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Due to the nature of the series, all spoilers for the Pilot will be unmarked. You Have Been Warned!
Some disassembly required.

Murder Drones is an Australian-American CGI-animated Sci-Fi Horror Comedy web series created by Liam Vickers (Cliffside, Internecion Cubenote ) and produced by Kevin and Luke "Supermarioglitchy4" Lerdwichagul's GLITCH Productions (SMG4, Meta Runner, Sunset Paradise), with former Blue Sky Studios animator Kevin Temmer joining the crew as lead animator starting with the third episode. 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 31st century, humankind has been mining exoplanets for resources, aided by a legion of Worker Drones that do all the hard work. One day, a core collapse wipes out all the humans on the planet Copper 9, leaving the leftover Worker Drones free to live their own lives in the leftover ruins. Unfortunately for them, their creators at the intergalactic MegaCorp JCJensonnote  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 underground in large bunkers.

Not the type to sit still and cower, one angsty teenage Worker Drone named Uzi (Elsie Lovelock) opts to take the fight straight to the Murder Drones themselves. But when she meets the happy-go-lucky yet dim Murder Drone "N" (Michael Kovach), they find they're both just as disposable to their corporate overlords, and begin plotting a way off Copper 9 to get back at humanity on Earth. This plan gets derailed, though, when strange and often deadly things start to happen not just to the drones, but to Uzi herself. As the mysteries and bodies start to pile up, Uzi sets out with N and his psychotic, bloodthirsty co-worker V (Nola Klop) to decrypt the answers about the Murder Drones' true nature, and if there's something more they're after on Copper 9...

The pilot premiered on the GLITCH Channel on October 29, 2021. A total of six episodes have been released as of August 18, 2023, with the last two episodes of the season planned to release starting in Spring 2024.

Previews: Teaser trailer, Official trailer, "Nice Corpse House My Guy", "Meet The Team", Season 1 teaser, Season 1 trailer, The Beginning of the End trailer.

Hi there, my name is serial designation troper, let me show you around the tropes:

  • Absent Aliens: No references are made to any form of intelligent life other than humans and their (Debatably Intelligent) AI creations, and the only sign of non-human life seen or mentioned on Copper 9 are conifer trees and dogs, both presumably transplanted from Earth. This makes the origins of the Absolute Solver all the more curious.
  • Aborted Arc:
    • Uzi imposes an exile on herself at the end of "Pilot", setting out to kill all humans in revenge. "Heartbeat" shows that her exile is not taken seriously at all and she openly returns to Outpost 3. Her human genocide, however, is shoved into the background in favor of investigating the Absolute Solver and what exactly JCJenson was really doing on the planet. Not to mention, there are no working ships for her to use anyway. "Dead End" eventually revealed that Earth was supposedly already destroyed by the Absolute Solver by the time of the present and heavily implied that Tessa may be one of the only survivors of its destruction, more or less making Uzi’s original plan All for Nothing. It is implied however there is at least one last planet inhabited by humans via the badge on Tessa’s shoulder having all but one dots crossed out. So Uzi’s goal could still be renewed should Tessa do something to piss her off…
    • Inverted with the more alien nature of Disassembly Drones and Drones in general. The show's creators stated that, originally, the show would focus more on comedy while only having undertones of "weird, eldritch shenanigans" that wouldn't be explained much before they instead decided to focus on those elements since they were more interesting.
  • 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 Disassembly Drones trying to wipe them out. "Dead End" takes it even further with the reveal that Earth has supposedly been destroyed by the Absolute Solver by the present and Alice heavily implying that Copper 9's destruction may have been intentionally caused by Uzi's mother Nori.
  • 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 "Pilot", 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: "Heartbeat" shows that J had pieces of a human corpse inside of her, raising the question of what Disassembly Drones are. During "Cabin Fever" when Uzi loses control of her Absolute Solver powers, it's revealed that those with the program can even turn inorganic material into organic material and Uzi even gains a form that resembles a disassembly drone with the wings and tail being organic instead. "Home" hints that N and his friends were turned into Disassembly Drones by the Absolute Solver and is confirmed to be the case in "Dead End", which would suggest that all Disassembly Drones house an Absolute Solver parasite and everything organic is the Absolute Solver's work.
  • Anachronism Stew: In the distant future of 3071, fax machines, VHS tapes, and CRT monitors coexist alongside early 20th century fashion if the Elliot Gala is anything to go on, autonomous interstellar mining operations carried out by fully sapient robots with an Everything Is An I Pod In The Future aesthetic, and the hyper advanced self repairing Disassembly Drones.
  • Antagonist Title: The Murder Drones are Killer Robots who are sent to kill the friendly Worker Drone protagonists. Ultimately subverted: following N's Heel–Face Turn and V's capture in the pilot, Disassembly Drones have not served as antagonists in any of the subsequent episodes.
  • Anyone Can Die: Several properly developed characters end up dying later on in future episodes, including Uzi’s classmates, James, Louisa, and V.
  • Arm Cannon: The titular Disassembly Drones have an assortment of these, but seem to prefer using their claws.
  • Asshole Victim: Tessa's parents treat both the worker drones and their own daughter as utter crap. It's appropriate to say that they had it coming when Cyn slaughters them.
  • 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.
  • 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 Disassembly 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!
  • Badbutt: From the official merchandise, this t-shirt shows Uzi doing a Badass Arm-Fold in a field of skulls, with text proclaiming:
    Yeah, I say Heck & Dang
    but if you don't like it I will stop
  • Bathos: In "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 Disassembly 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 Disassembly 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.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: While Doll isn't quite a "Big Bad" she is still an active threat to the heroes and has goals that conflict with the Absolute Solver's.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Done with a pen during the battle in "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 JCJenson.
  • 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. Then in episode six it's played completely Straight when an anti-drone sentinel bites Tessa and draws actual red human blood.
  • Body Horror: What the Absolute Solver turns J into in "Heartbeat". Also seen when N is taken apart by Beau and Uzi gets her finger cut off in episode Six.
  • Body Motifs: The series has a focus on Hands; characters like Uzi and N get things stabbed through their palms, wielders of Absolute Solver direct their power with hand movements, and Uzi and N intertwine their fingers together.
  • Bolivian Army Cliffhanger: Episode 6 concludes with V making a last stand against the anti-drone sentinels, cutting to credits just before the final blow is struck.
  • Bullet Time: Action scenes often go into slow motion for added coolness.
  • 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 mishmash of flesh and steel.
    • The fifth episode begins by explaining that if a worker drone isn't properly disassembled, then its AI will eventually reboot on its own after some time and become a "Zombie Drone" in the process. This is how Cyn came back to life before being found by Tessa and later slaughtering all of the other humans at her parents Gala as revenge for being mistreated.
  • Character Catchphrase: Uzi's signature "Bite me!" line.
  • 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.
  • Contractual Genre Blindness: Frequently. Characters, usually random Worker Drones, will often ignore incredibly obvious dangers to advance the plot, but point out exactly how dumb they are being in doing so.
  • Cosmic Horror Reveal: The appearance of the Absolute Solver and its "Eldritch J" body in "Heartbeat" heralds an abrupt shift in the plot away from the conflict between the Worker Drones and JCJenson and towards the mysteries posed by it and the Disassembly Drones' origins.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: As the series progresses it begins leaning further into this genre, due to the deeply sinister mysteries surrounding the Absolute Solver, a reality-altering computer program that laughs in the face of natural laws.
  • Cute and Psycho: As per the synopsis, this series is about cute killer robots. A particular case of this is with Uzi, N, J and V, who are all endearing in their own ways but are violent and sadistic, openly or covertly. N, J, and V become less so when the former has a Heel–Face Turn and the latter two realize the identity of the Big Bad, the Absolute Solver.
  • 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 "Pilot" is a twisted spire of Worker Drones killed by the Murder Drones for all to see, which also serves 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 or at least the ones in Outpost 3 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 have 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. "Dead End" reveals that Earth itself was supposedly destroyed by the Absolute Solver and its remains are shown to be in pieces.
  • Earth That Was: In a major plot twist, "Dead End" reveals that Earth has supposedly already been destroyed by the Absolute Solver. Unfortunately, this gave the company and some of the remaining humans alive the idea to experiment on it on Copper 9. The results ended with them dying as well.
  • 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 a WDF member, Ron, in "Heartbeat" after giving him a crudely drawn apology card.
    • As of "Cabin Fever", N and V seem to be generally accepted by the Worker Drones, even if V does still occasionally kill someone. Lampshaded to hell, of course.
  • 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.
  • Enemy Mine: This is essentially what gets Uzi, N, and V to start working as a trio (though V only officially joins the group reluctantly near the end of the "The Promening"), started when Uzi causes N to realize that the humans who sent the Disassembly Drones don't want them to come back alive. Uzi puts it best in "The Promening" when Doll questions why Uzi is siding with the Murder Drones. Uzi states that whoever is behind everything wanted the Disassembly Drones and the Worker Drones to fight and thus they all have to move together or not at all.
  • Evil vs. Evil: "Pilot" sets up the series' conflict as Uzi, who wants to Kill All Humans, versus JCJenson 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. As season 1 progresses however, it's implied that JCJenson might have actually been involved with something much more sinister due to the presence of the Absolute Solver. By "Dead End", it's revealed that Earth has supposedly already been destroyed by the Absolute Solver and that the company experimented on it on Copper 9 with drones like Uzi's mother Nori.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: Even after the revelation that the Absolute Solver was supposedly behind the Disassembly Drones and the destruction of Earth, JCJenson is still a Bloodsucking MegaCorp that treated their robots like crap and unintentionally unleashed the Solver in their reckless pursuit of profit. They aren't trying to destroy the universe however, which makes them the lesser evil, at least for now.
  • 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 N's 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.
  • Fantastic Racism: Both Worker Drones and Disassembly Drones have negative views on the other type, though it's fairly justified for the former since the latter has been killing them.
    • In addition to giving them the title "Murder Drones," some of the Workers initially viewed the Disassembly Drones as nothing more than simple minded beasts if Uzi's reaction to N talking is any indication, though it's downplayed on their end since they're generally willing to give the Disassembly Drones a chance if they show signs that they're willing to change.
    • The majority of the Disassembly Drones shown play this straight, looking down on the Workers due to them being considered "defective." J viewed the Workers as "barely sentient" and V only cared about the Workers as a food source (at least until she realizes the gravity of the misery she caused in the "The Promening", though she still continues to look down on them).
    • JCJenson and humanity in general look down on Worker Drones and treat them as nothing but trash. James and Louisa Elliott in particular are shown to casually kill and torture them for petty reasons like talking back to them and not meeting their standards. Their daughter, Tessa, is the exception since she actually likes the Worker Drones she took in and is considered abnormal by her parents. "Home" revealed that Cyn killed both James and Louisa along with the other humans attending their gala because of the mistreatment towards Worker Drones.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Uzi finds more disturbing artwork in the 98.7 facility that resembles what her mother used to draw when she was still alive during "Cabin Fever", one of them appears to resemble a Velociraptor which seems completely out of place. This hints at the existence of the Sentinels introduced in "Dead End".
    • The excerpt from the "Zombie Drones" JCJenson training video shown at the start of "Home" details that the AI cores of decommissioned Worker Drones must be carefully disposed of to avoid dangerous corruption. The Disassembly Drones most certainly do not follow this protocol. This hints at the reveal in "Dead End" that the Disassembly Drones were supposedly actually deployed by the Absolute Solver, not JCJenson.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Almost every shot contains a high density of gags that go by too quickly on the first viewing. Most of the important plot points and foreshadowing are also in said frames, so prepare to pause a lot.
  • Genre Mashup: A sci-fi planet where all humans have died filled with cute robots who gained sentience, but also a Monster Horror show with vampires, demonically possessed witches, and Eldritch Abominations. Think WALL•E written by H. P. Lovecraft.
  • 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 and his family.
  • Hand Behind Head: Several male characters like N or Thad use this gesture to express nervousness in Uzi's presence.
  • Hartman Hips: V and J are fairly slender, but feature prominent hips.
  • Healing Factor: The Disassembly 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. The Anti-Drone Sentinels were likewise able to kill a large number of Disassembly Drones after stunning them with their Blinding Camera Flash. It's also stated that Disassembly 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 namedrops 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. Anyone infected with the Absolute Solver grows the need to drink oil. In Doll's house are corpses of Worker Drones she's been cannibalizing and Uzi takes a tiny taste of the oil — which leads to her developing similar powers and dependencies.
  • House of Broken Mirrors: Because the Absolute Solver reacts...poorly to mirrors, Doll's little horror show of an apartment contains a massive pile of broken mirrors (along with dismembered drone parts, buckets of oil and her dead parents). Massive enough to let Uzi escape into the air vents by climbing it, in fact.
    Doll: (In Russian) As they say in Russian, “Whoops, I should’ve predicted that someone could escape out of a ventilation shaft using discarded mirrors as stairs.”
  • 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)
      Makarov: Khan! Could you grab a fresh pack? We literally only play cards so much, the numbers have faded!
    • In "Dead End" when Tessa claims she can deactivate the facility's security system.
      Tessa: Human made security, that this human can control!
      (Cut to a reflection of a printout reading "ACCESS DENIED")
  • In-Universe Soundtrack: During the prom in "The Prommening", the scene’s music is actually being played. Partway into the fight between Uzi and Doll, the latter's knife is thrown into the sound equipment, causing the music to temporarily stop before starting back up after modulating.
  • Ironic Name: Khan Doorman, whose first name translates to "ruler", is a Dirty Coward who ignores his defense duties in favor of doors.
  • Insistent Terminology: The show refers to Uzi's rifle as a railgun, despite it being a laser weapon, rather than a projectile launcher utilizing kinetic force to do damage, as real Railguns are. May be a case of Artistic License though.
  • "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 Disassembly 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 "Pilot", however, Uzi fully plans to destroy the rest of them with the help of her new friend N. Triple Subverted in that it appears Solver has already wiped out Earth and at least three human exoplanets and is mentioned to be using legions of Disassembly Drones to invade the remaining exoplanets.
  • 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 "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: It's like we're waiting for an inciting incident!
  • Machine Blood: The Worker Drones bleed black oil rather than blood. Strangely, the Disassembly Drones also bleed yellow liquid from their headlights and face-screens, though later episodes have them bleeding oil.
  • 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).
  • Mook Horror Show: Downplayed since the Worker Drones aren't the villains, but all of the characters are robots, after all.
  • 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.
  • MegaCorp: JCJenson, the creator of the Worker and Disassembly Drones and effective Big Bad of the series. Or so we thought...
  • Monster Mash: With a robot twist. In addition to each episode paying a tribute to horror movies, the Disassembly Drones are clearly robotic equivalents to vampires, Doll and Uzi's Absolute Solver abilities allude to witchcraft, with Uzi's transformation being reminiscent of the horror depiction of lycanthropy, and it turns out the Disassembly Drones used to be "zombie drones", having reactivated from being improperly decommissioned.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Most of the Disassembly 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.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: Of the main trio, N is Nice, V is Mean, and Uzi can have moments of both.
  • Nominal Importance: Lampshaded by a Worker Drone who gets bisected by N while telling Uzi that he was never introduced to her.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Averted by JCJenson except not really. When J appears with Tessa after being destroyed, she explains that because she was an effective employee, she had been cloned more; implying there are probably backups of N and V somewhere. Unfortunately, this also applies to Absolute Solver, as despite its destructive capabilities, JCJenson wanted to study it, which only let it spread like a virus. Until series creator, Liam Vickers, confirmed otherwise on Glitch X 2023, this did poke holes in Tessa's reveal about the Absolute Solver having made the Disassembly Drones.
  • No Product Safety Standards: Played with. The AI cores used in Worker Drones must be correctly disposed of, otherwise they run the (0.01%) risk of rebooting as "Zombie Drones". If this happens, there's a 0.7% chance for a "potentially hazardous mutation" to develop — it's implied that this happened with Cyn. While it's clear that the risk of this happening is minimised, the enormous numbers of Worker Drones produced by JCJenson made it a near inevitability — and furthermore, what is in those cores to draw the attention of Digital Abominations in any case?
  • Off with His Head!: The Disassembly 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 Disassembly 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.
  • Only Six Faces: Justified due to the Worker Drones being standardised robots that were not supposed to develop sentience in the first place. Even the Disassembly Drones have to rely on their hair and attire to tell them apart. This often makes it hard to tell which character the audience is looking at unless they play close attention.
  • 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 "Pilot" aired, but so far, he's only shown up in the bloopers' non-canon 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.
    • Worker Drones infected with the Absolute Solver also become vampiric in that they need to drink oil, Worker Drone blood. They also don't go well with mirrors, as Uzi's Absolute Program symbol breaks them.
  • Out of Focus: Uzi's class becomes less relevant after episode 4, which sees the start of a series of lore revealing events kickstarted by Uzi attempting to learn the nature of her condition.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: Well, Oil Bank in this case, but quite often various unfortunate Worker Drones seem to contain far more oil than could feasibly be inside a machine of their size.
  • 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.
  • Pictorial Letter Substitution: The title logo substitutes a skull for the "O".
  • Putting on the Reich: The Disassembly 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 Disassembly Drones have the ability to sprout these.
  • Retro Universe: While not immediately apparent, the setting of Murder Drones is distinctly retro-futuristic, with fax machines, CRTs and video cassette tapes coexisting alongside interstellar mining operations and fully sapient AI.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Pretty much everyone has their own distinctive personality, harboring the same emotions that a human would have. Even the Disassembly Drones are like this, though because they focused more on the killing part than communicating, they came off as simple-minded beasts. They even have tongues.
  • Sapient Eat Sapient: V seems to have a nasty habit of eating the bodies of those she kills. Given the Disassembly 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 arms and hands outstretched, reaching for the sky.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The name of the MegaCorp that created the drones, JCJenson, 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.
    • Invader Zim gets one in a piece of promotional material for season one. Uzi's shirt is an actual piece of real merchandise for Invader Zim.
    • All the episodes after "Pilot" pays homage to famous horror movies.
      • "Heartbeat" parodies The Thing (1982), featuring an Eldritch Abomination killing and assimilating people in gruesome ways, which then impersonates them to draw in more victims.
      • "The Promening" pays homage to Carrie (1976), having a teenage girl with psychic powers (Doll) as the Big Bad, and a plot to make someone Prom Queen, then ambush them as they go to speak, as a reference to the "bucket of pigs' blood" scene. Doll murders the other candidates to get V elected Prom Queen by default, while Lizzy tricks her into crashing the prom, so Doll can try to destroy V onstage as revenge for killing her parents.
      • "Cabin Fever" spoofs Friday the 13th, taking place at a campsite and featuring some of the most gruesome onscreen deaths of the series up until that point. There's also some additional elements like Rebecca and Darren heading out to make out before getting killed like the Friday The 13th franchise’s frequent usage of Sex Signals Death, as well as Emily spending most of the episode with a "Final Girl Survival Guide". Along with that, Uzi's Painful Transformation and subsequent uncontrollable slaughters in the woods, juxtaposed with what is basically a full moon, also bring into mind the werewolf subgenre.
      • Teasers for "Home" show several hints of the episode referencing The Shining, taking place in a Victorian-era mansion similar to the Overlook, as well as featuring direct homages to the Ballroom photo and the Redrum scene. The episode proper also seems to reference A Nightmare on Elm Street, with Cyn being Freddy Krueger, an all-powerful entity who threatens the protagonists in the robot equivalent of a dream.
      • "Dead End" references Jurassic Park, being placed in an office area and having the Monsters of the Week be Raptor drones. Additionally, Alice and Beau's scenes with them inflicting Cold-Blooded Torture on the cast is also reminiscent of the Hostel series. The locked security room complete with security cameras is similar to Five Nights at Freddy's.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • In the middle of a fight, J takes a moment to shill for the quality of JCJenson pens, which gives Uzi an opening to attack.
    • Khan is upset at Uzi for letting in a Disassembly Drone because he ruined his doors.
    • Just as Tessa is confronting Cyn when the latter is about to massacre the gala, what do Tessa's parents focus on? The way their daughter looks while doing it.
      Louisa: (Appalled) That dress!
      James: You hold that gun less cool this instant, missy!
  • 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 Disassembly Drones first, Doll, Tessa and the Absolute Solver's creations.
  • Stylistic Suck: Uzi's presentation includes poorly cited sources for images, watermarks, blank slides, and generous use of Comic Sans.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: The Disassembly Drones' arms can fire an 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.
    Braxton: 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 ambiance 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".
  • Three Laws-Compliant:
    • Averted with the Worker Drones in general post-core implosion as it's suggested that at least a few drones go through a "Kill All Humans" phase, Uzi being a notable example (and while she doesn't attack Tessa, her first response to being greeted is to bite her finger). Disassembly Drones (which are essentially converted Worker Drones), while considering themselves to be loyal to humans, don't seem to be restricted from hurting humans either if V, while not intending to actually attack, threatens Tessa when her inability to control the Anti-Drone Sentinels becomes apparent is any indication.
      • One of the very few drones that actually attempted to murder a human of their own volition was Doll, who attempted to kill her pursuers by unleashing the Sentinels on Uzi's group, Tessa included.
    • The Absolute Solver also averts this as it most definitely took pleasure in killing the humans at the gala.
    • Played Straight with the Anti-Drone Sentinels, whose directives include being nice to humans (unless they malfunction, of course).
  • 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.
  • United Space of America: Implied by the fact that the "Zombie Drones" training tape has an FBI copyright infringement warning screen. Given the use of JCJenson's slogan "Rebuild better together", it can be inferred this tape was made after the destruction of Earth, meaning the American government somehow survived that or sometime after another destructive event since the tape was shown to exist beyond the destruction of Earth.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Aside from V's horrified reaction in episode 4 to Uzi creating organic parts, Uzi's allies generally aren't shown to pay much mind to her expanding moveset, Khan notably not questioning Uzi using AS powers to close her door.
  • Wall Crawl: The Murder Drones can do this, even on ceilings.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Uzi's railgun, which is clearly not a 'normal' railgun, fires a massive blast of green energy.
  • Wham Episode: A whole lot goes down in the appropriately-titled "Dead End", which also takes steps towards resolving several of the series' main mysteries. It's revealed that the Absolute Solver is responsible for the deployment of the Disassembly Drones and has caused the destruction of Earth, Cabin Fever Labs were being used for research into the Absolute Solver, Alice heavily implying that Uzi's mother Nori destroyed Copper 9's core and left her fellow test subjects to die as a result, the Absolute Solver has increased its hold over Uzi to the point that she's in danger of being supplanted entirely whenever she uses its powers, and V seemingly commits a Heroic Sacrifice to help Uzi, N and Tessa reach the lower levels of the labs.
  • 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 on what they're doing, turn into swag glasses, and for the Disassembly Drones, display a terrifying X across their visors. Solver-infected Worker Drones that behave like Disassembly Drones also display the X.
  • Wolverine Claws: The Disassembly Drones have the ability to transform their hands into three blade-like claws when killing.
  • The Worf Effect: The normally threatening Disassembly Drones are not so scary when the even scarier Absolute Solver infected Worker Drones come into play. Uzi shows this best in "Cabin Fever" when she's corrupted to the point of behaving very identically to a Disassembly Drone with Absolute Solver manipulation powers. This applies even more in episode 6 where dozens of dead Disassembly Drones are seen strewn through the lab of the Cabin Fevers lab, showing how much of a threat the sentinels are.
  • Xenomorph Xerox: The Disassembly 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 Disassembly 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, JCJenson has no incentive to let the Worker Drones run free, prompting them to send the Disassembly 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 that 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. "Dead End" later reveals that the company itself never sent the Disassembly Drones to the planet or even created them for that matter. Instead, it was actually the Absolute Solver who sent them with the apparent intention of reclaiming the research done by the company on the Absolute Solver on Copper 9.



Well, you can't blame her for trying.

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