'GLOW's Robot Sidekick Is A Pricey '80s Throwback

Erica Parise/Netflix

Netflix's newest dramedy, GLOW, is a delightful time warp to the 1980s, when a ragtag group of Hollywood hopefuls traded their shoulder pads for neon lycra and body-slammed their way to fame for Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, the first televised women's wrestling league. The series puts its retro focus on full display — big hair, loud makeup, bun-hugging leotards — but somewhere in the third episode, a more futuristic gadget makes a surprising debut: GLOWBot. It's a small detail, but considering the show's real-life roots, it's random enough to wonder if GLOWBot was ever a real thing. (Spoilers for Season 1 of GLOW ahead.)

The robot first appears when G.L.OW.'s newly formed team takes a trip to young producer Bash Howard's mansion for an impromptu party. It has everything you'd expect from a Malibu blowout: extravagant artwork, vintage arcade games, a designer "costume closet," and — because why not? — a drug-toting robot. Later, a scuffle between Bash and G.L.O.W. director Sam Sylvia causes one of the women to spill a drink on the robot, prompting it to malfunction, revert to speaking Spanish, and seemingly die. But then, in the tenth and final episode, the fallen android makes a triumphant return as GLOWBot, Britannica's trusty sidekick.

Alas, it seems the robot was a quirky detail dreamt up by the GLOW writers. A deep dive on the web turns up no evidence that anything like GLOWBot existed in the league, and footage from Zelda The Brain's matches — the G.L.O.W. persona Britannica appears to be based on — doesn't include any similar machinery.

To be fair, it's not totally impossible that something like GLOWbot was available during G.L.O.W.'s heyday. According to PC Magazine, there were a whole host of robots made throughout the '80s, and they were often advertised as personal helpers that could do laundry, pour drinks, and make other everyday chores a little easier, even though in reality it seems like they just wheeled around the house. They ran quite pricey for the time, with most of them ranging from $600 to upwards of $6000 (which PC calculates as about $16,759 when adjusted for inflation), but it certainly sounds like something a rich hotshot like Bash would dole out money for. Plus, the Hero 2000, which was on the market in 1986 — when G.L.O.W. premiered — looks like a slightly smaller replica of GLOWbot.

Nevertheless, it appears GLOWbot is strictly a fun fictional entity the GLOW crew threw in for some added pizzazz. But hey, it works.