Top 10 Stupidest TV and Movie Robots

We love R2D2, Optimus Prime, and Voltes V--but these robots we’d rather forget.

( We’ve been fascinated with robots ever since we figured that they could replicate some of the tasks humans do. Some of the best science fiction we’ve read about or seen in movies features robots either being helpful to humans or (more ominously and interestingly) taking over from humanity. While there are a lot of robots that we’ve come to love and cherish (think R2D2, Optimus Prime and Voltes V), there are some that we’d rather forget.


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1. Number 5 (a.k.a. Johnny 5)

Nutty specs: This robot is from Short Circuit (1986) and Short Circuit 2 (1988). Supposedly designed for military use by Nova Laboratories, Number 5 activated when he was struck by lightning.

Fail features: It’s annoying, has the voice of a roach and is way too cutesy. It’s kind of a voyeur too.

Best use: Just looking at it, you’ve got to believe that the PIXAR guys got some inspiration for Wall-E from Number 5. Maybe he can join Wall-E and be a trash compactor...on another planet.


2. V.I.C.I. (a.k.a. Vicki)

Nutty specs: This Small Wonder (1985 to 1989) is called the Voice Input Child Identicant (V.I.C.I., get it?). It was built by Ted Lawson (Dick Christie) to assist handicapped children. Ted brings her home for a family environment and high jinks occur.

Fail features: Vicki (Tiffany Brissette) spoke in a robotic monotone and would return to the closet of her human "brother" Jamie (Jerry Supiran) to recharge. Jamie is being stalked by nosy neighbor Harriet Brindle (Emily Schulman), whose dad Brandon (William Bogert) is Ted’s boss. Ah the 80s, if you didn’t live through it, you should be thankful.

Best use: Vicki often had weird abilities (her neck would stretch to look into peepholes or she’d act like a tape recorder and playback conversations). Keeping a humanoid robot in a closet was a weird fetish, even in the 80s.


3. David Swinton

Nutty specs: This A.I. (2001) robot, David (Haley Joel Osment), was designed to simulate humans and had the ability to love. Blech. Who needs a robot to love them?

Fail features: Best known for his groundbreaking role in The Sixth Sense (1999), Osment reportedly took the robot role way too seriously. Rumor had it that he supposedly didn’t want to blink his eyes while in robot mode. His weird laugh was creepy, not cute. The whole "wanting to be a real boy" vibe while clinging to the Blue Fairy made it feel like a Pinnochio knock-off.

Best use: David was used as a substitute for a real child who had gone into a coma. No doubt the audience also went into a coma while watching the movie.

4. Andrew Martin

Nutty specs: In Bicentennial Man (1999), the NDR series robot Andrew (Robin Williams) is created to perform housekeeping and maintenance duties but begins to show signs of emotion. Over the course of the film, Andrew gets his freedom, falls in love, develops a human nervous system, and fights to be declared human.


Fail features: Whenever Robin Williams does dramas, he tends to fall flat on his face. It was weird enough seeing a robot that looked like Williams, but the fact that he was playing a robot whose ultimate goal is to have sex and marry Portia (Embeth Davidtz) was too much.

Best use: In his quest to be human, Andrew invented many things and amassed a large fortune. We’d use those scientific smarts to find cures for today’s diseases, or just help find Robin Williams’ career again.

5. Sam

Nutty specs: Sam (Sam Bumatay) of Ay, Robot! (2005) shares some similarities with Number 5 and Vicki. She starts out as a ragdoll that transforms into a little girl robot when it gets hit by lightning.

Fail feature: Did you read that last sentence? How can a ragdoll that’s struck by lightning suddenly turn into a humanoid yet call itself a "robot." We realize sci-fi requires some stretching of the imagination, but this is just braindead.


Best use: Sam was used by the other characters on the sitcom to wash clothes, play online games, and go on Friendster. With those things on her resume, she’s better off being struck down by another lightning bolt.

6. Skids and Mudflap

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