Long before the orgy-loving androids of Westworld and the sex-loving humanoid cylons from Battlestar Galactica, there was Vicki, the G-rated android from Small Wonder. Vicki, or V.I.C.I. (Voice Input Child Identicant), was initially made to assist handicapped children, but Ted Lawson, who was the Gepetto to her robot Pinocchio, thought it would be a good idea for Vicki to get acclimated to humans by living with his family while dressed like a Raggedy Ann doll.
Granted, it's been a while since I've seen Small Wonder, but I seem to remember Vicki's "acclimation" involved a lot of vacuuming the house, dusting, fixing things and other activities that are definitely in violation of a little thing we like to call Child Labor Laws. I guess the Lawsons got a pass since she was a robot. However, no one knew Vicki wasn't a real kid, so you'd think their nosy-ass neighbors would have called Child Services. But that’s the '80s for you.
In addition to being the Lawsons'
little slave adopted android, Vicki spent her days warding off evil in its truest form: Harriet. The best part about Harriet was that Edie McClurg played her mom. The worst part about Harriet is pretty much everything else. She was nosy, annoying and is the chief reason why people think redheaded children eat souls. I'm pretty sure J.K. Rowling based the Dementors on Harriet because LOOK AT HER:
Harriet was the O.G. Problem Child.
It was bad enough Vicki had to live in the same house with that whiny brat Jamie, but she also had to deal with Harriet peering through the windows and dropping in all the time uninvited. Harriet was the worst. It's really a testament to Vicki's programming that she didn't snap out and kill her.
When Vicki wasn't cleaning the house and dealing with Satan's spawn Harriet, she was doing other fun kid stuff like cooking the family dinner (nice parenting, Joan), doing Jamie's homework and showing Reggie that girls are better at sports than he is because she's a hero. But the best thing about Vicki was that despite Harriet being awful and Vicki not having emotions because she's a robot, she once gave her a bracelet and told her she loved her.
AWWWWWW. Harriet's own mom didn't even love her and I'm totally starting the rumor that Edie McClurg left the show because of her and not to be on The Hogan Family because why not?
Vicki was definitely one of the Top 5 robots from the '80s (#1 being Paulie's robot from Rocky IV. This isn't even a contest.) Here's hoping that when the machines rise (which is probably soon because Siri is always answering me when I'm not even talking to her, so I'm pretty sure my iPhone is sentient) they're as nice to live with as Vicki. Otherwise we are so screwed.