This scene happened in a cartoon I watched in Italian (but I think it was American) during the 80s (but it is probably older).

A man (*) has a new household robot, a maid/butler/whatever. He orders the robot "go to the kitchen and wash dishes", but the robot does nothing.

Another character (the man's son?) explains that the orders must be given in some ridiculous robotspeech: the kid says the correct command and the robot washes the dishes (in the Italian dub, the "correct command" is a sentence with truncated words, e.g. "va-in-cuc-e-lav-piat", i.e. "go-to-kit-and-wa-di". Of course I don't know how the robotspeech sounded like in the original English, but it is reasonable to assume that it was "mangled" English).

The man thinks he understands how the robotspeech works and gives other orders, but of course he says them wrong, the robot misunderstands and destroys a wall (in Italian, the man said something like "pas-stra-mur" to mean "passa lo straccio sul muro", i.e. clean the wall with the cloth, the robot understood "passa attraverso il muro", i.e. pass thru the wall).

IIRC, the cartoon was drawn in a very Hanna-Barbera-like style.


  • I'm pretty sure it's not The Jetsons. To be sure, I just rewatched the first episode of The Jetsons: the family gets Rosie the robot maid in that very episode. But Rosie doesn't break walls and understands regular English - at least in that episode (in the comment, computercarguy specifies that all robots from The Jetsons understand normal English). Furthermore, I remember it as a cartoon set in "present day" - with a regular house, not the sci-fi house of Rosie and her family.
  • It's not Ro-Butler (episode of Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy). This is more similar to what I'm looking for, but the robot does not break walls and it understands normal English (but too literally, with comical effects).

(Note: I'm posting here in Sci-Fi SE because "household robot" is a sci-fi trope. But since the cartoon I'm looking for is probably, strictly speaking, not sci-fi, feel free to move the question to TV SE).

(*) but it may be an anthropomorphic animal, like in the Doggie Daddy example

  • 1
    Rosie the robot, and every other speaking robot, from the Jetsons always understood English, so you can definitely rule that cartoon out. – computercarguy Jan 8 '18 at 15:28

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