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[[quoteright:203:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Tranformers_Animated.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:203:A charming animated series about Robot Janitors]]
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->'''Megatron:''' ''"It appears you and I are destined to battle aboard this ship [[WhereItAllBegan once more,]] Autobot."''\\
'''Optimus Prime:''' ''"Bring it on, Decepticon."''

Debuting in December 2007 with a three-episode-long "pilot movie", ''Animated'', despite being an AlternateContinuity, was created to ride the popularity of the 2007 ''[[TransformersFilmSeries Transformers]]'' film and, as a result, borrows several aspects of the film. 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.

A group of maintenance Autobots ([[TheHero Optimus Prime]], [[TheMedic Ratchet]], [[GentleGiant Bulkhead]], [[IneffectualLoner Prowl]] and [[KidAppealCharacter Bumblebee]]) discover the coveted Transformer artifact called "The [[WeWillUseWikiWordsInTheFuture AllSpark]]" and, in escaping pursuit from the Decepticons, land on Earth in Detroit. Waking up in TheFuture, they befriend Sari Sumdac, 7-year-old daughter of Professor Isaac Sumdac, and work to maintain friendly relations with the public. However, the Decepticons aren't far behind.

One of the things that separate this show from its predecessors is the animation style, which is fluid, simplistic and very organic-looking. While some are still unhappy with the look, the simple style makes animation easier and gave some really stylistic action scenes; you can become accustomed to it surprisingly quickly.

Another distinction is the way the Decepticons are used. They are big and powerful enemies, and the protagonists are maintenance workers (In fact, most of their weapons are re-purposed tools); even one 'Con requires the entire small Autobot team to work together just to contain him. Most of the time, [[BigBad Megatron]] is planning some sort of [[BatmanGambit gambit]] to avoid detection while still furthering his plans. He is dangerous, but the Decepticons as a whole are a scattered group; Megatron doesn't want to deal with the entire Autobot Elite Guard before he's ready. Additionally, the Decepticons mostly consider themselves freedom fighters against a corrupt and unfair caste system with the Autobots firmly at the top; the truth is they are more like the IRA.

To maintain the Decepticons as serious enemies, humans comprise the bulk of the Autobots' enemies for the first two seasons. Some are joke villains who are only petty thieves, but others are legitimate threats to the Autobots. Other unique features of the show are that the Transformers are very well-known among the community, and there is a noticeable lack of HeroInsurance. The humans are unhappy with the collateral damage, and the Autobots maintain their good graces by repairing the city. (After all, they ''are'' construction workers.)

The show lasted three seasons and although somewhat cut short on production plans (they were hoping for a fourth season) the last episode was written to serve as a respectable GrandFinale, concluding the overall MythArc. ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'' was announced almost immediately following this show, which has unfortunately lead to an InternetBackdraft rumor that "[[DuelingShows Prime killed Animated]]." In some sense, this is backed up by Hasbro's decision to compete with Creator/CartoonNetwork, ''Animated'''s broadcaster, by partnering with Discovery Communications to launch TheHub, the home of ''Prime''.

However, the series got a brief revival/continuation via the Official Fanclub and its ''[[Franchise/TransformersTimelines Timelines]]'' imprint, with an exclusive toyset designed by the series' art director and a comic penned by the series' main writer, and said writer has expressed a desire to continue Season 4 via comics if any publisher is willing. In addition, the Hub itself has begun airing the series.

See also [[Characters/TransformersAnimated the character page]].
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!!This Show Provides Examples of:

* AbandonedMine: the Decepticons set up a hidden base in one. It also features prominently in the episode "Nature Calls".
* AbandonedWarehouse: Detroit has quite a few of these due to robots replacing human workers.
** And being, well, Detroit. They reference the auto industry, with some easy extrapolations to the demise thereof, in the first episode.
** The main Autobots lives in one. Not that it bothers them.
* TheAce: Afterburn, in the ''TitanMagazine'' adaptation. Borders on CanonSue who, in two consecutive issues, leaves Optimus and Bumblebee holding the IdiotBall, respectively. [[spoiler: Turns out he is a [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman sparkless drone]] [[TheMole Decepticon spy]], whom Megatron [[YouHaveFailedMe quickly]] [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness disposes of.]]]]
* ActionHoggingOpening: Strangely subverted with the American opening. Played straight with the Japanese opening.
* AdaptationalBadass: Waspinator. In ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' he was pretty much the biggest ButtMonkey in the history of ''Transformers''. In this series, as Wasp he was one of the Autobot Academy's most promising candidates (despite being an overall {{Jerkass}}), before spending years in imprisonment drove him paranoid and crazy. When Blackarachnia transformed him into Waspinator, he reached NightmareFuel levels of sinister.
** Megatron. In the original G1 cartoon, nobody feared Megatron. Rather, they just considered him to be the bad guy. He is also the subject of goofy outward monologues that only make his followers quake in fear. This show depicts Megatron as a discount Dracula/Vlad the Impaler; a one man army, feared by everyone who knows who he is, and rarely any of his enemies walk away.
** Starscream, of sorts. In G1, anyone could pick a fight with Starscream, and they very rarely lost. He is a transparent strategist with poor fighting skills, and his silver tongue is his only positive. In this version, Starscream rarely shows signs of cunning, and only uses his brute strength to defeat his enemies. In the first episode, it takes at least five Autobots to defend Detroit against his constant attacks, and at a later point, he incapacitates Ultra Magnus. Starscream is half of what Megatron is regardless, but if it takes half of a race just to arrest him, Starscream has earned his right to be his second-in-command.
* AdaptationalVillainy: ''Animated'' Waspinator is much scarier and more villainous than the ChewToy Waspinator in ''Beast Wars'', who spent a lot of his time being blasted to bits by other robots.
* AdaptationalWimp: The rank of Prime. In most continuities it designates a member of a BadassFamily (uh... [[RoboFamily model series]]?). Here it's a military rank that's held by at least three major characters and is second to Ultra Magnus.
* AdorablyPrecociousChild: Cosmos is one of the smartest characters spoken about in the [[AllThereInTheManual Almanac]], and yet he is one of the most adorable characters in the entire roster.
** [[http://twitpic.com/31hv8n Just look at him!]]
* {{Adorkable}}: Most of the Autobots have their moments, such as Bulkhead, Blurr, and Wreck-[=GAR=].
* AesopAmnesia: Happens frequently. Bumblebee and Sentinel Prime in particular are poster boys for this trope.
* AffablyEvil: Megatron
* AIIsACrapshoot: Megatron developed Soundwave to evolve with uses of Sari's key into a new body, but Soundwave unexpectedly became sentient unto himself (though still useful to Megatron's plans). And then there's stuff like Professor Sumdac's malfunctioning police robots, and the nanobots in the pilot, and...
** One must wonder how Sumdac stays in business if 3/4 of his machines go haywire. On the other hand, owning the patents on the fundamental building blocks of the robot technology that forms the backbone of modern society probably helps.
** Subverted somewhat with Wreck-Gar, who is pretty much a very impressionable child with ADD.
* AirVentPassageway; Used by Optimus, complete with ShoutOut to ''Film/DieHard''.
* AirplaneArms: Briefly by Optimus in "Where Is Thy Sting."
* AlienArtsAreAppreciated: Bulkhead winds up with a museum show in one episode, although his "masterpiece" was an accident.
* AliensInCardiff: Megatron's head and hand land in Paw Paw, Michigan, though they end up in Detroit.
* AliensSpeakingEnglish
* AliensStealCable: Quite literally: Sari [[spoiler:(half-alien herself)]] and Bumblebee use the Key to pirate Master Disaster's illegal street races.
* AlmightyJanitor: Eventually taken to near absurd lengths with the main crew. Despite being a lowly maintenance crew, they have [[spoiler: A cadet who was on track for the Elite Guard, a vet from the Great War who is bonded to the Autobot's greatest weapon (which happens to be their ship), the most skilled spacebridge engineer in the Autobot ranks, and one of the most skilled Cyberninjas around). Really, everyone but Bumblebee is considered near top of their field, and this is before they TookALevelInBadass]]
* AlmostKiss: Blackarachnia and Optimus Prime. However, most of the time she does it, she's trying to [[DistractedByTheSexy distract him]].
* AllThereInTheManual: The Starscream clones are only ever referred to by their personalities (or gender), but their toys are named after the ''[[TransformersGenerationOne G1]]'' Seekers: Coward Starscream = "Skywarp," Sycophant Starscream = "Sunstorm," Egomaniac Starscream = "Thundercracker". This is because if they gave them proper names in the credits, they would have had to pay Tom Kenny for four more characters. And while he didn't get a toy until ''long'' after these three, the Liar Starscream's name was given as "Ramjet" in the Allspark Almanac.
** In an almost literal example, toyless Female Starscream's official name "Slipstream" was created just for ''The [=AllSpark=] Almanac''.
** Actually ''The Allspark Almanac'' probably counts a lot for this trope, revealing intense amounts of detail (and {{Shout Out}}s about the show, the setting and the characters).
** ''The Allspark Almanac II'' is even better, with lots of hints of what happened after the series, more detail about life on Cybertron (including how protoforms are developed), and more behind-the-scenes information about the show itself.
* AloofAlly: The Dinobots and the main team of Autobots have a relationship that is adversarial at best.
* AlternativeForeignThemeSong: The Japanese version used a different [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8uldvja-MY opening]] / [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xHTWO0BnwU&feature=related ending]] theme than the American version.
* AmoralAttorney: Implied by Meltdown, whose mutant shark monster used to be his lawyer. The ''bat'' monster was his accountant, somewhat relatedly.
** Both are MythologyGag's to the original series: Being sentenced to death-by-Sharkticon was the only outcome of a Quintesson trial in ''TransformersTheMovie'', and in the G1 comic books, Ratbat was, essentially, the Decepticons' accountant.
*** Their designs are throwbacks, too, this time to the G1 Pretender Monsters, originally robots that could don [[YourSizeMayVary mass-shifting]] organic shells to pass as (or, in the Monsters' case, terrorize) ordinary people.
* AmuletOfConcentratedAwesome: Sari's Allspark Key [[spoiler:for the first two seasons.]]
* AnAesop: Most episodes.
* [[AnAssKickingChristmas An Aft Kicking Christmas]]: 'Human Error'
* AndIMustScream: Swindle's fate at the end of S.U.V.[[spoiler:—[[HoistByHisOwnPetard ironically]] to be cut into pieces and sold off. ("Five Servos of Doom" reveals that Swindle is NotQuiteDead, and he gets freed in "Decepticon Air".)]]
** Blurr on the other hand...
* AndThisIsFor: In "Survival of the Fittest", Prowl and Captain Fanzone fight Meltdown's mutated minions while trying to save Sari from his experiments. Fanzone throws one particularly impressive punch with a yell of "And ''that's'' for Sari!"
* AndroclesLion: Grimlock, complete with thorn in his foot for those who might miss the connection.
* AnimalMecha: The Dinobots, as usual. Soundwave's pets combine this with InstrumentOfMurder, and then there's Steeljaw and Zaur on Cybertron. Blackarachnia and Waspinator fall into the "actually-part-organic" category.
* {{Animesque}}: From the same folk who worked on ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'', ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' and ''SuperRobotMonkeyTeamHyperforceGo''. And of course, the overseas Creator/MookDLE, Studio4C and Creator/TheAnswerStudio[[note]]as well as Creator/AjiaDo (who went uncredited) [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCWd60YVgAw and later]] {{Creator/Diomedea}}[[/note]] ''are'' Japanese-based animation houses...
* AnyoneCanDie: Starts in the beginning of the third season with [[spoiler:Blurr, [[NotQuiteDead sort of]]]] and never looks back.
* ArcWelding: Ratchet's two old friends from the Great War — Arcee and Omega Supreme — are revealed to be closely connected, plotwise, in the third season.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: Mixmaster cannot defeat [[SmallNameBigEgo Thundercracker!]] He is not worthy! He is inferior! And his [[PreAssKickingOneLiner joke]] stinks!
* AscendedExtra: While he's got less appearances than in the original series, Shockwave manages to do much more notable things in this series.
* AscendedMeme: The portrayal of the Autobot Elite Guard as arrogant and corrupt, and the Decepticons as fighting for their freedom (though [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized the show keeps the Decepticons]] [[BlackAndGreyMorality unambiguously as the bad guys)]].
** The FanNickname 'Punch of Kill Everything' made it into the canon comics (though sadly not the show itself), and shows up in TransformersWarForCybertron to boot (as both a Leader-class killstreak reward and a Soldier-class melee upgrade).
* AsteroidsMonster: Rock Lords (or at least the animalistic space-born ones) can form smaller versions of themselves if shattered.
* AttackPatternAlpha: 'Omega Formation' is used against Blitzwing in 'Sari, No-One's Home'. It doesn't end well.
* AutobotsRockOut: Done absolutely literally in "Human Error". And it was [[RuleOfCool AWESOME!!!]]
* AwesomeBackpack: Wreck-Gar's, which was inspired by [[TheMarxBrothers Harpo Marx]].
* AwesomeButImpractical: The maintenance Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, chose regular everyday vehicles as a means to disguise themselves in the city. What does Sentinel Prime choose as alternate modes to avoid getting noticed? A massive combat-grade missile truck for Ultra Magnus, and a snow plow (in summer) for himself!
--> '''Bumblebee''': No one's gonna notice ''that''!
* BackToBackBadasses: With bonus StrangeBedfellows: Megatron and Optimus Prime. ''"Well, you're the last bot I'd expect to come to my rescue."'' When Optimus says he isn't, Megatron then grabs Optimus and ''uses him as a shield''.
* BadassGrandpa: Ratchet.
* BadassNormal: Captain Fanzone. ''Survival of the Fittest'' should be simple enough.
* BagOfHolding: Swindle's "personal storage dimension" and Wreck-Gar's backpack, which contains (quite literally) everything ''and'' the kitchen sink. The former has a justification, the latter runs on RuleOfFunny.
* BandOfBrothers: And one sister
* BashBrothers: The most literal version is Prowl and Fanzone in "Survival of the Fittest," but the trope is frequently used as, on the whole, one Decepticon is more dangerous than three Autobots.
* BastardUnderstudy: Starscream comes close to this several times (most notably in the pilot)
* BatmanGambit: Optimus manages to pull one off in "Decepticon Air," in a near-perfect {{homage}} to ''SupermanII''.
* BattleButler: Lugnut's near-religious fanatical devotion to Megatron.
* BedsheetGhost: Bulkhead has to use a fumigation tent.
* BerserkButton: Starscream, true to type, likes to plan out monologues and speeches. Don't interrupt him when he gives them, 'kay?
** "You ''interrupted'' my '''''SPEEEEECH'''!!''"
* BewareTheNiceOnes: In ''Autoboot Camp'', at Boot Camp, Longarm was one of two 'bots that treated Bumblebee with any degree of decency. [[spoiler: Then we find out his true identity by the end of the episode...]]
* {{BFG}}: Owned by Megatron, Swindle, and Shockwave.
* BigBad: Megatron. He doesn't get his short-lived {{Evil Plan}}s thwarted every week anymore, nooo...
** BigBadEnsemble: While Megatron was the overall Big Bad of the series, the writers wanted to minimize his appearance to further emphasize the threat he posed. In addition to Megatron and the Decepticons loyal to him, we had rogue Decepticons like Starscream, Lockdown, Blackarachnia and Swindle, or semi-affiliated ones like Soundwave, running around causing problems, and various human enemies. Among the humans, [[MadScientist Meltdown]] and [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Porter C. Powell]] were chief among the Autobots human antagonists.
* BigBrotherInstinct: All of the Autobots towards Sari.
* BigGood: Ultra Magnus.
* BigNo: Bulkhead, when he wakes up and finds his body stolen.
* BioAugmentation: The aim of Prometheus Black's company, Biotech Unbound, before things [[FreakLabAccident went downhill for him]].
* {{Bizarrchitecture}}: Sumdac Tower is shaped like a giant spark plug, and thus is narrower at the bottom than it is near the top.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: This series is less [[BlackAndWhiteMorality black-and-white]] than some of the others - while the Decepticons are unquestionably the bad guys, the Autobots aren't exactly noble, flawless heroes. The best example is the Autobot leadership, which is flawed and includes at least one power-grabbing xenophobe. The Decepticons are "freedom fighters" in some twisted sense, which might have made them "[[GreyAndGrayMorality gray]]" rather than "black" if it weren't clear that they have no respect for anyone's plight but their own.
* BlofeldPloy: Played with in the first season finale. Megatron mentions how appropriate it is to have Starscream with him as he takes his revenge on the one responsible for his 50 years as a head. He then aims at Optimus, only to turn around and slag Starscream, who actually ''was'' responsible for it but didn't think Megatron knew.
* BlowYouAway: Jetstorm and vehicle-mode Safeguard. Optimus whips up a tornado with the Magnus Hammer.
* BootCampEpisode: In a [[WholeEpisodeFlashback Flashback Episode]], Bumblebee and Bulkhead go through basic training.
* BornInTheWrongCentury: Captain Fanzone, no doubt. The man (''somehow'') has a ''rotary dial cell phone'', of a size that marks it as outdated by ''today'''s standards, among other things.
** Fanzone's CatchPhrase when getting befuddled by anything more complex than that? "This is why I ''hate'' machines.''
* BountyHunter: Lockdown.
* BrainBleach: Optimus looks to be in dire need of some after Sari explains where little organics come from.
* BreakTheCutie: [[spoiler:Sari in Season 2. First her dad goes missing, then her dad's company gets taken out of her control by [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Porter C.]] [[JerkAss Powell]] who reveals with the subtlety of a brick that she doesn't exist in any form of legal documentation. If it weren't for the Autobots helping her cope over all of this, Sari could very easily have [[BewareTheNiceOnes snapped]] upon the [[TomatoInTheMirror revelation that she was part Cybertronian]] instead of [[TookALevelInBadass taking a level in badass]]]].
* BreakTheHaughty: Sentinel's ordeal in ''Return of the Headmaster''. It doesn't stick.
* BringIt
* BrokenHero: Optimus Prime, of all people.
* BuffySpeak: Oddly, two of the smartest (in terms of technology) cast members: see ShapedLikeItself.
* ButtMonkey: If you get annoyed at JerkAss Sentinel Prime, just wait five minutes and ''something'' nasty will happen to him. Usually it's related to Earth's weather/inhabitants/road structure, but he's also [[GrandTheftMe had his body stolen by a human]], been humiliated in front of his comrades, screamed like a little girl when encountering organics, failed at driving in the rain, and been wrong in pretty much every arrogant assertion he's made.
** From season 2 onward, Starscream also becomes a Butt Monkey in this series. It starts with the infamous [[Funny/WesternAnimation "Starscream Death Montage"]] with [[spoiler:Megatron killing him over and over again (with the allspark fragment on his head being the only thing keeping him alive).]] All of his plans always fail and in the finale in which may be his Crowning Moment of Butt Monkery, [[spoiler: his clones (with one heavily implied to represent his self-loathing) betray him for Megatron.]] He spends the majority of season three [[spoiler: as a disembodied head trapped with Megatron aboard Omega Supreme,]] and just when he [[spoiler: fnally gets a new body, [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness Megatron blasts him (He recovers).]]]] And in the finale, [[spoiler: The allspark fragment that was keeping him alive is pulled out, thus killing him.]] And if you count the comic adaptation, he [[spoiler: gets humiliated and blackmailed by Professor Princess.]] One can't help but feel a bit sorry for him.
** Tutor Bot, as well.
* CannotTellALie: Inverted by Ramjet, the Liar Starscream, who literally always says the opposite of the truth, OppositeDay-style.
* CanonImmigrant: Oil Slick was never intended to be in the show (in fact, he was originally just a sketch someone made in their free time), and was kept to the toyline and the comics. He's since been introduced in the cartoon in a brief but memorable scene. Roughly the same deal with Soundwave's guitar creatures.
** Inverted with Prowl's samurai armor sidecar; it was created for the show but Hasbro liked the design so much they made a toy version, and Prowl eventually got the armor permanently.
** Played more straight with Lugnut, Lockdown, and Slipstream. Slipstream's a character in ''VideoGame/TransformersWarForCybertron'' (albeit for multiplayer only); Lockdown got [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Lockdown_%28ROTF%29 a toy]] for the ''[[Film/TransformersRevengeOfTheFallen Revenge of the Fallen]]'' toyline, then was repurposed and used as the basis for a [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Lockdown_%28G1%29 G1 version of the character]]; and [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Lugnut_%28TF_2010%29 Lugnut]] appeared in two G1-based comics, [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Rodimus_vs._Cyclonus one of which]] took place during [[WesternAnimation/TransformersTheMovie the original movie]] (and, as the [=TFWiki=] points out, probably freaked out when Starscream threw Megatron out of Astrotrain).
* CapedMecha: Lockdown's space poncho and Alpha Trion's traditional cape. Red Alert's design makes her look like she's wearing a labcoat, but at least that's clearly a part of her alt mode.
* CaptainGeographic: The Autobots (Optimus' team, that is). They're far more superhero-esque than they usually are, and seeing as their protectorate is Detroit, former automobile capital of the world and (in the series) current robot manufacturing capital of the world, they seem to fit this trope quite nicely.
* CardboardPrison: Played straight and averted. The first time Meltdown escapes, he apparently does so without the Detroit Police [[FridgeLogic even hearing about it]]. The second time, however, he's stuck in a specially-designed cell not even he can melt through and it takes the Dinobots (following Blackarachnia's orders) to get him out. The lower-grade supervillains like the Angry Archer seem to have an easier time of it: Fanzone even [[LampshadeHanging points this out]] in the Almanac.
** The Decepticons seem to escape with frightening frequency on the ELITE GUARD ship
* CassandraTruth: Bulkhead tries to warn Sari about [[spoiler: Soundwave]], but she's just not listening.
* CastofSnowflakes
* CatchPhrase: Captain Fanzone, "''This'' is why I hate machines" (with a couple of variants).
** How could one not mention "Transform and Roll Out"? Or the even cooler evil variant, "Transform and Rise Up"?
* CatScare: Sentinel receives one in "Return of the Headmaster".
* ChewingTheScenery: "You interrupted MY '''SPEEEEEEEEEEECH!'''"
* ChristmasEpisode: "Human Error"
* ChronicallyCrashedCar: Captain Fanzone's car.
* CloudCuckooLander: Wreck-Gar and Random Blitzwing. To quote the latter after being sent flying:
-->Mayday! Mayday! Let's all dance around the maypole!
* CoDragons: Lugnut and Shockwave. When they finally meet, it takes them about ten minutes to start fighting over which of them is the most loyal to Megatron.
** Thanks partly to Starscream manipulating the (rather dense) Lugnut...and because Megatron ''wanted'' Lugnut to be at his most loyal.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: The Autobots are bright, primary colors (sans Bulkhead and Prowl) while the Decepticons are muted or secondary colors like gray, purple and green. Dead Cybertronians become a distinct darkish grey, in homage to G1 Optimus Prime's death in TheMovie.
* CombatStilettos: [[MeaningfulName Stiletto]], a comic-only human supervillain, uses experimental Sumdac weapons in her heels (she's also a kickboxer). Blackarachnia, for some reason, only gained high-heels after becoming part-organic. Sari sort-of lampshades this in ''Bee in the City'' by asking who designs a robot with high heels: Flareup doesn't know either, but when she finds him...
* ComicBookAdaptation: Three: One is simply a somewhat-fail-y [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Transformers_Animated_Volume_1 retelling of episodes through screen captures,]] one is an original series of stories published by Titan Magazines and only available in the U.K. (There's also one ''Animated'' story in the main ''Transformers Comic'' written by Simon Furman), and one is a (most definitely {{canon}}) series called ''[[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/The_Arrival The Arrival]]'', written by the show's head writer, Marty Isenberg, which both tells new stories and [[AllThereInTheManual what various characters were doing between appearances on the show]].
* CombiningMecha: Any Transformer becomes this ''against their will'' when the Headmaster gets his hands on them.
** Also, in the comics and Season 3, Jetfire and Jetstorm, who merge [[GaoGaiGar symmetrical docking]]-style into Safeguard.
* CompositeCharacter: The show's version of Blackarachnia is a composite of Blackarachnia from ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' and [[spoiler: and ''TransformersGeneration1'''s Elita One]]. Not to mention her design features certain elements of all of her appearances throughout ''Beast Wars/Beast Machines''.
** Megatron is a combination of [[TheTransformers his original cartoon incarnation]] and his larger and more vicious [[TransformersFilmSeries live-action movie incarnation]] in design, but with a little dash of [[WesternAnimation/BeastWars his Beast Wars incarnation]] added in for character.
** Red Alert is basically a DistaffCounterpart to Armada's Red Alert.
* ConceptArtGallery: Both ''Almanacs''
* ConservationOfNinjutsu: The Autobots barely hold off Starscream early on, but are much more effective against the squadron of clones. (The Autobot arsenal now includes stasis cuffs...)
* ContinuityPorn - The ''Almanacs'' are bursting at the seams with references to every corner of the TF multiverse.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: Sari uses boiling water to kill the space barnacles possessing Bumblebee and Prowl, but isn't scalded by the steam. [[spoiler: Maybe her skin is tougher than a normal human's.]]
* ConvenientColorChange: When Mixmaster and Scrapper [[FaceHeelTurn change their allegiance to the Decepticons]], their paint jobs go from traditional construction livery (primarily yellow and gray) to the classic Constructicon colors of green and purple. Their [[UnusualEuphemism optics]] also [[EyeColourChange change color]], from yellow to red (going from a "neutral" color to the traditional Decepticon optic color).
* ConveyorBeltOfDoom: When Megatron takes over the factory equipment in 'Home Is Where the Spark Is', he uses the manipulator arms to pin Bulkhead down on one of these and send him towards a crusher.
* CoolCar: Par for the course with Transformers, but special mentions go to Lockdown, a combination of a few classic muscle cars, and Blurr, whose vehicle mode is reminiscent of [[Anime/SpeedRacer the Mach 5]].
* CoolChair: Professor Sumdac used Megatron's hand as a chair in his lab. Its owner was less than happy.
* CoolShades: or rather, optic sensors: Prowl, Soundwave, Jazz, and Grimlock (the first two's even look a bit like [[Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann Kamina's]]). Meltdown's shades, however, are actual sunglasses, and are pretty funky.
** Don't be fooled; Prowl might have Kamina's shades, but he's really [[GaoGaiGar Volfogg]].
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Porter C. Powell, and to a lesser extent, Prometheus Black/Meltdown.
* CranialProcessingUnit: These Transformers' mind seems entirely located in their heads. As seen with the headmaster episodes.
* CreatorCameo: In "Human Error, Part 1," one of customers at the burger place is Marty Isenberg.
* CreatorProvincialism: Isaac Sumdac grew up in the same place as Derrick Wyatt.
* CreditsPushback: YTV did this to the second season finale's [[TheStinger stinger]], making it hard to hear [[spoiler: Megatron and Starscream bickering in space]]. Fans were unamused.
* CreepyMonotone: Soundwave. Perceptor is actually [[SyntheticVoiceActor performed by a voice synthesizer]]. Megatron and Shockwave come close, being more [[ImplacableMan implacable]] than monotone.
* CruelMercy: [[spoiler: Optimus didn't spare Megatron because he was feeling kind...]]
* CrystalDragonJesus: WordOfGod states that there is a Church of Primus on Cybertron. Not much is known about the church, though ''Animated'' Vector Prime's design brings to mind the uniform of the Pope. WordOfGod states that it's of the ChurchOfHappyology flavor.
* CurbStompBattle: The main Autobots are a maintenance crew, only a handful of whom have proper combat training and only one of whom has actual experience. The Decepticons are massive, powerful war machines. Do the math.
** Then you have the three Dinobots against Meltdown's mutants. Do ''that'' math.
* CyberneticsEatYourSoul: Perceptor may already be a robot, but according to WordOfGod, he deleted his own personality and capacity for emotion in order to store more information in his processor.
* DarkActionGirl: Slipstream, the Female Starscream, as treacherous as her progenitor ''and'' her fellow trope examples. Blackarachnia sometimes fills this role as well, though she's more often a FemmeFatale.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Third season. FamilyUnfriendlyViolence, FamilyUnfriendlyDeath, and ChildSoldiers, oh my!
* DarkSkinnedRedhead: Sari
* DatingCatwoman: Optimus and Blackarachnia[[spoiler:/Elita-1]]
* DeadlineNews: A reporter is covering the RobotWar that Soundwave started when his camera starts attacking him. Then we see a News-Bot covering the news a few days later...
** He survived, and is shown covering the garbage disputes in Season 2.
* DeathMontage: [[spoiler: a now immortal Starscream gets one showing him attempting, and failing, to overthrow Megatron.]]
* DecompositeCharacter: Played straight maybe; we're not quite sure what happened with Skywarp and Cyclonus. In TransformersGeneration1, Cyclonus may or may not be an upgraded Skywarp (blame error-prone animation for a confusing TransformationSequence.) The ''Animated'' version, however? Skywarp is one of several clones of Starscream, each with one trait of the original taken UpToEleven. Skywarp represents his cowardice. As for Cyclonus, he's a brief cameo, but AllThereInTheManual tells us that his "internal chronometer" is way off, he is seeking someone named Galvatron (that's Megatron's upgraded form in G1 and several other series), and he has some circuitry in common with Starscream, particularly his (now disabled) self-preservation instinct. This hints without saying that Cyclonus is from the future and used to be Skywarp.
* DecontaminationChamber: Sentinel uses one to pick on the team in 'The Elite Guard'.
* DeflectorShields: Sumdac Tower has an emergency force-field that can cover the entire building - pretty impressive, considering it's one of the few inventions that probably didn't have its roots in Megatron. The Elite Guard ship also has one, and Swindle has a personal version that he purchased from the [[WesternAnimation/BeastWars Vok]].
* DesertedIsland: North Sister Island, a volcanic island that somehow exists in the middle of Lake Erie. Then it becomes "Dinobot Island" and gets more and more crowded.
* DestructiveSaviour: Bulkhead. So very, very much.
* UsefulNotes/{{Detroit}}
* DevelopmentGag: Team Rodimus is three-fifths scrapped ideas (see WhatCouldHaveBeen). Sari's scooter / jetpack is based on a transforming trike she had in a dropped version of the opening sequence.
* DieHardOnAnX: "Decepticon Air", complete with Prime doing the "exploding elevator" trick from ''Film/DieHard'' and making snarky comments while doing an AirVentPassageway escape.
* DinosaursAreDragons: The Dinobots, as ever, although Professor Sumdac didn't actually have this in mind while designing them. Megatron added the flame breath because he planned on using one of them as a new body and the others as attack drones.
* DirtyCoward: Coward Starscream, even more so than Starscream himself, though the clone lacks even the courage to betray people to ensure his own safety.
* DiscoDan: Meltdown. Not only does he cling to outmoded ideals about human superiority over all machines, he also once speechified about how Prof. Sumdac isn't worthy to "lick the mud off my platform shoes, booga-looga-looga-looz!"
** A surprising number of other villains, too. Headmaster's all outdated interwebz slang, Slo-Mo's a flapper, Angry Archer's stuck in the Middle Ages, and there were hints that Season 4 would have had a villainous SteamPunk commune.
* DistinctiveAppearances: Nearly every robot in the series can be identified by their shadow. Especially Blackarachnia.
** Nearly any. Many Cybertronians share a mold with either Bumblebee or Ratchet, the former moreso.
* DistractedByTheSexy: Blackarachnia pulls this on Bulkhead and Bumblebee during her first appearance on Earth (They'd never seen a female Transformer before) and does it quite often to Optimus Prime [[spoiler: (who kinda used to be her ex)]] afterwards.
* DistressedDamsel: Arcee is metaphorically StuffedIntoTheFridge multiple times.
** Also, Elita-1.
** Also, as Blackarachnia she ''keeps'' having to be saved from her own attempts at evil schemes. Even the one exception to this rule was retroactively made one (after Megatron Rising, it was the Dinobots who pulled her to the island.) That's ''three'' female 'bots ([[CompositeCharacter for the price of two]]) who were quite BadAss in previous incarnations whose roles have been reduced to "helpless victim who is either saved, or not saved as part of a male 'bot's backstory." You ''really'' expect the 2008 series to be ''more'' progressive than the 80s/90s ones... but in the writers' favor, there ''is'' Sari.
* DoesNotKnowHisOwnStrength: Bulkhead
* DoIReallySoundLikeThat?: Sari's impression of Optimus Prime is spot-on.
* DontCallMeSir: Ratchet works for a living.
* DoubleAesop: 'Velocity'.
* TheDragon: Starscream at first, and later Lugnut.
** By the series finale, the latter is literally fighting Shockwave for this position.
* DrillSergeantNasty: Sentinel [[strike:Prime]] Minor in a flashback.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: Sentinel, although it's more to do with his contempt for human traffic laws (he also can't figure out how to drive in the rain). All of the "Automen" in ''Human Error'', where they have to actually work their vehicle modes from the inside instead of just thinking about it.
* DropTheHammer: Ultra Magnus and Sari. Shockwave, briefly.
** [[spoiler:And now Optimus himself.]]
* DubNameChange: In the Japanese version, Bulkhead's name was changed to Ironhide so the main group of Autobots will all correspond to the main group of TransformersFilmSeries Autobots (except for Prowl - oops). Consequentially, Ironhide's name was changed to "Armorhide".
* DumbMuscle: The Dinobots, especially the toddler-like Grimlock. Of course, [[TheVoiceless Swoop and Snarl]] can't seem to muster up the processor power to ''speak'', either. Lugnut, Scrapper, Mixmaster, and Blackout are also standouts, while Bulkhead is a GeniusDitz, though his lack of general intelligence is played up considerably in the Japanese dub. Omega Supreme was ''specifically programmed'' to be DumbMuscle, so that he wouldn't question his lot in life as a [[PersonOfMassDestruction Robot Of Mass Destruction]]. Blitzwing's Hothead personality leans toward this, as well.
* EatsBabies: Megatron is such a nightmarish, legendary figure to the Autobots that he's said to eat their protoforms for breakfast. He doesn't, [[spoiler: although he doesn't mind using them to build [=WMD=]s.]]
** According to some fans, Omega Supreme feeds on protoforms. He ''was'' built by Wheeljack...
* EatTheBomb: Snarl swallows a missile in the Dinobots' debut episode, and isn't even fazed.
* EasyAmnesia: Averted, for the most part, with Arcee. [[spoiler:After she loses her memory it stays lost for a very, ''very'' long time, and it takes quite a while to retrieve them properly in the finale.]] There was also a scrapped Season 4 idea with this as its main plot point, this time with Cosmos being amnesiac instead of Arcee. According to the [[AllThereInTheManual Allspark Almanac 2]], "HilarityEnsues".
* EnemyMine: Although they're technically both Autobots, Optimus and Grimlock's fateful team-up played out like this.
* {{Engrish}}: The closed captioning for one episode dubbed Shockwave as "Chugway"
* EpicFlail: Bulkhead.
** Don't forget Swoop! His even ''bursts into flames!''
* EquippableAlly: Laserbeak and Ratbat for Soundwave.
* [[EveryoneKnowsMorse Everyone Knows Cybertronian Optical Code]]: Used in "Decepticon Air" when Optimus's Autobot symbol flashes while "telling" Jazz his plan.
** {{Justified|Trope}} here, since Optimus is an Elite Guard washout and Jazz is an actual member of the Elite Guard.
* EvilCostumeSwitch: Shockwave changing his color scheme to his "true" Decepticon colors can be treated as such.
* EvilCounterpart: Oil Slick and Lockdown for Prowl.
* EvilDuo: Lugnut and Blitzwing, with the complication that Blitzwing can go from being Lugnut's straight man to the crazy one at the flip of a switch.
* EvilGloating: Starscream ''loves'' this. Interrupt him at your peril. Naturally, his [[SendInTheClones clone]] Thundercracker, the Egomaniac, loves it even more.
** '''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwAjddZzNqI YOU INTERRUPTED MY SPEEEEEEECH!]]'''
* EvilutionaryBiologist: Meltdown's human experiments ended up bizarre, monstrous {{Mythology Gag}}s of G1 Pretenders.
* {{Expy}}: Very common, this being ''{{Transformers}}''. Most recently, ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' character Rattrap got one in the form of Rattletrap (a combination of the original's Western (Rattrap) and Japanese (Rattle) names). Not exactly [[DirtyCoward a flattering portrayal]].
** Lockdown has been compared to EnsembleDarkHorse Death's Head from the comics.
** ''[[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Magnus_Hammer Whoever holds this hammer, if they can deal with that now, shall posses the power of the Magnus...]]'' One could say the Magnus Hammer is basically an Expy of [[ComicBook/TheMightyThor Mjolnir]], and Animated Ultra Magnus is basically Thor for wielding it. Also, the hammer is the symbol of office for the Magnus, since in this continuity the suffix "Magnus" is a military rank, and they must have the hammer in their possesion at all times to be considered the Magnus similar to Mjolnir only granting the power of Thor to whom it deems worthy.
** Several of Sentinel Prime's design elements (he's energetic, mostly blue, with a ''very'' prominent chin) are based on TheTick, with whom he [[ActorAllusion shares a voice actor]]. This was done on purpose after said actor was cast for the role.
** Omega S.P.R.E.E.M. was a homage to Omega Spreem, an obscure toy from the [[TransformersGeneration1 Generation 1]] Action Masters line.
* EyesDoNotBelongThere: The mutant space barnacles make eyes appear all over their victims.
* FacePalm
* FakeStatic: Bumblebee in "Megatron Rising" and Prowl in "A Fistful of Energon".
-->'''Ratchet''': [[ContinuityNod Personally, I've always found Bumblebee's fake static to be a lot more convincing.]]
* FakeUltimateHero: Rodimus Prime receives this treatment.
* FallenHero: Blackarachnia
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath: Blurr gets trapped in a tunnel and crushed by its closing walls. After which his killer (in disguise) casually hands his cube-sized remains over to the nearest Autobot who has no idea what he just tossed down the disposal chute. Considering the show had no "real" deaths up until this point, this made the emotional impact even worse.
** More than one person on the [[http://www.allspark.com/forums/index.php?act=idx AllSpark]] forums has claimed HesJustHiding.
** Considering his spark was still glowing [[spoiler:in the close-up models of the cube]]...
** In a ''Franchise/TransformersTimelines'' comic published after the series, [[spoiler:Blurr attends an event, still smushed up]].
* FantasticRacism: Aplenty.
** Meltdown and his henchman don't like machines. Captain Fanzone likes to say he hates machines, but this is really in the context of being old-fashioned and irritable (and a WalkingTechbane). He's on good terms with the Autobots, even if they keep messing up his city.
** Sentinel Prime ''really'' doesn't like organics. This is actually endemic to the entire Cybertronian population (Optimus' crew, for whatever reason, are far more tolerant even at the start), but Sentinel goes above and beyond. He actually tells Blackarachnia, his old friend Elita-1 turned techno-organic, that she was [[FateWorseThanDeath better off dead]] [[spoiler: before trying to ''[[MercyKill kill her]]'']]. How bad is this? Even Blackarachnia herself has less hatred for her organic half than Sentinel does, and she spends the entire series trying to purge it. Second-in-command of the Autobot Elite Guard, everybody!
*** Fanzone actually uses this against the Cybertronians when he ends up on Cyberton in one episode. Being a human and all, he's basically a walking bioterrorism weapon.
* FascistsBedTime: One of Sentinel's first acts as Magnus is to institute a curfew. What this means for robots who don't exactly 'sleep' is unclear, although they do take 'stasis naps'.
* FastballSpecial: Optimus does this with Sentinel Prime to get the latter into melee range of Lugnut. They were in space at the time.
** Bulkhead tosses Prowl and Bumblebee on more than one occasion. See also the NotQuiteFlight example below.
* FauxtivationalPoster: Prowl has one in his room.
* FemmeFatale: Blackarachnia
* FiveBadBand: The main Decepticons, although there is significant shifting of positions because of plot, betrayal or otherwise being separated.
** BigBad - Megatron
** TheDragon - Starscream, then Lugnut, then Shockwave
** TheBrute - Lugnut
** EvilGenius - Blitzwing and Shockwave mostly. Soundwave also fits but he doesn't interact with the others.
** DarkChick - Blackarachnia, the true MadScientist of the group, but besides the first episode she doesn't have much to do with the others.
** Team Chaar also fits, with Strika being the BigBad (though Megatron still outranks her), Cyclonus TheDragon, Blackout TheBrute, Oil Slick TheEvilGenius and...Spittor TheDarkChick by default.
** During "Decepticon Air", the Decepticons aboard the ''Steelhaven'' form one, with Lugnut as the BigBad, Blitzwing as TheDragon, Ramjet TheBrute, Swindle TheEvilGenius, and Sunstorm TheDarkChick. Swindle later abandons the group to become the SixthRangerTraitor. Blitzwing very briefly becomes DragonAscendant when Lugnut is lost.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: At the end of the first season, Sari tries interacting with the Allspark and all it shows is a holographic DNA helix surrounding a spark. No explanation is given until the end of the second season but the fans quickly latched onto that as confirmation of some WildMassGuessing.
** When Nanosec acquires the [[SuperSpeed speed]] [[ClothesMakeTheSuperman suit]], he runs around town and robs a few banks to test it out. The next time he runs into Bumblebee, he tells Nanosec the suit makes him look ten years older.
** In "Return Of The Headmaster" Bumblebee and Bulkhead both casually and correctly guess the show's big plot twist ([[spoiler: that Sari is actually a robot]]) but at the time it just seemed like they were making crap up.
* ForgottenSuperweapon: Omega Supreme
* ForHalloweenIAmGoingAsMyself: In the ''[[Franchise/TransformersTimelines Timelines]]'' comic "The Stunti-con Job", the Stunticons pretend to be Autobots disguised as Decepticons for the sake of their traveling stunt show.
* FourFingeredHands: Strika, Scrapper, Grimlock, Oil Slick and Waspinator - although the last one isn't meant to be anything close to human.
* FriendlyEnemy: Bulkhead and the Constructicons (other than Dirt Boss) get along famously, and Bulkhead knows that Mixmaster and Scrapper are simply misguided, not evil.
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Prowl.
** Ironic considering [[spoiler: he's the only Autobot who successfully kills another character on screen (Starscream in "Endgame Part 2"), although Jazz helped.]]
* FromNobodyToNightmare: Wasp(inator)
* FunWithAcronyms: The "Fully Automated Rapid Transit System". Hilariously, WordOfGod swears this was an accident. Bee in the city's "Bi-directional Unified Transit Terminal", on the other hand...
--> '''Sari''': "The B-U...Dad, you really need to work on your acronyms."
* FunnySchizophrenia: Blitzwing. Icy, Hothead, and Random.
* FurryConfusion: Or 'the robots are sentient? non-sentient?' confusion: Tutor Bot, News Bot.
* TheFuture: The exact date isn't known, but it's apparently the 22nd century or near to it.
* GaleForceSound: Used, briefly, in the rock battle between Optimus Prime and Soundwave, in "Human Error, Part 2".
* GeniusBruiser: [[GeniusDitz Bulkhead]], [[HuskyRusskie Strika]] and [[MagnificentBastard Megatron]].
* GeniusDitz: Bulkhead is revealed to be the most qualified space bridge technician in the galaxy.
* GentleGiant: Bulkhead
* GeorgeTakei: The voice of Master Yoketron.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Most of the Nanosec/Slomo interaction in "S.U.V.: Society of Ultimate Villainy."
** See also UnusualEuphemism: "Skidplates", "Oil Stain", "Bumper", "Slag"... oh, and is the Constructicons' obsession with "oil" fooling anybody?
** Now add in the Constructicons' "strip club" at the beginning of "Three's a Crowd"...
** "Don't just stand there with your pistons in your servos!" For those who don't know, "servos" are hands.
** "Get your head out of your exhaust port!"
** Sentinel Prime once refers to Optimus and the Autobots as "You Glitches". It's a DoubleEntendre when you think about it.
** The Constructicons also give us this beauty: "What the front-end loader was that?" This was going to be "forklift", but that DIDN'T get past the radar.
** Sari apparently tells Optimus where babies come from.
** "Are you out of your motherboarding mind?!"
* GigglingVillain: Professor Princess, and Random Blitzwing, though his is more insane laughter than actual giggling.
* GirlishPigtails: Sari, of course. After her upgrade, they get smaller but don't vanish entirely. Appropriate, since she's still pretty immature.
* GlassCannon: Soundwave has ThePowerOfRock, but since he's made out of Earth metals without the {{Unobtainium}} that Cybertronians have, he can be easily broken apart by a single attack. Retreat!
* GodzillaThreshold: After [[spoiler:Sari]] goes through a fit of ExplosiveOverclocking, Ratchet manages to bypass the out-of-control circuits...until Megatron returns to Earth [[spoiler:having commandeered Omega Supreme]]. Cue an OhCrap from the whole team:
-->'''Ratchet:''' ...there's nothing more I can do for [[spoiler:her]] now!
-->'''Optimus Prime:''' I know, but I may need you to UN-do something.
-->'''Prowl:''' You're not actually suggesting we unleash an [[spoiler:uncontrollable Sari on Omega Supreme]] are you?
-->'''Optimus Prime:''' I'm hoping we won't have to!
** A much more comedic example comes during ''Bee in the City''. With Optimus and Sari captured by Transtech Sari, Bumblebee is left to ally with a [[WesternAnimation/BeastWars purple Tyrannosaurus, yesssssss]] and Flare-Up to save them. When trying to come up with ideas, he decides they need '''BIG''' help, suggesting they call in Grimlock, or scam Lugnut into helping them out.
-->''' "Joe":''' Oh ''please'', what do I look like, ScottMcNeil?!? [[note]]David Kaye voices Animated Optimus, Grimlock and Lugnut, as well as "Joe". Scott [=McNeil=] previously voiced Rattrap, Dinobot, Silverbolt, and Waspinator on Beast Wars.[[/note]]
* GoodGuyBar: Maccadam's Old Oil House (which first appeared in the comics) is mentioned in season three. It used to be a TruceZone back before the Decepticons were exiled, and was reportedly the one place not even Megatron himself would bomb during the war. Sentinel has it closed down for being a "subversive gathering place".
* GoodIsNotNice: Well, let's see; we've got Wasp being thrown in the Stockades with one piece of questionable evidence, Swindle left paralyzed and our heroes do nothing about it, Sentinel wanting to kill Blackarachnia once he discovers who she really is, and then there's Omega Supreme's entire backstory... The Autobots can almost be as ruthless as the 'Cons at times.
** Though others might argue that Autobots in this series are more grey than their usual white.
** Most of the Autobots (excluding those who live on Earth) have an irrational fear of organics. [[CantArgueWithElves They generally consider themselves to be better than anyone else]]. Oh yeah, and Omega was built to be a [[spoiler: [[PersonOfMassDestruction fairly simple-minded bot, who isn't supposed to think about WHAT he's doing.]] ]]
* GoOutWithASmile: [[spoiler: Prowl, [[TheStoic ironically.]]]]
* GottaCatchThemAll: In the beginning of the second season the All-Spark shatters into umpty-nine pieces each which affects Future-Detroit's technology as well as the giant robots in different ways. The cast has to find them. The similarity to {{Inuyasha}} didn't go unnoticed by the fans.
** Made all the more funny by the fact that [[ActorAllusion Optimus is voiced by Sesshomaru.]]
* GrandTheftMe: Headmaster.
* GreenEyedMonster: Thrust, the only Starscream clone to neither appear in the show ''nor'' have a toy, embodies Starscream's jealousy.
* GrenadeHotPotato: Megatron does this to Starscream during the Death Montage.
* GrievousHarmWithABody: Spittor (the Decepticon frog-bot) in "[=TransWarped=]" grabs Red Alert with his tongue-tentacle things and spits her at the other Autobots.
** Optimus beats up Headmaster-Sentinel with his own arm, a year before the movie! Optimus did the same thing to Starscream. He later forces Laserbeak into his altmode and clobbers Soundwave with him in ''Human Error part 2''.
* GrudgingThankYou: Sentinel to Optimus after their run-in with the Headmaster.
-->That must have hurt.
-->More than you know.
* GrumpyBear: Ratchet
* GrumpyOldMan: Ratchet and Captain Fanzone. Naturally, they are forced to team up in "This Is Why I Hate Machines".
* HairTriggerTemper: The third Constructicon, Dirt Boss. To the point of also being TheNapoleon.
* HalfArcSeason
* HalfHumanHybrid: [[spoiler:Sari.]]
* {{Hammerspace}}: Wreck-Gar's trash bin can both produce random objects and make things put in it seemingly disappear. Similarly, Swindle has an in-universe justification: a private transwarp frequency to his personal storage dimension...located in his torso.
** [[spoiler: Post-upgrade Sari uses this for an actual hammer]]
* HasTwoMommies: In season two Sari effectively gains 5 robot daddies. Well, 3 daddies and 2 older brothers... Well, Bumblebee comes to think of himself and Bulkhead as the cool parent, while the others are collectively the strict one. Except for Ratchet, who's more the Cranky Robot Grandpa.
* HaveYouToldAnyoneElse: Blurr hadn't, and shortly thereafter he was compacted into a cube.
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: Wreck-Gar, if FunnySchizophrenia counts.
* HeKnowsTooMuch: Blurr was able to piece together that Wasp could not have been the traitor in the Autobot camp, as his voice did not match that of Shockwave, who was hiding under an Autobot alias. He reported this to his boss, Longarm (head of Autobot Intelligence) and told him that a simple voice scan through the data archives could determine the identity of the traitor. Unfortunately for him, he also knew too little, as Longarm was the only 'Bot he had spoken to about this... and Longarm was Shockwave's alias. Shockwave then killed him to silence him.
* HelloNurse: Pretty much Bulkhead's (silent) reaction when he first meets Blackarachnia.
* HeroAntagonist: Sentinel Prime, even Ultra Magnus to some extent.
* HeroesGoneFishing: Bumblebee and Sari can often be found playing videogames, holographic Twister or flying toy planes. "Nature Calls" starts out as a camping trip.
* HeroicSacrifice: Optimus Prime died in the third episode - less than sixty minutes into the series. He was brought back from the dead less than two minutes later - a new personal record. Then Omega Supreme died in the second season finale... but he's NotQuiteDead.
** [[spoiler: Prowl as well, in the third (and most likely final) finale]].
* HeroWithBadPublicity: Bulkhead occasionally in Season 1, all the Autobots in Season 2.
* HijackingCthulhu: At one point, [[spoiler: [[BigBad Megatron]] and [[TheStarscream Starscream]] take turns at the wheel of [[HumongousMecha Omega Supreme.]]]]
* HollywoodLaw: Powell uses his [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney connections and resources]] to get Masterson free so he could hire him, despite Masterson threatening to blow up an entire state on live television.
* {{Homage}}: Several designs are nods to other HumongousMecha and even other Transformers series:
** Starscream's vehicle mode is similar to the [[http://www.new-un-spacy.com/macrossplus/yf-19.htm YF-19 Alpha One]] from MacrossPlus and {{Macross 7}} (he even looks like the GERWALK mode for a second during his TransformationSequence).
** Tutor Bot looks quite a bit like Lord Canti of ''Anime/{{FLCL}}''.
** The police drones used by the city look like the ED-209 from ''Franchise/{{Robocop}}'' (which is also set in a futuristic Detroit), and Sumdac even makes a reference to it having similar problems with identification.
** Blurr's vehicle mode looks like the [[Anime/SpeedRacer Mach 5]]. The toy version even has a hidden sawblade that springs out front. On a different note, he also has wheels inspired by Cheetor from the canceled ''[[TransformersTransTech Transtech]]'' line. Appropriately, his toy will soon be retooled ''into'' an actual TransTech Cheetor toy.
** Jetfire and Jetstorm, who combine to form Safeguard, bear a marked resemblance in [[BlueOniRedOni design]] and [[CombiningMecha combination-style]] to Hyoryu and Enryu/Choryujin from ''GaoGaiGar''.
** Spittor's vehicle mode was designed as an homage to Don Figueroa's version of the original Spittor's altmode before the Beast Wars.
** The Starscream clones are all based on other jets in previous Transformers series and a sly joke towards the repaint/resell methods of Transformer toys; The original Sycophant's color scheme almost exactly matches that of Starscream in The UnicronTrilogy.
** Headmaster is ''not'' a Gurren Lagann reference, no matter what some people tell you. Dirt Boss, however...
*** Dirt Boss also has mind-controlling devices he fires into other Transformers' heads, just like the G1 Insecticon Bombshell.
** During "Decepticon Air", Sari's hands splits apart into many smaller robotic fingers to operate a keyboard quickly, very much like is done by various computer operating cyborgs in ''GhostInTheShell''. Also, her "palm blast" hands in ''Transwarped'' bear a remarkable resemblance to the design of IronMan's repulsors that was used in the movie.
*** In the same episode, Sunstorm and Ramjet get headpieces that cause them to resemble their G1 counterparts much more closely. According to the Allspark Almanac 2, Dirge and Thrust get coneheads of their own to complete the homage. Of course, Thundercracker, Skywarp, and Starscream don't get boxheads, but whatever.
** Sari's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf3qEBrKojg first upgrade]] in ''[=TransWarped=]'' is another homage to Gurren Lagann, namely the way her arms and legs suddenly expand is almost identical to the way the Gurren's do when it [[CombiningMecha combines]] with Lagann.
** Optimus, Bulkhead, and Prowl are dead ringers for Hammerstein, Mongrol, and Joe Pineapples (respectively) from ''ComicBook/ABCWarriors''. Blitzwing rather resembles Blackblood.
** Ultra Magnus' toy received a redeco to become Roadbuster Ultra Magnus, an homage to G1's Roadbuster, who had a nearly identical vehicle mode to Animated Magnus.
** Mainframe is ''such'' an homage to the original G1 character that, like the original (an altmodeless Action Master), he never transforms. The writers say is that he ''does'' have an altmode, but it's an immobile supercomputer.
* HonestJohn: Swindle doesn't even bother with a fake name, he's just that honest.
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: Issac Sumdac thought that Megatron was an Autobot. To be fair, that part wasn't entirely unreasonable since he had no real knowledge of the Decepticons beyond witnessing Starscream battle the Autobots. However, when Megatron starts putting flamethrowers into the Dinobots (who are running amok when this info is made aware) and begs Sumdac not to tell his "Autobot friends", it's baffling that he wouldn't find that even a little suspicious.
* HostageForMacGuffin
* HulkSpeak: Grimlock
* HumansAreWhite: It does a better job of averting this than previous entries.
* HypocriticalHumour: Wreck-Gar complaining that Sari can't make up her mind in "Human Error".
* IApprovedThisMessage: "I'm Sentinel Prime, and I approve of this message."
* IKnowYouAreInThereSomewhereFight: in "Transwarped, Part III," Ratchet to Omega [[spoiler:when Starscream's controlling him]].
** Also twice in "Human Error". Done by Sari first to her father and later to the Autobots.
* IHaveAFamily: The Professor in "Three's a Crowd", when he thinks Bulkhead has turned into a PointyHairedBoss (Bulky was just pretending so Dirt Boss wouldn't ''really'' go after him).
* ILied: Megatron to Professor Sumdac when the latter finally learns the truth.
* ImADoctorNotAPlaceholder: Ratchet is a medi-bot, not a field commander.
* ImpactSilhouette: Bulkhead and Blitzwing in different episodes.
* {{Incoming}}
* IncrediblyObviousBomb: How Starscream nearly kills Megatron in the premiere. He tries to do this again during the famous Death Montage, but Megatron catches it and throws it back at him.
* IneffectualLoner: Prowl keeps trying to be antisocial and self-reliant, but is inevitably beaten down by [[AnAesop the power of Aesop]].
* IneffectualSympatheticVillain: The Society of Ultimate Villainy, for the most part.
* InhumanableAlienRights: Powell uses this to get Masterson off the hook for attacking Optimus and Sentinel. Fanzone and the Autobots turn this back on him a few episodes later.
* InitiationCeremony: Mixmaster and Scrapper get the 'painful' version when they officially join the Decepticons: Megatron literally brands both of them.
* InsigniaRipOffRitual: After Shockwave frames Wasp, Sentinel removes his Autobot insignia as Cliffjumper is taking him away.
* InstrumentOfMurder: Soundwave has an electric guitar that turned into his attack bird Laserbeak. He also has Ratbat, who turns into a keytar.
* IntroDump: The first scene featuring the main Decepticons.
* IShallTauntYou: Bumblebee uses this against Blitzwing in "Megatron Rising", angering him enough to switch from Icy to Hothead in midair - meaning he transforms from plane to tank and falls out of the sky. "Oh slag! NOT AGAI-"
* IsItAlwaysLikeThis: Newcomer Jazz, on being attacked by a mass-produced robot army.
* IslandBase: There's one hidden on Dinobot Island: Meltdown moves into it after his first jailbreak, and Blackarachnia finds it during season 2. According to the [[AllThereInTheManual Almanac]], it's an abandoned government facility.
* ISurrenderSuckers: When [[BadLiar Ramjet]] tells you he's completely disarmed and helpless, he isn't. Sentinel, who'd never met him, didn't pick up on it, but Prowl did.
* IsThatAThreat
* ItHasBeenAnHonor: In the first season finale, Optimus tells the team he can't think of anyone he'd rather have by his side as they're about to go into battle. Bumblebee, however, notes he wouldn't mind having the Elite Guard there too.
* JAMProject: Provided the OP for the Japanese dub. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWjXcmBjJXg&fmt=18 And it is glorious]]
* JawDrop: Bulkhead does this twice, and it literally ''falls off'' the second time.
* {{Jerkass}}: Sentinel Prime. Ultra Magnus really is a ''terrible'' judge of character.
* JetPack: Bumblebee's turbo-boosters (when he's in the air), Prowl's jump jets (especially with the samurai armour), Sari's transforming scooter and Optimus' wing-pack from the finale.
* JiveTurkey: Jazz. "Traffic lights. Solid."
** [[WordOfGod Marty Isenberg]] stated in an interview that he was suppose to sound like a {{beatnik}}.
* JobStealingRobot: Prometheus Black holds this view of Isaac Sumdac's creations in "Meltdown" (with the crowd at his "man vs. robot" fight agreeing with him). Captain Fanzone is a milder case, as he believes policework is meant for humans rather then robots.
* JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind: Prowl interfaces with [[spoiler:Omega Supreme to free him from Megatron's control]].
* {{Keepaway}}: Five Autobots trying to keep an angry Starscream from the Allspark. Lampshaded by Sari.
* KidAppealCharacter: Bumblebee (duh) and Sari.
** In "Bee in the City", Bumblebee is mistaken for several other "kid appeal" types across various other ''Transformers'' canons; [[TransformersGenerationOne Wheelie]], [[Anime/TransformersRobotsInDisguise Side Burn]], [[TransformersArmada Hot Shot]], and [[WesternAnimation/BeastWars Cheetor]].
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler: Yoketron, Starscream, Prowl]]
* KnightOfCerebus: The show has quite a few, actually, the first was Lockdown, who has his roots with Ratchet, and showed an emotional depth and seriousness that made most people grow to the series, Megatron, who basically threw out all the stops by [[EstablishingCharacterMoment murdering Starscream]] [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy the moment he's right next to him]], and Shockwave, who [[spoiler: outright ''murdered Blurr'']], not to mention his generally no nonsense attitude.
** We forgot Wasp, whose insanity, unlike in ''Beast Wars'', ''isn't'' played for laughs.
* LanternJawOfJustice: Many of the Transformers, but especially Sentinel Prime, who's an ActorAllusion to TheTick.
* LargeAndInCharge: Megatron, Ultra Magnus
* LargeHam: Starscream
** Sentinel Prime transforms ''into'' a flexing musclepose.
** Slightly more subtle, but [[LosingYourHead head!]]Megatron's magnificent one-liners ("I blame myself", "I suspect it was an inside job", etc.) surely qualify.
* LastVillainStand: After the destruction of the Omega Supreme [[EvilKnockoff knockoffs]], the capture of Lugnut and Shockwave, the [[spoiler: death of Starscream]] and [[spoiler: Prowl's HeroicSacrifice]], Megatron charges in at Optimus for one last battle. After a swift scuffle, Optimus defeats Megatron, who tells him to end him. Instead, Optimus arrests Megatron and takes him back to Cybertron.
* LaughablyEvil: Blitzwing.
* LeanAndMean: Starscream, Oil Slick
* LeetLingo: The Headmaster, often straying into TotallyRadical. "Total OWNAGE, n00b!"
** Professor Sumdac has since tried to adopt this as his personal catchphrase. Thankfully, he failed.
** There's something resembling a [[LampshadeHanging lampshading]] here in a dialogue between Headmaster and Optimus Prime:
--->'''Headmaster:''' I am so leet!
--->'''Optimus Prime:''' Yeah? Well, I have no idea what that means!
* LeftHanging - Sari's backstory is easily the biggest unresolved issue, although there are a few others (see WhatHappenedToTheMouse).
* LegionOfDoom: The Society of Ultimate Villainy, which is comprised of the most fail-tastic human adversaries plus Swindle, who lives up to his name rather well.
* TheLifestream: The Well of All Sparks.
* LineOfSightName: Scrapper, and attempted several times by Wreck-Gar.
* LittleNo: Optimus utters one in "Endgame" when he discovers [[spoiler: Prowl is dead]].
* TheLoad:
** Bumblebee, for all his charm and humor. While he is okay at fighting human supervillains he is utterly ''useless'' when fighting Decepticons on his own, as his one weapon (nodes that shoot out beams of electricity) are too weak to even make any of them flinch. [[spoiler:Well, until he gets the limiters on them taken off and they become the most powerful weapon on the entire team.]]
** Averted with Sari who is somewhat of a liaison between humans and the Autobots as well as having a key empowered by the Allspark.
* LongRunners: In-universe, the Ninja Gladiator series of video games is over 100 years old. The first game apparently came out in the NES era and evidently its popularity has been extremely long-lived.
* LosingYourHead - As inflicted by the Headmaster on Bulkhead, Sentinel Prime and Starscream. Not to mention Season 1 Megatron, and Waspinator, left in multiple pieces.
* LotsOfLuggage: An episode had Prowl taking Sari and Bumblebee camping. Bumblebee ends up packing a lot of electronic devices. An incredulous Prowl asks how he managed to store them all.
* LotusEaterMachine: The Autobots end up in one of these thanks to [[spoiler: Soundwave in "Human Error"]].
* {{Lzherusskie}}: Jetstorm, Jetfire, Strika.
* MacrossMissileMassacre: Blitzwing can pull these off in a pinch. Lugnut can pull off a similar move with a payload of bombs.
* MadScientist: Meltdown, the Headmaster, Oil Slick, and now Blackarachnia.
** Ratchet seems to view Perceptor, Wheeljack, Mainframe, and Highbrow as this, with a "My God, what have you done?!" type reaction to every little thing they do. Although given how they created Omega Supreme to live the life he did, Ratchet might have a point.
*** And if [[ImageBoards /co/'s]] Wild Mass Guessing is right, Omega Supreme runs on protoforms (Wheeljack did make him after all).
* MagicSkirt: Sari's dress. And thank god, because she's eight.
** Which starts glitching along with everything else when she starts overloading.
* MagneticPlotDevice: The [=AllSpark=] and Sari's key.
** [[UnpredictableResults and they do whatever's most conducive to the story at hand.]]
** The writers have explicitly stated they don't plan to give an explanation for its existence for fear of it being uninteresting, [[VoodooShark too bizarre]], or [[PlotTumor take up much more plot than its worth]].
* MakeMeWannaShout: Starscream eventually develops an eerily appropriate sonic scream ability from the Allspark fragment in his head. It's never really explained how he does this, and it's never even brought up again after "[=TransWarped=]".
* ManipulativeBastard: Megatron
** Starscream, too. He plays Lugnut and Shockwave like datatrax. In fact, a throwaway line by him in the first episode may indicate that most Decepticons are like this... hence their name (well, those that aren't thuggish muscle anyway).
* MasterCharacterHeroes:
** Optimus: ''Apollo: The Businessman''
** Ratchet: ''Poseidon: The Artist''
** Bulkhead: ''Ares: The Protector''
** Bumblebee: ''Hermes: The Fool''
** Prowl: ''Hades: The Recluse''
* MeaningfulEcho: "You can trust this face, can't you?" in the pilot. Ratchet and Omega Supreme get their own in the season three premiere - "We do what we must, even if, sometimes, it doesn't make sense."
* TheMedic: Ratchet and Red Alert. The instant healing properties of Sari's key often displaced Ratchet's skills and put her in this role.
* MediumAwareness: Slightly played with in the Japanese dub. For a crossover version, Bumblebee jokingly thinks about calling for [[Series/TomicaHeroRescueFire Rescue Fire]] when the Autobots are responding to a building fire, and Bulkhead responds that that's a different show in part 3 of "Transform and Roll Out" (considering that ''Rescue Fire'' aired in the same timeslot before Animated's debut). Later in that same part, when Optimus was contemplating on getting the [=AllSpark=] to safety, Starscream attacks the Bots while yelling that the show's not over yet (truthfully, he could be referring that they weren't victorious yet).
* MerchandiseDriven: Eventually; somewhat averted when the series first debuted, as the toyline was actually delayed several months due to Hasbro wanting to continue pushing merch from the [[Film/{{Transformers}} live-action movie]]. The toy line would catch up, though, and one store-exclusive redeco even got featured late in the third season.
* MexicanStandoff: The climax of "A Fistful of Energon."
* MinionShipping: [[SycophanticServant Lugnut]] and [[HuskyRusskie Strika]] are married.
* MisfitMobilizationMoment: The Substitute Autobots
* MisplacedKindergartenTeacher: Arcee in the finale, due to Shockwave's hacking.
* MissingMom: Averted. While Sari initially appears to have one of these, it's eventually revealed that [[spoiler: she's actually a robot-human hybrid who was created when Isacc Sumdac's DNA was combined with a protoform, thus no female was involved in her "birth"]].
* MistakenIdentity: In the second-last episode, Slipstream spots Starscream flying over Detroit, and heads over to shoot him down; when she sees it's Optimus wearing a jet pack built from one of Starscream's old bodies, she flies away while expressing her surprise about flying Autobots.
* TheMole: "Longarm" a.k.a. Shockwave
* MonsterRoommate: Sari spends most of season two living with the Autobots.
* MookFaceTurn: The Dinobots, once Meltdown couldn't hurt them.
* MoralDissonance: Fanzone laughing off sending Swindle to his death in "S.U.V." [[spoiler: though he does get better]]; Bulkhead's unprovoked attack on who he believes to be Wasp in "Where Is Thy Sting?"
* MoreTeethThanTheOsmondFamily: Sky-Byte only appears as a headshot in the AII, and doesn't even get a bio, but slag does he have teeth. It's an even bigger shift than Waspinator.
* MotorMouth: Blurr, to the ''n''th degree. Notably, this is played differently from his G1 counterpart, who rambled irrelevancies and reiterated himself in a redundant manner; Here, he talks a [[MythologyGag blue streak]] at 600 mph.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: At the end of "Human Error," [[spoiler: Optimus and Soundwave have a guitar duel, done completely serious.]]
* MyNaymeIs: Played with at episode 1's "next episode" segment in the Japanese dub. Bumblebee complains that "Optimus Prime" is long and hard to remember, and so opts for other names that are all rejected by Optimus: Convoy (traditionally used in Japanese TF series for almost any "Prime"), Opti (sounds more fitting for a cute dog), Opra (plain weird), and Pupu (from "O''pu''timasu ''Pu''raimu", and it's hard not to laugh at it). Bumblebee actually gets Optimus into responding to "Pupu", much to Prime's dismay. It soon degenerates into a "Pupu!" "Optimus Prime!" argument ''past'' the sponsor cards.
* MythologyGag - Far, far too many. Just go read the trope page.
** Some of them go ''double'' meta. Starscream's clones have color schemes similar to the Seekers of G1, but are also a sly dig at the [[PaletteSwap repaints of Starscream]] that constituted the Seekers. The triceratops Dinobot in G1 was named Slag (which became an UnusualEuphemism in WesternAnimation/BeastWars and later in this show) and this one is called Snarl. In the show Scrapper claims to have tried naming him Slag first.
*** And Slag was a name considered for Snarl, too.
** Some of the returning voice actors are fairly obvious (Corey Burton reprising Shockwave, Susan Blu reprising Arcee, Judd Nelson reprising Rodimus Prime), but there's a more subtle one with David Kaye voicing Grimlock. David Kaye voicing a Transformer with a T-Rex as its alt-mode seems rather familiar... [[WesternAnimation/BeastWars yeeeeeeesss...]]
** In the ''Allspark Almanac II'', Huffer and Pipes' character bios (as written by one another) both hint at their G1 counterparts' quirks - Pipes says Huffer loves Cybertron and he hopes he never has to find out how he would feel about being anywhere else, while Huffer says Pipes needs a hobby and has to get out in the galaxy; G1 Huffer was a constant bellyacher who hated life on Earth and just wanted to go home, and G1 Pipes was fascinated by Earth culture and technology, having an extensive KitschCollection of Earth knicknacks.
*** Also in the second ''AA'', we have Volks' tendency to phrase every sentence he can as a question - a callback to the ''Generation 1'' comics' infamous Death's Head.
** Several for WesternAnimation/BeastWars:
*** Tigatron Stadium - a nod to the WesternAnimation/BeastWars character, and to the late, great Tiger Stadium.
*** Blackarachnia, Wasp(inator) and Rattletrap. At the end of ''Predacons Rising'', Blackarachnia is dumped in front of a gorilla, a cheetah, a rhino and a rat. The way she says "You've got to be kidding," almost makes it sound like she's breaking the fourth wall.
** The first we see the Autobots is they're job was repairing space bridges, which is sort of a ShoutOut to TransformersCybertron to which Optimus Prime's plan was to build new space bridges.
** Sari eventually becomes flesh-on-the-outside, robot-on-the-inside, just like the Pretender toys from the late 80's line.
*** Before that, Meltdown's two failed "organic transformer" experiments are expies of actual Decepticon Pretenders from the toyline, comics and ''Anime/TransformersSuperGodMasterforce''; the lawyer-turned-shark-thing is based off of Submarauder, while the accountant-turned-bat-thing is based off of Bomb-Burst
** Roadhandler is one of Yoketron's old pupils, and was trained in the art of wrestling - this is a reference to the G1 Roadhandler's stint as a professional wrestler in the G1 comics.
** In "Transform and Roll Out, Part 2", the Autobots thought the robots and vehicles are the dominant species, just like in the first issue of Marvel Comics' ''[[Comicbook/TheTransformers Transformers]]''.
* TheNapoleon: Dirt Boss
* {{Nanomachines}}: Experimental 'microbots' going haywire indirectly wake up the Autobots during the pilot. Powell has them repurposed to consume garbage in season 2, but the first sample is exposed to Allspark radiation and starts consuming everything: luckily, they can't swim.
* NeckLift: Blackarachnia to Optimus (after borrowing Bulkhead's strength), Starscream to Bumblebee and Megatron to both Constructicons.
* NeutralNoLonger: Happens not just once, but twice because of the Autobots. To be fair, Ratchet apologizes to Wreck-Gar about the first time and convinces him to switch back to being a hero.
* NeverMyFault: Sentinel blaming Optimus for Elita-1's "[[LeftForDead death]]".
* [[NeverTrustATrailer Never Trust An Opening]]: The opening to the Japanese dub of Animated suggests that [[spoiler: [[strike:Iron]]Armorhide and Arcee]] have bigger roles than they actually do in the series. And the humans seen throughout the series? Nowhere in the Opening... not even the Sumdacs.
** It also has the Autobots and Decepticons battling each other in various locations across the world, which they did do in [[TheTransformers G1]], but not in Animated. It also shows [[spoiler: Arcee and Blackarachnia fighting each other]], when they never even meet in the show. And then there's that weird, shadowy, robot... guy... thing, wearing a cape at the beginning of the intro. Who the hell is that?!
** Not to mention that Lockdown is featured as part of the main group of Decepticons (Even in the ending) despite being technically unaffiliated while [[TheBrute Lugnut]], on the other hand, only appears briefly.
*** Yeah, but it was an [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome awesome]], [[MoreDakka laser firing]] briefly.
* NeverSayDie - 'Slag' or 'take offline' are generally used instead, with the occasional exception - Bumblebee quotes Rattrap in the premiere ("We're all gonna die, aren't we?"), Starscream threatens that all of Detroit "will perish" in his mission to find the Allspark, and when Optimus tells Ratchet he has to use his EMP on an overloading Sari, he flat-out says "It could kill her!" Sari herself later mentions that Soundwave "tried to kill me".
* NewPowersAsThePlotDemands: Sari's key does exactly... whatever is needed this episode. From repairing offline bots, to unspecified upgrades, to controlling any machine, to tracing pay-per-view signals, to [[spoiler: removing All Spark fragments from speeding trains]].
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Bumblebee really screws up in "Autoboot Camp".
** A similar instance would be Sari reactivating Megatron
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: Megatron probably would have beaten the Autobots and gotten the Allspark... had [[TheStarscream Starscream]] not placed an explosive on his back
* {{Ninja}}: Prowl, Jazz, Master Yoketron, supposedly Oil Slick and (formerly) [[spoiler: Lockdown]].
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: Besides being robot ninjas, Jazz is also a SoulBrotha, and Prowl and Bumblebee were once turned into zombies. Lockdown has a huge claw for a right hand, making him the "pirate" to Prowl's "ninja", as well as a BountyHunter with a skull for a head and an undertaker's tux. To say nothing of the Dinobots, who are ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
** Let's not forget that Prowl decided to become the ''complete opposite of a ninja'' by getting a Samurai-armor upgrade in "A Fistful of Energon"...which later returns in "Five Servos of Doom" and seems to be a permanent upgrade.
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: It's later revealed that [[spoiler: Lockdown]] was once a ninja pupil himself [[spoiler:and an Autobot; the writers say that no Decepticon ever trained under Yoketron]]. And Oil Slick is a ninja chemist.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Wheeljack_%28Animated%29 as noted]] on the [[Wiki/TFWikiDotNet Transformers Wiki]], Wheeljack to [[Series/MythBusters Jamie Hyneman]], although WordOfGod said it was a coincidence.
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished: Optimus and Bumblebee would've made it to the Elite Guard if they didn't bother to help their fellow Autobots (Bumblebee for accepting the blame on Bulkhead's behalf for knocking a tower onto Sentinel, and Optimus for taking the heat for Sentinel's idea to go to the restricted planet). Isaac Sumdac spends season two as a prisoner due to helping that poor disembodied robot head in his lab.
* NoGravityForYou: In the pilot, Optimus temporarily disables the ship's artificial gravity while fighting Megatron, giving him and the team slightly better odds.
* NonindicativeName: Due to the "no Autobots fly but Jetfire and Jetstorm" rule, several background Autobots like Sky Garry and Powerglide, both of which get {{Hand Wave}}d; Sky Garry directs air traffic and Powerglide flew spaceships in the Great War.
* NoodleIncident: The 'unfortunate incident' involving a police drone and Captain Fanzone's wife (given the way it's mentioned, it probably wasn't anything too awful).
* TheNoseless: Technically speaking, it seems like none of the robots have actual noses, but rather have a nose-like structure that is formed by their helmets. When Bumblebee's is taken by Wasp, at the end of ''Where Is Thy Sting?'', his full face is shown, with no other facial features outside of his mouth and optics.
* NothingIsTheSameAnymore: Season 3.
* NotGoodWithPeople: Prowl.
* NotImportantToThisEpisodeCamp: For the Prowl/Lockdown episode "A Fistful of Energon," Bumblebee and Sari apparently jaunted off to "[[BrandX Five Banners Roller Coaster Kingdom]]."
** I thought that was just [[LazyArtist so they didn't have to draw Sari without pigtails]] since they got cut off last episode.
* NotQuiteFlight: The Autobots are mostly confined to the ground, but Prowl has his {{Jetpack}} and Optimus is surprisingly effective with his grappling hooks when fighting airborne opponents. The most creative example, though, is the multi-stage rocket in "Nanosec" where Bulkhead fires his wrecking ball to launch the duo of Prowl and Bumblebee, Prowl giving Bumblebee a boost with his jump-jets, and Bumblebee using his turbo boosters to get even higher than that, into the ''upper atmosphere''. Who needs jet engines anyway?
* NotSoDifferent: Speaking of Lockdown and Prowl...
* NotSoHarmlessVillain: When most people heard that Waspinator was going to be in season 3 most fans though he was going to be comic-relief like his WesternAnimation/BeastWars counterpart, not an ex-JerkAss who's been mentally [[BreakTheHaughty broken past repair]], a hulking monster twice the size of Prime, and a completely insane ImplacableMan (as, like in WesternAnimation/BeastWars, blowing him up just annoys him).
* OddCouple: Optimus and Grimlock. Prowl and Bumblebee/Bulkhead. Ratchet and Captain Fanzone.
* OfficerOHara: Wreck-Gar meets one of these while trying to work out who he is.
* OfficialCouple: Lugnut and Strika. Yeah.
** The ''Almanac II' also gives us [[WesternAnimation/BeastMachines Rattletrap/Botanica]] and [[PairTheSpares Warpath/Flareup.]] [[FanonDisContinuity Hardly anybody likes the latter.]]
* OhCrap: The look of ''pure abject horror'' on Optimus Prime's face when the restored Megatron (whom he'd thought dead since the first episode) bursts out of Sumdac Tower is priceless. This is a 'bot who understands ''exactly'' how completely and utterly screwed he is.
** The Elite Guard get big one when, after insisting for the entire episode that there are no Decepticons on Earth, they face off with Starscream, who is more than willing to show the lot of them a taste of what Optimus has been up against.
*** Ultra Magnus has a pretty good one. After telling the Autobots to stand back, he presumably intended to deal with the situation. As soon as he turns around, Starscream has recovered and is pointing his weapons right in Magnus's face. * [[TheWorfEffect blast]]!*
** The Decepticons get their own when the Autobot ship transforms [[spoiler:into a revived Omega Supreme]].
*** And again in [[spoiler:"Transwarped" (the season 3 premiere):]]
---->[[spoiler:'''Starscream:''' Omega Supreme?!?! [[UnusualEuphemism ...We're slagged.]]]]
* OppositeSexClone: Slipstream, to the letter.
* OrganTheft: Lockdown indulges in the robot equivalent.
* OutOfFocus: Captain Fanzone went from a major character in Season 1 to a rarely appearing recurring character by Season 3. Humans in general were pretty much written out of season 3, in an attempt to make the show less about them and more about the titular giant robots.
* ParentalBonus: {{Shout Out}}s to ''{{Airplane}}!'', ''Film/DieHard'', ''Franchise/StarTrek'', ''{{Peanuts}}'' and so, so many more...
* PercussiveMaintenance: Blackout repairs the space bridge he broke after stomping on the ground near it by... stomping on the ground near it ''again'', implied to be an ability of his (that is, causing electronics to fail and being able to reactivate them, hence the name).
* PeoplePuppets: Anyone controlled by a Headmaster unit or Dirt Boss's Headmaster-derived drill bit.
* PersonalGainHurts
* PetTheDog: Sentinel offering Optimus a spot in the Elite Guard in "Decepticon Air". Although it doesn't last long before he's kicking again.
* PintsizedPowerhouse: Both Brawn and Dirt Boss.
* ThePlan: Megatron pulls one of these off in "Endgame, Part 1,".
* PlayingWithFire: One-third of Blitzwing (and occasionally another third), and as of the third season, Hot Shot and Jetfire ([[MeaningfulName duh]]).
* PlotRelevantAgeUp: [=TransWarped=]: [[spoiler:Sari in Season 3, courtesy of the [=AllSpark=] Key. Before she was about 8, now she looks about 16.]]
* PortalNetwork: The space bridges
* PowerCopy: Blackarachnia and her previous form, Elita-1.
* PowerIncontinence: [=TransWarped=]: [[spoiler:Sari after the [=AllSpark=] Key starts to overload her]]
* PowerTrio: The Elite Guard. Ultra Magnus: Superego, Jazz: Ego, Sentinel Prime: Id. Blitzwing arguably forms his own trio, with the calm face being Superego, the angry face being Id, and the crazy face being Ego [by combining the others' traits at random].
** The Dinobots could count, never being seen separately outside of ''Human Error, Part II''.
* PraetorianGuard: The Elite Guard again.
* PresidentEvil: According to the second Allspark Almanac, Cobra Commander is a former president of the United States - his face was even added to Mount Rushmore!
* PrideBeforeAFall: "Return of the Headmaster" is all about this for Sentinel.
* PromiseMeYouWontX: When Sentinel calls Optimus after his run-in with the Headmaster, he makes him promise not to laugh. Of course, when Optimus sees what's happened...
* PsychoForHire: Lockdown.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis:
--> '''Starscream:''' [to Megatron] "THIS! IS! '''ALL!!! YOUR!!!''' '''''FAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUULT!!!!!'''''"
-->'''Prowl''' [to Lockdown, much more quietly] "Give. Me. Yoketron's. Helmet."
* PutOnABus: The plan for Season 4 was for Sari and Bulkhead to take up permanent residence on Cybertron, becoming at best [[CommutingOnABus recurring guest characters]]. Bulkhead would have been replaced on Earth by Ironhide.
* QuirkyMinibossSquad: [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Team_Chaar Team Chaar,]] appearing in one scene set on the other side of the galaxy which wasn't even very plot-relevant.
** Also the SUV, although they were only a group for one episode.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: Unlike other incarnations where he leads a group of trained warriors, this time Optimus leads a group of of bots that were a simple repair crew that just had to be in right place when the Allspark appeared.
* RaisedByRobots: Sari spends most of the second season living and being brought up by the Autobots in their warehouse.
* RandomTransportation: Going through a space-bridge with no target co-ordinates can send you just about anywhere, and holding onto a plasmadynamic thruster while someone else is transwarping can send you hurtling around space like a pinball. The Autobots exploit this by attaching one to Omega while he's under Megatron's control, sending him transwarping randomly through space for most of the season.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Bulkhead delivers one to Wasp in "Where Is Thy Sting".
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Fanzone and Ultra Magnus
* RedEyesTakeWarning: All the Decepticons. In fact, when the Constructicons ''became'' Decepticons, their eyes turned red. Blackarachnia's, too.
** ...and Sari's eyes changed from red to blue with [[spoiler:her transformation]], so there you go.
* RedHerringMole: Wasp is the UrExample in this show, and suffered for it the most. But every one that wasn't Bumblebee, Bulkhead and Sentinel in the flashback [[EveryoneIsASuspect was a suspect]]. An error in an online game on Creator/CartoonNetwork's website made [[spoiler: Ironhide]] a Deception. [[spoiler: Cliffjumper (the red Autobot)]] was supposed to be the traitor but Hasbro nixed the idea. Turns out the mole was [[spoiler: Longarm Prime]].
* RedshirtReporter: Newsbot
* ReferenceOverdosed: The ''Almanacs'', again, if not the show itself.
* RelocatingTheExplosion
* RemakeCameo: The Witwicky family, and all those crowd shots on Cybertron during the second half of season three.
* TheRemnant: The Decepticons.
* RescueRomance: Both {{subtext}}-y robot romances, Optimus/Blackarachnia and Ratchet/Arcee, make heavy use of the males saving and [[StuffedIntoTheFridge failing to save]] the helpless females.
* ResistanceIsFutile: Delivered by Soundwave in 'Human Error'
* TheReveal: [[spoiler: Sari is a robot.]]
* RoboFamily: Jetfire and Jetstorm refer to each other as brothers due to being 'born' from a mitotic spark.
* RobotDog: Sparkplug
* RobotWar: Soundwave keeps trying to start one, and it's just not happening.
* RoguesGallery: Of mostly humans, allowing the Decepticons to stay that much more threatening by their lack of overuse.
* RollerbladeGood: Optimus and Bumblebee have wheels on their feet which they can use this way. Sari has actual rollerblades, and later gets laser-skates with her upgrade.
* SadisticChoice: Starscream does this in the pilot. And, you know, what Bumblebee did to Nanosec.
* SassySecretary: Or rather, a robot programmed to sound and act like one.
* SapientShip: Though most of the cast qualifies as Sapient [[MechanicalLifeForm (Inorganic)]] Vehicles, it turns out [[spoiler: Omega Supreme, war hero and savior apparent, was their ship. For whatever reason, his offline body was used for Space Bridge repair (almost certainly because of his friend Ratchet; Sentinel Prime was under the impression that Omega had been dismantled after the war), and they later brought him back on-line.]]
** [[spoiler: According to the second Almanac, the Elite Guard's ship "Steelhaven" is actually Sigma Supreme, the only other intact Omega Sentinel, given the same treatment.]]
* SayMyName: Megatron's reaction when he finds out it was Starscream who [[MemeticMutation set him up the bomb]] in the premiere.
** Megatron never remembers Optimus' name, so in the GrandFinale, the Autobot leader does this for himself:
--->"My name is OPTIMUS PRIME!"
*** This plays BookEnds with the battle with Starscream in the series premiere, where Optimus says the same thing to Starscream.
* ScaryDogmaticAliens: The writers took the worker's revolution aspect of the Autobots from the original series & played it to [[DirtyCommunists its logical conclusion.]]
* ScienceMarchesOn: Black Arachnia speaks these exact words to justify her [[spoiler: Predacon]] research.
** Also, in a more real-world context; there's the updated forms of the Dinobots. The G1 Dinobots were already somewhat inaccurate even during the 80s, with different body proportions to the animals they were based on. By today's standards they are hideously inaccurate, with their stances and movements being made to reflect the idea that Dinosaurs used to be thought as slow and dumb. The Animated Dinobots are much, '''much''' closer in general accuracy to their respective animals in virtually every way. Body proportions, stances, range of movement, everything.
* TheScrappy: Out and in-universe, virtually ''everyone'' hates Sentinel Prime's guts.
* ScreamsLikeALittleGirl: Bumblebee, "Along Came A Spider".
** SENTINEL PRIME. Supposedly, they even got a woman to voice the scream.
** Grandus, one of the biggest transformers in the entire series. Although admittedly he appears to be in full on wimp mode all the time.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: [[spoiler: Jazz,]] having enough of [[spoiler: Sentinel's attitude, follows Ratchet to Earth to join Optimus' crew]] in "This Is Why I Hate Machines."
* ScrewYourself: Okay, he never gets ''that'' far, this being a kid's show, but there was definitely something suggestive about the way Starscream asked Slipstream what part of him she represented. She wasn't interested.
* SealedEvilInACan: Megatron spends season 1 as disembodied head trapped in Professor Sumdac's lab until he is freed by his lackeys during the season finale.
* SendInTheClones: Starscream is able to create clones of himself, each of which embodies part of his personality. One is a coward, one is an egomaniac, one is a pathological liar, one's a suck-up...[[OppositeSexClone and one is a girl.]]
-->'''Starscream:''' So, which part of me do ''you'' come from?
-->'''Slipstream:''' [[YouDoNOTWantToKnow Don't ask!]]
* SelfDestructMechanism: Starscream uses clones as a form of Trojan horse...twice.
* SesquipedalianSmith: Prometheus Black
* ShaggyDogStory: "Decepticon Air."
* ShapeshifterGuiltTrip: Shockwave does this to Bumblebee and Bulkhead, asking if they're really willing to take down their old friend Longarm. They totally fall for it. [[spoiler:Psych.]]
** Maybe because he forgot to change his colors back?
* ShapedLikeItself: Bulkhead is as gentle as a...really gentle thing (and then there's the page quote Professor Sumdac gave us for TechnologicalPacifist).
* ShellShockedSenior: Ratchet, notably in his flashback episode "The Thrill of the Hunt". Further elaborated on in his Sequel Flashback in ''[=TransWarped=]''.
* ShesAManInJapan: Flareup and Strika were gender-flipped in the Latin American dub of the third season. Slipstream is more ambiguous, but she has the same VA as Starscream in Italian, and a very grave voice in Latin American.
* ShockwaveClap: Bulkhead can cause this just by clapping, as seen in the "Mime Time" short.
* ShooOutTheClowns: Masterson is the only human supervillain to appear in season 3. Not even Meltdown, who was still alive and actually a threat, is heard from again.
* ShoutOut: The show runs on these.
** The artsyle itself is largely inspired from ''MightyOrbots'', ''ComicBook/ABCWarriors'' and the works of StudioGainax.
** Wreck-Gar, played by Weird Al Yankovic, yells at one point, "I dare to be stupid!" Which is the title of the song by Weird Al Yankovic that the original Wreck-Gar and the Autobots rocked out to for an indefinite period of of time in the original movie. The "Universal Greeting" associated with the song also gets a mention.
*** Wreck-Gar also bears a marked resemblance to his voice actor, even down to the facial hair. The whole thing gets topped off when, as he confronts Soundwave and tries to counter his music, he pulls out an Accordion.
** In "Velocity" Blitzwing once fired out a MacrossMissileMassacre in the style of the Valkyrie fighters from, well, ''{{Macross}}''.
** The appearances of the human villains Angry Archer and Slo-Mo are based on Hasbro executives Aaron Archer and Samantha Lomow respectively. The former was unaware of the character until late in production, but his only request was that the Archer be left-handed so he was apparently not too upset about it.
** Also Master Yoketron may have been named after Takara's lead designer on ''Transformers'' Hideaki Yoke.
** Perceptor's voice bears a distinct resemblance to the synthesized voice of famous physics genius Stephen Hawking.
** Highbrow is a clear shout out to actor Terry Thomas, from his accent to his "mustache" to the gap in his "teeth".
** Rodimus' design takes the characteristics the original shared with MarvelComics' Hawkeye and runs with them, even giving him a bow.
*** Not to mention Rodimus is voiced by Judd Nelson, his G1 version/counterpart's original voice actor in the 1986 movie.
** Dirt Boss' design is extremely similar to another pint sized mind controlling villain, MarvelComics' MODOK, and he's also a caricature of various real life mob bosses, particularly Al Capone, in temperament, speech, and methods, and later pulls a huge reference to ''White Heat''; "Top of the world, cogs!" He's also the first legitimate homage to ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', his diminutive size being (especially the stubby legs) inspired by Lagann itself along with using drills to control other machines. ''And'' he looks sort of like Wario, to go with the [[SuperMarioBros Mario and Luigi]]-like pair of Scrapper and Mixmaster.
** Huffer and Pipes take the Mario and Luigi thing to new heights, however.
** The title "Decepticon Air" is a reference to the Nicholas Cage movie "Con Air", which also features prisoners being transported gone wrong. It help that the Decepticons are often called 'Cons for short.
** Forsooth! It must not go unmentioned that, by Od's Beard, Ultra Magnus' hammer is strikingly similar to Mjolnir, possessed by the Odinson himself, NorseMythology's Thor!
** Lockdown wears a Western-style poncho in "A Fistful of Energon" for no apparent reason but to shout out to FistfulOfDollars.
** Flareup's accent is an obvious shoutout to how she was voiced in the Botcon script reading, "Bee in the City".
** Plenty of incidentals are homages to characters from previous generations, such as Hot Shot, Red Alert (albeit gender-swapped), Strika, Blackout, Spittor... heck, characters like Powerglide, Beachcomber and Cosmos even show up in crowd shots on Cybertron!
** Taken to extremes by the ''[=AllSpark=] Almanac'', which manages shout outs to TF fandom memes, obscure characters (as in 'only appeared in a spin-off racing track set in 1984' obscure), and a metric ton of other stuff. That's not even getting into the non-Transformers stuff that gets namechecked. There's a map of the galaxy in the second ''Allspark Almanac'' featuring planets like [[Franchise/MastersOfTheUniverse Eternia]], [[PrinceOfSpace Krankor]], and [[WesternAnimation/SouthPark Marklar]], among ''dozens'' of other refs on those two pages alone.
*** Even ''[[WesternAnimation/ChallengeOfTheGoBots GoBots!]]'' Tonka was merged into Hasbro some time back, so they are now legally in the same universe after all. As such, Blackout's seismic stomp ability is said to have been based on technology from Gobots' Crasher, and Porter C. Powell's limo Stretch is patterned after the Renegade Tux. In fact, he's implied to be the very same character!
*** One of the mysterious Prisoners in Trypticon prison is [[WesternAnimation/SouthPark Man bear Pig]]
*** In the Addendum at the back of the Collectors club issues has even more. Blot's chemical shells look like Metroids. And the Evil Sari of an Alternate universe has a sketchbook where she doodles a pony named [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Rainbow]] [[WesternAnimation/RainbowBrite Dark]].
** In "Decepticon Air" Sari fixes the space bridge by [[spoiler:extending her robotic fingers for quick typing. It looks exactly like similar scenes from ''{{Ghost In The Shell}}'']].
** Sentinel Prime, voiced by Townsend Coleman, more famous for being the voice of WesternAnimation/TheTick. Sentinel Prime himself greatly resembles the character, being mainly blue, with a humongous chin and a head shaped like TheTick's mask. He even has a similar personality.
** The CoolShades worn by Prowl and Soundwave are a reference to the ones worn by the ''ABC Warriors'' of ''2000 AD'' fame. (Although they also resemble those worn by [[Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann Kamina]], that's just a [[MemeticMutation happy]] coincidence.)
** Starscream's elaborate transformation in the season one finale harkens back to the stock footage transformations used in ''Anime/TransformersArmada'' and its sequels -- although the TwinkleSmile smirk at the end just takes it on to parody. It does, however, bear exceptional resemblance to Gasket/Ransack's transformation from Galaxy Force/Cybertron. And Ransack's partner in crime, Crumplezone, probably wonders why ''Animated'' Bulkhead has his jaw. Furthermore, during Starscream's stock-footage transformation, he very obviously enters a state where most of him is still in jet mode, but his robot mode legs are folded below the jet. This "jet-with-legs" mode is a reference to the "GERWALK modes" that can sometimes be formed from Transformers with jet alt-modes. The term originally comes from ''Macross'' by way of the G1 Jetfire toy, (rather infamously) a recolored Macross Valkyrie, and has since been used in the fandom to describe similar "walking jet" unofficial modes.
** Not even recolored - it's a simple repackaging of the Super Valkyrie set, and early versions came with the Macross logo painted on the wings.
** In one of the shorts on the Season 1 DVD, one of Prime's fans asks him where his trailer goes when he transforms -- a common question asked among fans of the original Optimus Prime. Optimus is confused, probably because he doesn't actually ''have'' a trailer. One of the kids kept trying to get him to turn into a fire truck. An ''actual episode'' would go on to have Blitzwing (while in crazy mode) say "Ooh, ooh, I wanna see him turn into a fire truck!"
** Lately, ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' references are all the rage: at the end of the episode that sees Wasp become Waspinator, he and Blackarachnia are teleported to a jungle, where a gorilla, a cheetah, a rhino, and a rat are standing over them, references to Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Rhinox, and Rattrap, the original four Maximals. Blackarachnia sees them, and says "You've ''got'' to be kidding." Also, a few episodes back, there was Tigatron Stadium. And earlier, during Sari's birthday party, the kids are hitting a piñata in the shape of a very familiar purple Tyrannosaurus. (You may also add the very existence of Waspy, Blackarachnia, and the more recently-introed [[WesternAnimation/BeastMachines Jetstorm]], but that just comes with the TF franchise's oft-[[ContinuityReboot rebootedness]].) Waspy is often showing parallels to the original, but being a darker and more tragic character than Beast Wars' resident [[TheChewToy Chew Toy]], it's always got a sinister twist to it. "Waspinator has plans," indeed...
** A sign that's a homage to the Sinclair Oil logo has a dinosaur that looks a lot like the Generation One Dinobot Sludge (who doesn't have a TFA incarnation).
** There's also some self-reference lately: Bulkhead points out his susceptibility to TheWorfEffect once. "I'll keep him distracted! He always shoots at me first." [Charges in, gets blasted all the way down the street by Blitzwing, flips over, and a pebble bounces off his head] "Called it."
** Each member of Starscream's clone army has the color scheme of one of the Starscream-repaint Seekers from Generation 1.
*** They also get the names of those characters later on. The sole exception is Slipstream, since she was an entirely new color scheme for the mold as well as a girl.
* ShowAccuracyToyAccuracy: For all its worth, Animated has some of the most accuracy between the show and the toys of any continuity, in that the toys are highly accurate in Alt Mode, Robot Mode, and have extremely accurate transformations, all while maintaining the series' unique art style.
* ShyFingerTwiddling: By [[TheBigGuy Bulkhead]], of all bots.
** Bumblebee in "Nature Calls", after Prowl asks him where he found room for so much stuff in his car mode.
* SilentBob: Mayor Edsel. His eyebrow is apparently expressive.
* SilentPartner: Snarl and Swoop, with Grimlock doing the talking.
** Also, Wheeljack for Perceptor.
* SkunkStripe: Isaac Sumdac
** LockedIntoStrangeness: He got it when [[spoiler: Sari was "born".]]
* SmugSnake: Porter C. Powell, he talks a big game but he is also willing to throw an 8 year old out onto the streets. The only thing keeping the Autobots from squishing him is their own morality, and he is consciously aware of that. Grimlock's morality, on the other hand...
* TheSmurfettePrinciple:
** On a smaller scale, Starscream's female clone (named Slipstream, according to WordOfGod) is the only female in a flock of five.
** The [[AllThereInTheManual Allspark Almanacs]] have added a few more girls, but they also include the Omega Sentinel roster - out of twelve "Greek-letter-Supremes", only one confirmed female, and she was assigned to a rearguard action for most of her lifespan.
* SocialServicesDoesNotExist: Despite her father being a famous businessman, no-one notices that Sari doesn't legally exist until Powell does some digging. Afterwards, no-one seems to mind her living with the Autobots - of course, it'd be one brave social worker who tried to stand up to five protective transforming mechas.
** It could be possible that having no legal records, it would be impossible for a social worker to be assigned to Sari's adoption case, since there is nothing to examine. As Sari was kept in seclusion for most of her life, she was truly off the radar.
* SomethingElseAlsoRises: Blackarachnia caressing Swoop's face causes him to lift his flail and swing it around energetically.
** Doing the same to Grimlock causes flames to erupt from his neck/collar.
* SoulBrotha: Jazz.
* SouthernFriedPrivate: Bulkhead went to boot camp straight from the energon farm, and Hot Shot and Ironhide both have distinct Southern accents.
* SpaceCadetAcademy: The series has an Autobot Academy where young bots get trained for duty. Bulkhead, Bumblebee and Wasp were all in the same class. Bulkhead and Bee graduated, while Wasp was caught for a crime and expelled, leaving him very embittered.
* SpaceDoesNotWorkThatWay: Jetstorm can still create windstorms... in space. Solar wind, perhaps?
* SpaceIsNoisy: A stasis-cuffed Starscream actually calls attention to this in "A Fistful of Energon": "You call this a fight? I'll rust before someone wins, and I'm in a vacuum!"
* SpaceX: Transformers already had space bridges, but now we have space barnacles and Lockdown's Space Poncho (at least, that's what the Allspark Almanac calls it).
* SpinningPaper: Three in the course of a night during 'Three's A Crowd'. Either it's just a gag, or the Autobots spent a ''long'' time trying to get Lugnut out of that crater.
* SplitPersonality: Blitzwing has ''three'', and...
** PersonalityPowers: ...a different power for each, as well as different vehicle modes.
** Technically, he has two powers and two alt-forms; one of his personalities alternates between both interchangeably.
* SpoilerOpening: The Japanese opening, while very pretty, spoils most of the major subplots of Season 2.
* StevenUlyssesPerhero: Nanosec (Nino Sexton) and Headmaster (Henry Masterson). Also Angry Archer (A. A. Archer) and Professor Princess (Penny Princess, [=Ph.D.=]).
** And comics-only villains Stiletto (Stella Healy) and Crossroads (Roland Cross).
** While this isn't technically canon, Slo-Mo's design was based on TFA team member Samantha Lomow.
* TheStarscream: Starscream is dealt with as a traitor deserves--the next time Megatron sees him after Starscream blows him up in the pilot, Megs blows him up. When that fails, he blows him up again. The only reason Starscream lived to see Season Two is because he got an [=AllSpark=] fragment that made him unkillable.
* TheStoic: Prowl
* StonersAreFunny: Beachcomber is revealed in the second Almanac to indulge in many Cybertronian drugs. He is also portrayed by many fans to be [[FriendToAllLivingThings very nice]] and occasionally forgets what he's talking about, resulting in many an odd conversation.
* StrawManHasAPoint: The villain Meltdown's anti-robot crusade was due to robots taking manufacturing and service jobs from humans, in a city with the highest unemployment rates in the country.
* StuffedIntoALocker: Wasp and Ironhide do this to Bumblebee in 'Autoboot Camp'...after ''removing his legs'' and putting them where he couldn't get to them even if he was outside.
* SuperMode[=/=]PoweredArmor - An upgraded Sari gets it in "[=TransWarped=]".
** While not powered ''per se'', Prowl later permanently retains a duplicate of his one-shot samurai armor upgrades.
** The new ''Allspark Almanac Volume 2'' reveals that Optimus would've gotten an upgrade had there been a season 4. [[note]]See it [[http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/193/3/c/Powermaster_Optimus_Prime_by_darksage78.jpg here]].[[/note]]
* SwordOverHead: Optimus's finishing blow against [[spoiler: Megatron in "Endgame". But with a hammer.]]
* SyntheticVoiceActor: Perceptor has one of these, and it sounds a lot like Stephen Hawking's.
* TVHeadRobot: Tutor Bot
* TakeMyHand: Bumblebee to Sari in the pilot.
* TakeOurWordForIt: What ''did'' Sari tell Optimus about where babies come from?
* TakingTheBullet: Bumblebee does this at least twice: he takes a blast from Starscream for Sari and a dose of Meltdown's acid for Bulkhead.
* TheTalk: [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2rKHVIxgB8 'How is it you're able to make these new, smaller organics?']]
** Spun into a BrickJoke at the beginning of season 3, [[spoiler:where Sari's "birth" is revealed.]]
* TearfulSmile: Sari after Optimus's [[FirstEpisodeResurrection revival]].
* TechnologicalPacifist: Professor Sumdac
* {{Technopath}}: [[spoiler: Post-Upgrade Sari]] in Season 3
* TedBaxter: Egomaniac Starscream/Thundercracker, whose name is appropriate since the original Thundercracker had a bit of an air superiority complex himself.
* TeamPet: Sari, for the first two seasons. [[spoiler: She gets an upgrade (and we do mean ''upgrade'') to SixthRanger in season 3.]]
* TeethClenchedTeamwork: Starscream and Megatron wind up stuck in the aftermath of season 2. They are forced to work together throughout the season 3 opener and neither Decepticon does much to hide their contempt from the other.
* TerribleTrio: Megatron has Lugnut and Blitzwing for this until he picked up the Constructicons later down the line.
* TheCloudCuckooLanderWasRight: In "Return of The Headmaster", when Sari wonders why there is no record of her, Bulkhead suggests that [[spoiler: "Maybe she came here in some kind of egg, and crashed on Professor Sumdac's doorstep,"]] [[TheReveal He's not so far from the truth.]]
* TheRat: Rattletrap.
* ThereShouldBeALaw: Played for laughs: Ratchet finds the idea of us selling spare parts on the open market disturbing. Of course, from his perspective, it must be like seeing internal organs on display in a shop window (and his experience with Lockdown doesn't help).
-->'''Ratchet:''' "It's primitive...it's barbaric...there ought to be a law against it!"
-->'''Optimus Prime:''' "...It's just an auto parts supply store, Ratchet."
* TheyWouldCutYouUp: Blackarachnia joined the Decepticons for fear of ending up on a lab table on Cybertron if she returned to the Autobots.
* ThatLiarLies: Endgame, part 1: While Megatron facepalms at Lugnut and Shockwave's squabbling, you can just hear Shockwave yelling 'Liar, lying liar!' Seriously.
* TheEasyWayOrTheHardWay: Optimus to Lockdown (when he thought Lockdown was just a crazy human in a muscle car).
* ThemeTwinNaming: Jetfire and Jetstorm. Also, while they're not technically twins, Wasp and Bumblebee share a chassis model.
* ThemeTuneCameo: Bumblebee's horn plays it in 'The Thrill of the Hunt', Ratchet whistles it in one of the DVD shorts, and Sari hums it in 'Sari, No-One's Home'.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Blitzwing and Lugnut, Bumblebee and Bulkhead, and, particularly, Mixmaster and Scrapper.
** Can't forget Jetfire and Jetstorm.
* ThouShaltNotKill: [[spoiler: Optimus Prime refuses to kill Megatron with the Magnus Hammer]]
** [[spoiler: Only because that would apparently be the easy way out. [[CruelMercy Which Megatron doen't deserve.]]]]
* ThrownOutTheAirlock: How Optimus survives his first fight with Megatron.
* TokenMiniMoe: Sari. Somewhat less in season 3.
** Does Professor Princess count?
* TomatoInTheMirror: Sari.
* TonightSomeoneDies: Sort of. The DVDCommentary for a second season episode has one person asking if anyone really dies, and another one responds that no one does until season three... [[spoiler:And in the last episode of the series, Starscream and Prowl are both killed off.]] Can't say they aren't honest.
** [[SendInTheClones Can't]] [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Starscream_clone_%28Animated%29 they?]]
* TooFastToStop: Bumblebee's first go with the turbo-boosters results in this.
* TookALevelInBadass: Prowl has gone through a specific character arc for him to complete his "cyber-ninja" training. Optimus Prime has had to dig in his heels in order to properly face off against Megatron. Bumblebee received a literal upgrade to his previously worthless stingers (which nicely explained how they were so powerful in flashback).
* TookALevelInJerkAss - Resident JerkAss Sentinel Prime actually used to be somewhat of a nicer guy. Of course that was before [[spoiler: Elita-1 was thought to have been killed when Optimus failed to save her.]] But then just as we can sympathize with his attitude (almost), he takes an even bigger one by [[spoiler: telling Blackarachnia/Elita-1 that it would have been [[FantasticRacism better if she had died, rather than turn into a techno-organic]].]]
* ToylessToylineCharacter: Quite a few, both human and robot.
* {{Trainstopping}}: 'Mission Accomplished'. On top of it being out of control, Starscream had planted an unstable Allspark fragment on it.
* TroubledBackstoryFlashback: Each of the core Autobots has one or more that explain how they ended up where they were when they discovered the Allspark as well as explain their outlooks on things.
* TrulySingleParent: Isaac Sumdac, since Sari is seemingly an OppositeSexClone by way of a Cybertronian protoform.
* {{Tuckerization}}: The Angry Archer (named after and resembling Hasbro designer Aaron Archer), Slo-Mo (named after and resembling Hasbro executive Samantha Lomow), Yoketron (named after [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Hideaki_Yoke Hideaki Yoke]], a designer for the Diaclone and Microman toylines the original ''Transformers'' series was based off of)
* TwinkleSmile: ''Starscream'', although it only shows up in his full TransformationSequence.
* TwitchyEye: Occasionally, Megatron gets tired of Lugnut's fawning.
* UnexplainedRecovery:
** At the beginning of the episode "Nature Calls", a [[ContinuityCameo familiar-looking]] construction worker is attacked by the MonsterOfTheWeek, and is implied to have died. He [[RecurringExtra still shows up again]]. However, this could be writer miscommunication: Sparkplug 1.0 has a different voice actor and ''completely'' different speech pattern from Sparkplug 2.0.
** They pull this again the third season: A flashback has an appearance by a character named Warpath]]. However, he actually had already appeared in a smaller role in another flashback a couple episode earlier, namely ''[[http://tfwiki.net/w2/images2/d/d8/Transwarped-Warpath.jpg a dismembered body in the middle of a battlefield]]''. Despite this, he's still in a crowd shot set in modern-day Cybertron.
* UniversalUniverseTime: Par for the course with Transformers, Cybertronions always refer to lengths of time as cycles. Solar Cycle for a day, Mega Cycle for a month (year?), etc.
* UnnecessaryCombatRoll: Sentinel
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Their introductory scene together and later interactions greatly implied there was some between Optimus and Elita-1/[[spoiler:Blackarachnia]], despite the latter dating Sentinel at the time. [[spoiler:That probably explains why Blackarachnia had far more emotional baggage with Optimus and held him more accountable for what happened, even though it was hers and Sentinel's idea to go to Archa Seven in the first place.]]
* UnusualEuphemism: Par for the ''{{Transformers}}'' course. "What a glitch-head!" "''Slag'' yeah."
** "It's a no-processor-er!"
** And "exhaust port."
* UnknownRival: Unlike most Transformers continuities, Megatron barely knows who Optimus is. Prime finally angers Megatron enough to [[SayMyName say his name]] in "Endgame, Part II." Conveniently, that would turn out to be the ''last'' episode in the series, meaning we wouldn't get to see them become the destined [[ArchEnemy Arch-Enemies]] they were ''meant'' to be.
* VerbalTic: Wreck-Gar starts nearly every sentence with "I am Wreck-Gar!" after he obtains his name.
** Getting there in the Japanese dub. Bumblebee with "''Ikimasu~!''" ("Here I go!", "Let's go!", or almost any variations), [[strike:Bulkhead]] Ironhide's "''Dosukoi!''" (spoken by sumo wrestlers), "''De aru!''" for Prowl (literally, "to be" in formal speech) and '''Hey!''' and '''Man!''' for the angry face of an [[AcceptableTargets American accented]] Blitzwing.
* VillainExitStageLeft: The main Decepticons do this less often than in previous shows, but Lockdown and Soundwave still manage it, with the result being that they're both still on the loose by the end.
* VillainousBreakdown: Megatron starts to lose it just a ''little'' bit in the season 3 finale. "Then destroy the Autobots. Destroy the city. DESTROY ANYTHING THAT'S '''NOT ME'''!"
* VillainousGlutton: Though not fat, Starscream's toy-only clone Dirge is the living representation of the former's greed, and as such is an accomplished glutton who always wants more of everything, energon goodies included. Spittor can also digest his victims if he chooses - and Oil Slick claims that once you get past the slobbering freak and his weird tentacles, you discover a much more disgusting creature on the inside.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Porter C. Powell, again. Soundwave's attempted conquest of the world is forgotten quickly enough for Powell to sell toys of him, although he spent most of it controlling machines from underground.
* TheVirus: Space barnacles, once they've been...altered(either by Megatron's body or Allspark energy).
* VoluntaryShapeshifting: Aside from the eponymous TransformingMecha, Decepticon spy Shockwave (not to be confused with Soundwave) has Autobot ''and'' Decepticon variations of his robot and vehicle forms.
** Also Colossus Rhodes, who's rather [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Bane]]-ish.
* VoodooShark: Defied by the creators, who don't plan on giving the Allspark a concrete origin for fear it would be one of these. Wyatt is happy to share his thoughts on Cybertron's origins on Formspring, but he's keeping it vague.
* TheWallsAreClosingIn: In the first episode of the third season, [[spoiler:Blurr]] falls victim to this. [[spoiler: Sadly, he is transformed into a cube.]]
* WeakButSkilled: Contrary to tradition, the Autobots in this series are almost all smaller and weaker than their Decepticon counterparts. Most of the main cast of this series are armed with tools intended for non-combat purposes instead of weapons. As such defeating even one Decepticon requires a great deal of teamwork and tactical thinking.
* WeHardlyKnewYe: Blurr. Poor Blurr. He cameoed in "Velocity", was formally introduced in the Season 2 finale "A Bridge Too Close" and was [[spoiler: compacted into a cube]] in the Season 3 opener "Transwarped".
** What about Rodimus? He only had 4 lines, and only appeared for 4 minutes before being infected with cosmic rust.
* WhamEpisode: ''A Bridge Too Close'' and ''Transwarped''.
* WhamLine: Naturally, with all the plot twists, there are a handful. One of the most notable, in the last few seconds of the last standalone episode:
-->[[spoiler: Arcee[[note]] who is supposed to be a braindead amnesiac[[/note]] ]]: ''Ratchet...''
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The fate of quite a few secondary characters, most of them villains. Slipstream, for instance, isn't seen or mentioned for most of season three, then appears briefly in the penultimate episode when Optimus tests out his jetpack...and then flies off again.
** Although to their credit, the writers are using the Allspark Almanacs to explain what happened to characters after their last appearance or in between appearances.
* WhatTheHellHero: Several times, but the most surprising example is ''Sentinel'' calling Optimus out for not telling him about Blackarachnia. "[[SarcasmMode 'Cause I wouldn't wanna be, I don't know, PREPARED FOR THIS OR ANYTHING!]]" Optimus actually tried to warn him several times, but [[JerkAss Sentinel being Sentinel...]]
* WhatWereYouThinking: Professor Sumdac when Bulkhead actually makes Megatron's space bridge work. "This coming from the guy who rebuilt Megatron."
* WhereItAllBegan: Season 1 finale. Also happens in the Season 3 premire (in the exact same place, no less) and provides the page quote.
* WheresTheFunInThat:
--> Ratchet: "Why didn't you just use the EMP?"
--> Prowl: "Where's the fun in that?"
* WholePlotReference: Season 2 finale "A Bridge Too Close", very nearly at least, to ''TheBridgeOnTheRiverKwai'' (!). The Decepticons capture Bulkhead, when they discover that despite appearances, he's [[spoiler:[[HiddenDepths the preeminent space bridge expert in the galaxy]]]], and press-gang him into building them a space bridge back to Cybertron. He does so out of spite for those who doubted [[spoiler:his expertise on the subject]], many of whom were his own allies. The ending differs in that [[spoiler:nobody dies, permanently at least; the Decepticons are prevented from using the space bridge to take Cybertron]].
** Decepticon Air is one big love letter to, well, ''Film/ConAir''
* WhoWouldBeStupidEnough: This happens to Bumblebee at least twice in season one, and again in season three - not to mention Sentinel in 'This is Why I Hate Machines'.
* WhyAreYouLookingAtMeLikeThat
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: Elita-1's "death" left Optimus with a phobia of spiders and Sentinel of anything organic. Cybertronians in general are wary of organics in this continuity (due to a bad past experience, according to WordOfGod), but Sentinel is that much worse about it.
** Whilst he isn't exactly afraid of them (he just doesn't like them), Fanzone makes a pretty direct homage to the TropeNamer when the Elite Guard arrive on Earth:
--->'''Fanzone''': Robots. Why did it have to be robots?
* WithDueRespect: 'But Sentinel-' 'Is a glitch-head. All due respect.'
* WithFriendsLikeThese: Sentinel.
* WouldHurtAChild: Blackarachnia and Soundwave. The former drops Sari off a building to distract Optimus and later threatens to kill her if she doesn't give up the Allspark's location. The latter blasts her with Laserbeak and brainwashes her own family into attacking her. Megatron, of all Bots, simply brushes her out of his way when she stands in front of all the Allspark. He most likely thought she was just beneath him.
* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe: The Angry Archer.
* YesMan: Sunstorm and his predecessor #2716057; It's unclear whether they're at all sincere in their constant praise, or if they're just working an angle and trying to butter everyone up.
** This is a [[TheStarscream Starscream]] clone we're talking about. Of ''course'' he's working an angle and trying to butter everyone up.
** Lugnut, however, plays it straight in the mold of [[WesternAnimation/BeastWars Inferno]].
* YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame: Prowl and clone #2716057.
* YouCanRunButYouCantHide: Bumblebee went for the flipped-around version against Lockdown. Of course, he was biting off a lot more than he could chew.
* YouDoNotWantToKnow: Slipstream's (i.e. the female Starscream clone) response to Starscream about which part of his personality she represents is "Don't ask".
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: In "Endgame, Part 1," Megatron says this to [[spoiler:Starscream]] before blasting him to smithereens.
* YouLookLikeYouveSeenAGhost: [[spoiler: Starscream]] to Megatron in season 2, after his resurrection but before he figured out [[spoiler: it was an Allspark chunk keeping him online.]] "Well maybe you HAVE!"
* YouMonster: Scrapper to ''Sari'' after she uses the factory equipment to pummel him and Mixmaster.
* YoureNotMyFather: Sari to Isaac after her RoboticReveal. He actually ''is'' her biological father (sort of), but by the time she learns this she's already accepted him again.
* YouShallNotPass: In the first season finale, with Megatron rising with a new body and the Decepticons closing in on the Allspark, Optimus tells his crew that this is where they stand and fight. This results in Bulkhead [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome tackling]] the bruiser [[TheBrute Lugnut]] in the air.
* YouTalkTooMuch: Bulkhead to Lugnut in ''Megatron Rising''.
* YuppieCouple: [[MythologyGag The Witwicky family]], interestingly enough.
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->'''Megatron:''' ''"You're a persistent little Autobot!"''\\
'''Optimus Prime:''' ''"My '''name''' is Optimus Prime!"''