Tron Wiki
Biographical information
Physical description
Circuitry Color Green
Blue (Betrayal)
Red (Uprising)
Description Spider-like creatures that move in swarms
Other information
Functions Causing glitches
Out of universe information
Appearances TRON
TRON: Betrayal
TRON: Uprising

Gridbugs are digital creatures that cause glitches. Gridbug swarms can derez programs and cause havoc throughout an entire system. Their size varies over the various media, but they usually appear in large numbers. Despite their name, gridbugs differ from insects in having four legs instead of six. Their counterparts in the real world would probably be programming bugs that disrupt system activity.

Movies and Uprising[]

Gridbugs appear very briefly in the TRON: Legacy App; they appear to be spawning (or surfacing) and give chase as Tron, Yori and Flynn fly over them in the Solar Sailer. Yori remarks:

This isn't going to be easy. If those gridbugs get us, we've had it.

Gridbugs appear in TRON: Uprising as swarms of small, metallic, red-circuited creatures which infest certain areas in the Outlands. They move quickly and their bite is painful, and though they can be crushed or otherwise derezzed, swarms are difficult to handle due to their overwhelming numbers.

Comic Appearances[]

In TRON: Betrayal, gridbugs frequently appear in swarms that disintegrate buildings. Swarms appear as glowing blue clouds, though a close-up panel reveals that they resemble insects. They are first shown chasing Flynn and Tron, who flee on light cycles. Another swarm almost results in the derezzing of Ophelia, but Tron saves her. Clu blames the ISOs for later swarms, suggesting that they may attract or even create the gridbugs.

In TRON: The Ghost in the Machine (Issue 5), which follows TRON 2.0 continuity, gridbugs are depicted as about the size of large insects.

Game Appearances[]

Gridbugs are prime antagonists for video games. They appear in the TRON arcade game, swarming to block the player character from entering the I/O Tower; the bugs multiply over time, and points are awarded for destroying them.

In the tank game the TRON: Legacy App for iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad the player character has to exterminate gridbugs in order to move on to the next level. These gridbugs appear light brown, come in different sizes, and are called "drones."

A Gridbug and a nest

Gridbugs also feature as enemies in Tron 2.0: Killer App (GBA), which shows them spawning from hives which, unless destroyed, spawn a new gridbug for each one derezzed. A Cheat option in the game also allows one to play as a gridbug in the main storyline. This game also shows that gridbugs can turn their heads and blink.

In, TRON RUN/r, Gridbugs appear in the DISC mode as three-legged greenish-blue spider-like creatures. They advance towards the player as soon as they spawn and can be easily derezzed with a throw of the player’s identity disc.

The venerable (but still actively developed!) rogue-alike game Nethack also features gridbugs as enemies since 1987.

Behind-the-scenes Development[]

Gridbugs were originally designed by the same person who designed the recognizer, John Norton.

Their brief appearance in the original film seems confusing because they are never seen or mentioned in the movie again. Earlier drafts of its script allude to a big scene with gridbugs, but the scene was not a part of the final script. However, this explains their appearance in the TRON arcade game; the game was in development before the script was finalized, and its developers pulled the gridbug swarm from an early version.

The fourth draft of the script has a minor mention of the gridbugs as well.

    456  SOLAR SAILER DECK                                            456

         We see Flynn looking back the way they came. Yori is at the controls,
         with Tron beside her, his arm around her shoulders, looking at Flynn.

                    What about our friend - Sark?

                    Probably decided not to pursue us,
                    The Sea of Simulation is tricky..
                    lot of illusions...rough navigating.
                    Programs have a way of just...
                    disappearing here.

                    Not us, I hope.

                         (shakes his head,
                          indicates disk)
                    Not with this disk. I'm going to
                    check on the beam connection, Yori.
                    You two can keep a watch out for
                    grid bugs.