Creator Breakdown: Bob Budiansky (see above) suffered from stress due to trying to constantly shove in new toys, which led to him leaving the comic. He has since said that he has no intention of working on Transformers again, though that doesn't mean he wouldn't say "no" if Hasbro asked him. His only post-Marvel Transformers work was IDW's faithful adaptation of the animated movie, which was less stress-inducing for obvious reasons.
Nightbeat, a C-list character whom Furman brought to the forefront by making him a Film Noir-style Hardboiled Detective. In the current IDW-universe that Furman is helping to write, he killed Nightbeat off fairly early on so fans can know that Anyone Can Die, even his own favorite character. He did something similar in the G2 comics, killing off Nightbeat as a self-inflicted Player Punch.
Executive Meddling: The reason female Transformers didn't appear from the very start (aside from Marvel's adaptation of the animated movie and Arcee's appearances in UK-exclusive stories). Budiansky was ready, willing and able (Ratchet was even a candidate for an early female character), but the Hasbro execs thought there shouldn't be girls among "toys for boys" in a comic book "for boys" (human female characters were obviously exempt from this reasoning).
When it comes to reissues of the series, people want readers to forget Spider-Man was in issue 3. The Savage Land is also prominently featured as the resting place of Shockwave and the Dinobots upon their arrival on Earth, but that was nixed as the book was slowly separated from the rest of the Marvel Universe.
Continuity Lock-Out: The movie was never released in Japan, making the viewers wondering what happened during season 2 and 2010. Oddly enough, Toei Animation didn't try to explain this when they made the movie. It gets the point where the three Japanese exclusive Generation 1 series had a heavy dose of Continuity Snarl.
Creator's Favorite: The three episodes AKOM did for season 2 put the Constructicons as major characters, with the team factoring heavily on the plots of those episodes.
Dueling Shows: With Challenge of the GoBots, another cartoon about shape-shifting robots based on a toyline that even shared some voice actors with The Transformers (e.g.: Arthur Burghardt, Frank Welker, and Peter Cullen). Ironically, the GoBots franchise eventually became the intellectual property of Hasbro after they bought Tonka in 1991 and the two are now considered to exist in the same multiverse. Albeit with the Go-Bots universe being very, very distant from any known Transformersverse. The only GoBot who has any sort of impact at all is Bugbite, who has since become a Decepticon.
Granted, there is a big reason that Hasbro hasn't done much with the GoBots franchise- Bandai. When Hasbro purchased Tonka, they gained only partial ownership of the franchise. Bandai still owns the actual toys, meaning they also own the character models. While we've gotten a few nods as well as some recolored toys, Hasbro can't actually make any on-model GoBots toys for legal reasons. Interestingly, Bandai is releasing their own modern take on many of these characters with a new Machine Robo line in Japan, although being based on Revenge Of Chronos, they will not have the Hanna-Barbera faces.
Exiled from Continuity: Sort of - while Buzzsaw did make a few appearances, use of him was discouraged by the series bible (since Buzzsaw's toy was packed alongside Soundwave's, and so long as he was around Buzzsaw didn't need to be shilled as much as the other Mini-Cassettes). He got a bit more equal time alongside Laserbeak in the comics, at least until he was out of commission for a couple dozen issues.
Played straight with Reflector. The character was prominent in the first season, with a few speaking parts, but in the second season, he disappeared almost entirely, never mind the fact he only appeared in two issues of the Marvel Comic, where he was blatantly killed off very early in the going. He last appeared in the movie, and vanished without a trace shortly thereafter, leaving fans to believe he perished during Unicron's attack on Cybertron. This was mainly due to the fact his toy was not part of the initial 1984 offering, despite being in the cartoon. Hasbro had put the kibosh on releasing him because they believed a transforming camera was too boring. Nevertheless, he was a general retail item in Japan when the line was released there in 1985, and became a mail-away item in America in 1986.
Masami Obari got his start on this series, designing and animating Optimus Prime's Transformation sequence. As well as some (presumed) animation work on "Heavy Metal War".
ShinjiAramaki also did several character designsnote Soundwave, his Cassettes and Reflector, to be specific. and created the concept for Perceptor.
Two that pertain to the movie: Several of the film's key animators were, at the time of production, employees of Bebownote in particular, Masanori Shino, character designer for the Black Lagoon and Terra Formars adaptations, Madhouse and Sunrise. Whereas Unicron was originally designed by Takehiko Ito, who would go on to create Outlaw Star.
Jossed: Fanon assumed that the character Dion from the episode "War Dawn" survived the attack on storage yard 67 and was rebuilt into someone important (Ultra Magnus and Ironhide being the most popular choices), seeing as his best friend, Orion Pax was rebuilt as Optimus Prime. In 2010, Hasbro flat out stated that Dion was never rebuilt into anybody else and had not even survived. Also, The Transformers: Wings of Honor continuity had Dion survive the attack, but he was still called Dion.
Voice director Wally Burr substituted as Thundercracker for John Stephenson in "War Dawn", and as Ratchet for Don Messick in "Masquerade".
Other notable voice changes include Skidsnote from Michael Chain in "Quest For Survival" to Dan Gilvesan in "Triple Takeover", Outbacknote from Gilvesan to Gregg Berger and Onslaughtnote normally voiced by S. Marc Jordan, but was replaced by Terry McGovern in the first "Five Faces of Darkness" episode, then again by Steve Bulen for the character's brief role in "The Rebirth".. Also, due to an error in the episode's script, Michael Bell fills in for Neil Ross as Bonecrusher in "The Autobot Run".
After the death of Roger C. Carmel, Jack Angel took over as Cyclonus, also taking over as Ultra Magnus around the same time. The other movie characters (save for Arcee, Wheelie, Blurr and Springer) were similarly replaced with actors from the show.
Alpha Trion was normally voiced by John Stephenson, but was voiced by Corey Burton in "War Dawn" and by Tony Pope in "Forever is a Long Time Coming".
The Japanese dub loved to do this, with many of the supporting cast alternating between roles on a regular basis.
The Other Marty: Ted Schwartz was originally intended to be Judd Nelson's replacement as Rodimus Prime's voice after The Transformers: The Movie, and he still has a few lines (in the recap of part 2 and one line in part 3) that weren't dubbed over by Dick Gauthier in "Five Faces of Darkness".
Recycled Script: "Microbots" has a similar scene to the TMNT episode "Shreddered and Splintered". Both episodes were written by David Wise (who has a bad habit of doing this).
In "War Dawn," Ariel was supposed to die along with Dion. However, members of production realized that since she was Orion Pax's Love Interest, she could simply be rebuilt as Elita One. (This, by the way, is why fans propose Dion was also rebuilt into someone Optimus would know.)
Octane's role in "Starscream's Ghost" was originally intended for Blitzwing, who was banished from the Decepticons in the "Five Faces of Darkness" five-parter. Blitzwing was replaced by Octane to promote Octane's newer toy.
Astrotrain's bizarre behavior in "The God Gambit" made him completely out of character, as the whole "ordering Starscream, choking him, and Starscream fearing him" may have been intended for Megatron, but Astrotrain was shoehorned in to shill his then-new toy.
"The Rebirth" was originally supposed to have five parts instead of the three it ended up with.
Dan Gilvezan was originally supposed to play both Bumblebee and Spike Witwicky before it was decided to have Corey Burton play Spike to avoid Talking to Himself.
Sparkplug Witwicky was going to appear in "Five Faces of Darkness", but he was ultimately cut. Common fan consensus is that he either retired from having adventures with the Autobots, or died of old age during the Time Skip.
"Heavy Metal War" was originally written as the series finale had the toyline not been a success. This is evident in how the Decepticons are tossed into a river of lava at the end of the episode. The shot of Megatron vowing revenge was likely added later on.
Word of God: An odd one. For the longest time it was a mystery as to worked on the episode "Call of the Primitives" (Both TMS and Obari's names were thrown around. The latter eventually revealing that even he had no clue). This was eventually cleared up when Karneval director Eiji Suganuma came out and confirmed his own involvement on the episode as its animation director.
He then went on to confirm the involvement of animator Shin Matsuonote then working on the series as an illustrator for the Japanese release's promotional material as the one who did the Predaking transformation in the episode.