Western Animation / The Transformers
aka: Transformers Generation One

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"Many millions of years ago, on the planet Cybertron, life existed, but not life as we know it today. Intelligent robots that could think and feel inhabited the cities. They were called Autobots and Decepticons. But the brutal Decepticons were driven by a single goal: total domination. They set out to destroy the peace-loving Autobots, and a war between the forces of good and evil raged across Cybertron."
Narration from the first episode.

With their home world depleted of energy due to the war, the Autobots leave on their ship to find a new planet with energy sources. The Decepticons follow in a ship of their own. The ensuing battle led to them crashing on Earth. Millions of years later (in 1984), both factions wake up, resuming their war on our world.

The Transformers was the first Transformers cartoon, part of the Transformers Generation 1 franchise. It premiered in 1984. The writing and distribution of the series was handled by both Marvel Productions and Sunbow Entertainment. Animation was done by Toei Animation and a few other (uncredited, just like its sister series) studios, including AKOM in their first project, some unknown studios and several feeder studiosnote . AKOM's animation was generally worse than Toei's.

The show ran for three whole seasons, plus season 4, which was just a three-part episode, "The Rebirth". The Japanese version branched off into a different continuity right after the end of the third season, replacing "The Rebirth" with Transformers Headmasters.

The continuity of this series provided the basis for Transformers: Wings of Honor.


This series provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc:
    • The episode "Enter the Nightbird" ended with the robot ninja Nightbird turning out to be self-aware after her creator chose to lock her in a chamber forever, but she never appeared again.
    • "Atlantis, Arise" ended with King Nergill escaping the destruction of Sub-Atlantica, presumably to plan revenge against the Autobots and the Decepticons. He remained a one-shot antagonist.
  • Action-Hogging Opening: All of them, but the second season's stands out the most.
  • Action Girl: Arcee in the movie onwards. Also Elita One, though she's the leader of her own Amazon Brigade.
  • Actual Pacifist: Cerebros, to the point where after the Final Battle of the fourth season, he asks to be shut down so he doesn't have to fight any more. Fortunately, since it was the Final Battle, he doesn't have to fight anyway.
  • Ad Bumpers: Commercial breaks would often show footage of an Autobot or Decepticon changing forms while the announcer would say "The Transformers will return after these messages" or "We now return to The Transformers".
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • Infamously, this version of Transformers Generation 1 made Rumble blue and Frenzy red, instead of the other way around, in contrast to their toy and comic book appearances. The Japanese dub got around this by calling the red one Rumble and the blue one Frenzy.
    • In general, the Autobots were given blue eyes and the Decepticons red eyes, regardless of what their toys had. For example, the Dinobots had blue eyes in this series instead of the red found on their toys, and Soundwave's toy's yellow eyes were switched to red. Occasionally, this would be subverted - for example, Thrust, a Decepticon, had yellow eyes.
    • The Sweeps' beards are white or grey in the box art and toys, but vary between blue, grey, and black in the series.
  • Alien Lunch: In "Starscream's Ghost", Octane has gotten a job transporting junk for the Junkions. Galvatron sends a Scuxxoid to plant a bomb on the transport ship, and it explodes. The destruction of the ship doesn't kill Octane, however, and he's rescued by an alien vessel. The passengers are eating something that has visible steam wafting to Octane's nose, and he clearly doesn't like the smell at all.
    Octane: Sheesh, what have you been eating?
    Alien (speaks alien language and offers some nasty-looking chunky purple food in a bowl)
    Octane: Oh, gee, thanks, n-no, never mind, I just want to be taken to Autobot City, where it's safe!
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese themes are different.
    • Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers (the Japanese dub of the show's first two seasons) had "TRANSFORMER" by Satoko Shimonari as the opening theme and "Peace Again", also by Shimonari, as the ending theme.
    • Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers: 2010 (the Japanese dub of the third season) had Shō Hirose perform both the opening and ending themes, with the opening theme called "TRANSFORMER 2010" and the ending theme called "WHAT'S YOU".
    • Averted with the Japanese dub of the show's three-part finale "The Rebirth", which wasn't dubbed in Japanese until years after the original show ended and was replaced with the anime Transformers Headmasters. To further distance it from the Japanese continuity, the three-part episode's Japanese dub used the American names of characters that had different names in Japan and used the American theme song.
  • Amazon Brigade: A group of female Autobots led by Elita One appeared in the Season 2 episode "The Search For Alpha Trion".
  • Ambiguously Brown: Tracks' human friend Raoul has brownish skin. He suddenly got lighter in his second appearance.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Tracks had mannerisms and a tone of voice that many interpreted as indicating that he was homosexual, though his voice actor Michael McConnohie has stated that Tracks was intended to sound posh rather than gay.
  • Anachronic Order:
    • Some of the episodes aired in an order that resulted in a rather confusing mess of continuity issues. One example was the second part of the three-part episode "The Ultimate Doom" featuring the Dinobots Snarl and Swoop even though only three Dinobots were established to exist and "War of the Dinobots", the episode where Snarl and Swoop were first constructed, didn't air until after "The Ultimate Doom".
    • Shout! Factory aimed to fix this mistake by consulting fans on what order the episodes should be in for the DVD releases, but a last-minute fluke resulted in the season three episodes on the DVD sets being in airdate order even though the DVD cases listed them in the order they were intended to occur.
  • Animation Bump: "Call of the Primitives" is the best example. The "More Than Meets The Eye" three-parter, "Atlantis Arise", "Chaos", "Dweller in the Depths", the fight between Metroplex and Trypticon in "The Ultimate Weapon" and "The Return of Optimus Prime" are also better animated than the rest of the series.
    • Despite their constant Off Model moments, AKOM's animation does have an occasional moment of good animation in several scenes of The Five Faces of Darkness five-parter, Thief In the Night, Dark Awakening and The Rebirth series finale. AKOM's episodes also tended to have a higher frame rate than Toei's.
    • The season two opening is also better crafted than the other openings.
  • Animesque: Due in part of being made in an era where nearly every non-Filmation show was being outsourced to Japan. Most noticeable in season 1, but later episodes, like "Chaos", "Nightmare Planet" and "Call of the Primitives" all have styles that wouldn't look out of place in an anime from that time period.
  • Another Dimension: In "Madman's Paradise", it is revealed that the Quintessons punish each other for their transgressions by banishing them into other dimensions. The main plot of the episode was about Daniel Witwicky and Grimlock ending up in Menonia, a medieval universe where a Quintesson known as Mara-Ul-Atha was banished for practicing magic.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: The park ranger at the beginning of "The Insecticon Syndrome": "Giant robotic insects that eat trees?! You gotta be kidding!" Note that he's saying this to Beachcomber.
    • He was probably skeptical that giant robots could eat.
    • And the fact that they're insect robots.
  • Arm Cannon: Megatron's fusion cannon. He also had an arm cannon as Galvatron.
  • Artistic License – Biology: A group of Decepticons known as the Predacons are actually composed of Razorclaw (a lion), Rampage (a tiger), Divebomb (an eagle), Headstrong (a rhino), and Tantrum (a bull). In real life, the alt-modes of the last two are herbivores - very vicious herbivores, but herbivores just the same.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Grimlock leads the Dinobots because he's physically the strongest.
  • A-Team Firing: Many episodes featured large-scale gun battles between the Autobots and Decepticons... not that they managed to hit much of anything, mind you. Some of these battles would even show both sides standing right out in the open and not even attempting to dodge incoming laser fire.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Optimus Prime is the leader of the Autobots, so of course he can put up the best fight.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Optimus Prime was resurrected by the Quintessons in an attempt to destroy the Autobots in "Dark Awakening" and ended up sacrificing himself after he came to his senses. He was eventually resurrected for keeps in the two-part episode "The Return of Optimus Prime".
    • Starscream regained his body after spending some time as a ghost in the episode "Starscream's Ghost".
  • Badass Adorable: Spike Witwicky's son Daniel is just a kid, but he occasionally proves himself to be as useful an ally to the Autobots as his father. He even smart-mouths Cyclonus in "Surprise Party".
  • Badass Boast: Made in the awesome levels from Optimus after his revival:
    'Sky-Lynx': It's true. Our leader is back.
    'Optimus': Yes, Sky Lynx, and this time, no force in the universe can stop me.
  • Badass Family: Spike Witwicky, his wife Carly and their son Daniel are all human allies to the Autobots.
  • Badass Normal: Lord Chumley from "Prime Target" is 100 percent British stereotype but also such a bad ass that he captures a Soviet jet with a submarine and makes mechas and traps to capture several Autobots with the goal of getting Optimus Prime.
  • Bait and Switch: The conclusion of "More Than Meets the Eye" makes it seem like Optimus Prime is going to be the one to face the Decepticons on his own and save the day. He isn't. Instead it's actually Mirage who accomplishes this.
  • Beard of Evil: Scourge, the Sweeps, and Unicron are all villains that somehow have facial hair in spite of being robots.
  • Big Bad: Megatron (who later becomes Galvatron), given that he is the leader of the Decepticons.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate:
    • Astrotrain and Blitzwing both attempt to take over the Decepticons in "Triple Takeover". Blitzwing actually fared the better of the two, until Megatron returned and reasserted himself.
    • Galvatron and Zarak form an alliance in "The Rebirth" and in the end are implied to still be working together to plan revenge against the Autobots.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: In Season 3, the Autobots have to deal with both the Decepticons and the Quintessons.
  • Big Good:
    • Optimus Prime is the leader of the Autobots and is therefore the highest ranking force of good.
    • Rodimus Prime and Ultra Magnus filled in the position after Optimus's death in the movie.
  • Big "NEVER!":
    Starscream: My time will come, Megatron.
    Megatron: Never! NEVER!!
  • Birthday Episode: The episode "Surprise Party" begins with the Autobots and Spike holding a surprise party for his son Daniel's birthday. The rest of the episode consists of Wheelie and Daniel attempting to find out Ultra Magnus's date of creation so that they can give him a surprise party in gratitude for his selflessness in rescuing them from danger all the time. After their search proves fruitless and they are forced to explain themselves to Spike, Spike resolves the issue by making it so that today was Ultra Magnus's birthday.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: "Madman's Paradise" has a Cybertron ambassador from Odessix named Ynara, whose entire body turns red when she's embarrassed, including her clothes.
  • Bloodless Carnage: During "The Rebirth," Daniel was mauled by Snapdragon after trying to save Arcee. He suffered injuries severe enough to leave him relying on life support machines, yet appeared to have not so much as a scratch on him (not even Clothing Damage).
  • Bolivian Army Ending: "Ghost In The Machine" has Starscream end up at the mercy of Galvatron and the other Decepticons after Unicron restores his physical body.
  • Bookends: The series' premiere and finale, entitled "More Than Meets the Eye" and "The Rebirth" respectively, are both three-part episodes, though the latter was originally intended to be a five-part episode.
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Chip and the Autobots infamously attempt to do this in "The Core" by using their Dominator Disc on the Constructicons. Megatron however tried to overwrite it, causing Devastator to malfunction.
  • Brown Note: "Carnage in C-Minor" has Galvatron and Soundwave attempt to steal the three parts of a harmony that can cause great destruction to the Autobots.
  • Butt Monkey:
    • Skyfire, an "old friend" of Starscream's who is revived and used by the Decepticons, and then seems to heroically sacrifice himself to save the Autobots. Only a sequel episode shows that he didn't actually die, but was buried in some ice to the extent where it took the Autobots seconds to dig him back up, they just didn't bother until they needed him to fly somewhere. In that episode, he befriends Thundercracker for all of about thirty seconds, until the Decepticons shoot him. He's then routinely ignored by the other Autobots unless they need carting around the world, and forgotten about entirely when the Aerialbots arrive towards the end of the second series. Some of this was likely due to legal issues - see here for what information there is about this.
    • Starscream himself is this for the villains. No matter how hard he tries, even on those rare occasions where he actually manages not to be a complete idiot, he just can't seem to catch a break. In the movie, just when he finally gets what he always wanted, to be leader of the Decepticons after leaving Megatron to die, his old boss comes back as Galvatron, and as Galvatron he promptly shoots and kills Starscream after dealing out an insult and Starscream crumbles into ash and dust. Ouch.
  • Came Back Wrong: Optimus Prime is brought back by the Quintessons as a zombie of sorts in "Dark Awakening". Before coming to his senses and sacrificing himself, he attempts to leave Rodimus Prime, Kup, Arcee, Spike and Daniel for dead and to bait the other Autobots into a trap by lying to them that they were killed by the Quintessons.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Unicron's origin as presented in the episode "Call of the Primitives, being built by an alien scientist known as Primacron, was completely ignored in subsequent Transformers fiction.
  • Caps Lock, Num Lock, Missiles Lock: In the episode "B.O.T.", the Decepticons built a cannon designed to knock the moon out of orbit... yet it features an "OVER LOAD" button on a human-height control panel.
  • Captain Crash: While not remarked upon in show, Cosmos is rarely in an episode without crashing into something. One of the few times he got through an episode without it, it seems like Optimus is Tempting Fate by sending him out into space a third time in a day.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Megatron had a rather grating tendency to laugh and say how evil he was, or how evil his plan was, just so that the kids knew who to root for.
  • Category Traitor: In "Megatron's Master Plan, Part 1", Spike, Sparkplug, and Chip left the city with the Autobots after they've been publicly framed. One woman called them "traitors" and a guy throwing tomatoes shouted "lousy Autobot lovers".
  • Catapult Nightmare: Daniel wakes up from his first nightmare by jumping up in his bed in "Nightmare Planet".
  • Cast from Hit Points: Elita One's special power nearly drains her of energy when she uses it to save Optimus in "The Search for Alpha Trion".
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Many of the Transformers that survived the events of the movie or weren't featured in the movie simply disappeared and were never mentioned again. The most notable examples include Cliffjumper, Bluestreak, Reflector, and Sunstreaker.
    • Spike's father Sparkplug and his friend Chip notably stopped appearing after season 2.
  • Chummy Commies: The Soviets may look and act kinda funny, but are allied to the Autobots like most Earth governments. Though in "Prime Target", the Soviets accuse the United States of stealing their experimental plane, and almost went to war until the Autobots return it with the real culprit Lord Chumley.
  • City of Adventure: Central City. "Megatron's Master Plan" establishes that its very close to Autobot Headquarters and has legal jurisdiction over it. Though the cartoon was never really big on World Building or continuity, it follows that just about any time the Autobots go "into town" or worry about events in "the city", this is the city they're referring to. It's not an airtight case, but how many major cities can there be within easy driving distance of an active volcano?
  • Colony Drop: Galvatron attempted to crash Cybertron into Earth during "The Rebirth".
  • Combining Mecha:
    • Some of the Autobot and Decepticon sub-groups are able to combine into one giant robot. The Constructicons combine to form Devastator, the Stunticons merge to become Menasor, the Predacons merge to become Predaking, the Terrorcons have a combined form named Abominus, the Aerialbots combine to become Superion, the Combaticons merge to form Bruticus, the Protectobots combine to form Defensor, and the Technobots have a combined form known as Computron.
    • Reflector was an uncommon variation: three little robots combined into a camera for their alternate mode.
  • Continuity Snarl: It's a good thing Megatron decided to build the Constructions in some caves on Earth ("Heavy Metal War", Season 1)... Especially after they built him on Cybertron 4 million years ago ("Five Faces of Darkness, Part 3", Season 3)... and then he brainwashed them into becoming Decepticons who tried to brainwash Omega Supreme ("The Secret of Omega Supreme", Season 2)... Wait, what?
  • Conveniently Close Planet: In the very first episode, as the Autobots and Decepticons battle, the spaceship plunges inexplicably down to earth without going through any hyperdrive or seemly traveling far at all (unless it happened between the Decepticon's launch and the asteroid collision). Then again, if we take the Marvel comics into account, Cybertron is a wandering planet.
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot: Lampshaded by Wheelie in "Surprise Party" when Spike Witwicky makes the current date Ultra Magnus's birthday when it is revealed that not even Ultra Magnus remembers when he was first constructed (Wheelie and Daniel planned to give him a surprise party as their way of thanking him for being a selfless hero). Having gone through a lot of trouble and running into the Decepticons while trying to find out the date Ultra Magnus was first built, Wheelie points out that they could've just made up a birthdate for Ultra Magnus in the first place.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Shawn Berger from "Megatron's Master Plan" in spades. He had his own personal army, was hungry for power, and even helped the Decepticons in their plan to get the Autobots banished from Earth by making the spaceship. He's also pretty cruel, at one point forcing a man to broadcast the Decepticons' phony video of the Autobots being evil by threatening to fire him. While he is duped into believing that the Autobots are the real bad guys and later feels remorse for his actions when the Decepticons' scheme is exposed, the Autobots do not buy his apologies and Optimus Prime tells him that he is going to face justice for his treason.
  • Crossover:
    • The cartoon has some ties to G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
      • The episode "Only Human" featured a character called "Old Snake", who's clearly the Cobra Commander.note 
      • Flint and Lady Jaye are confirmed to be the parents of Marissa Faireborn, a minor character from the third season.
      • An instrumental version of the song performed by Cobra's band Cold Slither from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero episode of the same name can be heard in the episodes "The Autobot Run", "Auto-Bop", "Blaster Blues", and "Quest for Survival".
    • "This is Hector Ramirez, reporting live from multiple continuities..." note 
  • Daytime Drama Queen: Some of the Autobots are seen watching a soap opera in "Prime Target" and even complain when a news bulletin interrupts it.
  • The Dragon: Starscream served as Megatron's disloyal right-hand in the first two seasons. After Megatron was reborn as Galvatron in the movie, his new right-hand was Cyclonus.
  • Do-Anything Robot: Sometimes, the Tranaformers' arms turn into tools or weapons.
  • Dub Name Change: The Japanese version switched Frenzy and Rumble's names around in order to correct the animation error that reversed their colours. This meant that Frenzy, a previously expendable character, became a major character. On the other hand, it meant that Rumble became scarce.
    • Also, Optimus Prime was Convoy, Jazz was Meister, Sideswipe was Lambor, Mirage was Ligier, Shockwave was Laserwave, Devastator was Devastar, Metroplex was Metroflex, Blaster was named Billy
  • Deal with the Devil: In the movie, Megatron bargains with Unicron for a new and stronger body and Unicron offers to rebuild Megatron in return for servitude, resulting in Megatron's upgrade to Galvatron. note  However, Megatron didn't have a choice, as when he tried to refuse to make a bargain, Unicron threatened to consume him. Since it's very much still Megatron in there, Galvatron's loyalty must be enforced by Mind Rape.
  • Demoted to Extra: The show introduced Loads and Loads of Characters, one set after another, to sell toys, and some had more staying power than others. Many characters' roles went by this formula: 1: Show up one day without comment. 2: Have one really good episode of focus later. 3: Be occasionally seen in the background or fights. 4: Disappear mysteriously.
    • As an example, Jazz, who was a major character in the first two seasons of G1, had a supporting role in the movie, but when Scatman Crothers fell ill shortly afterwards, Jazz's later appearances were non-speaking cameos.
  • Deus ex Machina: At the end of the episode "A Prime Problem", Megatron throws Spike out of his rocket, but then Powerglide shows up out of nowhere and saves him. It could be assumed that he was there all along and simply hadn't appeared on screen, except for the fact that before this episode, all but two of the Autobots had had land-based altmodes.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In "Dark Awakening", the Autobots find Optimus Prime's tomb empty.
  • Dumb Muscle:
    • Generally, the combined forms of multiple Transformers aren't very intelligent, with the exception of Computron, who while very intelligent, is nevertheless still a rather slow thinker. Predaking also seems fairly smart for a combiner, at least in "The Quintesson Journal", where he even patrols in his combined form, and really only splits up when he needs to travel quickly on a planet's surface.
    • The Dinobots, especially due to engaging in Hulk Speak and at one point being easily tricked by the Decepticons into turning against the Autobots.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In the Three-Part Pilot "More Than Meets The Eye" the Autobots have consistently being shown to be capable of independent flight without the use of jetpacks, something that will not happen again until much later with the arrivals of Skyfire, Powerglide, Cosmos, Omega Supreme, and the Aerialbots.
    • In the latter case, it's outright stated that the reason the Aerialbots were even created was because the Autobots as a whole lacked sufficient flight capabilities. Guess the first four above-mentioned Autobots weren't getting the job done.
    • Actually, Wheeljack flew in A Plague of Insecticons, which was towards the end of Season One.
      • It says in his bio that Wheeljack has rocket boosters in his wrists that he can use to fly, so they integrated that into the series.
    • What really makes this a headscratcher is the fact that the flight ability disappeared without explanation in the middle of the 3-parter. In the first two episodes, the Autobots are able to fly without problem. Than the third part rolls around and suddenly Optimus Prime needs to use said jetpack to chase after the Decepticons' spaceship.
    • "Sparks", as they're known in other continuities are called "lasercores" in this version.
      • It's been implied in other stories (not from the cartoon) that lasercores house the spark, and the mech's personality.
    • As for personalities Prime started off quite a bit less gentle and more impatient. Instead of calming telling the Autobots he's fine after being saved from a roaring river he shrugs them off impatiently and gets annoyed.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom:
    • In "The Five Faces of Darkness", the Quintessons blow up their own planet to destroy the Autobot Matrix (they fail).
    • Rodimus Prime has the planet Paradron detonated in "Fight or Flee" to prevent its massive energon store from falling into Decepticon hands. Thankfully, the inhabitants were escorted before the planet was blown up.
  • Easily Condemned: "Megatron's Master Plan" had Megatron convincing Earth, with trivial ease, that the Autobots had really been the villains the whole time. This is after around thirty episodes of the Decepticons not hiding their actions or intentions and the Autobots helping whoever asked.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • Primacron's creation Tornedron in "Call of the Primitives" is an energy being that assumes a few predatory forms and drains everything and everyone of their life force.
    • "Chaos" gives us the monster of the same name, a large green beast whose body is used to make highly destructive ammunition.
    • Torkulon from the episode "Webworld" is a living planet with spider-like creatures that are actually part of it. The restraints used by the alien psychiatrists to restrain their patients also appear to be part of the planet.
    • The Dweller in the Depths in the episode of the same name is half machine and half organic and turns its victims into energy-feeding vampires.
  • Enhanced on DVD: In an extremely bizarre case of receiving this treatment not once, but twice! However, they weren't really "enhanced", so to speak:
    • The first time this happened (by Rhino Entertainment at the turn of the millennium), the picture was clearer, but this was because early, pre-televised masters were used. There was also a considerable amount of animation errors that were not present when the series first aired. It also incorporated unfitting sound effects that were also never in the original release. The fans were not pleased. Moreover, the DVD authoring house that Rhino hired untruthfully claimed that those added sound effects were always therenote .
    • When Shout! Factory started releasing their own version of the series, they (wisely) planned to use the televised masters. Unfortunately, the picture quality hadn't aged well on them, which meant severe fading at points which meant they had to use Rhino's version. Fortunately, they made various corrections so that it would look as close to the original televised version as possible. They even replaced a disc on the first set that had an error they had missed. Additionally, in two episodes ("Countdown to Extinction" and "Heavy Metal War"), the sound effects track was considerably lower in volume than either the vocal or music tracks.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The Skuxxoid hired by Galvatron to assassinate Octane in "Starscream's Ghost" and the one hired to use anti-electrons on the Autobots in "Grimlock's New Brain" (whether or not they're the same Skuxxoid is open to interpretation) both state that they only accepted their job because they need the money for their family.
  • Everybody Laughs Ending: Both "Surprise Party" and "Madman's Paradise" end with the characters present at the ending laughing.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The Dinobots are a sub-set of Autobots that have dinosaurs as their alt modes.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • Megatron's Evil Laugh is pretty terrifying.
    • Soundwave laughed in the episodes "Auto-Bop" and "Quest for Survival". It's fricking nightmarish.
  • Evil Overlord: Zarak is a Nebulan who tries to conquer his planet Nebulos and also sets his sights on Cybertron,
  • Evil Poacher: Lord Chumley in "Prime Target" attempted to hunt Optimus Prime and also stole a Soviet jet before setting his sights on the Autobot leader.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Inverted with Starscream and Welker's Galvatron, who both have high-pitched voices; played straight with Megatron, Cyclonus, and Unicron, who all have voices that are deep and menacing.
  • Expy: Skyfire, who started off as a VF-1 fighter before being changed for legal reasons.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: "The Microbots", where Perceptor, Brawn and Bumblebee have to be miniaturized to enter Megatron's body and remove a major power source he just added to himself.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: "Dinobot Island, Part 2" has it all - barbarians, mammoths, dinosaurs, pirates, motorcycle gangs, cowboys, and scantily clad bikini chicks, in addition to giant space robots. "A Decepticon Raider in King Arthur's Court" with the medieval time period and the dragon. Both justified in that time travel was involved.
  • Fiction 500: Shawn Berger in "Megatron's Master Plan" is somehow rich enough to own a television station, his own army, and the resources needed to build a rocket ship large enough to carry all the Autobots.
  • Five-Episode Pilot: The series premiere, "More Than Meets the Eye", is a three-part episode.
  • Flanderization: Grimlock and his Dinobots went from being strong, but unintelligent wild cards in the first two seasons to comic relief in the movie and onward.
    • In The Movie, at least, the Dinobots were still pretty badass, though they were suddenly happy to take orders from Optimus Prime and work with the other Autobots. In the third season their badassness evaporated entirely, and went from being Dumb Muscle to outright idiots.
    • Fortunately their final appearance in "Call of the Primitives" returned them to their brutish and freakishly-powerful standing.
  • Fix Fic: There's ignoring the movie (and Seasons 3 and 4) completely.
  • "Flowers for Algernon" Syndrome:
    • Gears experiences this in "Changing Gears" when he finds himself quite cheerful without his personality component but also discovers to his detriment that his friendliness has also made him unable to fight back against the Decepticons.
    • Grimlock becomes super-intelligent in "Grimlock's New Brain", but in the end he sacrifices his newfound intellect so that it can be used to empower Computron, the combined form of the Technobots.
  • Forbidden Chekhov's Gun: Elita One's special power is stated to have been forbidden by Alpha Trion on the grounds that using it can prove fatal. Elita One eventually defies Alpha Trion's orders so that she can use her power to save Optimus Prime. Fortunately, Optimus was able to save her life in return.
  • Foreshadowing: Surprisingly, the show did have some. During season two, the Dinobots voiced their displeasure in having to save the Autobots all the time. The Dinobots would briefly leave the Autobots because of this in the Desertion of the Dinobots two-parter.
  • Freudian Couch: Forcibly done to Galvatron in the episode "Webworld" when the inhabitants of Torkulon use their technology to bind him onto a couch.
  • God Guise: Astrotrain pretends to be a god in "The God Gambit" to manipulate the people of Titan.
  • Genius Loci: Unicron, Torkulon, Metroplex, and Trypticon are all technically sentient locations, with the first two being planets and the last two being cities.
  • Grand Finale: "The Rebirth" serves as the end of the cartoon in the American Generation 1 continuity, ending with both the Autobots and the Decepticons gaining Headmaster and Targetmaster partners as well as Cybertron finally being restored after the eons of war the Autobots and Decepticons went through. The Japanese continuity chose to ignore the three-part episode in favor of the Headmasters anime, though the three-part episode was eventually dubbed in Japanese.
  • The Great Politics Mess-Up: The Soviet Union is portrayed as active in the 21st century.
  • Greater Scope Villain: The episode "Call of the Primitives" reveals that Unicron was built by a being known as Primacron. This means that Primacron was indirectly responsible for the events of The Transformers: The Movie.
  • Hate Plague: The Hate Plague from "The Return of Optimus Prime" is the Trope Namer. It is a red dust that makes the people it infects become angry and violent.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Slizardo debuts in the episode "The Gambler" as a minion of Lord Gyconi, eventually siding with the Autobot bounty hunter Devcon after having enough of his former employer's abuse. His second and last appearance is in "Grimlock's New Brain", where he and a Skuxxoid are hired by Galvatron to disable the Autobots by infecting them with anti-electrons.
  • High Collar of Doom: Scourge and the Sweeps, in their robot modes.
  • Hive Mind: Reflector is basically one mind in three bodies. His bodies usually act more or less in sync, but they are capable of acting independently if necessary.
  • Hulk Speak: The Dinobots tend to speak in third person and in incomplete sentences.
  • Humongous Mecha: Naturally, but there are even more humongous mechas with Omega Supreme, gestalt combined forms like Devastator, Sky Lynx, Metroplex, Trypticon, Fortress Maximus, Scorponok, and Unicron.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Scenes often change from one to another by showing an Autobot or Decepticon insignia rush away from the screen, spin 180 degrees, and rush back toward the screen. Which insignia showed at first depended on which faction you had been with, and the one on the other side was whichever one you were going to be with now.
  • Immortality:
    • The Ageless: Transformers don't seem to die from old age.
      • Although, they do seem to age. Kup looks older than all of the other Transformers and looks younger in a flashback ("Chaos").
    • Complete Immortality: There was also Starscream's ghost.
  • Improvised Lightning Rod: Inversion: In an episode, the Autobots have to stop a plot by Decepticons but there's a lightning storm going on, and if a bolt hits a Transformer, something very bad happens. So the Transformers go into battle riding on other Transformers who are in their Vehicle modes; the rubber of their tires on the road isolates the Transformers riding on top so they're safe.
  • Ineffectual Death Threats: The Decepticons often threaten to kill the Autobots, but their threats are usually empty.
  • Insignia Ripoff Ritual: Skyfire removes his Decepticon insignia in Fire In the Sky and replaces it with an Autobot insignia to signify his defecting from the Decepticons to the Autobots.
  • Insufferable Genius: Grimlock shows some signs of this in "Grimlock's New Brain" after he becomes temporarily intelligent, insulting Kup, his fellow Dinobots, and Perceptor for not understanding or being surprised by his observations and statements.
  • Insult Backfire: Happens in "Surprise Party" when Cyclonus catches Daniel and Wheelie at a lost Autobot database.
    Cyclonus: What is this place?
    Daniel: Ir's an ice cream factory.
    Cyclonus: You're insolent, child!
    Daniel: Thanks!
  • Keeping the Enemy Close: This is generally understood as one of the major reasons why Starscream is second-in-command to Megatron despite (or rather, due to) his Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
  • Kid with the Leash: Aron in "Child's Play" attempts to keep the Autobots and Decepticons as pets, but finds the Decepticons hard to control.
  • La Résistance: The Nebulans fighting against the Hive in "The Rebirth".
  • Last Episode, New Character: The final episode of the first season ("Heavy Metal War") introduced the Constructicons. "The Rebirth" introduced dozens of new characters.
  • Likes Older Women: Spike at the start of the series is around fifteen when the series started. Carly at most is eighteen years old (she's in college at the time). His father Sparkplug actually encourages him to pursue her. And They Do in the Time Skip with a kid to boot.
  • Limited Animation: While not as bad as most shows from the era, between its status as an 80s cartoon and its short production turnaround per episode (roughly 3-4 months), it can suffer from this at times. Though how limited it gets varies between episodes (and animation teams).
  • Limited Wardrobe: Subverted with Chip Chase, who wore a brown jacket in most of his appearances but switched to a blue one for his final episodes.
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Arkeville uses a device to hypnotize people into being his slaves and has no qualms with helping the Decepticons, at least until they reveal their intent of destroying all organic life on Earth..
  • Made of Iron: Aside the usual Transformers, the humans of the series can take more punishment than you think. The Transformers wiki even calls Spike "Superhuman Spike" for all the injuries he could've sustained. Dr. Harding in "Attack of The Autobots" is another example as she manages to survive a 4-story fall from her lab building and survives getting thrown into a wall, which should have turned her into a pancake.
  • Male Gaze: When Ariel (the former self of Elita One) charges at Megatron in "War Dawn", the camera focuses on her rear for some reason.
  • Malicious Misnaming: In the second part of "The Rebirth", Daniel Witwicky addresses Cyclonus as "Cy-clown-us".
  • Me's a Crowd: The Insecticons were able to create copies of themselves.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: The Transformers are a race of robotic beings.
  • Mental Fusion: This is what the gestalts are. The combined form is not just a mental, but physical joining. However, unless the participants are very compatible with each other, they generally are not good for much other than Dumb Muscle (Predaking and Computron are the only ones who might be aversions, at least as portrayed on the show), since any thoughts the combined form has can only be something all the components agree on.
  • Mentor Archetype: Alpha Trion is Optimus Prime's mentor and is much, much older than him. After merging with Vector Sigma, he becomes a Spirit Advisor.
  • Merchandise-Driven: A given, considering this show was based on a toyline.
  • Meta Mecha: Fortress Maximus is controlled by the Autobot Cerebros, who in turn is piloted by Spike Witwicky.
  • Mid-Development Genre Shift: In-Universe, where in "Hoist Goes Hollywood", the director was shooting a generic action flick with a car chase. After meeting the Autobots, he decided to turn it into "a great science fiction epic" titled Attack of the Alien Robots.
  • The Millstone: Starscream tends to ruin the Decepticons' plans because of his impatience and insubordination towards Megatron. Lampshaded often. In his defence Starscream himself usually lampshades how hair brained Megatron's schemes are in the first place.
  • Missing Mom: Spike's mom is never mentioned.
  • The Movie: The Transformers: The Movie is an animated film set in the continuity of the cartoon and taking place between the second and third seasons.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • In "The Ultimate Doom, Part 1", Megatron forced Optimus Prime to activate the pylon or he'll be responsible for catapulting Cybertron into oblivion. Unwilling to sacrifice his home planet, Optimus activates the space bridge, bringing Cybertron into Earth's orbit, but wonders if he is dooming Earth in the process.
    Optimus: Have I saved Cybertron... only to destroy the Earth?

    Ironhide: You did what you had to do, Prime. What any of us would have done.
    • Cyclonus had this reaction in "Webworld" when he realizes that the Ayla Solution would mean Galvatron having his memories and personality erased, to his credit he tried to stop it but was stopped rather quickly.
  • Never Say "Die": Played with. This was one of the few cartoons of the era that wasn't afraid of discussing the concept of death (and even willing to kill a few characters off), though "deactivation" was occasionally used in place of kill, which is sort of justified since the Transformers are robots.
    • An episode of season 3 was even called "The Killing Jar".
  • New Season, New Name: In Japan, the third season becomes Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers 2010note .
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • In "Megatron's Master Plan," Thrust destroying Teletraan 1 is what cancels the override to Cosmos, allowing him (And Trailbreaker) to help the Autobots escape from being pulled into the sun and back to Earth.
    • Starscream in "More Than Meets the Eye" Part 1, when after the Decepticons exit the Autobot's ship, Starscream shoots at some rocks, and the falling of those rocks knocks Optimus Prime's body into Teletraan One's repair beam.
    • In "War Dawn", Megatron sends the Aerialbots back in time to witness an earlier Megatron and his troops gun down several Autobots, including Orion Pax, Dion and Ariel. The Aerialbots bring Orion back to Alpha Trion and he's rebuilt as Optimus Prime (while Ariel's rebuilt as Elita-1). It also shows Slingshot (who previously admired the Decepticons) just how evil Megatron really was, and the disillusioned Aerialbot swears the Aerialbots won't stop until Megatron's finished.
    • Deceptitran in "Sea Change" sends out a distress signal... but the Autobots get the call as well, and their arrival before Megatron does causes Deceptitran to attack them, and show them what Deceptitran is up to. It also allows Seaspray to enter the Well of Transformation and be somewhat human at first, then a merman like Alana. (And Alana in turn becomes an Autobot for a while for the final attack on Deceptitran.)
    • Blitzwing and Astrotrain's attempt to replace both Megatron and Starstream as potential leaders of the Decepticons in "Triple Takeover" shows Megatron their true colors, and in a battle royale against them, Starscream AND Devastator, leaves Megatron as the last 'Con standing...and now the unquestionable Decepticon leader.
      • Megatron does it again in "A Prime Problem". If he hadn't had his Prime clone dismiss Spike as unimportant compared to the dangerous crystals he wanted the Autobots to get their hands on, the Bots wouldn't have been able to figure out which Prime was the real one.
  • Noble Demon: Quite surprisingly, a few Decepticons, the supposed "bad guys of a 1980's children's cartoon" have shown to be capable of honor and even compassion, most notably Skyfire ( who ultimately defects), Blitzwing and Cyclonus.
  • No Endor Holocaust:
    • Though at least one subsequent episode dealt with the Autobots helping clean up after the events of "The Ultimate Doom", there is nowhere near enough damage for what the Earth went through.
    • After the Hate Plague was cured in "The Return of Optimus Prime", the entire planet really should have been in shambles, with a bare minimum of tens of millions dead and practically everyone suffering from some kind of physical injury, many serious or permanent. Then there's the mental and emotional trauma of having gone through an event like that, which would further slow efforts to rebuild and get on with life.
  • Not So Different:
    • The Aerialbots (except Silverbolt) and Optimus Prime in their admiration of Megatron and the Decepticons. Though they do come around.
    • There were several implications throughout the first two seasons that Megatron cared for his Decepticons similar to how Optimus did his Autobots. This of course was thrown out the window after he became Galvatron.
  • Not Zilla: In "Kremzeek!", there's a billboard of a Japanese monster movie called Hojoni.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In the episode "The Key To Vector Sigma", Shockwave apparently defeated Omega Supreme (who is several times larger than him) in battle offscreen.
  • Off Model: While the series was never exactly the pinnacle of quality animation, there were several episodes that had a much lower level of quality control compared to the others. Worst offenders include most of season one, "Enter The Nightbird", "Child's Play", "Kremzeek!", "Starscream's Brigade", "B.O.T.", "Trans-Europe Express", "Triple Takeover", and all of AKOM's episodesnote .
    • Several episodes, like the above-mentioned "Kremzeek!" and "Triple Takeover" further compound this by not being animated by either main studio and using completely different model sheets in comparison.
    • Some of Studio Ox's illustrations, specifically the ones drawn by Shin Matsuo would veer this way.
    • Given that more than a dozen of companies worked on the show (Toei, AKOM and their contractors, as mentioned at the top of the page), this becomes a little more understandable, And a lot more glaring.
  • The Original Series: The original television series. The comic book was released a bit earlier.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: In "Masquerade", Starscream notes that the Stunticons (actually the Autobots disguised as the Stunticons) are driving more carefully than usual.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Optimus Prime, in the episode Prime Target. Lord Chumley learned the hard way not to mess with Optimus' fellow Autobots.
    • Spike Witwicky is at times shown to be very protective of his son Daniel. This is especially apparent in "The Rebirth", where the notion that his son is in danger drives him to create Fortress Maximus in order to defeat Zarak and the Decepticon Headmasters.
  • Pokémon Speak: In a rare Older Than They Think example, the Kremzeek are only able to say "Kremzeek".
  • Pink Means Feminine: Elita One/Ariel and Arcee are both female Autobots and are colored pink. Subverted with the Sweeps' pink claws.
  • Planet of Hats: The most sapient inhabitants of Torkulon in the episode "Webworld" are all psychiatrists who do their best to cure aliens with mental illnesses.
  • Planetville: Cybertron is one big city of a planet, and not that big, either (in the original animated series, anyway).
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The end of "The Golden Lagoon", with Beachcomber mourning the loss of the beautiful valley he stumbled upon after the lake of electrum was destroyed.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • The Mayor in "Megatron's Master Plan, Parts 1 and 2" is hesitant to believe the Decepticons' hoax of claiming that the Autobots are the real villains and even allows Spike to try and prove the Autobots' innocence.
    • Optimus several times over but especially in "Traitor". He calmly dismisses Cliffjumper's accusations of Mirage's treachery until proof can be given, and when it seems Mirage truly has turned against them, he is savvy enough to suspect outside forces before condemning him, allowing Ratchet to inspect and discover one of Bombshell's cerebro-shells controlling him.
  • Remember the New Guy: The show would introduce a new character for the episode, and no explanation would ever be given as to why we've never seen this guy before, especially when they are characters who would have saved the day in earlier episodes.
    • The cast all but doubles in season two due to never-before-seen characters who are treated as having been there all along. In fact, one story depends on them having come to Earth at the same time as the others — everyone is affected by "cybertonium" deficiency due to having been away from Cybertron for so long, which rules out anything like only recently arriving on Earth.
  • Reverse Mole: The Autobot Punch, who deceives the Decepticons by disguising himself as a Decepticon named Counterpunch.
  • Rhymes on a Dime:
    Blaster: You're sunk, you punks, and that ain't bunk!
  • Robot War: The Transformers' backstory is a Perspective Flip on this trope, and the creators and former masters are recurring villains.
  • Say My Name: In "More than Meets the Eye, Part 3", Optimus screams Megatron's name when the Decepticons blast off.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The show had a lot of these.
    • For 4 million years, the Ark held the Decepticons and Autobots in stasis, under a volcano... until volcanic activity shook things up and woke up the evil Decepticons.
    • In "Cosmic Rust", there's a dead planet with radio beacons warning travelers to stay away or die horribly. The Decepticons plunder it, and in the process, catch the metal-eating plague called Cosmic Rust.
    • In "Return of Optimus Prime", the Hate Plague spores were sealed inside a star after their last outbreak. Unfortunately, the star went nova.
    • Starscream himself could be considered Sealed Evil in a Can in the episode "Starscream's Ghost"; his ghost first appears after Octane tumbles into the Decepticon crypt and knocks over the ruins of Starscream's grave marker.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Galvatron aims his arm cannon at the viewer in the Season 3 Title Sequence. Plus numerous examples in the cartoon itself, all seasons. Mostly by Starscream or Megatron/Galvatron.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: In "The Autobot Run", the Decepticons use a device called the Transfixatron to trap several Autobots in their vehicle modes.
  • Ship Tease: "The Search for Alpha Trion" shows some blatant romantic subtext between the male Autobots and the female Autobots. It happens between Firestar and Inferno, Powerglide and Moonracer, and Chromia and Ironhide.
  • Shirtless Scene: Spike Witwicky swims bare-chested in "Atlantis, Arise!"; Seaspray in his male Tlalakan form in "Sea Change" (the male Tlalakans are a Walking Shirtless Scene).
  • Shout-Out:
    • There are several, many involving Wreck-Gar's quoting of pop culture phrases. He even quotes Star Trek: The Original Series in "The Return of Optimus Prime".
    • Soundwave's voice seems to be an homage to the Cylon voices used in the original Battlestar Galactica. It may also be an homage to the robot enemies in the video game Berzerk.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: In "The Core" a previous unconscious Devastator demands to know where his noble leader is. When Chip tries to convince him "noble Megatron" ran and left him dead, he is met with this.
    Devastator: Wrong. He withdrew. To fight Autobots another day.
  • Snow Means Cold: In "Fire In the Sky", the Autobots become aware that the Decepticons are cooling the Earth when it begins snowing in July at the Ark.
  • Spirit Advisor: The personae of all previous Autobot leaders dwell within the Matrix and occasionally surface to lend Rodimus and/or Optimus advice as the plot requires. Alpha Trion also becomes like this after he joins with Vector Sigma.
  • Stable Time Loop: A complex one involving Alpha Trion and the Aerialbots. In the second part of "The Key to Vector Sigma", Alpha Trion sacrifices himself to allow the Aerialbots to be created. Later, in the episode "War Dawn", the Aerialbots are sent to Cybertron as it was nine million years in the past and become indirectly responsible for Alpha Trion rebuilding Orion Pax and Ariel as Optimus Prime and Elita One.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • Generally, a single or multi-part episode would generally end with the Autobots victorious yet not really getting close to permanently defeating the Decepticons.
    • Any time Starscream really got Megatron mad ("More than Meets the Eye" (particularly part 3), "Countdown to Extinction", "The Revenge of Bruticus", "Auto Berserk", "Enter the Nightbird", "'Triple Takeover"), he came back in the very next episode as if nothing had happened.
      • The Revenge Of Bruticus as actually an aversion. He is only welcomed back into the Decepticons (having been exiled in Starscreams Brigade and then banished to an asteroid) after he helps them defeat said Bruticus and trick the Autobots.
  • Stock Footage: "The Ultimate Doom, Part 3" reused some scenes from Part 1.
  • Strictly Formula: This is mostly only true of the early episodes, with pretty much every episode's plot being the Autobots thwarting the Decepticons' latest scheme and the Decepticons retreating and vowing revenge when their plan goes south.
  • Surveillance as the Plot Demands: Justified with Laserbeak, Ravage, Ratbat or any of the other cassettes of Soundwave for the Decepticons, and via Teletraan One's Sky Spy for the Autobots. In "Prime Target", Lord Chumley has a million hidden cameras everywhere, with no apparent justification.
  • Take It to the Bridge: Optimus Prime and Megatron's iconic Energon-weapon battle at Sherman Dam in the second part of "More Than Meets the Eye".
  • 10-Minute Retirement: The Protectobot First Aid temporarily leaves the Autobots in "The Ultimate Weapon" due to believing that his pacifism makes him useless in battle. He returns after he is informed by Hot Spot that they need him for his medical expertise.
  • Terrible Trio:
    • Starscream, Skywarp, and Thundercracker are three Decepticons with jet modes who tend to be seen together.
    • Later on, Thrust, Ramjet, and Dirge are introduced and are also three Decepticons with flying alt modes.
    • The Insecticons are a sub-group of three insect-based Decepticons, known individually as Shrapnel, Bombshell and Kickback.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted, believe it or not; in "Webworld", the other Decepticons insist that Galvatron get psychiatric help after one too many insane rampages. It... doesn't go very well.
  • Tickertape Parade: The Autobots and Decepticons both get one in "Megatron's Master Plan".
  • Time Abyss:
    • Transformers generally can live up to millions of years. Case point, Kup, an "old veteran" type character. His age is a bit indeterminate, but a rough guess would put him somewhere well in the range of 9 to 12 million years old. To put it in comparison, humanity as a species is only 2.3-2.4 million years old (200 thousand years old, if one defines "human" as "homo genus primates anatomically identical to modern humans").
    • Alpha Trion is more ancient than most Transformers, and has even been retconned into being on the Original 13. This makes him literally older than The Earth, at over 5 billion years old.
      • And the entity known only as "It" is even older.
  • Title Drop:
    • Rodimus Prime mentions the episode's title in "Thief in the Night" and "Fight or Flee".
    • Springer gives one in the episode "Only Human" when he remarks that Victor Drath can't be much of a threat because he's only human.
  • Toilet Humour: Surprisingly occurs in the episode "A Decepticon Raider in King Arthur's Court", considering that this is a 1980's cartoon. Starscream tasks Rumble to gather potassium nitrate so that he can make gunpowder. Rumble ends up returning with a barrel of bird droppings while covered in bird droppings as well.
  • Toyless Toyline Character: Quite a few characters on the show never got toys, a lot of them being one-shot characters (e.g. Devcon from "The Gambler" and the female Autobots from "The Search for Alpha Trion") or the Autobots' human allies, but the two most notable examples are Unicron and Arcee. This would be rectified in Transformers Armada for Unicron and Transformers Animated for Arcee (with several other versions to come).
  • Transforming Mecha: The Transformers are capable of turning into stuff, most commonly vehicles and weapons.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The backstory of the Transformers and the Quintessons is that the Quintessons built Transformers to be their slaves, only for their creations to rebel once they gained sentience.
  • TV Genius: Grimlock speaks more eloquently and is a lot less clumsy when he becomes more intelligent in "Grimlock's New Brain".
  • 20 Minutes into the Future:
    • The Movie was set in 2005. Season 3 was set in the year after.
    • The Japanese version of season 3, called "Transformers 2010" takes place in, you guessed it, 2010.
  • Undying Loyalty:
  • Unexpectedly Dark Episode: "The Golden Lagoon", an episode of the normally lighthearted series, ends on a bleak note, with the title lagoon destroyed in a battle between the Autobots and Decepticons over its resources.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: In "The Burden Hardest to Bear", the Autobots repel Decepticon attacks against Japan. When it's over, government officials blame the Autobots for the Decepticon presence, the damage and scaring people away.
  • The Unintelligible: Slizardo is only able to speak through mumbling gibberish.
  • Unreliable Voiceover: In "Madman's Paradise", the Red Wizard of Menonia who's actually a Quintesson named Mara-Al-Utha claims that he was the Golden One's most prized pupil and that he was forced to take control of the kingdom because of an accident the Golden One suffered. The accompanying flashbacks obviously show the Red Wizard being a terrible student, trapping the Golden One in a cave on purpose, and taking over the kingdom out of his thirst for power.
  • Vapor Wear: Talaria from "The God Gambit" wears a skirt that has a split down the side exposing her legs and apparently no underwear. In some shots, you can even see the outline of her rear.
  • Verbal Tic:
    • Shrapnel always says the last word of his sentences twice, twice.
    • Warpath's speech is often peppered with random onomatopoeia for explosions and war-related noises, such as BOOM or WHAM.
  • Villain Decay:
    • Devastator started out as a near-invincible foe that not even the Dinobots could best in physical combat, requiring the Autobots to outthink and out-manoeuvre him. Then came "The Secret of Omega Supreme," where Omega easily overpowered him. It got worse over time; The Combaticon combiner Bruticus handed him a severe beatdown in "Starscream's Brigade," and in "The Five Faces of Darkness" (part one), Menasor brought him down with a couple of swings from his sword (both of them were suffering from severe Energon depletion at this time). The worst came in "Carnage in C-Minor," where he was twice taken out seconds after forming; First, Broadside dropped on him in aircraft carrier mode, and shortly after, Perceptor was able to blast him back into his component forms with one well-placed shot.
    • Then there's Galvatron. The Movie presented him as genuinely dangerous, killing Starscream with a single shot, royally messing up Ultra Magnus and successfully stealing the Matrix, and very nearly killing Hot Rod. The only things capable of subduing him are the Matrix and Unicron; to a regular Transformer, he's virtually unstoppable. After The Movie, he became a babbling maniac who usually serves as a bigger threat to his own soldiers than to his enemies, and his firepower was greatly diminished. In general, the post-movie episodes treat Galvatron as a walking punchline who manages to actually fail more spectacularly on a regular basis than Megatron ever did.
  • Villain Episode:
    • "Triple Takeover" focuses on Blitzwing and Astrotrain attempting to take over the Decepticons. The Aurobots don't even get involved until the episode is halfway finished.
    • "Webworld" has the Decepticons try to give Galvatron some professional help. This time, the Autobots barely appear at all.
  • Villainous Glutton: The Insections tend to have an obsession with eating a lot, though since they're robots, they tend to eat metal, energon, and oil rather than food.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Dr. Arkeville is never seen again after he's left on Cybertron as an immobile cyborg in "Countdown to Extinction".
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: After Megatron is rebuilt into Galvatron, he goes completely insane, though that isn't entirely due to his new body. Spending a year face-down in a pool of lava will do that to your sanity.
  • The Worf Effect: Occurs occasionally (although not as often as you might think) when a new team is introduced and pitted against existing characters or teams:
    • To reinforce how awesome Starcream's Combaticon combiner team and their combined form, Bruticus, are former bad-ass Devastator was handed a severe beatdown in the episode "Starscream's Brigade."
    • To be fair, Devastator benefited from the same treatment the previous year when the Constructicons/Devastator were the new guys pitted against existing Autobot heavy-weights the Dinobots in order to demonstrate ''their' unstoppability.
    • Done less successfully when the power of new guy Defensor is demonstrated against existing power-house Bruticus. Although that could be due to the episode in question being the execrable "B.O.T."
    • In "The Rebirth," existing combiner team the Aerialbots are used to demonstrate new guy Sixshot's power.
  • Working for a Body Upgrade: A mutual example in "Ghost in the Machine", when Starscream's ghost and Unicron's head each work to restore the other's body.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • Megatron and Optimus Prime know and respect each others' martial ability far too well to simply hate each other.
    • Carried over in "The Return of Optimus Prime, Part 2", after Optimus has saved the galaxy from the Hate Plague. Galvatron is on the scene and won't hear of further battles afterwards.
      "There will be no war today, Optimus Prime. You have earned Galvatron's respect."
    • Both Ultra Magnus and Cyclonus respect each other as fellow warriors. Cyclonus actually saves Ultra Magnus from the ignonimious end of being pulled into a black-hole in "The Killing Jar" because "Warriors such as you and I should meet their end in battle."
  • Wrap It Up: Declining toy sales meant the fourth season was cut to a Mini Series ("The Rebirth"), and then cut again from five episodes to three.
  • Your Size May Vary: Somehow, the Seekers (who turn into F-15 fighter jets) are no bigger than Optimus Prime (who turns into a flat-nosed semi-truck) while in robot mode. Unlike Megatron and Soundwave, the Seekers aren't explicitly portrayed with the ability to change size.

Alternative Title(s): Transformers Generation One

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/TheTransformers?from=WesternAnimation.TransformersGenerationOne