%% Some rules have to be put. Read them before entrypimping, please:
%% * Character-specific tropes go in the Character sheet.
%% * Don't add natter, Justifying Edits, Word Cruft and that kind of nasty and unwanted stuff.
[[caption-width-right:300: The Maximals model their wide wardrobe of fur and leather coats.[[note]]From left to right: [[MartialPacifist Tigatron]], [[KidAppealCharacter Cheetor]], [[NobleDemon Dinobot]], [[AFatherToHisMen Optimus Primal]], [[GeniusBruiser Rhinox]], [[CoolBigSis Airazor]], [[DeadpanSnarker Rattrap]].[[/note]] ]]

->''"Megatron may be back, and there is still more Energon. If they ever get enough, they could conquer the galaxy. So for now, let the battle be here, on this strange, primitive world. And let it be called ''[[TitleDrop Beast Wars]]!''"''
-->--'''Optimus Primal''', "Beast Wars (Part 2)"

The series that [[{{Revival}} revived]] the ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' franchise after a years-long recession, '''''WesternAnimation/BeastWars''''' was a fully CG-animated series that premiered in 1996. It was produced by the now-bought-out Creator/MainframeEntertainment, hot on the heels of its predecessor, ''ReBoot'' (in fact, its' first season aired as part of the syndicated "Power Block" (distributed by Hasbro's Claster TV firm) alongside ''ReBoot'', ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeExtreme'' and ''WesternAnimation/VorTech''). Hugely controversial at the time among purists for the massive changes to the Transformers formula, most prominently the change from vehicles and electronics to animals. "[[TheyChangedItNowItSucks TRUKK NOT MUNKY!]]" was a common cry of its detractors of the time.

''Beast Wars'' takes place in the far future of the ''Franchise/TransformersGeneration1'' franchise, though it never refers to enough specifics to figure out ''which'' Generation One ([[WesternAnimation/TheTransformers cartoon]], [[ComicBook/TheTransformers comics]] or something else) it comes from or what happened to everyone. Many centuries after the Great War between the Autobots and the Decepticons, the Transformers were reformatted into smaller, more energy-efficient bodies, and their descendants are known as the Maximals and Predacons. While tensions linger, an uneasy peace has existed between the two sides for many centuries.

A Predacon rogue, Megatron, steals a precious artifact from the Cybertronian archives containing the coordinates of a planet ripe with energon, their fuel source, and escapes into space with a small band of like-minded followers with the intent to institate a full-scale Predacon rebellion. The only ship able to pursue is crewed by a team of scientists and researchers led by Optimus Primal. Their ships crash on an unknown foreign world, similar to Earth but also different (the exact identity of the planet is a major plot point through the first two seasons). The planet indeed has energon, but too much of it, and it's raw and unstable. Exposure to the planet's environment for too long would short out their systems and send them into stasis lock. To avert this the two sides adopt "beast modes" based on native lifeforms, which will allow them to move about outside their ships without fear of damage.

Thus the Beast Wars begin as Maximal faces Predacon for domination. Due to their trans-warp engines allowing them to travel through space ''and'' time, the hope for rescue from Cybertron is slim (they could be anywhere, any''time'', after all), but the Maximals hold onto it. Meanwhile the Predacons intend to harvest enough Energon to start a full-scale rebellion on Cybertron. At least, that's what Megatron told them their goal is; in actuality he has a secret, ulterior motive for coming to this specific planet at this specific point in time, which serves as a big reveal at the end of the second season. The two sides must also deal with a third party, SufficientlyAdvancedAliens known as the "Vok" that have a presence on this alien world and don't like the Transformers interfering with their plans for it.

Despite its detractors when it began, ''Beast Wars'' was actually quite innovative for its time, not only because of the aforementioned CG, but also because of the tight storyline and significant character development. The show made attempts to push the boundaries of contemporary children's shows via [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar witty wordplay]] and graphic violence that was let slip because [[SymbolicBlood flying robot parts]] [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman have been permissible]] since time immemorial. On the toy side, the toys integrated revolutionary ball-joint technology that made the toys much easier to play with; they had better articulation, more complex transformations, and more realistic alt-modes. The toyline was not without its problems, though, particularly the prevelance of "Shell-formers", basically Transformers where their alt modes just opened up and hung off their back and arms while the robot climbed out.

The expense of CG animation at the time required a limited cast of characters, unlike the 1984 series's cast of dozens. Although this, too, was decried at the time, it meant more time was spent with each character, thus they got lasting character development and were easier to keep track of for fans due to their distinct personalities as well as appearances. Dinobot would become one of the most famous Transformers of the ''entire'' franchise, a ProudWarriorRaceGuy who defects from the Predacons to the Maximals, but his love of warfare clashes with his sense of honor and thus his allegiances are still uncertain. Another Predacon, Blackarachnia, would be a TropeCodifier for the DarkActionGirl.

The voices of Optimus Primal and Megatron, Creator/GaryChalk and Creator/DavidKaye, would return to voice Optimus Prime and Megatron in the ''Anime/UnicronTrilogy''. If you didn't grow up on the voices of Creator/PeterCullen and Creator/FrankWelker, you probably grew up with these guys.[[note]]And for some irony, Kaye would voice Optimus Prime in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'', and for the G1 Megatron's cameo in this series Chalk did a Frank Welker impression. This makes them the only two voice actors to have voiced both Optimus and Megatron in some incarnation.[[/note]]

For its flaws and strengths, ''Beast Wars'' set the standard for all other ''Transformers'' franchises from then on, both in toy and in cartoon format. Even now, it just won't die; a "10th Anniversary" release of the original toys was created (with new figures for Primal and Megatron), and fan favorites Blackarachnia and Waspinator were carried over into ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated''. To some, ''Beast Wars'' is the best ''Transformers'' incarnation of all time due to its high quality and production values. It isn't uncommon for longtime ''Generation 1'' fans to claim that the show is their favorite ''Transformers'' series.

The SequelSeries, '''''WesternAnimation/BeastMachines''''', was...[[ContestedSequel less well-regarded]], due mainly to characterization changes, a focus on longer plot arcs, being too preachy, and [[DarkerAndEdgier a darker tone in general]]. The massive redesigns that the ''Beast Wars'' cast underwent were also a huge factor in its reception. Despite this, it has its own fanbase. See its own page for more information.

In Japan, two traditionally animated series were created to fill in the production gaps between seasons, '''''Anime/BeastWarsII''''' and '''''Anime/BeastWarsNeo'''''. They were never dubbed, as they don't fit in very well with the {{continuity}} of either the source material or each other. Both shows are [[LighterAndSofter much more lighthearted]] than their Western counterparts and aimed at a much younger audience than ''Beast Wars'' (which could plausibly be called the first Transformers series aimed at teenagers, not just children). In addition, the Japanese release of the CG ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' cartoon also [[{{Redubbing}} changed the dialog]] for a younger audience, almost to the point of being a GagDub.

''Franchise/TransformersTimelines'' has provided a few {{prequel}} stories to ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars''.

During the line's heyday there were a few spinoff lines, including ''Machine Wars'' (a KB Toys exclusive line featuring vehicular [=TFs=] that were redecos of European molds, and was an early attempt at reintroducing character with vehicular altmodes instead of animals, but it quietly faded away) and a tie-in line with ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' that wasn't well-recieved by either fanbase.

Here's a [[Characters/BeastWars Character sheet]]. Now updated with characters from the ExpandedUniverse. Please feel free to add to it.

There is now also [[Recap/{{Beast Wars}} Recap]] in desperate need of assistance.
!!This show provides examples of:
* ActuallyPrettyFunny:
** In "Bad Spark", when Blackarachnia accepts Silverbolt's presence and companionship under the excuse of self-preservation and protection from Tarantulus, the two come across [[AnArmAndALeg Tarantulus's severed limb hanging from a tree]]. Silverbolt says that there's no cause for alarm, since he has been [[StealthPun disarmed]]. Both of them laugh after trying to hold in their snickers for several seconds.
** At the end of "Equal Measures", Optimus Primal scolds Cheetor for disobeying direct orders and orders him to never pull a stunt like that again. Cheetor answers that he'll never do such a thing again...until the next time he does it. Rhinox, Rattrap, and eventually Optimus as well laugh about Cheetor's statement.
* AdmiringTheAbomination: Megatron ''really'' likes the Vok and their doomsday machines, even when they're trying to kill him and the other Cybertronians.
-->'''Megatron:''' Brilliant! They're causing a chain reaction which will rip this planet to atoms and destroy all traces of them, simply to deal with us! Such sheer ruthlessness. Such disregard for sentient life! ...I rather like these aliens.
-->'''Terrorsaur:''' Like them?! They're trying to ''destroy'' us!
* {{Adorkable}}: Silverbolt, especially around Blackarachnia. [[KnightInShiningArmour He's noble, principled, honorable, and a real gentleman]]—and extremely corny to go with it.
* AerialCanyonChase: Cheetor tries this in a canyon containing several closely spaced pillars. While he manages to shake off the newly awakened Silverbolt with this technique, Megatron simply ploughs through the pillars head-first to no ill effect.
* AffectionateNickname: Blackarachnia has a wide, colorful selection of doggy nicknames she uses for Silverbolt ("Jojo", "Bowser," "chunk-style", etc.) It's pretty adorable.
* AGodAmI: Megatron has one hell of a God complex. In the GrandFinale, he refers to his "imminent godhood" and quotes from the Covenant of Primus in reference to himself. This leads nicely into his view of himself all through ''WesternAnimation/BeastMachines'' as destined to ascend to godhood.
* AHandfulForAnEye: During the Maximal/Predacon "truce" (which apparently allows combat so long as no weapons are used) Rattrap kicks a bunch of dirt in Waspinator's face, temporarily blinding him (even though he's a robot). Rattrap then proceeds to give Waspinator a noogie.
* AllThereInTheManual: The device in the "Other Visits" two-parter is called a Metal Hunter in the scripts.
* AlternativeForeignThemeSong: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xGDOzMTpXpM WAR WAR! STOP IT!]] is the Japanese opening and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1B054QK0sJg "FOR THE DREAM"]] is the Japanese ending.
* AncientAstronauts: The Vok. WordOfGod says their seemingly nonsensical experiments were an attempt to accelerate [[spoiler:Humanity]]'s evolution so they would be able to prevent the Vok's ancestors, ''Generation 2'''s The Swarm, from devastating Earth. The Maximals themselves later take on this role, opening a school for the cave people (complete with a blackboard) so they'll be ready for [[spoiler:when the Decepticons wake up]].
* AnimationBump: While the CG was pretty good for its time, some sequences, such as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3PSMzUXc3A Waspinator's resignation speech]], contain especially fluid animation.
* AnyoneCanDie:
** Out of a total named cast of twenty, [[spoiler:only eight]], not counting one-shot characters, make it out alive. This was largely due to ExecutiveMeddling and software limitations. CG was relatively new at the time, and only a handful of characters could appear at once; add in the MerchandiseDriven nature of the franchise, and characters had to be removed to show off new toys. Luckily, the show ran with the punches and figured out how to swing the act properly each time someone had to bite it—save for [[spoiler: [[DeathIsCheap Scorponok and Terrosaur]]]] and the infamous [[{{Retcon}} retconned]] death of Inferno in the second season finale.
** The remaining stasis pods were never found and presumed destroyed. [[note]]Unless you read the IDW comics.[[/note]] The body count is quite high for a kid's show.
* AnArmAndALeg: Losing limbs is a relatively common dramatic device, [[GoodThingYouCanHeal as they can always be reattached later]].
* ArachnidAppearanceAndAttire: Tarantulas and Blackarachnia both have spiders as their alt modes and have spider-like traits even when in robot mode.
* ArtEvolution: The CG was always top-notch, but as the hardware improved, so did the animation. The most dramatic leaps were season two of ''Beast Wars'' and then the jump to ''WesternAnimation/BeastMachines''.
* AStormIsComing: The show actually has an ''episode'' called [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Before_the_Storm "Before the Storm."]]
-->'''Megatron:''' There is a storm approaching. A storm of such power, such magnitude...it is ''beyond imagination''.
* ATeamFiring: Constantly. Given that characters can only die a permanent death when scripted, the combatants on both sides are equally incompetent at landing shots when they need to be. (The few times they do score hits, the victim is usually just knocked out or non-lethally blown to bits, as the case with Waspinator.) Rhinox takes the cake, as he once ended up literally knee-deep in brass casings firing ''two'' of his chainguns of doom without actually hitting anything.
* {{Autocannibalism}}: Dinobot disposes of his fully biological clone in "Double Dinobot" by eating it.
* BackForTheDead: [[spoiler: Tigatron]] and [[spoiler: Airazor]]. They both [[NotQuiteDead get abducted by the Vok]] halfway through the second season, then come back [[spoiler:as Tigerhawk, a fusion of them as one being,]] right before the series finale. And then [[spoiler: Tigerhawk dies roughly ten minutes into the final episode]].
* BackFromTheDead:
** In "Coming of the Fuzors", Optimus Primal is reborn in a new body, complete with a Transmetal upgrade, because Rhinox retrieved his spark from the Matrix and re-inserted it into a blank protoform.
** Blackarachnia also gets this in "Crossing the Rubicon". She tries to delete the Predacon reprogramming inside her with Maximal programming and a Transmetal driver. Her attempts to reprogram herself cause the Predacon programming to retaliate and nearly kill her instead, but the Transmetal driver fuses with her body and allows her to revert back to a Maximal with a Transmetal II body.
* BandOfBrothers: The Maximals. Though they [[HeadbuttingHeroes took a long road]] to get there.
* BattleCry:
** "Maximals, MAXIMIZE!!"
** "Predacons, TERRORIZE!!"
** "For the Royalty!"
** "For the glory of the colony!"
* BehindAStick: In "Nemesis", Inferno is seen hiding behind a tree that is clearly too thin to conceal him when the recently base-less Predacons evade a Maximal patrol.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Whilst there are several {{jerkass}} Maximals who'll resort to [[AntiHero morally ambiguous tactics]], the nicer Maximals are ''not'' to be underestimated. Some of the Predacons learn this the hard way.
* BigCreepyCrawlies: Throughout the series, nearly all of the Predacons (specifically, all those that aren't dinosaurs) have insect or arachnid beast modes. At one point, ''every'' Predacon aside from Megatron is at least half-arthropod.
* BittersweetEnding: Out of all the Maximals who appear in the series, [[spoiler:only six]] make it back to Cybertron alive. Pretty dark for a show that's geared towards selling toys to children.
* BloodKnight: Dinobot. It appears to be a trait of the Predacons in general, as illustrated when Optimus Primal and Megatron have their meeting about the truce.
-->'''Optimus''': When Predacons talk truce, it means they just want time to reload their weapons.\\
'''Megatron''': [[AtLeastIAdmitIt Under normal circumstances, yes]].
* BookEnds: In the premiere and finale, [[spoiler: Megatron ignores tactical advice from Dinobot (or in the latter case, a clone thereof) in favor of toying with his enemy/satisfying petty grudges. In both cases, it costs him]].
* BulletproofHumanShield: Megatron pulls a disturbingly dark gambit on Dinobot by threatening to using a primitive human as collateral. Earlier in the episode, Dinobot uses Inferno to block Black Arachnia's spider leg guns, before shooting her with Inferno's gun and blowing Inferno's head sky high.
* BrassBalls: The pilot episode features Dinobot challenging Optimus Primal for the leadership of the Maximals. Rhinox's response:
-->'''Rhinox:''' This guy's got [[UnusualEuphemism bearings]] of chrome steel.
* BridalCarry: Silverbolt carries Blackarachnia in his arms in "The Agenda, Part Three" when they start entering the Ark.
* BroadStrokes: The show is a follow-up to the continuity of Generation 1, but exactly which G1 continuity is left unclear because elements from both [[WesternAnimation/TheTransformers the cartoon]] and [[ComicBook/TheTransformers the comic book]] are used. This is [[JustifiedTrope justified]] in two ways in-universe: 1. the show is set hundreds of years after G1, and 2. the Maximal leaders have purposely obfuscated facts about the Great War to hide certain things (such as Starscream's immortality).
* ButtMonkey: Waspinator is by '''far''' the biggest example. His many deaths can be watched [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvLwUuTfdew here.]] From the 'bot himself:
-->'''Waspinator''': "Why universe hate Waspinator?"
** Scorponok and Terrorsaur have almost it as bad early on. Terrorsaur, in particular, initially rivals Waspinator for being blown to pieces. Unlike the poor bug, he still manages to remain a genuine threat, if only due to having [[WalkingArmoury one of the biggest arsenals]] in show.
** As a matter of fact, Waspinator is ''such'' a butt monkey that he appears most frequently as the enemy in the ''VideoGame/{{Quake}}''-style [=FPS=] game Rattrap plays in his downtime.
* ByThePowerOfGrayskull: Maximals and Predacons shouting out their activation codes ("Maximize" and "Terrorize", respectively). At first, it seems like this is a requirement to transform to robot mode, but the trope winds up being subverted as the series wears on. After the first season, activation codes were said less often. Lampshaded at one point where Dinobot tries to infiltrate the Predacons and has to prove his allegiance by changing his activation code. Tarantulas notes that simply changing his activation code means nothing.
* CatchPhrase:
** Several characters, as seen in the Character sheets. The two most notable are Megatron's "Yes"/"No" VerbalTic and Rattrap's OnceAnEpisode "We're all gonna die."
*** Often followed by a random Maximal replying: "Shut up, Rattrap."
** Optimus Primal's famous "Well, that's just Prime" phrase (usually used akin to the phrase "for the love of God") is used in the presence of the actual Optimus Prime, which causes Rattrap to lampshade it.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: A lot of the characterization is quite different in early Season 1, before the writers really worked out who the characters were. Scorponok, not Tarantulas, is the smart guy of the Preds; Tarantulas's focus seems to be [[VillainousGlutton entirely based on eating things]]; and Rhinox is the type of guy to say, "Yo, ease up." None of it jives very well with the characters as they eventually become.
* ChekhovsGun: The first episode opens with the mention that Megatron has stolen the Golden Disk, one of Cybertron's most ancient and sacred relics. Once it is determined that it could not lead them to Earth, as Megatron had believed, the disk is quickly forgotten. It becomes a crucial plot point in season two and beyond.
* ChekhovsSkill: In "Gorilla Warfare." On a exploration mission, an Earth plant launches one of its seeds onto the back of Dinobot's back. Optimus later detaches a virus bug from himself and throws at the same point on Megatron.
* ChronicBackstabbingDisorder: Comes with the package of being a Predacon. At one point or another, ''all'' of Megatron's forces try to betray him, with varying degrees of success, except for Scorponok (who is not too bright) and Inferno (who is insane). Even Rhinox, during his temporary FaceHeelTurn, does this. To top it all off, the original [[TheStarscream Starscream]] makes an appearance and does what he does best. Megs is happy to put up with all of this as long as he can use it to his advantage.
--> '''Megatron''': ''(to Tarantulas)'' I can suffer your treachery, lieutenant, but not your incompetence! Treachery requires no mistakes.
* CircleOfStandingStones: Some are found in the first episode, indicating the Maximals and Predecons are not the first advanced races to visit this world. [[spoiler:The aliens in question are eventually identified as the Vok]].
* ClosedCircle: Both ships are totaled during the initial crash, and rescue is next to impossible, considering that they've traveled through both space and time.
* ComicTrio: Inferno (schemer), Quickstrike (follower), and Waspinator (complainer) form one.
* ComplexityAddiction: In the first scene of the pilot, Megatron has the Maximal ship cornered and damaged, but opts for a lateral shot so they will suffer, instead of destroying them outright. It ends up causing both ships to crash-land, and is thus the reason for the whole cartoon series.
* ConspicuousCG: Inverted. Because the vast majority of the show is CG, the rare instance of non-CG imagery (many fire and explosion effects, for example) is ''very'' conspicuous.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: The characters themselves get very close to lava without any adverse effect, but they are alien robots and can survive in environments that living beings cannot. All other combustible materials burst into flames at a proper distance.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: [[spoiler: Tarantulas']] demise, while admittedly [[KarmicDeath well-deserved]], is still pretty horrible.
* CrystalDragonJesus: The cast refers to Primus as their creator, and the Covenant of Primus seems to be some sort of Bible analogue. Once Megatron goes right off the deep end towards the end of the series, the Covenant goes from a cultural footnote to something that outright predicts things. The idea of Primus was actually nabbed from the [[ComicBook/TheTransformers Marvel Transformers comics]], so this was actually a long-distance ContinuityNod.
* DecompositeCharacter: Optimus Primal and Beast Megatron. While the toyline's back story [[RetCanon was changed to match the cartoon]], the toyline originally set the events on present-day Earth, and instead of being {{legacy character}}s to their G1 namesakes, Primal and Beast Megatron originally ''were'' Optimus Prime and the original Megatron themselves, just with new forms. The cartoon made it so that Primal and Beast Megatron were instead descendants of the original characters.
* DeusExMachina: In the finale, the Maximals, holed up in the Ark, are getting pummeled by the Decepticon warship Megatron just found. Thanks to a tip from Dinobot II, [[spoiler: they find a working shuttle in one of the bays. They take that shuttle, kamikaze it into the enemy ship, and then fly home on it.]]
--> '''Blackarachnia''': ''The history tracks never mentioned this!''
--> '''Rhinox''': ''History's still being made!''
* DialogueReversal: Between Silverbolt and Blackarachnia in "Bad Spark":
-->'''Silverbolt:''' ''Are you damaged?''\\
'''Blackarachnia:''' ''Just enough to make me...[[DatingCatwoman interesting]].''\\
'''Blackarachnia:''' ''Are you damaged?''\\
'''Silverbolt:''' ''Just enough to make me...[[DatingCatwoman interesting]].''
* DiminishingVillainThreat: Waspinator. While rarely a victor, he's initially portrayed as quite a competent fighter, as evidenced by his battle with Cheetor in the premiere. However, the writers soon made Waspinator comic relief, leading him to "getting blown to scrap all the time!" This led to Waspinator becoming one of the most popular characters in the series.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness:
** The transformations are treated with much more gravitas. Each member shouts his name and transformation code out loud, and is seen to transform by him/herself. This is not limited to just the first transformation, either, as almost all of them in the first two episodes are this way. Similarly, a big case is made out of Optimus's inexperience at commanding. This is never referred to again once the pilot two-parter is over.
** The first season is noticeably more goofy than the following two.
* EarthAllAlong: The series begins with the Maximals and the Predacons ending up stranded on what they later discover is prehistoric Earth. Somewhat subverted in that [[spoiler: Megatron knew it was Earth the whole time.]]
* EverybodyLaughsEnding: Several episodes in Season 1. It would often be followed by an image of a butterfly flying by, just so you'd know how great life is.
* EvilIsBurningHot: While the Maximal base is located near a river, the base of the Predacons is at a lava flow.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: If you don't go into this expecting a show about beasts and war, you have only yourself to blame.
* ExpandedUniverse: The IDW ''Beast Wars'' comics, which shoehorn characters from ''Anime/BeastWarsII'' and ''Anime/BeastWarsNeo'', along with most of the toy-only characters, into the series. They are all either chronally displaced or on Cybertron, however, so it does not clash with the series.
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath: This is a very violent show, exploiting the MechaMooks loophole [[BloodlessCarnage as far as it can]]. Characters are bashed up, blown apart, shot, stabbed...and usually ''alive'' in the next episode. When someone actually ''dies'', it tends to go even further: Tarantulas is vaporized by one of his own mad science devices, leaving nothing but his feet with smoke rising from them. The last we see of Terrorsaur is his desperately outstretched hand slowly descending into the lava. And we'll spare you the details of [[spoiler: Depth Charge, Rampage, and [[WaveMotionGun Tigerhawk's deaths]].]].
** Beast Wars Megatron [[spoiler: popping a cap in Optimus Prime's head]]. He got better, but still—giant gaping hole in the head of one of the biggest adored heroes of a generation.
*** To say nothing of [[spoiler: Dinobot's and Transmutate's]] heart-wrenching deaths.
* {{Fartillery}}: After being poisoned by one of Tarantulas' creations in "The Low Road", Rhinox is forced to eat a large amount of beans to keep his energy up. During the final showdown, the cumulative effect of those beans hits all at once, leading to an explosion so powerful that it destroys Tarantulas' lab, sends the Predacons flying, and creates a mushroom cloud that can be seen ''from orbit''.
* FateWorseThanDeath: In "Possession", it is revealed that, after [[WesternAnimation/TheTransformersTheMovie being killed by Galvatron]], Starscream's spark has been wandering through the universe for thousands of years, [[UnstuckInTime even traveling through time]].
* FictionalVideoGame: In "Proving Grounds", Rattrap is seen playing a fighting game where he plays as Optimus Primal and battles Megatron as well as a ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}''-style first-person shooter where he shoots at copies of Waspinator.
* FlingALightIntoTheFuture: A villain example, [[spoiler: Before the [[TransformersGeneration1 Great War from the original cartoon]], the humans launched the [[MacGuffin golden disk]] which contained information about Earth into outer space. Megatron, the leader of the Decepticons, acquired it at some point and encoded an additional message on the disk. Presumably, the message indicates the location of the Ark and asks the descendants of the Decepticons to use transwarp technology to [[TimeTravel travel through time]], gain access to the Ark using codes to Teletraan I encoded on the disk, and change history by killing Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots, before he can defeat Megatron and win the Great War.]]
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** Rhinox makes a comment in the first episode that they do not even know ''when'' they are, because their FTL engines can move through time given certain circumstances. The fact the planet is [[spoiler:prehistoric Earth]] does not come up until the beginning of the second season, mainly because the planet has ''two'' moons instead of one.
** Episodes introducing a new character will often show the native animal their Beast Mode is based on before they emerge from their pod or starship.
** Halfway through the first season, Rhinox makes a comment that "one of the moons is lighter than it should be, almost as if it were...hollow." At the end of the first season, it is revealed that [[spoiler:it is a planet-buster weapon.]]
** In "Call Of The Wild" the cheetah in Cheetor's dream falls into a lava pit. The fact that the Predacon base crashed on top of a volcanic area suggests at least one character is likely to die that way. [[spoiler: In the second season premiere, Scorponok and Terrorsaur bite the dust...]]
** Throughout the first season, Tarantulas is hinted to know more of what is going on than any of the other characters. Among other things, he desires to recover a stasis pod to get off the planet alone as soon as possible before the above-mentioned Planet Buster hits. He also harnesses dark science and technology that is beyond any of the other Predacons' knowledge, even Megatron's, and has a scary obsession with the Vok. He's actually [[spoiler: a descendant of '''''[[OmnicidalManiac Unicron]]''''' who wanted the power of the Vok to alter the timeline so that the Autobots and Decepticons could be erased and the Tripedacus Council would rise to unchallenged supremacy]].
** In the episode "Other Victories", a rotating picture of [[spoiler:the ''Nemesis'']] is clearly visible on one of Tarantulas's monitors. What he is up to is revealed one episode later, ushering in the FinalBattle: [[spoiler: He had finished repairing the ship for his own use]].
* AFormYouAreComfortableWith: The first time the Vok speak to Optimus directly, they take the form of Unicron's head.
-->'''Vok:''' We have no physical form you could comprehend. We chose this figure of authority from your datatrax.
* FourFingeredHands: Rhinox, Depth Charge and Transmetal II Cheetor all have four fingers on each of their hands..
* GagDub: The Japanese version of the show was rather less serious.
* GambitPileup:
** In the first season finale, Megatron, Blackarachnia and the Maximals all have their own individual plans for dealing with the destruction of the planet by the alien Vok, and almost all of their plans hinge on the different known factors of everyone else's plans.
** Tarantulas originally plans on escaping the planet in a stasis pod, Blackarachnia secretly plans to steal his stasis pod for herself and use it to escape, and Megatron purposefully allows the two of them to go about stealing said pod with the plan of forcing that pod (with the escapee still inside) to become a makeshift bomb used to destroy the alien Planet Buster. Optimus and the Maximals plan to use the pod for the same purpose, but with the idea that Optimus will escape the pod at the last second. (Megatron's version, which ultimately wins out, involves Optimus not escaping and dying in the explosion.)
** Interestingly, after Optimus dies in the explosion (which Megatron had originally meant for one or both of the spiders), Tarantulas's reaction is smug laughter, the kind he only ever does when he's just pulled off something deceitful. This leaves the implication that Tarantulas was well aware of Megatron's schemes too, and that his plan was to ready the pod and assume that either Blackarachnia, Inferno (on Megatron's orders) or Optimus would intercede (all tried to) and then die in Megatron's scheme, rather than him.
** Considering that his ultimate scheme is to [[spoiler: destroy the Ark and both Autobots and Decepticons to negate the existence of all Cybertronians—which Tarantulas is not one of, it turns out,]] it wouldn't have made sense for him to be willing to leave the planet anyway. Claims that he wanted to were likely for Blackarachnia and Waspinator's benefit, so that it would get back to Megatron. Thus, ultimately, it's Tarantulas pulling all the strings.
*** That said, Tarantulas's ultimate scheme would have been achieved if he got off the planet anyway, as the planet was going to explode. That would have [[spoiler: wiped out the Ark anyway]]. It's just as likely that Optimus piloting the pod was convenient rather than planned.
*** Furthermore, this all depends on how one interprets Tarantulas's smug laugh. It is just as plausible that Tarantulas is simply gloating that Optimus has left it "too late" to jettison himself from the pod.
* GoodIsNotDumb: Optimus Primal is one of the most noble characters in the series, and one of the most cunning as well.
* GrayAndGrayMorality:
** While the conflict on prehistoric Earth has a clear good and bad side, glimpses of Cybertron show that this is in full effect. Megatron is a rogue revolutionary who wants to kickstart a new Great War, is widely viewed as a dangerous lunatic even by those who agree with his philosophy, and clearly doesn't represent the Predacons as whole, even if the Tripredacus Council are bad guys. Likewise the Maximal leadership doesn't exactly have the moral highground over the Predacons, what with the horrifying genetic experiments that created [[AxCrazy Rampage]], their subsequent cover-up of said experiments, and the fact that they've deliberately hidden and lied about events in the Great War.
** The comics and supplementary materials take it even further, with implications that Maximals tend to discriminate against Predacons due to the Great War. The many Predacons like [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Dinobot]], [[HeelFaceTurn Blackarachnia]], and [[IneffectualSympatheticVillain Waspinator]], and the way defection is an option regardless of which side you're on, make it clear that the scumbags like Megatron and Tarantulas are very much the minority.
* GreaterScopeVillain:
** [[spoiler:The 3H comics and supplementary material for the Japanese Generation 1 continuity established that Unicron was behind Tarantulas's plan to destroy the Ark with the Decepticons and Autobots on it, as it would mean that he could destroy Cybertron without the Matrix to stop him.]]
** There's also [[spoiler: [[WesternAnimation/TheTransformers the original Megatron]], who came up with a back-up plan to have any Decepticons go back in time and kill Optimus Prime in case the Decepticons lose the war, and he had the instructions coded on the Golden Disc. It's this plan that pretty much starts off the series once the current Megatron gets hold of said Golden Disc]].
* HealingVat: Both sides have their own type. The Maximals posses a small, airtight, one person chamber, while the Predacons use a vat that resembles a hot tub. In fact Megatron is seen bathing in one on multiple occasions, complete with a [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Rubber_Ducky rubber ducky.]]
* HeelFaceTurn:
** Dinobot at the beginning switches to the Maximals due to his distrust in Megatron, believing the plan has failed. But when it succeeds, he switches back, only to return to the Maximals after realizing that Megatron's gone mad. [[spoiler: He remains with the Maximals until his HeroicSacrifice.]]
** Silverbolt, though it's because of his dissatisfaction with being a Predacon.
** Blackarachnia defects to the Maximals in "Optimal Situation" after realizing that Megatron's plan would wipe her from existence.
** [[spoiler: Dinobot's Transmetal 2 clone switches sides after Rampage dies and the former's spark becomes whole. This moment is the climax of the Beast Wars.]]
-->'''Megatron''': ''What?!'' What possible reason do you have to disobey ''me?!'' I am your ''master!'' I am your ''creator!''\\
'''[[spoiler: Dinobot 2]]''': And I...have my ''honor!''
* HopeSpot: Some episodes, such as "The Probe" and "Victory", involve the Maximals finding a way to get back to Cybertron, only for attacks by the Predacons or some other mishap sending them back to square one.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddDragons: Megatron's Transmetal II form. [[spoiler: Later has its down side in the ContestedSequel, ''WesternAnimation/BeastMachines.'']]
* InTheirOwnImage: According to [[spoiler:G1's Megatron]], this was the plan passed down to BW's Megatron. By going back to while the Autobots and Decepticons were in stasis lock and [[spoiler:killing Optimus Prime]], Megatron would create a time paradox that would [[spoiler:remove Autobots, and thus Maximals, from existence, causing the Decepticons to win the Great War and shape the future in their image.]]
* InsaneEqualsViolent: When Inferno's stasis pod scans a fire ant for his alt mode, it also alters his logic, making him hell-bent on protecting the stasis pod he came in, perceiving it as his "colony". After the pod is destroyed by Maximals, he goes extremely TriggerHappy, often [[KillItWithFire incinerating everything in sight]] any time Maximals show up.
* JigsawPuzzlePlot: Though the plot itself is fairly straightforward, there's loads of subtle character moments, subplots, hints of larger forces at work, and [[AllThereInTheManual background information]] that comes together to tell an even more complete story. Some of the subtle mysteries, ambiguities, and machinations of the show are still debated to this day, over 18 years after it first aired (as of this writing).
* KangarooCourt: Quickstrike is given a "trial" for treason after he tries to kill Megatron while taking part in one of Tarantulas's schemes. [[BigBad Megatron]] is the judge (complete with powdered wig), [[TheChewToy Waspinator]] is the defense, and [[PsychoForHire Rampage]] and [[TheDragon Dinobot II]] are the jury. After Waspinator's "brilliant" summation, Megatron asks for the verdict. Rampage and Dinobot II immediately point their weapons at Quickstrike.
* KilledOffForReal: Quite common, as a result of the competing needs of introducing new characters and keeping the cast small. [[spoiler:Terrorsaur and Scorponok are unceremoniously bumped off at the beginning of Season 2; Dinobot's death in "Code of Hero" counts, [[EvilCounterpart later developments]] notwithstanding]]. Then, of course, the last few episodes are spectacularly fatal, with [[spoiler:Tarantulus offed by the [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien Vok]]; Depth Charge sacrificing himself to kill Rampage; Tigerhawk, Inferno, and Quickstrike getting gunned down by a ''giant space battleship'', and Dinobot's clone taking a leaf from his predecessor's book.]]
* KlingonPromotion: It was officially stated that Predacon leadership welcomes treachery under the rationale that leaders who cannot thwart a treacherous underling are probably not fit to be leaders.
* LeftTheBackgroundMusicOn: In the third-season episode "Changing of the Guard", when the previously reluctant Rattrap is beginning to enjoy his submarine ride, cheery, upbeat music (a rarity for this series in general) begins playing. Cut to Silverbolt, listening to the music over his communicator with a puzzled expression.
* LiteralDisarming: Megatron has an ArmCannon in the form of his T-Rex beast-mode's head, which fires powerful lasers out its mouth. Optimus had to resort to slicing it off altogether in one of his rare head-on fights with Megatron, and was pretty outclassed until he did.
* LookWhatICanDoNow: This technically happens any time a character receives an upgrade, which is quite often.
* MagneticPlotDevice: The Vok were an alien race who had a vested interest in the planet and left all sorts of powerful technology that the characters fight over. While there is certainly some continuity with Megatron's schemes, the Vok episodes tend to be the ones where things really start to shake up.
* [[spoiler:MakeWrongWhatOnceWentRight]]: As hinted in the first episode, the real reason the Predacons traveled to the past [[spoiler:Earth]] was to [[spoiler:destroy Optimus Prime within the Ark and]] establish the Predacons as the rulers of Cybertron.
* MeaningfulEcho: In "Code Of Hero", Rattrap confronts Dinobot for [[spoiler:his defection back to the Predacons]]: "'Oh yeah, he's a slag-spouting saurian, but at least you know where he stands!' Guess we live and learn." Later, after [[spoiler:Dinobot saves the valley at the cost of his life]], Rattrap repeats himself, "Like I said, you're just a blasted slag-spouting saurian, but...it's nice to know where you stand."
** [[spoiler: [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming "Upwind of you, for preference]], [[VitriolicBestBuds vermin."]]]]
* MerchandiseDriven: One of the few genuine cases of such done properly.
* MindRape: As makes sense given their robot nature, multiple plots involve hacking or messing with their minds/sparks; the screaming and struggling that accompany it makes it clear that this is not a clean process.
* MirrorMoralityMachine: Megatron uses a machine invented by Tarantulas to turn Rhinox into a Predacon in "Dark Designs".
* MissingManFormation: Optimus, Cheetor, and Silverbolt fly overhead in the missing man formation during [[spoiler: Dinobot's funeral]].
* MixAndMatchCritters:
** The Fuzors, Silverbolt and Quickstrike (the former turns into a wolf with avian wings while the latter's alt mode is a scorpion with a cobra for a tail). There are more of them mentioned in the IDW comics. [[spoiler:Magmatron recruits them.]]
** Tigerhawk, due to being a fusion of Tigatron and Airazor, whose respective beast forms are a white tiger and a hawk.
* MookHorrorShow: During "Gorilla Warfare", Optimus goes on a rampage against the Predacons, hunting them down in their own base. At one point, he breaks through a wall to grab an obviously terrified Waspinator.
* MuggingTheMonster: Sorta. In "Dark Designs", Megatron builds a brainwashing machine and tests it on Rhinox. Optimus rather accurately predicts the result: evil!Rhinox is too much for the Predacons to handle, and Megatron has to change him back to stand a chance.
* MythologyGag: Numerous to the original series, but also to the original line of toys (including one knock at Hasbro's change from die-cast metal components to all-plastic).
-->'''Rattrap:''' ''(Commenting on [[spoiler:the Ark]])'' This thing wasn't built...it was POURED!\\
'''Optimus Primal:''' Die-cast construction...''([[LeaningOnTheFourthWall looks at the viewers, shrugs rather sadly]])'' It's a lost art.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Cheetor firing upon Megatron in the first episode cemented the Predacons' decision to go to war with the Maximals after the crash. He also fired the first shot in his skirmish with Waspinator.
* NiceJobBreakingItRivals: When Silverbolt and Rampage fight over Transmutate, she jumps into the crossfire and uses her powers to make her friends stop. This leads to her getting destroyed.
* OrcusOnHisThrone: For a guy that wants to gather enough energon to return to Cybertron and start a full-scale rebellion, Megatron spends a lot of time focusing on fighting the Maximals and not a lot of time on securing energon deposits or even trying to repair their ship to leave the planet. Turns out there's a pretty good reason for this: [[spoiler:the energon wasn't his true goal in the first place, his interest is the planet itself, the prehistorical Earth, and the ability to change history through his actions here.]]
* OurSoulsAreDifferent: This series establishes sparks as being the life force of a Transformer.
* OutrunTheFireball: Seen in the opening of ''every episode'' of the first season, no less.
* OverlyLongGag: Rhinox unloading his [[GatlingGood Chaingun of Doom]] into [[ButtMonkey Waspinator]] during the climax of "Chain of Command". It's almost ten seconds of nothing but roaring gunfire and Waspinator screaming in pain.
* PainfulTransformation: Every upgrade transformation is accompanied by screams, and the second upgrades of Optimus Primal and, to a far scarier extent, Cheetor have their new body parts burst through their old ones.
* ThePawnsGoFirst: During one attack on the Maximals' base, Megatron told Quickstrike to go first. Inferno asked why he wasn't chosen to take point, to which Megatron replies, "When expecting booby traps, always send the boob in first!" Sure enough, Quickstrike got splattered before Megatron could finish the sentence.
* PetTheDog: Rampage is a cannibalistic monster, but his treatment of Transmutate shows there's at least a tiny bit of goodness in him.
* PowerFloats: The floating mountain of energon in the episode "Power Surge".
* {{Prequel}}: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIJVSjIuNYg Theft of the]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDRYFCO7fpo Golden Disk]] and the comic "Dawn of Future's Past" both tell what happened before this cartoon's events.
* PublicHaterPrivateFan: For all of Dinobot's bluster about Predacon virtues, he actually holds a great deal of respect for the Maximals. Largely due to Dinobot being an honorable warrior, while the remaining Predacons are not so honorable. Which the Maximals are.
* RagTagBunchOfMisfits: Both teams start out like this, with the Predacons as a relatively hastily assembled group of renegades and the Maximals a group of scientists/explorers who happened to be the only ones in the area able to pursue them.
* RealityEnsues: Quite a few with regard to the war between the two factions.
** The extremely low character count -- five on each side to start -- means that any time a stasis pod shows up, it's a major priority to secure it and get a new comrade out of it, because with the numbers this low even a one-bot advantage is one neither side can afford to let the other get. For the same reason defection from one side to the other is treated very seriously.
** Flying Transformers are a serious threat, because they can get around quicker and easier and are also tricky to fight. A lot of episodes in the first season have the plot point of Optimus racing Terrorsaur and Waspinator to some objective point or being the only one able to fight them on equal footing, so to speak. In the second season, Megatron becoming transmetal and able to fly himself was a ''huge'' equalizer in his battles with Optimus.
* ReasonYouSuckSpeech: Dinobot delivers a brief but awesome one to Megatron in "Maximal No More" :
--> Dinobot: Your ambition had made you insane Megatron! It will destroy both Maximal ''and'' Predacon! And all who came before...
* ReflectingLaser: Intentionally invoked, albeit with a laser built for communication, not as a weapon: long-range communication was rendered impossible due to energon interference, so [[spoiler: bouncing a laser off the moon was the only way to signal a downed stasis pod and activate its DNA scanners]].
* TheRemnant: The Predacons. The same applies to Ravage, one of the few remaining original Decepticons, and also [[spoiler: Starscream's ghost]].
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: Megatron, Terrorsaur, Quickstrike (part of him anyway), and Dinobot II (for a while) all have reptilian/dinosaur beast modes. So does the original Dinobot, [[SubvertedTrope though unlike the others, he is an honourable warrior]]. That said, he retains some of his Predacon sensibilities even after he defects to the Maximals. His clone also pulls a HeelFaceTurn by the end of the series (when Rampage dies and Dinobot II's Spark is fully formed) and performs a HeroicSacrifice to stop Megatron's plans, crashing the ''Nemesis'' in the process.
* RetCanon: Prior to the series premiere, the toyline painted the events as happening on present-day Earth, and instead of being {{Legacy Character}}s of Optimus Prime and the original Megatron, Optimus Primal and Beast Megatron ''were'' the same characters as their G1 namesakes, just with new forms. Once the cartoon debuted, the toyline's backstory was changed to match up with it.
* TheReveal: The Golden Disc was not just a map to an energon goldmine, it was [[spoiler: a backup plan left by G1's Megatron with instructions for the Decepticons' descendants to travel back in time, gain access to the Ark, and kill Optimus Prime and any other Autobots that would stop the Decepticons from winning the Great War. This data was hidden on the actual historical [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_Golden_Record Golden Record]] launched into space during the 1970s]].
* RevealingReflection: When the Vokk probe comes to the Standing Stones, a fight breaks out around it. When Rhinox goes to examine the probe, he notices Waspinator trying to sneak up on him reflected on its surface and turns to give the wasp a face full of {{Gatling Good}}ness.
* RevengeBeforeReason: Depth Charge only cares about one thing; destroying Protoform X/Rampage. Everything else, including protecting the ''Ark'' and preserving history, is secondary to that.
* RewatchBonus: WordOfGod revealed that [[spoiler: Dinobot]] knew he was going to die five episodes before he actually did right up til the last moment. Rewatching said episodes with this knowledge causes a lot of [[spoiler: Dinobot's]] actions and dialogue to take on a whole new meaning.
* RightManInTheWrongPlace: Optimus's crew were mere scientists starting an exploration mission who just happened to be the only ones in the area when a certain crew of renegade Predacons zoomed by in a stolen ship.
* SanDimasTime: Integral to the second season. In "Code of Hero", Rhinox calculates that the shockwave from the Planet Buster explosion is moving into the future, and will reach contemporary Cybertron in a matter of weeks. Sure enough, "reinforcements" from the future arrive at that point, rather than travelling back to immediately after the explosion.
* SealedEvilInACan: [[spoiler:[[PsychoPrototype Protoform X a.k.a. Rampage]]. He is the result of Maximal experiments to produce an immortal super-soldier by copying Starscream's mutant spark. They got that part right in the form of [[GoneHorriblyRight an unkillable serial killer who slaughtered human and Cybertronian alike]]. After eventually capturing him, the Maximal Elders sealed him up in a stasis pod, then turned him over to Optimus Primal's crew to dump on some desolate asteroid, since they couldn't figure out how to destroy him. Several adventures later, the monster is unleashed again and recruited by the Predacons.]]
* SealedGoodInACan: The stasis pods all containing protoforms that are Maximals are this by default, but can be reprogrammed with a little know-how to produce a Predacon. This turns every time a protoform makes planetfall into a race between the two factions to recruit the newcomer.
* SecondPersonAttack: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-P3ZACNxtQI&feature=related This infamous scene]] has a double version, plus an ImpairmentShot of seeing double and falling over after the punch.
* ShootTheHostage: Dinobot tries this to use Tarantulus as a hostage against Megatron. The problem with this scenario is that he tries to use [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder Tarantulus]] as a hostage against [[MagnificentBastard Megatron]].
-->'''Dinobot:''' (holding Tarantulas) Do not fire, Megatron! I have a hostage!\\
'''Megatron:''' Why, so you do. ''*Fires*''
* ShowdownAtHighNoon: It was actually at sundown, but at the end of the episode "Coming of the Fuzors Part 1," the Predacons rally around Megatron and the three Maximals ready their weapons, before both sides draw their guns in classic shootout fashion. Comes complete with a riff straight out of the ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly.''
* ShoutOut:
** A scene in "Gorilla Warfare" is inspired by ''Franchise/{{Robocop}}''.
** In "Victory", the scene where Optimus is falling from the ''Axalon'' after being shot by Scorponok in his beast mode resembles a scene in ''Film/KingKong1933''.
** There's also this one to Franchise/{{Superman}}, complete with a SuspiciouslySimilarSong version of Supes's Main Theme:
-->'''Dinobot:''' ''Wait! Look! Down in the sky! Is it a bird?''\\
'''Rhinox:''' ''Maybe a plane!''\\
'''Rattrap:''' ''Nah! IT'S OPTIMUS!!''
** In ''Dark Designs'', Cheetor's "Better dead than Pred" is a pun on an [[DirtyCommunists anti-communism]] message from TheFifties.
** Another scene, in which Optimus brandishes his swords before Megatron shoots him down, is reminiscent of the duel between Indiana Jones and the Cairo swordsman in ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk''. Dinobot pushing Scorponok into his rotor blade weapon echoes the demise of the German engineer in the same movie.
** Airazor's pose in "The Low Road" is a direct reference to the famous ''Franchise/StarWars'' poster.
** The sequence in Season 3 where Megatron is [[spoiler:using the Transmetal Driver to create the new Dinobot II from a blank Protoform]] draws heavily from the classic film ''Film/{{Frankenstein 1931}}''.
** In the episode "The Probe," the search-and-rescue probes sent out from Cybertron, shot for shot, mirror the Imperial probe droids from the beginning of ''Film/{{The Empire Strikes Back}}''.
** Several to classic WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes, mostly involving Waspinator getting scrapped.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvbbQyFWrDI Rock'em Sock'em Robots battle between Rhinox and Inferno in Season 2.]] Colors even match.
** The head writers involved were very active in the online fandom. As a result, these cropped up all the time, often in the form of locations. Subsector Hooks and Grid Joona, for example, are named after fans who posted on the alt.toys.transformers usenet group at the time.
*** At one point a concussed [[TheChewToy Waspinator]] refers to himself as "Wonko the Sane." While originally the name of a minor character in ''[[Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy So Long and Thanks for All the Fish]]'', the specific reference was to a ''Beast Wars'' fan, Benson Yee, who used this name as an online alias. Yee was recruited as a continuity consultant for the second season finale. The ''Beast Wars'' crew recognized the value of the fandom.
** What may have been a very subtle Shout Out was Cheetor's weapon sound effect. It sounded just like WesternAnimation/MegaMan's from the cartoon. Both were voiced by Ian Corlett.
** Rattrap and Optimus's dialog about the Ark, how "that ship wasn't built, it was poured" and "die-cast construction: it's a lost art" are both about how the original ''G1 Transformer'' toys (well, the better, larger ones) all had die-cast parts for at least half the body.
** Speaking of the ''Ark'', it's appearance here was partially modeled after both the version seen in the G1 cartoon, as well as the [[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine USS Defiant]] (especially the nose area).
** Megatron's [[spoiler:first appearance to Optimus after he gets his new dragon body: "Film/EnterTheDragon!"]]
* ShoutOutToShakespeare:
** "Tell my tale to those who ask. Tell it truly, the ill deeds along with the good, and let me be judged accordingly. The rest...is silence," says [[spoiler:Dinobot]] before dying.
** In an earlier episode, Dinobot says: "Alas! Poor Tarantulas. I knew him, Cheetor." Dinobot was holding Tarantulas's severed spider legs, though, not his [[AlasPoorYorick severed head]].
** Dinobot also tosses out a "To be or not to be, that is the question" when contemplating Free Will vs Fate.
* ShutUpHannibal: In the final episode, Optimus delivers an epic one to Megatron.
-->'''Megatron:''' ''Come on, now, let's hear it. The usual "destiny and honor" speech.''\\
'''Optimus:''' ''Speech this!'' *clocks Megatron in the jaw*
* SlidingScaleOfFreeWillVsFate: Dinobot spends most of the 2nd season contemplating his fate and whether he has any control over it, once he discovers [[spoiler:Megatron has a method to predict the future using the golden disk. Dinobot goes through enough grief that he joins the Predacons for the simple reason they're more likely to win, and after rejoining the Maximals, he contemplates suicide. He finally finds his answer witnessing Megatron directly changing the future of his own free will. Dinobot becomes relieved and ironically finds himself with no choice but to perform a HeroicSacrifice to thwart Megatron's plan to wipe out human existence. In death, Dinobot finds peace, knowing he died from actions of his own free will.]]
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: While the original cast was entirely male, female characters Blackarachnia and Airazor were introduced in the first season. However, with Airazor [[spoiler:getting beamed into space by some freaky alien plants midway through the second season]], Blackarachnia remains the only female in half of the second and the entire third season. However, Airazor does return as Tigerhawk, a fusion of both her body and Tigatron's, but the character is presented as male.
* SoulJar: In his debut episode, Megatron slices out half of Rampage's spark and locks it in a small container full of energon crystals. Whenever the reluctant Predacon gets uppity, he squeezes it, causing Rampage to double-over and scream in agony.
* SquashedFlat: Happens to several characters. The writers really liked dropping heavy things on the poor bots.
* StoryArc: Less obvious in the first season, but becomes prominent in the other two with the Vok and Golden Disc issues.
* StuffBlowingUp:
** The show 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.
* SymbolicBlood: Hydraulic fluid and bits of metal go flying ''everywhere''.
* TakingYouWithMe: In the opening space battle, the Darksyde manages to shoot down the Axalon first, but as the Maximal ship falls from orbit it fires off a few final shots that cripple the Predacons too.
** Probably the reason why [[spoiler: Rampage lets Depth Charge destroy his spark in ''Nemesis, Part 1''.]]
* TeethClenchedTeamwork: Early on, the Maximals are as prone to internal squabbles as any crew of 'Cons, and these are only exaggerated by the addition of a Predacon defector to the team. They eventually overcame this, but still have a few hiccups now and again.
* TemporaryBlindness: Rhinox, Rattrap, Dinobot, and Cheetor experience this in "Dark Voyage" when an accident shorts out their optic sensors. They spend the rest of the episode trying to get back to base so that they can use the CR chamber to restore their sight.
* ThatsNoMoon: [[spoiler:The "second" moon]] at the end of season 1. Said revelation results in [[spoiler:EarthAllAlong.]]
* TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou: Megatron's speech at the end of the second season [[spoiler:after he attempts to kill the original Optimus Prime]] appears to be addressed to the viewers as much as it is to the Maximals.
* TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation
* TheyDontMakeThemLikeTheyUsedTo: Optimus and Rattrap conclude this when they try to enter the Ark.
* TimeyWimeyBall: How time travel works in this series is a bit inconsistent.
** On the ScrewDestiny front: it becomes a major plot point in Season 2 that the past ''can'' be changed, and this is directly demonstrated. Not to mention the season finale where Megatron [[spoiler:destroys Optimus Prime]], causing time to twist into a pretzel for a moment now that the course and outcome of the Great War is irrevocably changed.
** On the StableTimeLoop front: [[spoiler:the ''Nemesis'' is found crashed in the ocean and is raised to crash land in a jungle instead, lining up with the G1 canon. Earth also certainly doesn't have a second moon in the present; while the presumption the Vok utilized their planet-buster or else took it away at some point before G1 happened, that begs the question of why they did so.]]
** This also is to all say nothing of the wreckage of the ships and the Transformers themselves, the significant geography changes caused by [[spoiler:the Vok's planet buster]], the way the Transformers directly influenced human evolution, and so forth. The series never explores the potential repercussions of any of these events, so it's not clear if they were part of the StableTimeLoop stuff where these events ''always'' happened, or part of the ScrewDestiny front where they did change the future but in ways not so great as to be of note.
* TitleDrop: Done by Dinobot in "Maximal No More".
-->'''Dinobot''': From this day forth, I am Maximal no more.
* TitleScream: The only lyrics ''in'' the opening are '''"BEAST WAAAAAAAAAARS"'''.
* UnusualEuphemism: Several, considering that the main cast are robots, not humans. Common examples are Rattrap's "Oh, for bootin' up cold!" and the general-purpose expletive "Slag!"
* VerbalTic: Megatron's constant habit of tacking "Yeeesss" onto his sentences. Likewise, he also says "No" quite frequently.
* VileVillainLaughableLackey: Once Waspinator's role as a ButtMonkey was established, he had this dynamic with the more serious Megatron.
* VillainsOutShopping: Various episodes had the villains not devote all their time and energy to plotting. Megatron would do things like play with his rubber duck or brush the teeth of his T-Rex head. He also once interrupted a game of cards between Inferno, Waspinator and Quickstrike to demand a status report.
* VitriolicBestBuds[=/=]VolleyingInsults: Rattrap and Dinobot regard each other as friends but also can't resist ribbing each other.
* WeaponizedLandmark: The Standing Stones are actually a communicator beacon/containment grid for the Vok. Also, [[spoiler:the second moon.]]
* WheresTheFunInThat: In the episode "Beast Wars: Part 1":
-->'''Dinobot:''' Their defence shields are down! Destroy them!\\
'''Megatron:''' Now where's the fun in that?
* WitchWithACapitalB: Tarantulas occasionally refers to FemmeFatale Blackarachnia as "witch." And no, this show does not use magic...
** Sometimes when show is broadcast the word "witch" is replaced with "widow," likely due to this trope.
* WithUsOrAgainstUs: "Law of the Jungle": after Tigatron's [[spoiler:departure from the Beast Wars (until the Preds make him return to the Maximal side)]], there is a short dialogue between him and Dinobot:
-->'''Dinobot:''' That is the law of the jungle. The hunters and the hunted. Scrap or be scrapped.\\
'''Tigatron:''' Animals hunt to survive![[note]] In the Latin American dub, Dinobot says this line and Tigatron replies with "And what do you think war is about?"[[/note]]
-->'''Dinobot:''' And what do you think ''war'' is about?! Maximals may believe in peace, but Predacons...you do not really know the Predacons. We...they live for the glory of conquest. If Megatron takes the energon wealth of this world unopposed, he will begin a war that will destroy Cybertron and shatter galaxies, until only one side survives. It has been this way for millions of stellar cycles, ever since the Autobots and Decepticons began the Great War.
-->'''Tigatron:''' Peace will never come until someone agrees NOT to fight!\\
'''Dinobot:''' The Predacons will not allow it! They'll destroy or reprogram you.\\
'''Tigatron:''' They won't find me...\\
'''Dinobot:''' I found you...\\
''Dinobot jumps to Tigatron with his claws.''\\
'''Tigatron:''' What are you doing?!?!\\
'''Dinobot:''' If you are not with us, you are against us!
* WorldOfHam: Yeeesss.... Between [[Creator/DavidKaye Megatron]], [[TheHyena Inferno]], and all the characters voiced by Creator/ScottMcNeil, there is surprisingly still plenty of scenery left for all the other characters to chew.
* YouCantFightFate: [[spoiler:Subverted. After getting a disk that shows a history of Earth from the perspective of the future, Dinobot is torn on what to do with it. If experimenting with the disk proves that this trope is in effect, he will have no choice but to kill himself in the face of realizing he is not "the master of (his) fate" and there is no such thing as free will. Later, he witnesses Megatron testing the disk: He blows up a mountain whose image is recorded on the disk, and the image on the disk changes accordingly, proving that fate can be fought and one's actions and choices are not predetermined or set in stone. In this moment, Dinobot at last knows that he is the master of his own fate...though as Megatron intends to abuse this discovery to change history for the worse, Dinobot's sense of honor means there is only one course of action left to him.]]
* YoureInsane: Tigerhawk says this to Tarantulus, who shrugs it off with a casual "So they say," and a particularly indulgent and spittle-y EvilLaugh.
* YourSizeMayVary: Unlike most Transformers shows, the approximate size of the characters remains consistent.
* YouShallNotPass: Tigerhawk pulls one of these when he faces off against the Decepticon war ship ''Nemesis''.