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"Always program a militaristic defence mode into your toys, kids. It's just common sense!"
Mr. Sin, Sam & Fuzzy

Sufficiently humanoid robots will have super-strength and other fantastic abilities. It doesn't matter what they were built for.

Sometimes, the robot doesn't even need to be humanoid. Relatively simple non-human robots that perform mundane jobs also seem to be way overpowered and/or over-armed for their designed tasks. A robot designed to do nothing but wash windows will undoubtedly also have enough power to batter though a concrete wall, or use its water jet to cut a hole straight through the nearest unfortunate human it finds if the situation calls for it.

This is especially true for Replacement Goldfish; something that's designed to emulate a cute 6-year-old boy will undoubtedly have lasers, rockets, and invulnerable titanium armor. Fortunately, this often allows them to become a Super Hero. (This may, though, just be their creator's way of ensuring that the replacement does not perish in the same kind of tragic accident that took the original.)

This may be explained by it being easier to take some existing robot model that's built to do heavy industrial work and make it look like a human than build something that's as weak as a human from the ground up; however, few series come out and say this. Perhaps justified in that even robots not specifically designed to have super-lifting capabilities would have greater strength than humans because most metals are stronger than human muscle; their inability to feel pain or fatigue would also give them unlimited stamina. May also become a Truth in Television; looking at many other forms of technology with extraneous doodads, the question doesn't seem to be "Why?" but "Why not?"

It may also be justified if the robot has a secondary function as an inconspicuous bodyguard — not many attackers would expect the hired help to be able to toss them out the window. Or be packing miniguns designed for military vehicles, for that matter.

This makes them a threat when acquiring an Artificial Intelligence, getting struck by lightning, or turning against humanity.

Contrast Mundane Utility, which instead of featuring meter maids with the firepower of mecha, has mecha with the job description of meter maids. A subtrope of Inventional Wisdom.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Subverted in Armitage III: we're led to believe Armitage is a Third, a highly advanced model of robot created to act as an incubator for human babies, but in fact she's a Third prototype created from the much more dangerous Assassinroid template — the "missing link", if you will, between the two models. This explains why she can deflect bullets just by holding her arms in front of her face and survive a grenade blast aimed directly at her.
  • Astro Boy:
    • Atom/Astro Boy was built to replace a grieving scientist's young son and is equipped with a 100,000-horsepower engine, rocket feet, and a machine gun that comes out of his butt, among other things. Either Dr. Tenma is very strange, or his son was even stranger. Hand-waved by having him simply retool an existing "ultimate robot" model to look like his son or claim that he will not only make his son a robot, but the "best robot ever".
    • In the 1960s anime series, this is explained as Astro originally being a military robot that Tenma was working on which was altered at the last minute at great haste; Tenma had rather snapped after his son's death, and didn't care beyond annoyance that he was a death machine. Also, Astro didn't have all his gadgets built into him from the start; instead, Tenma gave him the ability to "evolve" himself in response to danger. He gained his rocket boots after falling out the window of an office building and he got his Arm Cannon in a fight to the death with his evil "brother" Atlas. In this version, however, he doesn't have, ahem, rear-end gunning capability (and it's disturbing to contemplate what situation might have called for him to "evolve" it). He does have finger lasers to compensate.
    • Oddly enough, the Game Boy Advance game based on the 2003 series gives him the guns back (in addition to the laser), and they also appear in the 2009 movie, to Astro's incredulity. ("I have machine-guns in my... butt?!")
    • This trope is justified in the 2009 film. Here, Tobio/Toby meets his end at the hands of a rogue military robot. Tenma later comments that the weapons and defense systems built into Astro are for self-defense, finally stating "I won't lose him again." Here, he's shown to be clearly overwhelmed by his son's death — since his son was killed by a lethal robot, he probably saw nothing wrong with going overboard on the self-defense systems.
  • In the 2004 OVA Azusa Will Help, a baseball team buys a secondhand maid robot to fill in for a ninth player. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The Big O: R. Dorothy Waynewright has superhuman strength, speed and endurance despite being a Replacement Goldfish. Then again, every single android in the series is the same regardless of purpose. It may simply be a fault of construction that can't be toned down.
  • Bubblegum Crisis:
    • The original OVA series featured android laborers built by the nefarious megacorporation Genom, which occasionally went rogue and required attention by a special, heavily armed police unit (The "A.D. Police"). Worker models were rarely seen in the original series (which had only a few episodes, and focused on the combat models and prototypes), but they turned up frequently in the TV-series re-imagining, Bubblegum Crisis 2040.
    • The A.D. Police OVA series has one of these: a waitress Boomer is modified for sex and goes insane, killing a crapload of civilians and causing massive property damage before getting about 300 rounds of rifle fire pumped into it.
  • Doctor Slump: Senbei only built Arale in order to see if he could. She splits Earth Once per Episode and is stronger than both young Son Goku (in a crossover with Dragon Ball) and Vegeta (in Dragon Ball Super). By this point, Vegeta is probably strong enough to destroy the whole universe if he wanted to, but Arale defeats him easily. (Dragon Ball started as a comedy manga like Dr. Slump, but it was much more serious by the time Vegeta was introduced, which might explain why Goku fares better against Arale.)
  • Dominion Tank Police: It's odd that a pair of former sexbots should have super strength and military-grade targeting computers, but Anna and Uni probably have the excuse that their boss bought them the upgrades.
  • Doraemon was designed to take care of children, but with his arsenal of gadgets, he has held off or averted world-ending threats, often backed up by only a few grade schoolers. He also has gadgets that could cause the end of the world if he wanted to. Even without his gadgets, he comes with Super-Strength, Super-Toughness, Super-Sensesnote , and, when frightened, Super-Speed. His younger sister Dorami is a robot with much the same purpose, but has even more advanced versions of the same gadgets and is over 70 times stronger than Doraemon.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex:
    • Despite the prevalence of cybernetic enhancement in the world, this is actually somewhat averted in a couple of episodes, late in the first season. After the Tachikomas are retired from service in Section 9, most are dismantled. The only two that survive are sold off to a retirement home and a construction company as service robots, and all their specialized weaponry is removed when they're decommissioned. After all, when you're tending to a bunch of senile centenarians, you don't really need guns in your forearms, do you? Of course, it is still a walking tank tending to the elderly, which seems a bit impractical if nothing else.
    • It is played straight in an earlier episode where a reclusive millionaire has robot maids which are armed with some deadly-looking weaponry and use it almost at the drop of a hat. It's possible they're meant to take out whoever gets past his deadly cybernetic dogs.
    • The suicidal "Jeri" androids in Episode 3 have no apparent physical capabilities beyond those of humans. One kills itself just by walking into a river to drown! It's a little unclear if the robot geishas in the very first episode had superhuman strength or not. They had their hostages pinned down in submission holds which would be difficult to break out of in either case. However, they certainly weren't bulletproof.
    • Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 has a variant of the trope: a 3D printer designed to print food is somehow hacked to print out a fully functional combat android, instead.
  • Yuki Nagato from Haruhi Suzumiya is an Artificial Human built to observe. Fans describe her as the most powerful character ever made. Her backup is just as powerful. Makes some sense in universe as she was built to observe the only thing powerful enough to wipe out her boss.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler seems to always have to fight these things. "No, no, you're supposed to compete in cleaning the house with it." "Then why is it firing missiles at me!?" Lampshaded in that the designer of that robot is almost fired because of her over-powered designs.
  • Zig-zagged in Mahoromatic; a combat android removes most of her combat equipment before before becoming a maid but reacquires it later on. Naturally, she is superb as a chef as well as all things domestic.
  • MegaMan NT Warrior (2002) applies Rule of Cool to computer maintenance, with everything in the world being automated and Internet-capable and busters, giant fists, and arm-blades being standard equipment for an OS interface and web browser rolled up into an AI. The plot in many early episodes is how cleaning robots, animal/fish replicas, and yes, Meter Maids got infected by computer viruses, and then would terrorize the city with amazing powers. (For example, infected robot fish from an aquarium were able to fly through the air.) Fortunately, the premise of the series is fighting said viruses with programs. In the cartoon of the original series, the ultimate end result of battling robots against robots (that were originally for household chores) was the apocalypse.
  • It is never really clarified whether the "Humaritts" of Najica Blitz Tactics are robotic, cybernetic, genetically altered, or a combination of those... but they still definitely fall under this. While some of them are stated to have been outright designed for combat — and show appropriately impressive competency at this — at least one of the humaritts encountered was designed to be a nursemaid/assistant type... capable of taking down an army of ninjas with a Double-Bladed Sword. Clearly, when she says "nappy-time", you NAP!
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, while Chachamaru herself being the lead gynoid was built primarily for combat and serving tea, her "sisters" act as a constant work force in their master Evangeline's hidden resort from Chachamaru's prototype. They can however act as a reserve army at their creator Chao or Hakase's orders. In chapter 253, Haruna uses her Artifact to make a Mobile-Suit Human for Sayo so Sayo can kiss Negi for a Pactio, complete with flight, Eye Beams, a Rocket Punch, a gatling gun...
  • Zig-zagged in Nichijou by Nano: she's more or less a personal attendant with countless special functions... all of which are completely inane and pointless (like storing cake in her arm or a USB port in her toe). Her general physical abilities aren't more than a human; if anything, she's somewhat frail and oversensitive.
  • Averted in Outlaw Star. The numerous helper robots that Gilliam II uses around the ship are tiny, no bigger than a small rodent or so. Melfina is quite similar to humans with respect to her physical capability because she's a "bio-android" rather than a robot, which basically means "genetically engineered human built to a specific purpose with certain programming hardwired into their genes" — her muscles are essentially human muscles. Later in the series, it's revealed that other than the modifications that allow her to interface with the Outlaw Star (and make her immune to an alien plant's mind control in one episode), she's pretty much as human as anyone else, though artificially created.
  • Phoenix: In Phoenix 2772 (a.k.a. Space Firebird), the nanny robot Olga can transform into a car, a boat, and two forms of flying machine. She also performs decently in a battle in open space.
  • Rebuild World: Since the Lost Technology being scavenged by hunters comes from Neglectful Precursors, most monsters in the setting are The Remnant of some kind of drones maintained by that civilization and the Artificial Intelligence computers it left behind. A significant portion of these only have combat as a secondary function. Most of the robots Akira fights in Mihozono are construction or cleaning bots, while at one point he gets nearly killed by hyper-advanced mechanical butlers who politely warned him for a while to show his identification before attacking.
  • Ulysses 31: Nono is a small toy robot offered to Telemachus for his birthday in the first episode. He's also shown to be strong enough to pin down a grown man, has some very useful functions like a telescopic head, and can pilot spaceships. Once again, he's supposed to be a toy.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, the Obots are originally designed to clean up trash and various other mundane things. However, one of them (Obami) becomes the protagonist's Robot Buddy, while the rest become a battalion of Mecha-Mooks at the conclusion of Season One.
  • In Yuria 100 Shiki, both the Yuria and Lucy lines of sexbots are designed with superhuman strength and toughness. In this case, it's specifically so they can handle owners who like to play rough, and Yuria 100 is in fact a masochist.

    Comic Books 
  • Richie Rich and its Animated Adaptation had Richie's robot maid Irona, who was basically a Do-Anything Robot and, consequently, a walking Deus ex Machina.
  • Spider-Man: The arms used by Doctor Octopus were originally waldoes designed to allow him to safely handle radioactive material. For no obvious reason, even his original set of tentacles are fast enough to deflect bullets and strong enough to throw around forklifts.
  • Blue Devil's original Powered Armor, which was bulletproof, gave him superstrength and supersenses including infrared vision, and had scuba gear, was built as a movie prop. As was the rocket trident that let him fly.
  • Zig-zagged in the elseworlds story Titans: Scissors Paper Stone. One character has a super-strong cybernetic body, but she's only able to actually user her super-strength after the limiters are removed. The reason the limiters were there in the first place was because her body was originally designed for military applications.

    Fan Works 
  • In Something Always Remains, most of the animatronics fall under the trope, with one exception: the Puppet, as it was directly programmed to watch out for any threats to Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, and therefore has more mobility, personality, and intelligence than the others.
  • General Ironwood points out how grossly overpowered Penny is in Null after she shoots down a bullhead. She was allowed to walk around unsupervised and was set to fight regular students. (It's worth noting, though, that said regular students are themselves superhuman.)
  • In Raised by Jägers, Gil helps put down a large, dangerous android that was rampaging through the university. When asked what it's for, he is informed that it represents the Roman Empire. That's it.
    Agatha: Some of the students find it helpful to have a visual aid.

    Film — Animation 
  • Big Hero 6: Hiro turning his brother's Baymax healthcare robot (which can be best described as a giant vinyl balloon that can talk and walk) into a battle machine manifests as adding carbon fiber armor paneling and some rocket fists/thrusters. The robot's soft regular body is never modified. This makes him versatile while armored but weak otherwise (which manifests in the climax). Baymax's strength is justified, since a healthcare companion would need to be strong enough to carry people in case of emergencies. The vinyl balloon design is also intentional, since it ensures that Baymax won't accidentally hurt anyone even with his strength.
  • Ghost in the Shell (1995): Innocence features sexbots that are superhumanly fast and strong enough to punch a person's head off their shoulders. They are, however, fragile enough that such feats typically cause them to fall apart rather quickly.
  • IR-S07 a.k.a. Iris from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Reflection and Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Detonation is an Artificial Human created for terraforming a dying planet yet is capable of fighting on even grounds with some of the most powerful mages in the multiverse. It's justified, since the planet in question is a Death World and her "father" was secretly planning on using her as a Super-Soldier.
  • The Mitchells vs. the Machines has the PAL Max robots. They're basically robot butlers, yet for whatever reason, they can bend steel, use tractor beams that can lift cars, deploy levitating holding cells, and fly.
  • WALL•E:
    • The Action Girl EVE is essentially a biological collector, trying to find evidence of plant life on Earth. So naturally, she has a high-power plasma gun, enough power to make a micro-tornado by spinning, fast enough to break the sound barrier, and strong enough to hold back a huge sliding wall by herself. Those plants are apparently rough customers.
    • There is also HAN-S, the haywire massage robot who more or less single-handedly scraps nearly every security bot on the Axiom — complete with Gory Discretion Shot, Atop a Mountain of Corpses and Offhand Backhand moments.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Robots such as the ones in Westworld or The Animatrix. Why would actors and butlers need the strength to crush human skulls, or the ability to track footprints by their heat signatures?
    • Though Westworld implies that the robots developed these skills themselves, so it's more strictly A.I. Is a Crapshoot. Why would they need these skills? To successfully rebel against humans.
  • In I, Robot, though we only see the latest, newly introduced NS-5 model of robots (which given their secret purpose, would make a lot of sense for them be as agile and powerful as they are,) the implication seems to be that all the common household robots have always been very strong and fast regardless of whether they were designed with world domination in mind or not. All robots are programmed to throw themselves into danger at the drop of a hat to aid any human in danger. And then there's the fact that they seems to use one general-purpose model for damn near everything, which may potentially require heavy-lifting and/or ninja agility at some point or other.
  • R2-D2 in Star Wars is essentially supposed to be a navigational computer and maintenance robot, yet he has a seemingly endless array of gadgets for every situation. This is justified both by the fact that he uses his existing tools creatively (e.g. using a fire extinguisher as a smoke screen), and the fact that he used to belong to Anakin Skywalker.
  • Averted in A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. In one scene the Replacement Goldfish protagonist robot is asked by the real son of his adoptive mother what "cool tricks" he can do, such as fly or walk on walls. In fact, he has no powers at all, and behaves exactly as a normal human child would when placed in danger. That said, he locks onto Martin with a grip that takes several adults to pry free. He can also, rather pointlessly, interface with telephones to act as the speaker and receiver. Considering that all this does is frighten his "mother," it's questionable why he even has the ability.
  • The Replicants of Blade Runner are granted superhuman strength, resilience to hostile environments and apparently some degree of acrobatics, without exception. This makes perfect sense in some cases - you'd want the Artificial Humans doing off-world construction jobs to be pretty tough cookies - but giving a "pleasure model" like Pris the ability to crush a man's head between her thighs is just asking for trouble.
  • Eve of Destruction: A prototype android infiltrator that is borderline bulletproof and has a nuclear bomb implanted for the end use of going behind enemy lines and blow up herself (and a chunk of countryside roughly the size of half of Manhattan Island). And, oh yeah, absolutely no failsafes (and why have the nuclear bomb implanted at all for just a regular field test?). McQuade spends a good chunk of the film snarking about the stupidity of the whole project.
  • In Chappie, the robots used by the South African police are durable to the point of ridiculousness, with one tanking a shot from an RPG-7 and only needing a new breastplate. They have sufficient processing power to house Chappie's consciousness despite been shown to operate at least partially from a centralized network. Deconstructed with Vincent Moore's remote-controlled "Moose" Mini-Mecha; it's so overdesigned - an officer laughs when Moore mentions 'ground-to-air' engagement ability - and expensive that no police force is willing to buy them.
  • In Star Trek Beyond, it's eventually revealed that Krall's massive army of Mecha-Mooks that are advanced enough to destroy the Enterprise were originally created by the Neglectful Precursors as mining drones.
  • Hot Bot: Was it really necessary to give a Sexbot superhuman strength and the combat prowess to take down a dozen police and government agents?
  • M3GAN: The titular robot is essentially meant to be a life-sized doll for a little girl… and she is strong enough to tear apart metal objects, rip the ears off of bullies, and can easily subdue and kill most adults.

  • Older Than Radio: Frankenstein's Monster was originally intended to be a straightforward attempt to resurrect the dead, but the monster wound up unnaturally strong. Justified in that the creature needed to be scaled up in order for postgrad student Frankenstein to operate on it. Zat vould mean he vould have an enormous schvanstuka!
  • Marvin (aka the Paranoid Android) of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Trilogy:
    • He was built with incredible intelligence and continually complains about the menial jobs the characters give him. But then, Marvin is never happy unless he's unhappy.
    • His unhappiness is explained by the (rather poorly-thought out, but what isn't with these guys?) decision by Sirius Co. to create robots and AI with "Genuine People Personalities", making them more familiar with humans. Of course, combine a genuine human personality and limitless intelligence and you are going to get a rather depressed individual. Marvin was a prototype Genuine People Personality, implying that he's even more out of whack than that.
    • Marvin is also ridiculously durable. By the time he finally breaks down, he's six times as old as the universe. It's not clear whether that's the current age of the universe, or the total expected final age of the universe, but either way seems like overkill.
    • In Life, the Universe and Everything, Marvin ends up being hooked up to the planet Krikkit's central war computer, and it only takes up an infinitesimal amount of his processing power. As a result, he gets rather bored, and winds up writing lullabys for himself.
    • Although he does wear out and require repairs. He's missing a leg in Life, the Universe and Everything, and has received a cheap replacement. By So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (the point by which he is six times as old of the universe), he mentions that every single piece of him has been replaced many times... with the sole exception of the aching diodes he complained of wanting to have replaced when he was first introduced.
    • For a non-Marvin example, the Frogstar Scout Robot Class D. It's a tank.
  • The Golems in Discworld are a maybe case.
    • Giving them super-strength makes sense (they are designed for hard labor) as does their near indestructibility (made of clay and animated by magic). But Mr. Pump can also sense exactly where an individual (or at least the one he is assigned to watch) is anywhere in the world. Certainly doesn't seem like a standard feature for someone whose job was to pump water for centuries. It's possible that he was given some sort of magical modification when he was given the job of parole officer.
    • Hand Waved: Mr. Pump mentions that Mr. von Lipwig's karmic signature (or something to the same effect) has been added to his chem.
    • Further, Discworld Golems were originally built to be messengers (Who'd, y'know, need to know how to find someone) and, until very recently, making new ones was strictly illegal (and, unlike most such laws on the Disc, this one was apparently followed). As such, all currently working Golems were made thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of years ago to do completely different jobs from their current ones, making their various abilities a bit more sensible.
  • Mother of Learning: Upon seeing the golem doll that Zorian made for his little sister, Xvim warns him that a skilled mage will recognise how much effort and expense even a small golem would have required, which would be a clue to Zorian's true skill level. Turns out it's not just a doll, however; it's a miniature bodyguard packed full of weaponry. It later sacrifices itself to save Kirielle during the invasion of Cyoria.
  • The cyber-beasts in The War Against the Chtorr. Armoured, artificially-intelligent mechanimials with the processing power of a small government, weapons ranging from flamethrowers to titanium teeth, and instruments for taking scientific samples. Justified in that Earth is fighting off an invasion by a totally alien ecology which has to be studied at the same time as it's being fought.
  • In "The Proud Robot" by Henry Kuttner, part of a series collected in Robots Have No Tails, an inventor gets hopelessly drunk and wakes up to discover that he's built a superpowered humanoid robot with a wide variety of amazing functions that are all completely incidental to the robot's primary function (which, he eventually figures out, is opening beer cans).
  • In Isaac Asimov's short story Robbie the eponymous robot was a nursemaid for an eight-year-old girl named Gloria. Naturally, it's really strong and really fast which turns out to be extremely useful when Gloria's life is in danger. When the story appears in I, Robot, Susan Calvin explains that Robbie was sold in a time before robots were specialized for certain functions.
    • Discussed in The Caves of Steel when Jessie worries that R. Daneel Olivaw is listening in on their conversation. Elijah says that any unusual abilities would hamper Daneel's ability to pass as human, but internally he admits that this is mainly conjecture on his part.
  • There are several stories from the Bolo series of Bolos, basically American football-field sized supertanks with the ability to blow ships out of orbit single-handedly, being repurposed into other applications.
    • One had a Bolo redesigned as an agricultural aid. When aliens came to attack the colony, it used its agricultural tools to engineer a plague that wiped out the aliens.
    • Another is about a Bolo with its weapons stripped so it can be a tractor/digging machine... which still manages to save a colony of humans.
    • A third has Bolos placed in space and used as communications satellites, allowing them to wipe out an enemy fleet.
      • These examples are really more inversions than anything else; instead of going and putting a Wave-Motion Gun on a mundane robot, it's "These were already hyper-deadly machines, we just tried to modify them to do something else." In other words, the weapons and superpowers came first, the mundanity came second. So, it's more Mundane Utility.
      • In one Bolo story, the eponymous tanks, which are referred to as planetary siege units, and are easily capable of dueling with starships in orbit, are used as plowing equipment.
  • In the Zachary Nixon Johnson series, the wealthy businessman BS Star decided to replace his wife with a robot. The gynoid he created to fill this role had hundreds of times the strength and speed of a human and the power to psionically dominate minds. Everyone agreed it was a tad excessive.
  • Occasionally double subverted in Space Fools (Space Oafs). There are 4 types of "cyborgs" (Artificial Humans): maids/nurses, Sex Bots, fighters and spies/infiltrators. Despite expectations, the former two aren't significantly better than trained humans in combat and lack advanced AI chips. However, old fighter cyborgs discarded for failing maintenance tests are plentiful and cheap,note  come in many shapes and most importantly, can learn and develop, allowing them to learn new profession without troublesome firmware replacement.note  Normally, the buyer gets a servant with senses, strength and memory far surpassing any human's, but with a bit of Literal Genie tendencies. In the best case, nonhostile "breakdown" results in a genuinely friendly Robot Buddy, with a common sense of a teenager, whose breakdown has to be kept secret from the manufacturer. In the worst case, cyborgs Pay Evil unto Evil. One (later two) of the main characters is such a "broken" cyborg owned by a Space Trucker captain, allegedly for heavy lifting. There's also one scene of a robbery attempt against a man in a wheelchair driven by a petite girl, who still has all her combat enhancements. In another episode assassins expect to kill a baby with a human sitter or a rented cybernanny; instead they meet a Nervous Wreck of a 6th generation bodyguard, who kills two assassin cyborgs and persuades the third one to Turn Against Her Master. Another side story has a bodyguard cyborg, whose owner used him as a chef,note  and who loved this profession, but still remained as deadly.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The AI hotels in Altered Carbon take the security of their guests very seriously; the Raven has twin Gatling guns installed in the lobby ceiling.
  • April, the original robot girlfriend made by Warren in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was given super-human strength for no good reason. While the Buffybot arguably needed strength to sufficiently impersonate Buffy, April doesn't need the power to throw men through walls... then again, considering Warren deliberately acted as a comics-style supervillain, why would he not give April super strength?
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Chase" had theme park animatronic robots strong enough to defeat Daleks in a fistfight.
    • The original K9. He was built as a substitute pet for a doctor working on a space station that didn't allow dogs on board. So why's he got a frickin' laser cannon in his nose? Rule of Cool. If you could make a robot dog with a laser cannon in his nose, wouldn't you?
    • The Information droids (as in, ask a question, get an answer) in "Voyage of the Damned" can fly, throw their halos (they're designed to look like angels) fast enough that it kills people, manage to ricochet them back to themselves perfectly and can build enough momentum to punch through a floor of the ship. It may be a Justified Trope if you consider the ship was designed to crash-land, and there should be no survivors.
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • The title character in "Valerie 23" was a fembot who was specifically designed and created to be a companion for disabled shut-ins or people working in isolated conditions. So why was it built with lethal superhuman strength and a severe lack of impulse control? Worse, after the episode in which this gynoid went dangerously wrong, the series did several other episodes about other androids from the same company going dangerously awry in other ways.
    • In "Family Values", the household robot Gideon has super strength, being strong enough to lift up Brooke Miller's car to prevent her from driving after she had a glass of vodka.
  • Lampshaded in Red Dwarf. Serving droid Kryten isn't particularly strong compared to a human being, but his successor, Hudzen-10, is so strong he can chop through bricks... with his penis.
  • Viki in Small Wonder is super-strong, super-intelligent, and can even fly, despite purportedly being an attempt to make a robot that's convincingly human.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • The android Reese is equipped with a device that allows her to manipulate matter. That's not where the trope comes in. It comes in when the "toys" she makes with it turn out to be the Replicators, one of the most powerful foes in the series. Which invites the question: why did you make toys that are immune to energy weapons, can self-replicate, and reproduce on their own? There's childproofing stuff, but come on...
      • A.I. Is a Crapshoot. The residents of the planet feared Reese, so she programmed her "toys" with 2 basic commands: defend me and yourselves, replicate. The energy immunity came along much later after they scavenged the technology, presumably from the Asgard, and "evolved". The replicators literally are what they eat, so consuming more advanced technology makes them more advanced - when they eat a rusted soviet sub they're weak enough that a dip in salt water will kill them.
    • Reese herself was created by a human presumably for companionship (certainly not for hard labor or fighting) but she's pretty strong and has the aforementioned ability to create dangerous "toys".
  • Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation once took over the ship with his ability to perfectly mimic Captain Picard's voice and hack into his command codes. Nobody ever questioned why he could do this, or attempted to alter that function. He also had super strength, despite being designed to be as "human as possible." (Although it's revealed later that his creator did create a "normal" android, with human-level strength and intellectual capacities — in a subversion, it is this "weaker" version of the android that was actually the creator's Replacement Goldfish.)
  • Star Trek: Voyager's Emergency Medical Hologram was created as a mere backup for the human doctor in a crisis. When Voyager is thrown across the galaxy (killing the human doctor) the holographic Doctor is forced through circumstance (and later his own determination) to evolve. Over the next seven years the Doctor takes on hobbies such as opera, painting, photography and sex ("Let's just say I made an...addition to my program."), acts as a target for Kazon ships (albeit accidentally), writes a provocative holonovel, gets transmitted across the galaxy (and back) on two separate occasions, commands the ship single-handedly in "Workforce" and is just flat-out amazing (though not always sensible) in "Renaissance Man". But, as we see in "Tinker, Tailor, Doctor, Spy", it's nothing compared to what the egotistical Doc can do in his fantasies!
  • In Star Trek: The Original Series, Nomad (in "The Changeling") was a combination of an Earth exploration probe with an alien exploration probe. The alien probe's mission to sterilize soil samples somehow gave it the ability to exterminate all life on an entire planet and a plasma cannon equal to 90 photon torpedoes.
  • Colosson from That Mitchell and Webb Look is a robot designed to calculate whether or not a number is Numberwang. Being developed during World War II by scientists who rather belatedly wondered whether it could be used for the war effort, it was fitted with laser cannons despite not actually having any military purpose. This becomes a problem in the instances it tries to take over the world, but luckily there's a failsafe so that he can be deactivated whenever he's shown a picture of a chicken.

  • In "The Mechanical Girl" by Voltaire, the title character is created as a Replacement Goldfish daughter for her maker, and should only need enough to fill the role. Why she's packing enough firepower to singlehandedly lay waste to the entire kingdom is not elaborated on, but it does come in handy when the king tries to wed and bed her against her father's wishes.

  • John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme: At the behest of the Prime Minister, the Storyteller builds a robot body for Queen Victoria. Despite knowing full-well a human brain in a robot body will become dehumanised to the point of monstrousness, he also builds it with a variety of weapons, including the ability to shoot fire from her eyes, to demonstrate her majesty and terrify foreigners. Naturally, the minute her brain's put in the body, Queen Victoria goes on a rampage, starting with incinerating some orphans. The reason she does this? She was enraged that the public went into mourning for her, but not for Prince Albert.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: Some industrial mechs are actually this trope. The 100 ton Diomede, for example, is supposed to be a construction machine but is built with enough military-grade armor and weaponry to make it a serious threat to actual battlemechs. It was actually noted in-universe that the mech was made as a form of Loophole Abuse to get around restrictions on private ownership of battlemechs in the Republic of the Sphere.
  • At least one edition of the post-apocalyptic RPG Gamma World had literal super-powered robot meter maids as a potential risk to breaking open abandoned parking meters for cash.
  • A situation mentioned in GURPS Robots has this used as Loophole Abuse. A company might sell "heavy-duty industrial" robots - just insert weapons and you've got a warbot.
  • These showed up in an arcology in Shadowrun, but then an insane AI decided to use them to perform medical experiments on the unwilling inhabitants. In the latest version, one of the selling points of the new robot assistants is that they are deliberately crippled to be slower than a person and mechanically incapable of restraining a human.
  • Player characters in the Maid RPG are, shockingly, anime maids (or butlers) that can perfectly be robotic and/or superpowered. An actual character (Electric-motored Battle-maiden Code 0002, aka EB II) exemplifies it within the book.
  • Curiously averted in one of the sample NPCs from CHAMPIONS who was specifically stated to be merely human in strength because it was difficult enough making a humanoid robot that was as strong as a human, much less stronger. Averted with some of the other cybernetic NPCs, however.
  • The Imperial Knight battle-mech from Warhammer 40,000 were originally just harvesting machines. Even from their early days, they were heavily armed. Their reaper chainswords were for cutting down trees and the battle cannon was for blowing up rocks. The only real modification for when they transitioned into a full-time weapon, was that their original plasteel armour was exchanged for adamantium plates. Similarly, the dreaded Tactical Dreadnought armour a.k.a Terminator, was originally a protective industrial exo-suit for doing hazardous work such as welding inside a plasma reactor or doing work during a meteor storm.

    Video Games 
  • The human-looking "AI bodies" on the spaceship Toronto in Albion were supposedly designed just as a means for the ship's computer to communicate with humans (actually there was supposedly only one), but they turn out to be extremely tough combatants armed with guns. Probably justified in that they were really designed to be enforcers. But there's no excuse for the cleaning robots, glorified Roombas that are just about the most powerful opponents in the game. They are basically featureless spheres atop a single leg that they slide around on, and apparently attack by sort of bumping into you. The absolutely most powerful opponent and sort of final boss in the game is the housing of the central AI itself, which is indestructible and armed with a one-hit-kill laser.
  • Deconstructed in Atomic Heart. As part of the plot, various Soviet robots meant for menial labor go haywire and slaughter everyone in a scientific facility. Lumberjack robots slice people up with buzzsaws, medical robots attack with their tools, concierge robots bust out kung fu, and so on. Sergey even battles a construction robot with built-in missile launchers for demolition. It turns out these suspiciously violent design decisions are intentional; the robots are part of the Atomic Heart Project, a plan to flood America with robots for cheap labor, then activate combat mode when the time is right and cripple the country. Those missile launchers? Yeah, regular military missile launchers. The hallway before the final boss is filled with examples of the various robot models you've been fighting throughout the game, each with a plaque describing how their innocuous designs can turn deadly once the Atomic Heart Project is underway.
  • Brawl Stars: Rico, Barley, 8-Bit, Lou, Nani, R-T, and Pearl were designed to be a gumball machine, bartender, arcade cabinet, snow cone machine, nanny, information kiosk, and oven respectively, but can all go toe-to-toe with other Brawlers.
  • City of Heroes: The Clockwork of Praetoria were designed to clean the streets, wash windows, and help citizens in their day-to-day lives. However, their creator Neuron decided they also needed plasma emitters, laser guns, and electric blasters built in. This is justified in story, as they are programmed to stop any criminal activity they see and help the police if needed. That being said, they are pretty much the only group of NPCs that will not attack you on sight in a world with Everything Trying to Kill You.
  • COUNTER:SIDE: Horizon is a Robot Girl loan shark who happens to be Made of Indestructium and has better specs than most war machines in the setting; while you'd think her capabilities would be useful for debt collection, they're complete overkill even for that. She's actually an inversion, being built as a Super Prototype combat android before she fled her abusive creators and set herself up as a loan shark to vindicate her belief that Humans Are Bastards, since the job frequently puts her in contact with the scum of society.
  • Maintenance droids, courier droids, and office-aid androids in Crusader are all armed to destroy possible invaders.
  • The robots in the Descent series are quite heavily armed. The strange part is that the majority of these 'bots are mining and industrial robots! Granted, that could be a justification, as robots used for blasting rock are more than capable of blasting intruders and later on it is mentioned that the robots are modifying themselves. But where are they getting the military hardware? The games' fluff indicates that a few of the "mines" double as weapons caches for the military, which would explain where the robots got it.
    • The novelization spells it out more plainly: the robots didn't start using military-grade weapons until they found the military's research lab/weapons cache on Level 17 of the Lunar mine. Before that they were using re-purposed mining tools.
  • This trope is in effect but downplayed in Detroit: Become Human. In general, androids in this setting (Connor and Markus aside) have "peak-conditioning" human strength, speed, and reflexes. Jericho is hidden in a place where only androids have the parkour ability to climb, jump, and fall down to safely. However, well-trained or sufficiently angry humans are still able to fight off or outright destroy androids (who in general are only slightly more durable than regular humans if they don't get maintenance), including the protagonists if the player fails enough QTEs. One major exception is Kara; even if the player manages to successfully hit all the button prompts, Kara struggles against Todd during their fight in "Stormy Night".
  • In Enchanted Arms, the Magitek equivalent is omnipresent. The great majority of the Golems you encounter (and can recruit) were designed for non-combat purposes, ranging from maids and farmhands, to entertainers and guides. And yet, they all have some combat-capabilities, and few of them are even restrained to a support-role. Indeed, some of the bodyguard/soldier Golems you acquire early in the game, are soon outmatched in terms of offensive power by farm-tools and dancers...
  • Fallout:
    • Robots make for dangerous foes, even centuries after a nuclear apocalypse, no matter what their original purpose was. Protectron units designed for non-combat rolls can still put up a fight: construction models with guns shooting railway spikes, firefighting designs with cryo weapons, even medical units can kill with their defibrillators. The "Mr. Handy" robots are advertised as personal butlers, but come standard with circular saws and flamethrowers that are much more effective in combat than at housework. Small wonder it takes only a minimum of conversion to turn one into a "Mr. Gutsy" military robot.
    • You can get into this with the Fallout 4: Automatron DLC, by building robots to work in your settlements but also outfitting them with advanced armor and powerful weaponry, in case those settlements get raided. You can even build a Sentry Bot, outfit it with laser gatling cannons and shoulder-mounted cluster bomb launchers, and then assign it to establish a supply line between your settlements. Cue distant explosions and screams as your "provisioner" pulverizes any threat in its path as it rolls across the wasteland, escorting a pack brahmin.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, Silkie is a familiar created by Nanamo's mother with the help of a Sharlayan mage to help the maids of the Ul'dah royal palace keep the place clean. The ice, lightning, wind, and water magic it uses to clean also possess frightening offensive power, enough to corner Ul'dah's royal guard and pose a challenge to the Warrior of Light. Lampshaded by Nanamo, who complains about the power her mother gave to a familiar designed for cleaning.
    Nanamo: To create a servant for cleaning is one thing, but to imbue it with such unbridled power is quite another!
  • Five Nights at Freddy's:
    • There is really no reason why an animatronic animal designed for singing on a stage should also be able to lift up a fully grown man and physically restrain him long enough to forcibly (and lethally) stuff him into a suit. But they do.
    • Five Nights at Freddy's 2 implies that the Animatronics were designed this way to begin with. The "Toy" versions of the Animatronics were stated to have access to police files on criminals in order to keep kids safe from harm (and it's stated that the "classic" versions were retrofitted with that technology before being scrapped for parts). This could possibly explain why they are able to restrain a full-grown human. And, considering that it's heavily implied Freddy tried to stop the murders, it can be estimated they are programmed to restrain criminals until police help arrives. Of course, that doesn't explain why the Fazbear Crew would also show signs of being sentient (but that could partially be due to those ghostly children). Or why they would need to have any sort of security-based programming if they are entertainment robots in the first place.
    • The animatronics in Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location are even more advanced, to the point of sapience (without any need to be possessed like the others).
  • Girls' Frontline focuses primarily on robot girls called "Tactical Dolls", created for the purpose of fighting, though in-story there are also "Autonomous Dolls" which don't use weapons. The difference between them primarily comes down to that T-Dolls have fire control cores for using firearms while A-Dolls lack them; they still have all the strength and durability far beyond a regular human, which works fine for jobs like working in a factory or mining, but is completely superfluous for a waiter or a receptionist.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn: The Mechanical Lifeforms are primarily designed for one of a number of roles: Harvesting plant life, mining ore, purifying air or water, recycling machines, or transporting the materials other machines collect. Every single one of them can turn their tools on humans to lethal effect. While some of this is justified by the Derangement—where machines grew more aggressive about twenty years ago—that's mostly a difference in behavior. They could have been built small and efficient, capable of doing their jobs without having the ability to harm humans, but they weren't. Now, not only will they trample humans who get too close, many machines have blaze and chillwater attacks, using their collection and purification tools as weapons. Not to mention the machines that were actually designed for combat, which are worse.
  • Joy Mech Fight: Dr. Emon built Sukapon to be a comedian, but after Dr. Walnut hijacked all of his other robots, leaving Sukapon as the last one left, it was either upgrade Sukapon into a warrior with the strength to stand up against a robot army, or let Dr. Walnut Take Over the World unopposed.
  • Orianna in League of Legends was the daughter of a Mad Scientist and died in an accident while training for a League tournament. She was rebuilt as the "perfect daughter" with spastic mechanical movements and an emotionless voice but a perfectly functional "protector", a mechanical ball complete with EMP and gravity weapons. Although her powers are justified by firstly his desire to stop anything else happening to her, and secondly because not making her incredibly dangerous would have been a bit of an obstacle to joining the League.
  • In the Mega Man series, the eponymous Mega Man was designed as a lab assistant before becoming a super-powered hero. On a similar note, all the boss enemies he fought during the first game were designed for peaceful pursuits such as forestry, garbage disposal, arctic exploration, and so on. That doesn't keep some people from wondering, however.
    • This is the case for a lot of Robot Masters: while some, like the ones from 5 and 2, were built from the ground up for combat, the majority were simply designed for some kind of Mundane Utility and then retooled into fighting units. This does lead to some oddities, like how Pharaoh Man (designed to explore ruins) can fire blasts of solar energy.
    • Mega Man's major weapon, the Variable Weapon System, was originally designed as the Variable Tool System, allowing him to pick up and use any object that he could find. When he was modified to include an energy converter/plasma blaster, Dr. Light also modified the VTS to the VWS, making Mega Man the single most powerful robot because he had no special ability; he could simply take the abilities of his enemies. To see what happens when a robot is designed from the ground up with the VWS in mind, take a look at X; capable of (and successful in) destroying not one, not two, but at least three powerful Reploid armies, all of which were based of his design and improved.
    • Roll was designed to actually be Dr. Light's maid. In the actual game canon, Roll does not fight (in Mega Man & Bass, her data CD says she's a coward.) Doesn't stop her from appearing in Capcom vs. games more frequently than Mega Man. She can also fight with a broom in Mega Man Powered Up, and is pretty competent at it. And Mega Man was specifically given an upgrade before he went out adventuring; this never happens to Roll!
    • Mega Man X: Command Mission contains a slightly more literal example in Cinnamon, the reploid nurse. She can hit decently (well, the Kitty Gloves can) and her weapons inflict various Status Effects, she can resist the effects of Force Metal better than others, generate the Force Metal, heal the party, and her Hyper Mode turns her nurse outfit into an actual maid's outfit loaded with many beneficial effects - enhanced defense, extra Hit Points, and better Weapon Energy recovery for her and her allies.
  • In Melty Blood, Kohaku builds a robot version of her sister Hisui, "to help with housework". She probably can explain why mech-Hisui needs built-in hammer, chainsaw, laser and glowing knife. But rockets and that crossbow thingy? Kohaku was definitely planning something.
  • The Metroid series has quite a number of robots that were supposedly designed with a benign, non-combat purpose, but are very overequipped for said purpose. Predictably, many of them become enemies for one reason or another.
    • The Harmony-class and Diligence-class drones from Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (which game design-wise, are just slightly modified from the Pulse and Scatter Bombus from the first Metroid Prime) were designed by the Luminoth to be cleaning robots, which clean up organic residue by dropping electrical pulses or firing a focused laser beam. This is partially justified by the Luminoth later modifying them for combat against the Ing. By the events of Echoes, the ones that weren't possessed by the Ing suffered a programming glitch that caused them to consider all organic life (including the sapient Luminoth and Samus) filth that must be cleansed. The Octopedes from the same game were designed to be data-delivery units, but are for some reason designed to create electrical fields when linking with each other and equipped with an explosive self-destruct mechanism.
    • The Diggernaut in Metroid: Samus Returns was designed by the Chozo to be a mining robot. However, this gigantic machine is not only equipped with two large mining drills on the tips of its arms (which are capable of killing Samus in one hit early on if they so much as graze her), it can also fire lasers from its eyes. And it is one of the most difficult bosses in the game.
    • The Extraplanetary Multiform Mobile Identifiers, or E.M.M.I., from Metroid Dread were designed by the Galactic Federation to be research and surveillance drones for studying alien organisms. Uncharacteristically for such a role, they have sharp claws and a giant retractable DNA-extraction needle capable of piercing through battle armor, are surprisingly fast and flexible, have amazing pathfinding skills, and are plated in armor made from "the strongest stuff in the universe". When they go rogue, these traits make them one of the most dangerous foes Samus has ever faced. If that's not enough, many of the later-encountered models have abilities or weapons that go way beyond their intended function or the justification of extra mobility or self-defense from hostile fauna. E.M.M.I.-07PB, in particular, is armed with Power Bombs. It's unknown if Exelion Star Corporation (the E.M.M.I.'s manufacturer) built them with these overpowered weapons or if Raven Beak outfitted them with Chozo technology after reprogramming them to make them more efficient killers.
  • In Mischief Makers you play as a robot maid/lab assistant fighting against an interplanetary evil empire employing several mechs of various sizes. She can also throw her creator across half the planet.
  • A very difficult, optional boss in Mother 3 is a robotic maid. She doesn't bother you until you try to take one of her master's prized possessions. Might be justified in that her "master" is Axe-Crazy and would probably be very protective of his belongings, and would create an advanced security system just to keep his stuff safe.
  • The Outer Worlds has SAM, a janitor robot that's been repurposed into having his nozzle spray acid instead of soap and water. He can still be seen on the ship cleaning up wherever he can.
  • Portal- Building a robotic fuel-injection system de-icer? Sounds like a good idea. Building a robotic fuel-injection system de-icer that's also a sentient AI that controls your entire research lab and is also equipped with the ability to summon rocket turret defenses and release neurotoxin? That didn't work out so well. Given what else we have learned about Aperture Science in the supplementary canon and sequel, "It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time" is probably its unofficial motto.
  • Portal 2 and its supplemental material reveal that turrets have a personality core, an "empathy generator" and an "empathy suppressor", and feel "simulated" pain.
  • Ratchet & Clank:
  • Every playable robot in Risk of Rain and Risk of Rain 2 was designed for something other than combat, and presumably had no experience with it prior to the crash of the UES Contact Light.
    • It's somewhat justified in the case of HAN-D (a robot handyman) and MUL-T (a repair robot), the former because a handyman may need to be very strong in order to lift or move any heavy objects and the latter because buzzsaws and nailguns are things that a mobile multitool would logically have and would be fairly easy to weaponize. No explanation as to why MUL-T has a stun grenade though.
    • Downplayed in the case of Rex, a hydroponics robot, in that its most powerful abilities come from the plant it carries around rather than the robot itself.
    • Played straight with Chef, a robotic cook who is equipped with burners that can fry entire hordes and cleaver-throwing skills.
  • VIVIT of the Seihou series, a Robot Maid who also happens to be an advanced combat android. The maid part is, well, because her creator had a Meido fetish.
  • System Shock has a space station full of robots going rogue due to SHODAN taking over. This includes murderous "servbots" in the early stages.
  • Super Mario Sunshine: FLUDD's only function is as a water pump, but for some reason it's equipped with an AI complex enough to feel emotion as well as a facial recognition system and environmental scanner. Being made by Mad Scientist E. Gadd might have something to do with its unnecessary complexity.
  • In Undertale, Mettaton is an entertainment robot, but also has brutal combat capabilities. Lampshaded by Mettaton himself, who suggests that his creator Dr. Alphys did this in order to impress her crush Undyne, a powerful fighter who respects physical strength.
  • Invoked in Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict - Liandri advertise the strength, mobility and AI adaptability of their newest domestic robot by entering one in the year's Unreal Tournament. Devastation's curvy chassis is lampshaded in her bio, which states it was modeled after a "popular adult holoactress" to boost sales.
  • In Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth, it's revealed that the nigh-invincible Abh-Kamu mecha are actually just Powered Armor meant to work in hazardous environments, not intended for combat. It's only because these suits are up against Medieval-era technology that they're unstoppable weapons. That said, they do seem to have an "Emergency Mode" that causes them to attack anything around them, which exasperates Haku (who knows the truth about them), saying "Why in the hell do you have so many 'Emergency Defense Protocols'? You're a glorified hazmat suit!"
  • The entire inclusion of Tesse, from Waku Waku 7, is based on this trope. Despite officially being designed as a housekeeper and maid, and fighting with brooms and hypodermic needles, she is able to evenly match the other (quirky) fighters.
  • WarioWare: Mike. It's odd that a cleaning robot by Dr. Crygor has full sentience, flight abilities and is good at singing karaoke, but it makes for an interesting story and a catchy theme song.
  • Some of the mechanical enemies in World of Warcraft are like this. The harvest golems in particular, were ostensibly built to harvest crops. Naturally, they go berserk and attempt to "harvest" the players (often with Defias bandit help).

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony: Subverted and defied; K1-B0 (Keebo) is an Android high school student whose body looks really cool and powerful, so when the ultimates need to lift up a heavy manhole cover they expect Keebo to do it easily. When he fails they assume that the cover must be really heavy, but then he clarifies that he’s actually only as strong as an in-shape senior citizen. In fact, his creator limited his strength to make it harder for him to hurt a human by accident, and generally didn’t give him any functions that would be unnecessary to his mission of interacting with people peacefully. Fellow Ultimate student Kokichi often mocks Keebo for lacking any action robot abilities such as rockets in his feet.

  • In MegaTokyo, Ping is able to lift and throw buses, despite being a PS2 accessory for non-hentai Dating Sim games. Specifically because she was only designed to be used with non-hentai games, actually. "No" means NO.
  • In Bob and George:
    • Protoman frequently questioned why the Robot Masters who were designed for constructive purposes, were so heavily armed (Dr. Light claimed it was in case the Gardener [Cutman] went crazy). His case is even more ridiculous as he has a megabuster and shield, but was suppose to be a butler.
    • In the original game, the Robot Masters were perilous occupation robots, but in Bob and George they largely do household chores (Cut Man is the gardener, Ice Man is the fridge, Fire Man tends the fireplace, Gutsman is the trash man, and Elecman is the power generator. Except for Bomb Man. All he does is stand there singing "I'm Just A Love Machine" No one seems to know what he does).
    • The general explanation for any robot that does not make a lot of sense to make, like half of Cossack's fleet, are the results of being drunk. Sort of a scientists version of Drunken Master.
  • Given a good Lampshade Hanging (and arguable justification) in this Sluggy Freelance strip.
  • Subverted in Freefall, where most robots are made of cheap plastic and aluminum, and are weaker than the average human.
    • Many of them in turn are far more intelligent than their function warrants. Most notably Helix is a glorified autonomous forklift, yet he's sentient enough to develop hobbies and sense of humour.
    • This is amply explained by the fact that the robotic factories that created virtually all of the robots we've met, being forced (due to damage sustained during the initial colonization) to use the Bowman Adaptive Neuronic Network, originally designed to 'uplift' animal species. Resultingly, the robots become smarter as they get older... regardless of their designed purpose.
    • This runs into some serious civil rights issues, because many government officials view robots and artificial intelligences of any kind, including animals uplifted using the BANN, to be property as a function of their artificiality, yet most such entities are far better equipped mentally than even most humans (and certainly all the government officials the comic presents) to argue as to why that's not the case.
    • This trope is inverted by the Gardener in the Dark program, which was supposed to be used only as an absolute final contingency against a robot threat that ultimately never materialized. It reduces a robot's capabilities to a catastrophic minimum, disabling most of its higher thought processes, physical dexterity and personality and basically rendering it a nearly useless tool good for a single, incredibly specific purpose. In Jean's society, where robots vastly outnumber humans and are absolutely necessary for human survival (the planet is in the middle of being terraformed), it's basically the Apocalypse in a disk.
  • Justified with Schlock Mercenary's Lota, a robot designed for load-lifting. He was built under a time crunch, so they based him on a handy existing machine with plenty of generator capacity to spare- the hulk of a destroyed flying tank. This explains the guns... Of course, some bright spark had to go and name him "Longshoreman Of The Apocalypse" in honor of his overengineered status. Later on the full name gets updated to "Long-gunner Of The Apocalypse".
  • In Ctrl+Alt+Del, Zeke is a robot built from a Xbox, yet he can break someone's arm with ease and hurl them through a wall.
    • You can never be sure with an Xbox.
    • Also, the Xbox was huge, weighting 8.5 lb (3.86 kg)!
  • In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!, Roofus the Roof-Repair Robot is able to defeat a pair of alien Space Pirates with ease after they destroy his beloved roof. In fairness, Roofus was designed to be strong. It was the sentience that was an accident.
  • Von Pinn from Girl Genius was created to be a nursemaid. Meet Von Pinn.
    • More specifically, she was created by mad scientists to be a nursemaid capable of protecting her charges from a wide range of potential threats. And in a world ruled by warring mad scientists, the range of potential threats is very wide indeed.
    • Although, Von Pinn's mind is actually that of Otilla, the Muse of Protection, one of the 9-clank Magnum Opus of the greatest spark of all time.
    • The Muses, clanks created to inspire and teach, are another example. It makes a bit of sense that the Muse of Protection would be able to fight. It makes less sense that the Muse of Dance is equipped with the ability to emit enough electricity to kill a man.
    • This trope appears again during the Siege of Mechanicsburg, when Agatha wonders why the Baron has sent in a road crew, a firefighting unit and a squadron of communications airships as the vanguard of his assault on the city. Gil points out that the road crews work with equipment that can liquify and reshape bedrock by the ton and would have no trouble cutting through the city walls, the firefighters' extinguishers can easily be turned into a Freeze Ray with a few minor, field-expedient tweaks and the signalists on the airsips uses lenses and mirrors to reflect and focus sunlight, and could easily become a Solar-Powered Magnifying Glass large enough to incinerate the city wholesale.
  • Warbot from Warbot in Accounting is a decommissioned weapon of mass destruction that was given a job at an accounting firm. The trope is thus Justified - the robot was superpowered in the first place, then converted to accomplish a mundane task.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court's infamous Laser Cows (all named Elsie). Full package comes with razor wit and barrier-creating lasers. All of this... to trim grass:
    Bob: Just like real cows! Only with lasers.
    • Kat is in the process of invoking this trope for Robot. The body she made for him is that of a super-fast parkour ninja but it's merely a temporary one "cobbled together from spare parts" while she works on one that's even more ridiculous. And Robot doesn't even have a purpose to be designed for, so Kat is doing this entirely to make him maximally awesome.
  • Questionable Content's Pintsize is basically a walking computer. With a laser. However, this was justified in-story; Marten, Pintsize's human associate, had to replace his chassis and unknowingly upgraded him with a prototype battlefield robot chassis. The laser was subsequently removed, and later still, Pintsize himself switched to a more human-like civilian-grade chassis.
  • Eve from Applegeeks could probably qualify. She was originally built to be Hawk's "companion", but has plasma swords built into her forearms, and is ridiculous levels of strong. There's also her above-average fighting abilities, camouflage, and other non-standard items. Semi-justified because Hawk is the one who built her, and he is a gigantic nerd who would love nothing more than a robot girlfriend with the works.
  • In Sam & Fuzzy, these things are commonplace. Mr. Sin's robot duplicates of Fuzzy have foot-long retractable claws, for one.
  • In Beyond the Canopy, Pedro's giant battle robot was originally designed to be his maid. Apparently his clothes get some crazy tough stains.
  • Dirk Strider in Homestuck has built two robots to have rap-offs with. The more talented robot, Sawtooth, is equipped with a pair of massive rocket launchers hidden under its cape. Of course, since Dirk lives After the End in, and this a direct quote, "Sea Hitler's water apocalypse", one can hardly blame him for wanting a bit of...additional security.
  • Commander Kitty normally seems to go with Ridiculously Human Robots, what with them being clones that were converted into robots through nanomachines. Except for one isolated case where Olga single-handedly lifts up a goon roughly four times her size.
  • Coga Nito has Sleepy, an artificial being with a robot body, a bright pink, holographic face/hair, and the power to divide anything they can touch or split it neatly in half. When not slobbing around watching movies, they work as a barista.

    Western Animation 
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force:
    • One episode featured banjo-playing scorpion robots which were apparently intended as amusements at a children's theme park. They were armed to the teeth with missiles and machine guns.
    • Subverted in "Total Re-Carl", where after many other attempts to replace Carl's body Frylock decides he'll put it on his super-powerful robot. Upon Shake's questioning he suddenly realizes how unwise it would be to heavily arm someone whose body they destroyed and wonders what he was thinking. He then takes things to the opposite extreme, just sticking Carl's head on a RC car and calling it a day.
  • Batman Beyond had synthoids, and not only are the ones (illegally) made as "personal company" just as strong as ones made for combat (training), they're actually stronger.
  • In Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, there is a character named Flint, who appears to be a heavily built human. However, he is actually a robot and an extremely strong one at that (In one memorable scene where he lifts a huge piece of rubble, he brags, "I can lift 400 times my own weight and throw it too."). However, his great strength is justified because he is identified as a "Gamma Series Construction Robot, designed for ultra-heavy lifting.". Though that raises the question of why a supermarket purchased a robot so damn strong simply to be a stockboy. The "overconstructed for their task" aspect of this trope even applies to Flint's brainpower. He's intended to be a construction robot designed solely for lifting, why would his designers even need him to be sapient and capable of feeling hatred, jealousy and other negative feelings?
    • The show's resident indestructible Do-Anything Robot main character is actually justified, as he was originally designed to be able to survive and be rebuilt from ridiculous amounts of damage, and later was reassembled with... many more parts than needed.
  • ChalkZone has an episode in which Rudy and Penny start arguing about the design of their robot project. Penny wants to make a helpful robot with repair tools and cleaning functions like vacuum cleaner feet and an oil can in the elbow. Meanwhile, Rudy wants a super-powered robot armed with a ton of weapons and knows martial arts. The result? A crazy chalk robot filled up with so many tools and gadgets that it’s hard to tell what’s the real function. One second it’ll try to blast you with a laser cannon, the next it’ll fix the squeaky hinge on your front door.
  • Futurama: Bender was built solely to bend steel girders. Apparently, this job required him to be a Ridiculously Human Robot with countless auxiliary abilities.
    • This often handwaved by claiming that everything he does is essentially bending: "Like everything else, pumping is just a primitive, degenerate form of bending". He is property of Hubert Farnsworth, but this doesn't explain much because he's just one of many identical mass-produced "bending units" (though we rarely see any others).
    • The super strength is explainable, since the girders Bender is designed to bend are enormous and (obviously) made of thick metal. The stretching arms and legs presumably assist in this. Though why a bending unit would require a hammerspace chest cavity is anybody's guess.
    • Ironically, it turns out that he has very little flexibility in his intended purpose; he claims he can bend girders to "any angle," as long as it's between 30 and 32 degrees.
    • Much of Bender's inexplicability can be handwaved by Mom's secret ancillary intentions. She apparently builds every robot with the ability to perform her eventual Global Domination, and when the crew visits the Mom's Robot Museum the "see through the eyes of a bending unit" exhibit reveals that all bending units are programmed to identify targets for theft and exploitation.
    • Another example from Futurama is the toy kitty-cat doll Farnsworth invented, QT McWhiskers, which was then redesigned by Mom to be 16 feet tall and shoot lasers out of its eyes. She was turning it into a military robot, but she did the same with his previous one, turning it into a "colossal Tammy Tinkle doll". One cannot begin to hazard a guess as to the needs of that one.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Soos and the Real Girl", the animatronics in Hoo-Ha Owl's Pizza-ma-tronic Jamboree are capable of moving freely and have sharp claws.
  • Inside Job (2021) has Bear-O, the robot bear built by Rand Ridley to make her daughter Reagan feel happy and safe... which doesn't explain why it is completely indestructible and filled to the brim with weapons. It also turns out that Bear-O was the mysterious threat that wanted to destroy Cognito Inc., since working there is Reagan's major source of stress.
  • In the utterly disturbing Invader Zim episode "Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy", due to temporal interference by Zim, Dib is left crippled, and then killed. However, this backfires when Dib's father, Professor Membrane instead puts his boy in the Mega Boy 3000 robot, which gives him the strength of ten thousand little boys for no apparent reason. In fact, due to Zim's later attempts to kill him off with more time travel, to keep Dib from killing him, it just keeps on inexplicably giving the robot more weaponry. Considering that this is Professor Membrane we're talking about, we're lucky it didn't wipe out humanity. The man doesn't do subtle. This is pointed out in the commentary, as not only is the Mega Boy unnecessary, but so was every mechanical repair to Dib's body up until that point. Vasquez says that this was the result of Membrane getting really, really bored.
  • In the Rick and Morty episode "Something Ricked This Way Comes", Rick builds a robot to pass butter which is intelligent enough to ask what its purpose is and be depressed to learn it.
  • Robot Chicken: The titular Chicken was rebuilt as a Cyborg seemingly for the sole purpose of watching television, yet is a super powerful fighter with several built-in weapons.
  • South Park:
  • In The Venture Bros., Dr. Jonas Venture, Sr. built "H.E.L.P.eR." (Humanoid Electronic Lab Partner Robot) to assist around the Compound and raise Rusty Venture. H.E.L.P.eR. can fly with helicopter blades that pop out of his head and has a Battle Mode, including a flamethrower on one arm, spinning blades on another, and guns that fold out of his chest.
  • Ice Bear's roomba in We Bare Bears has been modified to the point where it can carry a full-grown polar bear, fly, Wall Crawl up a tree while stripping it of bark, and dispense axes on command. None of which is strictly necessary for picking up crumbs off the floor.

    Real Life 
  • Industrial robots are built this way as an intentional design choice in order to cover a broad range of tasks. A robotic transporter is built to lift two elephants at once, even if all you need to lift are empty cardboard boxes, simply because such devices are easier to manufacture and sell than a transporter that just lifts light loads. That said, the high maximum strength can sometimes lead to accidents if one wasn't careful, since a robot can't physically feel the difference between objects and weights in the way that a human can.

Alternative Title(s): Super Powered Robot Meter Maid, Maid Of Overkill