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Some Disassembly Required.
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Murder Drones is a CG animated Sci-Fi Horror/Comedy web series created by Liam Vickers (Cliffside, Internecion Cube) and produced by Kevin and Luke Lerdwichagul's Glitch Productions (SMG4, Meta Runner, Sunset Paradise). It is the third fully-animated series by Glitch, and the first to be created by someone other than Kevin and Luke, as well as the first to have no ties to their main SMG4 series.

In the distant future, Earth has been mining exoplanets for resources, aided by a legion of Worker Drones. Then one day, a core collapse wipes out all the humans on the planet Copper 9, leaving the Worker Drones behind and allowing them to live their own lives in the wreckage. Unfortunately for them, their creators at the intergalactic Mega-Corp JCJenson don't take kindly to independent AI, so they send a group of violent killing machines, the Murder—*ahem* Disassembly Drones, to wipe them out, forcing the Worker Drones to hide behind metal doors.

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But when angst-ridden Worker Drone Uzi Doorman meets one of the Disassembly Drones, the Affably Evil N, they form an unlikely bond, and Uzi sets out to escape Copper 9 and get back at humanity… which might be easier said than done, as things start to take a strange (and deadly) turn from there...

The pilot premiered on the GLITCH Channel on October 29, 2021. Episode 2 was released on November 18, 2022, with Episode 3 scheduled to premiere on February 17, 2023, as well as five more episodes planned to release sporadically throughout 2023.

Previews: Teaser trailer, Official trailer, "Nice Corpse House My Guy", "Meet The Team", Season 1 teaser and Season 1 trailer.


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Murder Drones contains examples of:

  • After the End: The series takes place on the snowy exoplanet Copper 9, where a core collapse reduced the whole world to a wasteland littered with frozen human skeletons, leaving its robotic labor drones to form their own society, with the Murder Drones trying to wipe them out.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Zig-zagged. The Worker Drones didn't like being used as tools by the humans and had built their own independent civilization by the time of the pilot episode, but despite everything they didn't actually go out of their way to rebel or fight humans. Instead, they simply waited until their overseers wiped themselves entirely through their own negligence. Ironically, it was the off-planet humans' attempt to wipe out the remaining Worker Drones by sending in Disassembly Units that finally got an AI (namely Uzi) to start plotting the demise of the human race.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: The Murder Drones make use of one of these after N gets through Door One.
  • Ambiguous Robots: Episode 2 shows that J had pieces of a human corpse inside of her, raising the question of what Disassemby Drones are.
  • Antagonist Title: The Murder Drones are Killer Robots who are sent to kill the friendly Worker Drone protagonists.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Uzi's homemade railgun can obliterate nearly anything in one shot with the right resources, but takes 30 minutes to recharge. Also because of its power, there's the risk of killing an innocent bystander who happens to be standing behind Uzi's target.
  • Arm Cannon: The titular Murder Drones have an assortment of these, but seem to prefer using their claws.
  • Ax-Crazy: All the Murder Drones have shades of this, but V is bloodthirsty even by their standards.
  • Bad Boss: J hates N. She thinks he's worthless and a screw-up, and if she had her way, she'd be killing him along with the Worker Drones. Fortunately for N, the company doesn't permit her to kill other Murder Drones, but it doesn't stop her abusing him.
    J: N, you're worthless and terrible. And if the company allowed it, I would straight up kill you myself!
  • Bathos: In the Pilot, whenever a scene appears to be played dramatically and seriously, SOMETHING funny will come flying in from left field using a heavy dose of Mood Whiplash.
  • Better than a Bare Bulb: This series does not shy away from hanging a few lampshades. Uzi in particular calls out tropes by name, and N’s HUD can evidently identify “Plot Armor”.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: One of several weapons available to the Murder Drones. They're able to be coated in nanite acid that can eat straight through metal with ease, and is very difficult to remove to boot.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: N has a very goofy and enthusiastic personality, but when he's on the job, he's shown to be just as deadly as the other Murder Drones.
  • BFG: Not so much in size as in payload — Uzi's rifle is a handheld railgun that fires a massive beam that blows N's head off in a single shot and obliterates J.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The Disassembly Drone pod is definitely this. Using N as a sort of living ruler, the outside is about 4 N's long and wide, but on the inside the walls look to be about 10 N's apart.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Done with a pen during the battle in the pilot.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: The Murder Drones have retractable claws, but they can also sprout these.
  • Bland-Name Product: The main enemy corporation is titled JC Jenson.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Very Downplayed given that the cast is made up of robots, but if you consider robots run on Alien Blood rules, then yes, this is that compared to Glitch's last two shows.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: The "male" Disassembly Drone N has legs resembling a human wearing boots, but the "female" V and J's legs taper to a point.
  • Body Horror: What the Absolute Solver turns J into.
  • Came Back Wrong: After getting his head decimated by Uzi, N simply regenerates his head, but his optics are damaged and he doesn't recognize Uzi as a Worker Drone. He gets fixed later and realizes his mistake, but he pulls a Heel–Face Turn anyway (or a Hazy-Feel Turn since Uzi wants to end humanity). The Absolute Solver also brings J back as a horrific mismash of flesh and steel.
  • Comically Missing the Point: J and N are both only interested in being top murder team of the quarter because they'll get pens branded with their names.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Every death in the series is this.
  • Danger Deadpan: Two of the human scientists seen right before the planetary explosion simply look at each other and shrug as if saying "oh well."
  • Dead Guy on Display: One of the key images in the pilot is a twisted spire of Worker Drones killed by the Murder Drones for all to see, which also servers as a base for N, J and V.
  • Dirty Coward: Khan, Uzi's dad, who leaves his daughter for dead rather than put faith in her railgun to ensure the colony's safety. The rest of the Worker Defense Force qualify as well for abandoning their post at the first sign of an actual Murder Drone.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Uzi's father. He would rather leave his daughter for dead than having to try to eliminate a Murder Drone head on.
  • Dull Surprise: Uzi has this reaction when N talks after she tries to whack him with a severed robot arm.
    Uzi: Holy crap, it talks.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: An exoplanetary core collapse eradicates all biological life on it, kicking off the plot.
  • Easily Forgiven: Even after N basically skewers Uzi, she still forgives him after he makes a Heel–Face Turn, but not without pointing out that he killed several robots on the way. He is also enthusiastically forgiven by one of the guards in episode 2 after giving them a crudely drawn apology card.
  • Eldritch Horror: The Absolute Solver... whatever it is.
  • EMP: As J demonstrates, the Murder Drones are equipped with these. Thankfully, they aren’t lethal to Worker Drones, simply disabling them for a bit.
  • Evil vs. Evil: The pilot sets up the series' conflict as Uzi, who wants to Kill All Humans, versus JC Jenson and their Disassembly Drones, who are equally as genocidal towards worker drones like her. Uzi does come across as A Lighter Shade of Black despite it all, though.
  • Expressive Skull: Well, more like expressive exoskeleton, but the mouths of the robots are shown to freely bend into humanlike expressions with no visible moving parts involved. It isn't just aesthetic as we see Uzi putting her hand into his mouth to repair it and disable the nanite acid. They even have functional tongues.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Two unnamed humans during the introductory sequence react to their impending demise with a simple shrug.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Almost every shot in the first episode contains a high density of gags that go by too quick on the first viewing.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When we first see V, we're treated to a shot of N cringing while explosions and bullet casings appear from offscreen as she mangles a pleading worker drone.
  • Hartman Hips: V and J are fairly slender, but feature prominent hips.
  • Healing Factor: The Murder Drones possess a regeneration ability of some kind that allows them to recreate lost body parts with liquid metal as N is able to regrow his head after Uzi completely vaporized it with her rail gun. It does have limits however, as Uzi is able to kill J by destroying both her head and torso with a point blank shot. It's also stated that murder drone saliva can neutralize their nanite acid in case they accidentally jab themselves with it.
  • Heel–Face Turn: N decides that Uzi might be right about the humans planning to dispose of the Murder Drones after they finish the job, and J infects him for that. Uzi even lampshades the trope, saying that it was probably the lamest one in history.
  • Horror Hunger: N reveals that Disassembly Drones need to consume Worker Drone oil in order to avoid overheating which leads to a somewhat addictive element judging by N's face when describing it.
  • Human Resources: Absolute Solver J appears heavily biological, and is faced in an abandoned cryosleep lab. While it's unclear how much of that was even real, it's possible that the Absolute Solver may have used the former occupants for raw materials. Potentially the Disassembly Drones themselves, seeing as how J's wreck had already contained pieces of human tissue.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Uzi executes a perfect backflip and lands in a fighting stance, remarking, "And they said pirating all that anime was useless."
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: N trying to get away from his squad to stop Uzi from getting away with her railgun, telling them "I left an extremely dangerous weap— excuse outside!".
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: Khan telling Uzi about the WDF’s important work.
    Khan: Ha ha! Well, we don't just play cards...
    (door opens, revealing WDF playing cards)
    WDF Drone: Khan! Could you grab a fresh pack? We literally only play cards so much, the numbers have faded!
  • Ironic Name: Khan Doorman, whose first name translates to "ruler", is a Dirty Coward who ignores his defense duties in favor of doors.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Ignoring the fact that all of the characters are robots, Uzi refers to N, a Murder Drone, as an "it" upon learning that he talks. Likewise, J (and presumably other murder drones) view the workers as barely sentient machines.
  • Kill All Humans: Double Subverted. Humanity screwed themselves just fine on their own, rather than at the hands of their disgruntled drone workforce. By the end of the pilot, however, Uzi fully plans to destroy the rest of them with the help of her new friend N.
  • Killer Robot: The titular Murder/"Disassembly" Drones, who are sent to hunt down independent Worker Drones and kill them in horrifying ways. By the end of the pilot, it's revealed that Uzi wants to be this to the humans.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Uzi does this a lot. Particular mention must be made of her presentation at the beginning, which contains a slide diagramming the Hero's Journey.
    Uzi: Are we just going to wait for an inciting incident!?
  • Machine Blood: Robots bleed black oil rather than blood. Strangely, the Murder Drones also bleed yellow liquid from their headlights and face-screens.
  • Mascot Villain: While Uzi and N are the main protagonists of the series, V has been at the forefront of most of the show's promotional material thus far (except for the poster shown above).
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Played with. The Workers view the Disassembly Drones as mindless killer beasts. However, it just turns out that the Disassembly Drones focus on killing the Workers when they're around so much that they usually never take the time to talk to them because they simply have no reason to, with N being the first one to reveal that the Disassembly Drones are just as intelligent as the Worker Drones. N plays the straightest example of this trope, as he would much rather make friends than kill the Workers.
  • Mega-Corp: JC Jenson, the creator of the Worker and Disassembly Drones and effective Big Bad of the series.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Most of the Murder Drones are shown to be either gleefully bloodthirsty or coldly ruthless but N stands out by being Endearingly Dorky and friendly while also being disturbed by the violence being committed by his fellow drones.
  • Nominal Importance: Lampshaded by a Worker Drone who gets bisected by N while telling Uzi that he was never introduced to her.
  • Off with His Head!: The murder drones' preferred method of killing workers. It makes it easier for them to drink their oil.
  • Oh, Crap!: N has this when J slaps him, causing him to realize that 1) the "new recruit" he was talking to was actually Uzi, the Worker Drone who shot his head off with a lethal weapon and 2) he let her escape with the weapon.
  • One-Letter Name: The Murder Drones go by serial designation letters like N, V, and J.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Despite having been skewered and bled oil, Uzi is shown to be perfectly fine when she gets up after J and V leaves N to rot.
  • Original Generation: This is the first Glitch show to not be associated with Supermarioglitchy4's Super Mario 64 Bloopers in any way. N does get introduced to the bloopers after the pilot aired, but so far, he's only shown up in the bloopers' noncanon videos or ads.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: The Murder/Disassembly Drones can be viewed as robotic vampires with a dash of Xenomorph Xerox thrown in for good measure. They possess bat-like wings, fangs, require the life fluid of worker drones for sustenance and are so vulnerable to overheating that direct sunlight can kill them.
  • Percussive Maintenance: J slaps N after he loses part of his memory, which is enough to force a system reboot. This causes him to realize that he just let Uzi escape. Invoked by N's face display, which states "Slap Accepted" as part of his reboot message.
  • Putting on the Reich: The Murder Drones wear clothes reminiscent of SS uniforms, complete with armbands. Very fitting for robots designed to wipe out an entire race of people.
  • Razor Wings: The Murder Drones have the ability to sprout these.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Pretty much everyone has their own distinctive personality, harboring the same emotions that a human would have. Even the Murder Drones are like this, though they try to hide it whenever a living Worker Drone is around. They even have tongues.
  • Sapient Eat Sapient: V seems to have a nasty habit of eating the bodies of those she kills. Given the Murder Drones’ need for oil, it’s doubtful she’s the only one.
  • Sand Necktie: The show's teaser shows a lot of frozen humans in snow, mostly buried, but with icy bloody arms and hands outstretched, reaching for the sky.
  • Shout-Out: The name of the Mega-Corp that created the drones, JC Jenson, is a combination of JC Denton and Adam Jensen, and its pronunciation and logo are a reference to SC Johnson. They even throw in a Windex product joke.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • In the middle of a fight, J takes a moment to shill for the quality of JC Jenson pens, which gives Uzi an opening to attack.
    • Khan is upset at Uzi for letting in a Murder Drone because he ruined his doors.
  • Slasher Smile: Whenever the Murder Drones are ready to kill or are otherwise in combat mode, they sport an unnaturally wide open-mouthed grin that shows off their teeth, very similar to the kind of smiles that Cordie from Cliffside would make.
  • Slave Liberation: Considering the only goal the worker drones were built with is to serve the humans, the latter getting themselves killed off serves as this. Uzi indicates that she wants to kill the humans running the company, in other words, a more direct variant of this trope.
  • Starter Villain: J is killed by Uzi in the first episode. Now planning on invading Earth to destroy humanity, she and N have to deal with the rest of the Murder Drones first.
  • Stylistic Suck: Uzi's presentation includes poorly cited sources for images, watermarks, blank slides, and generous use of Comic Sans.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: The Murder Drones' arms can fire assortment of weaponry, including guns, rocket launchers, laser cannons, laser cutters, lightning guns...and a little flag.
  • Tempting Fate: The Worker Drone who tries to introduce himself to Uzi while they’re both running from N.
    Worker Drone: Hi, Uzi! I just wanted to point out that no one's pointed my name out so far so— (bisected by laser cutter)
  • Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack: A melody in "Disassembly Required"note  is incorporated into multiple tracks, such as the track used in the Opening Monologue "Murder Drones" and multiple other tracks in a similar style. It's even used in tracks for ambience like "Uzi Doesn't Read the Assignment".
  • Theory of Narrative Causality: With all the Lampshade Hanging, it appears that this universe is one where tropes, cliches, and character archetypes are recognized as natural laws. Uzi, who repeatedly labels herself an "edgy teen" archetype, lists The Hero's Journey as why hiding behind doors will fail and N's sensors detect Plot Armor on her. Towards the end, N even states he's hoping Uzi is undergoing "important character growth".
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Both subverted and lampshaded by Uzi in the opening scene. According to her, this likely would have happened and started a Robot War with the Worker Drones being forced to mine for humans, but then the humans overseeing them went and ended up killing themselves off. However, by the end of the Pilot, Uzi fully intends to head to Earth and kill the rest of them.
  • Villain Protagonist: Uzi's plan by the end of the pilot is to invade Earth and kill all of the remaining humans. Can also be applied to N, as he is, of course, a Murder Drone.
  • Wall Crawl: The Murder Drones can do this, even on ceilings.
  • Wingding Eyes: All of the drones sport these on their visors. Their default is the usual oval shaped cartoon eyes, but can switch to text based off of what they're doing, turn into swag glasses, and for the Murder Drones, display a terrifying X across their visors.
  • Wolverine Claws: The murder drones have the ability to transform their hands into three blade-like claws when killing.
  • Xenomorph Xerox: The Murder Drones' tail and wall-climbing lend shades of this, but especially J's Absolute Solver form.
  • Yellow/Purple Contrast: The color of Uzi's eyes is purple. The color of N's eyes, and the eyes of all Murder Drones in general, is yellow.
  • You Have Failed Me: J outright admits she wants to do this to N for his uselessness if her superiors allowed it. She gets her chance... but it doesn't last, and she gets decimated instead.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: With humanity gone on Copper 9, JC Jenson has no incentive to let the Worker Drones run free, prompting them to send the Murder Drones to eliminate them. Uzi points out to N that's almost certainly the case for the Disassembly Drones as well, as their purpose will be completed once all the Worker Drones are dead, and the pod they arrived in was one-way only. N himself observes that the main reason Disassembly Drones are driven to kill Workers is because they have to ingest oil from their kills to avoid overheating, implying that Disassembly Drones have an intentional flaw that will result in their destruction once all the Workers have been destroyed and no more oil is available.

 
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