These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
Jack saying he cares about Arcee because she was "his first" can be taken several ways he hopefully did not intend. This isn't helped when Jack's mother comments that Arcee "isn't the kind of girl I imagined him ditching me for".
D.N.G.S., specifically, how it's pronounced ("din-gus"), prompting the Youtube comment "Silas really wants Fowler's Dingus".
The opening theme. A strong, awesome beginning, or boring?
The new season 3 opening has caught some flak from above opening's fans. Just goes to show ya...
Bumblebee gets a bit of this from time to time, as some fans feel (not entirely without reason) that he's more of a transplant of Movieverse 'Bee than a nuanced character in his own right for the sake of kid appeal, and the ungodly amount of merchandise revolving around him doesn't help this perception in the least. He did, however, lose a lot of detractors in Season 3 when he Took a Level in Badass, and was more or less Rescued from the Scrappy Heap entirely in "Deadlock" and Predacons Rising, where his awesomeness is taken Up to Eleven.
Airachnid. While there is a consensus that she is scary and that Gina Torres' performance is good, fans are split as to whether or not she's too much of an expy of Blackarachnia/Lockdown/Tarantulas, particularly when she charms an Insecticon, or controls it. To say nothing of her killing Breakdown or other potential Moral Event Horizon moments.
Wheeljack has a lot of fans, but there are some fans of the traditional crackpot engineer portrayal who are disappointed by this series' version of him.
Breakdown's death seems to have caused a significant deal of controversy among the fanbase, with some considering it a strong moment where the show took real risks and showed that Anyone Can Die while others felt that it just wasted one of their best characters for nothing.
After "Toxicity", you either wanted Bulkhead to die after so many near deaths or you didn't. Then summaries for "Hurt" leaked and the writers were either accused of following Status Quo Is God or praised for not killing Bulk off, though admittedly more wanted the former after feeling that it was a Writer Copout.
Going off of that, Miko's behavior in "Out of the Past." Either she's acting out of a desperate, understandable fear for Bulkhead, or she's blown her last big chance for character development and once again learned nothing.
Smokescreen is an extremely divisive character. Fans either love him or loathe him.
Amongst his fans: His new paintjob.
The second season. Depending on who you ask, it either wasted too many characters and plot threads, or successfully continued Growing the Beard from the first.
In that same vein, the Orion Pax arc is, to some, a massive heap of wasted potential. To others, though, it's considered one of the high points of the series.
Optimus's revival in "Rebellion" has divided the fanbase as to whether or not this is a good decision.
The finale is a source of huge division amongst the fanbase.
The series in general. Is it a worthy addition to the franchise and at least as good as or even better than Transformers Animated, or a huge let down that looks pretty but fails to build strong story arcs and let its characters develop with any kind of weight or believability. Like most entries in the TF canon, fans seem divided on whether to Love It or Hate It which was pretty much exactly what was expected by this point.
Silas is one of the few human villains in Transformers history to hold this trope. In "Operation: Breakdown", he captures Breakdown, tortures him, tries to have him vivisected, and removes one of his eyes. In Crisscross he allies M.E.C.H. with Airachnid, a Complete Monster herself, to get his hands on another Cybertronian (this time, Arcee) and was perfectly willing to let Airachnid kill Jack Darby, a sixteen-year old teenager, and his mother to do it. He even states a few human lives are worth it for Arcee's tech. In "The Human Factor", after his men upload him into the now-dead Breakdown's empty shell, saving his life in the process, he thanks them for that and their years of loyal service by thanking them personally and then slaughtering them. He then betrays the human race to Megatron, seeing himself as a superior being, razing a military base just to get Megatron's attention, then attempting to blow up everybody inside Raf's house (for reference, that's the human trio, Agent Fowler and Raf's mother). It says something that Knock Out is completely disgusted by him, and Megatron calls him an abomination, though admittedly Megatron hates all humans.
Airachnid is by far one of the evilest villains of the current cast. She's a self-styled "ex-Decepticon" who spent her time in the Great War capturing, torturing, and slowly killing any Autobots she could find. For certain victims, like Arcee, she'd go out of her way to find people they cared for and murder them before their eyes as part of her fun. After the war left Cybertron, she struck out solo to pursue a new hobby: hunting endangered (and soon to be extinct) species for sport and collecting grisly "trophies" of her kills. Should she find an attractive species that isn't endangered, not to worry, she'll ensure that they are by the time she's done. After coming to Earth, she's decided to make humans her new toys, as Jack found out the hard way. Airachnid's not under orders or attempting any form of grand scheme, she just finds it fun. There's also the utterly brutal way she kills Breakdown, tearing him into pieces. She's an unholy blend of Tarantulas, Beast Wars Rampage, and Lockdown pressed into a spider's shape and let loose on the universe.
The wiki, of course, lampshades this in its "Thirst" article, which is a big example of it: The events of "Armada", "The Human Factor", and "Stronger, Faster" receive payoff, the third particularly after the second season seemed to quietly ignore it.
"Yowza, this would be a tough episode to start watching the series."
Just to give you an idea, there are 65 episodes in the series proper. Of those episodes, every episode in some way builds upon the last, and contributes something for future episodes (even if the contributions are absurdly small).
Crazy Awesome: Vogel. Firmly believes in the existence of mole men and other subterranean monsters, and uses his sweeper train to run over Decepticons.
Creator's Pet: Miko is loved by Polygon Pictures, the people who animate the show, and hated by a significant portion of the fandom.
Creepy Awesome: Soundwave, Megatron, Starscream, Airachnid and Predaking.
Double Standard: Miko has gotten away with blatantly defying orders to stay back in the safety of the base, blithely putting herself at risk and becoming a protective burden on everyone else. When Jack does it at the behest of Smokescreen in "Legacy" and is hesitant about it and even calls Ratchet for backup, he and Smokescreen get chewed out harshly even when they are genuinely contrite. Contrast this with what happened when Wheeljack and Miko attempt to go an on even more reckless Roaring Rampage of Revenge - they get off with only a few disapproving statements by Ratchet in "New Recruit". At best, it might be a matter of different expectations. Smokescreen is supposed to be an Elite Guard graduate and Jack was entrusted with the Key to Vector Sigma. Conversely, Wheeljack is a loose cannon and an independent worker, while Miko is reckless and couldn't be entrusted with an Energon sandwich.
Ensemble Darkhorse: Almost any of the non-leader 'bots and 'cons seem to have their fair share of popularity. Exceptions appear to be Airachnid, Darksteel and Sky Lynx. The latter two aren't unpopular per say, they just didn't have much time for characterisation.
In a rather surprising twist considering the franchise'sprevious issueson the subject, the human characters are generally well-received by fans, mostly due to being well-written and having relatable/likable personalities. Jack, Raf and Agent Fowler are particularly loved by the fanbase. Jack is a down-to-Earth, sarcastic teen who many younger viewers can easily relate to. He isn't obnoxious, has a brain which he uses quite often, and has had his own fair share of crowning moments. Raf is the cute one, as well as a brainiac and partial Otaku Surrogate for more tech-minded viewers. His more child-like behavior coupled with some shades of maturity and brotherly relationship with Bumblebee has made for him being a rather enamoring character for fans. And last but not least, there's Agent Fowler, a no-nonsense, rough-and-tumble, nitty-gritty Badass Normal who can easily hold his own in a fight against a 'con, even going so far to taunt one to their face, despite the fact that he could die at the enemy's smallest whim. He doesn't take scrap from anybody and knows when people are messing with him. While he does indeed have his own humorous moments, most of the time he's a force to be reckoned with on the human's side.
Vogel, who, despite only appearing in one episode, has proven himself to be one of the show's more memorable characters.
The first season was pretty experimental in what kind of stories they were going to tell. Some felt the 5 part mini-series opener was fantastic, others disliked it for being derivative of past Transformers stories. Nearly every episode will switch back and forth from horror undertones ("Scrapheap," "Predatory") to human-centric drama ("Convoy," "Speed Metal," "Crisscross") to MacGuffin chases ("Deus Ex Machina," "Metal Attraction"). Fans would pick and choose which style or which episode they liked the most, with no real consensus. The first episode that everyone agreed on that was fantastic was "One Shall Fall" and the following "One Shall Rise" three-parter, which delves into the overall mythology and doesn't pull any punches with some shocking plot developments.
Some fans think that the second season, with its darker tone, much larger amount of twists and turns, increased focus on Optimus's past, and the story's propensity for killing off likable characters left and right make it an improvement over Season 1. Other fans... disagree. See Seasonal Rot.
The Transformers Animated version of Ratchet had a spotlight episode on his past, which involved a friend called Arcee and their little debacle involving Lockdown, a bounty hunter who essentially murders Transformers and steals their body parts as trophies. In this series, it's Arcee's time to have war flashbacks, with a villain that largely has the same kinks, except while Ratchet had the mercy of having his friend survive, albeit with no memory, Arcee's lost two of her friends, her best friend Tailgate being murdered right in front of her.
"Out of the Past" gives us two nasty knocks at already sobering events.
In "Sick Mind", Arcee is hesitant to use the psychic patch due to it being an out of body experience, but we later learn that it might stem from when Shockwave used the patch on her to strip information from her mind.
Remember how much the death of Cliffjumper scarred Arcee at the beginning of the series? Well, it turns out that he's the one who helped Arcee come out of her shell after Tailgate's death, making his death an even bigger slap in the face for Arcee. Thank Primus she found Jack soon afterward. That poor Transformer might have truly sealed herself off after that.
Ratchet becomes much more friendly to Wheeljack after the events of "Triage"... until he learns about him taking Miko along with him to enact revenge in "Hurt". "New Recruit" has him incredibly pissed off when the crew suggests getting Wheeljack's help. Fortunately, by "Darkest Hour", Ratchet seems to have put that behind him, especially given the events leading up to the Season 2 finale.
In "Operation Bumblebee Part 1", after Bumblebee gets his T-Cog stolen by MECH, the Autobots state that it can't be Megatron because even he "wouldn't be such a ghoul". Come "Alpha; Omega", he proves that he is, by grave-robbing the right arm of a deceased Prime in order to use a device that only a Prime can wield. He's had that arm ever since, at least until Optimus lopped it off.
The Japanese toyline comes with Mini-Cons called Arms Microns, and the dub of the series has "Arms Micron Theater" segments where the heroes' weapons secretly take on their Mini-Con forms and have wacky adventures while the big bots aren't looking. In the one for "Metal Attraction," three Autobot Mini-Cons formed the Star Saber, and took on the three Decepticon Mini-Cons who formed the Star Saber's Evil Counterpart, the Dark Matter Calibur, but they cockily underestimated their opponents and were knocked apart into their component Min-Cons when the two swords clashed. A whole season later, in the actual show, an Infinity+1 Sword called the Star Saber was used by Optimus. Megatron forged its evil counterpart, the Dark Star Saber, from Dark Energon. It shattered the real Star Saber in their first fight with the swords.
In the episode "Crisscross", MECH and Airachnid find (and later kidnap) June through the internet, utilizing a method that one security consultant from the firm HB Gary, and then later the NSA, would be revealed to utilize themselves.
In The Fairly OddParents, Timmy's dad was obsessed with a cool red car in "Engine Blocked". Now, he's voicing a Transformer who becomes one.
Don't forget that he wanted to beat his neighbor up with "Mighty Fighting Robot Action!", after modifying his car no less.
In "Darkness Rising Part 1", Bulkhead smashes something which Ratchet later identifies as a tool for analysis. He laments its damage, as he is unable to examine the Dark Energon that weakened Arcee. It being broken did more for him than it would have done intact: Optimus instantly identifies its animation as being down to Dark Energon, while Ratchet had earlier not known anything about it other than it being "highly concentrated to have affected Arcee so badly".
In "Out of the Past", Arcee mentions to Cliffjumper their objective requires stealth, not chatter, which is amusing given in Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Cliffjumper was the test subject for experimental cloaking technology.
In "Metal Attraction", Arcee uses a device that strongly resembles an Omni-Tool from Mass Effect. Cue the Omega DLC in Mass Effect 3, and Arcee's voice actress Sumalee Montano now voices Nyreen Kandros, a character who uses an actual Omni-Tool.
Many in the fandom would make jokes about Megatron being part shark due to his razor sharp teeth and aggressive demeanor. His new beast hunters toy design takes this to the extreme.
In one of the Ask Megatron commercials, the big guy answers the question who is his favorite Autobot by saying his favorite is Bumblebee; the Autubot who gets to stab him dead in the last episode before Predacons Rising.
With one line, Arcee added a new layer to Bulkhead and Wheeljack's relationship.
"So, who's the boyfriend?"
Shippers had a field day when Knock Out mentioned that Breakdown helped him out with buffing his body.
A villainous one for Knock Out. Heís surprised to see Breakdownís vital signs come back online and investigates, but is promptly treated to the sight of his former comrade being used as a puppet. Itís quite clear that heís upset when he finds out itís not actually Breakdown.
Thirst has a moment of this for Knock Out and Starscream. When holed up in Orion Pax's old lab aboard the Nemesis while hiding from Terrorcon Cylas, Starscream remarks to Knock Out that if this is indeed the end, he's proud to have served Lord Megatron with him. Knock Out replies that he's always admired Starscream's finish. Then there's an awkward, embarrassed pause.
Starscream: ...Well then.
Knock Out: Should be going.
HSQ: The "One Shall Fall/Rise" season 1 finale practically embodies this.Then the last few episodes of season 2 promptly upstaged it. The series finale manages to top both by not only killing a fan favourite character, but also have it turn out that Prime wasn't the hero of this story.
I Knew It: Granted it was only a few episodes later, but fans caught on to the big gap in Smokescreen's admitted backstory and knew that some big revelation was being saved for down the line.
They've hinted that Bulkhead may die so many times (only for him to recover) that parts of the fandom have this reaction, even citing it as something of a Running Gag. There's nothing to say that he won't die later in the series, however, and "Toxicity" was perhaps the exception, given how the three month cliffhanger had everyone on the edge of their seats.
Raf's encounter with Dark Energon. TF Prime is dark, but it would never break Infant Immortality. Raf wouldn't have died, especially on screen.
Every time Prime himself was in a life-threatening situation. Given the legacy of almost every single Optimus dying and being ressurected in some form going against the promise that any character that died would stay dead (or at least not ressurected in a form that would be themselves, such as a zombie), many people wondered exactly how Optimus would survive these to continue the legacy. They eventually ended up playing with this three times; first by having Optimus lose his memory, thus effectively "dying" as a character but not actually dying, making his "ressurection" easy. The second time they actually did kill Optimus, when he was caught in the base's explosion at the end of season 2. However he stayed dead for all of about 3 seconds before the MacGuffin revived him. Then they inverted the whole thing and actually kept their promise by having Optimus merging his own spark with the Allspark, and then jumping into Primus, meaning he's about as dead as you can get at that point. Given that was the end of the series, he's not likely coming back.
Many fans had this reaction when there were rumors that Megatron would be Killed Off for Real... which just made it even more shocking when they actually went through with it. The finale film, however, ended up resurrecting him, and his existence continues.
Starscream and Megatron both give this trope their best shot, but both sometimes fall short for different reasons.
Both, however, deserve mention for their actions in the second half of Season 3. The former managed to manipulate Predaking into almost killing Wheeljack and Ultra Magnus by getting them to wipe out the Predacon embryos, meaning that the Autobots got the blame instead of them. In any case, had the plan not worked, the Autobots would have been defeated, taking out some of their enemies and also screwing Shockwave over by not letting him know of his plan. The latter manipulates Ratchet into a temporary Enemy Mine with the prospect of reviving Cybertron, while making no effort to hide the fact that he ''will'' kill him when it is done. It works too.
Even before that, Starscream managed to ambush Smokescreen and take the third Omega Key, giving him a bargaining chip with the Autobots, then screw the Autobots over when they have the other three and use it as a way to buy his way back into the Decepticons. This was an action so cunning it made Optimus of all people flip out.
Megatron crossed the the line prior to this series and just keeps on going. Aside from instigating the very war itself back on Cybertron, he developed a cybonic plague and a bioweapon out of toxic Energon, both of which wiped out most of the Autobots (and lord knows how many innocent Cybertronians) gradually turning the entire planet into what is essentially a graveyard. On present day Earth, he shoots Bumblebee with Dark Energon, nearly killing Raf in the process. While Megatron was unaware of Raf's presence at the time, his reaction later on establishes he has no problem inflicting off-world casualties. Finally, during the climax of the final battle in "Deadlock", he fires THREE shots at Bumblebee, completely burning through the poor scout's spark chamber. The absolute glee on his face is what seals the deal for Optimus, who you can tell has decided, Megatron must die!
"Predatory" reveals that Airachnid crossed it millennia ago when she tortured Arcee and murdered Tailgate. Beyond that, we learn she's spent Primus-knows-how-many years hunting species and committing genocide. For fun. Whether this started before or after Tailgate's murder is unclear.
Silas crosses it when he works with Airachnid to kidnap June Darby and then shows he's willing to let Airachnid kill her and Jack, dismissing them as collateral damage.
In "Evolution", upon discovering Predaking's transformation, Megatron and his command staff plan the eradication of the newborn Predacon clones, before said clones are given the chance to turn on the Decepticons. Starscream suggests they set it up so the Autobots would look entirely responsible and turn Predaking's anger towards them instead of his creators. Even Shockwave, the creator of the clones, is coldly in favor of the idea.
Near the end of Predacons Rising, Bumblebee holds off Megatron with the Polarity Gauntlet long enough for Optimus to escape with the Allspark. What would have been a tense and suspenseful scene is rendered inept when the high-pitched, whirling sound of the Polarity Gauntlet and the lack of background music make the scene unintentionally hilarious.
Unicron's voice being high-pitched makes him sound far less threatening than the menacing growl of Megatron who he is supposed to control.
Paranoia Fuel: Soundwave. In this series, he's a voiceless, faceless character, which is creepy enough, but Starscream and the other Decepticons are terrified of him, due to the fact that he always has the ship under subtle surveillance...and it's not always the ship he's on, as he's a Scout, meaning he spies on much more than his own subordinates. The smackdown Soundwave delivers to Airachnid in the first season finale all but justifies that paranoia.
A one off instance with MECH, who use Jack's social networking page to track him down and kidnap his mother. People from both government organisations and civilian life, normally stalkers, have been doing this for years.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Not a specific character, but a type of character: the humans. In fact, Silas, in "Convoy", proves that humans in this series can be as formidable and dangerous as any Cybertronian.
Smokescreen gained a lot of fans after some excellent Character development in Season 3.
A lot of people feel Bumblebee finally managed to escape his "Obligatory Movieverse Cash-In Expy" status in "Deadlock" and "Predacons Rising". Some fans insist he even manages to eclipse Movie!'Bee.
The Scrappy: Miko, at least early on in the series, mostly due to her lack of survival instinct. After the pilot, they toned down her obnoxious behaviour and to some viewers that has redeemed her to a certain extent. Of course they haven't completely changed her character, making her more of a Base Breaker.
Ironically, Miko is something of an inversion of the typical Damsel Scrappy; she's annoying because she's too much of an action freak and constantly getting into trouble out of her desire to partake in fights, whereas Raf and Jack are both far more sensible that they do not belong mixing it up amongst giant robots.
Seasonal Rot: The second season is considered the weakest of the three by a fair portion of the fanbase, with some outright hating it. Most of the seems to stem from killing off complex and/or interesting characters e.g. Breakdown and Dreadwing as well as wasted plot potentials like Bulkhead's injuries and various other plots that could have lasted longer.
Stoic Woobie: Optimus Prime. He doesn't show much emotion, and he's had a lot of bad stuff happen to him. According to Ratchet, every prime shoulders the burdens of those before him, and that Optimus was previously very much like Jack when he was Orion Pax. Poor Prime.
Suspiciously Similar Song: The score isn't done by the films' Steve Jablonsky, but is clearly meant to emulate it (as well as some elements of Hans Zimmer's and James Newton Howards' scores for the new Batman films).
It also sound quite a bit like the main theme of 2009's Star Trek.
Arcee: "Oh, well, if Miko thinks it's a good idea..."
Also in "Legacy" and "Chain of Command", wherein the latter episode she becomes a literal chew toy.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: One of the key problems with this show's level of realism is that - as in real life - War Is Hell and soldiers can go down anti-climactically. The following characters can be considered to have unused potential.
Breakdown, Hardshell, and Dreadwing are the biggest examples.
There are those who think Cliffjumper, Skyquake, and Makeshift got royally screwed, as well. The deaths of the former two, at least, play into the development of some of the characters. Also, Makeshift was killed off because his Story Breaker Power couldn't be utilized in this manner of show without Badass Decay.
Seaspray, a Wrecker acknowledged by Bulkhead and Wheeljack, had the potential to be a cool Adaptational Badass. Yet we only see ten seconds of his ship before Dreadwing blows it up — in a flashback. At least Tailgate showed up onscreen.
MECH had a bridge dropped on it before they could have a proper climax to their storyline. Usually the toy company is responsible for such things, but they did produce the potentially toyetic Nemesis Prime and CYLAS.
Cliffjumper. Incredibly badass? More one-liners in a five-minute appearance than most of the other cast? Voiced by the biggest (non-voice actor) star on the show? Yeah, not going to make it. Sorry, CJ.
Skyquake and Makeshift don't make it out of theirs introductory episodes alive, bringing the total number of these to three in the first eight episodes.
Word of God even cites this trope as the reason Makeshift dies, explaining that he was going to be a recurring character but was deemed overpowered for a villain appearing so early in the series.
Unfortunate Implications: At 2011's Botcon, one of the speakers fielded a question as to whether or not Knock Out was gay. Their answer started out playful, noting Knock Out is a knockout, that the Nemesis has a strict "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Then they said that on the day Knock Out was born, there was a "glitch" in the Allspark. Yikes.
Season 2 has been getting even better in terms of its backgrounds. While the backgrounds in Season 1 were still good, the Nemesis is given even more detail and there are new settings such as dockyards, prairies and even Manhattan at one point.
What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Even if it is strictly robot violence, most of the stuff they have here would have gotten a TV-14 rating if it were live-action. This is on top of all the Getting Crap Past the Radar and covering of some themes- most notably drug abuse (by virtue of Synthetic Energon) and even suicide in Predacons Rising.
Raf. This is first showcased in "Darkness Rising, Part 4", after encountering a rather harrowing battle between the Autobots and Decepticons. While similar cartoons would have kids act like Miko, Raf acts very much like how a normal kid would have in that situation: scared, confused, and withdrawn. That's not even getting into what happens to him later in the season.
Bumblebee has his Woobie moments as well, particularly during the "Operation: Bumblebee" two-parter. Fans were calling for Silas's blood after viewing the teasers.
Miko becomes this during the arc surrounding Bulkhead's injuries in the second season.
During the second season, Smokescreen makes some pretty rash decisions and is only just grasping the fact that War Is Hell. That said, the way he is chewed out, particularly by Arcee, can come across as harsh considering he is a newcomer and is genuinely apologetic for his mistakes.
Optimus had a brief moment during "Operation Bumblebee, Part 1" where Megatron taunts him for helping the Decepticon cause when Megatron had earlier taken advantage of Optimus's amnesia to find the locations of potential weapons scattered around Earth. His guilty expression as Megatron thanks him is enough to tug at the heartstrings.
To certain extent, Starscream of all people. Megatron is fairly abusive to the Seeker and much of his fears are actually pretty justified. For instance, when Megatron is trapped in a collapsed mine, he rightly realizes that Megatron would simply blame him for the matter, no matter what would happen. It may very well be that a lot of his behavior is simply based off a combination of "What would Megatron do?" and survival.
While Knock Out had been the subject of Draco in Leather Pants for some time, he truly earns this status in "The Human Factor" when he imagines he'll see Breakdown again, only to find Silas gloating while merged with his best friend's corpse.
In Predacons Rising, freaking Megatron of all people becomes this owing to his torture.
Dreadwing falls into this when he finds his brother's corpse has been desecrated through his resurrection as a Dark Energon zombie, but can't do anything about it because Megatron just tells Starscream to keep quiet about it.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Predaking. In "Evolution"; the newborn Predacon clones are eradicated due to a setup planned by the Decepticons. Predaking already felt alone in the universe, and this event all but enhances it. The fact that he's betrayed by his own creators whom he serves for the next few episodes, just compounds the tragedy of it. "Predacons Rising" throws him a bone when two new Predacons join him to defend Cybertron against Unicron. All three survive in the end.