Hanging Judge: Averted. Optimus goes to great pains to avert this image during Megatron's trial, strictly adhering to due process and making a genuine effort to view the matter objectively. Unfortunately for him, Megatron opts to invoke this and points out the folly in having his archnemesis preside over his trial.
Heroic BSOD: Undergoes a brief but serious one in Dark Cybertron. Rodimus snaps him out of it.
Only Sane Man: Amongst the commanding Autobots. While Dark Cybertron shows that he too has his issues, they pale in comparison to Rodimus' hotheadedness and narcissism, Bumblebee's fragile self-image, Ultra Magnus' Super OCD, and Prowl's Knight Templar tendencies.
Shoot the Dog: He and Megatron are forced to kill Shockwave to prevent the universe's collapse.
Super Cop: As Orion Pax, he was pretty much the epitome of this trope.
That Man Is Dead: He abandons his identity as Optimus Prime because he realizes that as long as there are Primes, there will be war. Rodimus convinces him otherwise in ''Dark Cybertron, and he takes up his old name again after defeating Nova Prime.
Hijacked by Ganon: Most of his behaviour between issue four and fifteen is because he's under Bombshell's control.
Hypocrite: He lashes at Chromedome for the botched and forced memory extraction after he tried to blackmail him, that eventually led to Bombshell hijacking him, because to him it was personal — never mind that Prowl screws around with people all the time, and his actions have led to several deaths, including Rewind's — which he gloated about to boot.
Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Save Swoop, who is in fact a Pterodactyl. They have this mind-set themselves, since they chose the alt-modes to avoid succumbing to energon overlord, but then they got attached, and never bothered changing back.
Theme Naming: Each of their names begins with 's'. Except their boss, Grimlock.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He has faith in Starscream and is easily tricked, but he does not see Starscream as the Messiah, rather the destroyer, and has been spreading rumors around to usurp him.
Handicapped Badass: His old form was severely damaged fighting D-Void's Deceptigod, and he spearheads the experiments in the wilderness as such before his upgrade. He also spends the better part of Dark Cybertron without his legs, but still beats Waspinator and even Gavatron without them.
Body Horror: His partial vivisection at the hand of Shockwave.
The Neidermeyer: Back in The Transformers IDW he managed to run the Decepticons into the ground in only a few years. He himself points this out in Robots in Disguise and that he has learned from it.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In More Than Meets the Eye. He gives a speech, which he believes is the last nail in Megatron's coffin at the latter's trial. Instead, it makes Megatron want to live instead, out of pure spite.
You Are in Command Now: While Megatron is imprisoned, Starscream the leader of the Neutrals, Shockwave rogue, and Big Bad Wannabe Ratbat dead, Soundwave is briefly left as the new leader of the remnants of the Decepticon forces.
Alas, Poor Villain: Even though Optimus and Megatron manage to restore his old personality, it's too late to stop his plan from being carried out, and Shockwave allows himself to be killed to prevent the chronal drive from destroying the universe.
Evil Plan: His ultimate endgame is to harness the energy stolen from the Dead Universe at the time of its creation, and use it in conjunction with his Regenesis Ores to take control of all aspects of reality, turning Cybertron into a single, self-replenishing point of existence in the universe unaffected by time or entropy.
Pet the Dog: A rather twisted example in the Issue #17 flashback when he blasts Dai Atlas's legs apart. This leaves him unable to attend the Senate meeting the next day and spares him from the ensuing massacre.
See the "Outside Cybertron" folder for more information on the new Decepticon leader.
Depending on the Artist: An intentional example. Horri-bull was colored as his toy's silver in The Death Of Optimus Prime, and mustard yellow in the series proper. This was deliberate on part of the colorist who went with the color scheme to have Horri-bull stand out more.
Ascended Extra: He was a fairly unimportant Con, seen with Razorclaw's offensive and the Decepticon group stranded on a meteor. Here he's grown in prominence to having as big a role as the Triple Changers.
Uncertain Doom: Last seen lying on the ground in Shockwave's lair after Pax & Crew pull a Big Damn Heroes. It's entirely possible he survived the encounter, given his status as a nigh-unstoppable Juggernaut, but it's equally likely he was killed by the black hole created by the collapsing chronal drive.
Create Your Own Villains: He was the one who ordered Cybertron's energon mines to be automated which let the miner Megatron to become a gladiator, he also gave a homeless bot called Soundwave a job working for him, later he sent Soundwave to offer Megatron funding and weapons technology, seeking to foster political instability for his own profit, which led to Soundwave joining Megatron's cause and Megatron turning his gladiator team into a planet-destabilizing army which would become the Decepticons. Which means Ratbat unintentionly started the Autobot-Decepticon war. Good one, Ratbat.
Fantastic Racism: He looked down on non-humanoid robot modes and treated them as little more than beasts.
Gone Horribly Wrong: Interested by Megatron's early gladiatorial exploits, he sent Soundwave to offer the gladiator a wide variety of advanced weaponry. He was either trying to get in on the fight racket and increase the violence for profit, or was deliberately trying to create greater instability (also for profit). But Megatron used the weaponry to turn his gladiator team from members of a underground fightclub to planet-destabilizing army.
How the Mighty Have Fallen: He was a member of the Senate Cybertron's elite after he was transferred into a smaller, compact bat form he became a mere Decepticon Mook.
Laser-Guided Karma: Soundwave had Ratbat's spark and brain module were removed and transferred into a smaller, compact bat form meant to serve Soundwave, a punishment for the Senator's support of discrimination through functionism Ratbat looking down on non-humanoid robot modes and treated them as little more than beasts.
Small Role, Big Impact: He was responsible for the automation of Cybertron's energon mines, a move which prompted the miner known as Megatron to rebel and flee underground starting a chain of events which led to the forming of the Decepticons.
These include: Astrotrain, Blitzwing, Skywarp, and others
Hypocrite: The beginning of issue #7 best exemplifies this. When Prowl tells Bumblebee that his security team is ready to open fire on a Decepticon landing party, Metalhawk angrily protests that everyone deserves a chance to make it on Cybertron. When the arriving 'cons turn out to be led by Turmoil, who led a campaign that killed dozens of soldiers in Metalhawk's unit, he says to "kill him where he stands".
Adaptive Armor: His body can shift to the forms of enemies to ensure he is at least physically matched in combat.
Adaptational Wimp: Downplayed, the original Jhiaxus was a powerful overlord who led his own faction, here he's much smarter and let's his creations fight for him. He's proven less than adept in actual combat, but develops an Adaptive Armor to grant him greater combat abilities.
Gone Horribly Wrong: Jhiaxus had a very poor track record when it came to his experiments. The end result of his attempt to introduce gender to a genderless species, Arcee, became a psychotic and violent mass-murderer obsessed with tracking him down and murdering him as slowly and painfully as possible; and Monstructor, his effort at producing a gestalt, is a nigh-indestructible and vicious killing machine. About the only one that didn't go wrong is his space bridge invention.
Actually subverted on Monstructor's insanity. According to RID issue 7, Jhiaxus doesn't consider it a weakness.
Evil Costume Switch: Averted, his original tenure as a villain had him invert his color scheme and change his name to Nemesis Prime, but that was back under the control of the darkness. Here he keeps his color scheme and name showing he's back in full control of his actions. He's still evil, just a different kind of evil.
Hannibal Lecture: Delivers a hell of a one to Orion, exploiting his guilt over his role in the tainted legacy of the Primes. It would have worked, too if not for Rodimus.
Badass Grandpa: Galvatron is at least ten million years old, and even by Cybertronian standards that's old. He's even referred to as an "old man" by several characters, but he's still just as powerful and hotheaded a warrior now as he was during the first Cybertronian Civil War.
Barbarian Hero: Not a hero by any means but otherwise he's a perfect fit (and has even been called a barbarian by others). He's an ancient warrior from the dawn of Cybertron's history who united the thirteen tribes and led them as a conquering army. He also used a battleaxe as his primary weapon during this period and shows a great deal of disdain for the current generation of Cybertronians for failing to live up to his and Nova Prime's legacy.
Big Bad: In the post-Dark Cybertron comics after he becomes the new leader of the Decepticons.