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Katy's faceoff scene.gif An iconic faceoff: Katy is revealed to be a fembot

A faceoff is the removal or opening of a fembot's facial covering. Frequently, this takes the form of a fembot's face being a form of Access panel, whereby the face removal consists of disconnecting it from the head or "opening" the head through the face. Other times, it can quite literally involve pulling the fembot's face off like a mask to reveal the components underneath. As a practical effect, it's a particularly simple way of revealing a character as a fembot, as an actress can wear a mask or footage of a dummy head can be used in their place.


A fembot's face can be referred to as a facemask, faceplate, or some other similar term. The style of opening or removal can vary, as can the look of the electronics inside. Some facemasks come off completely, while others open on a hinge. Some facemasks are shaped to be the entire face, some an "oval" and some peltate ("shield" shaped).

The electronics visible inside the opened head can also vary a great deal. Sometimes the fembot's "eyes" can remain visible, along with the speaker that produces her voice. Other times, nothing but wiring, circuit boards and flashing LEDs are visible.

Franklin style

The fembots created by Dr. Franklin in the TV show The Bionic Woman had oval-shaped facemasks, seemingly made from rubber, that could be easily removed by pulling it. Beneath it was a metallic plate with various '70s era electronic components affixed to it, along with two glass eyes and a speaker. Many portrayals of fembots have used this basic pattern, and it is the most common to be found in TV and movies with faceoffs. It is also very common in manip art by Fembot Central members.

Westworld style

A manip by the artist Xeran
In the movie Westworld, robots were the main attractions at a luxury resort called Delos. Robots were shown in Robot Repair being repaired and maintained. The facemasks for these robots were shown to have the eyes built into them. When removed from the front of the head, the facemask remained connected to the rest of the robot's electronic system by means of a flexible bundle of cables and wires attached to the inside of the facemask. The inside of the robot's head was shown to contain an even less human-like appearance as that of the Fembots in The Bionic Woman. Rather than an electronic speaker, an open tube with a flared end was shown to project the robot's voice. This style of faceoff is also common in manip art by Fembot Central members.

Futureworld style

Manip by Robotman
In Futureworld, the sequel to Westworld, the robots of Delos were shown to have a more technologically advanced look than before. The distinguishing features of this style are the peltate opening in the robot's head and the lack of connecting cables and wires attached to the underside of the facemask. The electronics inside the head also have a less human-like appearance and layout than that of other faceoff styles. Faceoff scenes of this style are also fairly common in TV and movies, as well as in the art and manips of fembot central members.

Other types

Manip by RS5420
Other styles of faceoff can be seen to hold a wide variety of electronic patterns and human-like features. Some are designed to look as inhuman as possible, while others can be seen as mimicking the skeletal form of a skull and its skin. Some contain complex constructions of wiring, circuit boards and other exposed electronic components, while others are meant to give the impression of a polished and professionally designed computer interface. The manner of opening can differ greatly too. Some facemasks can be removed completely, while others split and remain attached to the head as they open. These faceoff styles make up the remainder of faceoffs seen in TV and movies, and in art and manips by Fembot Central members. Many examples of these can be seen in the example images below.

More examples


Fembot "reveal" tropes
Hardware and software Access panelAssemblyDamageDisassemblyFaceoffRepairRobo-vision
Processes and actions ActivationData transferMalfunctionProgrammingRebootRechargeShut-down
Appearance and sound Blank stareElectronic beepingRobotic motionRobotic voiceWhirring sounds