Random Omnipotent Being

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Synonyms: ROB, BROB
See also: Self insert, Quest
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A Random Omnipotent Being, usually abbreviated to ROB, is a term coined on SpaceBattles as a general hand-wave to excuse the setup of hypothetical situations. They are "often used as ways to set up scenarios for threads"[1] but may also be brought up in discussions of fanfiction (especially self inserts) and quests.

TV Tropes says:

A ROB is used to justify ridiculous scenarios, or create events for people to talk about. A ROB is usually used as a Deus Ex Machina for a random event to set the plot moving in a quest.[2]

On SpaceBattles, one user explained the origin:

Basically we, the forum, came up with the concept of ROB because we were tired of going, "Okay I've what I think is a really cool scenario so just assume it comes into being because of Q, 17-dimensional artwork gone awry, those mice from Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the Time Lords on a really good day, Alien Space bats or what have you.. aw fuck-it. Let's just call it a Random Omnipotent Being and be done with it."[3]

ROBs may change, remove, replace, or give something to a character, make a character do something, or transport a character from one universe to another, usually across dimensions[1] In the case of forum discussions "character" can be understood to sometimes mean someone participating in the thread.

Variations of ROBs include BROBs (Bored/Bastard/Bad Random Omnipotent Being) and Crossover Obsessed Random Omnipotent Beings.

Crossover Obsessed ROBs are "often used when the thread's scenario involves lots of crossovers between fictional universes."[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 SpaceBattles wiki article on ROB.
  2. TV Tropes page for The Omnipotent, listed under "Web Originals" accessed 19 October 2018.
  3. Les, post in [ So, what IS a ROB?] Sep 27, 2012.