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Unintentional Uncanny Valley

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And this is why things that are close to humankind (yet aren't quite there) are scary.

"Within the realm of the familiar, we find comfort and connection. Venture too close to the unknown, and the familiar can become hauntingly strange."
— Attributed to Salvador Dalí

In 1970, Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori proposed in The Uncanny Valley that the more human a robot acted or looked, the more endearing it would be to a human being. For example, most lovable Robot Buddies look humanoid, but keep quirky and artistically mechanical affectations. However, at some point, the likeness seems too strong and yet somehow, fundamentally different — and it just comes across as a very strange human being. At this point, the acceptance drops suddenly, changing to a powerful negative reaction. The Uncanny Valley doesn't necessarily have to invoke fear, though; for some people, the reaction is more similar to Narm or unintentional comedy. Either way, you don't feel the same about that character as you would a human, or even something less realistic.

If shown as a graph (like the one to the right), the acceptance on the Y axis and increasing X approaching human normal, there is a slow rise, then a sudden drop, then a sudden peak as "human normal" is reached. Masahiro Mori referred to this as the "uncanny valley". This video explains it extremely well.

Thus, things that look somewhat human, but are clearly not — such as C-3PO (in Star Wars) or Animated Armor — produce an accepting reaction, while things that are very nearly human, but just a little strange — such as a child's doll, a ventriloquist's dummy or a clown — produce a negative response. For some people, the resonance is stronger with a moving object, which is why a corpse is creepy but a moving corpse is creepier still. In fact, some people that don't have a problem with things like zombies and consider them merely another monster may still be creeped out by things like unnatural movement.

This may also apply to sound as well. For example, a voice speaking words, but at a higher or lower pitch than is humanly possible, or a recording of a human voice, but played backwards. Or maybe a computer voice like Microsoft Sam. Though, again, some people just find the effect comical and/or silly.

This has applied to film CGI and video-game graphics, as technology has developed over time to allow for more photorealistic graphics, but not necessarily realistic movements. It's become very easy for computers to simulate textures and skin tones, but convincing movement and facial expressions aren't so simple, often requiring Motion Capture to look realistic. More stylized 3D models or a 2D art can generally get away with odd animations or expressions, but the more realistic the graphics shoot for, the more noticeable it is when something isn't lining up with reality. This is normally a cost issue, as detailed animation can be extremely time-consuming to craft and even more so when one set of animations is used for multiple characters and still needs to look natural for all of them. Not putting in enough effort can produce the effect where a character can come across as something less than human, like a zombie. As computer graphics become ever more detailed and realistic, while also becoming more affordable, the Uncanny Valley becomes ever narrower, but it does not go away.

Many cartoons nowadays prefer a simultaneously stylized yet simplified character design, versus the realistic look among some older cartoons. In the latter, it's more obvious the budget just didn't allow characters to move much. Heavily rotoscoped characters also often seem less real than more stylized animated characters, especially when they're in the same production. See the Fleischer Studios version of Gulliver's Travels for an example.

Rather unfortunately, this phenomenon can be applied to real-life people and may be in part an explanation (though not an excuse) for things like racism when other groups of people inspire this reaction in certain people. People with social disabilities tend to be hurt hardest by this reaction, as people usually don't try to see past the "unnatural" behaviour of the individual and may have the same negative reaction that this trope describes.

A character in the valley is not necessarily doomed to being unsympathetic; sometimes they manage to be sympathetic despite evoking the unsettling uncanny valley feeling, leading to an odd kind of Narm Charm, where you find yourself crying over or rooting for a character you initially felt creeped out by due to their appearance.

While the Uncanny Valley is usually known to be unintentional, it can be deliberately invoked for the audience or even the characters in the work — see the main Uncanny Valley trope for examples of that. Some examples of particular ways to intentionally produce this effect are Creepily Long Arms, Creepy Long Fingers, Malevolent Masked Men, Undead Barefooter, Undeathly Pallor, Body Horror, and Uncanny Valley Makeup. Tropes such as Everyone Hates Mimes and Monster Clown may exist because of this trope, as such characters' full-face makeup and oddball behavior can rate as invoked examples of Uncanny Valley. Also compare Mundane Horror, when the Uncanny Valley effect is applied to storylines and situations rather than characters.

See also Reality Is Unrealistic, where the poor impression comes less from being "creepy" as from breaking existing conventions which audiences had come to expect. In addition, there's Off-Model, Bishōnen Line, No Flow in CGI, and Ugly Cute. And while you're at it, see What Measure Is a Non-Cute?, as the scientific study of that trope gave birth to this one. An opposite is Eldritch Abomination, where the unsettling effect is caused by being way too unfamiliar rather than being way too human, yet still produces the same abominable effect (although the two can overlap as a Humanoid Abomination). Furries Are Easier to Draw is a way artists get around the Uncanny Valley phenomenon; it's easy for drawn humans to dip into the valley, but a cartoony talking animal doesn't evoke the same response.

Note: Please do not add Real Life examples here.

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Invoked frequently in AKIRA both intentionally and unintentionally thanks to the older and surreal art style. The characters most guilty of this trope are the psychic children Masaru, Takashi and Kiyoko. Tetsuo counts as well... even before he becomes a giant fleshy fetus blob.
  • Berserk:
    • Miura's new art style can cause this reaction in fans, especially compared to his older style, the broader lines and more "cutesy" design is jarring to some readers. It's likely due to Miura's change from ink to digital drawing.
    • Berserk: The Golden Age Arc in general suffers from this due to a lot of Conspicuous CG, which many fans deplored. Just see the background characters. It's especially disconcerting during the big story moments — e.g., Guts One-Man Army moment — which look like something out of a video game compared to Berserk (1997). The third movie looks much better thanks to using the CG smartly — most of the characters' bodies are computer-animated but still have 2D heads, blending the styles effectively.
    • Berserk (2016) suffered severe backlash from fans due to all of the characters essentially being CGI mannequins. Nobody looks natural, the faces don't react, and all of the "talking" moments feel like someone trying to tell a story in Garry's Mod. There are some moments in which 2D animation is used, which is a relief when it happens, but those moments are few and far between. The Blu-ray DVD release uses more 2D moments and removes some of the Barbie Doll Anatomy censoring for nudity, but fans were still unimpressed.
  • City Hunter 91 and Angel Heart use realistic, sketch-like art style to depict main characters' serious/dramatic faces, which easily come off as uncanny. The worst offenders are Ryo and Kaori themselves in Angel Heart anime, where their voice acting bounces all over the place and doesn't match the expressions, making the issue even weirder.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • An odd example occurs with the original edited English dub. It heavily censors violent scenes, and more extreme wounds on characters are digitally painted out. Unfortunately, the edits over characters make them look really off and don't mesh with the animation at all.
    • A lot of the animation in Dragon Ball Super can be Off-Model which invokes this effect, and true while the old show was guilty of this too thanks to the different studios, they got away with it thanks to the cartoon aesthetic. Super on the other hand has a cleaner, smoother style which means faults stand out more clearly.
    • The CG that Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods and Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' uses during the high octane fights clashes poorly with the rest of the animation. Dragon Ball Super: Broly handles this way better due to rotoscoping the models so they look more hand-drawn, still fans strongly prefer the beautiful 2D animation in the movie than the digital work.
  • A common criticism of Dr. STONE is that the female characters' faces often look... off, with their default expressions normally having vacant, glassy, unnaturally spaced "doe-eyes" and comparatively tiny mouths and noses (something which is not seen in the male characters). It's even led to jokes that their disturbing appearance is due to them being inbred, since it's eventually revealed that the inhabitants of Ishigami Village are all descended from a small group of astronauts.
  • EX-ARM's anime adaption is an All-CGI Cartoon animated with motion capture (which had little if any editing) and an "animation" company who mostly known for making background assets for FromSoftware games. The final result is extremely stiff yet jittery models who can only open/close their mouths, barely any of the characters can deviate from their default expression, and their unblinking eyes stare into an abyss only they can see.
  • The Flowers of Evil is a rare example of Rotoscoping in the medium. Because of this, some of the characters look... off from real-life people, let alone their original manga designs.
    • Speaking of The Flowers of Evil, the author Shuzo Oshimi's other works — Inside Mari, Happiness, and Blood on the Tracks — all employ the Uncanny Valley to haunting effect due his extremely beautiful and creepy artwork. Blood on The Tracks in particular gives even Junji Ito a run for his money, especially with the character of Seiko Osabe.
  • Gantz is chock-full of this, with City Hunter-esque characters put up against Nightmare Fuel monsters straight from the Junji Ito playbook. The mix of stylized elements with hyper-realistic designs can be both visually stunning and unnerving as hell. The film Gantz: O only intensifies this trope by rendering Oku's already uncanny art style in CG, with predictable results.
  • Ghost Hound has a few things that fall squarely into this, like the thing fifteen seconds into this video.
  • Gokujou!! Mechamote Iinchou has this aaaalllll over the place. The animation switches from hand-drawn to cel-shaded CGI without warning, the characters, when in CGI-mode, can't even blink very well, and can't move their eyes—in order to face another direction, they have to turn their entire head.
    • Later episodes seem to use the CGI a bit better, though the non-human characters still look terrifying.
  • In Hen, the artist's grasp of human anatomy can get a little loose at times.
  • Ijime, a short anti-bullying OVA, has an art style that falls deep into this trope. You have been warned.
  • A lot of works by Junji Ito thanks to his distinctive art style. It works great for his usual horror works, but it becomes hilarious (and a bit unsettling) when he continues using it for stuff like Junji Ito's Cat Diary: Yon & Mu, a silly comic about his wife's cats.
  • In Jagaaaaaan, even normal humans are prone to disturbingly wide eyes and exaggerated mouths that wouldn't look out of place on a Titan. This is not bad, since it contributes to the unsettling feel of the series.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Iggy from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders started out with very human-like eyes making him look right at home in a surrealist horror painting rather than a battle manga. Iggy soon gained a more cartoony appearance which lessened this effect. However, there are some who find his more anime face equally disturbing as the original and prefer the OVA version of Iggy, who has a nice balance of realistc and stylised.
    • Hirohiko Araki's art style in general sometimes falls into this trope with its unique blend of realism and heavy stylization that can make the characters look like ancient marble statues, especially in later parts. It's also jarring for some fans to see characters from earlier parts drawn in his current art style, if the reactions to Koichi in the Rohan OVAs are anything to go by.
  • Masakazu Katsura: His classic manga style and a bit more realistic.
  • In Mekakucity Actors, the intro of episode 9 is supposed to be a cute, heartwarming montage of Kido, Kano, Seto, and Ayano growing up together, but it's kind of spoiled by the CGI models, particularly the faces, which are creepy as hell (especially when they smile). The redone version for the BD sets, by comparison, is in 2D and does a much better job of trying to be cute.
  • Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors is a World War II propaganda film and one of the first attempts at animating more realistic faces. The results range from odd-looking to downright scary.
  • The Music Of Marie: When Kai flashes back to what happened when he nearly drowned...
  • Naruto: Mikio Ikemoto's style in Boruto is far less appealing than Kishmoto's older work due to the combine factor of less stylized art and Artistic Age for characters like Sarada.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Kaworu's appearance caused this reaction in a lot of viewers.
    • The Mass Production Evangelions from End. The masochistic cyborg harpies who are The Faceless except for their ever-smiling bright-red lips just get to people.
    • Lilith to an extent as well. There's something about a crucified humanoid being that resembles a bloated corpse and with a mask that gives it the appearance of having no face at all that tends to creep some fans of the series out.
  • One Piece:
  • Perfect Blue's Mima goes through a journey filled with all kinds of things nightmarish throughout the movie, and while most of the character designs lean toward realistic, there are two notable exceptions: Me-Mania, who is obviously hideous from the start, and Rumi, who, like him, has eyes that are too widely spaced. Likely to hint towards her similar unhinged mental state.
  • Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea: Granmanmare, due to her design being slightly more realistic than the traditionally Miyazaki-esque characters that surround her.
  • Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness due to being a CG anime like Advent Children or Gantz: O runs into this trope. The realistic visuals mixed with outlandish and stylised elements makes for a disconcerting effect especially in non-action scenes. Characters like Leon and Claire also given more realistic appearances compared to how they looked in the previous CG media. It’s especially notable when characters are walking, e.g when Leon is walking back to the White House in the Season 1 ending, he moves with an unnatural gait.
  • Sailor Moon Crystal
    • The show is gorgeously animated in details and Scenery Porn, but the 3D movements throw a lot of people off. Especially in this trailer/music video, where the girls do a Team Power Walk that comes off more creepy and lumbering than badass.
    • A common criticism of Crystal is that it tries to copy the manga's artstyle too closely resulting in anatomy and facial issues.
    • Crystal's version of Chibi-Usa is basically an adult head running around on a toddler body. Every scene with her just screams wrongness.
  • Shirokuma Cafe falls into this trope with its animal characters as they are drawn in a rather photorealistic looking style.
  • Soul Eater Not! gives the returning characters from Soul Eater a cutesy and more realistic Moe redesign that just looks off and wrong. This is considered one of the main reasons the show didn't do very well.
  • Suicide Island has an art-style that, in general, has this effect on the humans. Overall, the scenery is done well, but the humans are drawn a bit sketch-like and the tendency of having an emphasis on big noses makes them feel a little unsettling.
  • The cat family featured in the 1947 anime Suteneko Tora-chan look a little creepy with faces that mostly look like real faces.
  • Most of the characters in the 1982 anime film adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz use cartoony designs, which makes characters like Dorothy look a bit off.
  • For the most part, Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories is animated through still images in order to invoke the feeling of a paper theatre. So when traditional, fluid animation is used, it’s jarring. Special mention goes to the segment "Tormentor", which uses this style heavily to heighten its premise.
  • Xxx Holic's anime adaptation sometimes veers into this. The manga's art style depicts people with very long, slender limbs; while this doesn't look so bad in still images, it didn't translate as well to animation, as the characters frequently go Off-Model with bizarre proportions and wildly inconsistent heights.

    Comic Books 
  • Alex Ross' "photorealistic" painted style, seen in Kingdom Come and Marvels, falls into this sometimes due to how ridiculously detailed he makes his characters.
    • A quote from Kingdom Come regarding the Brainwashed and Crazy Captain Marvel sums it up well, even if it's not entirely an In-Universe example.
      "Captain Marvel mills about, his eerie smile carving a swath through Batman's ranks. No one breathes in his presence. "What is thinking?" they wonder. "What will he do next?". To them, he is shark trawling for prawn. I have heard him called the world's mightiest mortal. No doubt. The intimidation his mere presence exudes is uncanny."
    • Ross also uses paints when acting as inker for another artist's pencils. If the penciler's style is too different from Ross', the resulting combination of their styles can look weird. Example: Ross painting over Jim Lee's art. It goes to an extreme when Ross painted over a Bruce Timm portrayal of the cartoon versions of Justice League, here: a hyper-realistic style over a very unrealistic cartoonish style.
  • Lee Bermejo's art, is so photorealistic and uncanny that he can even make someone like Superman look like something out of a Slasher Movie (source: Lex Luthor: Man of Steel), though this works wonders when drawing already creepy characters like the Joker or the Green Goblin.
  • Scott McCloud's Making Comics has a few pages of faces showing various basic facial expressions as a guide to how that kind of thing works. As McCloud himself admits, they're creepy as hell. His drawn face with big blank glasses can also look fairly soulless sometimes.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Spidey hits this trope, which is why he's a case of Creepy Good; the costume is just startling, even compared to other super-heroes' costumes, since it basically gives him a round, blank face that's featureless save for two huge, white, ever-staring eyes (even creepier when Doctor Octopus puts glass lenses on the mask in Superior Spider Man). The garish red and blue costume is creepy enough, even despite the bright colors (or perhaps because of them, since brightly colored, in nature, typically means "Danger! Poison!"), but when he wears some of his darker costumes, like the black-and-white one that eventually became The Symbiote, it's only heightened. To this unsettling appearance is added his inhuman flexibility; if you look closer, you'll see that a lot of the poses that Spidey so casually strikes are extremely awkward, if not impossible, for an ordinary human to achieve, which further makes him look like a monster. Add to this the Paranoia Fuel his Wall Crawling abilities give him (meaning he can come at you from anywhere, at any angle), and it's surprising just how spooky that is. Still, this trope has backfired a lot with Spider-Man, as his design is near-universally loved, being the most marketable superhero. It's extremely common to see children dress up as Spidey in and out of universe, so it's more likely because Spidey is distrusted by the public (since he doesn't look like the archetypal superhero) that he causes the Uncanny Valley effect on people. However, out of universe, he's the flagship character of Marvel Universe, so he generally avoids this trope.
  • Similarly to Alex Ross, Mike Deodato's art can have this effect on readers, sometimes to a greater extreme. While his heavily detailed, almost 3D-looking realistic style (seen in Secret Avengers, Dark Avengers and Fear Itself) is very impressive, it's also disconcerting when it comes to the more outlandish characters like Spider-Man and the Thing. Also, in general, Deodato's focus on the musculature of the male characters in their costumes, while far from Liefeldian, still dips into the valley to the point that they can resemble action figures. Dedato's style for female characters is also hyper-idealized (e.g., Carol Danvers), with the Jim Lee-esque stylized anatomy combined with realistic penciling and shading making for an uncanny effect.
  • Alfred E. Newman of MAD fame. It's especially off-putting to see his creepy grin pasted onto other popular culture icons.
  • The caricatures from the 19th-century political satire magazine Puck can come across as this on account of the photo-realistic style.
  • Brian Bolland's art style is (intentionally) just plain creepy a lot of the time — while his character design is cartoony, it's also surreal and life-like. Naturally, he was the perfect choice for The Killing Joke.
  • Steve McNiven has penciled some of Marvel Comics' most well-known series and is a great artist, but there’s no denying his style tends to make characters (even heroes like Captain America) look like serial killers. This works well in gritty stories like Old Man Logan, but not so much in The Avengers.
  • Quite a few mainstream comic publishers have been using Poser for some of their comics. It always looks terrible.
  • Marvel Comics artist Greg Land's art is often described as having uncanny valley elements, as his style's a blend of standard comic designs and realistic Traced Artwork faces (as seen on his Ultimate Fantastic Four covers). His female characters tend to look creepily similar and often sexualized, and some of his art has been identified as traced from pornography.
  • Some of the earlier Winx Club comics have hideous panels, with an unhealthy side order of Off-Model.
  • Any attempt to make Archie Comics realistic looking falls into this. The artists infamously tried it out circa 2005 but got completely negative reactions.
  • As good as Sara Pichelli's work in Ultimate Spider-Man is, the artwork can sometimes fall into this with the extreme detail of the facial expressions.
  • Immortal Hulk:
  • Basil Wolverton's stories for Weird Mysteries are drawn with a disturbingly high level of detail for stylized designs. The effect is not unlike that of Alex Ross painting over a drawing done by an artist with a different style, as discussed above. Here's an example from a story titled "Robot Woman!" — which, ironically, has an In-Universe Uncanny Valley example as well.
  • Rob Liefeld gets ragged on a lot for his stylistic choices, but the problem sometimes goes beyond Off-Model and into this trope. For instance, there's Forearm, a four-armed strongman. His design could have been acceptable if not for the warped placement of limbs and features that makes him positively inhuman and grotesque. His left ear is both lopsided and appears to be coming out of his cheek, while his chin and jaw look more like a goiter. The placement of the lower left arm also suggests that its 'shoulder' sprouts out from below his ribcage and his upper right forearm appears to be the length of his fist due to bad placement. Still, just enough things look vaguely right for everything else to look terribly wrong. Liefeld's particularly got a lot of flack for his infamous drawing of Captain America, which is just completely unnatural and actually hard to look at for how awful it is — Cap's tiny head sitting on a massive, bloated torso, the fact the insignia is facing towards the reader despite the fact Cap's pecs are pointed ridiculously far forward. Some have argued that the shield is just hiding the curve of Cap's back, since otherwise he's an abomination; people have even removed Cap's clothes and showed his bone structure to showcase what a freak Liefeld has drawn.
  • Ken Penders' unreleased graphic novel series The Lara-Su Chronicles depicts his characters from Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) as realistic and grotesque-looking humanoid/animalistic creatures lacking the charm of their original Sonic style. Check it out. Quite a few fans were upset that their favorite characters were retconned from the comic for this unappealing style.
  • As with many Hanna-Barbera–based comics made by DC Comics, the reboots for Snagglepuss and The Flintstones decided to go for a more realistic design instead of the original Hanna-Barbera design. Unfortunately, though, they tried to make the art style look WAY too realistic, with hideously designed characters and expressionless faces on the characters. Because of this, many fans re-created the panels with their own style or even the original Hanna-Barbera style.
  • Similarly, when DC Comics decided to do crossovers of Looney Tunes characters with the main DC universe, this kicked in — particularly with the Lex Luthor/Porky Pig Special #1. Behold and shudder. (Lex's Unmoving Plaid suit isn't helping, either.)

    Comic Strips 
  • This happens whenever Gary Larson (The Far Side) tries to emulate the style of more serious cartoons (to parody them, usually) that they get creepy.
  • The National Lampoon ran an article showcasing the 'real' people who were inspirations for newspaper comics — featuring lovingly rendered, realistic pictures of the subjects who were dead ringers for the likes of Dick Tracy, Little Orphan Annie, Popeye, and the Nightmare Fuel that was Henry.
  • Started happening with some of the later For Better or for Worse strips. Lynn Johnston changed up her art style in certain panels to show Elizabeth looking more "attractive", particularly when she was trying to set her up with Anthony. The result absolutely backfired.

  • The Adventures of Stefón Rudel has Dinochen. She's meant as a Plucky Comic Relief character and is actually one of the best characterized people in the book, but her description as resembling a small elephant walking upright with four arms nevertheless makes her look rather creepy.
  • Twilight: Breaking Dawn has Renesmee. She's supposed to be seen as cute and endearing, but she's described as having teeth as soon as she's born and her unnaturally fast growth also has her extremities be "lean" and "almost adult-like" in length when she's only a few weeks old, making her appearance come across as that of Noodle People. Renesmee's also supposed to have an adult intelligence, but she still does very childish things like biting people and scream for attention - coupling that with the adult mind makes her actions feel very unsettling.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The History Channel documentary Ancients Behaving Badly focuses on famous historical figures, forensically reconstructing their personalities (pathologies and all). Unfortunately, these segments always include a CGI rendering of the subject's face — which more often than not looks like an embalmed Gelfling that wants to dine on your tasty, tasty soul.
  • The first appearance of the Drakh in Babylon 5 were mouthless ghost-like creatures with glowing eyes that appeared distorted as though they were only partly in one place. They were later changed to be Rubber-Forehead Aliens with a reptilian look, and future appearances of the mouthless "soldier" caste Drakh were more rendered solid rather than distorted.
  • In the American version of Big Brother, at least once a season, often a veto later in the game, producers take pictures of the contestants (it can be any of them) and then morph them together into one picture. The houseguests in the competition then have to identify which two houseguests's facial features are represented in the picture. It can sometimes actually be a bit funny, such as in 10 where the one featuring Jerry (who was in his 70s) was morphed together with another houseguest significantly younger than him was described as a "Demon", or rather disturbing when you see Laura in 11's mouth look significantly bigger than the rest of the face.
  • The vehicle segments of the Swedish kids' show Bilakuten have anthropomorphic vehicles and trailers (and an anthropomorphic roller coaster in one episode). But look at their faces. They have human teeth. It just looks wrong.
  • Buffyverse:
    • Even the regular old Vampire make-up or "Game Face" while created to make people feel less sorry for the rampant murder of normal looking people is still creepy thanks to the dated computer effect to make the vampire face appear seamlessly without cutting away like in the early series.
      • The make up is slightly different depending how the actor's facial structure, this especially noticeable for the female vampire faces since actresses usually have differently shaped faces to the male actors so the make-up is affected which is effectively disconcerting and uncanny.
      • David Boreanaz and James Marsters wear the Vampire make-up very well, James Marsters as Spike can contort his face into a massive snarl which is more jarring than the heavy make-up of most Demons.
  • For Tony's stag party on Coronation Street, they all wore "Tony" masks - flat unmoving faces with little cutout eyes peering out.
  • CSI: NY has an uncomfortably zombie-like woman who's lying comatose in a hospital in the first episode "Blink".
  • Doctor Who, as a show designed for scaring children often featuring humanoid monsters, has a very strong relationship with this trope.
    • The freakiest thing about the Cybermen might be that their hands are still human. The funniest thing about it? They only lacked gloves because the costume designer forgot to bring them to the set, so as is often the case with the early years of Who, one of the creepiest, if not the creepiest parts of their design came from a lack of budget and a genuine accident.
    • The infamous Terrifying Pertwee.
    • The Fifth Doctor's companion Kamelion, played by a real robot. He's supposed to be fun, but is just terrifying.
    • The horrible CGI Fake Shemp recreations of William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton in "Dimensions in Time".
    • The animated episode "Dreamland" has a crude, stiff style of CG that makes it look unfinished and creepy.
    • In "The Lodger", there was a very strange picture on a wall... and it didn't have anything to do with the episode. You could see a cameraman in the reflection on it, though.
  • In the live-action The Fairly Oddparents movie, Timmy's mom and dad are this. Despite being real people, they act a bit too cartoonish.
  • The Fuccons, known as Oh! Mikey in Japan, stars a cast of mannequins filmed at real-life locations. People unfamiliar with Yoshimasa Ishibashi's work are generally prone to be creeped out by the show, along with its combination of Surreal Humor and Black Comedy.
  • The George Lopez Show, of all shows, has this in George's childhood flashbacks, which take the head of adult George and paste it onto his childhood body. Naturally, it's because they actually "integrated" the head onto child George's body, rather than doing a cheap photoshop AFV-style.
  • Zaphod Beeblebrox's second head in the miniseries of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1981). Sometimes it talks, but mostly it just sits there on his shoulder, motionless and eerily realistic. It was originally intended to be more animated than it ultimately was, but the prop head worked only intermittently, leaving it looking more like a shoulder-mounted pinata.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: The Southland slaver warg is a dangerous beast and gets to kill several bit characters, but instead of appearing as this frightening mad warg, it comes out as a crazed chihuahua-poodle hybrid more than a wolf. The fans noted how narm-y it came out.
  • The Mandalorian: In Chapter 16 "The Rescue", Luke Skywalker returns in his prime and while most can agree it was an awesome moment, much like his sister Leia and Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One the CG recreation of Mark Hamill's face gave more than a few fans the heebie-jeebies. The Book of Boba Fett improves upon his face greatly to the extent that it feels like they've plucked Mark Hamill out of 1983 at times (which in of itself is kinda freaky) but some people were still creeped out by it, prehaps more due to a disconection between Luke's voice and face.
  • Max Headroom: The voice! The face! The eyes! The arrogance! (example)
    • However it doesn't completely qualify as Max is played by a live actor (although at the time, this fact was underplayed in the media as a fiction that Max was an actual CG construct was maintained for a while, though this was dropped once the TV series started and the actor started to become known on his own merits).
    • Creepier is the Max Headroom WTTW pirating incident.
      • And to this date, no one has caught the perpetrator, let alone learned why they did it. That makes it even worse.
    • Speaking of Max Headroom, some viewers apparently found the mid-1980s video for "Paranoimia" by The Art of Noise sufficiently creepy to leave them in vague fear of it for decades.
  • Series three of Merlin features an elderly version of Merlin, portrayed by Colin Morgan in age make-up. Eerily realistic age make-up. The effect is... unnerving.
  • A program on the Military Channel about the Gettysburg Address features a mix of live actors, with a mostly-to-completely CGI Abraham Lincoln. The CGI Lincoln squarely falls into the Uncanny Valley.
  • Beginning with the third season, Modern Family has added an extremely unsettling, CGI smile to the face of Baby Lily in the opening credit montage.
  • The Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch "It's a Tree" features pieces of wood and plastic talking through their lips.
  • For some, the Generic Man sim used to illustrate animal traits on The Most Extreme avoids this by being just slightly cartoonish, especially the goofy surprised looks whenever he gets overrun by something. In other cases, this cartoonish defiance from a normal human's appearance drives this into the deepest part of uncanny valley.
  • Though not alive (or meant to be alive), Buster from MythBusters fame falls squarely into this category, considering all of the things Adam and Jamie have done to him to get a more "human" response out of him during tests, including giving him a "spine", "brain", and even breakable "bones" for testing injury. Special mention goes out to the "death balls" used for the Plywood Builder myth, which shatter upon a lethal impact, releasing stage blood. All used for effect, of course.
    • This also came up in a myth testing Latex Perfection. Even after getting the best masks money could buy, Adam and Jamie couldn't convincingly fool anybody unless they stood at a distance and didn't speak. Even complete strangers pointed out that upon closer inspection, something wasn't quite right about the faces they were looking at and they quickly deduced what was going on. Oddly enough, they apparently did fool someone: Jamie's dog. Because it did fool people at a decent distance (30 feet), even fellow MythBuster Grant Imahara, it was called "plausible".
  • "Floyd", the agent from "Department 44" in the NUMB3RS episode "Dreamland". He looked perfectly human, but his effect was rather like an android with a better-than-average speech program. The bouts of "invisible cell phone" had some viewers looking for the spinning blue ring, and the tendency toward Stealth Hi/Bye (Amita called it "materializing") just added to the weird factor. You would think that an agent with such a secretive group would want to blend more.
  • On the show River Monsters, host Jeremy Wade investigated some attacks on people in Papua New Guinea. One victim told him it felt like a person was biting him. Wade eventually catches the culprit, a fish called a pacu. Native to South America, the pacu were imported about fifteen years earlier and had seriously disrupted the ecosystem. Though related to piranhas, pacu were herbivores, and their flat teeth were normally used for crushing seeds and nuts. After being transplanted, though, they were unable to find enough of their regular diet and had expanded to meat-eating, including, apparently, humans. (They were far too small to eat a human whole, but could bite off chunks, including some... painful areas.) When Wade catches a big one, he pulls back its lips to reveal the teeth, which at that size were eerily human-looking.
  • She-Hulk: Attorney at Law naturally runs into this with its titular big green heroine . The show does it best to have Shulkie seem authentic being CG like her cousin is, whilst also doing their best to have her be attractive and human-like as she is in most comics (which is tricky to balance), the result is that while she does look alright at times, at other times she really doesn't and falls squarely into this trope. The main issue being Jen's human looking face and hair simply feels like its plastered onto a CG body that doesn't quite match, making for an unsettling appearance.
  • Sliders has a Big Bad in the form of the Kromaggs. The first time they appeared, they were just sufficiently not-quite-human to make them uncomfortable to look at. Subsequent returns of the Kromaggs make them look more human.

  • Sparklehorse, in both the albums' artwork and the songs themselves, which often have a decaying, rummage sale-like quality that's very off, as if Linkous himself is a faulty clockwork puppet.
  • Aphex Twin's Windowlicker cover, which is his face photoshopped onto a model's body (here's the original for anyone curious). If you've seen the album cover enough times to be used to it, the real thing can look like Uncanny Valley.
  • The video for "Boom Boom Pow" by The Black Eyed Peas contains CGI motion capture sequences of the members singing which look unnerving as they are in the dark.
  • The cover for the album Something Like Human by the rock band Fuel contains a clear metal baby with blank eyes staring at us.
  • The album cover for Hybrid's Wide Angle has this in spades. The back is color inverted, which makes it worse.
  • Daniel Amos' album Doppelgänger features photos of a department-store mannequin in the liner notes. In some of the pictures, he's wearing an eerily-realistic mask, then removes it to show that the too-human eyes are his.
  • The popularity of a certain "surrealistic realism" can elicit this response from certain Italian progressive rock album covers of the early 70s. Most notable candidates: Clowns by Nuova Idea and Dedicato a Frazz by Semiramis (and its detailed inner gatefold) are the most prominent examples.
  • The cover of South African rap duo Die Antwoord 's Ten$ion album features Yolandi Visser done up like some black-eyed, cannibalistic angel.
  • News of the World by Queen, based on the cover of Astounding Science Fiction (October 1953), features a disturbing childlike giant robot holding bloodied, dead members of the band in his hand. This was terrifying for Seth MacFarlane from Family Guy, since the B-plot of one of the episodes revolved around Brian manipulating Stewie's fear of the cover.

  • The pinball game White Water has a figure of Bigfoot, which (despite being designed after Dennis Nordman) looks a little... too eager to shove your balls away.
  • Another pinball machine, FunHouse (1990), has Rudy, a marionette-like character whose head is on the playfield as a talking plastic model. His eyes move too and are programmed to follow the ball around. He even says "I'm watching you..." when no one is playing. That being said, it's likely that his unsettling appearance is intentional, as he's a condescending jerkass, and the game encourages you to hit him with the ball.
    • That being said, the same technology for Rudy was used for two talking heads in Red & Ted's Road Show, but this time, Red and Ted are supposed to be friendly and inviting and even sing. Instead, they just come off like Rudy's equally creepy parents.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Gerry Anderson's puppets for Thunderbirds and other shows are creepy - Peter Cook and Dudley Moore doing a live-action parody are even creepier. Or funnier. However, due to the received wisdom that puppets (especially their faces) are only really creepy when they move, the fact they had no variation in facial expression and their dialogue was only animated by simple Mouth Flaps ironically prevented them from getting too unsettling.
    • The more realistic proportions the characters were given in Captain Scarlet also (again rather ironically) reduced the creepiness factor compared to the Thunderbirds' more babyish body proportions and facial features that often make them look like they've overdosed on botox.
    • Arguably reached new levels with the 80s series Terrahawks. The tried-and-tested "supermarionation" puppetry technique was swapped out for the newer "supermacromation", and these new puppets somehow managed to look even more disturbing than anything that Thunderbirds and its ilk could produce (they looked a lot more realistic than the older puppets, but there was still something distinctly "off" about them). See the intro for yourself here.
  • Mr. Meaty was made of this. Especially the two main characters Josh and Parker.
  • The Muppets, most of whom steer far clear of the valley because of their obviously exaggerated portions and colorful cartoonish looks. But every now and then one will be introduced that is just a little too human while not being human enough, and it'll creep people out. The character of Digit from the "MuppeTelevision" segments of The Jim Henson Hour is a prime example, often topping lists of creepiest Muppets; the bug eyes that are not open fully and barely moving mouth while at the same time having an otherwise human facial proportion is just disturbing. Chip as well, who is also from The Jim Henson Hour, tends to fall into this category. Much like Digit, he has huge bulging eyes but with an odd blinking mechanism that cause his pupils to occasionally flicker. This ended up being Played for Laughs in The Muppets (2015) as the rest of the Muppet characters also seem to find him unsettling or awkward.
    • On a similar note, The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, proved that the Dr. Seuss characters don't exactly translate well to puppetry with their oversized upper lips and wide mouths. They also have a disturbing tendency to stare directly at the viewer, unintentionally or not.
    • This may be part of the reason why after buying the franchise, Disney has placed a strict policy against allowing the Muppets to be seen in public when they're not being performed (though having the puppeteer be completely visible during a performance is accepted). Even if it's obvious that the characters in question are puppets, seeing them completely limp and not moving can be a bit unsettling, especially to younger kids. Even the retired Muppets shown on display in museum exhibits usually have armature wire put inside and are placed in some kind of pose, so it still looks like there's some life to them.
  • Sesame Street: Since the COVID-19 pandemic, characters have often been seen wearing masks. While it's understandable, since they want to teach kids about masks, the downside is that they put them on the puppet characters too. Since they can't emote with their eyes, if you can't see their mouths, they can't emote with their faces at all.
  • My Little Angels was an obscure Christian puppet show produced for the religious TV network EWTN, notable for its cast of ugly, cheaply-made hand puppets, many of which couldn't even fully open or close their mouths in a way that almost calls to mind cheap blow-up dolls.
  • The BBC's infamous Test Card F and its freaky clown doll.
  • Bunraku puppets dance in and out of the valley. What's frightening is that they don't move like any other sort of puppet, they move exactly like little tiny people. Some of them have fairly creepy faces when seen close up.
  • "RealDoll" sex dolls. Film technicians who have worked with Real Dolls for movies report that handling them is creepily like handling corpses. Obviously, they, their flawless sexiness and their eternal sexual submission is massive fetish appeal and/or an alternative to prostitution / free-willed women for some, thus enabling the uncanny valley to be ignored a bit. Sankaku Complex appears a disturbing amount of times here.
  • Reborns. Baby dolls created to resemble the real thing as much as possible. Women also carry these things around and treat them like they're real babies. Warning: terrifying.
  • The Japanese tradition/hobby/fetish of kigurumi — cosplaying human and humanoid anime characters using masks and bodysuits — seems to back into the Uncanny Valley from the human side, due to the mad creepy effect the results sometimes have.
  • The mega-marionette that's made appearances at parades and festivals all over Europe has a limited head and facial animation that still manages to be creepily human in execution.
  • Jeff Dunham's first puppets fell right into the valley. The ones he uses now are heavily stylized and cartoony so they don't look as unrealistic and uncanny. However, Achmed Jr. who looks more realistic and also happens to have half his skin and muscle blown off falls head-first into the uncanny valley.
  • Spitting Image: British satirical puppet show from the late 1980s and early 1990s featuring hundreds of grotesque caricatures of celebrities. Some very puppetlike, others moving so realistically (even with blinking eyes) that it could become creepy.
    • Genesis played on this when using them in the video for "Land of Confusion".
    • In The '90s in Hungary when politics was something to be joked about instead of a joke itself, there was a parody show titled Uborka (Hungarian for cucumber) starring lifesized puppets formed as caricatures of politicians.
  • "Human doll cloning" was a Japanese fad which involved modeling a head from a human, printing it in 3D, and putting it on a poseable doll. Results are just about exactly what you'd expect.
  • Between uncanny valley and watching an episode of Friday the 13th series when he was a kid, is the reason why Channing Tatum has an admittedly bizarre fear of porcelain dolls.
  • The Amazing Christopher's "Dancing Queen" routine is pretty much the Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot of Uncanny Valley horrors. It's a spin on his usual routine (the "one-man dance crew") which is usually fairly creepy as is; in this case, he's dressed up as the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland (2010) and the dancing puppets are her card soldiers. But the cards have creepy moving mouths. And he's wearing an oversized puppet head as the Red Queen. And the puppet head has a ventriloquist dummy-like moving mouth of its own and unblinking eyes.
  • Some may find the disheveled and melted mannequins in "Survival Town" Nevada as something that fits into Uncanny Valley, given that it is a whole town filled with manikins. These manikins were used during nuclear bomb tests and were supposed to represent humans in that situation.
  • Disney Cruise Lines is set to feature a stage musical based on Frozen where the child versions of Elsa and Anna are to be portrayed by puppets that look like stereotypical Creepy Dolls with glassy eyes and hinged jaws, especially since they're 1:1 translations of the movie's stylized animated designs. Even worse is that it's implied that the teen versions of the sisters will be puppets as well, which is unnecessary since they can plausibly be portrayed by adult human actresses (as their adult versions are).
  • LazyTown. Specifically some of the human characters and their prosthetics. Not to mention that Robbie Rotten looks just a little too close to Bruce Campbell. Heck, is Robbie Rotten even human, or puppet? He looks so human, but human skin and hair aren't glossy like that!
  • The Noddy Shop: Most of the puppets in this show look cute and innocent, with them having either button eyes or being based on cute critters. However, the other puppets in the show aren't as nice. Johnny Crawfish, Island Princess and the Ruby Reds are some examples of this, with the first having weird-looking eyes, a mouth with teeth that always seems to be open and a huge chin, the second having eyes that might seem creepy and the concept of the latter (five singing lips that aren't attached to a face in a box).
  • Peppermint Park, an obscure kids' show, used some very creepy-looking human puppets, as seen here, here and here.
  • Rainbow, the British answer to Sesame Street, features two muppets who look perfectly alright...yet Bungle, a guy in a suit, falls right into the Uncanny Valley with his realistic movements and his unfortunate design.
  • The puppets in Donkey Hodie look perfectly fine, but the main character's plush collection, sans a stuffed elephant and The Amazing Radish, has such items as a red snake with strange eyes, a green monster with red eyes and teeth, and a doll with green curly hair that has blue eyes with no pupils.

  • Humanoid robots are very prone to this. It's much more difficult to find a humanoid robot that is not in the uncanny valley.
  • Kokoro, the new Actroid robot from Japan, is probably the best example for robots having reached the other side and now making it out of the valley. This hasn't been lost to the creators, with the word kokoro having the meaning of heart or soul, and probably being a direct allusion to the uncanny valley effect.
  • Some of John Nolan's strange animatronics.
  • Lo and behold, it's HRP-4C, described as a "Bishoujo android". Say hi to her. Preferably with a rocket launcher.
  • This robot that looks like a fleshy armless mermaid.
  • While the Big Dog robot doesn't really resemble any living creature, it is the robot’s leg movements that seem a little unsettling (especially at around 1:12). It looks like two armless humans walking head to head. (Yes, that latter example really is two humans walking head to head. It's a parody.)
  • The AFFETTO child robot could really use some work in the design.
  • The Geminoid. The most disturbing part is how perfect it is. It looks exactly like a real person right up until you realize it has no limbs and is fused to the desk.
  • Three disembodied android faces singing "Freedom" in robotic voices.
  • The way this robotic mouth moves its throat is creepy enough, but it's the demonic sounds that make it your nightmare for the next few days...
  • Tara the Android. Having made her debut in Fantastic Hey Hey Hey, she has returned to wander the earth spreading even more incomprehensible and terrifying videos. Watch anything on her Youtube channel and you might well die in seven days.
  • kaspar the robot: A robot/doll designed to help autistic children.
  • How about this robot designed to train dentistry students. Love doll type creepiness plus a stretched-open mouth and robotically-moving tongue...
  • From the depth of the Valley, JSC, DARPA, Jacobs Engineering, and General Motors presents Robonaut and his sister, Valkyrie. Tax dollar well spend, indeed.
  • Kodomoroid, a gynoid designed to be a newscaster.
  • Nadine, the robot receptionist. She looks almost exactly human, exhibits moods and emotions, and apparently even has her own personality. She's a friendly conversationalist and all, but most people still wouldn't want to have a desk next to hers.
  • Sophia falls into this - between the fact that she has no hair, never blinks, and holds her (often unusual) facial expressions for a lot longer than a real human would... it's hard to see her replacing any humans anytime soon.
  • This was a serious problem for real-life cybernetics and prosthetics for a very long time. Flesh-colored artificial limbs just looked weird and fake. A minor but important revolution occurred when developers realized that people would prefer limbs that are obviously plastic or metal, as it looks more sci-fi.

    Theme Parks 
  • The face makeup that the actors wore in Doug Live! did not age well in the decades following the last performance in 2001. From far away where the audience is seated, the effect isn't as bad, but in the closeup photos done for both behind-the-scenes photos and promotional material, it looks very unsettling. In some cases, such as Roger and Skeeter, the eyebrows are painted on instead of using the actor's natural brows, making the effect all the more eerie.
  • The mascot costumes of the Monica's Gang characters, as featured in live-action stage shows and Parque da Mônica, can be rather unsettling to look at. They feature skin tight suits that the actors wear, similar to animegao kigurumi costumes in Japan. The only difference is that the mascot heads are very big for the bodies of the costumes. And they can blink. The fact that the actors are able to talk while in the costumes unlike mascots in places such as the Disney Theme Parks doesn’t help either; the mouths of the heads don’t move, and the impressions that the actors do of the characters are lackluster at best. A redesign of the costumes in 2013 softened the features of the heads and reduced the sheen of the skin suits, but it doesn’t take the weirdness away.

  • The Big Comfy Couch generally averts this, as even though the main characters are clowns, the make-up used was minimal that it was easy to tell that they're humans playing the role. And then, there's this Loonette doll. With a voice chip inside. Sleep tight, kids!
  • These Reborn Baby dolls from MacPherson crafts. The photos alone are fine, because they just look like photos of babies. Having such a doll around would be like having a real baby that never moves at all, which is just horrific.
  • Baby Born dolls are deep in the Valley, with their empty staring eyes and their faces forever frozen in an unnatural pout.
  • Resusci Annie. Don't even get us started on the baby versions of that doll. It helps that the mold for her face was based on L'Inconnue de la Seine, the death mask of an unidentified young woman who drowned in the Seine River around the late 1880s. And don't even get close to the neonate one. Augh!
  • Baby Jake is yet another weird show from The BBC, done in a similar style to Wonder Pets! (still photography combined with computer-generated animation). The show is creepy enough as is. And then there's the doll, which talks, no less.note 
  • The My Twinn dolls. Parents send pictures of their children with hair samples to get a doll that is designed to look like the kid.
    • The author David Lubar heard of these type of dolls. He published a book of short stories, with one of these stories being that the doll was treated like another daughter. This freaked out the original daughter a lot, but the mother didn't notice that IT'S STILL JUST A DOLL. Then there's the added bonus that it functioned like a voodoo doll, hurting the girl who owned it when she tried to destroy it until the mom took it to be repaired.
  • Asian ball joint dolls. Ye gods, they can be spooky-looking — especially if you weren't expecting one. In particular, the Johnny Depp minimee — which resembles Johnny Depp, yes, but in a disturbingly static way. Just slightly out of proportion — and did we mention it's on about one third the scale?
    • For those who've never seen one before this site is one of the biggest suppliers. And if you think that's creepy then you haven't seen Pullip dolls, which are like regular BJDs, but Super-Deformed. (They can also be made to look like Anime characters.)
  • Baby Laugh A-Lot. From the doll's creepy grin, its maniacal-sounding laugh, the creepy movements of the girls in the ad and what sounds like the narrator slowly descending into madness, everything about this commercial seems made to be creepy.
  • The Princess Rosella Karaoke Styling Head (based on Barbie as the Island Princess) is kind of in the Valley as-is. When someone turns it into a SkeleBot 9000, it may or may not have exited the Valley for you, but good lord preserve us anyway.
  • Hot Toys, a Hong Kong-based company specialising in 12 inch collectible action figures, have become famous for the astounding likenesses they produce. Since they mostly make figures licensed from films, actors such as Brad Pitt, Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johannson and Arnold Schwarzenneger have become immortalised as Hot Toys figures. Their most creepy products are arguably those of the Joker, as played by Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. Check it out and tell me you're not even mildly disturbed. A big part of this is the "Parallel Eyeball Rolling System", which allows the figures' eyeballs to move. Brr. Most of the time however, Hot Toys' work is more awesome than creepy, thankfully.
  • Teddy Ruxpin is notorious for this. It's not the character design that pushed the toy into the valley though. The feature that pushed the toy into the uncanny valley here is how his mouth moved combined with his static facial expression. In other words, an inactive Teddy Ruxpin is fine. A working one isn't.
  • A company in Japan makes custom dolls and action figures with an exact replica of your head/face on it. Looks like something from straight out of a horror anime.
  • Baby Say 'N See from Mattel in 1965. According to Mike Mozart's review of the doll, she was possibly the inspiration for Chucky. Some of the things she said would simply exacerbate the creepiness.
    "I can see in the dark. Can you?
    "My eyes are magic. I can see through anything."
    "Wouldn't it be fun if you were a doll like me?"
  • The My Little Pony: Equestria Girls prototype dolls look jarringly different from in the actual movie, and from the show it was spun off from. The problem lies in the fact that the dolls attempt to look "sexy" with mascara, lipstick and face paint, while the characters in the animated movie lack the makeup and retain at least some of the cuteness of their equine counterparts. The use of unnatural skin colors such as bright purple and blue also add to the "wrongness" of the dolls.
  • Ty Beanie Ballz can be absolutely disturbing, thanks to their overly large eyes and round bodies.
  • My Little Pony (G3).5 retooled the G3 ponies into hideously deformed animesque creatures that barely resemble ponies at all.
  • For some reason, somebody thought it was a good idea to make a talking doll of Macaulay Culkin from Home Alone. It has a soft cloth body but a hard plastic head, which don't mix well and make his creepy facial expression even worse. And with age, the doll's voicebox becomes distorted, making his lines sound demonic. See Stuart Ashen be creeped out by it here
  • Bratz dolls can be this once you realize how distorted their faces and bodies are.
  • A Belle doll based on Beauty and the Beast (2017) quickly gained notoriety for being creepy as hell — essentially Emma Watson's photorealistic head, with unearthly pale skin, freckles that look more like a skin condition more than anything, and an absolutely gigantic forehead, pasted on top of a disproportionately small body. For a character referred to in the title as a "Beauty" and who is played by a very pretty actor, they could have done a lot better.
  • This Beast Boy toy from Teen Titans Go! seems to be cute, until you look at the eyes, which are supposed to change emotion but wind up being creepy-looking ones.
  • From the anime Kodocha, we have a Syabecot in the likeness of Sana. Because it can talk, the mouth of the doll is open, making for a rather creepy face for what could have been a cute doll.
  • This Mary Ingalls doll based on Little House on the Prairie. Even some doll collectors find the face rather upsetting, to say the least.
  • Police x Warrior LovePatraina, a tokusatsu series, has a fairy mascot named Lovepyoko that was turned into a toy. While promotional images promised a cute-looking toy, some were understandably shocked when the actual product wound up looking like this.
  • As they are based on inhuman robots, you would expect that the Transformers would be exempt from this effect. As it turns out, it's still possible to produce a few deeply unsettling toys even when the toys in question are robots. Wheelie's mixture of scraggly misshapen limbs, bug eyes, and gap teeth give the unpleasant feeling of something organic doing a terrible job of trying to be a robot in turn doing a terrible job of trying to be a toy car. Dead End's gangly proportions are not an issue, but what is a problem is the mixture of organic lower jaw full of irregular teeth paired with a head and face that bears a few structural resemblances to a rodent skull. The too-organic nature of his design is reflected in his fictional appearances, which afflict him with a sort of robotic vampirism. This means the effect is actually intentional—he is meant to cause the unease one would feel upon seeing something subtly inhuman in real life.
  • This Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Sing-A-Ma-Jig looks rather creepy, as not only does it have an unusual mouth, said mouth displays odd-looking teeth when it's open.
  • The L.O.L. Surprise! OMG dolls are meant to be cool teenage girls with some pastel colors, but have large eyes and a Super-Deformed look not unlike their baby counterparts, which results in something unnerving to say the least.
  • Edison's Phonograph Doll, which was one of the earliest commercially released talking dolls, are a stuff of nightmares both today and when they were first released in the 1890s. As to whether digitising the wax records of the dolls were a good thing or not is everyone's guess.

    Web Animation 
  • One of the most disturbing channels on Youtube is called "Hey Kids!" which releases an endless stream of "Finger Family" songs with off-model CG, weird, unmoving 2D cells of animation, and an absolutely horrifying Author Avatar in that weird porcelain-doll type of creature that heads the channel with a weird Russian/Persian accent. The channel was later taken down after violating Terms of Service, not to mention the videos that were later uploaded onto the channel...
  • A lot of things made with the MikuMikuDance software straddles the line between awesome and awesomely disturbing. What's especially fun is that the software can be used to make a model of just about anything. Case in point: this, a such video featuring Seto Kaiba. And if you're feeling especially brave, here's the same model, dancing to Black Rock Shooter. The creator even apologizes that she couldn't get the model's eyes to stop rolling back into its skull. Besides the eyes, the only creepy thing is that he is singing with a girl's voice.
  • For a long time in Red vs. Blue, the only character whose face we saw was Vic, who was an image capture from the first Halo game. Acceptable enough as he never looked particularly real. Then along comes Reconstruction which gives us the Councilor. A much, much more realistic looking character (same effect, only they used an image from a newer game and used more advanced effects when making his mouth move) but there's still something about the way his face stays alarmingly still while his features are moving... Director Church isn't nearly as bad, but they hardly ever show his entire face, and he does show more movement in his emotions. The Councilor, on the other hand, seems to be this way intentionally, with his deadpan voice and methodical speech pattern.
  • This Zelda Fan Film contains the perfect storm of both Uncanny Valley and Off-Model, with Link looking like he had a bad head injury and Ganondorf looking shiny. The animation itself, while decently choreographed, is jerky and unnatural, and the awful lighting makes things even worse. Its sequels show little improvement, and the teaser for the next one features Fi (who already lacked proper eyes) with a misshapen head and her "Hair Hat" looking too realistic, and shots of horseback-riding that resembles someone riding a mechanical bull.
  • Squimpus McGrimpus is a Youtuber that specializes in found-footage Fnaf content. Their interpretation of Purple Guy- the empty eyesockets, the strangely shaped head, the unhinged jaw- gives a startling similarity to Gaster from Undertale.
  • This animator doesn't want her pizza to burn. Of note is at 1:40-1:50, where she does the worst animation of lip-licking you'll ever see.
  • The Walten Files: The cartoonish, low-quality art-style the series uses at times can make certain moments much creepier than usual.

  • While the Ctrl+Alt+Del characters look fine on paper, they become horrible, twisting abominations when animated.
  • Many webcomics that use CGI models, such as in Poser or DAZ Studio, are subject to this. Poser simply has big problems with the Valley, since depending on the skill of the artist using it, the quality of the figure textures and morphs he/she is using (there are literally thousands of morphs and textures available for the popular base figure such as Daz3D's Victoria and Michael series and the quality is just as widely varying), and the amount of time and money he or she is willing to invest in creating panels, it can range from passable to downright horrifying.
  • Suicide for Hire is a rare subversion of the logic behind Furries Are Easier to Draw. There's just something not right about the character faces...
  • Part the appeal of The Order of the Stick is that it inverts uncanny valley by having cartoon stick figures who are clearly unrealistic looking while showing human qualities, which endears readers to them.
  • Unintentional but Linneus from Teahouse falls into this and can end up positively frightening.
  • The Alpha Droids of Commander Kitty are more cute than anything, though their inexpressive, jewel-like eyes can be a little creepy. But it's when they shut down that they plunge right into the valley, with their blank-eyed, corpse-like expression. Even worse is former Big Bad Zenith's breakdown, having been the most "human" of the bunch. She's later booted back up, completely devoid of any personality, with a blank, red-eyed stare to match.
  • The main female lead in Komos & Goldie is this, due to not only looking like a naked golden human woman, but she's also given nipples.
  • In Our Little Adventure, elves have extra-large Tareme Eyes and proportions that are just far enough off from the human baseline to make some people uneasy:
    Lenny: You look like a Disney princess tweaked out on PCP.
  • One of the many criticisms of Assigned Male is that all the preteen characters look more like deformed toddlers, giving most of the strips an off-putting vibe.

    Web Original 
  • Cake Wrecks: Most of the attempts at making human-shaped cakes featured on Cake Wrecks. The infamous meatloaf baby is particularly horrifying. Or there is one cake shaped like human foot with sick-looking brown-yellowish crooked toe... It's advisable to have a bucket by yourself, or run to the bathroom.
  • Cessa Lafaliqa is an Indonesian artist with a semi-realistic, semi-animesque drawing style who became popular on Twitter (warning: NSFW artwork) thanks to his original character Arung, an extremely buff yet still cute dark-skinned girl. The contrast between Arung's lovingly detailed musculature, almost photo-realistic rendering of skin, sweat and reflections, and Arung's simplified and cutesy manga-style face is disturbing to some, and someone even basically told them so, making the artist directly mention "uncanny valley" in their answer.
  • Cracked:
    • It has a list of some real-world androids that dwell in the darkest depths of the Uncanny Valley. They even mention the trope by name. In a similar vein - 5 Real Robots Built to Love you to Death. The final example is completely deliberate and was built to study the Uncanny Valley effect.
    • Cracked TV is hosted by Michael Swaim, a self-stated android who does absolutely nothing android-like, and therefore lands on the upward slope after Uncanny Valley, comfortably close to full-fledged human. His normal self is visible at the beginning of episode 15. Then, after the forty-five second mark, he slowly becomes more and more creepy (the first change was an innocuous pink bowtie). By the end, he's reached complete and utter terror incarnate.
  • DeviantArt: DeviantArt users sometimes create 'bases', where one or more templates are posed in some way and can be easily modified by other users. That's nice... unless you draw it like this. Long story short, the 'templates' are deformed beyond anatomical reason, and have been the subject of much parody.
  • Evie really takes the cake. She's an A.I. that responds to what is typed into an empty space, and makes certain facial expressions depending on her mood. Not only are facial movements uncanny, her responses are almost always accurate. If her voice was any more realistic... Also, if you threaten to kill her, guess what happens...
  • Photoshop Disasters features numerous examples of this. Strange, unnatural proportions; people with too many or too few limbs; misshapen body parts and so on and so forth.
  • In the eyes of the Protectors of the Plot Continuum, Mary Sues fit this trope because they're too perfectly pretty to be human.
  • This Sporcle picture quiz, which involves guessing the identity of celebrities whose photos have been manipulated so that they have manga-style eyes. One of the comments even proclaimed, "Well, I'm going to have nightmares."
  • The Escher Girls blog.
    • "This is a blog for pictures of female characters in impossible or ridiculous poses or with disturbing anatomy because the artists need to show teh sexy."
      Okay. Audience participation! Let’s do a little experiment. 1) Lie down on your side. 2) Bend your torso up 90 degrees. 3) Call the paramedics.
    • The thing is that a lot of the posts use an otherwise realistic art-style. So ignoring what's realistic in favor of what's sexy probably isn't a good idea. However most of the poses aren't creepy so much as laughably bad. They still act as Fetish Retardant, though.
  • Squicky Game Art blog. "...SGA brings relief from an onslaught of broken spines and boob windows."
  • Virtual Eternity, a site where you can create your own "Intellitar" (intelligent avatar) using your photograph, voice, and even bits of your personally. However, the result is not exactly... natural. Click on the Intellitar Galleries or Intellitar Guide and you'll understand... *shudder*
  • Neopets: Topsi is a Cybunny (a rabbit-like Neopet) that hosts the Festival of Neggs (the website's equivalent to Easter). He's a happy, friendly fellow who loves to hide Neggs, and his appearance does not normally fall under this trope. However, his appearance in the 2021 festival is quite different. He's much scruffier in appearance, with visible scratched on his face and arms, unkempt hair and a small mouth in a rather odd expression. But the scariest part is his eyes. His eyes are normally large, but now one eye appears to be much bigger than the other. In addition, his irises are bright pink with tiny black pupils, and to top it off, he appears to be looking right at the viewer.
  • A website called This Person Does Not Exist has human mugshots that very much fall into the trope, looking very convincing but at the same time so very, horribly off. Oh, there are also some faces that have some errors as well, looking half formed as a result. Granted, the AI does improve over time, generating increasingly convincing human mugshots as of 2021, but sometimes it is prone to generate misshapen faces as background images due to the AI focus on single person mugshot.
    • Then there's This Waifu Does Not Exist and This Anime Does Not Exist Now, you may ask, how could a bunch of anime girls be so scary? Well, the truth is that they AREN'T...until you stay there for a bit and see half formed faces that look very HORRIFYING!!! The other goof-ups (and there are MANY goof-ups) aren't much better, some looking incredibly Off-Model and disproportioned, some lack basic facial features like pupils or a mouth, some look like they're MELTING, while others look like the paper they're on or even their FLESH is CRACKING APART. The latter even has "creativity levels" that can seriously deform the characters appearance.
    • This Car Does Not Exist applies this to automobiles, and despite cars aren't living things, the depicted AI-generated cars are arguably even worse, with most of the generated images looking like poorly-made imitations, or cut-and-shut vehicles.

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