[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Transformers.jpg]]

->''"More than Meets the Eye."''

[-If you're looking for the live-action movie series, see '''''Film/{{Transformers}}'''''. For the original [[Franchise/TransformersGeneration1 Generation One]] animated film, see '''''WesternAnimation/TransformersTheMovie'''''.\\
For more information, you might want to consult [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Main_Page the Transformers wiki]], Wiki/TFWikiDotNet. Its informality is similar to that of TV Tropes.-]
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A [[LongRunners long-running]] franchise consisting of dozens of toy lines, many AnimatedSeries, quite a few ComicBooks, and a trilogy of live-action movies. Reduced to its simplest terms, ''Transformers'' is the story of an eons-old battle between two factions of a race of TransformingMecha, usually called the Autobots and Decepticons, whose battles frequently take them to [[EarthIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse Earth]]. Traditionally the Autobots transform into civilian automobiles, while the Decepticons transform into military hardware, though this distinction has grown less obvious over time.

Considering its origins ''as'' a toy line, the show is highly MerchandiseDriven, each incarnation serving to pimp a line of transforming toys. The original toy line sold in America came about when Creator/{{Hasbro}} imported several disparate Japanese toy lines, primarily Takara's "Diaclone" and "Microchange". The piecemeal origins of the individual toys are largely responsible for the enormous disparity in scale and style of the early toys (the original Optimus Prime, for example, has a cockpit designed to hold a Diaclone action figure, while the original Jetfire's toy is easily recognizable as a Valkyrie from ''[[SuperDimensionFortressMacross Macross]]''). When brought together as a single toy line, they were given the ''Transformers'' brand and established the "sentient robot" aspect of the story.

After the original toy line, further incarnations were designed specifically for the mega-hit ''Transformers'' brand, creating a more internally-consistent style, though still with inappropriate [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Scale sizes between toys.]]

Recurring character archetypes of note across the various series include:

* '''[[BigGood Optimus Prime]]''': Leader of the Autobots and known as Convoy in the Japanese dubs. In the original continuity he appeared to be the supreme leader of all Autobots by a sort of divine right and was shown to have the "Matrix of Leadership," a mystical artifact that has been passed down for generations of Cybertronian leaders. Optimus Prime is often portrayed as a conflicted pacifist shouldering the burden of military leadership. In later incarnations the title of Prime is more a high-ranking military designation and he is still under the command of a governmental body. After TheMovie and in the third season of the series he was replaced by Rodimus Prime, although that character type has had much fewer incarnations. His typical alternate form is some sort of heavy vehicle like a semi-truck or a fire engine, and in the beast era he was a gorilla (anime series have had him as a woolly mammoth and a lion as well).
* '''[[BigBad Megatron]]''': Leader of the Decepticons. He is a megalomaniac whose thirst for power is unmatched and orchestrated the civil war when the Autobots wouldn't just accept him as their leader. Often portrayed as one of the most powerful Decepticons alive, but usually mad and brilliant at the same time. In ''Generation 1'', ''Robots In Disguise'', and all three Unicron Trilogy series, he was eventually upgraded and renamed "Galvatron". His original form was a Walther P38 pistol modeled after the variant created for ''Series/TheManFromUNCLE'' [[note]]This was back in the days when children were allowed to play with realistic looking firearm toys[[/note]]. In later versions his alternate mode usually takes on the form of a tank or heavily armed air vehicle (jet, helicopter, etc) and if the toys feel nostalgic they make a "futuristic" [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/For_safety_reasons (i.e. Nerf-inspired)]] pistol. In an animal form he has become a T-Rex or a dragon.
* '''[[KidAppealCharacter Bumblebee]]''': A young Autobot with kid appeal, he's usually the closest with their human allies and/or has a childish, exuberant personality. His role is the Autobot scout and he is entrusted by Optimus for some of their most vital missions. The exact character himself has been left out of a lot of media (until the movie made him popular again) but other characters in this mold include [[Anime/TransformersArmada Hotshot]] and [[WesternAnimation/BeastWars Cheetor]]. He's almost always bright yellow and traditionally transforms into a VW Beetle or other smaller vehicle (like a hatchback), but (again, from the movies) a muscle car has gained acceptance. As long as it's yellow.
* '''[[TheStarscream Starscream]]''': Megatron's lieutenant. Starscream is treacherous, vain, arrogant and whiny, and is quick to seize power when the opportunity arises. The only reason he is tolerated is because he is an excellent air commander and is otherwise afraid of confronting Megatron directly. If he ever does acquire power he tends to [[ThePeterPrinciple be reasonably competent]], though nowhere near as dangerous and diabolical as Megatron can be. Starscream always transforms into a jet fighter of some kind. Of course, like Bumblebee, the exact character doesn't always show up but his character archetype has so many examples ''in this franchise'' he's his own trope.
* '''[[{{God}} Primus]]''': In the later series, the effective "{{god}}" of all Transformers: their individual [[OurSoulsAreDifferent sparks]] were split off from Primus. Depending on the incarnation, he varies in how directly he takes a role in a story. Sometimes he is directly leading the heroes and in others he is merely a mythical god. He originally showed up in the UK Marvel comics before being imported to the US line and, eventually, other continuities altogether. His name is often used as an UnusualEuphemism for God. In some continuities, he's linked to the Transformer-creating computer Vector Sigma, from ''Generation 1''. In others, he is the actual Planet Cybertron. Though other characters may change between series, Primus and directly related characters are ''generally'' multiversal constants. Starting with ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'', the ''Covenant of Primus'' became a multiversal Cybertronian [[Literature/TheBible bible]].
* '''[[{{Satan}} Unicron]]''': A [[PlanetEater planet-eating]] giant transformer, sort of a EldritchAbomination''/''{{Satan}}-esque counterpart to Primus. In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersTheMovie'', he is destroyed by Rodimus Prime using the Matrix, though his disembodied head continues to work its evil machinations throughout the third season of ''Generation 1''. Unicron appears at the end of ''Armada'', and is destroyed again, but is resurrected in ''Energon'' by Alpha Q, in an attempt to recreate its home planet (in this incarnation, Unicron is able to recreate anything it has consumed). Supplementary materials to the Transformers multiverse suggest that Primus and Unicron are incarnations of rival gods, born from the same ''The One''. Though other characters may change between series, Unicron and directly related characters are ''generally'' multiversal constants. [[CaptainErsatz Incidentally, he has never been seen in the same room as]] ComicBook/{{Galactus}}.

And besides all of these, there are usually other members that fit into the FiveManBand / FiveBadBand mold. Of the Autobots there is also usually a Ratchet (TheSmartGuy / TheMedic), a Jetfire (HeelFaceTurn member), and/or an Ironhide (TheBigGuy). For the Decepticons there is often a Soundwave (EvilGenius and/or FlunkyBoss), Shockwave (WildCard) and/or a Devastator (TheBrute).
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!!TECH[[color:white:i]]SPECS[[color:white:_]]|[[color:white:_]]FUNCTION:[[color:white:v]]FRANCHISE
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"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
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The ''Transformers'' franchise has known the following incarnations in [[WesternAnimation television]], {{anime}}, {{film}}, and comics:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Note: Descriptions here are to be kept brief; for detailed information, see the individual series pages. Please do not apply formatting to the bulleted titles, as this screws up the indexing. ]]


!!Generation 1 continuity family

The saga that started it all, [[Franchise/TransformersGeneration1 Generation 1]] specifically refers to the base story of the Autobots and Decepticons war and their leaders, Optimus Prime and Megatron, crashing on prehistoric Earth. Back on Cybertron the war came to a very uneasy stalemate because of their missing faction leaders. It isn't until their return that the war begins again. Other than that, between the various series and comics there is little that is consistent.

[[index]]
* Franchise/TransformersGeneration1 premiered in 1984. It involved Autobots and Decepticons crashing on prehistoric Earth and remaining in stasis until they were revived by an erupting volcano in 1984. To blend in with their surroundings, they took on the forms of common Earth vehicles and other machines. It consisted of:
** [[WesternAnimation/TheTransformers A cartoon]], running from 1984 to 1987
** WesternAnimation/TransformersTheMovie (1986). The film of the series, coming between the second and third seasons of the cartoon. The timeline [[TimeSkip jumped]] to [[TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture to futuristic 2005]] and Optimus Prime and [[KillEmAll most of the original Autobots]] were killed off, passing the torch to a new generation led by Rodimus Prime. The movie featured the voice talents of Judd Nelson, Creator/LeonardNimoy, Robert Stack (Of ''Series/TheUntouchables'', ''Film/{{Airplane}}'' and ''UnsolvedMysteries'' fame) and [[Creator/MontyPython Eric Idle]], as well as the last screen performance of Creator/OrsonWelles (as the [[ApocalypseWow first on-screen appearance]] of Unicron, a Transformer the size of a planet).[[note]]The irony did not go unnoticed.[[/note]]
** ''Scramble City'', an OAV originally released only in Japan, though a version was included on the 25th anniversary DVD of the animated movie in the United States. It focused on the mix and match aspect of the combiners, as well as introducing Metroplex, Trypticon and some of the movie characters, as the movie itself wouldn't be imported for several more years.
** [[Comicbook/TheTransformers A comic]] published by Marvel, running from 1984 to 1990
** ComicBook/TransformersGenerationOne, a {{revival}} published by Dreamwave between 2002 and 2004
** [[ComicBook/TheTransformersIDW A comic published by IDW]], published since 2006. Notable stories include:
*** [[ComicBook/TheTransformersMegaseries The Transformers -ation]], a group of mini-series that started the continuity.
*** ComicBook/TransformersMaximumDinobots: Simon Furman's last miniseries on his run.
*** [[ComicBook/TransformersAllHailMegatron All Hail Megatron]]
*** [[ComicBook/TransformersLastStandOfTheWreckers Last Stand of the Wreckers]]
*** ComicBook/TheTransformersIDW: The monthly series which lasted from 2009 to 2011.
*** ComicBook/TransformersAutocracy: A mini-series retelling the days just prior to the start of the Great War
*** ComicBook/TransformersMonstrosity: A follow-up mini-series to Autocracy.
*** ComicBook/TransformersRobotsInDisguise: One of the current Ongoing series.
*** ComicBook/TransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye: The other significant Ongoing Series.
*** ComicBook/TransformersDarkCybertron: The crossover event for [[ComicBook/TransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye More than Meets the Eye]] and [[ComicBook/TransformersRobotsInDisguise Robots in Disguise]].
*** ComicBook/TransformersWindblade: Mini-series following the aftermath of ''Dark Cybertron'' as ''Robots in Disguise'' heads back to Earth.
*** Transformers: Regeneration One: [=IDW's=] continuation of the Marvel continuity, beginning in 2012.
* TransformersGeneration2: The cartoon series ''Generation 2'' was simply selected ''G1'' episodes with some {{CGI}} added. The associated comic ran for 12 issues, while the manga lasted far longer.
* Anime/TransformersHeadmasters, an {{anime}} {{continuation}} that ignores the last season of ''[=G1=]'', the three-part "Rebirth" story.
** ''Anime/BeastSaga'', the SpiritualSuccessor to the Battle Beasts in Headmasters
* Anime/TransformersSuperGodMasterforce, another anime, continuing on from ''Headmasters''.
* Anime/TransformersVictory, a third anime, continuing from ''Masterforce''.
* Manga/TransformersZone, which was basically a series of illustrated text stories. Followed by ''Return of Convoy'' and ''Operation Combination''.
* Kiss Players (2006-2007) was a short lived incarnation of the franchise, depicting Transformers given power-ups when kissed by human girls.

!!Beast Era

The Beast Era is a break from the usual presentation, featuring Transformers with animal altmodes instead of vehicles, and Maximals and Predacons replacing Autobots and Decepticons. It is in continuity with the Generation 1 family, but the toys and fiction are distinct enough to be considered on their own. Despite being quite different from the original series (and most subsequent Transformers series), the Beast Era is what saved the brand from falling into the abyss to which most other 80's toyline properties fall victim. Beast Wars revitalized the whole franchise.
[[index]]
* WesternAnimation/BeastWars (1996) was animated in CGI and produced by MainframeEntertainment, famous for the first CGI television show, ''ReBoot''. At first, ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' was controversial simply for the change into transforming into animals. (This culminated in the '[[TheyChangedItNowItSucks Trukk Not Munky]]' [[MemeticMutation meme]].) But over time, the depth and direction of the story was praised, and the series as a whole is currently very well-regarded. Treating the events of Generation One in BroadStrokes as historical legend, it featured a determined Maximal crew fighting a rogue band of Predacon criminals on what turned out to be [[spoiler:prehistoric Earth (an EarthAllAlong halfway through the series)]]. It also introduced several plot points that would go on to greatly influence future fiction, notably [[OurSoulsAreDifferent sparks]].
* WesternAnimation/BeastMachines (2000), the direct sequel series to ''Beast Wars'', was animated by the same company, and saw a return to Cybertron, but was received poorly by many at the time. It had a massive change of the writing staff, and it shows; the characterization of established characters, "spiritual" aspects and themes of nature vs. technology didn't play well with the previous series. It's part of the FanonDiscontinuity of many fans, and one of the voice actors that worked on the series referred to it on one occasion as "the bad thing that happened". Still, the series had its good points -- the aforementioned spiritual themes were deeper and more genuinely philosophical than anything the franchise had seen before -- and the general hatred has died down with time.
* Anime/BeastWarsII, a traditionally animated show set far into the future of ''Beast Machines'' but broadcast in Japan between the first and second series of ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' to fill the gap while the second series was being dubbed. It is powered by slapstick.
* Anime/BeastWarsNeo, which continued after ''Beast Wars II'' and was broadcast between the end of ''Beast Wars II'' and the start of the second series of ''Beast Wars''. There are fandubbed episodes of this series and Beast Wars II at [[http://www.tfcog.net/ TFCog.net]].
[[/index]]

!!Robots In Disguise

''Anime/TransformersRobotsInDisguise'' started the trend of Hasbro creating a new line of Transformers toys and backstory, then rebooting the property with a new continuity about two or three years later; this has caused an explosion of independent continuities in the past decade. However, while ''[=RiD=]'' was originally intended to be a filler series - as the Japanese did not opt to import the poorly received Beast Machines for several years - it was very successful in western markets.
[[index]]
* [[Anime/TransformersRobotsInDisguise Robots in Disguise]] (2002) rebooted the series continuity, with the Autobots facing off against their perennial rivals, the Predacons (the Decepticons in this continuity are a group of Autobots subverted by the Predacons). The first Japanese Transformers series to have major Western distribution. ''[=RiD=]'' is also notable due to several episodes of the series being pulled from American airwaves after the September 11th attacks, as they featured footage of collapsing buildings.
[[index]]

!!The UnicronTrilogy

The '''UnicronTrilogy''' (2003-2006) was the next reboot and was intended as a full saga with an expansive toy line. It featured three anime series that were dubbed into English (with varying degrees of quality) and aired on Creator/CartoonNetwork. Each sub-series to the trilogy had a 'gimmick' that was always in the limelight.
* Anime/TransformersArmada
* Anime/TransformersEnergon
* Anime/TransformersCybertron
[[/index]]
''Armada'' restored much of the original mystique, as the world's smallest armada (Autobots: 3, Decepticons: 4) duke it out to dominate a race of smaller transforming robots, the Minicons. The Minicons can link up to their larger counterparts to give them power upgrades, having obvious Merchandise potential. ''Transformers: Energon'' and ''Transformers: Cybertron'' are sequels to this series, the three are retroactively referred to as the ''Unicron Trilogy'', concerning the reboot of the Generation One Movie villain Unicron and a new take on his presence.

The gimmicks for ''Armada'' toys were the Minicons, micro-transformers who would activate lights, sounds and/or hidden weapons by plugging into the larger toys. ''Energon'' toys were "powerlinxing" where every transformer of a certain size class could [[CombiningMecha combine with another]]. ''Cybertron'' toys had "Planet Keys" which were similar in function to to the Minicon gimmick. The general disinterest shown in these gimmicks by the fans has led to a reduced prominence in later toy lines, focusing more on what features they can do with the actual transformation instead.

Of note is that ''Cybertron'' was not intended as a sequel to ''Energon''; the original Japanese ''Transformers: Galaxy Force'' took place in its own universe. Hasbro designer Aaron Archer had intended it to continue the earlier shows, so this is a case of conflicting sources. Interestingly enough, recent material released in Japan seems to have retconned ''Galaxy Force'' into the same universe as ''Armada'' and ''Energon''.
* ''Armada'' also had a [[TransformersPreludeToEnergon video game based off of it]], which surprisingly actually turned out to be pretty darn good, in a rare aversion of TheProblemWithLicensedGames.
* {{Dreamwave}} also did a Unicron Trilogy comic. ''Armada'' focused on the plight of the Mini-Cons as born to serve the larger robots, then did an abrupt turn into the characters fending off Unicron. ''Energon'' had several ongoing plotlines, all of which were cut off when Dreamwave went bankrupt.
[[index]]
* In addition, a preschool based Transformers series, [[WesternAnimation/TransformersGoBots Transformers: Go-Bots]] was released during this part of the franchise. It's usually considered as its own canon from the rest of the franchise.
[[/index]]

!!TransformersFilmSeries

A [[LiveActionAdaptation live-action film]] franchise, each directed by Creator/MichaelBay, and plenty of expanded universe comic books. Initially given a DetractorNickname of "Bayformers," it has come to [[AppropriatedAppellation general fan vernacular]].
[[index]]
* Film/{{Transformers}} (2007) introduces the new continuity, featuring an origin of the Transformers in a mystical artifact known as the All Spark.
* The sequel, ''Film/TransformersRevengeOfTheFallen'' (2009) continues directly from the first movie, delving deeper into the Transformer mythology. Because of the first film's success, many new robots were introduced and it has broken records both financially and with computer graphics (a rumor has spread around that in rendering Devastator it melted one of ILM's computers).
* The third film, ''Film/TransformersDarkOfTheMoon'' (2011) follows a new story dealing with further Transformer involvement in human history, with a story that arcs back to a SecretHistory involving the first moon landing in 1969.
* ''Film/TransformersAgeOfExtinction'' (2014), intended to be the start of a new trilogy with a new mythological arc to it. The art design was changed dramatically (with completely new appearances for returning characters like Optimus and Bumblebee). The movie stars MarkWahlberg and deals with a human conspiracy targeting Autobots and Decepticons alike, with a new enemy tied into Cybertronian origins setting its sights on Earth.
* ''[[Ride/TransformersTheRide Transformers: The Ride 3D]]'', a spin-off attraction that can be found at the Ride/UniversalStudios theme parks that once again is about a grand battle between the Autobots and Decepticons over the [=AllSpark=].
* ''VideoGame/TransformersHumanAlliance'': A spin-off light gun arcade made by ''Creator/{{Sega}}'' in which you play as human characters helping out the Autobots against the Decepticons.
[[/index]]
IDW has done prequels, adaptations, and sequel comics for the movies. TitanMagazines also does a series based on the movie, with issues that fit around IDW's, much as Marvel UK did for Marvel US.

!!Transformers Animated

A new continuity and a dramatic new art style highlights this series. It is largely a throwback to the classic G1 while cementing a stronger canon and taking influence from newer series. This series ended up returning the franchise to its roots, being American produced with no dramatic changes to the core story and not trying to highlight any new toy gimmick (instead focusing on the transformation itself as the gimmick).
[[index]]
* WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated had its pilot in late 2007 to ride the popularity of the movie, and was the first American-written series since ''Beast Machines''. Despite severe fan reactions to the character designs and animation style, the show's story and scripting (and a healthy respect to the saga as a whole) have won over many converts in short order. This time the Autobot/Decepticon war ended years ago and Optimus Prime is only the commander of a small repair crew, with Ultra Magnus as the Autobot commander. Megatron hasn't been seen in years but when they come across the [=AllSpark=] this small team has to deal with the feared Decepticon, which eventually strands them on Earth.
[[/index]]

!!Fun Publications Transformers continuities

Fun Publications has introduced multiple continuities of their own for the official fan club and conventions. These continuities are not very prominent compared to the others due to their relative inaccessibility, their stories mostly having only been released to convention attendees and fan club members.
[[index]]
* ''Franchise/TransformersClassics'' is a splinter timeline to the original Transformers Marvel comic in which the events of Generation 2 and some other stories did not occur.
* ''TransformersShatteredGlass'' takes place in a MirrorUniverse where the Autobots are evil and the Decepticons are good; Optimus is a megalomaniac, Starscream is a loyal officer, Ravage is the embodiment of {{Lolcats}}, etc.
* ''Franchise/TransformersTimelines'' is the label which many of Fun Publications' Transformers stories are put under.
* ''TransformersTransTech'', a universe populated by highly advanced Cybertronians, apparently contains the only known version of Cybertron that never experienced a civil war.
* ''TransformersWingsOfHonor'' is like ''Classics'' in that it creates a separate timeline out of an existing one. In this case, it does so via prequel and sequel stories to the original Generation 1 cartoon, and contains some differences.

!!Transformers Battle Universe

* ''VideoGame/TransformersBattleUniverse'' is a FightingGame in which the Matrix of Leadership gathers 10 heroes from ''Franchise/TransformersGeneration1'', ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'', the TransformersFilmSeries, and ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' in an UltimateShowdownOfUltimateDestiny for possession of the Matrix.

!!Aligned Universe

The Franchise/TransformersAlignedUniverse is meant to establish a definitive multi-medium continuity for Transformers by [[AdaptationDistillation cherry-picking the best aspects of past iterations of the franchise]], the continuity line was launched in 2010 with the video game ''VideoGame/TransformersWarForCybertron'' and the corresponding ''Exodus'' book. The intention behind this set-up is to create a longer-lasting AlternateContinuity than the frequent [[ContinuityReboot reboots]] every few years in the 2000's.
* ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'' is a new cartoon, [[AllCGICartoon animated in CGI]], that premiered November 2010 on Hasbro's new Hub network. The designs are strongly influenced by the complex TransformersFilmSeries look while retaining the more stylized approach of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated''. The overall series appears to aim for much of the same tone as the films, complete with the movie writers taking on roles as Executive Producers. PeterCullen and Creator/FrankWelker have been cast as Optimus Prime and Megatron, making it the first Transformers series in which the two have reprized their roles together.
** ''TransformersUniverse'' is a video game largely based on this series.
** ''VideoGame/TransformersPrimeTheGame'' is a video game with an original story the takes place during the animated series about a meteor made of pure Dark Energon containing an ancient warrior of Unicron called Thunderwing that falls to Earth.
* ''WesternAnimation/TransformersRescueBots'' is a new series taking BroadStrokes from the rest of the Aligned Continuity, while also being a LighterAndSofter series targeted towards preschool children. The series focuses on a rescue team of Autobots consisting of Heatwave, Boulder, Blades, and Chase, who work with a family of first-responders to aid people in trouble. PeterCullen returns as Optimus Prime, but Prime will only occasionally show up while the show focuses mainly on its new characters. Its focus is primarily on safety education.
* ''Anime/TransformersGo'' An animated series [[DirectToVideo direct-to-dvd]] with the Samurai Team and the Isami Tatewaki to find Laserdiscs and awake more transformers.
[[/index]]
* VideoGame/TransformersWarForCybertron is a video game that dives into the basic history of the Autobot[=/=]Decepticon war and meant to be a stepping stone showing how that war finds its way to Earth. It takes major mythology points from various sources and re-presents them to the audience, setting up the greater franchise (such as why Starscream is TheStarscream and how come [[BondVillainStupidity Megatron doesn't just shoot him]]). It was built from the [[EpicGames Unreal engine]] and was released on PC, XBox360, [[strike:{{Wii}}]], {{DS}}, and PS3 in July 2010.
** ''Literature/TransformersExodus'' is partly a {{novelisation}} of ''War for Cybertron'' and partly a [[AllThereInTheManual manual]] further explaining the backstory. Although it contradicts both the game and itself on a number of occasions, which leads to the majority of {{Continuity Snarl}}s within this new franchise (Starscream was stated to be a dedicated scientist only for it to later state that he wasn't ever a scientist).
** VideoGame/TransformersFallOfCybertron is the sequel to War for Cybertron, including [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters a heapload]] of new characters, as well as a DarkerAndEdgier plot.

!!Kre-O

After the Transformers franchise began releasing the {{Lego}}-like Kre-O construction sets, these have also began to develop their own fiction, and just like the sets are based on several iterations of the franchise, the fiction also bases its stories on a mix-and-match of versions, with a humorout touch.
* The WebAnimation/TransformersKreO animated shorts use stop-motion without dialogue for one-minute gags. These were later replaced by the ThinkLikeAKreon shorts, which use a wider variety of Kre-O figures besides Transformers.
* The WebComic/TransformersKreO webcomic, being made in Japan, is drawn in Manga style and features wacky humor and cameos of several fiction-only Kreons based on characters from all corners of the franchise.
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A scene change gimmick from G1 is [[IdiosyncraticWipes a faction symbol wipe]], if switching to the Decepticons to the Autobots the symbol will flip from Autobot to Decepticon, but it can also flip from Autobot to Autobot (for another Autobot scene) or Decepticon to Decepticon. Some incarnations have used a similar eye-catch and it has been parodied in many instances in modern media.

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!!The franchise is the {{Trope Namer|s}} for:

* AutobotsRockOut
* The Bumblebee, since renamed KidAppealCharacter.
* HatePlague: It first appeared in the Generation 1 cartoon, and reappeared in a more virulent form in ''Beast Machines''.
* {{Introdump}}: The term originated in the ''Transformers'' wiki.
* KibblesAndBits: Off the fandom term for irrelevant alternate mode parts stuck on the robot form.
* Mode Lock, since renamed ShapeshifterModeLock.
* MoreThanMeetsTheEye
* DarthWiki/RuinedFOREVER: Named from a (/''the'') wiki for Transformers, mocking the way fans react as though [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks every change will]] [[UnpleasableFanbase destroy the franchise]]. [[invoked]]
* TheStarscream

!!Other franchise-wide tropes:

* NinetyPercentOfYourBrain: The book ''Project Brain Drain''.
* AdvertisingOnlyContinuity: Sometimes it's relatively minor, like a [[TransformersFilmSeries movie]] Jazz figure recolored as an homage to [[TransformersGenerationOne G1]] Jazz being explained in his bio as having been revived by Ratchet, or ''WesternAnimation/BeastMachines'' quietly expanding the small band of surviving Maximals. Other times it's more complex, like how the early ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' toys' bios set up the series as a direct continuation of G1 on modern-day Earth, with Optimus Primal and Megatron being the same characters as G1 Optimus Prime and Megatron (which would later be contradicted by the TV series). In extreme cases, such as the current Kre-O sub-line, on-package bios and commericals may be the ''only'' fiction available.
** Wiki/TFWikiDotNet likes to [[InvokedTrope invoke this]] when Hasbro applies the ''Transformers'' brand name to transforming toys made for a different franchise, such as ''StarWars'', which makes for amusing pages where the writer [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Darth_Vader pretends to genuinely have no idea Darth Vader has been in anything else.]]
* TheAgeless: Almost always applies to the Transformers.
** Though occasionally averted by characters whose schtick is that they're old fogies. Not only do they have the personality to match, but for some reason they're the only Transformers to physically age.
* AlienAmongUs: Alien robots, but aliens nonetheless, the series has many elements of this plot.
* AlienInvasion: Technically, almost every series, but the 2007 movie and the IDW comics focus most on this trope.
* AllDeathsFinal: While it varies how much the franchise adheres to this trope, ''Transformers'' is notable for being one of the few children's series to often have characters be KilledOffForReal. As long as you're not a huge name person like Optimus Prime, than chances are if you die you stay dead. The comics are able to go even further with this since they're meant for adult fans.
* AllThereInTheManual: Many characters have all or most of their characterization provided in toy bios or profiles.
* AlternateContinuity: Currently, 5 different "main" continuity lines. [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Image:Continuities.png When you go into the comics, on the other hand,]] talk about ContinuitySnarl.
** This chart is also several years out of date.
** [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Image:Japaneseflowchart.jpg Here]] is Japan's take with their continuities (yes, some shows are in different continuities in different countries). It's not any better.
* AncientKeeper
* AnimalThemedSuperbeing: The Dinobots, Insecticons, and everyone on ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' are robot-alien variations of this trope.
** Later combining Decepticons (Predacons, Terrorcons and Seacons) also qualify.
* AnimeThemeSong: Several in the cartoon series, whether Japan releases it first or dubs it after the US releases. More notable with ''Anime/BeastWarsII'' and ''Anime/BeastWarsNeo''.
* ArmsAndArmorThemeNaming: The Insecticons have bomb-related names: Bombshell, Shrapnel, and Kickback.
* AssKickingPose
* AstonishinglyAppropriateAppearance: Not surprising, since they can choose their alternate forms, but each invariably picks a vehicle that suits them very well.
* AuthorCatchphrase: Furmanisms
* AwesomeButImpractical: The Dinobots. Even bigger robots that can turn into robo-dinosaurs? Awesome! Only problem is Transformers are Transformers (mostly) because they blend into Earth machines and since humans don't drive around in giant robot t-rexs this makes it a bit trickier to work in the Dino-bots. It is most likely why The Wreckers were made to be alternate heavy hitters.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Rhinox in ''Beast Wars'' and Bulkhead of ''Animated'' are both fairly gentle, if large transformers, but are also the ones to avoid getting angry.
* BigBad: Mostly Megatrons, but the Marvel comics gave Shockwave and other Cybertronians chances to gloat. More recently, Overlord as seen in IDW's ''ComicBook/TransformersLastStandOfTheWreckers'' might also qualify.
* BigDamnHeroes: Take your pick of series or characters. Inverted in the 2007 movie when Starscream shows up and beats up Ratchet and Ironhide, stopping their protection of Sam in what could be called a "Big Damn Villains" moment.
* BigGood: Optimus Prime in any adaptation.
** Prime is ''ever so slightly'' outranked by [[{{God}} Primus]].
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: Autobots are good, Decepticons are evil (except in ''[[TransformersShatteredGlass Shattered Glass]]'', where it's the other way round).
** Though in ''TransformersAnimated'' some of the Autobots are selfish, corrupt, or incompetent, though not in the main cast. [[TheNeidermeyer Sentinel Prime]],we are looking at ''you''. Likewise, while "sympathetic" might be stretching the portrayal of the Decepticons as a whole, they are at least clearly motivated (most of them want to reconquer Cybertron, but some have other motivations).
** And in the IDW comics Continuity, the conflict has its origins in GrayAndGreyMorality, as the Decepticons were a group that were rising up against the corrupt government that preceded the Autobots.
** Many Transformers continuities play with and partially subvert the idea, going right back to the Marvel comic series in the 1980s. It is always with individual characters though so the trope is played straight for the overall factions even if the individuals within the groups don't necessarily all adhere. Also, the trope is played painfully straight whenever Unicron is involved, usually with "Unicron = BAD Those who fight him = good"
*** Well Unicron ''is'' basically the cybertronion equivalent of Satan so it's not entirely unreasonable.
** The new book Exodus also establishes a whole lot of gray in the origins of the war and looks like a subversion, but later on plays this trope straight. Sort of.
* BodyguardingABadass: Optimus Prime (i.e. one of the most powerful of a race of giant, sapient HumongousMecha) sometimes has a human military escort.
* BrotherChuck: Happens to many characters who aren't killed off when their toy is discontinued.
* ButtMonkey: ''Beast Wars''' Waspinator.
** Dirge is infamous for being Generation One's ButtMonkey across all incarnations.
* CainAndAbel: The franchise has [[HumongousMecha Planet-sized]], TransformingMecha (that turn ''into'' [[ThatsNoMoon planets]]) {{Physical God}}s Primus and Unicron. Unicron is the BigBad GodOfEvil OmnicidalManiac seeking to destroy ''everything'' that isn't him. Primus is the BigGood who is [[GunPorn completely]] [[MoreDakka loaded with]] {{BFG}}s and {{Wave Motion Gun}}s seeking to thwart his brother. However, his trump card isn't any of that weaponry - it's ''the Transformers themselves.'' Unfortunately, they'd rather spend their time fighting each other.
* CanonDiscontinuity: Every series has a few insane ideas that got ignored, like [[BigBad Unicron]] being the discarded science project of an [[MadScientist alien monkey]]...
* CanonImmigrant: The Transformer "Spark" concept introduced in ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' has continued and become a vital part of Transformers mythology.
* CatchPhrase: "Autobots! Transform and roll out!", among others.
** [[TransformersAnimated "Decepticons, transform and RISE UP!"]]
* CharacterOutlivesActor:
** After Scatman Crothers fell ill shortly after [[TransformersTheMovie the Movie]], Jazz stopped speaking and eventually left the show completely.
** Roger C. Carmel's characters were simply recast.
* TheChewToy: Four words: "Why universe hate Waspinator?!?"
* CListFodder: Issue #50 of the original ''Transformers'' comic featured Starscream on a killing rampage that culled older characters by the dozens. Victims included C-list characters like Gears and Buzzsaw, as well as popular ones such as Omega Supreme and the Predacons.
* TheCollectorOfTheStrange: Autobot Pipes collects interesting human knick-knacks.
** Also, in ''Cybertron'', Shortround collects...Transformers toys. The "grails" of his collection? Generation 2 Defensor and Menasor. [[spoiler: Two toys whose real-world counterparts were never produced (or at least never mass-produced) in full.]]
* CombiningMecha: The combiners, such as the Constructicons, Aerialbots, Stunticons, Destruction Team, etc.
* ContinuitySnarl: Non-fans or casual fans have NO idea how crazy it's gotten since the release of ''VideoGame/TransformersWarForCybertron'', its accompanying prequel novel "Transformers: Exodus", and the announcement of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime''.
** For the record, all three of those media allegedly take place within the same continuity.
* CoolCar: Kind of a given, but the live action movie had to use real cars. Barricade in the 2007 movie is a Ford Mustang, Jazz is a Pontiac Solstice, Bumblebee is a 1976 Chevy Camaro ''who later becomes a 2008 Camaro'', ''Revenge of the Fallen'' is showcasing a one-of-a-kind Concept Corvette that will not actually reach consumers.
* CoolGuns: Megatron's original altmode was a ''TheManFromUNCLE'' Walther P38 with stock, barrel extension and scope; the latter became his [[WaveMotionGun Fusion Cannon]].
* CopycatCover: ''Transmorphers'', whose title also copied the classic font and was released just after the 2007 movie.
* CyberCyclops: Shockwave's defining feature across continuities.
* DarkLordOnLifeSupport:
** After being heavily damaged in the [[FiveEpisodePilot pilot movie]] of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'', Megatron has to be attached to extremely large power cables just to remain in a catatonic state, leaving him very vulnerable especially with [[TheStarscream his subordinates threatening to unplug him]]. He eventually recovers.
** This is a common way for saving the big battle with Megs for a big moment. The movie keeps him frozen until the climax, and ''[[WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated Animated]]'' keeps him a disembodied head until the first season finale.
** Another example came from ''Anime/TransformersCybertron'', where Megatron ends up in a life support bubble of some kind after [[spoiler:having {{Atlantis}}, an ancient Cybertronian starship, explode with him aboard]]. He fully recovers several episodes later.
* DarkReprise: A non-musical, cross-continuity version during Animated!Waspinator's last appearance. He speaks a line originally said by WesternAnimation/BeastWars!Waspinator, but in a much less humorous, darker intonation.
* DeathIsCheap: Let's just say "destroyed" doesn't necessarily mean "dead" and leave it at that.
* [[KlingonScientistsGetNoRespect Decepticon Scientists Get No Respect]]: You don't see many Decepticon scientists, outside of Shockwave. The number of named medics we've seen can be counted on one hand.
* DemotedToExtra: The franchise is somewhat the reverse of many other examples on this page, in that a number of characters appear ''only'' in the toyline. That said, there's plenty of straight examples...
* DevelopingDoomedCharacters: An endemic problem with the franchise is that the first installment - the 2007 film, ''Armada,'' ''Infiltration'' - will sometimes focus excessively on the less-than-likable PunyHumans and ease into the robots. ''Infiltration'' is a case of this backfiring spectacularly, with the humans' development inspiring enough annoyance and boredom that the next arc, ''Stormbringer,'' was advertised as "Nothing but ROBOTS on CYBERTRON!"
** OlderThanTheyThink: The old comics used to do this a lot, only without the PunyHumans.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: When Unicron is a robot EldritchAbomination, they come across this trope in order to win.
** In the ''Infestation 2'' arc, a meta-series where Lovecraftian creatures invade IDW comics properties, Optimus Prime ([[SteamPunk As a 19th-Century Steam Locomotive]]) ''actually'' punches out ''[[CthulhuMythos the Cthulhu]]''.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: Nearly all of the cast from the first two seasons is killed off during the movie, as well as Optimus and Starscream [[DeathIsCheap albeit temporarily]].
** ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' was sometimes almost careless with how they killed certain characters; a few times they were intended to be dead but Hasbro insisted they bring them back.
* DubNameChange: Many examples, but some of the more notable ones here:
** Optimus Prime will usually be called "Something Convoy" in Japan (Optimus Primal is "Beast Convoy", for instance); [[CombiningMecha Jet Optimus's]] first appearance in the English dub of ''Armada'' infamously referred to him as "Jet Convoy". Averted in the Japanese dub of ''Animated'' in order to fit the live-action movie... but it also changed Bulkhead's name to Ironhide for the same reason.
** Megatron/Galvatron's name is usually the same, but ''Beast Wars II'' reused the name "Galvatron" for an unrelated character, ''Car Robots'' (''Robots in Disguise'') originally called him Gigatron/Devil Gigatron, and ''Galaxy Force'' (''Cybertron'') called him Master Megatron/Master Galvatron.
** In US media, the Autobots from planet Cybertron fight the Decepticons. In Japanese media (except the ''Animated'' dub) the Cybertrons from planet Cybertron (pronounced differently) fight the Destrons.
* DullSurprise: Pat Lee currently holds the dubious honor of providing its page image; his art is full of it.
* DumbMuscle: The Dinobots, especially Sludge.
** Though that was because in the G1 cartoons, they were built on Earth, without Cybertron-built brains. The "GI Joe Vs. the Transformers" Dinobots were originally five ''totally Cybertronian'' Autobots who were time-warped to Earth's prehistoric age by Teletran 3, and given dinosaur bodies (with which they tore through Shockwave's Decepticons) as alternative forms. The following volume, had Grimlock talk in the familiar third-person speech we know him for, but he does learn to appreciate the Joes as valiant warriors... and "Good friends."
** Devastator in the original, Tidal Wave in ''Armada''
* DysfunctionJunction: Many of the Transformers, Autobot and Decepticon alike, are barely-functional piles of neuroses.
* EldritchAbomination: Unicron
** [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace and he's not the only one...]]
* EmergencyServices: Many autobots, and even decepticons, use emergency service vehicles as their alt modes. The Protectobots in particular are an entire subgroup made of them.
* [[EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs Everything's Better With Dinobots]]: Later continuities have issue working the Dinosaur alt-modes into the story, but they're incredibly popular characters.
* ExpositoryThemeSong: ''Autobots wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons!'' ''TransformersCybertron'' has not only the regular lyrics, but also a monologue from Optimus Prime describing the show's basic premise.
* {{Expy}}: The franchise is constantly rebooted, technically making Optimus, Megatron, Starscream, etc. expies of about eight or so identically-named characters. And then, there are other examples:
** Hooligan from the G2 series is Skywarp in all but name and color. A dumb jetformer who is fairly powerful but only focused on pranks.
** One notable Expy is Breacher from the "Hunt for the Decepticons" toyline. He's an Expy for Roller, the drone in Optimus Prime's trailer. They're both six-wheeled blue (well... usually, when it comes to the toys) all-terrain vehicles with a black gun on top, and they're both designed to fit in the back of a larger figure.
* EyeLightsOut: Whenever a Transformer [[strike:[[NeverSayDie dies]]]] "goes off-line".
* FacelessMasses: Many nameless background Transformer (or robots in general) characters have various designs (some resemble Soundwave or Prowl). [[FanNickname Fans coined the term]] "[[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Generic generics]]".
* FakeUltimateHero: Sort of. Most of the Autobots victories are because of their human allies.
** This was lampshaded by WesternAnimation/BeastWars Megatron, who used the golden disk to alter time so the Decepticons will triumph over the Autobots. He would've succeeded if it weren't for his former right-hand man, Dinobot. That's right folks, a ''Predacon'' (therefore a descendent of the Decepticons) enabled the Autobots to win all those battles.
* FixFic:
** There's rewriting ''TransformersTheMovie'' and leaving out the Dinobots. How does that even work?
*** There's also ignoring the movie (and Seasons 3 and 4) completely.
** Many fans are discontent with [[TransformersArmada the]] [[TransformersEnergon Unicron]] [[TransformersCybertron Trilogy]], and try to rewrite the entire series (yes, 52 episodes for each) to make it better fit with their sensibilities. This usually results in a fanverse that, but for the names of the characters, is absolutely nothing like the original shows. Keep an eye out for DarkerAndEdgier, elimination of perceived [[TheScrappy Scrappies]], and the Decepticons as AlwaysChaoticEvil.
* FiveEpisodePilot
* {{Flanderization}}: Grimlock, who, in the original cartoon, goes from a "Brawn over Brains" thug to a mentally-challenged child between season 2 and TheMovie.
* ForeverWar: Any continuity focusing on Autobots vs Decepticons. The precise details differ, but expect it to have lasted a few ''million'' years - and for a good chunk of the cast to have [[TimeAbyss personally lived through most of that]].
* GoodGuyBar: Maccadam's Old Oil House
* GoodColorsEvilColors: Decepticons tend to have red optics, Autobots have blue. Exceptions exist.
** The symbols themselves also qualify, seeming to indicate good/evil alignment; the Autobots' insignia is traditionally red and the Decepticons' traditionally purple; in the mirror universe called "Shattered Glass", populated by evil Autobots and heroic Decepticons, the Autobot insignia is purple and the Decepticon insignia is red.
* GrumpyOldMan: [[WesternAnimation/TheTransformers Ironhide]], [[WesternAnimation/TransformersTheMovie Kup]], [[Film/{{Transformers}} Jetfire]] and [[WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated Ratchet]] usually qualify.
* {{Hammerspace}}: It's been an accepted HandWave that Transformers have this to explain Robots changing size from what would logically fit into their alternate form, most famously Megatron and Soundwave from G1. Also, exactly how big individual Transformers are varies radically based on the needs of the plot. [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Scale Scale in Transformers is, not to put too fine a point on it, screwed.]]
* HangingJudge: The Quintesson judge would actually often find the defendant innocent. Too bad that the Quintessons throw you to the Sharkticons either way.
* HoldYourHippogriffs: Plenty of human proverbs RecycledInSpace:
** "You can stuff it up your [[strike:ass]] exhaust pipe."
** "Do you ever think you could be [[strike:destined]] programmed for something bigger?"
** "[[strike:Mind]] Processor over matter."
** "He eats [[strike:babies]] protoforms!"
** "I've got one foot in the [[strike:grave]] scrap heap."
** "Aw, hexagonal nuts!"
** "My olfactory sensors detect a rat named Megatron!"
* HomeworldEvacuation: A staple of the series.
** In Generation 1, the Autobot evacuate Cybertron as it has run out of Energon to support life.
** In ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'', the Autobots and Decepticons fled Cybertron when it became unsuitable to support them.
*** ''TransformersWarForCybertron'' shows how it happened, and ''TransfomersFallOfCybertron'' centers on said exodus.
* HumansAreSpecial: Played with. Humans are often instrumental in defeating the Decepticons, but they are rarely shown as being somehow "better" than any other species or important to the universe. The Transformers tend to be the special ones since they are the only ones who were directly created by the only known god in the Transformers franchise and typically have lifespans, technology, and powers beyond that of most other species.
* HumongousMecha
* IControlMyMinionsThrough: Despite his usual standby of AuthorityEqualsAsskicking, Megatron is not always or even usually the most powerful Decepticon in any given continuity. What makes him the leader is his ability to hit nearly every item on the Controlling Minions list for his various mooks. Some [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking fear him]], some [[VisionaryVillain respect him]], some just [[BlindObedience follow him out of habit]], some because they know he knows [[BloodKnight where the good killing's at]], and a few are in it for the [[OnlyInItForTheMoney cash]], gear, or [[WorkingForABodyUpgrade upgrades]] he offers in return. Only [[TheStarscream Starscream]] ever consistently seems unsatisfied with this status quo.
* IdiosyncraticWipes
* IKnowKungFaux: Occurs fairly often throughout the various ''Transformers'' lines, most notably with Metallikato, Crystalocution, and Circuit-su.
* InsistentTerminology: Despite being ''Transform''ers, the instructions never tell you how to "transform" them; instead they tell you how to "convert" them to robots, vehicles, beasts, etc. [[WritingAroundTrademarks This is because if they used the term "transform" so informally, the franchise name would be considered descriptive and would be impossible to defend legally as a trademark.]] This has not, however, stopped them from making Optimus's CatchPhrase, "Transform, and roll out!"
* InterpretativeCharacter: Several names have been used throughout all the various continuities. While there are often consistencies between these incarnations of these names, there is usually enough leeway to take them in all sorts of directions. Wiki/TFWikiDotNet's article on the term "[[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Character character]]" is a good analysis on this phenomenon, and the Interpretative Character page here has more specific examples.
* InterspeciesFriendship: Any time human characters get involved.
* {{Introdump}}
* JustAMachine: The Cybertronians themselves avert this by being a) the main characters and b) able to point out their immortal soul on a blueprint - any human who invokes this is going to be unsympathetic. Whenever the villain has plenty of (seemingly) unintelligent drones at their disposal, however, the good guys ''will'' spend a lot of time blowing them up en masse.
* KidAppealCharacter: Usually one or two per series.
* KillEmAll: The [[TransformersGeneration1 Original Movie]] was deliberately plotted to kill off as many characters/toys as possible, traumatizing kids who expected a continuation of the [[NeverSayDie TV show]].
* LeaderFormsTheHead: Very common across all media.
* LightningBruiser: Despite being heavily armed giants composed of huge durable metal, Transformers are all very swift and agile. Even ''planet'' sized bots are capable of moving in amazing speed.
* LiveActionAdaptation: The 2007 movie.
* {{Lolicon}}: ''Kiss Players'' clearly has this in mind.
* LongRunner: There have been Transformers toys in production somewhere in the world since 1984. Even when the line was cancelled in America in 1990, European and Japanese exclusives were continually made.
* LoudOfWar: Soundwave (in numerous incarnations) uses this as a weapon, while Frenzy and Rumble (his cassette minions) used ultra- and infra-sound respectively (although the cartoon opted for earthquake-inducing earthpounders instead). Thundercracker's sonic boom could collapse structures and blow up enemy jets, and Dirge's engine vibrations were supposed to induce panic in his victims.
* MartyrWithoutACause: Optimus Prime
* {{Masquerade}}
* MeaningfulName: About 90% of all names are meaningful. The few that aren't, are still usually indicative of their faction. About 1% of all the names are neither - ironically one of them is Megatron (bringing to mind somebody big, but not automatically a leader or a villain).
** Wrong - it's meant to bring to mind the word 'Megaton' as in a bomb.
* TheMerch
** OfficialCosplayGear
* MerchandiseDriven: ...but, as the entry on that page states, Transformers fans generally embrace the merchandising aspects.
** ToylessToylineCharacter: Most of the humans, and some of the early female transformers.
* MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness: Varies from continuity but generally further on the soft side of the scale.
* MonochromaticEyes: Considering they're robots, it was the default look for them. Later incarnations would avert this in some instances though.
* TheMovie: Twice, 1986 and 2007.
* TheMultiverse: The franchise has a whole pile of alternate universes which sometimes cross over, and which [[FlipFlopOfGod Hasbro and Takara disagree over]] which are actually separate and which simply occur to the side of other stories. The Transformers of the [[TransformersTranstech Axiom Nexus]] have grouped all continuities into a number of [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Universal_stream universal streams]], with each stream corresponding to a continuity group. Thus, for example, Primax is the G1/Beast Era family, Tyran is the live-action movies, Gargent is the [[WesternAnimation/ChallengeOfTheGobots GoBots]], [[FourthWall Quadwal]] is the [[RealLife real world]], etc. Some of these are [[MirrorUniverse negative-polarity universes]] in which Decepticons are good and Autobots are evil; these are assigned negative numbers. To make things ''really'' nuts, there are also characters known as multiversal singularities, of which only one exists in all reality. Some of these, such as Alpha Trion, exist in every universe simultaneously, while others, like Vector Prime and The Fallen, travel between universes. There are also [[OurSoulsAreDifferent sparks]] that resonate across the universe, giving rise to multiple similar but separate versions of Optimus Prime, Megatron, Starscream, and various others.
** It should be noted that this is AllThereInTheManual. There's no sign in any of the televised series or available-at-your-comics-shop comic books[[note]] Aside from Fun Publications' ''Franchise/TransformersTimelines'', which do receive limited direct market print runs[[/note]] - that is, any canonical stories - that you could "[[{{Sliders}} slide]]" from ''TransformersArmada'' into ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated,'' despite years of "collector's club" and convention exclusive materials that suggest you can. Fingers are still crossed around the fandom for a ''WesternAnimation/TurtlesForever'' sort of project someday, somehow.
** The Franchise/TransformersAlignedUniverse, which includes ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'', ''WesternAnimation/TransformersRescueBots'', the ''[[TransformersWarForCypertron War for Cybertron]]'' video game series and the novels retelling the narrative of the games, are apparently considered to be outside this multiverse. Which makes [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Slipstream_(WFC) the "Alligned" version of Slipstream]] turning up in [[Franchise/TransformersTimeline Axion Nexus]] somewhat confusing.
* MultiversalConqueror: Unicron is a PlanetEater who wants to eat ''everything''. One planet at a time, one timeline at a time, one universal stream of branching timelines at a time, in sequence. When he says he wants to be completely alone, ''he damn well isn't beating around the bush''. Even if he's destroyed in any one universe, he just gets shunted to another to start over again thanks to mucking about with different flows of time across the multiverse. Oh, sure, there are a ''few'' permanent methods of dealing with him, like trapping him in a physical form to slow him down, [[TransformersCybertron but if they go horribly wrong, well...]]
** One Comic has another Multiversal constant state that he has so far consumed some 47% of the known Multiverse. Yeah. Not mucking about.
* MythologyGag: '''PLENTY''' in the later series.
* NameTron: Megatron, Cybertron, Galvatron, etc.
* NeverSayDie: Depending on franchise. The characters in ''Generation 1'', for instance, freely used the words 'die', 'dead', and 'kill', but other series have used 'destroyed', 'sent to oblivion', '[[UnusualEuphemism offline]]', and so on.
** Can't forget [[WesternAnimation/BeastWars "We're all gonna die..."]]
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: Just being a Transformer makes you a giant, alien, transforming, robot. Then there's the ones that are also things like ninja, dinosaurs, bounty hunters, and wolves.
* NonLethalWarfare: Mostly.
* NoOneShouldSurviveThat
* NotQuiteDead
* ObfuscatingStupidity: In most of the comics, Grimlock acts like this. He still talks in the caveman dialect of his animated counterpart, but is one of the Autobots' most brilliant leaders, often coming off as a sort of brutally cunning Josef Stalin to Prime's FDR (or Prime's Churchill, if you're reading Marvel UK).
* OffModel: Sometimes it gets to the point where it's not even funny. '''None''' of the shows, movies, comics, games or '''''toys''''' are safe. Special mentions go to the ''Generation One'' cartoon, the ''Armada'' Anime, the ''Generation Two'' comic, the ''Beast Machines'' toyline and most of the ''Dreamwave'' comic run.
* OmnicidalManiac: Unicron
** Galvatron too. Megatron wanted power, Galvatron just wants to kill everything
* OnlyOneName
* PaletteSwap: Redecoes are very common. The most well-known examples are Frenzy/Rumble, the Seekers, Bumblebee/Cliffjumper, and Prowl/Bluestreak/Smokescreen.
** In WesternAnimation/BeastWars, there's also Cheetor/Tigatron, and Tarantulus/Blackarachnia (notable for being the only one of these with one character of each gender), plus a few others exclusively in the toys.
* PhlebotinumMuncher: Energon.
* PlanetEater: Yet again, Unicron.
* PlanetOfHats: ''Cybertron'' revolves around five planets. Cybertron and Earth are both hatless, but on the Speed Planet, all anyone cares about is racing, on the Jungle Planet, everyone is obsessed with strength, and on the Giant Planet, the only thing anyone does is build stuff.
** A robot planet full of robots is hatless?
*** Just as much as a human planet full of humans.
* PraetorianGuard: The Wreckers, for Emirate Xaaron.
* QuirkyMinibossSquad: Before making an appearance in TheMovie, The Fallen created one of these in the ''War Within'' comic series. Decepticon mystics Bludgeon, Bugly, and Mindwipe made a very effective one, too.
* TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation
* {{Retcon}}: G1 presented the Transformer origin as being created by a squid-robotic race called the Quintessons as slave labor. Most later incarnations, including G1 versions, have ignored that origin story in favor of the Primus-God version.
** Although it could be argued one does not preclude the other...
* RhymesOnADime: Wheelie and Blaster (though not as often as Wheelie).
* RobotBuddy: Reversal: the Transformers have ''human'' buddies.
* RobotHair: Arcee, the goto {{Fembot}} (and her {{exp|y}}ies) generally has a helmet-like structure on her head which resembles a haircut.
* RobotWar
* RuleOfCool: The entire franchise is all about this.
* RunningGag: Optimus Prime has a terrible habit of dying to the point where it's not even considered a spoiler to say he does. Dirge and a few of the Seekers overall seem to share this trait.
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Megatron in the season 1 finale of WesternAnimation/BeastWars. "Oh, you Optimuses do love sacrificing yourselves, don't you?"
* SacredScripture: The Covenant of Primus, a combination of historical records and list of prophecies.
* SacrificialPlanet: One ad for a Unicron model goes, "He devours entire worlds. His name is Unicron. And he's heading ... for Earth."
* SapientTank: Any transformer with a tank based alt-mode.
* SciFiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: Space travel varies depending on needs of the plot. Cybertron appears to sometimes be in the same solar system as Earth.
** Since getting teleported here in "The Ultimate Doom," it probably ''is.''
** Also, partly due to the TimeDissonance described below, the ''Transformers'' backstory typically has Optimus and Megatron chasing each other around the galaxy for literally ''millions of years'' before crash-landing on Earth.
** They have also had issues in consistently getting the scale of characters and even planets right. A character that starts off as a car that people can comfortably sit in suddenly becoming a robot that a human is only at ankle-height to is commonplace, as is it suddenly losing twenty feet of height a scene/figure or two later. There's a reason why the [[TheWikiRule TF Wiki]]'s summation of scale in the Transformers series is this trope's page quote.
* SealedCastInAMultipack: The show has this ''in spades''. Since [[WesternAnimation/TheTransformers G1]], 'bots have been sealed and unsealed time and time again. And the introduction of stasis pods in ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' only served to make this even easier.
* SeriesContinuityError: Cybertron is sometimes a tiny planet with buildings jutting out into space in G1 to resembling Coruscant in the Beast Era and everything in between.)
* SeriousBusiness: Beloved childhood toys, TV, and comics/manga ARE SeriousBusiness. Even the newer materials.
* ShowAccuracyToyAccuracy: Rather famous in the original toyline, as the repurposed toy molds were from stories of piloted (not sentient) mecha and transforming defense bases. Ratchet and Ironhide ([[PaletteSwap repaints of each other]]) weren't even humanoid in their alternate forms. Even ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' had to take some liberties with the character models as the toys would have to cheat to be workable with both modes. Because of the lead time necessary for the movie line compared to the actual movie many of the toys are based on earlier designs and not the final character design, although by the third film most every character had a reasonably screen-accurate toy. ''TransformersAnimated'' was the first series to feature genuine cooperation between the character designers and the toy developers, resulted in extremely screen accurate toys.
* SigilSpam: Nearly every incarnation of ''Transformers'' abuses the faction symbols to some degree.
* SignatureStyle: Simon Furman has a series of phrases that make their way into virtually every comic he writes, referred to as [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Furmanism Furmanisms]]. The most famous is either "'''like some vast, predatory bird'''" or "It never ends!"
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Mostly on the idealistic side, though the writers have clearly been making an effort to be realistic about it in recent years.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: You can count the female Transformers who appeared more than once in a series on both hands. [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/List_of_female_Transformers A list of all female Transformers can be found here]].
** This isn't helped by long-time ''Transformers'' comic writer Simon Furman, who writes Transformers as having ''no'' gender and has publically stated that he hates the idea of female Transformers. This, combined with the fact that Jhiaxus' experiments in giving Transformers gender made Arcee both a female and AxCrazy brings up some UnfortunateImplications.
** Admittedly, it is a show about alien robots who technically wouldn't have genders. This is however not a good excuse for cutting out the characters designed to look female, or cancelling their toys. Also, Furman seems to think "no gender" means male by default. Literally, it would mean that there's no reason Optimus Prime can't be female!
* SpiritualSuccessor: The Alternators line was an attempt at appealing to adult collectors by featuring licensed vehicles to scale with each other and with complex transformations that allotted actual interior space such as the seats, steering wheel and even an engine block. Characters were re-imagined in new vehicle forms; some of the characters known for a car-based mode received a different model, spiritual successor, rather than the modern version of their original model (e.g.: Sideswipe was reinterpreted as a Dodge Viper, rather than being a modern Lamborghini), while some characters known for non-vehicle alternate modes, such as Grimlock and Shockwave, were reinterpreted as vehicles. The Human Alliance line is angled towards the same principles, with the movies backing up the toys and adding to the interactivity with human figures. The Masterpiece line is a more literal update of the original toys, featuring complex transformations to convert a more detailed version of their original alt mode into a more detailed and more cartoon-accurate version of their on-screen robot appearance. The line received a "soft" reboot by revisiting the Optimus Prime/Convoy and Starscream figures, and ramping up the frequency of character releases, with the increased activity also including the introduction of several figures based on licensed versions of their original car modes.
* {{Steampunk}}: The ''Hearts of Steel'' miniseries.
* StuffBlowingUp:
** ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'', along with most of the ''Transformers'' cartoons, has a lot of explosions. At least one of the Transformers will be blown up in every episode.
*** Not counting [[ChewToy Waspinator]], who gets blown to bits in nearly every episode regardless.
** Rather hilariously, there is actually a Transformer called [[Anime/TransformersEnergon Land]][[Anime/TransformersCybertron mine]]. That's right. An alien robot with the name of an explosive.
** [[TransformersAnimated Lugnut]] has perfected the art of making things explode. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ew0RO4mNm54 Behold! The P.O.K.E!]]
* SuperReflexes: Some characters have this power on their own, while others can acquire it through bonding with a partner (Headmasters, Powerlinx, etc.).
* SuspiciouslySmallArmy: Does this in a big way. Even when fighting for the fate of the universe, or the very fabric of space and time, it's rare to see more than a few dozen fighters involved in any battle.
* TakeThat: The comics feature a lot of jabs against the mostly-forgotten competitor to the original, ''WesternAnimation/ChallengeOfTheGoBots''.
* TankGoodness: A bunch of Decepticons, Warpath (who's an Autobot), including some versions of Megatron.
* TelescopingRobot: Highly prevalent in ''[[TransformersGeneration1 G1]]'', where the 30-foot tall Soundwave became a stereo, amongst plenty of other examples. Later installments avoid this for the most part, simply consenting to [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Scale change size off camera]]. Not to be confused with the Cybertronians that turn ''into'' telescopes.)
* ThirdOptionAdaptation: The fight between Megatron and Optimus Prime in the first movie.
* TieredByName: Megatron and Galvatron are usually the same being from two different time periods, although [[AlternateContinuity in some continuities]], they're two different people.
* TimeDissonance: Transformers are immortal unless killed, and see time differently.
* TimeStorm: What happens when you try to change history to too great a degree.
* TransformingMecha: The entire concept.
* TruceZone: Maccadam's Old Oil House in some stories.
* TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture: The later seasons of ''Generation 1'' and ''Energon'' are both obviously set in the near-future (G1 after TheMovie is explicitly set in 2006). ''Cybertron'', despite being explicitly set in the same continuity ten years after ''Energon'', appears to be contemporary.
* UnusualEuphemism: The word 'slag' seems to be a Transformer equivalent to the human word 'shit/crap'. ''TransformersAnimated'' has fun with this, featuring such gems as "You'll have to pry it from my cold, offline servo!"
* VerbalTic: ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' Megatron, "yeeeessss". And BAM! KAZOWIE! for Warpath. I am Wreck-Gar!
* VideoGameAdaptation: Several games have been made for the series from the Famicom Convoy game of NintendoHard instant death to the latest PC and Xbox360 Fall Of Cybertron.
* WasntThatFun: Lampshaded in the original G1 cartoon episode "Fire on the Mountain", after Brawn and Windcharger have just survived a harrowing attack by the Decepticons.
-->'''Brawn:''' "Retreat? And miss all this fun?"
-->'''Windcharger:''' "Remind me to talk about your definition of 'fun' some time."
* WelcomeTitles: The openings tend to use this, except in the series that animate the Transformers in {{CGI}}.
* WhamEpisode: "Day Of The Machines", among others. Fully utilizes the DarkestHour trope to its potential.
* WorldOfBadass: Cybertron. Literally, as it is the god Primus in disguise.
* WritingAroundTrademarks: Explained in further detail on the page, but to summarize, the need to avoid infringing on trademarks--and preserve Hasbro's own trademarks--has led to no end of trouble.
* YourSizeMayVary: Alien robots that can transform into every conceivable mechanical/electrical item results in this, and happens often in comics and TV series (the live-action films at least tried to avert this with some limited success). Moreso if a Transformer has more than one alternate mode. [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Scale There is an entire page on the Transformers Wiki about this.]]
** [[JustifiedTrope This is mostly explained by having the Transformers having some sort of mass displacement technology.]]
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