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Western Animation / R.O.B. the Robot

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Left to right: Orbit, Ema, Rob, and TK.

Rob the Robot is a Canadian-Singaporean All-CGI Cartoon produced by Amberwood Entertainment and One Animation (best known for Oddbods). Based on the book series of the same name by Australian writer John Magart, the show aired on TVO Kids and Knowledge Network in English-speaking Canada and CBC Télévision de Radio-Canada in French-speaking Canada. It ran from 2010 to 2013 for 104 episodes.

The series follows Rob, a curious young robot. He and his friends Ema, TK, and Orbit, explore different planets in the Robot Galaxy while learning different lessons along the way.

Do not confuse with Nintendo's R.O.B., or Robby the Robot.

"Yes, the Trope Planet! Excellent choice!"

  • Alien Among Us: Ema, an alien among three robots.
  • An Alien Named "Bob": Downplayed with Ema the green alien. Her name is an unorthodox spelling of "Emma".
  • Aliens Speaking English: Ema speaks perfect English.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Thankfully averted with Ema. She stands out from her friends by being an alien, but they certainly don't reject or mistreat her because of it.
  • Art Evolution: In the beginning of the series, the "Pick-a-Planet" dance sequence had silhouettes of the characters for the backgrounds. Later episodes updated this segment with new backgrounds, as well as a new routine for TK.
  • Artistic License – Space: Apparently it can rain in space, who knew?
  • Baffled by Own Biology: In "You Can't Handle the Tooth", Ema loses a tooth and thinks it can be reattached until she learns that she'll grow a new one later.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In "Be Careful For What You Wish For" (the episode's actual title), Orbit and Ema's wishes end up backfiring on them, with the former ending up unable to move, and the latter unable to stop moving.
  • Bee Afraid: In "Green Thumb", the kids get chased by a swarm of bees who later steal Orbit's flower.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: In "Memory Mix Up", Orbit drops a "Greasy gears!", which is normally Rob's catchphrase. Justified, since in this episode, Rob has lost his memory.
  • Butt-Monkey: Orbit tends to be one, though it's mild since this is a kids show.
  • Camping Episode: "Space Camp", where the kids visit the Camping Planet.
  • Can Only Move the Eyes: Orbit when he gets frozen in "Be Careful For What You Wish For". He is unable to move, blink or look around, but a very subtle movement in his pupils indicates that he's still conscious and he's still able to utter a few phrases through his frozen mouth.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Rob:
      • "It's time for us to pick a planet!"
      • "Hurry, everyone! Get to your stations and buckle your seatbelts!"
      • "Goodbye, (theme) Planet!"
      • "Greasy gears!"
    • Mission Control:
      • "Hi, everyone! How can I help you today?"
      • "Round and round the planets go, which one stops? Nobody knows!"
  • Color-Coded Characters: Rob is silver/blue, Ema is green/pink, TK is red, and Orbit is orange.
  • Color-Coded Eyes: All the robot characters have a distinct yellow tint in their eyes; something noticeably missing from Ema (and by extension, Mea).
  • Color Failure:
    • A pretty ridiculous example: In "Color Confusion", a paint gun turns everyone (save for Ema) wacky colors.
    • In "Space Virus Blues", the blue space virus turn TK, Orbit, and Rob blue.
  • Concussions Get You High: In "Hare-Raising Event", Rob takes a blow to the head and starts acting like a rabbit, complete with floppy "ears".
  • Dark Horse Victory: In "Space Race", Rob and Ema become rivals during a race and begin cheating, only for the winner to be Orbit and Squeak in the end.
  • Deadpan Snarker: TK in "Star Struck", after Ema goes to perform her vocal exercises.
    Orbit: Golly, what's wrong with Ema?
    TK: It sounds like she thinks this movie is all about (to the tune of Ema's singing) her, her, her, her!
  • Downer Beginning: At the beginning of the episode "Chill Out", the gang is bummed because it's raining so much.
  • Dub Name Change: In the French dub, Rob is named Robin, TK is named Rikou, and Orbit is named Orbus.
  • Failures on Ice: In "Chill Out", Rob slips on some ice.
  • Fictional Holiday: "Cosmic Day", a day where everyone in the galaxy celebrates their friendship.
  • Fooled by the Sound: In "How Sweet It Is", a geyser is heard rumbling and Ema asks Orbit if that's his stomach. He responds that he thought it was her stomach making that sound.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: TK is the Phlegmatic, Ema is the Sanguine, Rob is the Choleric, and Orbit is the Melancholic. Sometimes Rob and Ema will switch places.
  • Fungus Humongous: Found on the Supersize Planet from "Tall Tale", as well as similarly sized flowers.
  • Furry Reminder: A few episodes, such as "Space Virus Blues" and "Tower of Power", remind us that one the kids (usually Rob) is a robot.
  • Gender-Separated Ensemble Episode: Downplayed in "Space Race"; the genders aren't completely separated, but the two teams consist of both boys on one and both girls on the other.
  • Genki Girl: Ema.
  • Gentle Giant: The junkyard planet robot (later named Blossom by TK), who towers over the other characters, and was originally thought to be a monster, but in reality, she's a kind-hearted robot with a deep love of flowers. She even helps them find the right part to fix their spaceship near the end.
  • Green Aesop: A mild one in "Space Camp"; the kids clear the litter off the Camping Planet, and later, Orbit recycles an old bottle into a sailboat.
  • Green Around the Gills: Played with in "Space Virus Blues":
    Nurse Robot: Oh dear! Your skin has turned green!
    Ema: No, I'm supposed to be green! It's my friends that are sick!
  • Hunger Causes Lethargy: Near the end of "Food-O-Matic", Ema lies down on the ground, saying that she's so hungry that she can barely move. She gets her energy back once she eats some of "Rob Surprise".
  • Innocent Flower Girl: Blossom from "Shivers in Space" is an interesting example, as she's a huge robot who TK and the others were initially afraid of, but as it turns out, she's actually a nice person who loves flowers and even helps the protagonists fix their ship.
  • In the End, You Are on Your Own: Played with in "Puzzled", when Orbit is the last one left to retrieve the missing puzzle piece.
  • Invisibility: A hat in "Invisibot" grants this to the wearer.
  • Keet: Rob, who always runs head first into missions.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: At one point in "Memory Mix Up", Rob ends up not remembering where he is, who his friends are, and where he lives.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness:
    • Later episodes spend only about thirty seconds establishing a plot before getting to the "Pick-a-Planet" segment, rather than the minute or two it took in the early episodes.
    • Later episodes also removed the URL displayed on the screen during the recap.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • They call him Rob cause he's a robot.
    • Ema named her fish "Stripey" after his stripe patterns.
    • TK decided to name the junkyard robot "Blossom" due to her love of flowers.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: The robot characters have yellowish tints in their eyes, while Ema (an alien) doesn't.
  • Odd Name Out: Rob is the only character without a two-syllable name.
  • The Noseless: The main four (as well as other robots/aliens introduced in the series) all lack noses, yet they can still smell. In "Be Careful For What You Wish For", while in his frozen state, Orbit even complains that his nonexistent nose is itchy and has Rob scratch it for him.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: TK. According to the show's website, her full name is Tool Kit.
  • Parental Bonus: A few episode titles are references to R-rated movies, such as "The Big Robowski" and "You Can't Handle the Tooth".
  • Planet of Hats: This show has a planet for practically every theme.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Ema wears pink clothing.
  • Rule of Three:
    • The kids are always presented with three potential planets to visit, and the third one always wins.
    • Every time TK must search her trunk for something the kids need, she pulls out three items, and the third is always the thing they need.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shrinking Violet: TK, and to a lesser extent, Orbit.
  • Sick Episode: "Space Virus Blues", where all the kids (save for Ema) come down with a space virus. The symptoms are uncontrollable sneezes, and in Orbit's case, jumbled speech.
    Orbit: There hello!
  • Spell My Name With An S: Ema, not Emma.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Ema and TK (female) have eyelashes. Rob and Orbit (male) don't.
  • Theme Tune Roll Call: The only words other than the show's title are introducing Rob, Ema, TK, and Orbit, in that exact order.
  • Title Theme Tune: The lyrics are just repeating the show's title. Downplayed, since it's only said/sung about four times.
  • Towering Flower: The Supersize planet from "Tall Tale" is full of them, as well as mushrooms of the same proportions.
  • Vocal Evolution:
    • TK's voice got deeper in later episodes.
    • Rob's voice is much more boisterous and energetic in later episodes.
  • You Can't Handle the Parody: There is an episode titled "You Can't Handle the Tooth".
  • Youthful Freckles: Ema has freckles on her face.



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