The Top Ten '80s Robots (We Expected to Exist By Now)

#5. Harrison Ford (Blade Runner)

Is he a replicant? Or just a hard-boiled, genre-bending Han Solo look-alike? It' so damn ambiguous! For the purposes of this list, we'll have to go with the former. Either way, we'll take our young, pre-Flockhart Harrison Ford where we can get him, thank you very much.

Lacking, Present Day Equivalent: Harrison Ford

Good First Steps: Being, ostensibly, Harrison Ford.

Needs Improvement: Firewall, Hollywood Homicide, the whole earring thing, distinctly non-robotic signs of aging.

#4. Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo (Mystery Science Theatre 3000)

"Wait, wasn't MST3K a '90s show?" you're probably thinking. Well, according to, it started in 1988, smart guy. The equivalent of robot drinking buddies, Crow and Tom taught us that you don't need to look badass, or have exciting abilities, or not be a virgin to be cool. All you really need is massive amounts of sarcasm and snarky pop-culture references.

Lacking, Modern Day Equivalent: VH1

Good First Steps: Brain-splitting levels of self-referential pop culture irony.

Lacks: The ability to not inspire deep-seated self-loathing on a personal and cultural level.

#3. The Terminator (The Terminator)

Sometimes, a robot just has to want to destroy all humans, are we right? Also, whether that heavily accented man from the future is here to protect or eliminate us, at least our long-standing Christ complex is finally validated.

Lacking, Present Day Equivalent: Al Gore

Good First Steps: Doomsday prophecies; stilted, unconvincing dialogue.

Lacks: Murderous rampages, snappy catchphrases.

#2. R2-D2 (Star Wars)

If number one on this list was our older brother, Artoo was our best friend. Adorable, loyal, but just rude enough to let you know he kept it real. Also, did we mention that he spontaneously develops features according to the needs of the user/narrative arc? We guess you could call him the real deux ex machina. (Oh, that sound? That' just our parents sobbing quietly into our liberal arts degree.)

Lacking, Present Day Equivalent: iPhone

Good First Steps: Features out the wazoo, small size and sleek, appealing design.

Lacks: Ability to launch a lightsaber fifty feet in the air, sass.

#1. Optimus Prime (The Transformers)

Dear lord, where to begin? He' a robot! He' a truck! He' the non-abusive older brother/father figure we never had! Red, white, and freakin' blue all over, he was truly the robo-patriot we hoped for in the next millennium.

Lacking, Present Day Equivalent: Jack Bauer

Good First Steps: Hatred of all things evil, staunch morals, and proficiency with firearms.

Needs Improvement: Receding hairline/paunch, refusal to demonstrate ability to turn into a truck.

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