Aspbergers + Imposter Syndrome
I think there's at least two layers here:
1: Narrator is "on the spectrum" and thinks everyone is using too many unnecessary smarmy words - unctuous. And can't figure out the true intentions or even the reason others are talking to him - they are robots that can't be understood or deciphered.
2: Then narrator goes a step further and thinks that he isn't actually doesn't deserve credit for anything positive - Imposter Sydrome.
Now neither of these themes is new to the Johns. Most direct to #1 is "Hope you don't become a Robot!" which also (from allusion to how they're numbers and that's great) I personally think reflects someone on the spectrum too. And very recently for #2 is "The Greatest". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Minimumwage (talk • contribs) 13:34, July 11, 2018
I'm sorry, John, I'm afraid I can't do that
I'd like to add that the chorus can also be read "You're an Unctuous Robot: U.R., U.R." --18.104.22.168 09:53, 26 October 2018 (EDT)
- Great observation! I assume you are referring to the Karel Čapek play. Another way: "You: R.U.R." --Nehushtan (talk) 11:39, 14 September 2019 (EDT)
He's Talking To His Reflection
This theory is actually pretty obvious, as the narrator even states in the first line of the first verse:
"I know you are but what am I/Is what I say when I'm admiring my reflection."
Because of this, I argue that the "Unctuous Robot" is actually himself (his reflection). This explains why each phase in the chorus is sung twice,
"Stop repeating things I'm saying/Stop repeating things I'm saying/You're an unctuous robot /You're an unctuous robot/You are you are"
because after all, if you say something to your reflection, it is going to repeat the same thing back. This also explains the line
"While dressing in the clothes/I found in your room"
since again, he is talking about his own clothes in his own room. It's as if the reflection is it's own being; the "Unctuous Robot." But here's the kicker...both parties are the Unctuous Robot! Who's to say which man is the reflection and which is real? Each of them think that they are the real man, and the other is the Unctuous Robot. This is why in the chorus they accuse each other of repeating the things the other is saying, and that the other is an unctuous robot. As usual, the brilliant writing for this song has gone mostly unnoticed. - Kierancaspian