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Headscratchers: Transformers Generation 1
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Alternate explanation: if you're a hamburger-eater, how come you're so much smaller than a cow?
      • Because we don't eat the entire cow in one sitting each meal, whereas Unicron has been shown to eat a planet in one sitting each meal? Unless you do eat an entire cow per meal, in which case you need to go on a diet.
  • Where does Optimus Prime's trailer go when he switches to robot mode?
    • 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!
    • 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.
      • 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.

  • 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?
      • Given how G1 transformers sometimes refer in passing to robotic version of animals, it's possible they're not really mimicking organic life at all, but mechanical Cybertronian life forms that resemble Earth species via convergent evolution. That could also explain how Ravage and Laserbeak could have their animal-like anatomy prior to their arrival on Earth.
    • 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 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.
    • Tobacco [1]
    • They died. It's shown in one episode of the cartoon, where they were fighting Devestator and both he and the Dinobots fell into some lava.
  • 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.
      • Heck, appealing to the maximum range of potential markets might be the reason they are Transformers. Mode-conversion technology might've been something the Quintessons came up with to adapt their products to clients' needs, and vehicular modes were a side effect of that.
      • Given the Quints' general dickishness, it's also possible they'd once kept organic humanoids as slaves, before their robotic technology grew sophisticated enough to replace those with proto-Transformers. They copied the humanoid anatomy of their non-mechanical slaves when they started building them rather than breeding or capturing them, because it'd become a tradition to keep bipeds as servants.
  • 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.
    • I'm not even sure what the original question in referring to. When did any of those things happen?
  • 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.
  • 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"?
  • 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.
    • 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 Jazz and Cliffjumper, but don't interfere one way or the other with Starscream's insurrection.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...
    • Unicronian 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.
  • 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.
      • Remember also that Galvatron's not even with them at the beginning of the post-movie season - they don't even know he's alive, much less completely out of his mind until they find him in Part 2, and Cyclonus wasn't going to leave him there, consequences be damned.
    • It's also worth noting that the Decepticons do do this, or at least tell Cyclonus to fix the problem - this is the plot of "Webworld."
  • If the Autobots are so much as planning to take a squat or a nap, odds are, Laserbeak is above, relaying the news to his masters. You'd think checking for this beaky Con would be high on the Autobots' to-do list. I know it serves a need, but it is just such a huge Idiot Ball.
    • Do they even know about Laserbeak? Maybe they think Megatron's using satellites or something. Alternatively, they are utter shit at military strategy and survive by sheer luck and the will of Primus alone.
    • A fact even they own up to, especially in S1. But they do know about Laserbeak—he's blasting them often enough. Also, they do on occasion catch him in the act, so not checking for him or Soundwave seems dangerous. In fact, it often seems like Soundwave's cassette squadron is a more effective fighting force per action than the Jets or even the Combiners. This troper would love a Megs statue posed in front of the Decepticon symbol w/Laserbeak alighting on his arm, ala the Golden Age Superman pose w/Flag&Eagle.
      • They do that a lot in the comics. Lazerbeak is like the badge of command, whoever's in charge he'll perch on their shoulder. Other people pass the torch, Decepticons pass the 'Beak.

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