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Uncanny Valley / Live-Action TV

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  • 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.
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  • 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.
  • Buffyverse:
    • The three creepiest characters on Buffy the Vampire Slayer are generally considered to be Gnarl, the Gentlemen, and Sid. The first two by virtue of exaggerated and odd movement, and the last due to being a self-animating ventriloquist's dummy.
      • The "lead" Gentleman, played by Doug Jones, famous for his equally creepy performances as "The Pale Man" (also known as 'the creepy guy with eyes on his hands') and the faun in Pan's Labyrinth. Also the creepy "Angel of Death" (also known as 'the creepy guy with eyes on his wings'. is there a pattern here?) and much less creepy Abe Sapien from the Hellboy movies. As a trained mime and body artist, he clearly excels at placing himself smack in the middle of the Uncanny Valley.
      • Perhaps even more notable to Buffy fans is that actor Camden Toy portrayed both the Gentlemen and Gnarl, as well as the Übervamps let loose by the First in Season 7, and the Prince of Lies in an episode of Angel. Other notable roles include Creepy Guy, Red (described in the casting announcement only as "tall" and "evil"), and Fresh Dead/Dead Raoul. Not that he's experiencing any Typecasting.
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    • April the Robot from "I Was Made To Love You". She's an in-universe example, as the main characters all slowly realize there is something wrong with the super-cheery way she talks, the way she walks, and eventually her huge amounts of strength.
      • Played with with Warren's second creation, the Buffybot. Though it has the same problems as April, her friends fail to realize they're talking to a robot, merely thinking that their friend that they've known for years is behaving oddly for some reason, until Buffy herself shows up.
    • 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.
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  • The mascot from Community falls under this trope. Having been designed to have no ethically distinguishing features, it ended up being an androgynous White Mask of Doom.
  • 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.
    • Classic Doctor Who frequently created this due to Special Effects Failure done right. The show was always made on a shoestring budget, especially in the early runs (for obvious reasons) and the 1970's (due to Britain going through a nasty recession). The sheer creativity and ingenuity of the special effects crew was able to rectify the silliness of the monster costumes to a degree, but even then, they were still poorly designed and didn't allow for properly articulate human movement, and the results could be described as "unwittingly terrifying".
    • For an example that's just a few steps down from the human side, the alien-ness of the Doctor is normally expressed by casting actors who aren't ugly, but have faces or mannerisms that look... just ever so slightly strange. From the Fourth Doctor's bulging Creepy Blue Eyes and penchant for the Cheshire Cat Grin; to the Fifth Doctor's stiff and awkward smiles that never touch the upper half of his otherwise pleasant face; the odd tempo of the Sixth Doctor's speech and motions; the Ninth Doctor's unusual bone structure; the gaunt, goggle-eyed almost-handsomeness of the Tenth; the Eleventh's face that flickers between gorgeous and ugly within the same second; the glowering and haggard visage of the Twelfth...
      • The First Doctor evoked this slightly personality-wise, in that he often demonstrated a distinct lack of empathy, acted very childish and petulant for his age, and generally conveyed an impression of not thinking or acting like a normal human being. And the Second Doctor looked inherently cartoonish, plus he did a lot of silly gurning, a trait which carried over to the Third. The Eighth Doctor is reasonably normal-looking, but there is the fact his hair is an obvious wig, and he has oddly old-fashioned-looking features.
      • Clara's charges confronting her over the Eleventh Doctor:
        Angie: And that's someone who looks like your boyfriend.
        Artie: Is he an alien?
        Angie: Why would he be an alien?
        Artie: The chin.
    • The original design for the Cybermen is this, with the mouths that would open and then make no further movements as the monotone voices droned on... the empty eye sockets and featureless, blank white faces contribute to this as well. The freakiest thing about them might be that their hands are still human. *shudder* 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.
      • Where John Barrowman had the Autons, Matt Smith had these guys. He has said that his favorite monster was that particular version of the Cybermen (who in the old series never looked the same twice beyond the presence of handlebar heads.) They were scary because you could see the remaining humanness.
      • Ann Lawrence, writing for the Morning Star, commented on the serial "The Tomb of the Cybermen":
        "These were robots in human form with distorted faces, and they gave my daughter nightmares. When I asked her why she was frightened of the Cybermen but not of the Daleks, she replied that the Cybermen looked like terrible human beings, whereas the Daleks were just Daleks."
    • Speaking of Daleks, the infamous "Dalek voice" (produced using a ring-modulator) is probably an example of this trope — the fact that it speaks in intelligible words but uses stresses and intonations that are just so inhuman, combined with the distortion and the volume of the voice, is probably what sent children diving behind the sofa and still scares children to this day. For others, however, it's Creepy Awesome or just plain Awesome.
    • Doctor Who has a long history of using robots as substitutes for supernatural walking-corpse monsters:
      • "The Chase" features a robot Dracula.
      • In "The Tomb of the Cybermen", the Cybermen come out of sarcophagi in a tomb filled with puzzles, like revived Egyptian mummies. The new series gives them a marching zombie aesthetic, especially in "Death in Heaven", where they burst out of graves like zombies.
      • "Pyramids of Mars" features service robots wrapped in bandages. There's a particularly zombie-like scene involving one with its leg stuck in a bear trap.
      • The Storm Mine robots in "The Robots of Death" (as described further down this page) are related to corpses.
    • Autons, possessed shop window dummies (and occasionally similar plastic tat items, like dolls, waxworks and big carnival masks). After they were first shown, some children would refuse to walk past a clothes shop (John Barrowman included.)
    • The Ambassadors in "The Ambassadors of Death". Astronaut suits possessed by a malevolent, deadly alien intelligence so different to humans that communication with them is impossible.
    • The infamous Terrifying Pertwee.
    • The Axons in their "beautiful" forms are gorgeous and golden, but they also have face-dominating, blank, protuberant eyes and talk in surreal, flat voices.
    • Some of the androids in "The Android Invasion" qualify — the "deactivated" androids with their flat expressions and staring eyes, the finger-gun androids with their slightly odd artificial hands, the android Doctor doing all the loveable Doctor tics but with dead, predatory eyes, and especially the android Sarah Jane when her face falls off and reveals a strange mechanical head with protruding eyeballs.
    • 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 clockwork robots from "The Girl in the Fireplace". Even more so in "Deep Breath", when they are not cogs and glass in debonair masquerade apparel, but made of scavenged human scraps. Especially the Half-Face Man, who is played by both an actor wearing green screen technology on the left half of his face to appear like part of it is hollow and mechanical, and an even creepier realistic animatronic.
    • The animated episode "Dreamland" has a crude, stiff style of CG that makes it look unfinished and creepy.
    • The Family of Blood from "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood". Perfectly normal-looking people turned to pure terror through a combination of Verbal Tics, Creepy Monotone, unsettling facial expressions and body movements.
    • "Voyage of the Damned" not only had the Host, robotic creatures made to look like gold angels (when they're not killing you with their halos), but at the end of the episode, Max Capricorn is revealed to be no more than a head attached to a box-like wheelchair that keeps him alive.
    • From "The Beast Below", the Smilers with their fixed expressions and rotating heads. Steven Moffat — the king of Nightmare Fuel in NuWho — said of them that if you really want to make something look creepifying, make it try to look friendly and fail. By most accounts, the Smilers hit that nail on the head.
    • In the novel Nuclear Time, Rory feels this way about a severed plastic robot arm the Doctor tosses to him.
    • 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.
    • The gangers definitely fall into this, especially when they melt... like the fake Melody Pond baby does.
  • 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.
  • Laurence Fox manages this when he plays a British Nazi in Foyle's War. No makeup, no sci-fi elements, yet his performance is still inhumanly creepy thanks to his hostile and unblinking stare, dissonant smiling, and the oddness of his body language. He even manages to creep out other Nazis.
  • An aural rather than visual example from season 2 of Game of Thrones. Daenerys' baby dragons sound JUST enough like human infants to make their cries of fear extremely disconcerting.
  • 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. 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 AMC series Humans is built on this trope. All the Synths look almost exactly like normal people, but there are all sorts of little details that remind you that they're not — unnatural eye colors, overly smooth and shiny glossy skin, etc.
    • Advertisements for a company named Persona Synthetics, which provides realistic-looking synthetic servants to look after your family, appeared in British newspapers and aired on Channel 4 in mid-May 2015, which drew a lot of comments on Twitter from people freaked out by it. It turned out to be a viral marketing ploy for Humans, and the synthetics in the ad were just actors.
  • Jay Jay the Jet Plane is infamous for being in the Uncanny Valley. All the planes have human faces for some reason. It's even worse with the original puppet based version. All the humans are figures, the planes have an empty glazed stare, and their expression never changed.
  • Kamen Rider: This happens every so often given the number of monster that have/create human form without attempting to be human on the inside too. Humans who become monsters are usually even worse. Prominent examples include:
    • Worms in Kamen Rider Kabuto can go into this despite being able to mimic humans so perfectly even they themselves forgot who they actually are.
    • The Roidmudes in Kamen Rider Drive are supposed to evoke this trope, although all are played by regular actors. Chase, with his expressionless face and unnaturally wide purple eyes, is the most prominent example. His Kamen Rider Saga even lampshades this several times.
    • Kuroto Dan of Kamen Rider Ex-Aid pulls a zigzagged version of this. He is human well, used to be, but get more disturbing as time passed, such as moving with Marionette Motion and speaking in a variety of very much inhuman tones.
  • One episode of The Librarians 2014 has the team chasing down a shapeshifter called Hoklonote, which impersonates other people, but has a tendency to break out into an inhumanly wide grin.
  • Though he doesn't play an alien, robot, or supernatural creature, Michael Emerson's performance of Ben Linus in Lost has a hint of Uncanny Valley, as one of his techniques he uses to achieve his magnetically compelling creepiness. He sometimes goes for a long time without blinking, then blinks very slowly at a carefully chosen moment.
  • 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.
  • The majority of Power Rangers villains were far enough away from human that this rarely applied, but any time they veered toward human-like, they hit this full-force. Take, for example, Madame Woe or Lipsyncher.
    • Heckyl from Power Rangers Dino Charge is similar to the Kamen Rider villains mentioned on this page. He is (seemingly) twenty something man in Awesome Anachronistic Apparel (suit, waistcoat, pocket watch), whose expressions give off such a vibe that he only grasped the theory behind them. Also, he can go from Affably Evil to foaming at the mouth angry and back at drop of the hat.
  • Red Dwarf: Holly is generally acceptable because he/she acts just like a normal human, with a lighthearted, "chummy" way of speaking. But on the instances where he/she malfunctions and reverts to Robo Speak it can be damned creepy. "The phrase 'cargo bay doors' does not appear to be in my lexicon," for example. An episode in which it is briefly thought that Lister is from a previous class of robots to Kryten lampshades this trope, with Kryten explaining that these robots were too close to humans in appearance, which was creepy for some and so they were recalled, hence why despite being a later model he looks more reassuringly non-human.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Space: Above and Beyond features the Silicates, robots who, based on outward appearance, are nearly indistinguishable from humans, except for three things:
    • They have not been properly maintained since they Turned Against Their Masters, so bits of their "skin" have flaked off.
    • All Silicates (even the Sex Bot models) have crosshairs for eyes.
    • The odd physical tics and the occasional st-st-stuttering of speech.
  • Stargate:
    • Stargate SG-1:
      • The special 200th episode featured the SG-1 team as marionettes and as this link shows, it certainly qualifies as Uncanny Valley.
      • Human-form replicators definitely qualify. They look perfectly human, and even come off as human for the first thirty seconds they appear in the series. But soon it becomes pretty clear that there's something off. Fifth comes off as much more human and is (originally at least) a sympathetic character as a result.
    • Stargate Atlantis: The first few appearances of the Wraith. In an attempt to avert Rubber-Forehead Aliens, their eyes and mouths were noticeably slightly too big (apparently with CGI), leading powerfully to this effect. It was apparently too creepy, or else just too expensive, and they abandoned it later on.
  • Mr. Data, the android in Star Trek: The Next Generation, sometimes slips a little ways down the right side of the Valley — though, as he's played by a person, he never gets very far down. Though the grimace-lockjaw-rictus-smile he had during the dancing scene in "Data's Day" greased the slope quite effectively. This trope was cited in all but name when it was revealed to Data that he was designed to not perfectly mimic humans as it tended to creep people out.
    • Switching him off also had this effect, though for the opposite reason (the character we were expected to believe was a machine looked disturbingly human when he was deactivated and effectively, dead.)
      • Of course, since Data spent so much time out of the Valley, the scene makes the audience sympathize with him and make Riker look like a jerkass. Turns out he felt like one too.
    • Which may be a big reason why the Amargosa scene in Star Trek: Generations wigged out a lot of people. Especially when his emotion chip overloaded and he couldn't stop laughing.
    • In the episode Clues, everyone on the ship but Data is knocked unconscious after going through a wormhole. He tells them they were out for only a few seconds, but strange hints that he may be lying begin to appear. Picard gets increasingly frustrated as he — and the audience — realize just how hard it is to figure out what's going on inside Data's head, and how unsettling that can be.
    • Data's relationship with the Uncanny Valley is nicely illustrated when contrasted with his brother/prototype Lore. Lore had more human qualities than Data, including emotions and the ability to express them.... but this only made him unpredictable and dangerous to be around. As a result, Lore comes off as too human, with his emotions not matching up at all with what's happening around him, and it creeps out the audience. In response, Dr. Soong constructed Data to replace Lore and consciously dialed back the human qualities so he's be approachable and polite, keeping Data out of the valley.
    • "Brothers" is another episode where Data's inhumanity was brought into sharp focus. For reasons that only become clear later, he suddenly seizes control of the ship and pilots it by himself to an unknown star system. The frightening ease with which he accomplishes this — the entire rest of the crew are essentially powerless to stop him — and his blank expression throughout (even as a child's life is threatened by his actions) can be very disturbing.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Odo's face slips into uncanny valley. As a Changeling shapeshifter, Odo normally takes the form of a humanoid man, but he has difficulty mimicking humanoid facial details. The result is that his face has very blunted features with unrealistically smooth skin. Fortunately, he does not seem to trigger an uncanny valley response in the other characters.
    • The Vorta can have this aura. Their violet-color eyes and manikin-like smooth faces feel off and their extreme politeness can also feel more creepy than comforting. Justified because they are genetically engineered by The Founders to be ideal non-combat officials of the Dominion.
  • In Star Trek: Voyager, one could infer this is the reason why the Emergency Medical Hologram ended up being an utter failure. It seems that Starfleet crews found it difficult to trust medical care in someone "not real" and would often forget they were a sentient, self-aware hologram, leading them to treat them as though they were not even there. They also seem to have been designed a little too lifelike for people's tastes; the EMH Mk1 was too pompous, while its replacement, the EMH Mk2 was scathingly sarcastic, etc. As of "Life-line", the Doctor's creator reveals they were up to a Mk4 and still running into this problem. Granted, this is less because of the Uncanny Valley effect and more that every version of the EMH has their physical appearance and demeanor based on an actual human.... and the creator keeps modeling them after smug, condescending assholes (starting with himself).

Star Trek: Enterprise has Dr Phlox. Normally his features are alien enough to just register as “non-human.” But then he smiles... from ear to ear.

In-Universe Examples:

  • Parodied brilliantly on the live action show 30 Rock as the reason why it is impossible to do a porn video game... and then the game Tracy made went on to make $300 million. He apparently figured out a way to avoid the valley after all.
    • Torquemada Software's Video Strip Poker avoids this trope by using actual video clips of actresses.
    • The abundance of nudity mods for popular PC video games seems to indicate that people aren't so creeped out by that as they should be.
    • And of course, this explanation in a way even Tracy Jordan can understand:
      Tracy: Tell it to me in Star Wars.
      Frank: All right. We like R2-D2 and C-3PO.
      Tracy: They’re nice.
      Frank: And up here, we have a real person like Han Solo.
      Tracy: He acts like he doesn’t care, but he does!
      Frank: But down here we have a CGI Storm Trooper or Tom Hanks in The Polar Express.
      Tracy: I’m scared! Get me out of there.
  • Explicitly invoked in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the reason why Radcliffe used a real person's appearance when building Aida; starting from scratch always resulted in this trope. Personality-wise, she still dances on the edge of this trope, though not enough for people who aren't robotics experts to figure out why.
  • In the Black Mirror story "Be Right Back", a woman buys an artificial meat effigy of her dead husband coded with a facsimile of his personality based on his social media posts. It starts to have this effect on her after a while, when she begins to pick up on things like the fact that he doesn't breathe, and that instead of sleeping he lies next to her with his eyes open, and how the pores and creases on his skin are completely two-dimensional and 'bump-mapped'.
  • One episode of the season 5 of Criminal Minds has the title "The Uncanny Valley". Young women are abducted and paralyzed before being transformed into living dolls, giving them a surreal look. The creepiest part is that the eyes are often shown, being the only thing that they can still move.
    • For those of you crazy curious, here are some pictures. Sorry, they somewhat overlap...
  • Daredevil (2015): Season 3 deliberately invokes this whenever we see Dex impersonating Daredevil as part of a False Flag Operation on Wilson Fisk's orders. When Matt wears the red Daredevil suit in seasons 1 and 2, he is like a silent guardian and he moves in a heroic and ninja like manner. When Dex is wearing a replica of this in season 3, the cinematography puts a lot of emphasis on the mask’s empty statue like eyes, and he walks in a robotic manner, like a mad devil on a rampage.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Invoked with Susan's dancing to Pop music in "An Unearthly Child". It doesn't resemble any dance anyone would ever do to that kind of music and looks pretty, but freaky.
    • "The Robots of Death" references the Uncanny Valley effect in the form of "Grimwade's Syndrome", (named after Peter Grimwade, a production assistant who always complained about having to do robot-themed episodes) a mental disorder whose sufferers subconsciously equate highly humanoid robots with animated corpses; the robots in that particular story looked just slightly less human than the animatronic dummies on a Disneyland ride, but the idea of being surrounded by human-sized creatures with emotionless and immobile features is unpleasant enough that the audience could easily accept it.
    • Jack Harkness evokes this for the Doctor as a living fixed point in time, "a fact", which his Time Lord instincts balk at.
    • "Kerblam!" has the titular Mega-Corp's omnipresent robots, which have faces reminiscent of ventriloquists' dummies, and which companions Ryan, Graham and Yaz find unsettling. The Doctor tells them off for being "robophobic".
  • On Extant John says that the uncanny valley issue is not with his robots' appearance (which he's solved, as they cannot be outwardly distinguished from humans). Rather it's their behavior, which is still inhuman.
  • While not actually eerie-looking (since he's played by a real actor) the robotic sheriff from Eureka has this effect on the townspeople, who are unnerved by him and especially by his creepily fixed smile.
  • In an episode of House, the patient, a painter, is doing a portrait of a man's wife. When the painting is done, her husband goes to look at it, and it is horribly distorted. The same patient later sees extremely disturbing doppelgangers of Taub and Thirteen as a result of the same vision distortion... the two actors were brilliantly cast by the creators of the show. The freaky almost-but-not-quite aspect is nailed perfectly.
  • Red Dwarf:
    • Done deliberately with the Data Doctor from "Back in the Red", apparently inspired by Max Headroom.
    • The first novelization Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers notes that Holograms all have the big chrome "H" on their forehead to make it more acceptable and less creepy for your dead friend to be walking around and talking to you, as it makes it more explicit that the person you're talking to is not actually the real person.
    • Kryten mentions that his predecessor series was a notorious commercial failure because it looked so human that it made humans uncomfortable, while Kryten's "novelty eraser shaped head" (as Rimmer puts it) is sufficiently far enough from human appearance to avoid the valley effect.
    • Invoked in "Blue" where, in The Rimmer Experience, the appearances of Cat and Lister are slightly off, with extreme make-up and overly white teeth.
      • A DVD extra shows a deleted scene from the episode, for good reasons: a rejected version of the Rimmer Experience ride entrance featuring a terrifying static CGI head of Chris Barrie.
  • Played for Laughs in the recurring Saturday Night Live sketch, "The Merryville Brothers", which features a trio of animatronic musicians (played by cast members) that engage in increasingly creepy activities towards couples trapped on their rides, usually culminating in trying to kill or harass the riders in an over-the-top manner.
  • Stargate Atlantis: A very good example is FRAN, the replicator created by Rodney McKay. She acts perfectly human, friendly, yet is willing to completely obey orders (meaning suicide) and is even slightly enthusiastic about it. It is very much the Uncanny Valley. The notable thing is that she is actually unsettling to the other characters (such as McKay himself) because of this, too.
  • David Lynch filmed several scenes in Twin Peaks within the Black Lodge. All the apparitions in the lodge were characters who did their scenes, all speech and movement backwards. Then the filmed result was played in reverse, giving all the action an unsettling tone.
  • Westworld: Deliberately used in the scene where Ford is talking to one of the first hosts created, who has become very old. He looks human, but his movements are very robotic and jittery.
  • One episode of Wife Swap featured a New Jersey woman as one of the wives who owned a huge and ever-growing collection of reborn baby dolls. She is shown carrying out a daily routine of brushing their hair, changing their diapers, and carrying them around with her constantly. She even brought one of them with her to her swap family's home, and the wife of the other family was understandably freaked out when she encountered the dolls.
  • Live Forever As You Are Now with Alan Resnick: Discussed, invoked, and mentioned by name, by Alan:
    "Imagine I'm jogging. And I love to jog, so I'm jogging, and out of nowhere- DAMN IT!- I stub my toe on a rock! On an ugly rock. But hey, I got my pen here, maybe I'll draw two eyes on the rock, and now, all of a sudden, whoa! This rock's lookin'... kinda cute. Starting to like this rock. What if I draw a nose and a mouth on the rock, and now all of a sudden, whoa, this is the cutest rock I've ever seen, I can't believe I'm falling in love with a stone! And then you're gonna want to coat the rock in skin and flesh, and... (whistles) oooh, Uncanny Valley."
  • 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.


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