Characters: Transformers Prime Autobots
As the Gladiator Megatronus started gathering political power in an effort to oppose the fascist caste system of the ruling Cybertronian High Council, the respected Iacon data clerk Orion Pax joined his cause and for the first time provided a venue for the cause to gain some ground. As the newly christened Megatron addressed the council, his true lust for power and arrogance became apparent as he demanded to be appointed the next Prime. Orion stepped in and gave a new option of peace and harmony by offering the freedom of all Cybertronians to choose their own path. Orion's nobility and the power of his words touched the council and they recognized him as having the qualities of a Prime, appointing him Optimus Prime.
Megatron's rage over what he viewed as a great injustice filtered to his followers and they started the civil war to install Megatron as the ruler of Cybertron. With the "Grand Deception" finally revealed the Decepticons pushed their attack, while the followers of Optimus Prime were named the Autobots so that their values of individual autonomy was made clear. The original Cybertronian High Council now dissolved and the battle spreading far beyond their home, Optimus is forced to oppose the Decepticons wherever they take their tyranny.
- Alien Among Us: The benevolent kind.
- Arm Cannon: Every Autobot, save Ratchet, has demonstrated one in each arm.
- Badass Crew: There's a reason that they're the last major group of Autobots left alive.
- Band of Brothers: The fact that there are so few of them has made them closer than ever.
- Car Fu: These Autobots certainly have a lot more creativity with their vehicle forms, especially with Optimus being as big as he is.
- Dual Wielding: Be it blades or guns, every Autobot does this with every Shapeshifter Weapon they have.
- Mechanical Lifeforms: As is tradition.
- Mildly Military: With the exception of Ultra Magnus.
- The Noseless: The art style of the show.
- The Remnant: Team Prime is basically the only organized military component of the Autobot faction, continuing to fight the war that the Decepticons have already won, if Pyrrhicly. They also have the only known remaining Prime left in existence. It is likely there are still other Autobots fighting the Decepticons as well, but what from things looks like, Optimus and co. are the only ones whose struggle is leaving any impact so far.
- Shapeshifter Weapon: Their arms transform into their weapons, much like in the movies.
- Transforming Mecha: Natch.
- True Companions: They may bicker and get annoyed with each other, but the philosophy of "all for one and one for all" is their guiding principle as a group.
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Optimus Prime/Orion Pax/"Thirteen"
Click here to see his Alt-mode
I chose my side.
First Appearance: "Darkness Rising: Part 1"
The leader of the Autobots and the last of the Primes. Originally a data clerk named Orion Pax, he formed a friendship with a charismatic gladiator and civil rights leader named after one of the 13 original Primes-the powerful and sinister Megatronus, and being such a close ally put him on the map to being recognized by the Cybertronian High Council. Upon becoming Optimus Prime, he and the newly christened Megatron cut ties, becoming fierce rivals with wildly different ideologies. Optimus is a highly accomplished warrior honed by years of conflict, though his natural disposition is a gentle pacifist.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: In the finale, he's forced to store the Allspark within the Matrix of Leadership. This renders his spark inextricable from the Allspark when he re-releases it.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: As always, he's the single toughest and most dangerous Autobot combatant, capable of standing toe-to-toe with a Dark-Energon-enhanced Megatron. Megatron, Dreadwing, Predaking, and Soundwave are the only recurring characters capable of challenging him one-on-one.
- Benevolent Boss
- Berserk Button: Don't harm humans in his presence and certainly don't gloat about it. He set out to straight-up kill Megatron when this happened. It was most likely the last straw in a series of injustices, but still.
- Beware the Nice Ones: It is very, very hard to get Optimus legitimately angry at you. This is a good thing for all concerned.
- BFG: He gets the biggest arm cannons out of the whole team.
- Big Good
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Each shoulder, in fact. Much like his live-action movie counterpart.
- Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: In "One Shall Rise, Part 3", Optimus unleashes the Matrix of Leadership's power to render Unicron's physical body dormant and wipes his memories as a Prime in the process. This reverts him to Orion Pax and allows Megatron to manipulate him until his memories are restored.
- In "Predacons Rising", Optimus tricks Unicron into trapping his own Anti-Spark in the reliquary that once contained the Allspark. Since Optimus had to place the Allspark in the Matrix of Leadership (merging it with his own spark), he had to sacrifice himself to return it to Primus in order to restore Cybertron's ability to create new life.
- Came Back Strong: It's a bit vague whether he died before Smokescreen healed him. What's not vague is that he came back with a jetpack, a minigun, and a new body bigger and bulkier than Megatron's.
- The Captain
- Catch Phrase: "It stands / would stand to reason..."
- The Comically Serious: From "One Shall Fall":
Jack: Hey, Optimus, you wanna see something funny?
- Cool Mask: His faceplate.
- Cool Sword: Gains the Star Saber.
- Ancestral Weapon: It was formerly one of the weapons of the Thirteen.
- BFS: It's almost bigger than he is.
- Sword Beam: Capable of delivering one so powerful it can knock the Nemesis off course.
- Wrecked Weapon -> Reforged Blade: Shattered by Megatron in "Alpha/Omega", he repairs it in "Regeneration" with the Forge of Solus Prime.
- And before that, his dual arm blades.
- Criminal Amnesiac: Megatron takes advantage of Optimus losing his memories of the war and tricks him into joining the Decepticons. It doesn't last.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Megatron was his best friend. Wonder how that turned out.
- Dead Hand Shot: While "Darkest Hour" appears to end this way, it turns out in "Darkmount, NV" Optimus survived, albeit critically damaged.
- Determinator: In "Darkness Rising, Part 4", he keeps going for Megatron, tearing through any Terrorcons that stand in his way. Megatron even compliments Optimus on his skill.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Sacrifices himself to ensure the future of the Cybertronian race without a moment's hesitation.
- A Father to His Men
- The Fettered
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Leukine.
- Gatling Good: His new form comes with one.
- Genius Bruiser: A former bureaucrat, a good strategist, and an eloquent speaker who can easily kill you if you get on his bad side.
- Gentle Giant
- God in Human Form: In a sense. The Covenant Of Primus reveals that he is the Thirteenth of the Original Primes, having willingly given up his status and memories of his former life and reincarnated as an ordinary Cybertronian, though he did regain them when he got the Matrix of Leadership. That said, he still kept this fact to himself.
- Good Is Not Soft
- The Hero
- The Hero Dies: Sacrifices himself for the future of his race at the end of the series.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Being Optimus Prime, it's expected for him to at least attempt this a few times. The "One Shall Rise" trilogy revealed that he didn't anticipate surviving his encounter with Unicron. He did, but lost his memories of being Optimus Prime and reverted back to Orion Pax for a short time. In "Darkest Hour", he stayed behind to ensure the Decepticons couldn't follow their team through the ground bridge and the Decepticons split the base with a Wave Motion Gun with him inside. He survived, barely, and would have died if Smokescreen didn't give him the Forge of Solus Prime to repair himself. He does it for real in "Predacons Rising". After being forced to merge the Allspark with his own, he has no choice but to enter Primus' core and sacrifice himself to restore Cybertron's ability to create life.
- He's Back: At the climax of Orion Pax, Part 3, Orion Pax's memories and his identity as Optimus Prime are restored. The first thing he does? Gives Megatron a well deserved smackdown.
- In "Rebellion", Team Prime gets their skidplates handed to them during the assault on Darkmount. Guess who shows up for a repeat performance of the Orion Pax arc climax, having been saved from the brink of death by Smokescreen?
- Hurting Hero: Much like in Generation One, there is an ever-present, dignified sadness in Peter Cullen's performance of Optimus, as if the Great War has affected him so deeply that he's always crying deep inside. Cullen stated in interviews that he drew inspiration from his brother, a Shell-Shocked Veteran of the Vietnam War, who told him before the audition for Optimus "Don't be a tough hero; you are strong enough to be gentle."
- Ideal Hero
- I Did What I Had to Do: Combines with The Stoic when Ratchet is infuriated by the news of The Omega Lock's destruction by his hand.
Ratchet: What!?... You did...
Optimus: What was necessary. There was no time for another prolonged battle, not with Earth in imminent danger.
- It Is Not Your Time: Inverted. It most certainly was his time, a point Alpha Trion elaborated on, but Smokescreen siphoned the last of the energy from the forge into Optimus, saving his life.
- It's All My Fault: While he doesn't put it as bluntly, in "One Shall Fall", it is shown that he blames himself for most of what has happened since the Great War ended on Cybertron. Specifically, that he refused to believe that Decepticons would never be able to coexist peacefully with the Autobots, and that there was still hope for Megatron to change his ways, even after his former friend was responsible for the destruction of their home, the spread of the conflict to various other worlds (including Earth) as well as the countless individuals who have died and suffered as a result. Meaning he never took the opportunity to end the conflict for good (by killing Megatron) when he had the chance (according to Ratchet, many chances). He seems to realize how foolish he was (in his own eyes) when Megatron almost kills Raf.
- Jetpack: Gains one in his new form.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: In first season finale. He gets better.
- Large and in Charge: The tallest Autobot in the series. Moreso when he's upgraded with the Forge of Solus Prime.
- Last of His Kind: He's the last of the Primes. His death at the end of the series even marks the end of the Prime lineage.
- Legacy Character: Though it isn't explicitly brought up in-series, he took the title of Prime after the death of his predecessor, Sentinel Zeta Prime, at the hands of the Decepticons. Convenant of Primus revealed that he's the reincarnation of the 13th Prime.
- Martial Pacifist: Optimus's seen everything from comrades dying to atrocities being committed on myriad sentient species who had nothing to do with the war. As such, he always tries to strive for peace, since he's not only seen the alternative, but also wants to protect both humans and Cybertronians, regardless of allegiance. He is, however, not at all reluctant to lay down an ass-beating when it comes to protecting those weaker than him.
- Meaningful Rename: Was originally a Cybertronian clerk named Orion Pax. He was eventually granted the title of Prime and was renamed Optimus after receiving the Matrix of Leadership. When said Matrix is used up to defeat Unicron, he reverts back to Orion Pax for a while. Conventant of Primus revealed that Optimus was his name during his previous life as the 13th Prime.
- Messianic Archetype: Willingly goes to what he expects to be his death in order to save humanity from an ancient evil at the heart of our origins. Unlike most other Optimus Primes, he hasn't died yet, but he did lose his memories and identity for a while before regaining them. Not to mention sacrificing himself to destroy the Space Bridge Controls after everyone else has fled to fight another day...
- His being the reincarnation of "Thirteen," the last of the thirteen original Primes only drives it in further. Optimus was the one whose spark was most alike to Primus, and it was only because of his vision and courage that the Thirteen were able to unite and defeat Unicron. Then he willingly allows himself to be reincarnated as a normal Cybertronian so he may better understand his people, and then willingly gives up his life to merge with the Well of Allsparks in order to bring about a new age.
- Nice Guy: He wouldn't be Optimus Prime without this trope.
- One-Man Army: He and Ratchet handily mow down an unending tide of zombie robots in the pilot.
- Only Mostly Dead: In "Rebellion", before the power of the Forge of Solus Prime heals/upgrades him.
- Papa Wolf
- Reincarnation: The Covenant of Primus revealed that Optimus is actually the reincarnation of the Thirteenth Prime, lacking any knowledge of his previous life until he gained the Matrix of Leadership. He keeps this fact to himself.
- Retcon: According to The Covenant of Primus, this particular incarnation of Optimus Prime is a reincarnated member of the Original Thirteen, specifically, the Thirteenth Prime. This itself isn't too big of a stretch. However, the book goes one step further and states that upon receiving the Matrix of Leadership for the very first time (i.e. back during the events depicted in Transformers: War for Cybertron), he was granted all of the memories of his past life. This part is notable in particular, since at no point in any other form of Aligned fiction prior to this being revealed was anything of the sort even hinted at. He even refers to events that he would have been present at as the Thirteenth Prime as if he was only familiar with the legends surrounding them, specifically Unicron, and the Chaos Bringer himself doesn't recognise Optimus in any form aside from him being a Prime. He does keep the knowledge of being a former member of the Thirteen to himself, but it still leaves a lot of writing around past events.
- Robo Family: According to the Transformers Vault this universe's Optimus is a possible descendant of Prima, from the Original Thirteen (described as having a "Primian" polarity). A trait he shares with his Movie incarnation. According to Conventant of Primus, he isn't a descendant of Prima—he's one of the original 13 himself reincarnated.
- Shoot the Dog: He destroyed the Omega Lock, the only thing capable of restoring Cybertron, to stop the Decepticons from destroying Earth with it.
- Skyward Scream: When Starscream escapes with all four Omega Keys in "Inside Job".
- Standardized Leader: Deliberately invoked, and somewhat deconstructed; it's explicitly stated that all Primes have a similar sort of calm, dignified, slightly sad personality. Carrying the accumulated wisdom of all past Primes in your mind will do that.
Arcee: He's a Prime. They're all built like that.
- The Stoic: Bulkhead says he's never seen Optimus laugh, cry, or lose his cool in all the time he's known him.
- Story Breaker Power: His Season 3 upgrade makes him, while still short of Predaking, one of the most powerful characters in the show, with rarely a scene where Optimus is outmatched, except against Predaking and a few other select characters. Most of the episodes of the season and the epilogue film resolved this by having him away on other business.
- Sympathy for the Devil: After Megatron's apparent death in "Darkness Rising", Optimus mourns the fact that he was never able to turn Megatron away from his destructive path, and remarking that the Megatron who was once his friend is long dead. This sympathy ends permanently in "One Shall Fall", where Optimus decides, in no uncertain terms, that Megatron must die for there to be any chance of peace.
- Team Dad
- These Hands Have Killed: The first Cybertronian he ever killed was a former industrial worker turned Decepticon named Drixco. The act of taking his first life caused him to question himself, but eventually sealed his resolve to end the war. Similarly when his memory ends up reverted to his Orion Pax persona, upon the discovery that he is armed, he ends up killing the Vehicons who were in the process of mercilessly beating him. Whilst initially shocked, he then decides that it is his responsibility to stop Megatron, and ends up receiving his memories back soon after.
- Took a Level in Badass: He was already badass to start with; then his upgrade via the Forge of Solus Prime makes him the largest and most physically powerful single character in the show short of Predaking.
- Victory Guided Amnesia: In the finale of Season One, Optimus uses the Matrix of Leadership to put Unicron down at the cost of losing his memory of the Autobot-Decepticon war. Thankfully, he gets better.
- Warrior Poet: His thoughtful, sensitive, introspective and kind nature is what won him his position as a Prime.
- We Used to Be Friends: With Megatron.
- When He Smiles: Optimus's smiles are rare and small, but when he does smile, it lights up his entire face. One noteworthy moment was when he smiled at Raf when both of them were recovering from Megatron's attacks in "One Shall Rise, Part 1".
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: As Orion Pax, Megatron's protege in the Cybertronian civil rights movement. This ended up endearing him to the general public (and the council) more than his more ruthless mentor's attitude.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech: Delivers one in "One Shall Fall", where he finally decides to straight-up kill Megatron.
I have been foolish not to see what history has proven over and over again; that Autobots and Decepticons will never
mend their ways. If there can be no diplomatic solution to this... perpetual
conflict, then I must not allow more darkness to fall upon this, or any planet. Megatron must be destroyed
- Worthy Opponent: Views Dreadwing as one.
- Would Not Shoot a Civilian: If you do, he will condemn you to a brutal beatdown at his hands.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: In "Darkest Hour", he stays behind after the base is evacuated to destroy the Ground Bridge and ensure the Decepticons cannot pursue his teammates. Too bad Megatron opted to obliterate the base rather than capture it.
Click here to see her Alt-mode
First Appearance: "Darkness Rising: Part 1"
A small and nimble fighter with experience as a scout and spy, Arcee is haunted by several events that occured during Cybertronian Civil War, including the deaths of several partners and being tortured by Airachnid as a POW. She is nonetheless well-respected by her teammates and although she can be impulsive and leave on her own agenda, her to priority is the safety of the team. She is officially the guardian of Jack Darby, and after an initial annoyance with each other, have come to form a powerful bond.
- Action Girl: She may be a fembot, but she doesn't shirk on the combat duties.
- Adaptational Badass: Probably the most dangerous incarnation of Arcee who isn't an Ax-Crazy test subject.
- Anti-Hero: What happened to her partners has left her as something of a Knight in Sour Armor.
- Berserk Button: Taunting her about her dead partners, or threatening the life of her current one.
- Biker Babe: She uses a hologram of one wearing a helmet and skintight leather outfit as part of her motorcycle disguise when she's in public.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Arcee's blades are forearm-mounted rather than fold-out blades like Optimus and Ratchet's.
- Breast Plate: Her chest armor.
- Broken Bird: Losing two of her partners has done that to her.
- Composite Character: She has the name Arcee, but adopts the color scheme and general demeanor of Generation One Chromia with the alternate mode and loner mentality of Animated Prowl. Her backstory involving dead partners is also similar to Animated Ratchet.
- Cool Bike: Her altmode.
- Cool Big Sis: To Jack, then later to Miko and Smokescreen.
- Damsel out of Distress: She gets captured and trapped more often than any other Autobot on Team Prime, but usually manages to rescue herself (and often someone else as well), kicking Decepticon skidplates all the way.
- Dead Partners: First Tailgate, then Cliffjumper.
- Deadpan Snarker: Particularly as the series goes on, her delivery becomes more dry.
- Doom Magnet: Both of her Cybertronian partners are dead. She's worried the same will happen to Jack.
- Fembot: Also the only female Autobot we've seen, thus far.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Trades off between Choleric and Melancholic with Ratchet.
- Fragile Speedster: She can't take a hit, but it's incredibly hard to hit her.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: Uses a weapon of this variety from Ultra Magnus' arsenal in season 3.
- Glass Cannon: A skilled combatant and one of the fastest Autobots, but once she gets hit, she takes a while to recover. The trick is actually hitting her, which many opponents find is far easier said than done.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: She has guns and is skilled with them, but she prefers physical combat.
- Jerkass Fašade: Since the death of her first partner, Tailgate, she has a tendency to close herself off from others, in the event she suffers the same pain of losing another friend. This is explored in "Out Of The Past" and several first season episodes in regards to her relationships with Cliffjumper and Jack respectively.
- The Lancer: To Optimus.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Not as bad as Miko, but twice it has almost gotten her killed.
- Mama Bear: She's not his actual mom, but in "Legacy" when Jack tags along with Smokescreen and nearly gets killed, her reaction to Smokescreen (who outsizes her by a fair amount) definitely evokes this. And that's not even getting into those who actively try to harm Jack. In "Predatory", Airachnid was on the receiving end of Arcee's wrath for attempting to add the kid's head to her trophy case. It left a notable dent in the surrounding woodlands.
- Meaningful Echo: "Don't make me hunt you down.", first said to Jack as a warning in Darkness Rising Part 4 when he tries to back out, and repeated more affectionately at the end of Deadlock.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Her chest-plates are curved to the point where somewhat resembles a pair of breasts, but Down Played considerably to the point it more or less looks more like chest plate armor.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Towards Airachnid.
- Out of Focus: She's a fairly prominent character in the first season. She gets significantly smaller roles in the following two seasons.
- Parental Substitute: She's just as overprotective of Jack as his own mother is, and even scolds him to call his mother more often.
- Pink Means Feminine: Downplayed, as she's mostly blue with only touches of pink. Comes with a Mythology Gag in the third season, where she observes Bumblebee's inverted color scheme and notes that doing the same in her case would make her almost entirely pink.
- Revenge Before Reason: Her obsession with bringing down Airachnid. Since "Partners", this also applies to Starscream when she learns that he killed Cliffjumper. By the end of "Partners", she seemed to have put her desire for revenge aside... until "Crossfire" gave her another shot at him.
- Since "Armada" her general desire for revenge seems to have faded over the remainder of the second season, especially when Airachnid ends up in stasis. By the finale, it has all but vanished.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In "Orion Pax, Part 1", she storms the Nemesis in an effort to find an amnesiac Optimus, killing about ten Vehicons before Soundwave tricks her into taking a GroundBridge out.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: "Predatory" reveals that she has a slight form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as a result of being tortured under the captivity of Airachnid and witnessing her partner, Tailgate, executed by Airachnid when Arcee could not provide information the Decepticons demanded.
- Sizeshifter: She's a perfectly normal-sized motorcycle, but far larger◊ than she has any right to be as a robot.
- Vocal Evolution: A very minor version and more so related to how the show dove into her backstory than anything really dramatic or intentional (discussed in this interview). In the beginning of the series, Sumalee Montano played Arcee mostly as a "tough girl" kind of character, intense but vulnerable. Later on, she has a lot more of a dry wit and her vocal style changed accordingly.
- Waif-Fu: It may seem odd for a gigantic, heavily armed robot to be using this... but then you see exactly what she can do to the larger Decepticons without breaking a (metaphorical) sweat.
- Warrior Therapist: No, this doesn't conflict with the above tropes. After finally making peace over her vendetta towards Airachnid, Arcee is more than willing to step in and help Miko and Wheeljack deal with some of their problems.
- Weak, but Skilled: The smallest and lightest of all Cybertronians on the show, and often has trouble damaging tougher enemies. She makes up for it by being fast enough to get the drop on Megatron, and skilled enough to take on enemies far outside her weight class for substantial periods of time. She noticeably fights much better in tandem with the other Autobots.
- What the Hell, Hero?: In "Hard Knocks", when Smokescreen brags about being destined for great things and, later in the episode, complains about not being able to retrieve one of the Omega Keys, Arcee chews him out for not treating the war with the seriousness it deserves and lectures him about being more of a team player. While Smokescreen's exuberance is noticeable, Optimus feels that, behind the enthusiasm, the young rookie is just trying to contribute as much he can to Team Prime and feels worthless in the failure of his mission. When Smokescreen leaves the base upset, Ratchet believes Arcee took her point too far. Basically, she's on the giving and receiving end of this trope at that point in the episode.
Click here to see his Alt-mode
First Appearance: "Darkness Rising: Part 1"
Team Prime 's resident scientist and medic, Ratchet is one of Optimus' close friends from before the war even began and has seen the change in his friend. Ratchet is the oldest of the group and generally less excitable and enthusiastic as his teammates or the human kids. Usually grouchy, he is still a good 'Bot at heart and doesn't like to see anyone hurt. He is also generally responsible for the mechanical equipment and he built the ground bridge that allows instantaneous travel around the world, though he admits that he has his limitations in that field.
Click here to see his Alt-mode
First Appearance: "Darkness Rising: Part 1"
Team Prime's scout, Bumblebee is part of the last generation of Cybertronians created before the Civil War took hold. He is young but exceptionally skilled, a quick thinker and as brave as anyone can get. His voicebox was damaged in combat years ago, a reminder of the harsh realities of war, and "talks" in a series of beeps and whirls that allows him at least a certain degree of communication with the other Autobots and his human partner Raf Esquivel.
- A Day in the Limelight: "Operation Bumblebee", of course, but also "Masters and Students" and "One Shall Fall". He has a very large role in "Deadlock" as well.
- The movie "Predacons Rising" focuses on him taking on the responsibilities of leadership.
- Ascended Extra: Besides the aforementioned episodes, Bumblebee has a very small role in the series. By the Grand Finale and the upcoming sequel series, he's become a capable leader of the Autobots.
- Adaptational Badass: The Autobots reinforce that Bumblebee is their Scout (like his G1 character), but that means he's on the front lines quite often and isn't always able to escape without getting into a fight. He's gone up against Breakdown and held his own, and was also responsible for defeating Skyquake.
- He ends up killing Megatron. 'Nuff said.
- Badass Adorable: In spite of being a lethal Autobot, he's also a playful guy with a great relationship with the humans.
- Back from the Dead: Megatron fatally wounds him in "Deadlock", only for him to fall into the Omega Lock, have all his injuries healed, and return the favor.
- Berserk Button: Harming Raf is a good way to trigger it. On the occasion that Megatron nearly killed Raf, he would have attacked Megatron if not for Bulkhead and Arcee stopping him.
- He also tends to get plenty upset when someone brings up his inability to talk normally, such as when Smokescreen referenced his handicap when Ultra Magnus lost his hand.
- Big Brother Instinct: Towards Raf.
- Child Soldier: We don't know if he'd really count as a "child" exactly, but he is the youngest member on the team (as far as we know - Smokescreen may be the same age or a bit older, it's unclear), and as revealed in the prequel novels he is among the last generation of Cybertronians to be born. In "Masters and Students", it's implied that Bee isn't officially recognized as warrior-class due to his young age. However, Project Predacon has him admit he's holding back so he could be officially promoted on Cybertron.
- Cool Car: A fictional model of a muscle car named the Urbana 500.
- Cute Bruiser
- Cute Mute
- Demonic Possession: By Megatron at the end of "Sick Mind".
- Disney Death: Takes several blasts to the chest from Megatron's fusion cannon in "Deadlock", but the pool of cybermatter that he fell into brought him back.
- The Dog Bites Back: After getting his voicebox ripped out, his body forcibly taken over, his human companion almost killed, and almost killed himself by Megatron, he's the one to deliver the final blow against the Decepticon Leader — and delivers perhaps the most awesome line in the series while doing it.
- Dramatic Unmask: Turns out his mouth was covered by a faceplate for the entire series.
- The Face: He's the youngest of the Autobots and gets along with humans the best.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: However impermanent it was, taking mulitple shots from Megatron's fusion cannon was pretty brutal.
- Four-Fingered Hands
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Tends to use boxing as his fighting style.
- The Heart: When Optimus isn't doing his job for him, anyway.
- Intelligible Unintelligible: He speaks in some sort of machine language due to a damaged voice box. Raf and the Autobots can understand him just fine, but everyone else (viewers included) is out of luck. Raf acts as his Translator Buddy to the rest of the kids.
- Kid-Appeal Character: Bumblebee has traditionally always been one of these, but this incarnation ramps up the connection by pairing him with Raf, the youngest member of the cast, for a human partner.
- Lightning Bruiser: While not on par with the likes of Bulkhead or Megatron, Bumblebee's combination of speed and fighting ability allows him opportunities that others can't manage.
- Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Gains an Energy Shield in Season 3.
- Only Mostly Dead: Much like Optimus before him. Good thing he happened to fall into the Omega Lock.
- Out of Focus: He's arguably the least prominent member of the main Autobot cast, though he gets his plot-crucial moments.
- Palette Swap: In season 3, he modifies his colors to hide from the Decepticons.
- Passed Over Promotion: Although quite experienced, he's still a Scout instead of a Warrior because of the narrow hierarchy of the team. Season three reveals that Optimus was willing to promote him, but Bumblebee wanted it when it actually meant something.
- Optimus promotes him to Warrior at the beginning of "Predacons Rising"
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: Being virtually voiceless, he does most of his expression with his eyes, and if you notice he has the largest eyes in proportion to any other character. This makes his suffering in "Operation: Bumblebee" more palpable.
- Suddenly Voiced: His voicebox is restored after falling into the Omega Lock in "Deadlock".
- Took a Level in Badass: He has the sharpest skill curve on the team. While never a liability, he still sometimes struggles against some of the bigger enemies; in the pilot episode, he took a beating from a couple of Vehicons. Later on, he's just as efficient as anyone else. And then, in "Deadlock", he kills Megatron with the Star Saber.
- Walking Spoiler: Due to "Deadlock". Dying, coming back to life, regaining the ability to speak, and killing Megatron himself will do that.
- Wham Line: "Megatron! You took my voice. You will never rob anyone, of anything, ever again."
- Wolverine Publicity: As per the films, he's heavily used in advertising and promotions, despite his rather small role in the series.
- Winged Humanoid: His design, partially inspired from the films.
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First Appearance: "Darkness Rising: Part 1"
A former member of the elite Autobot combat unit the Wreckers, Bulkhead is a tough bruiser and built for combat. Admittedly not the smartest bot, he is so good at breaking things that he doesn't have much room for grace and finesse. Despite that, he is very friendly and partnered with Miko, who helps him develop both his gentle side and learn to unleash his power when necessary.
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First Appearance: "Darkness Rising: Part 1"
A born fighter, Cliffjumper doesn't hesitate to get involved with a scuffle and is sometimes antsy when there aren't any 'Cons to scrap. He spent a good deal of time with Arcee, with some implications of a bond that extended beyond simple friends.
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So who do we call for cleanup?
Voiced by: James Horan
First Appearance: "Con Job"
Another former Wrecker and close friends with Bulkhead, is very smart and a quick thinker, but prefers to dive into combat head on. After the war, he wandered the universe in search of both old and new friends and got accustomed to that lifestyle, so much that he has hesitations about sticking around on Earth for too long. He initially starts with a disregard of Optimus as a "clean hands" military commander, but comes to gain respect for Optimus' skill and sense of honor.
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Whoo! Too hot for ya, 'Cons?
First Appearance: "New Recruit"
A former guard of the Iacon Hall of Records, Smokescreen grew up in the waning days of Cybertron and learned under Optimus Prime's former mentor, the great Alpha Trion. After being captured, Smokescreen was sent to a Decepticon prison transport, but managed to escape by stealing an escape pod that eventually landed on Earth. On Earth, he becomes a rookie member of the team and strikes up a friendship with Jack Darby.
- Ascended Fanboy: Of a sort, given his great admiration for Optimus.
- Badass: He's younger than most of the team, but he's just as effective as them in battle.
- Bash Brothers: He learned quick how to work as a team. He got onto Bulkhead's good graces by assisting him in a fight and later fought alongside Bumblebee.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Occasionally a bit too cocky.
- Character Development: Smokescreen started out as a trigger happy Kid-Appeal Character and thought that it would be cool to fight the Decepticons, but gradually learns that War Is Hell and gains a proper level of maturity and humility that made him worthy of being a Prime. His fighting style also changes as he matures, from a flashy guns-blazing fighting style to a clever strategic Confusion Fu fighting style.
- Child Soldiers: Gives the impression of being about the same age as Bumblebee - he may have also been among the final generation "born" on Cybertron - and his behavior can make him seem even younger at times. Especially telling since he's closest to Jack out of all the human characters.
- The Chosen One: The Matrix of Leadership declares him a worthy sucessor to Optimus should the need arise.
- Cool Car: Feeling many of earth's vehicles were rather boring, he chose a race car as his vehicle mode.
- Composite Character: Visually, he takes a lot of cues from other characters, such as a chest and wheel "backpack" similar to Knock Out's, Bumblebee's door wings, and Optimus' head crest (though the last one might be an Iaconian symbol or subtle bit of Foreshadowing).
- Conscience Makes You Go Back: Smokescreen couldn't let Optimus face the Decepticons alone in the second season finale, and snuck back through the Groundbridge.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Bears a bit of resentment in Project Predacon at still being treated like a rookie, despite effectively being chosen as the next Prime (though the rest of Team Prime is unaware of this fact).
- Establishing Character Moment: Goes rushing on to the Autobot front lines of a fight before they even acknowledged him as an ally.
- That same impulsiveness showed him as more willing to try alternate methods of fighting, using the Phase Shifter until it later becomes his signature weapon.
- Expy: Of Hot Rod from G1.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine all the way.
- Hero-Worshipper: To Optimus Prime.
- Highly-Visible Ninja: After being informed he needed to conform to the "robots in disguise" mantra of Team Prime he scanned a high performance racing car, complete with number 38 on the side. Arcee quipped on how "discreet" it was.
- Then he gets a new paint job. It's even less subtle than his old one.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Smokescreen grew up in the waning days of the War for Cybertron and believed for a long time that he was destined for something great. He wasn't entirely wrong either, being used by Alpha Trion to carry the last Omega Key and later declared a worthy successor to Optimus Prime by The Matrix of Leadership should the need arise.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Once he learns he's been chosen by the Matrix to be the next Prime he seems to want the position less and less as the series progresses (not that he wanted to be a Prime in the first place, he just wanted to be a great solider). He even goes so far as to try and push the future responsibility onto Bumblebee.
- Indy Ploy: He manages to stop Starscream by applying quick wit- literally kicking him out the Apex Armor by using the Phase Shifter. Clever improvisation and creative Phase Shifter use eventually becomes his signature combat style.
- Innocently Insensitive: Happens in Minus One where him boosting up Ultra Magnus's new hand accidentally puts Bumblebee down, causing Bee to storm off angrily.
- Intangibility: The Phase Shifter.
- It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: For Smokey, being chosen by the Matrix to be the next Prime would require that he 1.) shoulder the responsibility of his entire race. 2.) have zero personal time. 3.) and ultimately lose his old personality to become someone entirely different. and 4.) Inherit it from the last guy.. It's no wonder he doesn't want the job.
- Kid-Appeal Character
- The Knights Who Say Squee: Totally goes into fanboy mode upon seeing Optimus. Understandable, since Smokescreen was assigned guard duty at the Hall of Records of Iacon, Optimus's old digs. He also served under Alpha Trion, Optimus's mentor, so it's obvious he'd have respect for the man.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Though not nearly as bad as Miko, he even starts to grow out of it by the end of season two.
- MacGuffin Guy: He's the container for the final Omega Key.
- Mission from God: He believes there was some form of fate involved in bringing him to the Autobots at this time, eventually pissing off Arcee with all his talk of being destined for something great. He wasn't entirely wrong, being used by Alpha Trion to carry the last Omega Key.
- Motor Mouth: One of the chattiest characters on either side.
- Na´ve Newcomer: Seems to have trouble grasping one basic fact about this series, and also has a bit of trouble adjusting to the social conventions of them being "robots in disguise". He gets over this in Season 3.
- New Meat: Very green when it comes to actual combat. His responsibility was guarding the Hall of Records of Iacon, which only put him in a battle at the tail end of the war on Cybertron, and even then he was either captured or in stasis since. He gets better.
- Palette Swap: Gets himself a new blue and yellow paintjob in "Project Predacon."
- Zig-zagged when it came to the toy. His show character model is completely original while his Japanese toy was a repaint of Knock-Out (they carry vaguely similar design features but are otherwise very different). Surprising a lot of people, Smokescreen got an original mold in the US more accurate to his character model.
- Praetorian Guard: Was a member of the Cybertronian Elite Guard, tasked with guarding special locations and knew Alpha Trion personally. He technically never got a graduation because of the war, so Optimus offers a consolidation welcome to Team Prime.
- Refused The Call: The Matrix chooses him as Optimus Prime's successor just as Optimus' spark joins the Allspark. Smokescreen has other ideas, stating that he isn't mature enough for the responsibility.
- Screw Destiny: Instead of accepting the Matrix from Optimus as his chosen successor, he brings Optimus back from the brink of death with the last energies of the Forge of Solus Prime.
- Sixth Ranger: The first new Autobot to actually join the team full time.
- Small Name, Big Ego: He's a little too confident for his own good. Though it's downplayed, as he doesn't view everyone else as beneath him. He develops out of it.
- The Sneaky Guy: Due to his inexperience and relative lack of power, he's forced to rely a little less on direct action and a little more on stealth— see his Weapon of Choice.
- Treasure Chest Cavity: The location of the final Omega Key.
- Undying Loyalty: To Optimus.
- Weapon of Choice: As of "Alpha; Omega", it's the Phase Shifter, which Ratchet allows him to keep since he makes use of it so well. Perhaps not a "weapon" per se, but Smokescreen does refer to it as his "signature weapon" and he seems very possessive of it.He ends up using it to save Optimus from being found at the start of Season 3.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gets a big one from Arcee for taking Jack along on a dangerous mission and nearly getting the boy killed. He admits that he deserves every word of it.
- He himself also (lightly) calls out Ratchet, later, for passing judgement on Optimus destroying the Omega Lock - as he says, Ratchet wasn't there to really understand how intense the battlefield decision was.
- Subverted completely when the team learns of his decision to repair Optimus with the last of the of the Forge's energies, which meant sacrificing any chance of repairing the Omega Lock. Considering this decision not only saved Optimus' life (and, by extension, everybody else's), but also handed the Autobots one of their biggest victories ever, it's no wonder even Ratchet applauded this decision.
- Winged Humanoid: His door kibble looks like this, much like Bumblebee's.
The indigenous population of this planet...do they all display the same disregard for authority?
First Appearance: "Scattered"
Ultra Magnus served as Optimus Prime's first lieutenant during the war for Cybertron, given charge of the Wreckers to keep them under control. Following the energy trail left by the activation of the Omega Lock, he journeyed to earth, where he found the Autobots scattered in the wake of Decepticon assault. Though stern and militaristic, his leadership, combat prowess and additional resources make him an invaluable ally.
- Ace Pilot: Outflew Predaking in a ship clearly not designed for aerial dogfighting.
- All There in the Manual: Sources state he was the leader of Wreckers. This is confirmed in "Project Predacon", where he explains that he was personally appointed by Optimus to the post to bring them under control.
- Badass Baritone: Comes with being voiced by Michael Ironside.
- Big Badass Rig: His alt-mode.
- Handicapped Badass: Despite having his hand replaced by a rudimentary claw after Predaking wrecked his original hand, Ultra Magnus is still strong enough to fight Shockwave on equal terms.
- He later puts up a hell of a good fight against Darksteel.
- BFG: His first weapon shown on screen. It looks like Optimus' arm cannon. Selects an even larger handheld rifle from his arsenal for the assault on Darkmount.
- By-the-Book Cop: Is fair and reasonable, but doesn't like any loose interpretation of protocol.
- The Cavalry: He was very much needed at a time when the Autobots were at their worst.
- Character Development: In "Evolution" he admits to Optimus he's saddened that his command style has resulted in his lack of popularity with the team. After becoming Fire-Forged Friends with Wheeljack, he gradually becomes a kinder commander during the remainder of the series.
- Composite Character: Of both Ultra Magnus and Sentinel Prime from Transformers Animated, he has the overt regard for protocol and the chops to back it up.
- Continuity Cameo/Early-Bird Cameo: His character model was first seen in "Orion Pax" as a fake Optimus Prime in the Decepticon database to throw off Orion from discovering the truth (It's actually a combination of his official model, redesigned from Optimus, and an earlier completely original design that was made into a toy, but that's just semantics).
- The Determinator:
(after they're losing faith after little luck finding Ratchet) Ultra Magnus: Ratchet may have believed this hand wasn't good enough, but I'll tell you what really isn't: giving up!
- Drop the Hammer: His Weapon of Choice. He takes the Forge of Solus Prime as his personal weapon, since it's been drained of its power and might as well be put to some practical use.
- Fingore: His right hand is left mutilated after Predaking crushes it underfoot. While replacing limbs good-as-new is possible, Ratchet doesn't have the parts to do so and he gets a rudimentary claw as a replacement.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Wheeljack in "Evolution".
- Foil: To Wheeljack, who's the Wild Card and a loner while Ultra Magnus is by-the-book and an experienced leader.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
- Gunship Rescue: He brought with him a heavily armed ship, larger than Wheeljack's, and that alone provides some desperately needed support.
- The Lancer: Serves as this to Optimus.
- Headbutting Heroes: He doesn't get along very well with Wheeljack, though they do end up respecting each other in "Evolution".
- Innocent Bigot: While a decent character, Magnus has a habit of viewing every human he encounters simply as "native lifeforms".
- Insistent Terminology: You will address him as "sir".
- Lantern Jaw of Justice
- Large and in Charge: Is the only Autobot to approach the size of Optimus, and he was this during his time in the Wreckers, where he was the leader.
- Mighty Glacier: Though powerful, he lacks agility, which is a problem when facing Lightning Bruisers like Megatron and Predaking. Reflected nicely in his Weapon of Choice: Though clearly a chore to wield in battle, the Forge packs a massive wallop.
- The Neidermeyer: Downplayed. Most of the team respects him for his role as Optimus' second-in-command, but he's been out of the loop for so long (and the Autobot military infrastructure has long since disbanded) that his demand of military protocol rubs most of the team the wrong way, especially Wheeljack. After a few episodes, he recognizes the negative effect he's having and makes an effort to be more flexible.
- No Sense of Humor: Not surprisingly, given his militaristic background and by-the-book demeanor.
- No Social Skills: "Evolution" shows that he's not trying to be a Jerkass, it's just that his military mindset translates very poorly into casual interaction with the rest of Team Prime. He's getting better at it.
- Number Two: Served as Optimus' second-in-command during the war, and retakes the role upon his arrival on Earth.
- One-Man Army: Seemingly second best to Optimus.
- Out of Focus: Has a minor role in the Grand Finale, though this is a Justified Trope considering his character arc had already finished a few episodes beforehand.
- Palette Swap: As per tradition he has the same basic body type as Optimus but with some extensive retools (mostly the shoulders and the chest) and the colors switched around. This extends to his vehicle mode.
- Sergeant Rock: Kind of a hardass compared to the other Autobots, but still highly respected among them all.
- Shoulders of Doom: Well, doom for the Decepticons, but still...
Wheeljack: Who put Shoulderpads in charge?
- Sixth Ranger
- The Spock: Of the Wreckers. Compare his inflexible adherence to protocol with Wheeljack's indiscretion and disregard for authority, or Bulkhead's careful mediation between the two of them.
- The Strategist: It's implied that he came up with the plan to storm Darkmount that almost worked. He also has a mind for terrain warfare.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Gives one to Wheeljack on his reckless and risky behavior.
First Appearance: "Predatory"
A partner of Arcee during the war on Cybertron, he was captured and killed in front of her by Airachnid.
First Appearance: "Loose Cannons"
A Wrecker and friend to both Wheeljack and Bulkhead, he was killed by Dreadwing and incited Wheeljack to hunt down the 'Con.
- Adaptational Badass: Well, given this incarnation of Seaspray was a member of the Wreckers. Granted we see none of this onscreen due to his being...
- Cool Ship: The same model as Wheeljack's ship.
- Posthumous Character: He dies before the story he appears in even starts.
- Red Shirt: Dies just to give Wheeljack a reason to hate Dreadwing.
- Walking the Cosmos: Like Wheeljack, and the pair were due to meet up... then Dreadwing intercepted and killed Seaspray.
- What Might Have Been: Originally, Seaspray was supposed to have survived Dreadwing's assassination attempt and later joined the earthbound Autobots.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: We didn't even see you, and your ship appeared for a grand total of ten or so seconds before it got blown up.