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Become a Real Boy

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Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_1'); })So, you've got your Artificial Human grown in the tank, or just put together your Robot Girl with an assembly kit. Unfortunately, your creation is not a ridiculously human robot, and thus, predictably, they have all the emotional range of a tuning fork. Robo Speak is a common manifestation of such emotional paralysis.
Not to worry, though! While in reality, socialization and emotional stability are the product of years and years of interaction with other people, in the world of fiction, all a robot or Artificial Human needs to become a functioning, well-balanced, emotionally resonant member of society is the proper life-altering event.
Much as any protagonist generally works out any personal issues and neuroses they may have over the course of an otherwise unrelated story, any emotionally-stunted individual, or creature conventionally incapable of emotion, will discover what it means to be human in their journey alongside the other heroes. That this may defy their programming, their lack of a soul, or other such assumed limits is entirely besides the point — it appears robots and clones are socialized like real people, only much faster.
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_2'); })Often, such a journey involves extreme violence and the simplistic black-and-white morality of "them vs. us". The fact that this bears no resemblance whatsoever to daily life almost never comes up. (One can only imagine the difficulties such characters will encounter when they are placed within a situation where you can't solve any problem with the proper application of violence.)
One also has to wonder if any such individuals later regret their humanization. Humanity Ensues, of course.
This is a common anime plot, and also appears in a number of Western movies.
Compare Emergent Human (which describes a newly turned human getting used to the human condition) and Pinocchio Syndrome (which solely describes the desire to become human). See also Just a Machine. A Living Toy born out of Love Imbues Life may seek this.
Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_3'); })Contrast Mechanical Lifeforms, who start out with the same emotional range as their organic counterparts. Contrast Trans Nature, for when the creature trying to become human wasn't an artificial human.
Examples:
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The various Terminator protagonists in Terminator 2 and 3.
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BMO from Adventure Time has often expressed this wish.
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Subverted in Twig, where the protagonist, Sylvester, is the project of regular chemical injections which alter his mind. At one point, he runs away from his creator, only to return just in time for his next injection, horrified at the idea of being a "real boy."
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Saati of A.I. Love You runs off a feedback function that works with her interface (environment), so she continuously learns more. And she wants to be like a real girl for Hitoshi. In the last volume, Hitoshi, upon seeing her bleed from an injury, explains that she basically has become human, because she wanted to be one. However, Saati decided to return to being an A.I. to rescue her siblings.
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Despite Astro Boy being frequently compared with Pinocchio, he himself rarely expresses a desire to become a real boy (which is somewhat ironic, considering he was originally a Replacement Goldfish for a real boy). In fact, on the few occasions he does get upgrades to become more human-like, he ends up regretting it and comes to the conclusion that being the best robot he can be is more important than being more like a human. This trope is played somewhat straight in the story of Zolomon's Jewel in the manga, which features L-44, a robot who signs up for a dangerous mission that ends up costing him his life because he wants to earn enough money to pay for a Nanomachine treatment that will supposedly turn him into a human. Also subverted in that the villain of the piece is trying to steal the titular jewel so he can pay for an operation to become a cyborg.
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Played with by X-23, the Opposite-Sex Clone of Wolverine. Whether or not she's viewed as a real person depends largely on who gets asked. To her creator, Sarah Kinney, there is no doubt in her mind that Laura is a real person (especially after she disobeyed a direct order to kill a child, proving the Facility which created and trained her hadn't fully destroyed her humanity). Her friends and teammates take the similar position. By contrast, characters such as Kimura treat her as if she were something less than human, and it's common for anyone seeking to insult or hurt her to make derogatory remarks about her origins. Laura herself has been on both sides, and struggled with developing a sense of self-worth and accepting that she is a human being with feelings and desires of her own. All of this is driven home even further by the copy of Pinocchio which pops up throughout Innocence Lost and Target: X.
Used to symbolic effect in All-New Wolverine issue 17: Pinocchio's transformation from puppet to real boy is directly juxtaposed with Laura finally breaking free of her conditioning to the trigger scent, literally "cutting her strings" and making her a puppet no more.
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Spirits in Dragon Age are entities born from the thoughts of mortals that reside in the Fade, the world of dreams. Many spirits have a fascination with the physical world that spawned them, and wish to know it. Demons are that wish gone horribly wrong, thanks to being exposed to the darker facets of mortals such as desire, pride, rage, and envy. Cole, a Spirit of Compassion who took on the form of a dying mage (the original Cole), has gone further down this road than any other spirit in the franchise and depending on the result of his personal quest in Inquisition can continue down it or turn back and embrace his nature as a spirit. According to him, spirits such as himself aren't "real". Only through contact with mortals can they become "real".
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Used and eventually subverted in the Child's Play series. The premise of the first film is a serial killer who uses voodoo to transport his soul into a children's doll. For most of the series, he's trying to find another body to jump into. However, in the fifth film, he discards the idea. He decides that as "Chucky" he's become an icon and that he never needs to worry about getting sick or old.
One of the reasons he wants to Body Surf to begin with is that the more time he spends in the body of the doll, the more human he becomes, so he's effectively undergoing this trope against his will. In the first film he's thrilled with his new body, until he gets shot and realizes that he can still be hurt and even bleed. And that's when he finds out he's turning human.
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In Fables, the Pinocchio story is a Be Careful What You Wish For. He became a real boy. And he has remained a real boy for the hundreds of years since then. Now he wishes he was a real adult.
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Aiko from Magical Pokaan longs for a human body. She almost gets it at one point.
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Parodied humorously in Angel, where the Blue Fairy comes and turns Spike into a 'real boy' in Angel's coma-dream in "Soul Purpose".
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Ghost in the Shell is all about the nature of the "human self" and what remains of it when the original body and brain gets increasingly replaced by cybernetic machines and computer programs. In the slighty dystopian future most characters struggle with maintaining their "humanity" in a society based on apathy, indifference, and decadence. In Stand Alone Complex they are contrasted with the Tachikoma, which are completely mechanical beings with purely digital AIs that never had a soul to begin with, and completely subvert this trope. They are fully aware that they are machines and incapable of having a "ghost", which makes the nature of the "human self" all the much more fascinating and interesting to them. They are almost constantly debating amongst each other about the unique nature of humans, which can not be defined scientifically and therefore lies completely outside their own experience. But at the same time their personalities are defined by the amazement and curiosity about the world, their child-like joy of life, compassion and self-sacrifice that people have mostly lost, making them much more human than the actual humans, but are completely oblivious about it.
There's also Kim in Innocence, who regards machines as perfect and wants to eventually become like one. It's very complicated.
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During The Simpsons' episode "Krusty Gets Kancelled", his rival show is hosted by a ventriloquist and his puppet Gabbo. When their show collapses, we see a newspaper subheading reading "Gabbo to have 'Real Boy' operation".
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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: In season 4, this becomes Aida's goal after she reads the Darkhold and becomes self-aware. Deconstructed though. Since she's never felt human emotions before, having them all be experienced at once is more than she knows how to process, and she doesn't respond to things like Fitz rejecting her romantic advances well at all. She gets compared to a newborn who doesn't know how to handle her feelings or accept not getting what she wants, but in this case she has enough power to kill hundreds of people because of it, having given her human body dozens of Inhuman powers.
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In Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation, the villain, Dark Heart, is some sort of devilish being who spends most of the movie looking like a kid. When he eventually learns to care about his minion Christy, his eyes change from red to blue, which he realizes means he's turned into an actual child.
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In the final chapter of Karakuridouji Ultimo, Dr.Dustan resets time and transforms all the Douji, good and evil, into humans to live out their lives alongside their former masters.
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Kyle in Kyle XY manages it over the course of months. He didn't know anything at the start, even how to speak, but because of his advanced mind he picks it up relatively fast.
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Arpeggio of Blue Steel features battleships with Robot Girl avatars (called Mental Models). Some of them are initially seen as humanlike from the start (such as Takao) while other mental models start off emotionless and are shown adapting to human behaviour over time. A specific character who exhibits this is Haruna who starts off quite cold and becomes much more capable of emotions and sympathy after spending time with Makie .
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Parodied in Borderlands 2 with the "A Real Boy" questline. A malfunctioning Hyperion loader named Mal wants to become a human - and because his only observations of humanity have been on Pandora, they're pretty skewed. After you steal some bandit "clothes" and human limbs for him, he decides to kill you, because that's all he's seen you and everyone else do to each other. In the end, you convince Mal he's become human when he feels pain during your battle with him, as he's under the impression that robots can't feel pain and humans can.
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In the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Dummy Love", the Aqua Teens get two murderous ventriloquist dummies and Shake uses them for a stage show. Unfortunately for him, Meatwad wishes them human, which leads to Shake getting pissed, trying to kill them and going to prison for attempted murder.
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RWBY: When Penny first revealed she was a robot to Ruby, she described herself as not being 'real', something Ruby dismissed because she could feel Penny's soul. However, Penny only has a partial Aura, pieces of Pietro's Aura that he has given to her so that she can function as intended. When Fria gives Penny the power of the Winter Maiden, she links hands with Penny and her Aura is briefly shown to travel from her arm to encase Penny's. Maiden powers are linked to Aura and the soul; it's implied that receiving the Maiden power means that Penny now has a full Aura of her own, which is a very important element of defining life on Remnant and means that this is the moment Penny 'becomes a real girl'.
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Phantasy Star IV,
Averted in that the androids of the party, Wren and Demi, are both hundreds of years old (Wren is actually closer to a thousand years old) and perfectly happy being androids with feelings, having presumably awakened to their emotions some time ago. Some fans speculate that Wren actually built Demi as a companion for himself, which is why she's small, cute, and more emotionally developed despite being some six hundred years younger than him.
Played straight with Rika, an artificial humanoid; the player can watch her slowly grow up over the course of the game (including a childish phase and a know-it-all adolescent phase, before arriving at maturity). At one point, she even describes the difference between being informed of things and encountering them in the real world, but none of the things she counts among them are romantic love, and in fact her first experience with displays of human emotion is mourning the death of Alys.
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Subverted in Mobile Suit Gundam 00. As an Innovator, Tieria Erde was created to be a tool in Aeolia Schenberg's grand plan for humanity. Over the course of the series he falls in love, gains a surrogate family, and learns to follow his own will instead of blindly obeying his creator. Yet eventually he stops living in denial about his true nature, and sacrifices his biological body in order to upload his consciousness into the supercomputer VEDA. In the end, Tieria finds fulfillment as a thinking, feeling, fully sentient AI, rather than as a human.
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In Freefall, ALL of the humanoid or smarter AIs were designed to do this (through neural pruning). The people who mass-produced the robots to build their colony's infrastructure, however, don't realize this. To quote one of the robots: "Millions of robots walking off the job to pursue their own interests? Yes. I would describe that as a problem."
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In an episode of Red vs. Blue, Sarge needs to steal Andy the bomb from the Blue Team so that he can translate the orders from command Lopez has stored on his hard drive, which against all logic are in extremely poor Spanish, just like Lopez' regular speech. So what's he do? Gets Caboose to turn his back and then replaces Andy... with Lopez. Caboose turns around and joyously cries, "Andy! You've Become a real boy!" Lopez is not amused. When Sarge realizes the fundamental barriers presented by the laws of physics (i.e., the inability to interact with something that isn't there), he pulls the same stunt with Lopez and a skull. CABOOSE is not amused, and mourns Andy's "death."
The AI fragment Sigma of Project Freelancer was fascinated by the concept of "Metastability", which was basically the stage where an AI becomes indistinguishable from a normal mind. To accomplish this, he created the Meta by brainwashing Agent Maine and having him steal the other AI fragments in order to become whole. In season 13, Locus assumes the Meta was trying to become the perfect weapon, only for Aiden Price to explain that what the Meta truly wanted was to become human.
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Subverted in the horror novel The Dollmaker as the dolls have no desire to become human. They want to understand what it means to be whatever it is they are.
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An essential part of Rei Ayanami's character in Neon Genesis Evangelion, along with most of her expys.
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Amazo, the Red Tornado and the android Hourman have at various times tried to become more 'human'.
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Arguably the entire point of Key the Metal Idol. However, the trope is subverted and deconstructed, like many others in the series, when it is revealed that Key is a human the entire time.
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Tio in Grandia II is an automaton with essentially no free will and no emotions. When she is told that she is free to go wherever she pleases, she doesn't understand the concept and tags along with the group. Of course, this all changes when Mareg dies. Conveniently, this also gives her a new special move in combat.
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The Twilight Zone (1985): A variation in "The After Hours". After finding out that she is a mannequin and spending a month living in the outside world, Marsha Cole doesn't want to give up her new life as a human. However, she is ultimately forced to do so by the other mannequins so that one of them can have a turn.
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Space: 1999 had an episode where humanoid robots wanted to learn emotions in order to be able to use violence and kill off their creators. One of them finally did in the end , and in doing so destroyed them all.
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Aigis in Persona 3, which is the crux of the story for The Answer in FES. After being repaired of her injuries from her battle with Ryoji, Aigis finds her own humanity toward the end of 3, but in The Answer it is revealed that Aigis slowly rekindles her urges and will of losing the side of humanity and the penalties a living being must face upon the protagonist' death. Her will and wishes to remove her side of humanity manifests as Metis, whom is known as her "sister" who doesn't want to be left alone. At the end, the sisters reconcile and merge into one being, returning all of Aigis' humanity.
It's even taken far enough that Aigis' brain is fried at the end of The Answer, and by all right she should be a robo-vegetable, but somehow comes out of it just fine. As an added bonus, because Aigis becomes a Persona main character, she has to have the power to equip all of the Persona's the player's managed to acquire thus far... which means the plot sets her Persona, which evolved to reflect her character growth, aside so she can fill her lost love's shoes, encapsulating all the worst issues with this trope through Gameplay and Story Integration: she became human by falling in love with the protagonist, and so once he's gone, she loses it altogether, and has to mimic him until she finds something else to rebuild her humanity on.
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Teddie in Persona 4. He's a cartoon character living in the TV world, but wants to join the rest of the cast in the real world as a human. He doesn't go through the typical sudden-onset humanity that is typical of the trope, though, until he gets his own Persona just before the halfway point and then managing to manifest a human body.
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Morgana in Persona 5 is a cat, cartoonish in the Metaverse but realistic in the real world. He's convinced that he Was Once a Man, and aids the party with the goal of finding a way to become human. Turns out he was never human to begin with, and realized that long before he actually admitted it out loud. Doesn't stop him from continuing to look for a way to gain a human form, his continued goal at the end of the game.
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In Undertale, you encounter an angry ghost inhabiting a training dummy. If you go through the game killing everyone you meet, the ghost becomes so enraged that the built up emotion causes it to fuse with the dummy and become corporeal. This makes it so happy that it fulfilled its life-long dream that it will immediately spare you.
If, while playing on a Nintendo Switch, you spared the dummy in a Neutral/Pacifist run, you can later find the ghost leaves the dummy and inhabits a life-sized anime Cat Girl doll, Mew Mew, still trying to fuse with her new body. Sparing her again and talking causes her to begin fusing.
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Deconstructed in Red Dwarf. Kryten would love to Become a Real Boy, but the human traits he admires are things like lying and gratuitous violence. When Kryten becomes human in one episode (and in another episode when he mistakenly believes Lister is a lesser model of robot) he becomes arrogant and bullying.
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Minerva, the AI who runs Secundus, in Time Enough for Love, desperately wants to gain a human form. Her motivation is that she's fallen in love with Ira and wants to be a real woman to be with him.
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Pathfinder: Homunculi are normally mute, mindless constructs and little more than extensions of the masters. A homunculus that outlives its master, however, will attempt to continue its maker's legacy and may gradually develop a mind of its own, eventually developing a voice and will due to retaining a shard of its maker's soul. Most never reach the true mental complexity of a living creature, becoming simple caricatures of their makers or parodies of true minds, but a few eventually grow into mature people in their own right.
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In The X-Files episode "The Unnatural", Josh Exley is a gray alien shapeshifter who has disguised himself as an African-American minor league baseball player in the 1940s. When his secret is discovered, he explains that his race doesn't understand fun and don't have a word for laughter, and he needed to pretend to be human for that. When he is ultimately killed by the relentless alien bounty hunter, he inexplicably bleeds red human blood. He stares at it in surprise for a moment, then smiles, laughs, and dies.
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Curie, a Ms. Nanny robot in Fallout 4 assigned to medical research, finds her research efforts stymied by the nature of her physical being. The course of her personal quest line involves her being uploaded into a braindead donor synth body, resulting in an expansion of consciousness.
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The Venture Bros. has this as a running theme, as Hank and Dean had been a succession of clones, educated by computers programmed decades ago, and virtually cut off from the outside world. As super-science mishaps and plain stupidity killed them, they were replaced, starting over in their teenage forms. Once all their reserve clones had been killed off, their father has been marginally more concerned with keeping them alive, and they've been encountering the larger world, largely unequipped to deal with it.
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At the end of TRON: Ghost in the Machine, The unified Jet.exe gets offered a chance to be uploaded into the User world, but when he learns it would mean the destruction of the server he lives on, Jet.exe throws away the chance and chooses to live out his runtime as an ordinary Program without hesitation or regret.
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A key part of the plot of xxxHOLiC is this for Watanuki. An unusual twist in that he is technically real... he's just a hollow placeholder generated by the world to fill in for his Ret-Gone'd brother, and so Yuko tries to get him to develop enough emotional ties with the world that, when said brother returns, Watanuki won't cease to have existed in the first place, with the said ties acting as anchors to make his temporary reality into permanent reality.
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Promethean: The Created presents this as the ultimate goal of most Prometheans, requiring a long struggle to understand both themselves and the human condition. The good news is that they can succeed in transforming themselves into humans, granting them souls and freeing them from the combination Hate Plague and Walking Wasteland effects of Disquiet. The bad news is that this leaves them as a De-Powered mortal in a Crapsack World, often losing some or all memories of their previous existence. And, of course, other Prometheans will really want to know how they managed it.
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Labrys of Persona 4: Arena, upon being thrown into the TV world, created a replica of Yasogami High in which she could try to live out this trope, forgetting that she wasn't human to begin with. The plot of Story Mode is centered on rescuing her before her Shadow kills her for it.
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Defied by Legion in Mass Effect - they're not human or even particularly human-like, and are perfectly fine with this, even expressing bewilderment that humans view individuality as a beneficial thing. Until Mass Effect 3, in which the choice ends up being, bluntly, become full individuals rather than a consensus of interfaced programming nodules, or die horribly, although you do get to choose which happens.
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Become a Real Boy
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Done in Super Robot Wars Original Generation 2. New main character Lamia Loveless is a cyborg spy for a villain group. She was taught how to socialize and everything, but aside from that, she is supposed to, like all 'W Numbers', lack a personality due to intentional programming. Unfortunately for the bad guys, all the W Numbers seen obtain a personality of their own, even if it only causes them to sacrifice themselves to save their masters...
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Become a Real Boy
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This is the wish of Phineas and Ferb character Norm, as expressed in song.
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Become a Real Boy
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Merlin in The Sword in the Stone threatens to turn Archimedes into a human if he doesn't obey. Archimedes claims he wouldn't dare.
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Over the course of the Full Metal Panic! books, the Arbelest and later Leviathan's Artificial Intelligence, Al, slowly starts to acquire consciousness as a byproduct of regularly reading the direct mental states of its pilot, Sousuke. Starting with jokes, it then progresses to having irrational preferences and complex emotional experiences such as guilt before finally acquiring the ability to activate the Lambda driver without Sousuke's involvement - just in time to save itself and Sousuke from an impending nuclear impact.
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Become a Real Boy
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Sluggy Freelance features a horror retelling of Pinocchio in the story of Stiks, where the attempt to invoke this trope Goes Horribly Wrong. Like Pinocchio, Stiks is a marionette made by a toymaker who wishes Stisk were a real boy, although this toymaker is not good at his craft, and Stiks is just a crude figure made of pieces of wood. The Moon Twin grants the wish to the extent that Stiks becomes animated, but says that he has to find the path to becoming real himself. After the townsfolk break out the Torches and Pitchforks on the weird animated marionette and his father, Stiks cries angrily to the dark side of the moon that he wants to be real but doesn't know how. This cry is heard by the darker being Basphomy, who encourages Stiks to think that since what he lacks are head, hands and feet, he should go out and, uh, get some. So he murders the toymaker for spare parts. The Moon Twin is not pleased, and curses Stiks to be a monster who wanders forever in search of new replacements for his stolen, rotting body parts.
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Kai from Lexx died and spent thousands of years as a re-animated corpse. In a subversion, he has little care for the idea of returning to life, and Xev is the one who entertains fantasies of Kai becoming alive, going so far as clinging to obvious stretches ("Kai did something unexpected! That's a sign of life!") until she learns better and accepts it. Subverted in the last season when Kai wins a Deal with the Devil to be brought back to life, but the devil goes back on the bargain and leaves him dead only to make him alive later, mere minutes before an event that would not destroy undead Kai, but that no living human could possibly survive. Double-subverted in that Kai doesn't have a death-wish, per se, but welcomes true death after spending six thousand years only halfway there.
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KOS-MOS from Xenosaga skirts with this trope on and off, but eventually she becomes humanized, albeit through a somewhat supernatural mechanism.
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Played straight at the end of DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, when the Benevolent Genie of the lamp gets his own wish granted.
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Become a Real Boy
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Parodied in Shrek 2 where Pinocchio gets his wish but... well, Easy Come, Easy Go.
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Chachamaru from Mahou Sensei Negima! goes through this rather quickly, as she already has the emotions programmed in; she just doesn't know what they are called. This is because she's approximately two years old and her "parents" are a Mad Scientist and a vampire, not the most ideal choice for social role models. She's amazingly well-adjusted regardless. She later goes through it again, briefly angsting over whether or not she has a soul. Turns out she does indeed have a soul, as evidenced by the fact that her Pactio with Negi worked. She did have to, ahem, work a little harder for it than normal though.
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The second half of Saber Marionette J To X has Lime undergoing an existential crisis, thinking that Otaru won't love her and the others unless they become fully human, so she jumps the chance when the Big Bad Dr. Hess offers her a chance to do so. In the end, they succeed, though they're reborn as infants and with no memories of their previous life.
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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, "A Bug's Life": The Metamorphosis read backwards could be a kids' movie about a bug that turns into a real boy in the end.
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Subverted in the anime Ergo Proxy, where the robots who become self-aware do typically come to regret it; in fact, the most common reaction to Becoming A Real Boy is a violent psychotic breakdown from crash-course existential angst and the inability to reconcile their new sapience with a lack of life experience.
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Seira in the Pure arc of Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, more so in the manga, has to journey along with Lucia (at least in spirit) and learn the different aspects of love before she can be "born". This is asked of Lucia before Seira's heart is shattered and absorbed, and even as she gets them back on a journey, Seira continues to observe and gain the feelings she needs.
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Daniella in Haunting Ground is a homunculus who cannot feel anything, and believes she is incomplete. Daniella pursues Fiona because she believes the Azoth within Fiona's womb can change this. Word of God later revealed that Daniella is actually human. She was kidnapped as a child, experimented on, and abused by Lorenzo and Ricardo.
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In the seminal Sci-Fi novel "R.U.R." by Karel Chapek the (biological) robots rebel against humanity and exterminate them until there is only one left. When he begs them to tell them why they killed all the people, he is told they wanted to be just like us, and that is what people do.
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In The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, when unfreezing Mr. Krabs, King Neptune accidentally turns him into a human boy. Turns out he accidentally set his trident to "Real Boy" instead of "Unfreeze".
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In the second episode of Mighty Orbots, the little girl robot Oh No gets her wish granted to be a real girl by the episode's mini-boss. Unfortunately, Oh No is necessary for the Mighty Orbots robot to combine...
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In The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, Ryuunosuke's long-term goal for his Artificial Intelligence "maid" is to turn her into a Ridiculously Human Robot.
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*NSYNC's music video for "It's Gonna Be Me" features them as toy marionettes fighting other toys for the attention of a pretty girl. When she purchases them at the end of the video, the marionettes transform into the band themselves after being scanned at the register.
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Some of the Cylons on Battlestar Galactica (2003) have this as a motivation, particularly ones who have had extensive contact with the humans and have begun integrating into human society. They were designed to be as close to human as possible, although at least one of them isn't too happy about it.
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Ahri in League of Legends has this as her goal in her backstory. She was a nine-tailed fox that wanted to be human, so she absorbed the soul of a dying human mage during a battle and gains human form. However, she doesn't see this as really being 'human', and wanted to go so far to be human in more than just form. As she absorbed more human souls and became more like a human, she also gained a conscience and realized that what she had done was evil.
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Arguably, this trope can be applied to the original Hans Christian Andersen-authored "The Little Mermaid". Though not an artificial life form, she is excessively different from us; Andersen's mermaid would live for five hundred years and then dissolve into sea foam, having no afterlife of any kind. Her ongoing wish, even prior to her falling in love with the prince, is to become a human and acquire an immortal soul.
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Used to symbolic effect in All-New Wolverine issue 17: Pinocchio's transformation from puppet to real boy is directly juxtaposed with Laura finally breaking free of her conditioning to the trigger scent, literally "cutting her strings" and making her a puppet no more.
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In Kingdom Hearts III, Namine, Roxas and Xion finally become humans thanks to perfected replica bodies that are 100% human, and Sora using the Power of Waking.
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Subverted in Dragon Ball Z in regards to Android 18. When Krillin wishes to Shenron for her to become fully human, he is unable to, so Krillin wishes for the bomb in her body to be removed instead. Technically, 18 (and 17, her twin brother) is a cyborg, so her human parts are intact (hence, Marron), whereas Androids such as 16, 19, and number 8 from the original Dragon Ball are purely robotic.
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Invoked and deconstructed on Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot. While a race of alien machines are trying to become organic creatures, supposedly to replace their long-dead creators, Rusty can't understand why anyone wouldn't want to be a robot.
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Star Trek: Voyager:
Subverted with Seven of Nine, who was born human, but assimilated by the Borg as a young girl. Many years later, she is forcibly separated from the Borg Collective by the crew of Voyager and most of her cybertech implants removed against her will. She is told she is now safe and free and can be with her people again...but (at least initially) she still thinks of the Borg as "her people". Seven does eventually accept her new existence and tries to simulate some human interpersonal emotions, but never feels entirely comfortable as a human, as she considers her nanite-augmented brain and body superior to those of humans and is currently exasperated with the emotionalism and "silliness" of other crew members. Seven is one of the few characters who dare to openly criticize Janeway's decisions.
This trope is lampshaded by the Doctor in one episode. He mentions that he once considered trying to become like a human, but realized early on that being a hologram is far better.
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The motive of most members of Organization XIII in Kingdom Hearts is to get their hearts back. The leader, though., wants to become a "great being." They are a bit unusual in that they were once human and want to be human again, rather than being artificial and wanting to become human. Ultimately, it's revealed that they could naturally regain their hearts over time and were never truly inhuman.
The Riku Replica in Chain of Memories definitely qualifies, even more so in the remake. Being a clone of a main character who's had his memories altered into making him think he's the real deal when the truth comes out and he encounters the person who he's a replica of he goes as far as trying to kill them so that he can get out of their shadow and become his own person.
In Kingdom Hearts III, Namine, Roxas and Xion finally become humans thanks to perfected replica bodies that are 100% human, and Sora using the Power of Waking.
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The Riku Replica in Chain of Memories definitely qualifies, even more so in the remake. Being a clone of a main character who's had his memories altered into making him think he's the real deal when the truth comes out and he encounters the person who he's a replica of he goes as far as trying to kill them so that he can get out of their shadow and become his own person.
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Jiro in the anime Kikaider is motivated by an incomplete conscience circuit to try and achieve what his creator envisioned as what is required to be "human." However, the ending of the story twists what the audience might expect as the final goal of Jiro, and states that Jiro succeeds in becoming "a real boy" when he becomes capable of killing the opposing Mad Scientist who tried to turn him into a heartless killing machine. In other words, humans must be capable of both good AND evil, and they must possess free will.
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The primary motivation of STEM in Upgrade. It wants a complete human body to, in its own words, "evolve". And the "real" part of the trope is no exaggeration, it chose Grey explicitly because Grey is a healthy specimen with no implants, fully human.
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In the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, as part of the world becoming "normal", Yuki goes from The Stoic Robot Girl to a regular Shrinking Violet human girl. This was, in fact, a result of Yuki's spontaneous development of emotions, since she was responsible for altering reality in the first place.
She did it exactly because she had no emotions from the start, which made her confused, angered and angsty, that the reaction was a rampage of highest degree. At least that is what Kyon tells us.
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Short Circuit: Johnny Five.
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Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation is an exception; his socialization takes place over the course of years and he clearly has great difficulty with it at times, yet eventually becomes an essentially human personality. In fairness, he was built to be that way.
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The following is a list of statements referring to the current page from other pages.

 Become a Real Boy
processingCategory2
Goals and Objectives Index
 Become a Real Boy
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Speculative Fiction Tropes
 Become a Real Boy
processingCategory2
Tropes of the Soul
 Become a Real Boy
processingCategory2
Wish Fulfillment
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