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YMMV: Transformers: Robots In Disguise

The 2001 anime:

  • Breakout Character: Sky-Byte and Scourge. The latter popularized the concept of evil Optimus clones, and since then, there's been at least one in nearly every series (to the point that there was a fan movement to change the more common 'Nemesis Prime' to his name). The former received an incarnation in Transformers Animated, was considered for a Universe toy before until Botcon came out with an awesome Sharkticon remold, and even managed the rare feat of retroactively being added to G1 in two separate continuities.
  • Ensemble Darkhorses: Sky-Byte and Scourge again. Sky-Byte proved so popular, he has counterparts in the Animated and G1 universes.
    • Mirage. Being a cool F1 car that is a lone sniper helps a lot
    • Ironically enough, Sky-Byte popularity has made him appear in the IDW Robots in Disguise comic, set in the G1 universe. He even makes a nod to it!
  • Franchise Original Sin: Robots In Disguise had some issues such as choppy animation, episodes that didn't contribute much to the overall story, too much focusing on selling toys, some annoying human characters, and spotty dubbing and voice-acting. Despite this, it managed to be fairly good and did a lot of things right. It's follow-up, The Unicron Trilogy (particularly Armada and Energon), took everything negative about RID and amplified them by ten while losing track of everything it did right.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Robots in Disguise is more popular in the USA than Car Robots is in Japan, probably due to the Woolseyisms, Mythology Gags, and the heavy fan backlash against the Unicron Trilogy.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Steve Blum voicing a character named "DarkScream"? Wait a minute...
  • So Okay, It's Average: General consensus is that it isn't the best Transformers series, but it's definitely not the worst.
  • The Woobie: Sky-Byte.
  • Woolseyism

The 2012 comicbook:

  • Accidental Aesop: You should let go of old grudges. Holding onto them will cause nothing but difficulty, heartache, and pain for everyone involved.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Metalhawk was considered by many to be annoying with his smug Holier Than Thou attitude, mud-slinging, and hypocrisy (trying to make a better world all the while belittling the aligned forces and straining the alliances). He's betrayed and killed by Starscream, whom he considered a friend, and his death was then used to accomplish his stated goal. Then he came back as a very angry zombie...
    • Ironically, the characters you'd least miss in this series' first arc (Bumblebee and Metalhawk again) are some of the ones you'll miss most after finishing Dark Cybertron.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: The Monstructor Six. Was Jhiaxus lying when he said they volunteered for the procedure (considering his track record and Arcee, he may have been)? Were they willing accomplices to all of his plans, or are they just Slave Mooks with their free-will stripped in pursuit of the idea that "all are one?" Or is it a combination of that, with their minds destroyed or broken down, and them willingly following Jhiaxus as they can comprehend no other alternative? Bludgeon implies that it's the latter, but he's hardly the most trustworthy person.
  • Awesome Art: Livo Ramondelli's drawings aren't universally liked, but when they work, they work.
  • Awesome Ego: Deconstructed. Nova Prime starts out as fully deserving his ego, but eventually this degrades into him thinking he's a gift to the damned universe and causing him to become a self-loving extremist.
  • Base Breaker: Unlike it's near universally loved sister series More Than Meets The Eye, this series is quite the divider amongst fans. It's starting to near Love It or Hate It status.
    • Turmoil, surprisingly enough. Some fans think he's a cool original character, citing his design and badass nature. Other fans think he's just a generic "high command" con who exists to look threatening and give brownie points to whoever kills him. Some think he was underused, others just didn't regard him as important. Issue 7 billed him as a fan-favorite character, people either disagreed as he was from Drift's run, were glad to see his return or treated his reintroduction with a "meh."
      • Given that his time machine is essential to Shockwave's plan in Dark Cybertron, it seems he was heavily promoted to avoid a Continuity Lockout.
    • Rattrap's Adaptational Villainy started the fractured fan opinion about him. Ruining of an iconic character or interesting new direction?
    • The Base hasn't broken yet on Season 2, but there are fears, even pointed out by podcasts, about RID returning to Earth, since it will have to touch on the maligned Costa run, more specifically International Incident. But hey, at least it's not Heart of Darkness.
      • There are arguments brewing over the EDC teaming up with the Decepticons, which some feel is a nonsensical plot twist given the events of All Hail Megatron. Somewhat lessened by the fact that solicitations for later issues suggest the alliance isn't what it seems...
  • Continuity Lockout: Not as bad as its sister series Transformers: More than Meets the Eye, but it's still present.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Quickly heading that way. The Autobots, Decepticons, and Nails are all assholes excluding a small few exceptions (Wheeljack, Sky Byte, Dirge, Scoop, and few others). Everytime the heroes seem to be getting anywhere, something comes along and bitch-slaps their victory away. Save New Iacon from Megatron? Starscream kills Metalhawk, screws over everyone, and takes control of the city. Orion and his team reach some of the ores before Jhiaxus and Bludgeon? Jhiaxus and Bludgeon outwit them and get it anyways. Some fans have stopped reading simply because they think all the likable and sympathetic characters are getting killed off and ignored in favor of detestable and annoying Designated Hero characters.
    • Thankfully season 2 seems to have largely fixed this, with the jerkassery of the less likable Autobots being reeled back (making Bumblebee and Metalhawk much more popular), the focus getting shifted from Bumblebee to Optimus, and a more humorous tone being added, giving the comic a tone more consistent with MTMTE and Windblade.
  • Designated Hero: Sideswipe is an Autobot, but he acts like a complete lunatic who constantly provokes fights and talks about how much he loves to engage in violence. On multiple occasions he's talked about shooting/beating up Decepticons and NAI Ls for fun and during the annual. No wonder the Nails hate the Autobots when they've got psychos like Sideswipe around. Likely intentional, though to what extent isn't clear.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Dirge is one with both the fans and the creators. Waspinator and Sky Byte were included solely because they were popular.
    • Pretty much everyone will agree that this iteration of Shockwave is completely, terrifyingly awesome.
    • Thundercracker was already an Ensemble Darkhorse in the previous ongoing, so his return here was met with much praise, especially given his development into a complete dork who has an adorable puppy and spends time writing awful screenplays for fun.
    • Amongst the new cast members joining in season 2, Cosmos seems to be getting the most fan love due to his earnest yet snarky personality and woobie-factor. It helps that he's a carry over from MTMTE.
  • Evil Is Cool: Bludgeon and, to a lesser degree, Shockwave.
  • Fan Nickname: "Prowlestator" for the new form of Devastator with Prowl in Scrapper's place.
    • Crackerjack for Thundercracker, in light of his horrible fanfics.
    • "Captain Continuity" for John Barber, who goes to incredible pains to try to patch up every single plothole from all the way the "-ations" series.
  • Growing the Beard: Some feel that the comic is starting to grow it's beard with issue 16, where Starscream takes over New Iacon (creating an interesting new setting) and starts to feature a more character driven story. Bumblebee also begins to become significantly more likable during this time before being done away with in Dark Cybertron, finally giving the other more interesting cast members (besides Starscream) a chance to take stage.
  • Holy Shit Quotient: Prowlestator.
  • I Knew It: There were some guesses that the Constructicons didn't die, as when "Prowl" triggers their detonation chips, the explosion comes from their necks and consumes their heads in fire (silhouettes still visible), instead of blowing them to bits like Horri-bull.
  • Iron Woobie: Wheeljack is under-appreciated, often berated except when his science skills are useful, gets treated like dirt by several of his supposed friends, gets damaged quite a bit, and is one of the few wholly good characters in a setting of Grey and Grey Morality. Despite all of these hardships, he remains almost completely upbeat, never loses his sense of humor, and does his best to help anyone he can.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Prowl and Arcee.
    • Starscream is starting to veer in this direction. The only way he's able to openly speak his mind and be understood is when he's talking to people that can't converse back with him.
    • Needlenose becomes this after his Heel Realization in issue 21.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Megatron is back in form as this; he was pulling the strings behind pretty much everything that happened in season 1. Shockwave managed to outpace him in this department though.
  • Memetic Badass: John Barber himself gets this treatment on TF Wiki.
    TF Wiki Caption: I am God's gift to continuity.
  • Memetic Mutation: Josh Boyfriend. note 
    • Acree. note 
  • Moral Event Horizon: Starscream murdering Metalhawk when no one was looking, then using his death to propel his own popularity and then win the population over to his side.
    • Bludgeon crosses it when he kills Varta.
    • Senator Proteus definitely crossed it after what he had done to poor Shockwave.
    • In-Universe, Soundwave seems to view Shockwave's Evil Plan as this, especially after he refuses to let Soundwave heal Megatron with Ore-14.
  • Narm: When Gorlam Prime is undergoing its devastation, and everything's coming apart and disintegrating at a molecular level, Jhiaxus proclaims his victory and makes an epic escape after the Titan. Monstructorů climbs on and straddles the ship like a kiddie ride. What was once a triumphant Villain Exit Stage Left has now been made positively adorable.
  • Narm Charm: The old school comic styled flashbacks in the annual would usually be Narmy, but they manage to work fantastically when combined with the modern sequences.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Lots.
    • The fact that everyone Galvatron recruited into his army turned into Sweeps over time.
    • Bludgeon. Oh god almighty Bludgeon.
    • Hardhead being forced to blow Wheelie's arm off in issue 19.
    • Nova Prime's Start of Darkness in the annual is portrayed... rather unsettlingly.
    • Present-day Shockwave is a cavalcade of Nightmare Fuel.
      • Exemplified in a flashback in issue 17 when he's testing Energon variants on a hapless Cybertronian, who freaking explodes. The comic cuts to a panel of Shockwave taking stock of this as hundreds of test subjects' corpses hang from the ceiling above. HOLY PRIMUS.
  • Off Model: In issue 19, the artist apparently doesn't know what Hardhead looks like. And it continues through into Dark Cybertron.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Barrel Roll only appears for one scene and dies in said scene, but comes off as one of the most sensible and likable Autobots.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Fandom reaction to the usually unpopular character Wheelie is less "annoying and wish he would die" and more "needs a freaking hug."
    • Bumblebee and Metalhawk mature into far more likable characters during Dark Cybertron's run, where the former becomes a bona fide Badass In Charge and Megatron's Morality Pet, and the latter a psychotic undead servant of Shockwave's who eventually manages to break free and join up with the good guys. Sadly, neither of them survived the crossover.
    • To an extent, the IDW verion of Arcee. The original depiction of the character in Furman's run was widly disliked for being radically different from previous versions of the character. RID makes her a considerbly more likable and developed character, who isn't just difined as being constantly violent.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Some fans were hoping that Megatron and his loyalists would destroy New Iacon at the end of season 1 (or at least kill off Bumblebee, Metalhawk, and the obnoxious Nails like Tappet). Notably the reaction to Megatron smashing Bumblebee's face in was less horror and more "Finally!". This changed when the characters the readers actually liked such as Wheeljack and Dirge got targeted to.
  • Rewatch Bonus: With all the stuff that's revealed in issue 14 you'll slap yourself in the face for not noticing all the hints and foreshadowing. This applies to everything regarding Prowl, Bombshell and the Constructicons, the Dinobots' actions in issue 9, and the wilderness surrounding New Iacon.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Prowl pretty much blames Spike Witwicky, the much-hated Nominal Hero from Mike Costa's run, for making him into a cynical bastard. The mere thought of Spike pisses him off to no end. The Constructicons also despise him and make their dislike quite outspoken.
  • Tear Jerker: Shockwave and Soundwave's respective backstories.
    • The deaths of Bumblebee, Metalhawk, and ultimately even Shockwave.
  • The Scrappy: Metalhawk and the Nails (excluding Sky Byte, of course) since early-on their only purpose seemed to be making things more difficult for the Autobots and Decepticons. Their Holier Than Thou attitude and tendency towards Never My Fault didn't help, not to mention most of their screen-time is spent insulting the protagonists.
    • Bumblebee before Dark Cybertron due to him being an awful leader who spent more time whining, provoking his own allies, and letting Prowl stomp all over him than actually leading. Thankfully he was rescued at the end of season 1.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Thundercracker's screenplay which has character names like "Josh Boyfriend", opens with a cheesy expository monologue about how hard life is, and has the characters constantly referring to themselves as "earth humans". Thundercracker thinks it's cinematic gold.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: A minor example, but some fans felt that Starscream killing Metalhawk ruined a really interesting Redemption Quest character arc that the comic seemed to be building up to. Somewhat subverted due to a) the comic still portraying Starscream as somewhat pitiable even after this and hinting that he may be remorseful for the act, and b) Metalhawk coming back to give Sarscream grief.
  • Stylistic Suck: The annual, where the flashback pages were deliberately written and drawn to resemble the old Marvel comic. Nova Prime even gives an Introdump where everyone stands around and says what they do. It actually works very well.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Some fans feel that Bumblebee, Metalhawk, and a majority of the Autobots and Nails are this. This results in the Decepticons becoming Unintentionally Sympathetic.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Bumblebee is surrounded by a well-liked Cool Old Guy, a lovable Mad Scientist, a bot striving to find the best in people and make everyone equal, The Starscream who is trying to change, a former criminal trying to make a new life, the Big Good and his ragtag crew on a quest to stop a madman, and many other colorful characters. A generally agreed upon complaint in the comic is that Bumblebee is without a doubt the least interesting or likable character. While the entire story doesn't revolve around him like other examples, the audience is stuck with his POV as Autobot leader. And then he died.
    • Sometimes when you become the leader, these things happen.
  • Wangst: Bumblebee spends way more time feeling sorry for himself than he really should.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Maybe not to the extent of its sister series, but even so, it's generally agreed to be better than the predecessor to both. Its far stronger continuity is probably invaluable in this regard.
    • Season 2 seems to be attempting to do this for fans who felt that RID couldn't keep up with MTMTE in terms of quality. It's largely successful so far.
  • The Woobie: Shockwave, after we learn his gruesome origin. The bitterly ironic part is that the emotionally devoid scientist wouldn't say the same of himself.
    • Also, Dirge, who just wants to live his life in peace but keeps getting dragged back into conflicts he wants no part of.
    • Waspinator.
    • Wheelie.
    • Issue 28 does a very good job at making you feel bad for Cosmos. One of his first lines is commenting how miserable he feels because he abandoned the Lost Light crew based on the promise of a new life... which promptly lead to him getting shot at. Throughout the issue he makes multiple references to how lonely he is all the time.

The 2015 show

  • Broken Base: The new artstyle being a mixture of Rescue Bots and Prime has slightly annoyed new viewers, while others are fine with it. The show's premise is also attracting some ire, with Bumblebee being the leader, while others think this could have some interesting storytelling possibilities.

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