Characters: Transformers Prime Decepticons
The main antagonists of the series, the Decepticons were originally the followers of Megatronus (later Megatron), a gladiator-turned-revolutionary who sought to mend the inequalities present in Cybertronian society. But Megatron's darker ambitions soon came to dominate his initial purposes, and when the council turned down his request to be made a Prime in favor of his friend and student Orion Pax, he led the Decepticons against those he saw to have "betrayed" him. Cybertron lapsed into civil war between the Decepticons and Optimus/Orion's faction, the Autobots, which culminated in Megatron poisoning the planet's core with a mysterious substance called Dark Energon, rendering it a dead world. Autobots and Decepticons alike fled in a mass diaspora from their now all-but-uninhabitable homeworld, spreading out across the galaxy to continue their war on other worlds.
In the present day, Megatron leads his forces in battle with the Autobots on Earth. They're quite a varied crew, ranging from simple footsoldiers to loyal and unflinching members to power-hungry sociopaths, with new members periodically joining the ranks as others die or defect.
- Aliens Are Bastards: Barring the occasional Noble Demon/Token Good Teammate.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Part of the art style.
- Five-Bad Band: A continuously shifting one, though.
- Big Bad: Megatron; Starscream when Megatron isn't around.
- The Dragon: Starscream to Megatron; Knock Out to Starscream; Airachnid, Soundwave and later Dreadwing to Megatron. Currently, Shockwave and Starscream are Co-Dragons.
- Evil Genius: Soundwave for surveillance, Knock Out as the medic, Shockwave in science.
- The Brute: Breakdown, Hardshell, Predaking.
- Dark Chick/Sixth Ranger: Airachnid (Enjoys her own agenda too much, she doesn't seem particularly excited to rejoin the other 'Cons). Also, Makeshift, for lack of a better option.
- Evil Counterpart: A running theme with most of the Decepticons in comparison to the Autobots.
- Megatron to Optimus, to state the obvious.
- Starscream to Arcee: Both thin but agile fighters who often act as second-in-commands.
- Knock Out to Ratchet: Both the main medics of their teams, with a similar red/orange color scheme. One is contemptuous of Earth but is unwilling to destroy it; the other loves human culture but wouldn't lift a finger to save it.
- Breakdown to Bulkhead: The main muscle of their teams.
- Soundwave to Bumblebee: The former is mute by choice, and both are more powerful and skilled than their ranks would imply.
- Airachnid to Arcee: The main females of their teams, and share a rather twisted connection that drives them to kill each other.
- It's All About Me: One of the most common personality traits shared by all Decepticons to one degree or another is their penton for caring only about themselves and their own wants and desires.
- Knights Of Cerebus: This is easily one of the darkest portrayals of the Decepticon faction as a whole.
- Mechanical Lifeforms: Natch.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Transforming robots who are aliens.
- The Noseless: The art style of the show.
- The Psycho Rangers: Each of the primary Decepticons (with the exception of Starscream) are counterparts to the primary Autobots, with Megatron (obviously) being Optimus's, Soundwave for Bumblebee, Airachnid for Arcee, Breakdown for Bulkhead, and Knock Out for Ratchet, even sharing similar positions.
- It could be argued before Airachnid joined the fold, position, body type, and combat style suggest Starscream was Arcee's counterpart. (Starscream left the ranks shortly after Airachnid joined.) Soundwave could also be Ratchet's counterpart as the mission control guy, and Knock Out to Bumblebee as the sports car usually partnered with the team muscle.
- Taken even further in Season 3: the Decepticons welcome to their ranks Shockwave, one of Megatron's most skilled underlings and an esteemed (and feared) Decepticon scientist; meanwhile, the Autobots' forces are similarly bolstered by the arrival of Ultra Magnus, one of Optimus' key lieutenants from the War and the renowned leader of the Wreckers.
- Shockwave has an Arm Cannon in place of his usual arm while Ultra Magnus would later get a claw as a replacement for his hand. It becomes more amusing considering it was Grimlock and Predaking, both Shockwave's creations, that destroyed their respective limbs.
- Shapeshifter Weapon: In the same style as the Autobots.
- Transforming Mecha: Natch.
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Ah, misdirection, Optimus! You would have made a fine Decepticon!
First Appearance: "Darkness Rising: Part 1"
The leader of the Decepticons, he was originally a miner named D-16 who competed in the Gladiatorial Arena in Kaon. Proving popular with the crowd, he took the legendary name "Megatronus" and later "Megatron", then started gathering followers as he talked about eliminating the caste system that prevented lower level individuals such as himself from becoming anything more than a miner. This got the attention of Iacon data clerk Orion Pax, who supported his cause and gave him the opportunity to address the Cybertronian High Council. But his darker ambitions got the better of him, and when Orion was named Prime over him, Megatron vowed to take control of Cybertron itself, rendering the world uninhabitable in the process.
- Actor Allusion: "Decepticons!!! I have returned..."
- A God Am I: Megatron has always been obsessed with gaining personal power from his race's legends, but he falls headfirst into this trope after he gains the power of a Prime and creates the Dark Star Saber.
Megatron: We finally take our rightful places, Optimus. As gods! Wielding the power of the cosmos!
- Alien Arts Are Appreciated: His character notes reveal that he enjoys online cat videos.
- Ambition Is Evil: Megatron initially sought to become a Prime, seeing himself as the rightful ruler of Cybertron. When he was denied, he started the war.
- An Arm and a Leg: Optimus severs his scavenged Prime Arm at the elbow in "Darkest Hour." Didn't bother him as much as you'd expect.
- And I Must Scream: The Demonic Possession breaks him and he can't do anything to stop it. He also can never become one with the Allspark because of the connection with Unicron his use of Dark Energon has created. Though it's possible Unicron's imprisonment has changed this.
- Animal Motifs: Megatron's grey color scheme and fangs make him look rather shark-like.
- The Antichrist: For Cybertronians in general.
- Appendage Assimilation: Trades in his cannon/sword arm for an arm harvested from the corpse of a Prime, so he can wield artifacts of the Thirteen Primes.
- Arch-Enemy: To Optimus.
- Arm Cannon/BFG: Mostly due to tradition, it's one of the few non-Shapeshifter Weapons in the series. He gave it up in "Alpha/Omega", trading it for a scavenged Prime arm, though his vehicle mode still retains the cannon. As of "Darkmount NV", he now has his original arm back, presumably due to the damage his stolen arm took.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: His backstory is that he was a champion gladiator on Cybertron. There's a reason he's maintained his leadership, despite the company he keeps.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He's one of most powerful members of the cast, tied only with Optimus, if their fights with each other are any indication.
- Back from the Dead: Courtesy of Unicron in Predacons Rising.
- Badass: One of the very few things that was inherited from War For Cybertron... with considerable interest, at that. By the second season, it's pretty clear that he's one of the most dangerous Cybertronians alive.
- Bad Boss: When he's not being Faux Affably Evil towards his troops, then it's because he's too busy yelling, berating, or threatening them. Starscream is his main victim.
- Barred from the Afterlife: Due to the dark energon bonded to his spark, Megatron is forever bound to Unicron and can never return to the Allspark. It's currently unknown if Unicron's imprisonment has freed Megatron of this fate or not.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Wishing to be Demoted to Dragon for Unicron eventually turned out to not be such a good wish. By the end he's utterly broken.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: On the contrary, being tortured by Unicron in "Predacons Rising'" results in Megatron's Heel Realization.
- Big Bad: For the whole show.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Natch.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Until "Alpha/Omega". He later gets it back.
- Blasphemous Boast: When trying to convince Unicron to take him as his herald, he falls into this. When he gets the Dark Saber, he also boasts how he'll use Unicron's power to dominate the world; thankfully, Unicron seems to be dormant and therefore incapable of proving him wrong.
- Blatant Lies: During Darkmount, NV, he tries to convince Agent Fowler that because the Autobots are now gone, he only wishes to coexist with humanity peacefully. Fowler knows full well he's lying through his serrated teeth, but also knows that he can't make a move on Megatron as long as his fusion cannons are active.
- Blood Knight: The universe will always be the gladiator pits for Megatron.
- Bloody Murder: The Dark Star Saber, since Dark Energon is Unicron's blood.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: Letting Predaking beat up Ratchet proves to be a fatal mistake; not only does it lead to Ratchet revealing the truth about Megatron's treachery against the Predacon, but it also allows the medic to disable the cloaking field on the Nemesis, allowing the Autobots to storm it.
- Bored With Insanity: After centuries of being an irredeemable genocidal maniac, being physically and psychologically tortured by Unicron was apparently enough push him to the point of having an epiphany about the pain he'd been causing others. So much so that once he's freed of the Chaos Bringer, he dissolves the Decepticons and leaves Cybertron without a fight.
- Brutal Honesty: While trying to convince Ratchet to aid in reconstructing the Omega Lock, Megatron is pretty up-front about the fact that he likely won't honor any deals he makes and probably will kill Ratchet once he's completed his task, but asserts that he should do it anyway because the result will benefit all Cybertronians even if he personally won't be around to see it. It actually works.
- Came Back Strong: Being upgraded makes him vastly more powerful, to the point that no one, not even Predaking, can defeat him. His jet mode has ftl capability, his robot form is bigger and spikier, and he can form weapons made of pure dark energy. Fortunately for everyone, being enslaved by Unicron soured him on the idea of oppressing anyone else.
- Chest Insignia: The Con symbol.
- Classic Villain: Ambition, Envy and Wrath.
- Combat Pragmatist: While nobody in the series is exactly the fairest of fighters, he's a particularly brutal one. Hey, it's not like gladiators fight fair if they wanna win.
- Composite Character: This version of Megatron takes cues from both Generation 1 (the ever-famous buckethead and lower legs resembling a pistol's handgrip) and the movies (the sharp angles and bits on his shoulders, along with two-toed feet and a demonic-looking face with sharp shark-like teeth), even including the latter's alt mode from the first film. His voice actor uses a voice that sounds like a cross between his classic Megatron voice and Hugo Weaving's Movieverse Megatron voice.
- Cool Plane: A Cybertronian jet, to be exact. Based on the original form of his Movie counterpart, but simpler.
- Cool Sword: His Evil Knockoff of the Star Saber, the Dark Energon-infused Dark Star Saber.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Anyone not named Optimus Prime who tries to pick a fight with him will usually find themselves on the receiving end of this.
- Lampshaded during his fight with Ultra Magnus:
Megatron: Ultra Magnus. You are no Optimus Prime!
- Dark and Troubled Past: Considering that the only way he could find freedom from the back-breaking slavery of the mines was by ripping other robots limb-from-limb in the gladiatorial pits, Megatron never had a positive view on life to begin with.
- Dark Lord on Life Support: For the first half of Season 1.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: The best example comes from "Darkest Hour", when he chooses to just obliterate the Autobot base using the Nemesis, instead of rushing it with his mooks.
- Also, when Predaking starts showing intelligence, he instantly realizes the danger of making dozens more of them, who are all Nigh Invulnerable and are smart enough to have questionable loyalty to him.
- Deadpan Snarker: Much like his Animated incarnation.
Megatron: (visiting the Autobot Base) So, this is where the magic happens... Quaint.
- Death Glare: Delivers an unblinking (and nightmare-inducing) one to Starscream at the end of "Rock Bottom". Though, to be fair, this is his default expression.
- Death Seeker: After Unicron possesses his body, he tries getting Predaking to roast his possessed body alive.
- Demonic Possession: Pulls it on Bumblebee at the end of "Sick Mind".
- Is very briefly at the receiving end of one by Unicron in "One Shall Rise, Part 3." Unicron eventually does it again in Predacons Rising but keeps an easier hold on him owing to the fact that Megatron is dead.
- Demoted to Dragon: Played with. When Unicron shows up, Megatron wants this to happen, to better further his own agenda, but Unicron views Megs as beneath him. Seemingly played straighter in "Predacons Rising".
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: As he claims, no one, not even Unicron the Chaos Bringer, commands him.
- Discard and Draw: He sacrifices his primary weapon arm for an arm from a Prime, allowing him to create a Dark Energon copy of the Star Saber using the Forge of Solus Prime, and for that matter, the power to create anything else he wants using the Forge. Presumably, he could always have the arm put back, but he won't as long as he wants that power.
- Or he could have it put back after the Prime arm was damaged, as appears to be the case as of the start of season three.
- Easily Forgiven: After going through his Heel Realization about the nature of oppression and disbanding the Decepticons, the Autobots seem content to let Megatron fly off into self-imposed exile.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Megatron seemed genuinely repulsed by Silas' usage of Breakdown's corpse and only agreed to a team-up because it seemed practical at the time.
- In "Operation: Bumblebee Part 1", when the Autobots are discussing Bumblebee's missing T-Cog, Ratchet rules out Decepticon involvement claiming Megatron "is no ghoul." These expectations are ultimately subverted in "Alpha/Omega", where Megatron breaks into a Prime's tomb, steals a Prime's arm, and replaces one of his own arms for it.
- Evil Former Friend: To Optimus. They used to be as close as brothers... and then the Council shot Megatron down for position of Prime. Cue war.
- Evil Is Bigger: Like recent incarnations, this Megatron also has a bit of a noticeable size advantage over Optimus. Or at least he did. Optimus Prime's recent upgrade has evened things out. And in the finale things are evened out once more, as his possession by Unicron granted him a larger body.]]
- Evil Knockoff: His Dark Star Saber.
- Evil Laugh: Not prone to these, but when he does give one, it's absolutely terrifying.
- Evil Mentor: As Megatronus, to Orion Pax, before the beginning of the Great War. It seems Megatron is quite eager to resume his mentoring when Optimus reverts back into Orion Pax and loses his memories of being a Prime, and more importantly, his enmity with Megatron. It didn't last.
- Evil Overlord: For the Cons.
- Evil Sounds Deep: As a result of Vocal Evolution.
- Fallen Hero: The founder and former leader of the Cybertronian civil rights movement, desiring to be named the next Prime until a certain 'bot named Orion Pax inadvertently hijacked it from under him. It's possible that he had evil intentions from the start, but his ego descended the movement from civil rights to anarchy.
- Fangs Are Evil: It adds to the Obviously Evil motif.
- Fantastic Racism: He seems to detest humans (even moreso than normal for a Decepticon) and refuses to believe that they could ever pose a threat to a worthy warrior. This disdain is part of the reason why he keeps his Cybertronian jet mode instead of adapting an Earth-vehicle disguise.
- Around the middle of Season 2, he starts to recognize how dangerous humans can be. And more unfortunately, how useful they are as hostages.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: See Red Right Hand below.
- Fate Worse than Death: Being killed by Bumblebee allows Unicron to possess his body, and it is also revealed that thanks to Dark Energon coursing through him, he is permanently linked to Unicron's essence and his spark can never pass on and join the AllSpark in death. Unicron's possession also leaves him so broken that it causes him to undergo a Heel Realisation, and once Megatron is free from his influence, he openly disbands the Decepticons and goes into self-imposed exile.
- Faux Affably Evil: Aside from his Villainous Friendship with Soundwave, almost any politeness he exhibits is undoubtedly a fašade. He uses it to keep his troops on his side, when not being an outright Bad Boss to them. He even attempts diplomacy with Agent Fowler in "Darkmount, NV" about the Decepticons wanting to live peacefully alongside humans. Of course, this isn't the case, even though it sounds sincere.
Starscream: ...I almost believed you myself.
- Four Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: To think he was once a (literally) nameless miner in Cybertron's underground...
- Genius Bruiser: He might not be a scientific expert, but he's an amazing strategist, effective if brutal leader, former politician (who did quite well too until Orion Pax screwed it up), and he seems to understand science enough to work out who works better on what.
- Genre Savvy: He tolerates disobedience to a certain extent, but he doesn't tolerate betrayal. But on the flip side, if he thinks you are still of use, he'll keep you around until he feels that he no longer needs you.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: The scars on his face show that his combat history is very evident.
- Guttural Growler: Thanks to Vocal Evolution.
- He Who Fights Monsters: When the war started, he was a rebellious gladiator who wanted to get rid of the unfair system that ruled Cybertron. However, he became convinced that he was the rightful ruler of Cybertron (desiring to be named the next Prime) and became the megalomaniac warmonger we know today.
- Hearing Voices: After injecting himself with Dark Energon, Unicron speaks to him.
- Heel-Face Turn: After being enslaved in body and soul by Unicron in "Predacons Rising", Megatron no longer wants to do the same to anyone else. He flies off at the end to think about what to do next with his new lease on life.
- Heel Realization: During Predacon Rising, he's placed through severe torture and oppression by Unicron. This causes him to realize the error of his ways and abandon the idea of taking over Cybertron once and for all.
- Humiliation Conga: Endures an epic one during the episode "Rebellion". Megatron has managed to foil the Autobots' assault on Darkmount and is about to execute them only for Optimus, upgraded by the Forge of Solus Prime to appear and punch him so hard that he's sent flying through his throne. Megatron tries to fight Optimus, only for the Autobot leader to toss him into Darkmount's power core, electrocuting him severely and disabling the fusion cannons. He's then forced to retreat as Agent Fowler's air force brings down Darkmount.
- Hypocrite: His original reasons for rebelling was the inequality that plagued Cybertron, and how the lives of the lower caste-members were tossed aside without much concern. Guess how lower-ranking Decepticons are treated in comparison to the elite few?
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Seconds before he would have slain Optimus, Bumblebee runs him through the spark with the Star Saber.
- It's All About Me: Megatron started a war that essentially killed his entire world because he was denied the title of Prime in favor of Orion Pax. He also assumed that he was a prophesied "rising darkness", which was revealed to truly be Unicron.
- Karmic Death: After countless eons of fighting, the former gladiator of Kaon is ultimately killed by Bumblebee, the very Autobot who's voicebox he destroyed so long ago.
- Made even more karmic when you remember who he used to revive his body.
- Kaleidoscope Eyes
- Kick the Dog: Almost killing Raf is the biggest and best example, though destroying Bumblebee's voicebox, manipulating Orion Pax, and killing Dreadwing are close seconds.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: After Breakdown!Silas fails him in "The Human Factor", Megatron sends him off to be dissected by Knock Out.
- Knight of Cerebus: Deadpan Snarker moments aside, things get much more serious when Megatron arrives.
- Lack of Empathy: Oh, he knows how powerful emotions, hopes and dreams can be, it's just that he just doesn't particularly care about any that aren't his. Until Unicron reminded him of what suffering meant while torturing his soul.
- Large And In Charge: Much like previous incarnations, he's one of the most noticeably huge individual Transformers and still just a bit larger than Optimus Prime, at least until Optimus' upgrade in season 3 evened thing out. Also, Predaking is larger than both him and Optimus. His possession by Unicron in Predacons Rising grants him an even larger and more physically imposing body.
- Large Ham: Downplayed when compared to a certain other Megatron, but he still has his moments. He still comes off as intimidating, though.
- Light Is Not Good: Watch how bright his armor glows when he fights Optimus.
- Manipulative Bastard: He's quite skilled at this. "Persuasion" is basically his crowning moment, where he manages to convince Ratchet to complete his Syntheic Energon formula to restore Cybertron.
- Major Injury Underreaction: In "Darkest Hour", he loses his stolen Prime arm when Optimus hacks it off, yet when he notices Optimus destroyed the Omega Lock, he laughs maniacally. He doesn't get treatment for his injury at all during the rest of the episode.
- Meaningful Name: He was originally a Cybertronian miner going by the designation D-16, and in the Gladiator Arena he took on the name of one of the original Thirteen Primes, Megatronus (later to be known as The Fallen). He shortened his name to Megatron when he started gathering political allies and tried to be named a Prime.
- Name Tron
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: He took the name of the Cybertronian equivalent to the Anti-Christ.
- Necromancer: Courtesy of Dark Energon.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: His preferred method of keeping Starscream in line.
- Non-Standard Character Design: His body is noticeably more armored and less kibble-heavy than most cybertronians on the show, in keeping with his past as a warrior.
- Not Quite Dead: Is believed to have been killed when the Space Bridge explodes, but found to have survived due to the Dark Energon inside him in the next episode. However, he's so damaged that the Decepticons have to place him in stasis lock while they repair him.
- Now What?: As of "Predacons Rising" once he's freed from Unicron's control, he's basically alone now in the universe; he doesn't stay on Cybertron (he knows he'd probably no longer be welcome), and he no longer has any desire to lead the Decepticons in conquest (he even goes so far as to officially disband the group).
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: To Optimus, though he's liberal in his interpretation. Apparently, so long as he ordered it, it counts.
- In "Sick Mind", this is how Bumblebee convinces him to give the Autobots the cure to the plague Optimus has contracted: There's no point in Optimus dying if Megatron can't watch it. To his credit, Megatron doesn't completely fall for the ruse, insisting that Bumblebee help him in return.
- In "One Shall Fall", when Optimus is raiding the Nemesis alone, Megatron forbids any Decepticon to attack him and even orders Soundwave to open a bridge for Optimus to allow him to battle his eternal rival.
- He also feels that he's the only one worthy of conquering the Earth, as shown in "One Shall Rise", where after Unicron rejects his offer of an alliance, he allies with the Autobots to defeat him.
- Oh Crap: Usually, he's not prone to these. However, "Legacy" has him constantly on edge when the Star Saber is discovered, which only gets worse as soon as Optimus demonstrates just what the Star Saber is capable of.
- Omnicidal Maniac: In "Darkest Hour" he attempted to use the Omega Lock to cyberform Earth, a process that would kill all organic life. And in "Minus One", he plans to try again.
- One-Man Army: At the end of the "Orion Pax" three-parter, he single-handedly defeated the entire Autobot roster save Prime himself (since Orion Pax/amnesiac Optimus is nowhere near as good a fighter), three of whom he had to fight at the same time.
- Only Mostly Dead: Seems as though Unicron has taken an interest in dear Megatron to the point of reigniting his spark.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Take a good look at his face during "Legacy" when the Star Saber is discovered. That's fear.
Megatron: It cannot be...
Power of this magnitude must never be allowed to fall into the hands of Optimus Prime, no matter what!
- When he vehemently refuses to resume leadership of the Decepticons at the end of "Predacons Rising", Starscream is very weirded out.
- Orcus on His Throne: Even when he's up and running rather than comatose in the medbay, he generally leaves the fieldwork to his minions. Not because he's incapable, but because he prefers to monitor his troops' affairs.
- Power Glows: After injecting himself with Dark Energon, his joints and eyes glow with purple energy whenever he's actively using it.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Life will always be a gladiator pit for Megatron, one way or another.
- Psychotic Smirk: Does it to Starscream frequently.
- Purple Is Powerful: Most prominently with his Dark Energon-influenced eyes, but his armor is also partially purple as well.
- Redemption Equals Life: By the end of "Predacon Rising", he abandons his ambitions to take over Cybertron and Earth, and makes it out of the film alive.
- Red Is Heroic: As Megatronus, he had red highlights in his armor instead of the present day's purple.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Starscream's red. Though he can dip into red territory (namely anger) if pressed. Also serves as the red to Soundwave's blue.
- He's also the villainous red to Optimus' heroic blue.
- Red Right Hand: Literally. He replaced most of his right arm with that of a dead Prime, giving him the power to use the artifacts of the Primes until it was severed by Optimus.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Back on Cybertron, he was the Malcom X to Optimus's Martin Luther King, and it got worse from there. A lot worse.
- Sadistic Choice: In "Darkest Hour". The Decepticons have captured the kids, and Megatron offers their lives in exchange for the Omega Keys, and thus the future of the Cybertronian race as well as the means to bring an end to the war.
- Sanity Slippage: Even in the opening miniseries, Starscream suggested he was starting to lose it, especially once he injected himself with Dark Energon. But it got particularly evident when he gets the Dark Star Saber.
- To elaborate, this guy took the limb off of an ancient corpse, and that of a Cybertronian with their equivalent to sainthood, then used it to replace his own arm, and then forged a sword from what is, for all intents and purposes, the blood of the devil.
- Satisfied Street Rat: He wears his life as "a gladiator from the pits of Kaon" as a badge of pride in spite of the fact he was a slave because of it.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: With Starscream, as the very obvious Manly Man.
- Slasher Smile: Perhaps the foremost expert in the show. The teeth help.
- Spikes of Villainy: As in the films. He gets even more after his body is possessed, which causes him to resemble Unicron. They don't go away after Unicron is expelled from his body.
- The Sociopath: Whether he was one prior to the series is debatable, but by the time of the show it's pretty clear that any morals he once had, if they were ever there in the first place, have long eroded. It takes Unicron possessing him to restore them.
- Sword Beam: The Dark Star Saber, much like the original, can do this.
- This Cannot Be!: Says this almost verbatim when he discovers the Star Saber.
- This Is Gonna Suck: For probably the first time since the Fall of Cybertron. Megatron admits that the Decepticon faction is in for a very uphill battle once Optimus demonstrates the power of the Star Saber.
- Tin Tyrant: His plating invokes this.
- Tranquil Fury: Unlike the G1, Beast Era, Armada, and Movieverse Megatrons, this one is rarely hammy and over-the-top, and is usually soft-spoken and cool-headed like Animated Megs. But it's obvious from the start that behind Megatron's cold front lies a beast that is only driven by long-burning rage and hatred towards anyone who's ever wronged him, and sometimes even to those who haven't. Sometimes, that front slips and the beast inside will make things really ugly.
- Underestimating Badassery: He did this to Team Prime during the "Orion Pax" arc, allowing them to temporarily seize the Space Bridge.
- He also believed humans were incapable of harming his cause, yet he's quite clearly shocked when he finds out it was Miko who killed Hardshell.
- The Unfettered: Megatron has no limits to his lust for power. He'll sacrifice anyone or anything, defile the most sacred artifacts, transform the dead into mindless berserkers, and even ally with Unicron if it serves his ends.
- And as "Darkest Hour" shows, he's perfectly willing to sacrifice Cybertron if it means he wins.
- Villainous Breakdown: Has one at the end of Rebellion where he goes from confident to boiling mad at the sight of the upgraded Optimus. Further exacerbated when Optimus manages to disable Darkmount's fusion cannons. Starscream is forced to order the Vehicons to escort him out over his protests.
Megatron: What are you doing?! No! We will not retreat!
- Villainous Friendship: With Soundwave due to their gladatorial backgrounds.
- Vocal Evolution: Frank Welker's return to the role prompted a newer version of the voice which is much less screechy, and more quiet and menacing. He even admitted that the classic Megatron voice did not allow much range, while this voice allows him to be both reserved and bombastic at different times.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: While Megatron is obviously quite evil, he was always quite sane about it. This is in stark contrast to his quote at the end of 'Alpha Omega'
Megatron: *maniacal laughter*
"Run, Optimus, run! Those trinkets from Iacon won't save you. Not when I now possess the power to TEAR THIS WORLD APART!!
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: According to Frank Welker.
- Would Hurt a Child: In "One Shall Fall", he shoots Bumblebee, who was transporting Raf at the time, almost killing the boy. When Megatron finds out, he's downright pleased that he managed to "swat a bee and squash a bug".
- And again in "Darkest Hour:" He has Starscream, Soundwave, and Knock Out kidnap the kids and threatens to expose them to Cybertron's toxic atmosphere if the Autobots don't give him the Omega Keys.
- Wreathed in Flames: When using Dark Energon, he approaches this look, but he really goes into it when Unicron takes control of him (probably a reference to The Fallen).
- Xanatos-Gambit: In "Darkest Hour." After forcing the Autobots give him the Omega Keys, he begins to cyberform Earth instead of restoring Cybertron. This presents two scenarios for him: If Optimus does nothing, he gets two planets under his control. If Optimus rises to the bait and destroys the Omega Lock, then Cybertron remains a wasteland permanently and Megatron has enough leeway to turn more Cybertronians against the Autobots.
- You Have Failed Me: Megatron does not take failure lightly.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: His stated reason for attempting to execute Starscream in "Rock Bottom".
Click here to see his Alt-mode
I am no stranger to ambition.
First Appearance: "Darkness Rising: Part 1"
Originally neutral during the civil war, Starscream found himself enticed by the power Megatron commanded and wished to acquire it for himself, rising in the ranks to eventually become Megatron's second-in-command. Trusted with a lot of the fine details of commanding and organizing the troops, Starscream is not quite satisfied with the delegated power he has and wants complete control. But he knows that he could never challenge Megatron on a physical level, so he bides his time.
- Actor Allusion: A sadistic warlord who takes pleasure in shoving his fingers into the rib-cages of helpless prisoners that's voiced by Steve Blum? Sounds a lot like Shin.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Whenever he's threatened by someone much more powerful than him, given his Dirty Coward nature.
- Arm Cannon: As with all others.
- Armor of Invincibility: Possesses the Apex Armor a few times throughout the series.
- Asshole Victim: Presumably becomes this at the hands of Predaking, Darksteel, and Skylynx.
- Badass: He has his moments.
- Adaptational Badass: In terms of actual leadership ability, he's the most competent Starscream in the entire Transformers multiverse by a significant margin other than his Movieverse incarnation, who led the Decepticons in the four million years Megatron was missing. In terms of physical power, he's a bit more lacking and relies on cheap shots, so is thus second to his Cybertron, Animated, and Movieverse incarnations in that regard.
- Handicapped Badass: Loses his ability to transform early into season 2, though he regains it when Knock Out gives him a new T-cog towards the end of the same season.
- Bad Boss: At least he's better than Megatron, but that's a given in any case.
- Bastard Understudy: To Megatron.
- Batman-Gambit: Pulls one in "Evolution" where he lures the Autobots to Shockwave's lab in hopes that they would destroy the Predacons to prevent Predaking from forming a rebellion, and also trick Predaking into destroying the Autobots. Also doubles as a Xanatos-Gambit.
- Berserk Button: Don't insinuate that he's not in charge. Cliffjumper found this out the hard way and Wheeljack would have met the same fate if Soundwave hadn't restrained Starscream. Likewise, Starscream probably would have killed Agent Fowler if not for the Autobots' intervention. This stops being an issue as he goes through Character Development, but he still reacts poorly to people questioning his authority.
- Big "NO!": When Megatron is killed and is falling off the Nemesis, towards the Earth, Starscream of all bots is screaming in rage.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: So big his eyelids are hidden right under them.
- Break the Haughty: The second half of Season 1, and Operation Bumblebee.
- Bullying a Dragon: A literal example. Mistreats Predaking and later on Darksteel and Skylynx, and pays for it dearly at the end of Predacons Rising.
- Character Development: After being allowed to rejoin the Decepticons, Starscream starts thinking a bit more logically and acting more loyally, which is taken to a hilt when he openly mourns Megatron after Bumblebee kills him.
- Chest Insignia: A small Con symbol.
- The Chew Toy: His life slowly falls apart over the entire course of the first season, and nearly all of it is his fault.
- Classic Villain: Ambition, Greed, Pride, and Wrath.
- Clipped Wing Angel: In "Shadowzone", Starscream boasts about his power after imbuing himself with Megatron's original shard of Dark Energon and facing down a squad of Autobots by himself. He immediately gets his arm blown off and is sent scrambling for a rescue GroundBridge.
- Co-Dragons: As of Beast Hunters, he's this with Shockwave. Starscream handles military matters while Shockwave attends to the scientific, though Starscream doesn't enjoy sharing his position.
- Combat Pragmatist: When Arcee tries to get him to agree to a fair fight, he refuses and begs for mercy... so she'll get close enough for him to cause her serious wounds before actually fighting.
- Also, he kills two Vehicon guards when sneaking aboard the Nemesis by distracting them with small talk, then shooting one and impaling the other.
- Combat Stilettos: A design choice that has not gone unnoticed in the fandom or in-universe, being lampshaded by Smokescreen in "New Recruit". Its presence is downplayed through specific camera angles, though.
Smokescreen: Starscream? I heard about that stiletto-heeled creep back on Cybertron!
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: His punishment of Knock Out is to scratch his car finish.
- Cool Plane: Based on the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
- Creepy Long Fingers: He can use them as weapons, too.
- Dangerous Deserter: Since the events in "Partners".
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Knowing that his clones share his treacherous qualities, he terminates the one that returns before it can betray him.
- His plan in Evolution also falls into this. Out of Megatron's fear that Predaking might eventually use the other Predacons to rebel, he lures the Autobots to Shockwave's lab knowing they'd destroy the clones, knowing that Predaking would blame them for it and never suspect a thing. Manages to get a bonus by luring them in without telling Shockwave, pointing that if he knew they were coming the Autobots might suspect something, thus Shockwave's lab is destroyed without him being able to recover his research, lowering the usefulness he presented to Megatron.
- Deadpan Snarker: He has his moments of this.
- Dirty Coward: Especially when he lacks a shipful of Vehicons at his command.
- The Dragon: To Megatron, as is tradition.
- Dragon Ascendant: He assumes command of the Decepticon army after Megatron's "death" by exploding space bridge.
- Dragon-in-Chief: Until Megatron returned.
- Easily Forgiven: In a contrast to Generation One Starscream (who was never really punished for his blatant insubordination) and Animated Starscream (who Megatron actively tried to kill once his treachery was found), this Starscream is neither easily forgiven nor are his skills and talents ignored by Megatron as an asset. After operating as a third party against both Decepticons and Autobots, he is only accepted back in their ranks as part of a greater plan by Megatron to curtail the infighting by making it clear any hint of insubordination would no longer be tolerated.
- When Shockwave returns in "Scattered", he initially questions why Starscream abandoned him after the Spacebridge explosion, which meant he spent years trapped alone on Cybertron; however, he relents when Starscream explains that nobody thought he could've survived the explosion, deeming Starscream's explanation logical.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He comes to genuinely care for Knock Out as a friend and sees Megatron as a kind of father figure when the latter gives him the forgiveness that he frankly is undeserving of, enough so to be torn by genuine grief and rage when Bumblebee kills him.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In "Darkness Rising, part 2", Starscream is horrified by Megatron's use of Dark Energon. By the time of "Shadowzone", however, he has gotten past this, instead coveting such power for himself.
- In "Crisscross", he proves that he's not completely ungrateful, freeing Arcee as repayment for her earlier mercy.
- He's genuinely horrified and repulsed when Unicron reveals that he's possessed Megatron's body, and then resurrects a legion of undead Predacons.
- Evil Gloating: It actually gets him in trouble when fighting the Autobots, as he enjoys it too much without actually finishing the job of escape or destruction. Both Arcee and Bumblebee got back at him for that.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Not as deep as Megatron's voice, but still pretty deep since thanks to his voice actor.
- Exit, Trapped By Predacons: His ultimate fate.
- Expressive Wings
- Fantastic Racism: He doesn't think much of ground-based alternate modes.
- Faux Affably Evil: While he can be polite and servile, he's always conniving and lives up to his namesake trope.
- Four Temperament Ensemble: Choleric.
- Fragile Speedster: He's basically like Arcee in this regard.
- Genre Blind: He has his moments. Seems to be a particular problem in the third season.
- Genre Savvy: Works out that while he could leave Megatron to die in the rock pile, the Decepticon leader has survived much worse, meaning it was better for him to try saving him instead.
- While it was more than a little too late, in "Triangulation", he realized that Optimus and Dreadwing had a plan just before they dropped him through the ice.
- Big time in "Evolution" with his plan to destroy the Predacon clones out of fear that Predaking might use them to eventually rebel; he lures the Autobots to Shockwave's lab knowing they'd destroy the clones, knowing that Predaking would blame them for it and never suspect a thing. Manages to get a bonus by luring them in without telling Shockwave, pointing that if he knew they were coming the Autobots might suspect something, thus Shockwave's lab is destroyed without him being able to recover his research, lowering the usefulness he presented to Megatron, and never suspected anything.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Both in red and purple.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: He's been left with a slash on his face, just below his left eye, after his encounter with Arcee in "Partners" when she tried to kill him. He even comments on it when he introduces himself to Silas, who has some facial scars of his own.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Towards Shockwave. And he's not shy about it either.
- Guttural Growler: Comes with being voiced by Steve Blum.
- The Heavy: For most of season 1 until Megatron's return.
- Heel Face Door Slam: He tries to join the Autobots during "Partners" after becoming a pariah to the Decepticons, but Arcee tries to kill him after discovering that he killed Cliffjumper. He winds up striking out on his own instead.
- He's Back: After being gone for several episode "Orion Pax, Pt. 1" shows him sneaking onboard the Nemesis to make off with some pilfered Energon Cubes, and along the way, brutally killing the two Vehicons guarding said Cubes.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: In season 2, though he is starting to get better. See Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain below.
- Hypocritical Humor: When Bulkhead, who can't fight back due to holding a collapsing cave ceiling up, tells him he's not going to beg for mercy, Starscream nervously agrees that begging would be rather pathetic. Hours earlier, Starscream was begging for his life with Megatron's cannon to his head.
- He considers Shockwave an arrogant glory hog. Keep in mind that he was opposed to letting him interrogate Arcee and Cliffjumper because he was annoyed that Shockwave would take all the credit.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: When he loses his ability to transform thanks to MECH taking his T-Cog, Starscream becomes little more than a bum scavenging for energon scraps and selling information to Autobots in exchange for medical treatment. This ends as of "Triangulation" where, throughout the remainder of Season 2, he gains the Apex Armor, loses it but acquires Red Energon which he uses to retrieve all four Omega Keys, which he uses as bargaining chips to return to the Decepticons.
- The Informant: His role in season 2, selling information to the Autobots in exchange for medical treatment.
- Insistent Terminology: "It! is! 'LORD'!"
- Irony: In "Operation Bumblebee, Part 2", Starscream mocked Bumblebee with his lost T-Cog and how being unable to transform must have been a terrible experience. Upon destroying it and being subjected to dissection by MECH following, he finds his own T-Cog missing.
- It Has Been an Honor: Said almost verbatim to Knock Out in Thirst when he thought they were going to die. The moment is lost when they're confronted by Megatron and he pins the blame on Knock Out.
- Jerkass: He's not the nicest Decepticon around, to say the least. Though he does have his Pet the Dog moments as mentioned below.
Starscream: ...and I cannot believe you would take our alliances for granted; helping to restore your memories, saving Arcee's life...
Optimus: While you have, at times, proved beneficial to us, it has been only to further your own interests.
Starscream: Well, we all can't be as selfless as you now, can we?
- Kill 'em All: The chief architect of the Predacon clone genocide in season 3.
- Klingons Love Shakespeare: Starscream at one point surfs the internet to see if the human datanet would be useful. His search results are... interesting.
Starscream: A trillion gigabytes of data, none of it useful! [Watches animated .gif of a monkey dancing in a tophat and diaper] Though some... oddly engrossing.
- Kneel Before Zod: To the point where even other Decepticons get annoyed by it.
- Knight of Cerebus: Zigzagged. At times he's a Laughably Evil Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain. At other times, he's a genuine threat.
- Lantern Jaw Of Injustice: It may even rival Animated Screamer's chin!
- Large Ham: On occasion.
- Laser-Guided Karma: A frequent victim of this. His manipulation of events leading up to the Predacon genocide, as well as his treatment of the three Predacons in the series (Predaking throughout the third season, Darksteel and Skylynx in "Predacons Rising") culminates in the trio cornering him in a confined space in the finale. What happens to Starscream isn't shown, but it most likely wasn't pleasant.
- Last Villain Stand: When Megatron is killed by Bumblebee, Starscream attempts to do this to avenge him, but is stopped by Shockwave.
- Laughably Evil: Zigzags between this and Knight of Cerebus.
- Lean and Mean: He's even worse than Soundwave in the "mean" department, too. Soundwave's at least pragmatic, while Starscream is just plain sadistic.
- Mad Scientist: He show traits of this in "Armada".
- Manipulative Bastard: He tries, but it doesn't always work.
- Mighty Glacier: Thanks to the Apex Armor.
- Mister Big: Sort of. He's still a giant robot and no shorter than the average Vehicon. Still, when compared to everyone else, especially Megatron and Optimus, he really isn't all that imposing. Until he gets the Apex Armor.
- The Napoleon: Isn't the tallest of Decepticons, but is certainly one of the most ambitious.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In Thirst, he has Knock Out infuse Cylas with Dark Energon, which not only leads to Cylas causing havoc around the ship and freeing Airachnid, but also costs Megatron all of the Insections under his control. Megatron is not happy about it.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: He's victim to many of these from Megatron. Whatever Predaking, Darksteel and Skylynx did to him was probably this at best.
- No One Could Survive That: Optimus and Dreadwing both write him off as scrap after Dreadwing detonated a series of bombs that sent Starscream plummeting through the Antarctic ice. Of course, he was wearing the Apex Armor at the time.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Whenever he seems to fall into Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain territory, he finds a way to snap back to being a threat again.
- No Sell: Once he gains the Apex Armor, he casually shrugs off everything Optimus and Dreadwing could throw at him.
- Pet the Dog: Starscream may have no sense of honor, but it appears he's not without a sense of gratitude, as shown when he repays Arcee's mercy towards him in Season 1 by sparing her life when he could have killed her instead. More details in Villainous Virtues below.
- In "Thirst", he also tells Knock Out that It Has Been an Honor when he thinks they are both about to die. Even though he tried to blame Knock Out for the incident going on at the time straight after when caught by Megatron (he can't help who he is), it doesn't change the fact that when there's nothing else left to lose, even Starscream of all people is capable of showing friendship towards another being.
- In "Deadlock", Starscream seems genuinely distressed and enraged when Megatron is killed by Bumblebee. This is a far cry from earlier in the series when he genuinely desired to see Megatron perish so he could take command of the Decepticons for himself.
- Power High: Whenever he gets any new power, physical or political.
- Pride: His fatal flaw.
- Psychotic Smirk: He rarely isn't doing it.
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: For a backstabbing psychopath, he's disturbingly effective at this. Case in point.◊
- Put on a Bus: Disappeared for a time after "Partners" and The Bus Came Back in the second season premiere "Orion Pax".
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: His color scheme.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Like most Decepticons.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red to almost anybody you pair him with, but especially his Foil Soundwave.
- Remember When I Killed Cliffjumper?: Time and time again, he brings up the fact that he killed Cliffjumper. Since it's one of few times in the series when we see a Decepticon kill an Autobot, he's pretty proud of it.
- Scars Are Forever: Never shown to get them fixed, even though theoretically he should be capable of having it done.
- Send in the Clones: He does this, in an effort to assassinate Megatron. It almost works, but Bulkhead kills a clone that gets too arrogant; three more find Megatron, but are killed after Airachnid's Insection attack distracts them. The last tries turning on the original and gets brutally dispatched.
- Self Stitching: In the beginning of "Triangulation", when he tries to put the T-Cog he recovered from his dead clone into himself.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: His cowardice and relative lack of power in combat contrast him with Megatron's Manly Man.
- Shapeshifter Mode Lock: MECH stole his T-Cog and left him stuck in robot mode for a time. He swiped a new one from one of his dead clones, which Knock Out surgically implants when he rejoins the Decepticons.
- Sissy Villain: He's mocked for his stiletto heels.
- Slasher Smile: The few times he isn't doing a Psychotic Smirk, and he's fairly good at them, to say the least.
- Slouch of Villainy: The way he's often animated.
- Smug Snake: A legitimately threatening antagonist, but still not nearly as smart, charismatic, or deadly as he thinks he is.
- The Sociopath: He has little regard for anything, though he does have his Pet the Dog moments.
- Spanner in the Works: Unknowingly, to Megatron's attempts to deceive Orion Pax. Megatron told Orion that Starscream is dead. When Starscream snuck aboard the Nemesis and came across Orion, he referred to him as Optimus Prime. Needless to say, a dead bot calling you by another name was the first dent in Megatron's deception and if not for his sudden appearance and subsequently passing information to the Autobots about the Space Bridge, Optimus would likely have remained Orion Pax.
- In "Hard Knocks", Starscream uses Red Energon and steals the third Omega Key, hampering both teams' efforts and causing them to both believe that the other stole it first. This causes Megatron to speed up his plan to flush the Autobots out.
- The Starscream: He's a great deal subtler about this than the other fellow, blurring the line between this and the Bastard Understudy at times.
- By the end of the first season, he's seems genuinely humbled and willing to give up his treachery and declare his Undying Loyalty to Megatron. Until he's betrayed by Airachnid and captured by the Autobots, then nearly killed by Arcee which convinces him to ditch both sides.
- By the time of the third season, it's completely averted and Starscream is completely loyal to Megatron. Most notable is in "Deadlock" after Megatron is killed by Bumblebee, Starscream genuinely vows to avenge him.
- However, after he's reinstated as a Decepticon and being saved from a vengeful Dreadwing by Megatron— who also warns Starscream in no uncertain terms to never make him regret that he saved 'Scream by killing Dreadwing— he seems to have completely discarded his backstabbing ways and is trying to be a loyal subordinate. He at least pretends to be genuinely honored when Megatron leaves him in command of the Nemesis while Megatron goes to Cybertron and instead of trying to work against him, Starscream actually offers his master a better plan for victory than merely sending reinforcements; use the three kids. This is in keeping with his behavior in the five part miniseries, where it's clear that while he wants to be in charge, he tries to at least be a team player until he can make his move.
- Super Speed: Gains Red Energon in "New Recruit", then refines and uses it in "Hard Knocks" to gain this.
- Take a Third Option: After becoming a pariah to the Decepticons and not being welcomed into the Autobots as a form of revenge, Starscream basically says "screw the both of them" and decides to be part of neither faction.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Becomes this with Knock Out later in the series.
- Tempting Fate: Starscream probably shouldn't have gloated too much about his ability to transform to Bumblebee before he flew back to Silas.
- Too Clever by Half: His plans are often reasonably well thought out, but owing to his arrogance, he often leaves out miniscule details which end up unravelling the entire plan.
- Took a Level in Badass: Things finally seem to go his way in "Triangulation", as he obtains the Apex Armor, and throws Optimus and Dreadwing around like ragdolls. And even though he loses it to a Phase Shifter-wielding Smokescreen, he gets a shard of Red Energon in exchange, which he uses to steal three Omega Keys from the Autobots. And when he gets his T-Cog back and rejoins the Cons, he leads an airborn armada and even shoots down Wheeljack.
- In Season 3, when things stop going his way for a while, he eventually engineers a perfect plan to eliminate the Predacon clones, and hinder Shockwave's efforts in the process. Then he's seen saving Megatron from Predaking and in the final fight onboard the Nemesis he's actually holding his own and refusing to run.
- Torture Technician: Took this position in Season 1 and in a Season 2 flashback. Shockwave ultimately proves better at it than he does.
- Twin Telepathy: Of a sort. Starscream feels all of the pain that his clones experience. This doesn't dissuade him from killing the last one before he could betray him.
- Uncertain Doom: It's unclear whether he survives his encounter with the Predacons by the end of Predacons Rising
- Undying Loyalty: Yes, when shown genuine forgiveness (however final) for his treachery, Starscream becomes this towards Megatron in late Season 2 and the entirity of Season 3.
- Uriah Gambit: In "Evolution", he didn't tell Shockwave that his Batman-Gambit was underway in hopes that the Autobots would scrap him. When Shockwave questions this, Starscream tells him that it was to make it seem genuine. It doesn't work, but it does force Shockwave to retreat without saving his research, thus lowering his usefulness to Megatron. Also, the whole thing with Predaking himself.
- Villain Ball Magnet: He really shouldn't have taken credit for Cliff's death in Arcee's presence.
- Villain Team-Up: With MECH in "Operation Bumblebee". It doesn't end well for him.
- Villainous Breakdown: Had one after Megatron's return.
- Villainous Friendship: Type 1 with Knock Out; on the level of both being sarcastic Sissy Villains, they are able to relate to and understand each other perfectly.
- Villainous Rescue: Saves Arcee from Airachnid in "Crossfire".
- Villainous Virtues: Gratitude. What makes this particular Starscream stand out amongst his multiverse counterparts is that once you show him genuine friendship and kindness, he will repay you fully in kind. This is demonstrated in him sparing Arcee whe she was bound and helpless, ("Consider us even") his close friendship with Knock Out, and his genuine sorrow-and-rage at the death of Megatron, whom not only granted him the final forgiveness that he didn't deserve, but saved his life by killing someone (Dreadwing) who was better in every way to him.
- Weak, but Skilled: He can't take a hit and his striking power has never been shown to be particularly impressive either. However, he's a Combat Pragmatist with enough skill and cunning to rise up to leader of the Decepticons.
- Welcome Back, Traitor: Megatron allows him to rejoin the Decepticons in "Patch".
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Did he survive the beatdown that Predaking and his lackeys gave him, or did he just die from it?
- When He Smiles: The just plain... sincere look he gives to Knock Out in "Thirst" was rather jarring in this regard.
- Wild Card: It's stated that while Megatron is crazy and genocidal, he's still predictable in that way. Starscream, on the other hand, is so unpredictible that he's generally the one to be more careful around.
- Winged Humanoid: And they actually do something, too.
- Wolverine Claws: His fingers resemble talons and he has no qualms about using them as weapons. It's funny, considering one of Steve Blum's most famous roles.
- Would Hurt a Child: Displayed as he terrorizes Miko in "Rock Bottom," and again during "Darkest Hour".
- Xanatos-Gambit: His Batman-Gambit in "Evolution." The Autobots either destroy Predaking and the Predacons or Predaking will destroy them. Either way, they lose an enemy.
Soundwave & Laserbeak
Click here to see his Alt-mode
First Appearance: "Darkness Rising: Part 1"
One of Megatron's earliest followers and a fellow gladiator of Kaon, Soundwave is absolutely loyal to Megatron, providing communication and technical skills that gives Megatron's strategies a precise edge. While capable of talking, he prefers to stay quiet and observant, talking only by repeating certain phrases back to explain his point. His extreme competence and significant skill give any troops with delusions of grandeur (such as Starscream) second thoughts.
First Appearance: "Darkness Rising: Part 3"
Soundwave's surveillance and attack drone, who rests on his chest when not in use. Widely feared among Autobots and dubiously loyal Decepticons alike as the "eyes and ears" of Soundwave, Laserbeak is one of his most effective tools in both espionage and combat.
- Attack Drone: Soundwave's specifically.
- Badass: It outflew Agent Fowler, and gave Wheeljack a run for his money. Especially notable as the two of them outflew and killed numerous Vehicons and Insecticons in "Darkest Hour." And then it temporarily took Optimus out of the fight in "Project Predacon."
- Chekhov's Gunman: In "Triage," Ratchet uses it to pass a virus into the Decepticon mainframe that transmits the rest of the Iacon entries to the Autobots. Then, in "Minus One," it frees Soundwave and reboots his systems.
- Combat Tentacles: Used during its capture of agent Fowler and the fight with Optimus in "Project Predacon".
- Detachment Combat: Folds out of Soundwave's chest when needed.
- Fragile Speedster: He can deal out quite a bit of damage, but can't take what he dishes out.
- Highly Audible Spy Drone: Emits a constant whirring noise whenever flying, even in space. Possibly justified as it's a small drone, and a quieter flight system might be cumbersome. There's also nothing to suggest it doesn't shift to a quieter, "fly on the wall" mode while spying...
- It Can Think: Far from unintelligent, and it's shown to have some degree of sentience.
- Killer Rabbit: Capable of doing a lot more damage than its fragile-looking form would suggest.
- Shock and Awe: A fan of this from time to time.
- Villainous Rescue: Rescues Soundwave during "Minus One".
Click here to see his Alt-mode
I am here on a mission, assigned to me by my one master: Megatron.
Voiced by: Richard Green
First Appearance: "Masters And Students"
A member of the Seekers, an elite Decepticon unit, Skyquake is undyingly loyal and obedient to Megatron. Once sent to assassinate Optimus, he was later placed on Earth as a sleeper agent for when the time came to revive him. Dreadwing is his split-spark twin.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Invoked by Optimus as the Autobots bury him.
- Badass: He held his own against Optimus and Bumblebee, and Agent Fowler coming into the mix only seemed to help him.
- Badass Baritone: Voiced by Richard Green, known for doing these kinds of voices.
- Berserk Button: Skyquake pledges loyalty to Megatron and Megatron alone. Starscream's constant Kneel Before Zod attitude, even towards Optimus Prime, gets on his nerves to the point where he slugs him for it.
- Brains and Brawn: Skyquake's the "brawn" to Dreadwing's more pragmatic, tactical "brains". Nonetheless, both are recognized for their skills and sense of honor.
- Came Back Wrong: He gets revived as a Terrorcon by Starscream... then he gets trapped in the Shadowzone with no way to get out and an arm missing.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Though he dies in battle after awakening from stasis, his very presence and later zombification have ramifications on the plot even well into second season. He's semi-frequently mentioned, as well.
- Cool Plane: Both him and Dreadwing scanned Earth vehicle modes from Fowler's jet, which is based on the F-35 Lightning II.
- Disney Villain Death: He's killed after getting parts of himself forcibly removed and crash-landing from very high up.
- The Dreaded: Known for being among Megatron's most loyal and deadly warriors.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Voiced by Richard Green, a VA known for doing these kinds of characters.
- Expy: He's Prime's version of the "big, powerful Decepticon who is loyal to Megatron and hates Starscream's guts" character archetype common across Transformers. (Other examples include Lugnut and Blackout.)
- Gatling Good: His weapon of choice is a Predator-style minigun. It is actually one of the few weapons that is hand-held and stowed on his back, rather than transforming from one of his hands and/or arms.
- Helping Hands: After being zombified and losing his forearm, it turns out to move much faster than the rest of him.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Has quite a notable one.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: He follows Megatron alone, to the point of him not having anything against Optimus but trying to kill him anyway because his master ordered it millennia ago.
- Noble Demon: He's fiercely loyal to Megatron and dislikes Starscream based on his own principles.
- Perpetual Frowner: His default facial expression.
- Punch Clock Villain: Bears no real grudge against the Autobots, but is loyal to Megatron above all else.
- Robo Family: Has a brother, Dreadwing.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: He is entombed in stasis on Earth to guard Megatron's energon spoils before being reactivated by Starscream.
- The Unfettered: Serving Megatron is his only ambition.
- Walking Spoiler: To the point that he's now completely un-spoilered on this very wiki.
- Zombie Gait: He moves much more slowly after his death and zombification.
Let's get this party started!
First Appearance: "Con Job"
A rare "shifter" Cybertronian, Makeshift is able to easily and quickly impersonate other Cybertronians in both appearance and voice. This makes him an excellent spy and infiltrator.
Click here to see his Alt-mode
I'm not only an automobile, I'm an automobile enthusiast.
First Appearance: "Deus Ex Machina"
A skilled Decepticon fighter and doctor, Knock Out is very particular about his specifications and appearance, choosing a European sports car alt mode because he prefered the look. Regardless, he is perfectly capable of mixing it up in a fight and provides a precision strike while his close friend and partner Breakdown provides the muscle.
Click here to see his Alt-mode
Never run when you can fight.
First Appearance: "Deus Ex Machina"
A long time rival to Bulkhead, Breakdown is a tough bot whose loyalty to the Decepticons stems mostly from allowing him more opportunities to fight. When it comes to the actual Decepticon cause, he stands out as an enigma who doesn't care too much about it. A close friend of Knock Out's, they form a dangerous team and like to go off on their own agendas.
- Adaptational Badass/Took a Level in Badass: In almost every Transformers continuity, Breakdown is a paranoid Dirty Coward who would rather flee than fight. Since he appeared in Transformers: War for Cybertron, he was also quite a capable fighter in this universe as well, but was certainly not The Brute of the Decepticons.
- A Day in the Limelight: "Operation: Breakdown."
- Affably Evil
- Anti-Villain: There are hints that Breakdown is a Decepticon because of opportunity only and has his own sense of loyalty and honor, even having a certain degree of respect for Bulkhead as his rival.
- Arch-Enemy: To Bulkhead. Lampshaded by Miko.
- Benevolent Boss: To his subordinates. In "Orion Pax, Part 2", when Fowler posing as a Vehicon gives his fake report, Breakdown says to keep up the good work and comments about how the job can be thankless. This is in stark contrast to the normal Decepticon M.O. where the only contact subordinates get from their superiors are barked orders, beratings for failure, and (often carried out) threats for incompetence.
- Body Horror: Being partially vivisected in "Operation: Breakdown." Being stitched back together after his death and used as a Soul Jar also qualifies, as do the Nested Mouths he gains later on as a zombie.
- Boisterous Bruiser
- Brains and Brawn: With Knock Out, as the impulsive, always-ready-for-a-fight "Brawn."
- The Brute
- Came Back Wrong: His corpse is resurrected by Dark Energon in Thirst. Bizarrely, Silas is still alive inside of him while this is happening.
- The Dog Bites Back: Posthumously. Guess who infected Airachnid with Energon vampirism in the end?
- Drop the Hammer: Can transform his hand into one for use in those CQB-type situations that don't require high explosives.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In "Operation: Breakdown", after Bulkhead saves him from MECH, he's clearly grateful to the Autobot warrior and was visibly reluctant to turn on him, but when forced to choose on the spot, did so.
- Evil Sounds Deep
- Eyepatch of Power: After getting one of his optics ripped out by MECH.
- Family-Unfriendly Death
- Force And Finesse: The force to Knock Out's finesse, preferring to smash the opposition with his hammer.
- Four-Fingered Hands
- Four Temperament Ensemble: Leukine.
- Fun with Acronyms: CYbernetic Life Augmented by Symbiosis.
- Grand Theft Me: Silas used Breakdown's corpse as his new body.
- Hand Cannon: Carries around a giant, quad-barreled pistol that shoots missiles. Tragically, it's only appeared in the comic so far.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Villainous version.
- Killed Off for Real: Airachnid tears him apart in "Crossfire." Doesn't exactly stop him from reappearing as the "Machine" half of Man in the Machine or as a crazed Terrorcon vampire later on, but Breakdown as we knew him is gone. It finally takes in "Thirst" when Airachnid finishes off the zombified CYLAS.
- Leeroy Jenkins: He enjoys rushing into a fight, even against Starscream's orders, he helped stage an ambush against the Autobots with Knock Out in "Speed Metal." It's ultimately what got him killed by ignoring Dreadwing's orders.
- Man in the Machine: Breakdown's corpse is used by MECH as life support for Silas.
- Meaningful Rename: CYLAS, during the time the leader of MECH spent occupying his corpse.
- Nested Mouths: A mutation caused by Synthetic Energon while a zombie.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Airachnid's extra arms and psychopathic sadism do nothing to dissuade his interest.
- Noble Demon: Even though he's a Decepticon, Breakdown possesses the decidedly un-villain-like qualities of honor and respect for his enemies, not to mention gratitude towards those who serve under him. His rivalry with Bulkhead also seems quite respectful.
- Patient Zero: Of the vampiric Terrorcon plague.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: In an ironic inversion of their colors, he serves as the red to Knock Out's blue.
- Running Gag: Just how many times will he be used as a science experiment?
- Sacrificial Lion: A rare villainous version, as killing him was the sign that Airachnid was cutting ties with the Decepticons.
- Soul Jar: What his corpse became for Silas when the MECH leader was brutally injured from having Nemesis Prime dropped on top of him.
- Shoulder Cannon
- Those Two Bad Guys: With Knock Out.
- Villainous Friendship: Type 1 with Knockout, so much so that the latter actually mourns and grieves for the former's death.
- Walking Spoiler
Click here to see her spider mode
Click here to see her Alt-mode
I fully intend to snuff out your Spark. And believe me, I will make it hurt. But that won't compare to the pain you'll feel knowing I'm adding your human to my collection.
First Appearance: "Predatory"
During the war on Cybertron, Airachnid operated as a mercenary holding no allegiances to either side and displayed a fondness for the hunting of prey. As the Decepticons are all for wanton destruction, she allied with them just so she could continue her sick games. After capturing and torturing Arcee, they share an enmity that has only grown with each encounter. While respected for her skills she doesn't mesh well with the other Cons, who find her arrogant, antagonistic even to her own side and far too confident in her leadership abilities.
- Actress Allusion: At the end of Thirst, we see Airachnid commanding one of her utterly loyal Insecticon minions to approach her for her to feed on.
- All Webbed Up
- And Then Airachnid Was A Terrorcon: CYLAS may not have managed to suck out all her Energon, but the ending of "Thirst" reveals she was indeed infected during their battle.
- Arachnid Appearance and Attire
- Arch-Enemy: To Arcee.
- Ax-Crazy: Hunts, tortures, and kills for fun.
- The Beastmistress: She can control Insecticons and later found an entire hive of them.
- Big "NO!": Her response to discovering she's about to be trapped inside a stasis pod.
- She later lets out another one upon being sent to Cybertron's moon by Soundwave.
- Black Helicopter: Her vehicle mode.
- Breast Plate: Standard for female Transformers.
- Chest Insignia
- Classic Villain: Pride, Greed, and Wrath.
- Combat Pragmatist
- Collector of the Strange
- Combat Stilettos
- Composite Character: She's a female Transformer initially allied with the Decepticons and has a spider-like form, making her somewhat similar to Blackarachnia. Personality-wise though, she's more like Lockdown and Tarantulas, with a little bit of the Predator thrown in.
- Dangerous Deserter: Implied to be this after the war. Becomes one again following the events of "Crossfire" - with an emphasis on the 'dangerous'.
- Dark Action Girl
- Dark Chick
- Deadpan Snarker: Unlike other examples, it serves to make her more menacing.
- Dirty Coward: On the rare occasions that she isn't too smug to realise she's out of her league, she's this, running away from a fight that she could theoretically win.
- The Dragon: She was gunning for second-in-command and bringing her in direct confrontation with Starscream and even inspiring him to cut ties with the Decepticons. Which is nothing short of amazing, since she royally pissed off Megatron at the time. However, when she tells everyone to run off and leave the Earth (and by extension Megatron) to die, Soundwave effortlessly defeats her and prevents her attempt to usurp authority, which is later the reason Megatron decides she wasn't worth the hassle.
- Egomaniac Hunter: Her favorite hobby is hunting down and collecting endangered species (or pieces thereof). If the species wasn't endangered when they caught her eye, they will be by the time she's had her fun.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: She can do some good tricks and attacks with her spider-legs spinning.
- Expy: Of Blackarachnia and Lockdown.
- Fangs Are Evil
- Faux Affably Evil: Loves to make small talk with her victims, but her politeness is so fake that you could see through it while blind.
- Fatal Flaw: The main reason she's a Smug Snake is her sadism being matched only by her arrogance. As such, without fail, Airachnid will celebrate early when things are going her way.
- Femme Fatalons
- For the Evulz: Commits genocide for fun.
- Hand Blast: She uses her blasters and webs this way.
- Hero Killer: Brutally murdered Arcee's partner Tailgate.
- Ineffectual Loner: Inverted. She works much better as a solo operative than in the Decepticons.
- Jerkass: Worse than Starscream in this regard.
- Knight of Cerebus: Anything involving Airachnid is played much more seriously due to how sadistic and dangerous she is.
- Laser-Guided Karma: In "Metal Attraction", her stated goal for getting the polarity gauntlet is to have an edge if the Decepticons try to force her to rejoin. By the end of the episode, she's been magnetized to Breakdown, who takes her back to Megatron as a consolation prize, forcing her to rejoin.
- In "Armada", she uses a legion of Insecticons to try and take down Megatron, which releases them from stasis pods. During her fight with Arcee, she accidentally triggers one and is promptly put into stasis.
- She's infected with vampirism in "Thirst" by Breakdown (or rather Silas piloting his corpse), whom she killed in "Crossfire".
- Leitmotif: Yikes.
- Loners Are Freaks: Even the other Decepticons are weirded out by her.
- Meaningful Name: Her name is Airachnid and she has a helicopter alt mode, as well as spider-like features in her other forms.
- Mercy Kill: A very unintentional one. Upon killing the zombified Breakdown, she prepares to tear out his spark only to find Silas, who thanks her for ending his suffering before dying. Airachnid doesn't care.
- Nested Mouths: Revealed near the end to have been infected by Cylas after all when she starts draining one Insecticon of Energon.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Megatron thinks that Airachnid has done this by leaving Starscream with the Autobots, thereby giving them access to all the information held by the Decepticon second-in-command. Megatron is not happy.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Towards anyone she designates as her prey, but especially Arcee.
- Our Vampires Are Different: What she becomes after CYLAS infects her.
- The Peter Principle: She was an excellent, terrifying solo operative, and her superiors rewarded her appropriately. Unfortunately, those skills didn't translate very well to commanding a Decepticon warship, especially since she's spent several thousand years out of the loop.
- Poisonous Person
- Psycho for Hire: Only worked with the Decepticons during the war for her own sadistic kicks.
- Purple Eyes: Notable for being one of the few bots not on Dark Energon to have these.
- Put on a Bus to Hell: Soundwave teleports her and the rest of the Insecticons to one of Cybertron's moons, where it's then revealed she was infected by CYLAS and must consume her own army to survive.
- Robo Family: It's implied that she and the Insecticons have a familiar connection. All There in the Manual states that most Cybertronians descends from one of the Thirteen Original Primes and each has acquired a unique characteristic. Airachnid and the Insecticons are likely from the unnamed "Beast Prime" lineage.
- Running Gag: While stasis-locked, every now and then someone would wander by her pod and pause or jump in surprise.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: In "Crisscross", she calls off her rematch with Arcee and Jack and runs for it when Fowler's forces show up.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: In "Armada", Airachnid is locked up in a stasis pod and becomes a prisoner of the Autobots for the remainder of the second season. In "Darkmount, NV", said pod is revealed to have survived the destruction of the Autobot base in the second season finale, with Airachnid still inside. The Deceptions recover and store it in the Nemesis, but in "Thirst," the pod is destroyed by CYLAS, setting her free.
- Sixth Ranger
- Sixth Ranger Traitor: She cuts ties with the Decepticons in "Crossfire."
- Smug Snake: Like Starscream, she's a legitimately threatening and dangerous antagonist. Unlike Starscream, she seems to be forgetful of her limitations; specifically, that she is far from being amongst the top tier of the Decepticon hierarchy in terms of power. Soundwave quickly reminds her of this.
- The Sociopath: Is worse than Megatron or Starscream in this regard in that she only cares about her sick games.
- Spider Limbs: She can walk on two legs or more if she chooses to.
- Spider People: She's basically a robotic Drider.
- The Starscream: She pulls this off with Starscream in the episode "Partners". Megatron wasn't to happy about it though. Once the Trope Namer defects in the same episode, Airachnid, now Megatron's first lieutenant, tries to seep more power from her master in later episodes. During "One Shall Rise, Part 3" she attempts to take command of the Decepticons and tells the troops they may as well forget about Megatron and abandon Earth. Her attempt to usurp authority is swiftly prevented and dealt with by Soundwave.
- Stupid Evil: Normally she's clever enough to stay out of this territory besides her inability to stop gloating before she wins, but towards the end of the first season, she slips into it. She tries to take command of the Decepticons and ditch Megatron while he was away, apparently unaware or unafraid of Soundwave's gladiator background. Soundwave quickly schooled her on her mistake.
- This Is a Drill: She can arrange her legs into one of these, letting her tunnel through the ground with astonishing speed.
- Torture Technician: Her main job during the Great War.
- Underestimating Badassery: One of her flaws is that she tends to underestimate the capabilities of her opponents (barring Arcee). This starts as low as characters like Jack Darby and goes up to Megatron himself. Needless to say, this approach doesn't exactly work out for her.
- The Unfettered: There's nothing she won't do to get what she wants.
- Villain Team-Up: With Silas in "Crisscross".
- Villainous Breakdown: Goes from calm, confident and smug when she sets an Insecticon on Megatron, to panicked and shrieking at it when Megatron starts seriously fighting back, and reminds her of the reason he's the leader of the Decepticons.
- Weak, but Skilled: Her striking power and durability aren't particularly impressive by Decepticon standards, but her cunning and viciousness make her a deadly opponent capable of shredding bigger and tougher bots.
- Would Hurt a Child: She doesn't much care how young or old a human is - she just wants one for her trophy case, and intends to make the species endangered. When she finds out that Jack is Arcee's partner, she becomes very single-minded in trying to catch him specifically.
- Yandere: In the U.S. version of the show, her obsession with finding and killing the one human who escaped could be considered a variant of this. The Japanese dub plays this trope more straight, as well as for laughs, where she collects "pretty boys" instead of rare species. As such, the Japanese version of "Predatory" largely consists of her calling Jack a pretty boy and hitting on him in an attempt to kidnap him.
Click here to see his Alt-mode
Then by the Pit, every last Autobot on this accursed world will pay.
First Appearance: "Loose Cannons"
A Seeker and Skyquake's split-spark twin, Dreadwing is similarly loyal to Megatron and came to Earth to seek revenge for his brothers' death. A powerful Decepticon warrior, he quickly rose through the ranks to eventually become Megatron's second-in-command. Unique among Decepticons is that Dreadwing possesses a strong sense of honor, and his word is his absolute
bond, even to his enemies. Though Dreadwing may hate Optimus Prime for the death of his brother, they deeply respect each other and have formed alliances for common causes of honor.
Divide. And do not hesitate to conquer!
First Appearance: "Toxicity"
An intelligent Insecticon that Megatron selects to hunt down one of the Iacon relics. Though it was destroyed, he still managed to grievously injure Bulkhead, prompting Wheeljack and Miko to undertake a revenge mission which culminated in his death.
- Actor Allusion: Yeeesss...
- This isn't the first time that David Kaye has voiced a Decepticon who climbed out of a volcano to deal with the attacker who threw him into it. Granted, the first time was a Predacon, but there's pretty much no difference.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Stands above the others Insecticons by being the biggest, meanest, and toughest of the swarm.
- Ax-Crazy: "Your spark is mine!" comes to mind.
- Badass: He's able to fight Bulkhead one-on-one and not be killed when the big guy is going at full power. And he survived being exposed to Tox-En and tossed into a volcano.
- Even more amazing, he actually defeated Wheeljack in a fight. If not for Miko, he would have killed him.
- Berserk Button: Don't call Insecticons stupid or insult them. A pair of Vehicons learned this the hard way.
- The Brute: Does most of the heavy hitting for Megatron, admittedly not for that long. That's not to say he's stupid, though.
- Determinator: Has shades of this throughout "Toxicity"; Bulkhead beats him up, knocks out one of his mandibles, shoves Tox-En in his face, and even throws him into a volcano, and yet Hardshell manages to come back swinging in spite of each setback. He survives this too, by the way. It takes two missiles directly to his spark chamber to put him down.
- Didn't See That Coming: Given his expression, it's rather clear he thought Miko was going to take Wheeljack's advice and run, not actually attack. By the time he realizes his mistake, she's fired two missiles directly into his spark chamber, killing him.
- Disney Villain Death: Bulkhead manages to deal with him by knocking him into a volcanic crater. Unfortunately for Bulkhead, Hardshell manages to climb out just in time to shoot him in the back with a missile as he's GroundBridging out.
- Distinctive Appearances: To make him stand out from the regular rank and file Insecticons, he has many large gashes in his armor and across his face.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Basically imagine Lugnut as an Insecticon, minus the metallic echo. Alternatively, imagine Beast Wars Megatron but with more of a growling voice and slightly less eloquent.
- Expy: Of the G1 Insecticon Bombshell.
- He's also similar to Lugnut of the previous series, down to fanaticism and even the same voice actor.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Not only do we see him take two missiles to the chest, we later get a nice view of his battered corpse as Megatron furiously questions who was responsible.
- Genius Bruiser: Unlike the other Insecticons, he's pretty clever.
- Genre Savvy: When he realizes that Bulkhead had left a fake trail for them to follow, he correctly anticipates that Bulkhead would try to destroy the Tox-En in the volcano.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: The biggest visual difference between Hardshell and any other Insecticon, beside size, is the series of scars running along his face and torso.
- Guttural Growler: Imagine Lugnut but growling a bit more.
- Killed Off for Real: By Miko, of all people.
- King Mook: Head of the Insecticon hive.
- Knight of Cerebus: For Miko, whose Character Development was primarily kicked off by his introduction.
- Mauve Shirt
- Pride: He constantly gloats about his defeat of Bulkhead and frequently proclaims the Insecticons to be superior to ordinary Decepticons.
- Took a Level in Badass: He used to be more reliant on heavy weaponry than physical combat.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: For two episodes, no less.
Your reasoning is hardly...logical.
Voiced by: David Sobolov
First Appearance: "Out Of The Past"
One of Megatron's top lieutenants and his most eminent scientist. Shockwave is responsible for many technological advances
such as reverse engineering space bridge technology from ancient Cybertronian data and the Cortical Psychic Patch
is his own creation. He is fiercely logical and holds no grudges so long as the reasoning is sound. He is generally fascinated with using his science to create powerful new warriors, and is responsible for the creation of Predaking.
- Actually a Doombot: Rage of the Dinobots has the Dinobots literally tear him limb from limb... only to find out moments later that what they'd destroyed was actually one of Shockwave's avatars, of which Shockwave had multiples of carrying out his will all over Cybertron.
- Affably Evil / Faux Affably Evil: He comes across as rather polite even when experimenting on captives, in part owing to the fact that he is The Spock.
- Arm Cannon: A huge one in place of his left arm. And of course, the cannon is permanently attached in place, as opposed to being a transformable weapon.
- Attack Its Weak Point/Go for the Eye: He shrugs off every attack thrown at him without even flinching... until Arcee lands a shot right in his massive red glowing eye.
- Badass: Easily one of the toughest Cons on the show.
- Barrier Warrior: Rage of the Dinobots depicts him as wielding a force field in battle.
- Beware the Honest Ones: One of Megatron's most loyal followers and one of the calmer Decepticons for the most part...Primus help you if you succeed in making Shockwave angry.
- The Blank: No face, just a red eye.
- BFG: His arm cannon.
- Catch Phrase: Once an Episode, he will mention something about logic.
- Co-Dragons: Promoted to the now shared rank of first lieutenant immediately upon his return. Starscream does not take this well at all.
- Composite Character: Visually, he takes cues from both his G1 incarnation and from the film series.
- He retains his G1 characterization as a "Mad Scientist with a logical-mindset" and his Movie characterization of "hulking death machine".
- Crazy-Prepared: Has microchipped his Preadacons for survellance and built an off-site laboratory for the express purpose of cloning Preadacons that couldn't fit in the Cybertronian-sized Nemesis.
- Lampshaded by Starscream:
Starscream: You think of everything, don't you?
- Creepy Monotone: He very rarely emotes.
- Cyber Cyclops: One, unblinking, red eye.
- Disney Death: Turns into tank mode when the Terrorcon/Predacons advance on him, and blasts at them until they swarm him and start tearing into him. When Predaking is fighting the other Predacons, Shockwave reappears, beaten and grey, but alive.
- Dramatically Missing The Point: Several times. For example, when using the cortical psychic patch on Arcee:
Cliffjumper: Leave her alone! Use it on me instead!
Shockwave: Do not worry. If her mind does not survive the procedure, you will be next.
- The Dreaded: Starscream is visibly uncomfortable around him and even Cliffjumper notes that when he shows up, he and Arcee might be in serious trouble.
- Even Evil Has Standards: It's very subtle, but when he sees Unicron raise a legion of undead Predacons he appears horrified.
- Evil Genius: Shares this role with Soundwave and Knock Out. He invented the cortical psychic patch and reverse engineered the space bridge, in addition to upgrading the Insecticons, creating the Dinobots, and resurrecting the Predacons.
- Evil Sounds Deep: He's voiced by David Sobolov, who's well known for these kinds of voices.
- Evilutionary Biologist: In the past he experimented on the Insecticons and the Dinobots, augmenting them into the vicious beasts they are today. Season 3 shows that he's also been working on resurrecting the Predacons, ancient Cybertronian beasts that resemble dragons and other mythical creatures.
- Eye Scream: Takes a laser blast from Arcee right in his single eye, though even this doesn't slow him down that much.
- Four Temperament Ensemble: Leukine, mixed with a bit of Meloncholic.
- Genius Bruiser: In addition to his technical skills, he's one of the toughest Decepticons in the show.
- Heel-Face Turn: Debatable. He encourages the living Predacons to help the Autobots defeat Unicron, but we don't actually see him join up with them himself, leaving it unclear whether this is a true Heel-Face Turn or just him realizing that an Enemy Mine to oppose Unicron is in the best interests of both the Autobot and Decepticon factions.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Despite his all-round intelligence, he's pretty easy to fool if you can appeal to his sense of logic, Starscream being able to do that has meant that Shockwave has failed to pick up that he wants him dead. Subverted in "Minus One" where he angrily reveals that he knew Starscream had intentionally left him at the Autobot's mercy in an attempt to kill him.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: His technical and engineering skills are what give the Decepticons their edge. His skills are so valued by Megatron that he orders Shockwave to remain in his lab to finish Project Preadacon. He notably managed to avoid making Megatron angry despite Predaking failing to kill the Autobots in his first two appearences.
- Hypocritical Humor: As stated by the guy who fell for Arcee's playing dead technique.
Shockwave: Only Starscream could fail to dispose of a helpless prisoner.
- And during his fight with Ultra Magnus in Persuasion, he makes a quip about Ultra Magnus having one hand. Taking his Arm Cannon into account, Shockwave's hardly in any position to call someone one-handed.
- Even better when you realize it were Shockwave's creations that caused the loss of limbs (Grimlock and Predaking).
- Implacable Man: Even when his weakpoint was hit, he recovered rather quickly.
- The Juggernaut: This guy has survived everything from blaster fire to an exploding Space Bridge and it barely slows him down.
- Karma Houdini: Double subverted. After escaping from the Nemesis (along with Starscream) in Deadlock, in Predacons Rising he is dog-piled by a horde of undead Predacons awakened by Unicron. Despite the beatdown he recieves, he manages to escape alive (albeit fairly damaged) and is last seen breaking up the fight between Predaking, Darksteel, and Skylynx; encouraging them to help the Autobots stop Unicron. Considering there was a freshly-cloned Predacon still in its stasis tank in one of his labs, this raises a few questions as to where he went.
- Knight of Cerebus: Much like his Animated incarnation, Shockwave has no humorous or altruistic qualities to balance out how frightening and dangerous he is (though Starscream's attitude towards him has its moments). Even Megatron has his Deadpan Snarker moments. When he appears with Predaking, everything gets darker.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: When the odds fall out of favor, logic dictates a retreat. Notable in "Deadlock" when he grabs Starscream and runs, as Megatron's died, most of their troops are dead, and the remaining officers are MIA.
- Left for Dead: Shockwave was marooned on Cybertron after he was caught in an exploding space bridge. He managed to repair himself and continued his research in isolation until some Decepticons returned to the planet on an unrelated mission.
- Leitmotif: Has one that was probably supposed to be Dreadwing's at some point.
- Made of Iron: Blaster fire does nothing to him unless properly aimed, and being buried under several tons of rubble barely slowed him down. He even survived an exploding Space Bridge, and leaped off Darkmount with no ill effects. Even being swarmed by undead Predacons just leaves him beaten and slightly grey, though how he survived it is unexplained.
- Mad Scientist: Specializes in CNA manipulation and cloning, though he's handy with chemistry as well.
Megatron: It does my spark good to see you once again tampering with creation.
- Mighty Glacier: As shown during "Out Of The Past", he's slow, but can smack Cliffjumper around like a ragdoll and shrug off multiple laser shots to his body.
- In "Rebellion", he thrashed Bulkhead and Wheeljack with no difficulty.
- Mind Probe: Courtesy of the cortical psychic patch, which he invented personally.
- Moe Greene Special: Inflicted on him by Arcee in "Out of the Past". To date, it seems to be the only means of actually stopping Shockwave.
- No Mouth: His head consists completely of his eye.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: He somehow escaped the legions of undead Predacons without dying himself.
- Oh Crap: See OOC Is Serious Business.
- Only Sane Man: Along with Soundwave and Dreadwing, he's the only calm and logical Decepticon in the group.
- OOC Is Serious Business: In Predacons Rising, he freaks out (albeit in a somewhat composed way about Unicron, aka the Chaos Bringer being on Cybertron and resurrecting several Predacons as his undead warriors.
- Out of the Inferno: Do exploding oil rigs cause him any harm? Nope, he simply drives out of the inferno while on fire.
- Pet the Dog: Shockwave is generally a cold and calculating being, but when Starscream is about to go out on a Last Villain Stand in an attempt to avenge Megatron, Shockwave stops him from throwing his life away even though he dislikes him and has nothing to gain from doing so.
- Purple Is Powerful: Has a color scheme that's predominantly purple, and he has the bulk to back up the 'powerful' part.
- Red Eye, Take Warning: As the picture should show.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Blue to Starscream's Red, though he can dip into red territory (namely, anger) if pressed.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Spoken almost word for word upon his return.
- Running Gag: His tendency to threaten Starscream and then back off when the latter appeals to his sense of logic.
- Sixth Ranger: Doesn't actually join until the start of Season 3.
- Soft Spoken Sadist: He's disturbingly effective at this when he uses his cortical psychic patch. The Creepy Monotone helps.
Wheeljack: Do your worst, Doc. I'm a Wrecker. I can take it.
Shockwave: Trust me. You, in fact, cannot.
- The Spock: As is tradition.
- The Stoic: He's not above Tranquil Fury though.
- Not So Stoic: The beginning of "Minus One" has him angrily accusing Starscream of trying to kill him and nearly driving the Seeker's eye through a jagged piece of cybermatter. Had Starscream not appealed to his sense of logic, he would have killed him.
- He's also horrified (albeit in a much more subtle way) when Unicron appears with Megatron's possessed body, and then starts reviving Predacons as zombies.
Shockwave: It is... not logical.
- Super Strength: Gets engaged in a tug-of-war with Bumblebee and Smokescreen over a Predacon fossil. With one hand, he matches both of them pulling as hard as they can.
- Tank Goodness: His altmode is a massive Cybertronian armored vehicle.
- Torture Technician: Back on Cybertron, if you needed information out of a prisoner, you sent them to him. Also applies to present day, although he seems to prefer the Cortical Psychic Patch, and his experience with it allows for less Mind Rape and more Journey to the Center of the Mind, this at least leaves the prisoner alive, but seeing how they're in his captivity, that's not always a good thing.
- Tranquil Fury: In "Rebellion", when the Autobots sent Predaking to the Arctic to freeze, he calmly makes his way down to the ground and hands them their skid-plates.
- Unflinching Walk: When Darkmount is blown up and large shrapnel is raining down on him, he looks up, radios Soundwave saying "I require a groundbridge," and calmly walks into it as the fortress collapses.
- Unknown Rival: Seemingly oblivious to Starscream's efforts to show him up. Until "Minus One," anyway.
- Verbal Tic: The Japanese version has him using "Shock" like it was the word "Smurf".
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Shockwave survives the Terrocon/Predacons tearing him apart, and is last seen convincing the Predacons to go and stop Unicron, after that he disappears.
Other Decepticon Forces
Click here to see their Alt-mode
The basic Decepticon footsoldiers, they are basically a faceless mass who can be tough, but don't possess a lot of skill to properly challenge the Autobots despite their vast numbers. They come in three varieties, Miners, who have dual optical bands and are clearly smaller and lighter armed, Sports Cars who are more heavily armed and form the bulk of their forces, and the Aerial Fighters who transform into jets.
- Airborne Mook: The jet Vehicons.
- Arm Cannon: Their main means of ranged assault.
- Chest Insignia: The Decepticon emblem.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: The Vehicons' first appearances from "Darkness Rising" showed one of them being strong enough to fight Bulkhead hand-to-hand, and prior, two of them being on the winning side of a battle against Arcee and Bumblebee until Bulkhead showed up to assist. As the series has gone on, they have still managed to get a few odd lucky hits in here and there, but with the Autobots continuously facing larger numbers of them, their overall combat effectiveness seems to have decreased somewhat.
- Cool Car: The ground-based variant's alt mode.
- Cool Plane: The space-faring variant's alt mode.
- Cyber Cyclops: Have a single V-shaped eye.
- Elite Mooks: Starscream's Seeker Armada are essentially silver-painted jet Vehicons, and are supposed to be elite, but they go down just as easily as the rest of them.
- Evil Minions: Civilian-class Vehicons.
- Eva Fins: In addition to wings, the jet variants sport these as part of their kibble.
- Faceless Goons: They have no mouths, only a single eye.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: They're rather good with their fists, actually. They can even fight Bulkhead one-on-one, which really is saying something, since he's a good head taller than them and much bigger.
- Heel-Face Turn: As of Predacons Rising, many Vehicon troopers could be seen under Bulkhead's command while helping to rebuild Cybertron.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Not to say that they miss every time.
- Interservice Rivalry: With the Insecticons.
- Kick the Dog: A couple of them beat up Orion Pax and keep doing so despite his pleas for mercy. It didn't end well for them.
- The Klutz: Many of them are very clumsy and accident prone. The reformed Vehicons working under Bulkhead in Predacons Rising being some of the best examples.
- Mecha-Mooks: The main infantry of the Decepticon army.
- No Mouth: They lack mouths.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: They each have a single red eye.
- What Measure Is a Mook?: There is no short supply of them to be beaten around by Megatron or Starscream or killed en masse by the Autobots, while there is some question as to how sentient they are; they are refered to as drones a few times but they seem to have personalities and opinions.
- "Regeneration" proved that they are indeed sentient Transformers with Sparks, when Smokescreen activates the Spark Extractor amidst a squadron of Vehicons and all of them fall lifeless when hit by the expanding energy wave.
- Winged Humanoid: The aerial Vehicons' only obvious difference from the ground Vehicons is the presence of a large pair of wings on their backs, as a consequence of their alt-mode wings.
Basically Cybertronian beasts, Insecticons are largely allied with the Decepticons and are often placed in stasis pods until they are awakened. They appear to be savage beasts incapable of higher thought process, but they reveal themselves able to speak later.
- All There in the Script: One of the Insecticons is given the name Bombshock, according to the credits of "Project Predacon". Bombshock's the one voiced by Steve Blum.
- And Then The Insecticons Were Terrorcons: Were converted into vampiric Terrorcons by Airachnid.
- The Berserker: They are more like animals than the regular characters and when pointed to attack something, just one Insecticon is able to give Megatron a hard time.
- And then Airachnid finds an army of them...
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: With an altmode of a beetle.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: In their early appearances they proved to be exceptionally powerful, the sentry on Cybertron easily shrugged off Arcee's attacks and bested her fairly easily, and later Airachnid's Insecticon from Crossfire proves powerful enough to go one-on-one against Megatron, and wounds the Decepticon leader to the point of exhaustion before he is able to kill it. Come "Armada", where a swarm of them are present, and they go down with surprising ease.
- In fairness, there is some details that justify it to a degree. Arcee is a light-fighter who trades strength and firepower for speed and mobility, and during "Crossfire", Megatron's fusion cannon was disabled as the fight commenced, though he did shoot it once at point blank range, but that only served to knock it back. Come "Armada," Megatron's cannon was unrestrained and the Insecticons go down much easier in their flying beetle form than in their bipedal form. That said, we never see one appear as tough as the one that fought Megatron.
- Disney Villain Death: The Insecticon left behind as a sentry in Kaon, which dies when it gets its limbs chewed off by Scraplets and falls into the bowels of Vector Sigma's chamber.
- Elite Mook: First seen in "Orion Pax, part 3". Whenever they show up, it becomes a much more difficult fight for the Autobots.
- Fragile Speedster: Their flight mode is consistently portrayed as being much, much more fragile than their ground mode. Even Arcee's guns have racked up a couple of midair Insecticon kills.
- Fate Worse than Death: They all wind up stranded on one of Cybertron's moons with an infectious Energon vampire who can telepathically control them. Guess what happens.
- Giant Mook: Their robot mode towers over most other robots.
- Good Lips, Evil Jaws: Their fangs are set into their faces, contrasting with every other Cybertronian race.
- Guttural Growler: Some take this trope Up to Eleven.
- Interservice Rivalry: With the Vehicons.
- The Juggernaut: It says something that the one in "Crossfire" has to have its head cut off by Megatron to finally die.
- Meteor Move: Airachnid's Insecticon pulls a uniquely vicious variation of this move on Megatron: It launches Megs into the air, flies after him and rips a chunk of his shoulder off with its mandibles in mid air, then strikes him once more and opens fire as he hits the floor.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Their mouths are lined with fangs.
- Off with His Head!: How Megatron finishes off Airachnid's pet Insecticon.
- Put on a Bus to Hell: Though it's really more of Airachnid's Bus To Hell with them along for the ride, their collective fate is... unpleasant.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The eye visor of an Insecticon is bright red.
- Roar Before Beating: They tend to let out grating screeches before attacking their opponents.
- So Last Season: Six Insecticons fight Optimus' second form in season 3, and get thoroughly trounced. Remember, just one of these gave Megatron a hard time in season 2.
- Suddenly Voiced: At the end of "Armada", the remaining Insecticons swear loyalty to Megatron in actual speech instead of their usual shrieks.
- Why Did It Have To Be Scraplets?: The Cybertron sentry from "Orion Pax, Part 3" tries to flee in fear when it notices a swarm of Scraplets before it. Key word: tries.
My mission assumes priority. Any Cybertronian who interferes... will be neutralized.
The former Decepticon monstrosity known as Trypticon, reconfigured into the Decepticon Warship known as the Nemesis after failing to destroy the Autobots during the Great War, as a means for the Decepticons to travel across star systems and plunder worlds for resources. The conversion robbed him of his former body and mind, leaving him a blank slate and allowing the Nemesis to serve as nothing but a vessel for eons. In present day, it serves as the main Decepticon base on Earth, constantly traveling around the globe and under heavy shielding to avoid detection. The ship very briefly regained a mind of its own when Megatron used the very unpredictable Dark Energon to repair its systems.
See Transformers Prime Autobots
See Transformers Prime Predacons
CYLASSee Transformers Prime Other and Breakdown's folder.