A television sitcom that aired from 1985 until 1989. A scientist, Ted Lawson, built a robot who looked like a little girl, who he named Vicki. He and the family pretended Vicki was a real girl and kept the fact that she was really a robot hidden from everyone else. Basically think of ALF with a robot instead of an alien, and you've got it--even to the point of both series having their secrets almost found out by the next-door neighbors constantly.

It really was a stupid show, primarily because of the fact that Vicki didn't speak or act like a real person in the slightest, and the fact that no one figured out that something about her was terribly fucked up was just downright silly.

Dick Christie as Ted Lawson
Marla Pennington as Joan Lawson
Jerry Supiran as Jamie Lawson
Emily Schulman as Harriet Brindle
Tiffany Brissette as Vicki the Robot

The premise of this classic 80's show is that Ted Lawson, (a genius in the field of robotics), invents a household robot in the shape a young girl, she appears to be 10 or 11 at first, but she does age, (which is never really explained). Ted names his robot Vicki, and brings her home to live with his family as a kind of a beta test.

Except for Vicki being a robot, this show was similar to most other family comedies from the 80's. You have your standard nuclear family, add in the wacky neighbors, toss in a robot shaped like a little girl, stir for 4 seasons, and you have Small Wonder.

The most interesting part of the show is watching Vicki evolve from a brainless automaton into an almost real young girl, (over the course of the show).


Dick Christie as Ted Lawson
Marla Pennington as Joan Lawson
Jerry Supiran as Jamie Lawson
Tiffany Brissette as Vicki Lawson
William Bogert as Brandon Brindle
Edie McClurg as Bonnie Brindle
Emily Schulman as Harriet Brindle
Paul C. Scott as Reggie Williams


Victoria "Vicki" Ann-Smith Lawson appears as an attractive, quiet, and emotionless young girl, (her total lack of emotion would even put Spock to shame). But Vicki is actually a robot, a Voice Input Child Identicant (V.I.C.I.) modeled after a real human girl. She does however have real hair and realistic skin. She is a kind of superman in a sense, (her strength, speed, and senses being far above human norm). Vicki runs on atomic power, (a radiothermoionic generator to be exact). She also has an access panel in her back, an electric socket in her right armpit, and an RS-232 serial port under her left armpit. Vicki is also anatomically correct.

Vicki's artificial intelligence leaves much to be desired. She is incapable of emotion, speaks in a monotone voice, and interprets most commands literally. She does manage to blend in to the real world to a point, she attends school, and no one but her family members know her secret. Vicki becomes more human over the course of the show, she evolves in a sense, into more of a real girl.

Ted Lawson is Vicki's creator, (and adoptive father). A genius in robotics, Ted originally created Vicki as merely a domestic servant. Her girl-child appearance was only meant to be a selling point. Ted works at United Robotronics in Silicon Valley, and his main mundane hobby is golf.

Joan Lawson, Ted's wife, begins the series as a stereotypical tv mom. But as the seasons progress she becomes more assertive and takes on a larger role in the show. Joan regards Vicki as a real person more than anyone else on the show does.

Jamie Lawson is the 12 year old son of Ted and Joan. He is the kind of guy who really wants to be popular, (but who would really be better off as a nerd). Jamie is highly protective of Vicki at school, but when they get home he treats her completely as a robot. Vicki lives in a large cabinet in Jamie's bedroom. One website I read while researching this node mentioned that it is rather unbelievable that the Lawson's would keep a totally obediant, anatomically correct young female only steps away from Jamie's bed, (which I would have to agree with). After more research I founnd that there is a large amount of erotic fan fiction based on this.

Harriet Brindle is the young female, next stoor neighbor to the Lawsons. Harriet appears to be based on Margaret, (from Dennis the Menace). She is thin, overly annoying and has an abundance of red hair. Harriet is Vicki's best friend, or to put it more realistically, Vicki is Harriet's best friend. Harriet spends the majority of her time trying to seduce Jamie, (to little effect).

Brandon Brindle is Harriets's father. He also happens to be Ted's immediate supervisor at work. Brandon is your standard sniveling weasel. He is played almost completely as a stereotype, with very little depth.

Bonnie Brindle is Brandon's wife, and is the most recognizable character on the show. She is played by Edie McClurg, who plays the exact same character in every tv show and movie she has ever been in, (such as the secretary in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Mrs Pool on The Hogan Family). Bonnie is your standard snooping, gossiping neighbor, (but deep down she has a heart of gold).

Episode Guide

Season 1 (1985-86)
  1. Vicki's Homecoming
  2. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
  3. Robositter
  4. Nerd Crush
  5. Runaway Jamie
  6. Lights! Camera! Ego!
  7. White Lies
  8. The Fearless Five
  9. DisHonor Student
  10. Vicki's Adoption
  11. Child Prodigy
  12. Brindles Move In
  13. RoboBrat
  14. Burrito Kings
  15. Babes in the Woods
  16. First Love
  17. Substitute Dad
  18. The Robotnappers
  19. The Birds, the Bees, and Robots
  20. Ted's Lay-Off
  21. The Reluctant Halfback
  22. Vaudeville Vicki
  23. Health Nuts
  24. Grandpa Lawson's Visit
Season 2 (1986-87)
  1. Root Beer, Women and Song
  2. Pint-Size Pick-Up
  3. My Mom, The Teacher
  4. My Robot Family
  5. On Her Own
  6. Community Watch and See
  7. The Wonder Worker
  8. Latchkey Dreams
  9. Homeless Causes
  10. Jamie's Older Woman
  11. Have a Heart
  12. The Hustle
  13. Vicki for the Defense
  14. Victor/V.I.C.I.
  15. Smoker's Delight
  16. Computer Dating
  17. Wham-Bam Body Slam
  18. Class Comedienne
  19. Here Kitty, Kitty!
  20. Vicki Goodwrench
  21. Project Blender
  22. Look into My Eyes
  23. Little Miss Shopping Mall
  24. The Wedding
Season 3 (1987-88)
  1. Ted's Dead
  2. Vicki and the Pusher
  3. Girl on the Milk Carton
  4. Earthquake Vicki
  5. My Living Doll
  6. The Bossy Daughter
  7. I Hear You
  8. The Bad Seedling
  9. Bank Hostages
  10. Safety First
  11. In the Spirits
  12. The Pool
  13. Big "J" The D.J.
  14. The Cheater
  15. Screaming Skulls
  16. The Perfect Daughter
  17. Fat's Where It's At
  18. Breakfast of Criminals
  19. Home Sweet Sale
  20. Haunted House
  21. How I Love Thee
  22. Digital Love
  23. The Strike
  24. The Electric Potatoheads
  25. The Russians Are Coming
  26. Geisha Vicki
Season 4 (1988-89)
  1. School Monitor
  2. More About L.E.S.
  3. Game Show
  4. Jailbirds
  5. I Dream of Vicki
  6. Golddigging Ida
  7. It's a Gas
  8. SuperSuds
  9. Battle of the Sexes and Robot
  10. Vicki and the Skyjacker
  11. Luke and Ray
  12. Vicki's Glasses
  13. Double Dates
  14. Vicki's Exposé
  15. Big "J," Private Eye
  16. My Favorite Martian
  17. Dolittle Vicki
  18. Radio Show
  19. Pool Shark Vicki
  20. Hooray for Hollyweird!
  21. Singing Telegram
  22. The Rip-Off
No one's seen Ed in the past two weeks. There's a pile of rotting newspapers outside his door, his phone's been disconnected, and his kids are living in an orphanage.

Well, the last time I saw him was about two weeks ago, when I set up his computer and showed him Minesweeper, SimCity, and Everything2.

Oh. Small wonder, then.

"Small wonder" is an English expression meaning, approximately, "that's expected." It's mildly ironic, because the speaker is in fact expressing no wonder at all.

It has fallen out of common use and is mostly seen today in pallid attempts at humor when the media write about something that is interesting and small (or, in really egregious cases, about a short celebrity). Its other major use is in reference to the 1980s sitcom discussed in this node's other writeups.

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