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Headscratchers: Transformers

For Headscratchers about the live-action film series, see Transformers Film Series.


Transformers Generation 1 and Transformers: The Movie (1986)

  • Where are all the rest of the Autobots (and by extension Decepticons)coming from if they didn't end up on the Ark.
  • How the scrap can regular humans physically match transformers in strength? Sparkplug was seen latching onto Ironhide to keep him from shooting Spike. In Auto-bop, a train-rider teared off a metal bar to smash the control panels, in the same episode; many humans were seen flipping Tracks aside with apparently little-to-no effort. In The Girl Who Loved Powerglide, the decepticons were seen struggling to hold Astoria in place, she also fended off Powerglide for a few seconds.
    • Ironhide probably didn't want to hurt Sparkplug. The rest are because it's a hastily-written toy commercial animated by the cheapest animation sweatshops Asia could provide.
  • Why did Starscream use a slingshot in episode 2 when has two frickin lasers on each side of his arm?

  • If Unicron is a "planet-eater", why are he and his prey so much smaller than any planet in the solar system? He's small enough to pick up Galvatron between his fingers in robot form. Or is Galvatron just the size of Great Britain?
    • Hammerspace change of scale, he's big enough to eat the moon, and he takes a big chunk out of Cybertron in another scene. Besides, just because he takes a while to rip it apart doesn't mean he won't finish it eventually.
    • Cybertron is shown in one episode to be a bit smaller than Earth's moon, and Unicron is a bit bigger than the moons of Cybertron, which are, proportionally to it, the same as our moon. So really, Galvy is only the size of a large building, not Great Britain. Hawaii, tops.
      • As it says in the Teletraan "Scale" entry, "Scale in Transformers is, not to put too fine a point on it, screwed.[...] Most fans agree that one must either ignore it or accept it, lest they be tempted to explain these problems and in the process Fanwank themselves into oblivion." In the animated series, the scale doesn't remain consistent during a scene. So, in other words, just skate over it.

  • This applies to pretty much every continuity... but the name Bonecrusher. Transformers don't have bones. And yet, it is one of the most common Transformer names.
    • The names we know are their English names, not their Cybertronian names, and use of those names off of Earth is obviously Translation Convention since we can't pronounce their real ones. Presumably the Bonecrushers took those names after meeting us organics; they're invariably decepticons, after all.
      • One Bonecrusher was not, a non-show Maximal... But as this was the series were they turned into animals the 'this is what I can do to the organics' analogy still applies.
    • "Framecrusher" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

  • Where does Optimus Prime's trailer go when he switches to robot mode?
    • There is one scene in the original animates series that shows Prime's trailer materializing out of Hammerspace. When the trailer appears it is accompanied by a glowing effect similar to a Star Trek transporter. This implies he keeps it in some kind of cosmic garage and then it teleports into position when he needs it.
    • That one was answered in the Mini-con series. It turns into a Ops Centre, or into his legs, should he go Super-Prime.
      • Wrong Optimus Prime. Armada, and late G1 after he becomes a Powermaster, yeah, that works. In the 2007 movie, he doesn't have one, in Energon it rolls off into the ditstance or goes into base mode and releases the drones, etc., etc. But this is about early G1.
      • In G1, it just rolls off and waits for him. If he wishes he can crack it open for a defense base with an ATV scout drone. He rarely uses it but it does come up as early as the first season
      • He puts it in Hammerspace.
      • Wherever the hell it wants!
      • That logic only holds up if Optimus is a 600 pound gorilla.
    • Yes, yes, the trailer disappears. I think that worrying about what happens to Optimus' trailer is kind of missing the point. The real question is where does the rest of Megatron go when he transforms from a robot of comparable size to Optimus Prime into a Walther P.38 (Even one big enough to be scale-correct to Starscream)?
      • The rest of his mass is turned into energy, in accordance with Special Relativity. Presumably, similar technology is used to allow Pretender shells to be human-sized.
      • Which raises the question: Why are they fighting over energy sources?
      • Because either the mass-into-energy thing is an "instinctive" process that cannot be harnessed for anything beyond cross-size transformation, Megatron is just that stupid, or energy produced that way is some form of energy that cannot be processed into energon, and as such is useless for their needs.
      • In the cartoon, the robots could turn practically any sort of power source into Energon. Crude oil, gas, geothermal, steam, even electricity from power lines could be easily transformed into it. They once even commented a conversion ratio for oil, it takes 1000 barrels to make an energon cube.
      • That raises further questions. Megatron's matter could be converted into energy and stored somehow, but his mass would remain the same, by mass-energy equivalence in relativity. So Starscream would be weilding a gun that weighed as much as a whole other Transformer.
      • That's not too much of a stretch as Transformers are shown to ve very strong and Starscream and others have been shown lifting other Transformers into the air in the past.
    • Here's a more scientific explanation.
    • This was actually Lampshaded in a Transformers Animated short. Turns out even Optimus doesn't know.

  • Why is it that vehicle modes are almost always realistic-looking disguises, but animal modes almost never are?
    • Probably because, before the Pretenders and '"Beast Wars'' era, Transformers had no way of or no use for imitating organic life. Think about it: they're living robots whose bad guys go after mostly technologically advanced civilizations for their myriad power sources. Why bother imitating something living like a cat that most likely couldn't even go near such devices when a tank or car would do?
    • In IDW's comics (Transformers Spotlight: Shockwave) The Dynobots actually used Beast Wars-style coverings on their bodies when they took their dinosaur forms, for the same reasons the Maximals and Predacons did. Later, when they wake up in modern times, they don't have the skin, and don't bother to replace it.
    • The "real world" reason is that because making brand new molds for transformers toys is extremely expensive (hence the endless parade of repaints and redecos), many of the earliest G1 toys are recycled from other transforming robot toy lines. The G1 Dinobots, for example, were originally created by Takara for their Diaclone toy line and were never originally intended to look like realistic dinosaurs.

  • Why in the hell can't the Transformers make their own energy? They seem incredibly adept at converting other, more crude forms of energy into Energon, so why can't they set up some solar windmills or something?
    • I'm not sure if this is what you're asking, but in the script for Transformers: The Movie, it's revealed that Autobot City is basically a massive energy-gathering operation, with wind turbines, solar panels, oil derricks etc. all over the shop.
      • I meant before they came to Earth. It's like they had no concept of "renewable resource" or "alternate power source" while on Cybertron. Not once did I ever recall them talking about looking into manufacturing their own Energon before coming to Earth. Then again, they seem to have awesome skill at converting other forms of energy into Energon, but again, they don't seem to bring this up.
      • I grew up watching G1, and I distinctly remember that the Autobots fled Cybertron to regroup after a massive decepticon attack. However, Megatron and a group of Decepticons attacked the Ark, causing it to crash-land on Earth where it lay dormant for several million years. This caused severe damage, and the batteries were considerably drained. Thus, the Transformers had to seek out alternate sources of power to recharge it and get back home. The Autobots did go for windmills and such; the Decepticons tried to steal energy from humans because they're dicks.
      • No, the Autobots left Cybertron to search for more energy. Cybertron was drained dry. And being a metal planet, that was designed as a factory and didn't seem to orbit a star it's possible they actually did not have renewable resources.
      • OK, here's what happened. The Autobots went to find some energy and the Decepticons followed. They got into a space fight and crash landed on Earth, where they lay dormant for about 4 million years. eventually, Teletraan was reactivated by a volcanic eruption, and revived Thundercracker. Thundercracker revived Megatron, and the two of them proceeded to revive the other Decpticons, who proceeded to steal lots of Earth's energy because they're dicks. Just before they did, Starscream fired a few farewell shots at the Ark, which knocked Optimus Prime into the path of the revival beam, bringing him back online. Optimus revived the rest of the Autobots, who went to stop the Decepticons from stealing the energy and gaining an advantage. They failed, and the Decepticons blasted off in a spaceship bound for Cybertron, but Mirage sneaked on and took advantage of a fight between Megatron and Starscream to make the Decepticon ship crash into the sea. As thanks for saving the world, the governments of Earth banded together and gave the Autobots the energy they needed. However, the Autobots seemed to remain on Earth to protect humans from Decepticon evilness. As for why the Decepticons didn't try to build their own power plants, Megatron indicated that the answer was time: it's much faster for them to steal energy from a human-built solar power plant that it is to make their own.
      • You forgot one thing. It was SKYWARP that was revived first.
    • In one episode, Grapple did build a solar power collectro with the help of Hoist and the Constructicons, but then Megatron took it over.

  • What ever happened to the Dinobots? They were cool.
    • A giant robot meteor.
    • Sure, if you listen to militant, atheistic tropologists. The straight dope is that they couldn't fit on The Ark.
      • I was under the impression that the dinosaurs made it on to the Ark.
      • Not that Ark, doof.

  • How come Transformers are primarily humanoid when Quintessons are squidoid?
    • In the G1 verse, humanoid aliens are fairly common, while the Quints are pretty much unique. Maybe they figured out that the humanoid shape was inherently more useful for labor, based on their own awkwardness with heavy lifting.
      • Yes, but given that the Quint society would naturally be oriented towards maximum convenience for squids, wouldn't squid-shaped robots be more logical?
      • Since the Quintessons created Transformers as labor-bots, it's possible that humanoid robots are just more efficient for that purpose. Those spindly tentacles don't seem particularly well suited to manual labor, in this Troper's opinion.
      • This troper is pretty sure that the Quintessons sold off their creations as well as keeping them on Cybertron to serve as slaves. The Quintessons (in this continuity, at least) are willing to give away technology of their creation in exchange for Energon (or whatever they use as money)- there's an episode where they reveal they have been selling weapons to both sides of an interplanetary war, and actively encouraging them to up the ante, which has the nice side effect of devastating the warring the planets so much that they need to buy non-military products from the Quintessons to survive (for example, one planet needs "plantobots", or mechanical plants, because their own ecology has been devastated). With this in mind, a humanoid form would make them most appealing to the consumer market.
    • Most of the robots mankind has made aren't shaped like humans, the ones built for labor take on a shape akin to whatever we think is most efficient for the job. The original Alt-modes may have been work shapes akin to industrial robots, with the humanoid mode primarily for mobility in bad conditions such as construction sites, as notably a humanoid form can handle pretty much any kind of terrain and pick up any kind of tool where more specialized shapes might have trouble.

  • When Rodimus Prime put Fortress Maximus in charge of the Autobots, why didn't he give Fortress the Matrix? Considering Scorponok had just blown up Cybertron, the Autobots could sure have used the accumulated wisdom.
    • What accumalated wisdom? The Matrix was discharged by Prime to take out the Hate Plague. It was explicitly referred to as empty.
    • In Japanese G1, the Matrix isn't a collection of accumulated wisdom so much as a really neat battery.

  • Why do the Decepticons have more combiners than the Autobots? The Autobots have the Aerialbots, Protectobots, Technobots, Trainbots, Brainmasters, Micromasters and one could probably count the Powered Masters. Compare the Decepticons, who have the Constructicons, Stunticons, Combaticons, Predacons, Terrorcons, Seacons, Dinoforce, Breastforce, and the numerous Duocons.
    • Probably goes back to that "Autobots = Labor-force, Decepticons = Military-force" backstory, which is usually pretty accepted. (Can't generalize in this fandom.) Decepticons have more combiner teams because Decepticons have always been more likely to need a giant-ass giant robot smashing stuff.
      • I always put it down to giving each side one advantage: the Decepticons have the brute force, the Autobots have the larger army. Seriously, look how many new Autobots sping up in Season 2 (Perceptor, Hoist, Grapple, Cosmos, Omega Supreme, Warpath, Powerglide, Skids, Tracks, Beachcomber, Seaspray, Blaster, Inferno, Red Alert and Smokescreen) compared to the Decepticons (Thrust, Dirge, Ramjet, Blitzwing and Astrotrain. And let's not get into each side's respective Combiners). Also note that Blitzwing and Astrotrain were the first Triple Changers. Again, it does tie into the post above but it comes down to compensation in some respects.
    • The Autobots have OMEGA SUPREME.
      • Who was originally a Dark Guardian Robot, built by the Quintessons to maintain order with their slaves. After the Dark Guardians were neutralized and the Quints chased off, they were reprogrammed into Guardian Robots by the Autobots. Omega Supreme was a unique case of a Guardian who became sentient.
    • You listed "Micromasters" like it's one combiner team. Sixliner, Sixtrain, Sixturbo, Sixwing, and Sixbuilder would probably be interested to learn that they are all the same guy.

  • Who would win in a fight between Devil Z and Violen Jiger?
    • More importantly, who can find two separate people who agree on how to spell "Violen Jiger/Violin Juggler/Violent Joker"?
      • Oh, you mean Villain Jogger?
    • Violenjaeger. He has hands.

  • How come Overlord stands head and shoulders above Super Ginrai, but is the same size as God Ginrai?
    • Person, if scale bugs you about Transformers, it's probably not the right series for you.
    • God Ginrai is Super Ginrai combined with Godbomber. It's only natural that this would make him bigger.

  • Why did the Quintessons construct machines that get drunk on their sole means of power?
    • Drunk on too much of their sole means of power.
    • It's a failsafe in case their robots ever decide to jack up their power and rise against their masters.
      • Didn't do them much good in the long run though, did it?
    • It's just like any other machine overcharging with energy, an excessive charge does them wrong.
    • Maybe the Quintessons got bored and happen to be of the opinion that drunk robots are funny?

  • Why didn't Astrotrain attempt to declare himself leader of the Decepticons? The episodes "The God Gambit" and "Triple Takeover" clearly establish that he is very interested in being Decepticon leader, and after Megatron was jettisonned, it would have been easy for him to refuse to bring the surviving Decepticons back to Cybertron unless they acknowledged him as supreme leader.
    • Well, the Decepticons can all fly, can't they? If Astrotrain didn't wanna take them back, it'd be less of "Okay, now you're stranded in space until I say so," and more of "Okay, so we walk."
      • He was probably trying to amass enough power to deal with Starscream first. I mean, ask anybody what they would do if they became leader of the Decepticons, and nine-point-seven times out of ten the first answer given is "Kill Starscream."
      • Actually it's best to kill Starscream BEFORE taking the power. Answering the original question, I'd won't claim leadership while having Starscream INSIDE my body. It's not like I can do much to him, while he can rearrange my interiors.
      • "The God Gambit" establishes that only some Transformers can fly interplanetary distances - Starscream and Dirge need Astrotrain, while Perceptor and Jazz need Omega Supreme. Thus, it may be concluded that the only Transformers capable of flying interplanetary distances under their own power are Astrotrain, Blastoff, Omega Supreme, Skyfire, and Cosmos. ("Countdown to Destruction" doesn't count, because Cybertron was very close to Earth in that episode).
      • Um...if that was true, then why did "Fire in the Sky" clearly establish that both Skyfire and Starscream could travel the distance needed between Earth and Cybertron millions of years in the past? In Starscream's own recollection of those events, we clearly see him flying alongside Skyfire across the cosmos and into Earth's atmosphere.
      • Simple - different alt-mode. Would you expect an F-15 to be able to travel those distances, no matter that it's a robot under other circumstances? Cybertronian flying whatevers - that's a different matter.
      • Well, if you want to be anal the animation model for that scene has Starscrem in his Earth Altmode. But regardless of 'Screamer being a Trijet-thing or an F-15 the answer has already been posed. It's a question of speed and effort. Sure, Decepticons can fly but why walk when you can catch the (Astro)train?
    • Astrotrain just likes to dick with people, but after the afformentioned episodes realized actually being in charge of these lunatics would be more trouble than its worth.

  • There was a time Unicron considered sparing Galvatron's pitiful planet. Why the slag would Unicron ever consider sparing Primus, who is locked within Cybertron?
    • Because the Movie takes place in the G1 Animated continuity, which didn't have Primus; the TF were made by the Quintessons, and Unicron was made by a monkey. To all involved (including Unicron), Cybertron was just the home planet of the TF, and not the physical embodiment of Primus. Devil but No God, indeed.
    • For a Watsonian explanation: He's evil. He was lying.
    • From the POV of the current canon of a single Unicron and a single Primus across the multiverse, we may consider the release dates rather than the given dates (unless it's treated as a "future timeline" of a current timeline, like the future UK stories). I mean, Transformers: The Movie was in 1986, but Unicron didn't know Cybertron was Primus' new form because he couldn't trace the dormant Primus, and there's enough worlds of Transformers (Junk, Paradron, etc) to avert him from doing the math. Primus awoke in the Transformers Marvel universe in 1989, and then Unicron traced the awakened Primus noticed that Cybertron was Primus. The Watsonian explanation is a good one too.

  • Why in the name of Cybertron was Cyclonus so stupidly loyal to Galvatron? Skywarp wasn't especially loyal by Decepticon standards (his lack of smarts, however, is something worth noting), while Bombshell was so independent that he and his Insecticons were technically "allies" of Megatron's forces rather than being true Decepticons- and he was willing to try and steal leadership away from Megatron if he could get away with it. Not to mention the fact that, as Webworld makes perfectly clear, Galvatron is just as much a danger to his troops as the Autobots are, if not more so. Which leads to this troper's next gripe...
    • Uncironian reprogramming. Minions are no good if they fight amongst themselves, after all.
      • Then explain why the Sweeps and Scourge aren't that fanatic? Webworld has one of them declaring they should just let Galvatron fight the Autobots alone, and Scourge once tried to take command by stealing the Matrix of Leadership for himself.
      • The matrix IS why. Scourge has a matrix affinity. Since the Matrix is of Primus, this gives him a measure of protection against Unicronian influence, the same way being a person with great faith in Christianity is often a protection of some small measure against satanic influence. Not enough to stop MUCH, but enough to keep the blind loyalty from sticking.
      • But Primus doesn't exist in this continuity! Unless you want to call the renegade Quintesson who helped the Transformers rebel against his kind that. The Matrix is a kind of datalog containing the collected memories of every Autobot who's ever possessed it, while Unicron is explictly stated to be a giant, extra-advanced transforming robot. Beyond which, explain the Sweeps being immune- while the Skywarp/Bombshell identity for Cyclonus is debated, it's a fact that Thundercracker became Scourge, while the Sweeps were transformed from Shrapnel and Kickback, the other two Insecticons.
      • Primus was retconned into this continuity. The Matrix is still an anti-Unicron thing. G1 Scourge might simply have been trying to keep it out of Galvatron's hands for his leader's own good. It certainly wasn't helping Galvatron any.
      • And, as Scourge's melting made clear, it had a bit of a Toxic Phlebotinum effect on the bodies of those who were of Unicronican manufacture.

  • Why did the Decepticons put up with Galvatron after Unicron was destroyed? It's made pretty clear that they all think he's nuts, and he's unpopular even by Decepticon standards. Now, while he's still pretty powerful, he can't tap into Unicron's energy reserves any more, and the Decepticons number, what, a couple of dozen soldiers? Including at least three gestalts (Menasor, Devastator, Bruticus) and a city-changer (Trypticon)? In a society where force is the usual means of expressing dislike, why did they not band together to drive him out of their meagre territory once it became clear he had barely one screw out of ten remaining?
    • Because, with Starscream gone there's no heir apparent who'd win hands-down before too much infighting happened. Once they lost Cybertron, they all knew that they lacked the resources to have a full-on multiparty Decepticon civil war, and still survive the Autobots, so they stuck with Galvatron hoping that eventually they'd garner enough energon to be able to overthrow him without dooming the cause.
      • Precisely. Galvatron, while mad, only destroyed the Sweeps, who everyone else saw as expendable. And think of how much power it takes for the Combiners to operate in combined form. Not to mention the fact that when combined they're morons. Galvatron, bonkers though he was, was still intelligent. The Decepticons needed a leader who had intelligence and was capable of withstanding the Dinobots at the same time. If you want a real-world reason, Galvatron's toy was still selling.
    • You want him gone? You tell him. I'll just watch from inside this nice safe concrete bunker.

  • So Braver invents a device that can detect Decepticon brainwaves, and when the polarity is reversed, causes them agony. What effect would this have on characters like Skyfire, Octane, or Cancer, who start off as Decepticons but later defect to the Autobot side?
    • First, Skyfire started off as a neutral. Second, it seems to depend on which faction a character is in at the time. Those symbols are more than for IFF reasons.
    • Cancer's a human.

  • Okay, so what was going on on Cybertron during that 4 million year gap? When Megatron contacted Shockwave to make the sky bridge he acted like Megatron was gone for only a week tops.
    • From what I've heard, Megatron instructed Shockwave to keep Cybertron just as Megs left it. Shockwave apparently takes his orders literally.
    • Also, remember that the expedition left in the first place because they were running out of energon. According to at least one source, the entire planet went into power-conserving sleep mode comparatively soon after the Arc and Nemesis left, so not much time had passed, as far as Shockwave was concerned, since he'd slept through most of it.

  • He knows there probably is a reason for it but it still bugs this Troper that Snarl gets disregarded in the movie (my personal favourite of the Dinobots) and that there is no mention of Chip Chase. Granted, he probably became more of a liability in the years following but would it have killed the writers to include a line or two about his whereabouts?
    • It bugged this Troper more that Carly didn't even get a mention, you know given that whole "Daniel" thing.
      • What about Bluestreak? Sideswipe? Trailbreaker? Gears? Any of the second-season Autobots aside from Blaster and Perceptor? Chip and Carly are hardly unique in their mysterious absence.
    • The script and animation for the movie were made right after S2 began production. Originally, the idea was for S2 to introduce the matrix, autobot city, and other movie things. Instead, they introduced a lot of new toys.

  • Here's a plothole (I know that without it, there would be no Decepticons for the Autobots to fight and no big conflict): in the pilot, Sky Spy/Teletraan I repairs the Decepticons after four million years in stasis. Now it's part of an Autobot ship, shouldn't it be able to detect the Decepticon symbol and not repair them? And another thing: they get repaired first!
    • It just indiscriminately repairs anyone who happens to be under the repair beam. By coincidence, that happened to be Skywarp, who of course had every reason to get the other Decepticons up and running, and no reason to do the same for the Autobots.
      • Yup. Generation 1 seemed to have all of the Cybertronian computers that weren't actually Transformers as "dumb" AIs. It could figure out enough to say "Hey, my occupants are screwed up, better initiate disguise and repair protocols" but not enough to go "Hey wait a minute, this occupant wasn't on my roster and his symbol is purple, I better slag his big square butt instead of repairing it". Later franchises, like Beast Wars, had even the Transformers' personal, on-board computers as being smarter.

Unicron Trilogy

  • In Energon, it is established that Energon Mist is lethal to Autobots but has no effect on Decepticons. Why would the Autobots have such a weakness? Also, would this status persist if a member of either side made a Face-Heel Turn or Heel-Face Turn? What about the Omnicons and Minicons? What about if a Decepticon spark ended up in an Autobot body, or vice versa? (I know all of those things happened over the course of the series, but the Energon Mist question was never explored). Also, would the Dinobots be affected?
    • I don't remember exactly what the context was when this was established, but I'd imagine it had something to do with the Terrorcons and/or energon refinement (remember that Terrorcons and Omnicons produce different energon that seems to work different ways). I'm not sure why the Dinobots would be special in this regard.
    • Well normal Decepticons are vulnerably, except those that have been upgraded with super energon. So you see the likes of Galvatron and Super Starscream about unscathed but you don't see demolisher or any of them in the cloud.

  • Where did the Mini-Cons' power go in Energon and Cybertron? The toys can still powerlink, but that's a combination of leaving the gimmick and reusing a number of toy models from Armada. None of the in-show characters use Mini-Con powerups, even when it would be a big help in defeating Unicron and the Decepticons.
    • Most of Unicron's power was gone, and remember that he was the SOURCE of the Mini-Cons' power. Also, the Cybertron Mini-Cons were not of Unicronian origin to be able to tap his power to begin with. Not to mention that most of Cybertron's toys don't powerlink and it's not a functional sequel to Energon. Plus, remember the Mini-Con Independence thing?

  • Why can't Aaron Archer grasp the fact that Cybertron doesn't work as a sequel to Energon? Even without it being a sequel, it can still be part of the Unicron Trilogy by dint of Unicron being the source of the problem. A trilogy doesn't have to have the second and/or third members be sequels. The three stories must simply relate somehow.
    • Why Aaron Archer in particular?
    • Who the hell is Aaron Archer?
    • See here.

  • Why the hell did they pull it from broadcast TV after the Wham Episode of ep. 26 that had a Cliffhanger ending?

  • Why wasn't "Scorponok's Scars" dubbed?

General

  • Why do Transformers have genders and romance? And why are there so few female Transformers?
    • The second is, presumably, a combination of the first and the Merchandise-Driven aspect making it harder to "push" female characters.... Plus, it's easier to make a giant robot that doesn't look distinctly feminine than one that does. That said, it's easier to just shrug off as a coincidence than to explain.
    • The Marvel G1 comic explains that Transformers are in fact genderless, what with being robots and all. However, on Earth, they came under criticism from Straw Feminist women for not having any females on their team. Since the feminists were too irrational to accept that a robotic, non-biological race didn't actually have males either, the Autobots built Arcee in a very stereotypically feminine manner to shut them up. Unfortunately, that just made things worse.
      • For that matter, why is it that "no gender" translates to "no girls"? Why haven't we had any genderless female-shaped characters?
      • The question is "Why do people assume everything not quite human enough to recognize gender is a male?" People would react to Samus the same way if they didn't know she was a girl. Of course, there's also the question of why the cartoon gave them clearly male voices.
      • No gender means "no girls" and "no boys". Technicaly Optimus, Ratchet, Bumblebee and the others are not more male than they are female, we identify they as male because we are socialy conditioned to asign masculine gender to everything that's not explicitly female. But the secondary sexual characteristics we use to identify a character as girl (including voice pitch) are inaplicable to most of earth species (I'm pretty sure you can't find anything specialy "femenine" in, for example, a female crab) let alone to a race of alien giant transforming robots, only vagely humanoid. So a robot with breasts, hourglass figure, some contraption in the head imitating hairdo, and a higher pitch voice, makes little sense, but the Autobots decided to make Arcee this way to meet our preconceptions, only they overdid it. Maybe a little less pink would have helped, but in fairness I think it would be very hard to make something that is naturaly genderless look "femenine" without it looking "stereotypical femenine". Sometimes you just can't win.
      • To be fair, the transformers are mostly warriors, so that's another reason to view them as male. Then again, I am not sure using stereotypical gender roles is much better than defaulting to male when anthropomorphizing genderless alien beings.
    • In the IDW comic, Jhiaxus introduced gender to the Transformers just to see what would happen. The real question here is "how did the Transformers know that Arcee was female"?
      • Kup had enough experience with organic species to figure it out, according to the More Than Meets the Eye character profiles.
      • They didn't. What happened was that the introduction of gender caused the others to sense a difference about her and use female pronouns due to it.
    • in the G1 cartoon continuity the Transformers were originally created by the Quintessons as a slave race and were bought and sold on the interstellar market until they rebelled. The Decepticons were created to be disposable soldiers while the Autobots were marketed as laborers and domestic servants. One imagines that there might be a niche market for female robot slaves among the giant humanoid demographic, particularly if they're anatomically correct under their exterior plating.
      • I don't know about you, but anatomically correct giant metal genitals would be a bit of a Squick to me.
      • Alternatively, they might be for marketing to female-dominated species, who would prefer to have their robotic servants look more like them than the inferior male sex.
      • How do you know a robot that looks like a human female would look like their females?
      • Because when we see other organic species, they're almost all Human Aliens?
      • Or to species with gender distinctions such that they feel more comfortable having different-gendered robots doing different kinds of work.
    • The answer to the romance part of the question, however, is very simple. Transformers have a human-like range of emotions in every other area, there's no reason they shouldn't develop loving emotional attachments to each other. Physical intimacy (kissing, cuddling, etc.) is seen in nonsexual human relationships all the time, so Transformers would theoretically also have the desire for contact with those that they are emotionally close to. This may lead in to purely physical attraction, which combines the need for close contact and intimacy with appreciation of certain aesthetic types.
      • Which, of course, leads into the matter of Transformer "sexuality". Bar one, all on-screen romance is between males and females. Given the existence of Transformer romance and given that nearly all of them are male, it's reasonable to assume that numerous male/male romantic relationships exist and are just delicately skipped over by the censors.
      • ^Yaoi Fangirls! You could already know one! They could be on our jobs, our schools, even on your very street! [/joke]

  • How come in numerous Transformers stories, whenever Starscream tries to usurp Megatron (or, at least, it's the main plot of the episode) Optimus and the other Autobots help Megatron rather than whoever Starscream's teamed up with? The whole "Enemy Mine" thing works pretty much the same with Starscream, not to mention that Decepticons under the control of a Starscream would be much, much less organised and successful than ones under the control of a Megatron. America has done this in countries in real life.
    • Megatron may be a brutal tyrant but at least he has standards. Starscream's sole purpose is the aggrandizement of Starscream and he doesn't care what crimes he has to commit to elevate his stature. If he ever gains control of the Decepticons there will be nothing to stop him from turning his maniac ambition on the Autobots and the rest of the universe; when that happens he's likely to engage in war crimes that Megatron wouldn't even contemplate.
      • Uh, yeah, but have any Decepticons actually performed well under a (classic type, not emo type) Starscream? They ignore him in Animated, betray him in Beast Wars, and I get the feeling the kind of guy who blows up the trumpets celebrating his own coronation isn't going to be too popular.
    • Starscream seems to have a knack for getting control of artifacts like the Underbase or Warworld, after which he starts killing his enemies by the dozen.
    • If the Autobots take Megatron's side, he'll be shooting at Starscream and not them. If they take Starscream's side, he's likely to stab them in the back first chance he gets. Starscream's a dangerous foe, but he's even more dangerous as an ally.
    • In the G1 cartoon at least, the Autobots didn't care about internal Decepticon power struggles. In "Triple Takeover", Optimus tells Megatron in no uncertain terms that he's irrelevant now that he's no longer in charge, and only Blitzwing and Astrotrain are worth focusing on. In "Starscream's Brigade", the Autobots take advantage of Decepticon disorganisation to rescue Wheeljack, but don't interfere one way or the other with Starscream's insurrection.
      • Realize Prime was saying that in "Triple Takeover" specifically to piss Megatron off so he'd go after his wayward soldiers instead of the Autobots, who were busy cleaning up the mess the flooding from Astrotrain's errant train-minions had caused.
    • Just because Starscream-led Decepticons wouldn't be very successful doesn't mean they wouldn't still be dangerous.
      • Or more dangerous. Even G1 implied that Starscream, while having a bad sense of timing and not a lot of guts, was pretty scary smart. He was a scientist before he was a Decepticon, and at one point built an entire combiner team all by himself, a task that it took a bunch of Autobots (including one who specialized in rebuilding Transformers) to replicate. Megatron's a schemer, but lying underneath the veneer of that is a big dumb brute, essentially. Megatron's power and ruthlessness is scary, Starscream's brain is.
  • The multiversal hub Axiom Nexus has a law stating that there are to be no Optimuses and no Megatrons. Axiom Nexus has its own Optimus, and its own Megatron. Why has it not banished those two yet, if it has seen the kind of problems the inevitable conflict between them will cause?
    • Because the TransTechs are a bunch of pretentious hypocrites.
    • This law comes from the same live script reading in which Beast Wars Megatron is apparently aware of what characters share his voice actor. In a previous script reading, he opened fire on a member of the audience. Details given therein should probably not be taken too seriously.

  • Why do transformers have siblings? We've seen more twins than you can shake a stick at, and Movie Optimus claims to be the brother of Movie Megatron, not to mention Rattrap claiming to be a grandchild of a sibling of Arcee. But their bodies can't be siblings really; they're manufactured. Their sparks can't be siblings, they all break off from Primus or from the Matrix or Allspark or whatever they're using in any given continuity stream. So, how are there siblings?
    • In the case of siblings, it could be something to do with the time the sparks split off or something. Descendants, could be their robot mode was based on the ancestor's design in some way. Movieverse, perhaps Prime and Megatron were produced in the same construction facility or something like that. This is all pure Fan Wank, you understand.
    • OK, here's the TF Wiki's take: Twins are a split Spark. Brothers and other family relationships...well...I hope you can make sense of this, because...
    • It could be more of a social relationship than anything genetic. If Transformers have to go through a training/adjustment/growing period right after coming to life, it'd make sense that whoever 'raised' them would be their parents, while whoever was raised alongside of them would be considered siblings. In the case of Rattrap, "my great-Aunt Arcee" could be like the short hand version of "Acree, my teacher's teacher's best friend that he/she grew up with".
    • In the Ri D series, 'brothers' were transformers who were formed at the same time.

  • Why is Shia Le Bouf given little to no recognition? It's Megan Fox that's given all the publicity. I saw a calendar the other day of nothing but Megan Fox's appearances in Transformers. Somehow I think they should have just hired Angelina Jolie and gotten it over with...
    • Cuz the target audience for the Transformers films is males, and Megan Fox appeals to males a hell of a lot more than Shia does. (Well, most males anyway)
      • But that presupposes that only males like Transformers. There are an awful lot of girls who would rather have Shia than Megan, with a few exceptions. You would think they would cover their bases and concentrate on both on the sex appeal front.
      • Or those of us who'd rather have, you know, the damn robots the films are named for!
      • The majority of Transformers fans are non-gay boys and young men. Any increase in sales Hasbro might experience by having Shia in the calendar would not compensate for the loss in sales caused by the same thing.
      • Actually, Revenge of the Fallen had a higher female audience at the box office than expected. Some reports put it around 60-40%. Of course, how many are part of the fanbase that buy merch might be a different matter. Plus, they could just make two calenders...
      • To be honest, if they wanted to try the sex appeal angle on the ladies, they'd probably have better luck focusing on Josh Duhamel based on some of the reactions I've come across, so I'm still not sure Shia would win out in that regard.

  • Why do Transformer spaceships have air locks? I was watching Transformers Animated and I noticed all of the spaceships they used had air locks. This doesn't seem all that useful if they don't have to breathe and have been shown to be able to travel through space with no ill effects.
    • Best guess? Decompression. Whatever planet they're on is likely to have a different atmosphere than the one they were on previously, so an airlock would be perfect for swapping out atmospheres beforehand.
    • Second best guess: shooting through one door to break in VS breaking through more doors. Stalling for time against invaders.
    • Third here: If there wasn't an airlock, then it would have the same reaction as an airplane I would guess. With the change in pressure, it would send everything not bolted down into the empty, vacuum of space. While it wouldn't kill them, it would be annoying at least and catastrophic at most; as a transformer could get lost forever in space. Or I could just not know how spaceships work.

  • Why is there IDW comics stuff in the Generation 1 entries? It isn't more G1 than the Unicron Trilogy, the live-action movies and Transformers Animated; all those series replicate the same characters and throw some G1 references into the mix. There's even a few name re-uses as different characters in all of them (Red Alert in the UT, Galvatron in IDW, Scorponok in the 1st movie, Skids in ROTF, Ironhide in Animated, just to name a few). The Dreamwave comic was a modern G1 continuity, Transformers: Wings of Honor is in a G1 continuity (and even then, it has its own entry), Transformers Victory, Beast Wars and others are part of G1 and have their own entries due to complexity. Why Transformers IDW doesn't have its own Main and Characters entries? I admit I'm kind of a Gee-Wun and despise most of IDW material, but I really think IDW can't be considered G1 even if you like it.
    • Its G1 because its part of the Primax univeral stream, with story attempting to retell G1 from another universe. If we took it out, we'd have to take Dreamwave out into its own article too.
      • Dreamwave was trying to retell G1, IDW isn't, is just another TF universe like any other. However, if it has already been defined as a Primax universe, it means that it's Word of God from Hasbro, I must accept it and there's nothing to do in the page. Now what bugs me is why Hasbro considers IDW as a version of G1 when clearly isn't.
      • The thing is, IDW is trying to retell G1, just more complex and such. Word of Furman is that IDW is to his Marvel comics as Ultimate Marvel is to Classic Marvel. Since Furman did the starting-out writing setting up the universe, any other explanation besides his own word is surplus to requirements.
    • But several other series have also been Ultimate Universe -like retellings of G1, re-using characters and elements with different plot twists. What makes IDW different to the rest?
    • The answer, as you've surely seen from responses, is that Transformers fandom overwhelmingly disagrees with you about being unable to think of IDW's stuff as G1.

  • How come none of the Transformers can transform? Seriously. Also, I'm not insane. By "transform", I mean "able to shift its parts around to plausibly change from shape A to B". Barring the toys, and possibly the Bay films, virtually none of the Transformers possess this ability; their animation models are utterly untrasformable. There's always (in)explicable morphing, parts vanishing, other parts appearing, not to mention they can somehow produce passenger seats and the entire human-purpose interior from their robot guts. It is most commonly attributed to "subspace", but it's such a lazy explanation. I understand the limits of the medium, and that designing a true Transformer is no easy task. But sometimes the two forms are so different, you wouldn't be able to tell they were supposed to be the same thing if they weren't painted in matching colours. Usually the artist is just content to place a few visual cues (i.e. kibble) on the robot and call it a day. At times not even that. Why is so little importance placed on the idea that's seemingly central to the premise? It bugs me so.
    • This problem seems to be more of a Western Animation thing. The anime series' in the 2000s "era" were pretty good about staying on model, even after they switched the robotic characters from straight anime to CGI in Energon/Superlink.
      • This has nothing to do with staying on model and everything to do with the character model itself not actually being able to plausibly transform.
    • The old Diaclone and Micromaster leftovers that the characters are based on are, when you look at them, actually pretty funny-looking, and in some cases just plain ugly. The reduced kibble and implausible transformation is the price paid for making the robot modes more aesthetically appealing. Later series are much better about this.
      • Pretty much. The main reason is simply that the actual toy models wouldn't make attractive characters in motion. Technology has improved greatly since then, so they can actually make toys that would look good in motion (or have motion, for that matter).

  • The Fallen's pre-Fall name is Megatronus Prime. Okay, makes a sick sort of sense. But he's a Multiversal Singularity, meaning that he exists in the past of every continuity, and in every continuity, that was his name. The Megatrons we know by that name therefore all obviously were named after him. Okay, in some cases, that makes sense- in several continuities, he's explicitly stated to have taken that name himself as a symbol of his rebellion against authority. But what about the continuities like the movies, where that's the name he was sparked with? Why in Primus' name would his protoform-batch-initiators in the movies, presumably the same protoform-batch-initiators that raised Movie Optimus, name their sparkling after Robo-Lucifer?
    • correct me if I'm wrong, but, at least in the movie!verse, it is stated that no one(or bot) remembers The Fallen's origional name, not even himself. So it stands to reason that the context behind the name has fallen to the side, no pun intended.

  • I get Sentinel and Megatron's plan to enslave humanity and use them to rebuild Cybertron. But what about Megatron and the Fallen in the second film? They were perfectly willing to blow up the Solar System, which would also kill Sentinel and destroy the pillars. How do those two plans come together? The third film shows that the Decepticons were planning on having the Autobots wake up Sentinel for decades.
    • They don't come together. They're two different plans. What probably happened was: Meeting up with Sentinel was Plan A, which was discarded when the Ark had crashed and it appeared Sentinel was dead; Plan B was to get the Allspark, which was discarded when that was destroyed. Plan C, for Megatron, at least, was the sun crusher, which was discarded when that was destroyed...but in the process, Megatron saw that the Matrix of Leadership could bring Cybertronians back from the dead, which meant Plan A was back on if they could get Optimus to revive Sentinel.
      • Except that Plan A was in the process since 1961, when the Ark first crashed on the Moon. Shockwave and Razorbeak have been killing and manipulating people for decades. Besides, how exactly was extra energy gonna restore a planet devastated by millennia of warfare (this is Plan C)?
      • Remember what Starscream says at the beginning of ROTF: Without a source of energon, the hatchlings die. So, Energon => Hatchlings live => More population => More cybertronians to rebuild cybertron.
      • I imagine the original overall plan was to capture the Allspark, back-stab and kill Sentinel Prime after the space bridge was used, then call in The Fallen to use the Sun Harvester. Megatron just adapted the plan based on what he knew was possible at the time.
    • Also, a possibility is that if the Fallen plan went ahead, they wouldn't need slaves, because they'd have a buttload of energon, making drone-labor and other energy-intensive labor-light methods feasible. Thus, he had both the slave plan and the energon plan running at the same time, but tried to complete the energon plan first for speciesist reasons (no need for fleshlings in that plan). When the harvester's destruction eliminated the possibility, he had the slave plan running in the background to fall back on.

  • In ROTF, the heroes specifically stated that they needed to find a Decepticon to translate the symbols in Sam's head. So why the Oh, Crap when they noticed Jetfire's insignia? What were they expecting, the tooth fairy?
    • They'd already gotten a Decepticon to look at the symbols. Wheelie told them that they would need a Seeker, who weren't always Decepticons.

  • So, each of the original thirteen Transformers is apparently supposed to represent a different aspect of the race. What aspects are Vector Prime and Alpha Trion supposed to represent?
    • No, not aspects of the race, fundamental laws and forces of the universe. For example, the Fallen was entropy (which gave him the destructive nature that lead to his fall). Vector Prime was explicitly Time, and Alpha Trion is... uh.... the elderly?
      • I think Alpha Trion is Fate, given that growing old is a fate all must eventually face (and his Super Special Artifact is a quill that can change fate).

  • The pretenders, at least in the comics. What is the point of hiding their mechanical nature when they're still building sized and some look like monsters? Sure, some add extra protection and work as extra pair of hands but also have the downside of feeling the damage done to the shell two-fold. Bumblebee nearly died from the shock when his shell was destroyed and Starscreen went into a shock when his shell got shot
    • My understanding was that it wasn't just a little extra protection, the pretender shells made them much tougher. Second, calling Transformers "building sized" is a slight exaggeration... not your fault, a lot of the comic covers do it, and scale is always a problem as we know. The bad guys have monster-y looking ones because they're supposed to be intimidating. Also, in the Transformers universe, there are plenty of biological lifeforms out there too... some might be Transformer-sized, so a Pretender shell would let you blend in with them. The main reason, though, is that even the comics exist to sell toys, and they told Furman and the rest "Put in Pretenders."

  • The headmasters origin story in the comics. "To show our good will, let us detach our own heads and give them to you".

  • Why isn't Unicron generally voiced by Maurice LaMarche? His Orson Welles is perfect!
    • Because they're casting the voice for Unicron, not for Orson Welles.
    • It's not like there isn't some precedence, though. I'm thinking of Animated, where Tom Kenny does basically a pitch-perfect Chris Latta (just less screechy), while Jeff Bennett rocked an uncanny Robert Stack impression.

  • Are the Transformers really robots? All the material seems to point to them as un-programmed (or programmed by Primus, a deity which doesn't seem to give orders), autonomous, naturally intelligent mechanical beings. Would cyborg be more accuate?
    • ...no. Cyborgs, by definition, have organic parts. The characters in Beast Wars were, Pretenders might be depending on what their shells are actually made from, but the vast majority of Transformers, who aren't specifically modified with organic parts, are not cyborgs. ("Robot" is a poor choice of word for the reasons you state, but until we encounter sapient free-willed mechanical life, human languages are unlikely to develop decent translations for the Cybertronian word for "person".)
      • Not quite accurate on the Beast Wars front; the inital beast forms, from what the animations suggest, were a faux skin similar to Pretender shells. Transmetals aren't quite cyborgs, either; they have organic robot modes, but robotic beast modes, not both at the same time. The only cyborg in Beast Wars was Transmetal-II Cheetor, from what I remember.

Merchandise

  • Regarding a Powercore Combiner drone: the Aerialbot / Protectobot Fighter Jet becomes a leg easily enough. But why does the whole cockpit / nosecone assembly need an entire hinge to itslef? No Commander figure's torso mode has a knee that protrudes out so far that it would be a problem; so what's the deal?
    • As one of the earliest molds in the line, the jet was probably one of the first few to be sculpted—perhaps before it was known what toys would exist later in the line and what their knees would look like. Alternatively, it could be for safety reasons.

Titanic: The Legend Goes OnHeadscratchers/FilmWe Are the Strange
Totally Spies!Headscratchers/Western AnimationTransformers Generation 1

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