YMMV: Transformers Generation 1

  • Accidental Innuendo: Megatron would turn into a gun to be wielded by another Decepticon, usually Starscream. The implications are staggering.
    • In case your mind wasn't dirty enough to get it at first: Starscream holds Megatron in his hands, then pulls Megatron's trigger, making him shoot out.
      • And to FURTHER add to this, the original Megatron toy had his trigger for his crotch.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation - Is Shockwave loyal to Megatron, or a better Starscream than Starscream himself? Cerebros and his Humongous Mecha Fortress Maximus, or Fortress Maximus and his remote-controlled drone Cerebros? Ironfist: geeky Ascended Fanboy, or Dumb Muscle? Decepticons: stone cold evil or Well Intentioned Extremists? All these and more depend entirely on your choice of continuity.
    • Another of the more noteworthy ones is Ratbat. He's a voiceless servant to Soundwave in the original series, but he was Decepticon leader for a time in the original comics. Later continuities have tried to meld both interpretations for one backstory.
    • DR. SMOOV has created a video made from scenes from the G1 cartoon that reinterprets Shockwave as a comically poor marksman and buffoon who was left on Cybertron because Megatron wanted him out of the way.
      • DR. SMOOV's Transformers videos have a lot of this. Optimus Prime is lazy, Wheeljack is an amoral Jerkass, Red Alert is crazy and The Load, Chip is the Butt Monkey, and more.
    • Starscream: does he want Megatron's postition, or Megatron's respect? The in-universe explanation is that, while Starscream is a traitorous schemer, Megatron keeps him because he reminds Megatron of the need to watch his own back and keep his power protected at all costs.
    • Is Grimlock really stupid? Or does he just pretend to be stupid to throw his enemies off guard? Another interpretation is that Grimlock is quite intelligent but is unable to speak properly due to a malfunction in his speech processor, giving him a variant of Broca's aphasia.
  • Audience Shift: Most current material based on Generation 1, specifically comics, toys, and re-releases of the animated series, is aimed towards fans who grew up with the franchise rather than the children that it was originally intended for.
  • Awesome Ego: Megatron/Galvatron and Starscream, all the way. Also Grimlock when his intelligence gets temporarily boosted.
  • Badass Decay: Devastator seemed to cop this with the arrival of new Combiner teams who applied The Worf Effect on the Constructicons.
    • Justified, it you think about it, as Devastator is frequently portrayed as the first Combiner and a prototype.
    • Of Course, then you look at Menasor. Menasor was one of the most powerful combiners, taking down his counterpart Superion in their debut, and only losing when facing both Superion and Omega Supreme, his next appearance had him take down Bruticus, come Season 3, a few shots to the back took him down.
    • Scourge and the Sweeps in Season 3. In the Movie, they tore apart Ultra Magnus, in the series, they're Galvatron's punching bag.
  • Base Breaker: Megatron - viewed by some as a menacing, Badass villain, and criticized by others for being a General Failure (at least in the series pre-Movie).
  • Bizarro Episode: Quite a bunch, most notably Carnage in C Minor, The Core, and the absolutely terrible B.O.T.
  • Broken Base: While G1 is the most iconic incarnation of Transformers apart from the live-action film series, the Transformers fanbase is up in arms over whether it was a legitimately good cartoon, a deliciously corny Guilty Pleasure, or a poorly-made toy commercial that is blindly supported due to nostalgia. Debates of this type also include how it compares to other Transformers series.
  • Crazy Awesome: Optimus Prime borders on this at times in seasons 1 and 2.
    Human scientist: It's a safe bet those doors are locked.
    Optimus: Fortunately, I know a delicate lockpicking technique. [shoots the door]
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The episode "Webworld", which involves the Decepticons trying to get Galvatron to a therapist. This goes about as well as you might expect.
    Galvatron: "I'll destroy everything here—everything! And THEN, I'll destroy the Autobots!"
    Therapist: "Yes...tell me about the Autobots."
    Galvatron: "I hate Autobots! I hate Cyclonus! And I'm not very fond of you, either!"
  • Draco in Leather Pants - Starscream. What could it be? The squeaky voice, Megatron constantly harming him, the fact that he's vaguely more humanoid than other Decepticons? Or was it just the flashy paint job? The world may never know.
  • Ear Worm: That damn theme song...
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Sideswipe is insanely popular, despite his fairly generic bio and being Out of Focus for the entire series. Most people credit this with him having a pretty great toy for the time. Skywarp is in much the same boat.
  • Fan Nickname - Starscream = Screamer, Optimus Prime = Robo Jesus, Megatron = Megs
    • Although Skywarp did call him "Screamer" in one episode.
    • And Megatron has been referred to as "Megs" on occasion. We're still waiting for someone to call Optimus "Robo Jesus".
    • Ramjet, Thrust and Dirge were nicknamed "the Coneheads" because of their cone shaped-heads.
  • Fanon Discontinuity - Fans all over the world prefer to ignore Kiss Players.
  • First Installment Wins: Until the live-action movies came along and caused Adaptation Displacement, Generation 1 was synonymous with the Transformers brand itself; even to this day, it's the most well-known incarnation apart from the movies, and there are many fans who attest that it remains the most iconic and definitive.
  • Foe Yay: Megatron never did punish Starscream that much for his disloyalty... Until he became Galvatron, that is.
  • Fridge Brilliance: During "The Key to Vector Sigma" the military thinks the Stunticons are the Autobots. Sounds stupid with Decepticons like the Constructicons and the Triple Changers, until you realize that up until this episode the Decepticons had no normal ground vehicles as transformers. As this was cars and a big rig, which means it practically has the Autobots written all over it.
  • Growing the Beard: Subverted. Season 2 showed a lot of signs of improvement (stronger and bigger scale plots, more backstory, more spotlight episodes and characterization, better animation, etc.) but the last few episodes of the season and season 3 promptly took a nosedive in quality.
  • Hell Is That Noise: In "Five Faces of Darkness, Part 1," Cyclonus and Scourge intend to bring back Galvatron and they begin their search at his last known location: Unicron's floating head.
    Cyclonus: There's nothing to fear. Unicron is dead.
    (They hear a groan)
    Cyclonus: Must be the wind.
    Scourge: There is no wind in space.
    Cyclonus: Quiet!
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In "Hoist Goes Hollywood," Hoist and several other Autobots get to be in an action movie. Unfortunately for them, the human characters initially take precedence over their bit parts, the director seems to have little respect for the Autobots (at least early on) and there's a good deal of pyrotechnics in the movie. Sounds familiar.
  • Ho Yay: Rodimus Prime admits to dreaming about Optimus. His own voice actor (jokingly) claimed the character was gay.
    • There's also Megatron and Soundwave. Soundwave is slavishly loyal to Megatron and is the sole person that Megatron never abuses or insults (in fact he heaps praise on the guy). This extends to after Megatron became Galvatron, including a scene where the two hold hands as they fly. It's common for fans to joke that the two are secretly lovers.
    • And then there's Megatron and Starscream, who fight and bicker like an old married couple, with Starscream as the whining nagging wife to Megatron's ever agitated husband. Taking the aforementioned subtext between Megatron and Soundwave into account one has to wonder if Megatron effectively dumped Starscream for Soundwave and Starscream simply never got over it. At one point Starscream actually asked Megatron "Aren't you happy to see me?"
  • Jerkass Woobie: The Constructicons, who are only evil because Megatron reprogrammed them against their will.
  • Memetic Mutation - "Soundwave superior. Constructicons inferior."
    • Also from the Evil Twin episode: Which Prime is the real Prime? LET'S HAVE A RACE.
    • GEEWUN, a fan term describing those who overglorify G1 (usually due to nostalgia) and bash most other Transformers incarnations, most infamously the Transformers Film Series. Notably, this term cross-pollinated into the Pokémon fandom as "Genwun", and is used to describe fans who are similarly attached to the earliest incarnations of the franchise to the exclusion of others.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Megatron famously crossed it in the movie when he killed Optimus, though one could he say he crossed it far earlier with the Robo-Smasher (aka. the device he used to horrifically brainwash the peaceful Constructicons into Decepticons and destroy Crystal City). For Blitzwing at least, the deal with the Quintessons was the point of no return for Galvatron.
  • More Popular Spin-off: Not of Transformers itself, but the Pokémon fandom adopted the Transformers fandom's concept of "GEEWUN" as "Genwunners". Pokémon Genwunners are currently more infamous and more widely debated than Transformers GEEWUNNERS.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The transformation noise.
  • Narm Charm: Some fans love the show for this.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Soundwave laughing! No, you read it right. Still sceptical? Here's proof.
  • Nightmare Retardant: Megatron, you know that scope that turns into his iconic black hole gun? That scope and other accessories aren't from a real Walther P38 but were made up by the prop department of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which means the most fearsome Decepticon of them all either turns into a TV prop, or more likely some kid's toy based on a TV prop.note 
  • One-Scene Wonder: Hauler's appearance in cartoon was very brief. However, his similarity to both Grapple and the Constructicons led to various theories about his origins, before the character got an official background story which depicts him as a rogue member of the Constructicons.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In the cartoon episode The Key To Vector Sigma, Shockwave apparently defeated Omega Supreme in battle (offscreen).
  • Replacement Scrappy: Rodimus Prime
  • Saved by the Fans: Optimus Prime is probably the most famous example of this, being brought back after the massive backlash from being Killed Off for Real in the movie. Though in this case it was less "Saved by the fans" and more "Saved by letters of complaint from the angry moms of traumatized children".
  • The Scrappy: Rolan and Martin. This duo is so bad, they are nicknamed "future serial killers" in Transformers Wiki.
  • Seasonal Rot: Season 3 is widely considered a step down from the previous two seasons due to killing off/writing out most of the cast in favor of new toys, drastically changing the setting and style, and the animation becoming worse than ever.
  • Snark Bait: The series' low production values and Merchandise-Driven nature are subject to this.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The cartoon in general; similar to Star Trek: The Original Series, it brought a lot of memorable characters and performances despite its low production values. Although more... nostalgic... fans tend to view it as So Cool It's Awesome.
    • In particular, the episode "Carnage in C-Minor". Sure, it has no end of animation, technical and continuity errors, but it has a good plot (as well as a little Fridge Horror at the end) and the errors have nothing to do with the plot itself.
    • "A Prime Problem" is another example because the plot is completely ludicrous (everyone has the Idiot Ball) and Optimus Prime hilariously flubs Spike and Trailbreaker's names. At least neither are as bad as B.O.T.
      • Given one Prime is actually controlled by Megatron and none of the other Autobots can tell which of the two "is real" until The Reveal Megatron's "Prime" angrily remarks about a captive Spike, "HE'S UNIMPORTANT!" which get the Autobots to see he's "phony"—the "Real Prime" would have dropped everything for Spike it's understandable.
      • "B.O.T" probably qualifies as well, if not for just plain bad, due to the massive Idiot Plot around three of the dumbest humans to ever exist and their stupidity seemingly affecting the rest of the cast as the episode goes on. A prime candidate for Snark Bait.
  • So Cool It's Awesome: The voice acting. Say what you will about the series' quality, but no one is willing to dispute the phenomenal voice acting it had apart from Megatron and the various Scrappies. For a series where Status Quo Is God, Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, Chris Latta and the rest of the cast made major and even minor characters memorable based on their performances alone. Taken Up to Eleven with the movie, which also added Robert Stack, Eric Idle, and even gargantuans Orson Welles and Leonard Nimoy to the mix.
  • Special Effects Failure: More often than not combined with Off Model.
  • Squick - Kiss Players, which contains not only lolicon, but penis tongues.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: some members of the fandom watch later incarnations of the series for the sole purpose of complaining endlessly about their being an insult to the holy perfection that is G1.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Kiss Players has some fairly cool story ideas that explored the aftermath of Transformers: The Movie. Unfortunately all the good ideas were buried under the rather... unfortunate things.
  • Villain Decay: Particularly prevalent with combiner teams, but also with characters representing other gimmicks, such as Triple-Changers. Devastator was unstoppable in early episodes, and in more than one episode unbeatable even by the entire Autobot team. Later, he could be broken up by a single shot from Perceptor. This effect was largely symmetrical, as Autobot combiners were also brought in to replace the formerly formidable older ones. Multiple Autobot characters have been referred to as their "last line of defence", including Omega Supreme and Metroplex.
  • What an Idiot: Multiple examples from both the Autobots and the Decepticons and even the humans who get caught in the crossfire.