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TV Head Robot

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Security meets CRT.

Retro: Hee hee, that thing around your eye makes you look like a panda bear!
Pandy: That retro TV on your head makes you look like an asshole.

Exactly What It Says on the Tin. An automaton, robot or droid with a television set for a head.

Say the technology for synthetic skin has not yet been perfected and you want to avoid the Uncanny Valley. Maybe you don't have much but some spare parts, dwindling funds and a TV at your disposal. Maybe it just looks cool. For whatever reason, this is a robot or other sentient being with a monitor onto which they project images or outright words that are often snarky responses to people interacting with them.

Not to be confused with a sentient AI or a talking computer. This strictly applies to walking automatons.

Often speaks through a variant of Talking with Signs. Compare/contrast Surveillance Drone and The Blank. See also Screens Are Cameras, if they possess the television face, but no discernible sensory equipment with which to actually see. See also Non-Human Head, if the character has a monitor for a head, but is otherwise organic.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Lord Canti of FLCL has an old-fashioned portable TV set for a head, with a grille serving as his "mouth" that he tries to eat curry with at one point. Kamon even calls him "TV Boy" and tries to pass him off as a walking TV to Ninamori.

    Asian Animation 
  • Headmaster Tele of Happy Heroes has a TV screen for a head.
  • Popo from the Korean show TELEMONSTER is a robot with the ability to turn its mouth into a television screen which it has the ability to suck people into.

    Comic Books 
  • The New 52 Earth 2 version of Robert Crane (the Golden Age Robotman) has a head comprising a transparent dome containing his brain, with a flatscreen computer monitor on the front.
  • The people of Planet Robot from Brian K. Vaughan's Saga all have televisions for heads. How modern and decorative a TV head is denotes wealth, and may be a sort of Fantastic Caste System. Commoners like Dengo have very boxy heads with grainy monochrome displays. Nobles like Prince Robot IV, his wife, and their son have sleek heads with clear pictures in color. The leader, King Robot, has a flat screen TV for a head that is twice the height of the rest of his body.
  • Played for horror in an issue of Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: In an alternate universe, the Functionist Council of Cybertron have replaced the usual means of empurata (surgical disfigurement) with a new one where the victim's head is replaced with a screen, which they "speak" through via displaying text. On occasion, it even plays pop-up ads. Eventually it transpires that the Council is watching people through these screens, and can communicate through them.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Odyssey Into The Mind's Eye features characters with televisions for heads, although whether they are actually robots is up for debate.
  • Ibor, Synonamess Botch's Giant Mook, in Twice Upon a Time. Unlike most other examples of this trope, it possesses little to no sentience, strictly following Botch's orders without question. Most of the time, it uses its screen to display clips from old movies or other cartoons reflecting some other character's emotional state.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: The First-Person Shooter in Hero's Duty, which doesn't appear at all to the player but is visible as a TV Head Robot to game characters and does have a personality (although not a voice) when the player isn't controlling it.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The robot GERTY in the movie Moon has a screen displaying an emoji in lieu of a face.
  • RoboCop 2
    • A variation with Cain; after he's forcibly converted into Robocop 2, he has a screen that deploys from his body instead of being a constant feature.
    • The first of the failed Robo prototypes has a screen covered by a metal faceshield.
  • The Ghost of Christmas Future in Scrooged has only a TV monitor under its cowl, showing either static or a skull-like face.

  • The Last Human (2019): SkD is a little robot with a TV screen for a face. It communicates by using emoticon images.
  • TVs Friend by Taro Gomi is about a robot with a TV head.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Holly from Red Dwarf normally appears as just a face on a screen, but has on occasion moved around the ship in the form of a wheeled robot with a television screen for a head.
  • Datas from Tensou Sentai Goseiger is pretty much an arcade machine with arms and legs. The screen is his face by default but can also show anything, such as communications, or whatever the Monster of the Week is up to once detected.

  • The American Idiot musical often has images of people with televisions for heads painted in the background.

  • The reoccurring character of Tee Vee in various LEGO themes:
    • Tee Vee first appeared in 2001 in the LEGO Alpha Team theme as a walking television set with legs, before becoming an automated submersible with a TV face in the following release wave. The final iteration of Tee Vee in Alpha Team though was in an android body losing the TV face.
    • Tee Vee returned to Lego as "Seymour Tee Vee" in a 2020 Hidden Side set once again an updated take on its original 2001 form as a walking TV set with legs. A 2021 Ninjago set continues the Seymour Tee Vee design with two Wu Bots that are also walking TV sets with the same build style as Tee Vee.

    Video Games 
  • The Drakel Freak enemy from AdventureQuest is a cyborg with a TV for its head, with an organic muzzle protruding from it.
  • The Lord of Games from Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is essentially a tube TV wearing a royal cloak, with a game of Pong as his "face".
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum: In one first-person area, at the end of a hallway is a Joker mannequin with a TV for a head. It's actually him.
  • Telly from Chibi-Robo! is a Robot Buddy that takes his namesake from the fact that he is a tiny flying TV head.
  • ROBO_Head of Cytus II has a computer monitor for a head.
  • In The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai, the penultimate boss has a TV set for a head, and the achievement for beating him is called "Smash Your TV".
  • Lord Canti (mentioned in the Anime & Manga section) appears twice in the Epic Battle Fantasy series - first as the penultimate opponent in Brawl Royale, then as a summon for Natalie in Epic Battle Fantasy 1. He is replaced by an Expy named TV Boy in the EBF Collection versions of both games.
  • Emet from Evolve has a screen for a face with several preset expressions and symbols that he switches between.
  • Fallout: New Vegas: Securitrons, in appearance essentially a bulky TV on a uniwheel with added shoulder-boxes and attached grabbing/weapon arms. Some texts indicate the screens can show any sort of image, but all the ones seen has a face, with the face depending on their purpose (and which AI is currently running it). The majority broadcast the picture's bulb-nosed cop, or a soldier if the player takes certain actions, Victor has a stereotypical cowboy, Yes Man is a smiling face, Jane is a black-haired woman, Muggy is a cup of coffee with a face, the berserk Securitrons found in Big MT have A Trip to the Moon-style angry moon faces, and the damaged Big MT Securitrons have angry moon faces that are crossed out.
  • One of the late-game enemies in Freedom Planet is a robot with a CRT monitor for a head. However, the screen is used only to display its Black Bead Eyes.
  • The enemies in Iron Brigade are the "Tubes", an army of killer TV-headed robots.
  • Dr. Graaff from Iron Marines has a TV face on his torso. It also shows which personality and mode he's currently using — an angry red face for Assault Mode, and a happy green face for Assist Mode.
  • Everyone in Job Simulator appears to be some kind of hovering computer monitor with a digital face on the screen and a coffee cup welded to the side.
  • Metallic Child: Pan, one of Rona's friends aboard the Life Stream, has a screen that he uses to make eye expressions.
  • Monita, the host of Nintendo Land, has a computer monitor for her face. Her look is that of a modern flatscreen, and somewhat resembles a Wii U GamePad.
  • Neon J. of No Straight Roads is a cyborg who has a sonar screen for a head from surviving grievous wounds in the Border Wars. Oddly enough, he's still capable of breathing despite having no visible nose or mouth, as seen when having a coughing fit after 1010's defeat.
  • A variant in >OBSERVER_; when Dan Lazarski connects to the mind of the killer that stalked him through most of the game, one of the first things he sees is a group of people staring at him with boxy TVs for heads, all showing twitching human mouths in black-and-white.
  • The dozens of Vidbots scattered throughout the first dream world of Obsidian. They appear nothing short of televisions on metal poles without any visible means of locomotion, but they can move anyway; their "faces" usually show just the nose and mouth of a human in black and white, some of them have buttons or spindly mechanical arms and hands depending on who does what, and none of them tolerate broken rules, not even the receptionist.
  • Alt from pop'n music is a computer monitor-head robot.
  • In the Ravenhearst game's numerous sequels, TV Head Mannequins are something of a signature gimmick of the Dalimar clan. Although none can walk on their own, some move about on track-wires and make gestures sufficient to qualify as "robots", not just odd TV-stands.
  • In SOMA, Site Lambda includes a robot with a brain scan of Catherine Chun inside that uses a flat-screen monitor to communicate.
  • Spelunky: In the sequel, we are introduced to Lise Project, which is a female robot with a big computer screen for a head. She normally displays a simple feminine face with eyelashes, but her head displays error signals when she is damaged or near the edge of a platform.
  • Mr. Entertainment, host of Sprint Vector, has a monitor for a head that looks like a Raygun Gothic television. The image on it changes depending on what he's talking about.
  • Nearly every robot in Stray has a monitor for a head, with a simple dots-and-lines face on their screen that can change to display symbols of their emotions or activities. One of the notable exceptions is Midtown's police force, the Peacekeepers, whose members opt for security cameras instead.
  • Undertale:
    • Mettaton is a big metal box on a wheel with a monitor that often shows a big "M". Then you flip his switch, and becomes a humanoid.
    • Though he's not really a robot, Photoshop Flowey has a TV for a head, which displays Flowey's crazed face, a real greyscaled human head, and the six human SOULs.
  • Vs Hex Mod: Hex is a robot basketball player with a computer screen for a head, on which displays his face and even the arrows corresponding with his singing. The developer commentary states he runs on Windows 10, and you can even play games on him.
  • Wrack has Exo's last mecha, a giant robot whose head is a computer screen displaying it's controller's expressions... as an emoji. Be wary when this face (D-:<) comes up; it's about to release a difficult Ground Pound attack.
  • Inscryption: P03 is a plot twist antagonist of Inscryption. It has a TV head/screen face, which can change its facial expressions.

    Web Animation 
  • Robo-san from Robo-san and Wan-chan has a television set for a head, on which is displayed the wide dots that serve as his eyes.
  • The TV Men from the Skibidi Toilet Series are sharply dressed robots/cyborgs who have television sets for their heads, from which they can emit purple or orange light to hypnotize or immolate their enemies. Out of combat, their screens show static, which changes to a "c:" smiley to congratulate their allies.

    Web Comics 
  • The Objectheads in Pilot have electronic devices in place of heads. When it comes to what it is, they run the gamut; Some have old, box televisions, some have flatscreens, while others have phones. Jerry, while not an Objecthead, has a monochrome display instead of a face. It displays a question mark most of the time, but can display other things as well.
  • The Property of Hate's RGB is, if not an actual robot, at least a TV-Headed... Something. His head is an actual TV, by the way, and can be used to watch cartoons, although his consciousness sort of disconnects while this is happening.
  • Rice Boy has The One Electronic (T.O.E.). Instead of pictures drawn by the author, he projects scenes from movies and television shows much more like, well, an actual TV. He also smokes.

    Western Animation 
  • D'nerd from The Bots Master, whose head resembles a computer monitor that displays a yellow face with eyes approximating Nerd Glasses. It's demonstrated in the show's opening that he can display different images on his face-screen.
  • In Hanna-Barbera's The Little Rascals episode "Science Fair and Foul", Buckwheat's home-built robot has a TV set for its head.
  • ReBoot brings us Mike the TV, whose screen is both his head and torso.
  • Spongebob Squarepants: Karen, Plankton's "computer-wife", alternates between being a stationary computer and an old computer monitor placed on a thin pole attached to a base with wheels and arms. One episode has her and Plankton going through a rough patch in their relationship and Plankton upgrades to a newer, curvier computer bot with a sleeker monitor.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! has TV Monster, a robot built with a TV screen. It's used by the Skeleton King for communication while he's in the Citadel of Bone.
  • Transformers: Animated:
  • The Venture Brothers: Dr. Venture builds G.U.A.R.D.O. to handle security while Brock is away. The hulking robot has a monitor for a head, which displays the (nebbish and non-threatening) face of Dr. Venture himself.
  • We Bare Bears: In "Icy Nights II", Ice Bear's nemesis Barry the Bro-grammer has an army of Mecha-Mooks with smart-phones for heads that emote by displaying various emoji. Near the end of the episode, Ice Bear and his old friend Yana encounter a much larger version with a tablet computer for a head.

Alternative Title(s): Computer Head Robot