Follow TV Tropes


Robotic Spouse

Go To

"Ah, a match made in heaven is nothing compared to a match made in the lab."
Doctor Ivo Robotnik, Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog

An extreme form of Kiss Me, I'm Virtual, in which a (usually male) character, often a Mad Scientist, is married to a Ridiculously Human Robot. If the character does happen to be a Mad Scientist, expect him to have created his robotic wife specifically for this purpose.

Such a marriage is usually portrayed as sexist, void of any real love, and often downright squicky, unless you're into that sort of thing. In most of these marriages, it's implied that the primary factor in their "relationship" is that she provides sex, cooking, and housework without arguing, having opinions, or expecting anything in return. Ergo, most men with robot wives are usually portrayed pretty darn unsympathetically.

Sometimes touches upon the themes of a Replacement Goldfish, and can even involve Robosexual. Robo Ship often ends this way. The "scientist built the robotic wife themself" variant is a type of Pygmalion Plot.

Note: Most of the Unfortunate Implications of this trope are reserved for when the human deliberately builds or purchases the Robotic Spouse; if the robot is a separate, fully sapient being and the human had to court them the old-fashioned way, it's A-OK.

The title is the politically correct version of this trope; robotic spouses are usually robot wives.

For examples not involving marriage, see Kiss Me, I'm Virtual, Robosexual and Sex Bot.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Armitage III spoiler: The Third-type gynoids are essentially mass-produced house wives, complete with the ability to become pregnant. This is meant to allow a disproportionately male Mars to cut ties with a misandrist-ruled Earth. Naomi Armitage herself is one, and becomes this for Ross Sylibus, resulting in them having a baby.
  • Defied in the original Astro Boy's Blue Knight Saga. The evil Count Burg marries BK's "sister" thinking he'll get a completely subservient Stepford Wife, but when he learns she has a real personality he has her scrapped.
  • While Manager Ueda of Chobits did marry a persocom, it's revealed that he originally bought her to do finances at his bakery, but eventually fell in love with her. He also truly mourned her death when she got run over. Even before that, it broke his heart when her mind began to decay due to hard drive corruption (in other words, she was suffering from robot Alzheimer's). He refused to attempt a data transfer to a new drive due to the significant possibility that data would be lost, thus changing her personality and memories - which would mean she would not be the woman he fell in love with.
  • After the Cell arc ends in Dragon Ball Z, Krillin and Android 18 get married and have a daughter. Subverted in that Android 18 is more accurately a Cyborg.
  • Deconstructed in Ghost in the Shell. Gynoids, (and in one instance, an android) when used as "spouses" are viewed as a sign of perversion, extremely sexist, and it's mentioned that if the parents of a character ever found out, they'd "die of a heart attack or suicide." Reasons for why people would ever buy one include social ineptness and as a fetish, as well as a status symbol within certain groups. Insofar as the gynoids have intelligence and "awareness", some are also aware they are mass-produced and a replacement for the real thing, with interesting effects on their "self-confidence" and "love" of their creator.
  • My Wife Has No Emotion (Boku no Tsuma wa Kanjou ga Nai) is a sympathetic version, about Takuma, a lonely man who enters a common-law relationship with Mina, his housework-bot, who has rather more of a personality than her programming requires, and following how the relationship develops. Takuma admits he couldn't find a human girlfriend, but also that he does truly love Mina. On Mina's side, she's still learning about herself, and hasn't been in love before, but those who interact with her think she loves him. Takuma's not the first to treat a robot as family, but he is apparently the first to treat one of Mina's model that way, because they weren't made for that, they were designed to be unexpressive and have visibly robotic features.
  • Tales of Wedding Rings: Princess Amber is a Magitek gynoid built by the now-extinct dwarves to fulfill their princess's obligation of marrying the Ring King and helping him save the world. She becomes Satou's fifth wife and is quite happy to finally meet him, after waiting to fulfill her duty for hundreds of years.

    Comic Books 
  • The Avengers: The Scarlet Witch married the Vision, an android, and while she did eventually go completely insane, it had nothing to do with her robotic love interest. Her insanity happened later, largely because of the Diabolus ex Machina that destroyed her marriage. She and Vision were an adorable couple while it lasted. True to this trope, she was criticized for it. Especially by her brother, who was furious. (His argument that "robots aren't real people!" when his family have been targets of Fantastic Racism all their life was hypocritical, sure, but he made it.)
  • The DCU:
    • The Red Tornado and Kathy Sutton. They have an adopted daughter, Traya. In general, comics go for the "if the human had to court the robot it's A-OK" version of the trope, since the robots are main characters themselves.
    • Having said that, Toyman's wife in Superman is a straight example.
  • Marvel 2099:
    • A Public Enemy story in Marvel 2099 Unlimited features a man who is worried that his robot wife would be the target of prejudice, so he buys her synthetic skin. She refuses to wear it, saying that she's proud of who she is and their relationship, and if other people are prejudiced, that's their problem. They have to be protected from a hate mob by the Public Enemy. We don't get much more details on the relationship, but since she's clearly capable of expressing an opinion and overruling his, it's presumably the "A-OK" version.
    • In the 2019 continuity reboot, humans and artificial intelligences regularly have relationships. Genetic engineering is advanced enough that the robotic/holographic spouses can synthesize their default human appearance into genetic information for any children they would want with their partners.
  • In IDW Publishing's run of Transformers comics, it's eventually shown that Cybertronians have close relationships called Conjunx Endura, which is a close relationship similar to marriage: in the event of serious injury, a Conjunx Endura even has the ability to make medical decisions on their behalf. So far, no one has been shown entering a relationship with someone who's a different species, though.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Mr. Universe, Knowledge Broker and hacker extraordinaire in Serenity (2005) and... Well, she's not so much a Sexbot as she is a bog-standard RealDoll-alike sex toy with a few extra features, the kind of thing the yellow press would have you believe will be bringing about the extinction of Japanese culture in a generation or two. However from what is shown, Mr. Universe cares very deeply indeed for Lenore (Mrs. Universe?), despite her being a robot and showing no signs of sentience. He apparently cried like a baby at his wedding. (In case it wasn't already obvious, Mr. Universe doesn't get out and about much and might have gone a bit peculiar.) According to the RPG, having a robot like Lenore is still heavily stigmatized, among other things, even being suspected of owning one will get you blacklisted by the Companions.
    Mr. Universe: I have a commitment to my lovebot.
  • This technically occurs in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, but is twisted around by the fact that it's a secret to the husband (Austin) until the honeymoon.
  • Bicentennial Man: Portia Charney, great-granddaughter of Sir, decides to marry the family robot. This is many decades after he has been granted his freedom and he spent a lot of time trying to convince her that a relationship was possible. The relationship is subverted at the climax, when Andrew is recognized as human.
  • The premise of Cherry 2000 is the protagonist trying to find a new body to repair his broken robot wife.
  • In The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Doctor Frank-N-Furter's hunky artificial husband Rocky is an organic variant, brought to life in a manner resembling Frankenstein's Monster.

  • Lester del Rey's Helen O'Loy: This classic (1938) short story features a medical student (Phil) and a mechanic (Dave) modifying a household robot to have emotions. While Phil is away, Dave activates Helen, who learns about love (from watching soap operas!) When Phil comes back home, Dave has already fled from her affections, but changes his mind and marries her. On his death, Helen requests that Phil shut her down and bury her with Dave. Phil does so, even though it's revealed that he'd fallen for Helen, too.
  • In the Apprentice Adept series, Stile receives an unsolicited gift consisting of a human-looking, self-willed robot named Sheen, whose core programming includes an instruction to "Love Stile." Sheen is a kind of robot who is just as intelligent and free-willed as a human, but has trouble believing it herself. By the end of the trilogy, Stile has proposed marriage to Sheen, and this marriage sets a precedent in favor of granting civil rights to self-willed robots.
  • Isaac Asimov:
  • The Robots of Dawn: Gladia comes to think of Jander, her personal service robot, as her husband. Despite Aurora's sexual liberalism, robots are looked at as purely tools, and an emotionally intimate relationship with one is strange enough that Gladia fears being stigmatized for it, so she hides it. It doesn't help that the Auroran legal definition of marriage is based on the desire of the two spouses to have children, and Jander isn't nearly that advanced. Every Auroran who is told about how Gladia felt towards Jander finds the idea ridiculous.
  • The Lake House by James Patterson. Dr. Ethan Kane, the head of the hospital where Max and the other children were kept, has a robotic wife that is "honored" to perform oral sex on him at any time and any place and even has a perfectly measured vagina.
  • In For Your Safety Anna Quisling is rewarded for her efforts to propagandize the Groupmind's cause with a fully intelligent robotic companion willing to fulfill all her needs.
  • Deconstructed in "The Perfect Woman" by Robert Sheckley, where a man notices his robot wife is slowing down, so he drives her back to the factory to be replaced while trying to ignore her pleas that she still loves him.
  • Made in the U.S.A is an early sci-fi story in which a man divorces his wife because she only revealed on his wedding night that she was an android!
  • The Stepford Wives, at least in the original novel and 1975 film adaptation. The 2004 adaptation doesn't make it clear what the hell happened. The various "sequels" to the '75 film bounce back and forth between brainwashing, robot-replacement, and cyborgs.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Juliana Tainer, wife of Noonien Soong and 'mother' to Data in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Inheritance", has no clue that she's a gynoid; nobody else knows either, thanks to systems designed to mimic human bio-readings. An accident that knocks her offline provides a Robotic Reveal, but it is decided to not tell her of her gynoid nature. Note, however, that the gynoid Juliana has the original human Juliana's memories copied over.
  • Depending on your definition of "robot", Battlestar Galactica (2003) has the human Helo being married to the (very humanoid) Cylon Athena. Of course, it took a lot of effort on both their parts to make it work. And if you accept that example, both Cally and Starbuck had robotic husbands.. And by the same definition, Saul and Ellen Tigh are a robotic couple.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • The episode "Life Line" has the Doctor's creator, Dr. Zimmerman, cohabiting with a foxy holographic assistant. While the physical nature of their relationship is unclear, their dialogue is indistinguishable from an old married couple.
    • "Endgame" shows the Doctor with a human wife, making him a robotic husband. Since he's the hologram we've grown to know and love, it's plain she had to court him. Unfortunately, the relationship was probably erased when Admiral Janeway went back in time.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: A very amusing example occurs in the episode "I, Mudd", in which Harry Mudd is captured by a planet of androids, and made their 'ruler', and he has them build an android with the likeness of his ex-wife Stella. He programs her to be shrill, nagging, and rude just like the real Stella, simply so he can gain the satisfaction of shutting her off with a verbal command. However, once Kirk and his crew have foiled Harry's plan and reprogrammed the androids, Kirk has 500 copies of Stella built, which are all immune to the shutdown command, and leaves Harry on the planet with them.
  • One fantasy bit on Scrubs had Elliot imagining what she would do if she won the lottery: use the money to have the perfect android husband built. Then she kicks herself for making him Jewish too: "My parents will be pissed!"
  • The Outer Limits (1995): This is the Cruel Twist Ending of the episode "Mary 25". The boss of the Innobotics company takes a Robot Maid home and sexually abuses it while ignoring his wife, who falls into the arms of an engineer from the same company. She convinces him to reprogram Mary so that she'll kill her husband for her, before revealing herself to be another robot. It turns out that her husband had killed his real wife and then replaced her with a duplicate to cover it up.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "The Lonely", a convict sentenced to fifty years solitary confinement on a desert asteroid is taken pity on by the astronauts who deliver supplies for him every few months. They give him companionship in the form a robot built to look and act like a human woman. The convict is skeptical at first, but soon become convinced she is a sentient being capable of thought and emotion. Cut to a year later, when all is well with the convict and his "wife"... until the astronauts arrive with news that he's been pardoned and can come back to Earth, but cannot take the robot. He tries to rebel, but in the conflict one of the astronauts shoots and "kills" the robot. The convict mourns her, but the astronauts assure him that by leaving the asteroid he is only leaving behind loneliness.
  • Towards the end of the first season of The Good Place, Jason/Jianyu realizes he's in love with Janet, Michael's all-knowing assistant, and proposes to her, and they get married minutes later. When defending her marriage to Michael, Janet says that there's nothing in her programming that specifically forbids her from marrying residents. However, throughout the series Janet says that she is not a robot in spite of referring to her "programming" and her robotically cheerful persona, though she is certainly Artificial Intelligence.
  • WandaVision: Like their comic-book counterparts, the Vision and Scarlet Witch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe get married and settle down in the suburbs. The creepy part is less that he's a robot (he's fully sapient and has free will), and more that he's supposed to be dead.

  • In Voltaire's "The Mechanical Girl", a king whose queen ran off on him wanted the title Robot Girl for one of these. She had other ideas.
  • Gym Class Heroes's original video for their song "Cupid's Chokehold" had lead singer Travie McCoy bring one home from his factory job. Things go well until one day, she starts to malfunction.
  • The video for Katy Perry's song 365 features Perry as a prototype robot wife who is tested by being put in a mock-up apartment with a human volunteer playing her husband whilst the scientists who built her observe the results. She follows her programming and falls in love with her "husband" but when she realises he doesn't love her, she tries to strangle him and is shut down.

    Tabletop Games 
  • One module for the game Unknown Armies involves a robot spouse as a playable character. In fact, she is a Replacement Goldfish for her inventor husband's original wife who was killed. Of course, she doesn't know she's a robot, and her husband used the memory of her death in order to power her creation (it's how Mechanomancy works), so they are both quite shocked if/when her Robotic Reveal happens.
  • In Hc Svnt Dracones marriages between Vectors and Cogs are completely socially acceptable. Especially since they can "interbreed" to an extent, translating genes into design parameters and vice-versa.

  • The conclusion of the Team StarKid show Starship features a wedding between the robot Ultra-Beam Megagirl and Tootsie Megagirl making the former a robot spouse.

    Video Games 
  • In The Sims 2, you can build a humanoid robot with the "Open for Business" expansion pack, and then woo it like you would any other sim. This has carried over into The Sims 3 with both Simbots, and Plumbots.
  • Mega Man Zero had a minor character Andrew who was the robotic husband. He even changed his appearance to look like an old man so she wouldn't resent him as they got older. Aww. And after she died, he kept his old man appearance as a way to remember her. Double aww.
  • A Dating Sim Let's Meow Meow! has Koboshi — a police catgirl robot from a parallel worldfun fact  — as a possible love interest. One of happy endings has her quitting her job and living with the protagonist for the rest of their lives.
  • From the Mass Effect series, Joker and EDI. EDI is the AI from the Normandy (the Cool Starship commanded by Shepard) itself.
  • Another BioWare example: In Star Wars: The Old Republic, the Consular's healing companion, Tharan Cedrax, and the hologram Holiday. Tharan discovered Holiday was sentient and freed her from a Hutt who only saw her as an exotic toy. He then made her his trusted assistant and business partner, and the two clearly adore each other. Due to her nature, he has to take care of his physical needs with short-term flings, but it's an arrangement Holiday usually doesn't mind. At the end of Tharan's arc, the Consular can half-jokingly suggest this.
  • Fallout 4:
    • If you go to Diamond City's school, you can talk to the the teacher and his Miss Nanny robot assistant (who have feelings for each other) about love. On your next visit to Diamond City afterwards, you can find them getting married in the chapel.
    • You can also have your own robotic spouses as well. While you can't romance Nick Valentine and X6-88, you can romance Curie and Paladin Danse.
  • The Elder Scrolls series' backstory has a fantasy version with Xarxes, the Aldmeri aspect of Arkay, the God of Life and Death. Xarxes serves as the scribe for Auri-El, the "King of Gods", and has recorded every Aldmeri accomplishment in history since the beginning of time. Xarxes created his wife, Oghma, by putting together "his favorite moments from history".

  • Robotija, the Serbian robot bride from Legostar Galactica, sent to Johnny Danger by his mother.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In "Sonic the Matchmaker", Robotnik invents Omletta, a robot designed to be his wife and loyal to him. However, when Omletta is drenched with water, she short-circuits and turns against him.
    • In "Sonic is Running", as part of Wes Weasley's plan to make Robotnik look good in an election for President of Mobius, he invents a robot wife for him. Robotnik tells Weasley that things didn't work out for him the last time he made a robot wife.
  • American Dad!: Parodied in one episode with a Ridiculously Human Robot Dr. Weitzman built, who is named after a stripper he once fell in love with. She quickly became self-aware and friendzoned him.
  • On Archer, Dr. Krieger designed an artificially-intelligent anime hologram girlfriend so realistic the State of New York was allowing him to marry her. Too bad her files were wiped out. For a while, anyway. She's also very annoying. When he's finally asked "How can you not kill her every day?" he whispers "I do."
  • Futurama has a few cases of "metal fever". A post-Un-Cancellation episode is about a campaign to legalize human/robot marriage.
  • Inside Job (2021) has a gender inverted version of this, with Reagan, who's mostly incapable of social interaction, being subject to a bet to get a boyfriend. ROBOTUS offers her a database of men (and a few women) that she should be compatible with. Getting caught up in the possibility that her nigh-perfect match goes wrong, Reagan decides to make a robotic copy of him to practice for the real date, only to hook up with the duplicate once the real Bryan sees him and Reagan. Everybody is grossed out by this.
  • Played for laughs with Plankton's "computer wife", Karen, on SpongeBob SquarePants. There's not really any physical component since she's a giant flat screen (she does have a 'body', though it's a monitor on a tall metal pole with a wheeled base and arms/hands), and there's certainly no unquestioning servitude either. She wasn't programmed to be his wife. When Krabs and Plankton were children, they opened up a burger stand together and Plankton installed a security system. And began to date said security system (which he and Karen both remember fondly). They often engage in Like an Old Married Couple bickering, though they do have plenty of Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other moments as well.
  • It's heavily insinuated (and in one case, said outright by Sigmund Freud) that if Larry and Tuddrussel in Time Squad aren't actually a married couple they at least function like one, with Otto as their adopted child.
  • In The Simpsons episode "The Heartbroke Kid", Homer has an Imagine Spot of what it would be like if Marge was a robot. She kills him with a shotgun.
    Homer: Oh, why did I give her a gun?
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series: Jumba once got a visit from his future self, who told him not to build a robot wife because they can easily hack into his bank accounts.

    Real Life 
  • A 33 year-old from Georgia, Zoltan, has married a robot. He's not sure if it's legal, but he still went through with it.
  • The futurists who lean towards transhumanism predict that human/android marriages will eventually become commonplace. At least in their predictions the artificial human is a sentient, equal companion, not just a toy. Only time will tell...
  • Canadian inventor Le Trung created Aika, a robotic spouse (pictured above).