Transformers Rescue Bots is a new series in the Transformers franchise, targeted towards younger childrennote 7 and up, just like Transformers Prime. Two episodes first aired as a sneak preview in December of 2011, with the series premiering properly in 2012.The series focuses on Heatwave, Chase, Blades, and Boulder, the last surviving group of "Rescue Bots", who come to Earth in response to Optimus Prime's message to Autobots scattered across the universe. However, rather than roll out for battle, Optimus has a different task in mind for them: acting as ambassadors to humanity and working as "Rescue Bots" once again. They are instructed to masquerade as advanced machinery and work with the Burns, a family of first-responders who live and work in the town of Griffin Rock, a technologically advanced town that's on the cutting edge of scientific advancement.With Chase partnered with police chief Charlie Burns, Heatwave with fireman Kade, Blades with helicopter pilot Dani, and Boulder with engineer Graham, the humans, save for Charlie, are initially unaware of their new vehicles' true identity as alien robots. That is, until the youngest member of the family, Cody, deduces the truth and befriends the alien machines. Soon enough, the secret becomes known to the whole family, and together, they work to save the people of Griffin Rock from all manner of natural disasters and science gone awry.As it's targeted towards a (slightly) younger demographic, Rescue Bots is considerably Lighter and Softer than other Transformers media, focusing on telling more lighthearted stories about rescue operations and teamwork rather than focusing on the war with the Decepticons, as most Transformers series do. However, the series does take some Broad Strokes from current Transformers media, particularly that of its sister series, Transformers Prime.Rescue Bots also uses a animation style similar to that of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and has a fairly impressive voice cast consisting of Steve Blum, Maurice LaMarche, and LeVar Burton, among others.This being a Transformers series, Rescue Bots, has an accompanying toy-line (which predates the show). Just as the animated series is targeted towards (slightly) younger viewers than previous Transformers series, so too are the toys, featuring simplistic transformations and playsets as well as tie in stories packaged in with the toys themselves.Now has a Recap Page.
Transformers Rescue Bots contains examples of:
Ace Pilot: Dani, naturally. Her being partnered with Blades, who is both afraid of heights and until coming to Earth had wheels, causes about as much frustration as you might expect.
Annoying Younger Sibling: Kade sees Cody's attempts at trying to join the family on their assignments to be this, while Cody sees him as a milder Big Brother Bully that's trying to keep him out. Nevertheless, they do care about each other, as shown in "Under Pressure."
Bad Future: Cody, Frankie, and the Bots visit one in "Bot to the Future." Dr. Morocco has taken over Griffin Rock and rules with an iron fist, with the intention of eventually taking over the world, Chief Burns is a museum janitor and Kade, Dani, and Graham are auto mechanics, Cody doesn't exist, and Doc Greene doesn't live in Griffin Rock(at best - where he is is never made clear).
Black and Nerdy: Francine shows herself to be this trope when she's more interested in a dinosaur exhibit than the flashier giant robots. Her father, being a scientist, also fits into this trope.
Blob Monster: Squilsh a blob/slime monster created from a electric substance from mars that was synthesized. was stopped by both Graham and Boulder.
Blondes are Evil: Not evil, but Mrs. Neederlander was just as mean as a little girl as she is now.
Broad Strokes: The series opens with the Rescue Bots' ship picking up a message sent to the stars by Optimus Prime, beckoning them to planet Earth. This is essentially similar to one sent by Optimus at the end of the Five-Episode Pilot of Transformers Prime (itself inspired by yet another instance in the first movie). Furthermore, references to a "fallen Cybertron" and Heatwave expecting to "roll out" with other Autobots hint that other aspects of the "Aligned continuity" are present in this universe as well.
Carnivore Confusion: "Flobsters On Parade" ends with the titular creatures being grounded and quickly devoured by the townspeople. Since they're prone to displaying some very human facial expressions, this is troubling.
Catch Phrase: "Rescue Bots, roll to the rescue!" Said by Heatwave before moving out to the scene of an emergency.
"Family of Heroes" has Optimus Prime telling the Rescue Bots that their home planet of Cybertron is dead, which of course happened when Megatron decided it would be a good idea to infect the Core with Dark Energon. Something that the Rescue Bots were apparently unaware of. Chase also expressed that they were "ready to join the battle", almost certainly referring to the war with the Decepticons.
"The Reign of Morocco" has the titular Doctor speaking to a client via earpiece. Said client is interested in highly advanced technology and is apparently building an army, making it highly likely Morocco was dealing with MECH.
Bumblebee, of course, "speaks" just like he does in Transformers Prime, when he shows up for "Bumblebee to the Rescue". And of course, just like in Prime, the other 'Bots can understand his beeps, but everyone else is out of luck (though Cody manages to figure out the gist of it). The same episode also has Optimus saying that he "consulted [their] medic", aka Ratchet. He also refers to "those wishing to do us harm", most likely meaning the Decepticons.
In "It's a Bot Time," when confronted by several Morbots, Bumblebee initally assumes the Morbots are Decepticons, judging by Heatwave's response to him.
Convection Shmonvection: "Under Pressure" is rife with this, what with being an episode dealing with molten lava everywhere. The most egregious case being when Heatwave and Kade are trapped in a tunnel filling with the stuff, but suffer neither heat injury nor are they scalded when a full trough of water cools the lava and subsequently creates a bunch of steam.
Cool Shades: Heatwave, Blades, and Chase can all flip down a visor, presumably in order to protect their optics while doing rescue work. The visors also go along with their disguise of being only advanced machines, not sentient beings.
Cross Over: Some of the later episodes will be this to Prime, even featuring the 'Bots and 'Cons from that show.
Deflector Shields: One was used in "Rescue Boy". It worked well at first but then malfunction trying to protect Cody from anything (creating Shock and Awe attacks). Luckily the Rescue Bots were able to get it off with specialized gloves made to go through the shield.
Ditzy Genius: Doctor Greene, who is generally absent-minded and does things like trying to speed up computation time by hanging upside down... in the middle of a city-wide disaster. He also doesn't quite seem to grasp that the "best left forgotten" section of Griffin Rock's scientific archives is called that for a reason.
To be fair some of his invention were sabotaged by Dr Morocco before his debut.
Boulder as well. It took him quite some time to process that a lion wasn't the best choice for a Team Pet. Also, using sonic waves to find Heatwave in a collapsing tunnel.
Egg Sitting: Cody cares for Dr. Greene's Robo-baby, which ends up having to be saved by the Bots.
Egopolis: An alternate timeline version of Doctor Morocco names the entire island of Griffin Rock after himself once he takes complete control.
Expy: The Rescue Bots team has a similar purpose and theme to the Protectobots from Generation 1, with all of them save Boulder turning into the same kind of emergency vehicles. In practice, they also resemble archetypal characters from the broader Transformers mythos:
Heatwave shares an alternate mode with Hot Spot, the Protectobots' leader. He's also cut from the same cloth as Optimus Prime himself, with similar design elements. Optimus also turned into a fire truck in several Transformers series, for the record. Though his hotheadedness is more reminiscent of Generation 1Hot Rod.
He's also similar to "Rescue Roy", a character from an earlier Transformers toy-line that was also targeted towards younger children.
Chase is evocative of Prowl, and shares his Robots in Disguise incarnation's fondness for adhering to and enforcing the rules.
Blades shares a name and alternate mode with Generation 1 Blades, but his fear of heights while also being a flier is more similar to that of Silverbolt, leader of the Aerialbots.
Finally, Boulder is clearly based on Bulkhead, right down to his colors, similar design, and being a Gentle Giant who loves Earth and is all around smarter than he looks.
His robot mode design (treads for arms, front for legs) is also similar to Scavenger's.
Doctor Greene is a human example, based heavily on Doc Brown from the Back to the Future franchise.
Formally-Named Pet: Recurring character Mrs. Neederlander has a cat named "Mister Pettypaws".
Fountain of Youth: Doctor Thaddeus Morocco seems to have invented (aka stolen) a machine that keeps him in the prime of his youth instead of a old man as seen in "Bot to the Future". Though it should be noted that the machine is not without flaws, such as only being able to rejuvenate Morocco for short periods of time.
Masquerade: The Rescue Bots have to hide their true selves and pass as advanced machinery. This being Transformers, it lasts all of one episode in regards to the Burns family. Heatwave isn't happy about this fact at first, especially in regards to being bossed around by Kade. That's right, they're Robots in Disguise... as robots.
Somewhat justified as fully-sentient robots able to think for themselves without human prodding might cause a panic. If one of the Rescue Bots had gone evil (not malfunctioning), it could tarnish the reputations of the Rescue Bots, the Burnses and possibly the Autobots by extension.
"The Alien Invasion of Griffin Rock" might have a handwave that in case the humans can't be with the Rescue Bots, the Bots have a programmed AI first directive of saving lives ''even without their drivers." If their cover gets blown to pieces in the process, it isn't as important as those lives saved.
Missing Mom: The Burns' family's mother isn't mentioned, and does not appear to be around, and the first episode shows Charlie doing the cooking for the family.
Frankie's mom is never seen either.
Never Say "Die": Taken to silly extremes in "The Haunting of Griffin Rock", especially when the Burns' family describe ghosts as a type of time travelers instead of simply saying they're dead people.
No Antagonist: Because of its focus on emergency rescues, the Decepticons won't be showing up in this series, at least for now.
Later averted with the introduction of Doctor Morocco, a human scientist who ends up being directly behind some of the emergencies the team responds to.
No Equal Opportunity Time Travel: Averted. Frankie and Cody end up in 1939, but no one comments on Frankie's race or gender. This probably has something to do with the fact that, besides Rescue Bots being a children's show, the only people who actually meet them are the scientists who are more concerned with the robots that came through their time travel machine, and also the fact that Cody and Frankie are children.
Many of the town's top scientists of that era seemed to be non-white. Griffin Rock was as far ahead socially from the rest of the country as it was technologically
Noodle Incident: Chief Burns during the Flobster parade: "At least it wasn't livestock this time."
Robo Speak: Cody tries to help the Rescue Bots adjust to their role of pretending to be "ordinary" robots by instructing them in how to do this (along with robot "walking"), using an old 1950's sci-flick.
And the episode about fixing a Bad Future is titled "Bot to the Future."
In "The Alien Invasion of Griffin Rock," one of the panicking citizens phone calls causes a character to retort that her husband Edgar is not a giant cockroach from Mars. Edgar was the name of the villain in the first Men in Black film, who was a giant cockroach alien.
And on top of that, the episode also references Alien and Predator.
And if you want to get even more obscure, the whole town packing over a "alleged broadcast" of an alien invasion is a reference to a real incidence in which people panicked over an alleged alien invasion in the 40s. The invasion turned out to be a radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds.
Truncated Theme Tune: In an odd first-run example, the first episode of the series had just a Title Card and a snippet of theme music. Subsequent episodes have the full Theme Tune and opening animation.
Tsundere: In the second episode, neither Kade or Heatwave are willing to admit they're friends now, even after standing together when their lives were on the line; "It's not like we're friends" is even said verbatim.
Tyrannosaurus rex: The first episode features a malfunctioning, robotic T-Rex. In a later ep we see Doc Greene turned it into a guard dog of sorts.
Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Doctor Thaddeus Morocco. He's practically the closest we will get to Megatron due to him bent on world conquest by leading an army of robots.
Walk, Don't Swim: On the occassions the Rescue Bots have been seen to perform aquatic rescues, they've consistently been portrayed as too heavy to swim, thus being forced to walk or drive along the ocean floor.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: This is Kade's initial reaction to the Autobots, considering them mere machines and being frustrated about how he has to do things like ask his ride to "roll down the window" for him.
Whip It Good: Heatwave has shown in 'Bot To The Future' to use his firehose as a whip (and when it landed in a Morbot cannon, he used a Kill Itwith Water to flood the morbots insides.
Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Blades is deathly afraid of heights. Considering he turns into a helicopter, this poses problems for him and his human partner, Dani.
Wolverine Publicity: Optimus Prime has his own play-set in the toy-line, while he isn't (currently) a main character in the show.
The World Is Not Ready: The reason why the Rescue Bots have to be "robots in disguise." However, the usual Transformers trappings are played with in that they get to pose as advanced machinery and not hide their robot modes. This is all part of a gradual plan to get humanity used to their presence.