[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/transformers_armada_3869.jpg]]

''Transformers Armada'' is one of the many series that make up the ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' franchise. It takes place in its own continuity, separate from the earlier series. The storyline of ''Armada'' continued in ''Anime/TransformersEnergon'' and ''Anime/TransformersCybertron'' (however, ''Anime/TransformersCybertron'' is a seperate continuity in the Japanese version). The three series are known as the "UnicronTrilogy".

Unlike ''Anime/TransformersRobotsInDisguise'' before it (which was only imported to buy time), it was a 'main line' series, and as such had a large toyline.

''Transformers Armada'' mostly revolves around the Mini-Cons: a race of Transformers smaller than usual (about human size or smaller). When linked to one of their larger brethren, they cause a significant boost in power (usually resulting in extra guns appearing). Due to this, the Autobots and Decepticons warred over them until the Mini-Cons ended up leaving to stop the conflict, crash-landing on Earth millions of years in the past and laying dormant until the present day. Most of the episodes revolve around the Autobots trying to gain the support of the Mini-Cons, with the Decepticons after them with the intent to use them to conquer the Autobots, Cybertron, and presumably the universe (as usual).

It was controversial among fans not only for the focus on Mini-Con collecting (leading some to call it '[[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Pokeformers Pokeformers]]'), but for the frequent dubbing errors. Due to rushed production, there are several conversations that don't flow properly, or clash with what's happening onscreen. Many characters have their names mixed up with other characters,' such as pretty much everyone being called Leader-1 (Megatron's Mini-Con) at least once. One particularly glaring instance was Optimus saying he'd left ''Thrust'' in charge on Cybertron - and the image has "Thrust" kept in shadow because he (actually intended to be Jetfire) hasn't been introduced yet. Of course, Thrust is the name of the Decepticon master tactician, with no sign of ever having been an Autobot - a major point of confusion for viewers. Also, unfinished animation led to some low-quality scenes, and one or two truly nonsense ones (like a ''[[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Image:Dotscream.jpg black spot of nothing]]'' where Starscream was supposed to be in one battle.) But like most things, had a few redeeming factors in the overall story and the reintroduction of the meta-villain Unicron. It is generally considered to improve considerably in the second half.

In addition to the series, a mini-manga, called ''Linkage'' was released with the Japanese [=DVDs=], written by [[BigNameFan Hirofumi]] [[AscendedFanboy Ichikawa]], which told a separate story about a group of Mini-Cons who encounter a woman named Stella Holley, who helps them free the Mini-Cons from Unicron. The story also features several links to the animated series, and even fills a few plot holes. The series was fan-translated in collaboration with Ichikawa, and can be read online [[http://members.fortunecity.com/msipher/transform/linkage/linkage.html here]].

A video game adaptation, simply called ''[[TransformersPreludeToEnergon Transformers]]'' (but with the working title of ''Prelude To Energon'', which it is sometimes identified as), was released for the {{Playstation 2}}, and is considered one of the better Video Game adaptations, and the best one so far for Transformers until ''VideoGame/TransformersWarForCybertron''.
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!!This series provides examples of:

* AFatherToHisMen: Optimus. Megatron in many of the episodes displays parallel behavior to ''his'' men though in a more "Irritable father" way than Optimus' "Doting father".
* AllThereInTheManual: Many plot points and holes are explained in ''Linkage''.
* AnimationBump: The final few episodes have a ''very'' noticeable increase in animation quality.
* AntagonistInMourning: Megatron
* [[AsLongAsThereIsEvil As Long As There Is Hatred]]: [[spoiler:Unicron bellows this speech through Sideways]].
* {{Atlantis}}
* AxCrazy: Cyclonus, though he's more of a pain in the ass than a serious threat.
* BackFromTheDead: What did you expect? Optimus Prime, of course!
** [[spoiler: also Smokescreen]]
* BadBoss: Megatron, in sharp contrast to Optimus Prime. Starscream calls him out on it [[spoiler: after his HeelFaceTurn and just before his death.]]
* BattleButler: Demolishor
* BenevolentBoss: Optimus
* BestServedCold: Wheeljack traps himself, the one he believes responsible for ruining his life, and a mostly innocent bystander in a burning abandoned factory.
* BlindIdiotTranslation: Definitely in some places. However, [[Anime/TransformersEnergon you ain't seen nothing yet]].
* BloodKnight: Optimus is accused of being one.
** Megatron is one.
* BoisterousBruiser: Jetfire seems like one sometimes.
* BrawlerLock: Done numerous times during battles.
* TheCaptain: Optimus
* CaptainObvious: These kids probably had a lot to do with the fandom's dislike of human characters in general. A great deal of the time, their role in an episode was to spend half an hour giving statements like this:
-->'''Optimus:''' [Gets hit, falls down]
-->'''Alexis,''' [to Rad and Carlos, who are standing right next to her and watching the same fight] Oh, no! You guys, Optimus is ''down!''
-->'''Rad:''' Oh, no!
* ClipShow: "Detection" and "Cramp"
* CombiningMecha: Powerlinking
* DefectorFromDecadence: [[spoiler:Starscream, for a while]].
* DevelopingDoomedCharacters: The first episode, full stop. It's ''all'' about the annoying kids at school. They don't meet the Mini-Cons until near the end, and actual Autobots and Decepticons don't show up until the very last moments of the episode. If you watch the recap, you can pretty much start with episode two and miss nothing relevant.
* DidYouJustFlipOffCthulhu: Starscream fires a blast from his proton cannon [[spoiler:during his death scene]] at Unicron and Megatron does the same thing shortly after. Neither has any effect as Unicron is too far out of range.
* DoubleReverseQuadrupleAgent: [[spoiler:o hai Sideways]]
* TheDragon: Starscream at first, then later Thrust until the former returns.
* DumbIsGood: Dim-witted Demolishor is probably the closest thing to a 'nice' Decepticon that you're going to find. [[spoiler:Though Starscream isn't that bad either, post Character Development]]. In fact, in the sequel series he seems to have Autobot sympathies and actually fights on their side for a while before Megatron comes back from the dead. He's an all-right guy.
* DumbMuscle: Tidal Wave, most emblematically. Transforming into an entire ''battleship'', he towers above every other Decepticon (or Autobot for that matter), and while his processor doesn't pack much power he's not so much ''stupid'' as he is single-minded and easily frustrated. His PokemonSpeak tendencies don't help the image of him as a complete knucklehead, either. Cyclonus and Demolishor both have some traits of this as well.
* EvilFormerFriend: Wheeljack to Hot Shot.
* EvilLaugh: Almost all of the Decepticons, most notably Cyclonus and Megatron. Though Wheeljack had a pretty creepy one in his introduction.
* {{Expy}}: The character development of Starscream and Hot Shot mirrored that of [[WesternAnimation/BeastWars Dinobot and Cheetor's]] respectively.
* FallenHero: Wheeljack and to a lesser extent Starscream after his heelfaceturn.
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath: [[spoiler:Prime and Smokescreen. Especially Smokescreen. Thrust being crushed to death from the feet up would also count. Though he can't beat Starscream, ole Screamer had ''two''! First he gets blasted like Smokescreen (though messing with the timeline saved him), then impaled by Megatron and disintegrated by Unicron]].
* GambitPileup: Just barely makes it with four to five plots going on at once. The dub makes it even harder to follow. (Megatron, Starscream, [[spoiler: Thrust, Sideways, and Unicron, although Sideways was working for Unicron]].)
* GasLighting: Megatron manages to get the Decepticons (including Starscream himself) to think Starscream is crazy, in order to get the Star Saber from him.
* GeniusBruiser: Scavenger
* GoOutWithASmile: [[spoiler:Starscream]]
* GoodOldFisticuffs: Scavenger's introduction fight.
* GottaCatchThemAll: Almost the entire plot of the first thirteen episodes.
* GreenAesop: "Jungle"
* HandCannon: Aside from individual Transformer weapons, there's the assembled Requiem Blaster and Hydra Cannon.
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: [[spoiler:Starscream. And Sideways, Hoo boy, Sideways]].
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler:The ''Decepticons''. '''All of them''', except Thrust. The survivors even maintain this status through the beginning of ''Transformers Energon'']].
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:Smokescreen, Starscream]] Optimus, [[spoiler:even ''Megatron'' in the last episode]]. All of them get better at some point, at least in the sequel series.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: [[spoiler: Thrust]].
* HonorBeforeReason: Averted.
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: [[spoiler:Although Alexis and Starscream never go that far, but that doesn't stop some fans on both sides of the Pacific]].
* HulkSpeak: Tidal Wave.
* HumanFocusedAdaptation: Most of the series, particularly the first half, is about the kids' view of the Autobot/Decepticon war.
* TheHyena: Cyclonus.
* HypocriticalHumour: In "Conspiracy", when Demolishor is planning an attack on Starscream, he looks to the others for support, including Sideways:
-->'''Sideways:''' Don't look at me - I'm not taking sides!
* InconsistentDub: '''''And how'''''.
-->'''Wheeljack:''' "I think you're mistaken, Hot Shot. I didn't come here for revenge."
-->'''Wheeljack (later):''' "I've come to get my revenge."
* IntergenerationalFriendship: The kids and the Transformers, Smokescreen and Hot Shot.
* JerkAss: Thrust
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler: Thrust]]
* KickThemWhileTheyAreDown
* KickTheSonOfABitch: Wheeljack, unknowingly thinking that Thrust was attacking him, shoots the latter out of the sky. Hard to feel bad about it, though.
** [[spoiler: Galvatron]] does this to [[spoiler: Thrust]], by leaving him to die. It would be cruel, but [[spoiler: Thrust]] was a power hungry asshole.
* KidAppealCharacter: Hot Shot
* LeaveTheCameraRunning: The ''other'' problem of the series was that there were often looooong periods of nothing.
* LeeroyJenkins: Hot Shot, on more than one occasion.
* ManipulativeBastard: Sideways, and to a lesser extent, Thrust.
* TheMedic: Red Alert
* TheMole: Like you wouldn't believe. [[spoiler:First, Scavenger is a mole for the Autobots, then Sideways shows up. First he poses as an Autobot, 'reveals' himself to be a Decepticon, and stays there for a while, lowering morale and messing with their heads. Later, he is uncovered as a servant of Unicron, sent to infiltrate and disrupt both factions. Later, he appears to Thrust, and convinces him to become the new mole for Unicron]].
* MoreDakka: Powerlinx and super modes tend to bring this into play. Most notably Optimus combined with Overload and Jetfire. Megatron can do this too, combining with Tidal Wave for the most dakka of any Megatron to date.
* MoreThanMindControl: Unicron to the minicons.
* MsFanservice: Stella Holley from the [=DVDs=]' pack-in comics ''Linkage'', a fairly mild example.
* NotSoSimilar: Starscream takes offense to the insinuation he's anything like Sideways.
* NotTooDeadToSaveTheDay: In "Miracle", the Autobots are being overpowered by the Decepticons in an Asteroid field, and Hot Shot, as Megatron says, is indeed "a poor substitute for Optimus Prime". But Sparkplug and Perceptor summon a team of glowing space-traveling Mini-Cons, who, with their sparks and the data in the Matrix, bring Optimus BackFromTheDead.
* OffModel: Considered to be one of the worst recent examples. This was partially because of Creator/CartoonNetwork's meddling, and partially because the [[Creator/{{Actas}} studio behind the animation]] was genuinely not all that great.
** The Japanese version to its credit, did ''try'' to correct some of these errors. But whether or not it succeeded is another matter entirely. More info on that version can be read [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Transformers:_Armada_%28cartoon%29#Criticisms here]].
* OnlyMostlyDead: [[spoiler:Smokescreen]].
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Megatron becomes rather depressed [[spoiler: when Optimus is killed. (He gets better, and all is well.)]]
* PlanetEater: Unicron.
* PowerCrystal: On a few Transformers.
* PowerTrio: First Autobots: Red Alert the superego, Hot Shot the id, Optimus Prime the ego. Also the kids: Alexis the superego, Carlos the id, and Rad the ego.
* PsychoForHire: Cyclonus
* QuirkyMinibossSquad: Cyclonus and Demolishor, joined by Tidal Wave[=/=]Mirage in ''Energon''.
* RedIsHeroic: Discussed when a kid says that red robots are always the good guys.
* RedOniBlueOni: Hot Shot and Red Alert. Later, Blurr as the Blue Oni.
* RedShirtArmy: Generic background characters in the larger battle scenes come apart like tissue paper and are never mentioned (compare the reaction to [[spoiler: Smokescreen's reversible death]] to the reaction to [[spoiler: the permanent deaths of one shipful of soldiers after another near the end]]).
* RememberTheNewGuy: Overload is never introduced, he just appears out of nowhere in one episode as a trailer for Optimus, and everyone acts like he's been there the whole time.
** Overload's bio on his 2008 "Universe" toy pokes fun at this, saying that he is now on [[QuestForIdentity a quest to discover the mystery of his origins]].
* ReverseMole: Scavenger
* RidiculouslyHumanRobots
* RoleReprisal: One of the highlights was getting DavidKaye and Creator/GaryChalk to play Megatron and Optimus, although technically both in the WesternAnimation/BeastWars era were ''similar'' characters and not actual adaptations of the originals, as evidence that this is the first time Chalk played Optimus ''Prime''.
* ScarsAreForever: Wheeljack has a huge scar across his Autobot insignia as a reminder of his reason for {{Face Heel Turn}}ing.
* ScriptWank: On occasion.
* ShoulderCannon: Optimus Prime gets these when combined with Overload.
* ShouldersOfDoom: Lots of characters got 'em, but Hot Shot's [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/JaAm inspired a meme]].
* ShoutOut: The series makes liberal usage of many [[PropRecycling model sheets]] from [[WesternAnimation/TheTransformers Generation 1]].
* SmugSnake: Thrust practically ''IS'' this ideal.
* TheSpock: Red Alert tends to show aspects of it.
** SpockSpeak: Thankfully, he stops using it after the first time.
* TheStarscream: [[spoiler: Starscream was this Only until Season 2]].
* StealthMentor: Scavenger, at first.
* TheStrategist: Thrust
** There IS a difference between a strategist - whether a plan should go through to achieve the long-term goal - and a tactician - how a plan goes down.
* TakeAThirdOption: Hot Shot tries, and may have succeeded if not for [[TheMole a mole's]] interference.
* TankGoodness: Megatron could be considered a literal villainous version of this trope.
* TemporalParadox: A predestination paradox occurs in "Drift", where the kids travel back in time and meet the Mini-Cons when they are created, and tell them to escape from Cybertron and come to Earth, which in turn is required for all the subsequent events, including the time travel itself, apparently carried out by Highwire. First, however, the kids stop by in the alternate past where Unicron used the Mini-Cons, who never left Cybertron, to make the Transformers fight each other to exhaustion, before imprisoning and digesting them. Did we mention that the viewer gets ''no'' explanation for this?
* ThirdPersonPerson: Tidal Wave
* ThoseTwoGuys: Billy and Fred.
* ThreeAmigos: Rad, Carlos and Alexis; literally in the case of Carlos.
* ThreePlusTwo: The TokenTrio plus ThoseTwoGuys.
* TokenTrio: Rad is white, Carlos is Hispanic, Alexis seems white but according to the creators, she is of Vietnamese heritage.
* UnderwaterRuins: "Ruin".
* TheUnintelligible: Mini-Cons, although High Wire starts making full sentences ''much'' later.
* UnwittingPawn: Hot Shot, Starscream, Thrust, especially, and [[strike:possibly]] probably more.
* VerbalTic: "...Tidal Wave..." or "...Shock..." in Japan
* VillainEpisode: "Rebellion" and to a lesser extent, "Detention".
* WaveMotionGun: The Hydra Cannon.
* WhamEpisode: "Sacrifice", "Crisis", "Cramp", and to lesser extents "Credulous" and "Past" parts one and two.
* WholeEpisodeFlashback: "Past".
* YesMan: Demolishor, though he does occasionally raise questions.
* YoungGun: Hot Shot. Possibly Side Swipe too.
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