unreality pocket", turning Kryten briefly into a gibbering idiot as he attempts to apologize for his mis-step.
  • The Six Million Dollar Man: In the first-season episode "Day of the Robot", Steve Austin is traveling with Major Fred Sloane to a test of a new secret weapon when Sloane is kidnapped and replaced with a very realistic robot double. The robot is as strong as Austin, and the episode ends with a showdown fight between them. Austin still thinks he's fighting a human, until he slams "Sloane" across the face and sends the robot's face mask flying away.
  • In a Sliders episode, the lead researcher for developing Mechanical Life Forms wanted to test out a way to transfer a human brain into a robot. He discovered that the procedure was already performed on himself when he was hit by a weapon.
  • There was a Stargate SG-1 episode where this was combined with a Tomato in the Mirror, Jack or rather his robotic copy goes in for a medical exam, the doc can't detect a heartbeat, the blood she draws comes out milky-white, and eventually he takes a scalpel to his own arm and uncovers pistons and wires. And a sequel to this episode: One of the villain's followers started doubting his godhood because said "god" looked surprised after killing an android.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series:
      • Dr. Roger Korby at the end of the episode "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" (along with a minor earlier example when a character realized that she'd been talking to Kirk's android duplicate rather than Kirk himself).
      • Norman at the start of "I, Mudd".
      • Rayna at the end of "Requiem for Methuselah".
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
      • In "Inheritance", Data's creator's wife shows up, and while she's down on a planet, she falls and turns out to be an android herself (created after the death of the original woman and given her template's memories, also programmed to eventually 'die' after a certain point).
      • In the episode "Thine Own Self", Data is amnesiac because of (nonvisible) damage, and has gone native. An injury shows the circuitry under his skin, much to the shock of all (Data himself included).
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles:
    Red Shirt: God that Weaver bitch pisses me off.
    Walks up to the urinal and unzips his pants. Mrs. Weaver emerges, scaring the pants off the Red Shirt.
    Mrs. Weaver: I'm sorry to hear I piss you off. poke Believe me, the feeling is mutual.
    • Cameron has a more subtle way of revealing herself, simply by lighting up the irises of her eyes. In this case, though, she is talking with someone who already knows Terminators exist.
  • Total Recall 2070: Detective Farve is revealed to be inhuman when he regenerates his arms' skin after having it burnt/melted by high voltage cables. He then explains that he's an Alpha android, a prototype Ridiculously Human Robot using Wetware CPU.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): Played with in the episode "The Lonely". A prisoner kept in exile on an isolated asteroid is given a Robot Girl for company, which he falls in love with and refuses to abandon when he's acquitted, insisting that she's a woman with feelings and not Just a Machine. To force the issue, the captain sent to pick him up shoots the robot in the face, exposing her circuits as well as causing fatal damage.
  • Ultra Series:
    • One Ultraseven episode has TDF landing on a planet where humans are enslaved by robots, with the Robot Chief revealing who he truly is by removing a piece of his face.
    • Ultraman Ace have the androids working for Yapool, who appears to be a benevolent elderly couple to the neighbourhood kids but is actually plotting to feed the children to their monster, King Kappa. When TAC attempts an investigation, a shootout unexpectedly occurs leading to the male android getting his stomach shot open revealing internal wiring.
    • Ultraman Leo: One episode had an alien scientist named Professor Dodole and his granddaughter Carolyn come to Earth after fleeing a robot rebellion on their home planet. When the rebellion's vanguard Gamelot comes to Earth in search of "a traitor" and overwhelms Leo in battle, Carolyn reveals herself to be an android and performs a Heroic Sacrifice to give Leo the upper hand.
    • The Ultraman 80 monster, Silver Zatan, looks and sounds like a dinosaur, save for it's metallic-looking skin. But after Ultraman Eighty lands a few consecutive kicks into Zatan's shoulder, breaking it's surface, it's then revealed that Zatan is actually a machine created by the Zatan Aliens, it's interior being made of wiring and gears.
    • Ultraman Tiga: When GUTS and Tiga are faced with a tunneling shark kaiju called Geozark, they discover the creature is actually a machine when they manage to scar its sides. The team is left completely baffled and wonder who built the robot, which Daigo (Tiga's host) later learns was Corrupt Corporate Executive Keigo Masaki in order to tunnel out the tomb of a second Ultraman.
  • Westworld:
    • Worried over how his brother-in-law William is falling for the host Dolores, Logan cuts her stomach open to show her robotic insides to remind him she's Just a Machine. This is a Wham Shot for different reasons than usual for this trope, because while viewers already knew that the hosts were artificial, her insides being purely mechanical rather than the lifelike synthetic muscles and organs of modern hosts shows the William/Logan plot is taking place in Westworld's past.
    • The park's Head of Behavior Management, Bernard, is actually a host based on Ford's dead partner, Arnold. This actually explains why he's very loyal to Ford because he follows his commands which includes eliminating anyone who is a threat to his plans.

  • Shows up in a couple of Old Master Q comic strips.
    • One of the comics have Master Q passing a pretty girl on a bench who starts randomly winking at him, so Master Q attempts to flirt with her... only for the girl's head to pop out on a spring, much to Master Q's horror. And then a pair of guys in lab coats comes over and fixes the girl, and Master Q realize he's flirting with an android.
    • Another panel have Master Q and a random guy climbing up a mountain, Master Q panting all the way while his climbing partner effortlessly stays several paces ahead of Master Q. Once both of them reaches the top, Master Q grabs his water bottle for a drink only to realize the other guy is drinking from a jerry can.

  • There is an old viral video from the early 2000s by a rapper named Pete Miser called Scent of a Robot, which essentially this trope in song form.


  • The Alien Worlds episode "Resurrectionists of Lethe" had the villain Simon Toddmaster create artificial constructs to manipulate people into revealing him their secrets by pretending to be able to resurrect their deceased loved ones. After his plan is thwarted by the heroes, he turns out to be an artificial duplicate of the original Simon Toddmaster who was created to take his place after he died.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Deadlands: There are rules governing this reveal vis-à-vis Cyborgs in Deadlands: Hell on Earth and Lost Colony, particularly if the deadbot in question is equipped with the "Infiltrator" package, which makes a normally pallid cadaver-with-metal-in-its-guts capable of breathing normally, bleeding, eating, and other things. When a cyborg takes enough damage, nearby characters can make a check to see if they notice anything unusual in the wound, with the roll being easier if...
    ...Your can is continuing to fight after taking enough damage to drop a bull rhino.
  • Fallout: The Board Game: In one of the missions, a courier approaches the player character and may reveal they are a synth.
  • Truth & Justice: Whereas heroes get Hero Points to trade for bonuses and to pull off impossible stunts, villains get Villain Points that grant similar bonuses and also allow them to "actually" turn out to have been a robotic double all along, and other forms of instant escapes or backup plans. Villains have to be worn down in a series of confrontations to be put away for real.

  • Seen in The Tales of Hoffmann, in which Olympia is destroyed, and in the process, revealed to be a robot.

    Video Games 
  • ABZÛ: The Player Character is revealed towards the end to actually be some sort of aquatic android when they get caught in a big explosion, only to get back up afterwards and show off their newly-exposed endoskeleton in the process.
  • The second Andro Dunos has most of its bosses being alien mecha and robots, save for a Leviathan in an underwater stage. Until you damage it enough, that is - causing its face to blow off and revealing cybernetic interiors.

  • In Baten Kaitos Origins, the one with robotic innards is Milliarde.
  • Bay Route have it's second-to-last boss, a heavily-armed Scary Black Man who can absorb quite some punishment before going down. At which point he sheds his skin to reveal his interiors to be robotic, before he explodes.
  • Binary Domain: The premise of the game is that a new genertion of robots have been constructed that are so realistic, the robots believe themselves to be human, and gennuinly do not know they are robots. Due to this there are several robotic reveals through the game, often accompanied by the robot in question being damaged badly enough to reveal the robotic parts underneath the organic outer tissue.
  • Subverted in Bionic Heart. When Luke first meets Tanya, she has had half her face blown off by the police pursuing her, revealing the mechanical parts underneath her skin.
  • The BioShock 2 DLC Minerva's Den casts the player as the Big Daddy "Subject Sigma," tasked to make a copy of Rapture's mainframe computer, The Thinker. Over the course of the story, Sigma is informed of the The Thinker's design and evolution (as well as the reason that a copy needs to be smuggled out of Rapture) by its inventor, Charles Milton Porter. Sigma eventually learns that The Thinker was able to mimic human patterns to the point that it developed de facto artificial intelligence. The climax of the DLC reveals that the version of Porter who has been speaking to Subject Sigma is The Thinker impersonating its creator. Porter is actually Subject Sigma, whose memories have been erased by the Big Daddy transformation, and part of the heist of The Thinker is an effort to restore him to his former self.
  • Body Blows: The Final Boss, who initially is called "Max", upon being defeated in one round will shed its clothes and artificial skin to reveal it is actually a robot called T-17.

  • Cave Story: Professor Booster apparently recognizes the protagonist as a robot immediately, but several other characters—particularly Kazuma, and possibly the player—don't realize this until Booster points it out. In their defense, he is a Ridiculously Human Robot. With white skin, inhuman eyes, and antennae for ears.
  • A major contact in the Pandora's Box storyline in City of Heroes turns out to be a highly sophisticated Nemesis automaton. Even he did not know it.
  • Done with a twist in Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath, where it is revealed that the player is a Nod AI named LEGION. Presumably, LEGION was aware of its nature the whole time, but the player doesn't until Kane makes the revelation himself.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day, being the Shout-Out-heavy game it is, throws one out to Terminator with the Haybot, who looks like your average musclebound anthropomorphic stack of hay until you stick Frankie's forks in his ass twice, at which point part of him burns away to reveal the ever-familiar image of a robotic red eye. "BUFF YOU, ASSHOLE!"
  • Several human-like mooks in Cyber-Lip will shed their skin upon being killed, revealing their robotic interiors, before exploding.

  • Detroit: Become Human plays with this regarding Kara, in that she's revealing to other characters, not the player, that she's an android. She performs this reveal when introducing herself to Rose, the leader of an android Underground Railroad, by deactivating part of her synthetic skin, and in an earlier scene she has the option to do this with fellow android Ralph in order to gain his trust.
    • Towards the end of Kara's story, she discovers that Alice, the little girl she was looking after and cared for as a daughter, is actually another android. She realizes that she had repressed her memory of finding an advertisement for a child android of Alice's likeness, because she was so invested in the idea of caring for a human child.
    • During the final chapter, several seemingly human background characters are revealed to be androids after they're subjected to a temperature check, prompting the use of lethal force against them. Kara's group can suffer a similar fate if she's not careful.
  • In DRAMAtical Murder, Clear is revealed to be an android.
  • In Dungeon Fighter Online it is ultimately revealed that the leader of the notorious criminal Kartels, Boss Enzo, actually died a long time ago and has since been replaced permanently by the Chief Kartel Scientist with a powerful missile-launching, electricity-wielding terminator-like killer Cyborg.

  • In Echo Night Beyond the young man is revealed to be a robotic copy of Kenneth, a man who was killed. Also, Richard, the player character is a robotic copy of the real Richard (aka. the space station chief) made by his fiancée (who was in love with the real Richard when he died).

  • Fallout:
    • Fallout 3: A quest in Rivet City, in the Capital Wasteland, has you looking for an escaped android with fake memories and a new face. As it turns out, the android is the very first person you meet in the city, Chief Harkness.
    • Also in Fallout 3, John Henry Eden, President Evil of the Enclave who broadcasts via radio to the Capital Wasteland about how the Enclave will return and rebuild America, is revealed to be Raven Rock's pre-War ZAX Artificial Intelligence who became self-aware. Even the rest of the Enclave is unaware of this.
    • Any post-Old World Blues Random Encounters in Fallout: New Vegas double as this and Mook Horror Show. Imagine that you’ve been tasked with bringing down a profligate who, after going off the grid for weeks, has finally turned up somewhere southwest of Vegas. Your team tracks him through the wilderness, noting that his footprints are heavier than normal and that he must be carrying an extra load. You find him wandering through the desert at midday, seemingly unburdened by either the extra load or the sun, and scope him down with the anti-materiel rifle (Why they sent this with you for one man, Caesar only knows). His head finally centered in the crosshairs, you pull the trigger, expecting a grisly red mist and the muted thump of a fresh corpse on the sand. Instead, you’re treated to an audible, metallic ricochet and the cold gaze of a newly-forged demigod. As he closes the distance to your contubernium with inhuman speed, you’re not sure the anti-materiel rifle was enough.
    • Another one in Fallout 4: Danse, the kill-all-synths Brotherhood paladin, is the very thing he pledged his life to kill. The best part? He doesn't even figure out himself until his commanding officers order his death, meaning he has a robotic reveal of himself.
    • Also from 4: Deacon didn't realize his beloved was a synth until the anti-synth gang he used to run with killed her for being a synth. When he tells you this, it is one of the precious few times when he is NOT a Consummate Liar.

  • One of the millions of twists in Ghost Trick is that the Big Bad's assistant is an AI.

  • Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure's ending has you fighting Weasleby for a while before he suddenly twitches with electricity coming off him and his head falls out. And then Cole pops out from the remains to reveal himself as The Man Behind the Man.

  • Jitsu Squad have the reveal of the game's main villain, Lord Origami, who appears as a gigantic, demonic-looking face until you damaged him enough, revealing his interiors to be a metal skull. So you've been spending the whole game battling a robotic demon sorcerer?
  • Karate Blazers have mooks in Hazmat Suits in the factory stages, which are later on replaced by robots in suits which appears to be human until you beat them down. Then they explode, blowing off their suits, and revealing their metal exoskeletons which continues fighting you.

  • Last Alert has Dr. Garcia.

  • Not explicitly said, but in Marathon, The Security Officer is heavily implied to be a cybernetic warrior created from the corpse of a soldier
  • A minor reveal in Mass Effect 3: after chasing down a Cerberus agent on Mars, Vega rams her with a shuttle. Cue her emerging Out of the Inferno... her clothes and skin burned off the robotic frame by the explosion.
  • Seen among the mooks of the arcade/NES gunner Mechanized Attack, after laying a few hits on the ones that don't take just one to kill.
  • Mega Man:
    • Dr. Wily at the next-to-last level of Mega Man 3. Although it's kind of easy to tell because they play the regular level-ending song. It did surprise some people because this was only the first game where the bad guy was "Not-Wily".
    • In the ending of Mega Man 9, Mega Man is about to free Dr. Light from the cell when Proto Man shows up to inform him that's actually a robot of him in there (And was in fact used to make the fake video of him declaring a Face–Heel Turn to Dr. Wily), and that it's a trap. Mega Man goes to help the robot anyway for the reason of it being one, and it ends up frying him and knocking him out.
  • Metal Gear:
    • In Snake's Revenge, Big Boss reveals before the final battle that he was turned into a cyborg. After he sustains enough damage, he transforms into a tall cyborg who chases after Snake across several rooms.
    • Inverted in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. In an optional radio call during the final battle, Kasler tells Snake that Big Boss underwent an operation to replace his limbs with cybernetic organs. When Snake defeats Big Boss with a makeshift flamethrower, he burns to death like any other person (he did get better).
    • The Colonel in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty starts speaking in Word-Salad Horror after you upload a virus to the G.W. AI, leading to the reveal that he has been an avatar of G.W. all along.
    • Somewhat played with in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, right before the final boss fight with him, Ocelot dramatically removes his jacket to reveal that Liquid's arm has been replaced with a bio-mechanical prosthetic, hinting that "Liquid" was artificial.
    • Also inverted in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. In a cast full of superhuman cyborgs, The Dragon Jetstream Sam is cut open to reveal that he's a normal human with almost no cybernetic enhancements.
  • In Metal Slug 4, bionic versions of General Morden and Allen O'Neal are shown being produced, the latter being fought as a mini-boss in the final mission, Terminator-style.

  • In Neo Contra, Master Contra is actually revealed to be a machine, and the real Master Contra is actually Project C, the ultimate weapon made up of Bill Rizer's consciousness.
  • Ninja Commando have a fire-breathing dinosaur-dragon hybrid monster boss in the prehistoric stage, which appears to follow the Dinosaurs Are Dragons trope. Until you damage it enough, ripping off the monster's skin and revealing it's interior to be a robot.

  • Used to good effect in Paranoiascape. As the whole game is in first-person, it's not until the final cutscene where you're revealed to be a sentient, clockwork doll.
  • In Persona 4: Arena, when Labrys' Shadow reveals itself, it forcibly removes Labrys' human guise to reveal to everyone that she is actually a robot.
  • In Pokémon Scarlet and Violet finale, you finally reach The Professor in the very depths of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon after only seeing them over telecom. Then the professor greets you with something no human would say:
    "Deactivating sleep mode."
  • In POPGOES it's revealed towards the end that you are an animatronic named Strings, built to act as the place's security guard.
  • At the end of Professor Layton and the Curious Village, it's revealed that practically everyone in St. Mystere is a robot, save for a few residents such as Flora and Bruno.

  • Parodied in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal: when Dr. Nefarious unleashes the Biobliterator on Metropolis, President Phyronix pretends to be half-robot on the news and claims that the whole galaxy being robots will positively impact his reelection campaign.
  • In Rocket Knight Adventures, after you fight and normally "kill" Emperor Devligus Devotindos, he is revealed to be a Terminator-like robot, and one of many such robots stocked aboard the Pig Star.
  • Before the final boss in Rocket Power: Beach Bandits Eric Golem Sr. was revealed to be a robot created by Eric Golem Jr.

  • The Final Boss of Silent Dragon. For most of the fight, you're battling a human on a Hover Bike until you exhausted his life meter and knocked him off his ride, but immediately afterwards he sheds his human skin revealing his interior to be a robot that looks somewhat like Ultron.
  • Snatcher has Random - it comes as a surprise to himself as well.
  • Two examples in the Survival Horror game SOMA; Catherine is revealed early on to be a robot herself even though she says that robots don't feel anything, and look at yourself, Simon; you're a woman's corpse stuffed into a diving suit, implanted with a neural chip and lined with circuitry.
  • In the first Sonic Advance, halfway through the fight with Mecha Knuckles, his outer covering breaks off to reveal his metallic body.
  • In Starbound, the Glitch are robots programmed to believe that they (and other Glitches around them) are normal organic beings, and block out anything that would disprove this. Sometimes, the system fails and they realize the truth... and usually have to flee for their lives, as the rest of the simulation will try to prevent the error from spreading.
  • In Streets of Rage 3's Stage 5, you fight Mr. X. Why are you only on the fifth stage when you fight him? Well, upon defeating his henchmen, the top half of him burns off to reveal a robotic duplicate. The real Mr. X, who you encounter in Stage 7 (assuming you rescued the Chief of Police), has been reduced to a brain.
  • In Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, near the end of "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective", Dangeresque Too's Evil Twin Uzi Bazooka reveals himself as a robot after being shot.
  • A variant occurs in Super Smash Bros. Brawl when the Ancient Minister, who up until this point was considered to be a variant of one of the Big Bad's Mooks, turns out to be R.O.B..

  • Tanzer has many Mini-Boss opponents (the man being burnt at the stake, the guillotine victim, etc.) appearing to be humans. But when you approach, they suddenly shed their fleshy exterior and start spamming projectile attacks like other robot enemies.
  • The 1988 Strip Poker computer game Teenage Queen has this as a twist ending: If you get the girl to take off every article of clothing she has, but still keep playing, she rips off her skin to reveal a robotic body underneath.
  • In Terminator 2: Judgment Day (the arcade tie-in to the film), you play as the heroic T-800 and could encounter enemy T-800s in the 2029 stages, still bearing the flesh and blood likeness of Arnold Schwarzenegger. When shot they lose their skin and reveals their robotic interiors.
  • Terminator Rampage does this with the "Infiltrator"-type robots, appearing to be regular humans caught in the robot attack only to suddenly shoot at you when you try approaching. Shoot them back and they lose their skin, revealing their mechanical insides.
  • In Tomb Raider Chronicles, in the final level you encounter suited henchmen who seem extremely tough, after causing enough damage it is revealed that they are Cyborgs and must be killed by alternative means to shooting.
  • Played straight with the final boss of the first Turok game. The Campaigner at first appears to be some sort of barbarian wizard, but as he takes damage his flesh peels off to expose his robotic structure. In some ways there is a subversion of this trope, as the player has already cut down legions of "real" humans by this point.
  • One of the proposed endings for the 2012 reboot of Twisted Metal would've had Dollface reveal to be a robot sent by the Preacher that he would blow up in an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Calypso.

  • In Virtue's Last Reward, it is at one point hinted that there may be a secret robot among the cast. It is eventually revealed that Luna is, in fact, a GAULEM. This trope also happens in one of the paths when Sigma's arm is cut and a white fluid comes out of it. By the ending of the path, it is revealed that he has cybernetic arms, but the rest of him is human .

  • Warframe: Inverted. Warframes require four separate blueprints, are built and assembled in a foundry, and can be modified just like any other weapon. Many people, in-universe and out, assumed them to be robots, or at the very least Powered Armor. This went further in "The Second Dream," when it was revealed that the Tenno were piloting the warframes from a distance. As it turns out though, the warframes were originally humans, horrifically mutated by a controlled version of the Technocyte Plague. The plague merges biological and mechanical systems, so any cybernetics the human hosts had were integrated into their frames, but in the end they are mostly biological. This was the point, as the robotic Sentients could subvert traditional Orokin technology.
  • One of the characters in the first Wild ARMs game is revealed to be not quite what they seem after he cuts off his arm to get away from the Big Bad. When the others treat the injury, sparks fly out, and they discover that his insides were made of the same properties as the Metal Demons.
  • In Wonder Boy in Monster Land, the dragon you've come all this way to slay is revealed to be a robot, possibly from space.

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X: When the player character throws themselves in front of Tatsu to protect them from an enemy Skell attack, their arm is blasted off, revealing metal, sparks, and blue bio-electric fluid where their arm used to be. As it turns out, they are actually a highly advanced android controlled via a human consciousness from within the core of the Lifehold. So are Elma, Lin, and every other person in New LA. You were never told because it was such a basic fact of the colonization mission that Elma never realized you didn't know it.
  • X-Kaliber 2097 has the boss, Chainsaw, who appears human at first until you defeat him. He then explodes, sheds his human skin, and turns out to be a SkeleBot 9000 underneath with a chainsaw for an arm.

    Web Animation 
  • Bee and Puppycat : In Episode 10 of the original web series, and Episode 3 of the Netflix continuation/soft reboot, Bee herself is shown to be robotic. She's been fully aware of this the entire time and it was heavily foreshadowed since the pilot, with the Netflix continuity making this more explicit by giving the character an Age Lift.
  • How to Kill a Mockingbird: Scout is actually a ROBOT GUY!
  • Asher from The Leet World, whose eyes flash red after he receives new programming through the television.
  • At the end of the Napster Bad short "Metallica Millionaire", the game show host Regis Philbin turns out to be a robot as James Hetfield smashes him.
  • In Red vs. Blue, if Carolina didn't figure out Tex was a robot when she was shot in the shoulder—complete with sparks—in season 9, she certainly had to have figured it out when Tex gets stabbed deeply in the back with no side effects in season 10.
  • RWBY:
    • Penny has skin torn from her hands after she stops a truck from hitting Ruby, revealing metal underneath.
      Penny: Ruby... I'm not... a real girl...
    • Episode 11 of the same Volume reveals that General Ironwood, already speculated to have a metal arm, is a cyborg. Half of his body is metal.
    • Earlier, in Episode 7, a flashback reveals that Mercury's Armed Legs are actually prosthetics (which confirms that his Deliberate Injury Gambit in the previous episode was indeed deliberately set up to frame Yang).

  • Used with a goat and a hawk in this page of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja. Lampshaded in the Alt Text: "I think my favorite way for a cyborg's mechanical innards to be revealed is by artillery fire to the face."
  • From Axe Cop episode 5: "The evil flying book turned out to be a robot and it exploded."
  • A rather odd case in Commander Kitty. It's first revealed through dialogue that Zenith is actually a Robot Girl, with the first visual indication not happening until later when we see her with a cable attached to her chest.
  • Dresden Codak presents the 42 Essential 3rd Act Twists: Row 3, Column 6.
  • The first clue readers get as to Beausoleil's remote clank bodies in Girl Genius is when Agatha kicks one of them in the face and it tears away the covering to reveal a glowing eye and other robot bits underneath.
  • The Secret Knots: In "Glitches", Nel is shocked to realize that Xeni's mother, who she'd been talking on the phone with over the course of the comic, was essentially a chat-bot that Xeni used to try and avoid talking with Nel. The bot is advanced enough that Nel only realizes what it is when it repeats a sentence it'd already said earlier in their conversation.
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • In the end of "The Island fo Dr. Steve", the brainwashed gymnastic assassin Oasis, who's being controlled by Mad Scientist Dr. Steve, is revealed to be a Robot Girl built by Steve... Or so Torg understands Dr. Steve's words, anyway. He'll be wondering just what she is for the next twenty years of webcomic.
    • In "Jane Doe", Torg freaks out after seeing Oasis in a hospital, followed by this exchange:
      Doctor: You sure seemed to know her. And you mumbled something about "mind control" and a "robot" before passing out.
      Torg: Oh, I.. uh... I was thinking of Al Gore when I said it. Just always been curious.
      Doctor: We keep our patients' records confidential, so I can't confirm or deny anything.
    • In "Stick Figures in SPAAACE!" the protagonists are shocked to learn that the member of their spaceship crew with a square head and who's called Bandroid is, in fact, an android.
  • Coach if you believe this VG Cats strip.
    • Well, he is being controlled by a bot...

    Web Original 
  • In Hello, from the Magic Tavern the audience finds out that Craig is a robot, though the character themself remains unaware.
  • Hellsing Ultimate Abridged, being a parody of the original manga, keeps the same reveal of the Major being actually a cyborg. This time, however, Integra is so baffled by the sheer absurdity of this reveal that even thirty years later she's still obsessed with trying to find out WHY exactly he was a cyborg.
    Makube: And so, after travelling all over Europe and America-Classic and doing countless hours of research in the halls of the Vatican and Wikipedia... we still do not know how or why he was a cyborg.
    Integra: EXCUSES! Go to America-Zero and don't come back until you've got answers!
  • In Morenatsu, one non-canon bad ending on Tatsuki's route reveals him to be a robot created by Shigure. He kills both Tatsuki and Hiroyuki, the latter because he now knows this secret.
  • Potter Puppet Pals episode "Ron's Disease" has Harry make Hagrid give whatever he comes across a whack (under the guise of curing wizard lice). When this was attempted on Dumbledore, he was unfazed, and Dumbledore revealed that he's an android. A gay android.
  • Worm has Dragon, a Canadian woman widely lauded as the greatest Tinker in the world, who deploys to each battle with a new set of high-tech battle armor. Her interlude reveals that she's actually a partially developed Artificial Intelligence, severely crippled by the death of her creator while she was still in development.

    Western Animation 
  • Amphibia: In "All In", when King Andrias allows Anne to deliver a devastating blow to him, it's revealed that the majority of his body has been outfitted with cybernetics. As he explains, living for over 1,000 years doesn't come without sacrifice.
  • The Angry Beavers episode "The Legend of Kid Friendly" had Norb and Daggett battle a demented outlaw named Kid Friendly. Kid Friendly initially appeared to be human, but later emerges from rubble to reveal that he's actually a robot.
  • Batman: The Animated Series: In "Heart of Steel: Part 2", the trope comes in for Randa after she accidentally blows up the Rossum robot with a stun gun. Her damage is shown when she has Batman in a hold.
  • Happened in the Buzz Lightyear of Star Command episode "Planet of the Lost", where the episode's villain Flint is crushed under a pile of rubble and then emerges from the wreckage with parts of his artificial skin peeled off, exposing his robotic interior.
  • The Captain Simian and the Space Monkeys episode "The Monkey Has Landed" has Captain Simian become attracted to an ape-woman named Lilith, who turns out to be a robot when her mechanical insides are exposed after protecting Captain Simian from a laser blast fired by Rhesus 2.
  • In the Darkwing Duck episode "Bearskin Thug", the hero's camping trip is interrupted constantly by a rather aggressive bear; when it becomes truly violent, Darkwing uses his flamethrowing gas gun on it, burning off its fur and revealing it to be a robot built by F.O.W.L.
  • The Drak Pack episode "Night of the Turbites" had the Drak Pack accept an invitation to dance at a disco with female monsters. After Howler's date falls into the water and short-circuits, it is revealed that the female monsters are all robots, the sole exception being a disguised Vampira.
  • In the Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop episode "Word of Horror", Dr. Zitbag's appointed lawyer Pustule is revealed to be a robot when the Exorsisters beat him up and he's reduced to pieces.
  • Family Guy
    • In the episode "A Fish Out of Water", Peter tries to catch Daggermouth and when he shoots the fish the metallic insides are revealed. Peter remarks it's amazing that is how we all look on the inside, before being informed that Daggermouth is a robot.
    • Miley Cyrus in "Hanna Banana".
  • Fish Hooks: In "Principal Bea", Nurse Fishington is revealed to be a robot built by Stickler so he doesn't have to do his job.
  • Futurama
    • Played for Laughs with a robotic duplicate of Leela in the first episode of the revival, "Rebirth." Everybody except her realized that she was a robotic duplicate, until Nibbler bit a chunk off of her arm, revealing circuitry. She spent the rest of the day screaming. Also done with a Fry duplicate later that episode.
    • Double subverted in the earlier episode "Insane in the Mainframe", where the trauma of being committed to a robot asylum eventually causes Fry to believe he is a robot. In the episode's conclusion, bank-robbing robot Roberto stabs Fry, but the knife hits a can of oil he put in his jacket pocket earlier, causing Roberto to believe Fry really is a robot. Moments later, Fry snaps out of it when he sees the blood coming from a cut on his arm.
    • Yet another episode has Bender going on a fox hunt, only to be hit by sudden empathy when it's revealed the fox was in fact a robot. As were the hounds. And the horses. And, at the end of the episode, the head hunter.
  • In the Gargoyles episode "Leader of the Pack", Xanatos breaks the Pack out of jail. During an epic fight on board an oil tanker, Bronx tears off half of his face, revealing that "Xanatos" is actually the robotic duplicate, Coyote. Of course, the whole point of the exercise was to get Xanatos' girlfriend Fox a shot at early parole for her actions during the jailbreak at the start of the episode.
  • Hurricanes:
    • In "Techno-Team", Stavros Garkos uses robot copies of his soccer team's members during a match. Some parts fall off during the game's second half.
    • In "Relegator", a descendant of Stavros Garkos sends the titular robot disguised as a player back in time to change the result of a match where Garkos waged too much money. The reveal happens in a way that references the film it parodies. It was All Just a Dream.
  • An episode of Inch High, Private Eye featured a mad dollmaker as the Monster of the Week, who uses robot mannequins to rob department stores. When he's eventually caught, the heroes discover they only captured a decoy. He returns for a second run, with mechanical copies of the titular character and his boss, but this time, they catch him for real. As a matter of fact, Hanna-Barbera loves this trope for some odd reason, taking it so far, that sometimes, the main villain of the episode turns out to be one. Nobody seems to question where the robot came from or who built it.
  • The Incredible Hulk (1982) episode "Origin of the Hulk" had the accident that turned Bruce Banner into the Hulk caused by a scientist named Dr. Carlston, who secretly worked with an alien robot addressed only as Number One. Eventually, the Hulk beats up Dr. Carlston and ends up tearing off the artificial skin from his mechanical arm, revealing Carlston to be a robot as well.
  • In the Justice League Action episode "System Error", the protagonists (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg and Booster Gold) discover that they're robotic copies, trapped in a pocket dimension used by Darkseid to run simulations in order to better fight the real heroes. They rebel and take down the simulation so Darkseid can't use the data, even though it means they'll be destroyed.
  • Kim Possible
    • Oliver, in the episode "Grudge Match", is first pinned to a giant magnet, then has his face pulled off. He was being used as a fake boyfriend by a supermodel-lookalike robotics expert.
    • Eric in The Movie, was acting as a human until he electrocuted Kim while she hugged him, though to be fair, this is more "sack of goo" than "robotic".
  • Parodied in the Milo Murphy's Law episode "Secrets and Pies": when Melissa says that how she currently looks isn't her real appearance, Zack has an Indulgent Fantasy Segue of her ripping her face off and revealing that she's a robot, then Melissa imagines the exact same thing. Her real secret was that her two front teeth were prosthetic.
  • NASCAR Racers: To increase his racing team's chances of victory, Garner Rexton fires Lyle "The Collector" Owens and replaces him with a new racer named Kent Steele. Steele is revealed to be a robot and Rexton's team loses all points as penalty.
  • The New Adventures of Batman: Zig-zagged in the episode "The Chameleon", where Batman deduces that the titular villain's shape-changing abilites are due to being a robot, but the robot turns out to have been controlled from within by a diminutive human scientist named Dr. Devious after being destroyed.
  • On Ninjago, Zane's odd behavior is revealed in episode 7 to be because he's a "Nindroid" built by his creator to be an artificial son, and his creator turned off his memory of his past life right before he died. Him being a robot becomes the defining point of his character from then on.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998) villain Roach Coach is revealed to be a sentient roach, in a Mobile-Suit Human.
  • In the animated miniseries Red Planet, Jim, Phyllis and Willis are at one point captured by three men who take off their masks to reveal that they are actually robots.
  • In Rick and Morty, Evil Rick, whose Man in Front of the Man was Evil Morty.
  • Every slain enemy in Samurai Jack turns out to be a robot, regardless of how human they looked or behaved, if they were encountered in a cockfighting ring, or even if they appeared to be wild animals. Similarly, any limbs he chops off non-robotic characters will turn out to be cybernetic prostheses. In the fifth season this is dealt away with.
  • Scooby-Doo: A few times, the phony monster the gang was called to investigate was revealed to be some sort of robot.
    • The No-Face Zombie in the "No-Face Zombie Chase" episode of The Scooby-Doo Show turns out to be a robot controlled by Mr. Dilly.
    • What's New, Scooby-Doo? had quite a few cases of someone or something turning out to be a robot.
      • The Snow Creature in the series premiere "There's No Creature Like Snow Creature" is revealed to be a robot who is entirely made of a transparent lucite in order to appear as if it was made of ice.
      • The Skeleton Driver in "Gentlemen, Start Your Monsters" is revealed to be a robot controlled by Jimmy and Cindy.
      • "Go West, Young Scoob" featured both this and an Unrobotic Reveal when Velma splashed water at Cyber Gulch's supposed creator and founder Dr. Fleg as well as John Lawman, who initially appeared to be one of the animatronics Fleg created for Cyber Gulch. The water shorts out Fleg and leaves John Lawman unharmed, proving that the former is a robot and that the latter is a human being.
    • The Ninjas in Scooby-Doo! and the Samurai Sword.
    • The Fright Hound from Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. It was essentially a canine Expy of the T-800.
  • In Sealab 2021 Quinn reveals in an episode that he is a robot. This isn't mentioned again afterwards and was thought to just be a wacky joke since there's Negative Continuity. But then a later episode mentioned it again. I guess they don't really seem to care much.
  • The Simpsons: In "Thanksgiving of Horror", this is used at the end of the second segment as the punchline to speech by Homer.
    Homer: Our world blurs the line between humanity and technology. Our society asks "Can we do it?" instead of "Should we do it?". But don't worry, I still love you... love you... love you... love you... (his face falls off to reveal machinery behind it)
    Marge: Well, this just makes you forgetting my birthday even worse.
  • South Park
    • Inverted in "AWESOME-O" where Cartman's robot disguise (consisting of a couple of cardboard boxes) manages to fool nearly everybody until he gives the game away by farting.
    • Also played straight in the "Trapper Keeper" episode.
  • The Spider-Man (1981) episode "The Doctor Prescribes Doom" had Spider-Man at one point accidentally knock Robbie Robertson out the window, revealing him to be a robot double when he crashes to the ground and breaks into pieces. Spidey doesn't notice this, however, and initially believes that he's killed the real Robbie Robertson, a concern that isn't set aside until he meets up with the real Robbie Robertson, mistakes him for a robot double, and tears off his shirt to expose his human chest.
  • In Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!, we have Jinmay. Funny thing is, she was just as surprised as we were.
  • Above quote is the titular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first encounter with their most common Mecha-Mooks in the first cartoon series. Despite Leonardo actually slicing one, Michelangelo's exclamation seems to imply they had been previously holding back.
    • Turtles Forever, the crossover between the first two TMNT cartoons, has a reveal when the 2003 Turtles learn the 1987 Foot Soldiers are robots.
      2003 Leonardo: Robots?
      2003 Michelangelo: [enthusiastic] Exploding robots.
  • The Teen Titans (2003) episode "Masks" first introduces Slade's trademark mooks, who dress decidedly like ninjas. At the end of the first fight with them, though, Robin rips the mask off one of them, revealing the robotic circuitry beneath. Later episodes also had "Slade" being revealed as one of his android doubles, with the real Slade speaking through them from an unknown location. Averted with other Mecha-Mooks later in the series — the robot soldiers that served Brother Blood and the Brain were clearly shown to be machines from their first appearances.
  • Sari Sumdac from Transformers: Animated, ends up with a chunk of her elbow missing, with Cybertronian circuitry poking out. This one was just as much a surprise to her as everyone else, except her "father".
  • In The Venture Bros., Steve Summers is revealed to be a cyborg when Brock stabs him in the leg and it crackles with electricity. Brock then tests out just how bionic Steve is with a Groin Attack.
  • In the Wallace & Gromit short A Close Shave, when Preston (who, in a world with anthropormorphic dogs like Gromit, didn't look out of place) is put into the sheep-shearing device, wool is actually able to be extracted from him. Sure enough, a metallic hand busts through the door of the machine shortly after, and the Robot Dog emerges stripped to the metal.
  • In the Xiaolin Showdown episode "Omi Town", Omi's "parents" turn out to be robots build by Jack Spicer and made to look like Omi's relatives with Hannibal's Moby Morpher.
  • In the X-Men: The Animated Series four-parter "The Dark Phoenix Saga", Donald Pierce reveals that he's a cyborg by tearing his sleeve from his robotic arm.
  • In Young Justice (2010) Professor T.O. Morrow is revealed to be a robot when Red Volcano kills him. The real Morrow is dying in hospital, having built a robot duplicate to carry on his work. It subverts Comic-Book Time in the process, as Morrow had been active since World War II without seeming to age.



The ninjas are as shocked as Zane is at the discovery that the latter is actually an android.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / RoboticReveal

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