"Code Of Hero" is often regarded as not only a highlight of the series, but also one of the crowning achievements of the Transformers franchise overall — and it all rests on Dinobot's shoulders. While it's better to watch the episode for yourself, in short Dinobot aims to mitigate his actions in "Maximal No More" and — well — let's just say his Character Development and Badass qualities hit full circle as a result:
"The question that once haunted my being has been answered. The future is not fixed, and my choices are my own. And yet, how ironic... for I now find that I have no choice at all! I am a warrior...let the battle be joined!"
Ravage has three such moments:
During his intro, he blasts the weapons out of all the Maximals' hands while cloaked.
A third and final moment is when he defiantly meets what is supposedly his end by screaming "DECEPTICONS FOREVER!"
Also in "The Agenda", the Maximals are holed up in the Axalon, their shields being pummeled by a vastly superior Predacon warship and Rampage. Rattrap finally gets sick of waiting, and everyone's favorite spy/demolitions expert/gunner/Jerk with a Heart of Gold then proceeds to drive off a convenient ramp made of debris, out of the ship and into the air, where he lands on the enemy ship and tries to burn his way in with a futuristic welding torch... and when THAT fails, he transforms into a "stainless steel rat" and CHEWS his way through, just as Tarantulas is arming the ship's ludicrously oversized missile of death. He greets Tarantulas with "a pair of belly bombs with your name right on them... eat 'em and weep!" Tarantulas FREAKS OUT as he is blown up (he got better), and the 4+ million year old Decepticon warrior Ravage defiantly meets his end as he is caught in the blast (he didn't get better... or did he?). THEN as the ship plummets out of control, Rattrap rides the giant missile a la Slim Pickins, and the ship stops it crashing just before it crushes Rampage. The Ax-CrazyNigh Invulnerable Predacon proceeds to laugh... until he realizes the missile is still armed, and it launches mere seconds later, hitting him at point-blank range. Rattrap rides out the giant explosion joyously until he is caught in Rhinox's arms, and the eternal Deadpan Snarker has to end this CMOA with...
While we're on the subject of "The Agenda", Megatron brings the second season of Beast Wars to a cliffhanger: He shoots Optimus Prime in the face. Prime, not Primal, THE Optimus Prime! The epic speech he gives while doing it is just the icing on the cake.
"Say goodbye to the universe, Maximals! The future has changed. Yessssss. The Autobots lose! Evil triumphs! And you...YOU NO LONGER EXIST!"
Most villains make a cliffhanger by defeating the heroes. Beast Wars Megatron makes a cliffhanger by negating the heroes' existence.
Newly upgraded Optimal Optimus in the very next episode gets a rather nasty dig in when a fight is about to break out in the main bridge of the Ark, with all the G1 cast still in stasis lock all about.
Megatron: "You wouldn't dare fire in here! It might upset history."
Optimal Optimus: "We'd have four million years to clean you off the walls, Megatron. I might risk it."
Another Beast Wars moment. The part where they messed with our expectations in the series finale:
Megatron(sounding Genre Savvy): Well, let's hear it, the usual "destiny and honor" speech.
Megatron: What?! What possible reason do you have to disobey me?! I am your master! I am your creator!
Dinobot 2: And I... have my honor!
Then there's the fact that that Rhinox saves the day by flying a shuttle into the Predacon warship.
Rhinox: For everything that ever was. (Cue battle cry)
And then there was Waspinator's brief crowning moment of awesome where he defected from the Predacons — about five minutes from when the other Predacons were killed in one fashion or another. Give The Chew Toy credit for realizing when it was time to Take This Job And Shove It. The last shown of the series shows him being worshipped by the protohumans. "Waspinator happy at last."
"I said NO! Dragon-bot command you, Sub-commander Kiss-Butt! Dragon-bot not command Waspinator! Not anymore! Waspinator sick of being evil! Sick of being Predacon! And Waspinator especially sick of being BLOWN TO SCRAP ALL THE TIME!!! Sooo, Waspinator quit! As of now. Which means Ant-Bot and Two-Head can just pucker their mandibles, and plant big, wet, juicy ones right here on Waspinator's big... FAT... STRIPEY..." (gets blown up)
Rhinox was built on the Crowning Moments of Awesome. First and foremost, there was the entirety of the episode where Megatron turned him into a Predacon and Rhinox proceeded to use his intelligence to tear apart the entirety of the Predacons in his attempt to become their leader.
For me, Rhinox's greatest moment was the entire episode "Dark Voyage," where he, Cheetor, Rattrap, and Dinobot are blinded far away from the base. Rhinox keeps his head far better than any of the others and leads them a good part of the way home so they can be rescued. The trip also involves him flinging a giant snake into the distance, and meditating to tell the others where to aim when Waspinator and Terrosaur attack.
Rhinox standing in a huge pile of shell casings from his guns in "The Low Road". Made all the more awesome when he quips that he "can't hold them off forever." Also doubles as Crowning Moment of Funny.
When Megatron locked the Maximals out of the Ark, Rattrap can't hotwire the doors to open. Cue Rhinox getting pissed, pulling out the Chainguns of Doom, and blasting the control panel to oblivion. The doors crack open, and Rhinox starts trying to pull it open manually, putting dents in the doors from just his raw strength.
Three Words: Chainguns of Doom. Any time these come out, something awesome usually follows.
Basically the entire episode is a CMOA, solely for the fact that the G1 character Starscream appears (and possesses Waspinator).
Basically any scene where Rampage gets to appear and show just what he's made of. From taking a brutal amount of firepower to slugging it out with Depth Charge.
"Bad Spark." That is all.
Any scene where Depth Charge gets to show up and kick ass.
Let's combine the two and have Depth Charge driving a spike of raw energon through Rampage's spark—and Rampage letting him with a maddened laugh.
Depth Charge's final speech is a masterpiece of Crowning Awesome — hammy and over-the-top and yet so cool. It's also notable as the ONLY time in Beast Wars, and one of the very few times in Transformers full stop, that a Maximal (or Autobot) actually kills one of the bad guys.
"RAW Energon! Right through your twisted Spark! Take it! TAKE IT STRAIGHT TO THE PIT! You sickening piece of slaaag!"
A double-whammy with a scene between Depth Charge and Optimus Primal during "Feral Scream". Optimus's nerves are being worn after his chum Cheetor has been involved in a freak-accident that's left him mutated, near dead and missing. Depth Charge was present, but he's not giving any answers. Optimus orders him to tell him what really happened, to which Depth Charge replies "You hauled me in for THAT? Ask the cat.", before turning to leave. Tempers flare as Optimus yells at him, only for Depth Charge to yell back. Keep in mind that Depth Charge's whole hand is as wide as a few of Optimus's fingers, to lend scale. Optimus finally loses it and forcibly shoves Depth Charge into the wall and threatens to rip his brain out and find out what happened manually. For the first time in the series Optimus has really lost his temper with a crew member to the point of violence, and his victim is half his size. How does Depth Charge reply? With a cool and sarcastic "Well, since you asked so nicely...". Optimus finally losing it on insolent crew members (and on Depth Charge in particular, who is a complete ass to everyone) coupled with Depth Charge refusing to lose his cool in the face of an angry Autobot-sized robot makes for a great moment of awesome for two characters.
Blackarachnia fights Inferno in "Other Voices, Part 2". A little context: Transformers has never been fantastic with female characters, ranging between The Chick to The Ditz. And Inferno, a demented, cackling pyromaniac courtier with giant steel teeth, was awesome. But when he goes up against Blackarachnia she utterly schools him, in one of the best fight scenes in TF history. BA wasn't just the 'token female'; she was smart, capable, strong, and, let's face it, kinda sexy.
With action television shows that exist mainly to sell toys, new characters, representing new products on the shelves, beat the old characters/toys without much effort. "Proving Grounds" averts this for a good portion of the episode, with Blackarachnia, still in her original form, outwitting and outfighting Dinobot II (who first appeared two episodes prior) at every turn. That's not to say Dinobot II doesn't hold his own well, but it is a good example of how Beast Warsdownplaysits toy-oriented aspects.
"Crossing The Rubicon", where she's upgraded into a Transmetal, was also the first time she transformed with the Maximals' "Maximize" activation code, signifying her choice to become a full member of the team. You'd have to see it in context, after everything that had happened, but it was quite a moment.
Blackarachnia gets one in her first episode. Optimus has just been shot out of the sky, so she moves in for the kill. Cheetor shoots the gun out of her hand, so she starts purposefully marching toward him in an Unflinching Walk. He charges and keeps firing, hitting all of the spider arms from her beast mode, which double as machine guns. When she's close enough, Blackarachnia hits him with a literal face-breaking kick, flooring him in a single attack. That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the series.
Silverbolt also has one in "Proving Grounds": while pretty much dead on his feet, he uses Dinobot II's hologram generator to fake him out, just like Dinobot II had done to Blackarachnia at the beginning of the fight.
Rattrap taking out Waspinator, Inferno, and Dinobot II with a single ball of mud. All based on the idea of hominid Una, as well.
Silverbolt showing Tarantulas just what happens to bots who actually manage to harm Blackarachnia. It's a very good thing he's usually so reserved.
To elaborate on this one a bit: Tarantulas killed Blackarachnia (She got better). Silverbolt loses it. The Bird-Dog then hunts him down and almost impales him. If Rampage hadn't showed up when he did, he would have been dead.
How has Tigerhawk not been mentioned? Granted he was there for only a few episodes, but in the first episode alone he destroys the Predacon base, sweeps away every one of them except Megatron, who he defeats with almost no effort. He one-ups himself in the final episode when he takes on the Nemesis, one of if not the most powerful Decepticon warship in history all by himself and actually manages to both hold it off for a little while.
"Look! Down in the sky! Is it a bird?" "Maybe a plane?" "Nah! It's Optimus!" And thus, Optimus Primal literally catches a falling starship and lowers it safely to the ground all by himself. Complete with heroic music.
Air Razor got two during the few episodes she was in:
Her very first scene, she goes from the brink of death as a protoform to full blown Action Girl in seconds. She out flys, out fights and dismantles Terrorsaur, asserting herself as the dominant aerial warrior.
Breaking into the Predacon base to retrieve a piece of stolen technology, destroying the Predacon's defenses with a shockwave created by the sheer speed of her dive, in beast mode no less. She even deliberately walks into, and destroys, Megatron's booby trap guarding the thing she was after, joking the whole time about how predictable it was.
Inferno is practically built on these, but his best came in The Agenda: Part 2. He went kamikaze on Primal and Cheetor by igniting a raw energon deposit after succumbing to energon build-up. All while cackling like a madman.
A bit of a meta-example also involving Transformers Generation One: The two-part finale involves Megatron finding and gaining possession of the Nemesis, Decepticon Megatron's warship and the flagship of the entire Decepticon space fleet, a gargantuan battlecruiser bristling with weapons (it was originally discovered by Tarantulas, who had been refurbishing it and even added a transwarp cell). As an added nod, the Nemesis is found on the floor of the ocean in the same position the Decepticons' second ship and base ended up in throughout the first two seasons. Megatron proceeds to raise the warship and unleash hell upon man, bot, and beast alike, until Rhinox pilots an Autobot shuttle through the bridge, causing the Nemesis to veer of into the distance and disappear below the horizon... and crash into a hillside in South America, where it would be discovered by Decepticon Megatron in the G1 episode "Microbots" and its power source removed for his own use.
Optimus's return from his brief bout with the deads in "Coming of the Fuzors II". The other Maximals are brutally damaged, out of ammo, and about to be descended on by the bolstered Predacon forces. Before they can strike the final blow, a massive explosion grabs everyone's attention. The Predacons look on in shock and horror before the camera pans up to the new and improved Transmetal Optimus Primal. He then proceeds to single handedly crush the five Predacons without a scratch.
What makes this scene so awesome compared to most Back from the Dead scenes, is that Optimus had been dead for almost three episodes. More than enough time to subvert Like You Would Really Do It and thus make his return all the more triumphant.
Also in that episode, Silverbolt does a Heel-Face Turn and and blows Megatron off a cliff. "Consider that my resignation from the Predacons!"
Cheetor got one fighting Blackarachnia. She has completely defeated him in hand-to-hand combat, and has him pinned on the ground. She loads her gun with a "cyber-venom" dart and fires point blank at his face. Cheetor catches it, and throws it back into her head.It can be seen here
After years of being the chew toy of the universe, Waspinator finally got the respect he deserves. The bug has joined the Hall of Fame, beating out Grimlock and Shockwave to get there.
The Old West-style showdown where the episode ends with Dinobot, Cheetor and Rattrap facing off against the Predacons. Dinobot even brought a BFG for the fight.
Dinobot II's creation is one long Shout-Out to Frankenstein, complete with Waspinator as Igor.
Megatron: From the tempest fury, the spark ignites! To sire new life! Transmetal 2 life!
Let's not forget Tigertron now. In Call of the Wild our nature goer teaches the Maximals to embrace their Beast Mode instincts rather than be overwhelmed by them. While the Predacons try to hunt them down, he gives us these parting words.
Tigertron: Remember, do not fight your beast instincts. Let them help your robot form, both in battle and in peace. But now, let us maximize, *Transforms* and slag some butt!
Gorilla Warfare, Optimus becomes death incarnate for the entire episode as he singlehandedly solos the Predacon security.
In ''Feral Scream, Part 2" Optimus confronts Cheetor regarding his odd behavior following an accident that has left him randomly transforming into an entirely new creature. Before Cheetor admits what's been happening, Optimus is sniped by the transmetal Dinobot clone. In response, Cheetor immediately and permanently shifts into his own transmetal II form (which had previously reduced him to a feral animal) and forces the previously unstoppable Dinobot II to retreat (after blowing away Waspinator, of course).
Inferno singlehandedly kicking Quickstrike and Silverbolt's asses when they first emerge from their pods.