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Characters / Beast Wars: Megatron

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Index: Maximals | Predacons (Megatron) | Others | Expanded Universe


Function: Predacon Commander; Commander (Transmetal 2); Predacon Vehicon Leader (Beast Machines); Warrior (As Noble); Emissary (As the Grand Mal)

Alt/Beast Modes: Tyrannosaurus Rex (Original/Transmetal); Dragon (Transmetal 2/Beast Machines); Wolf; Dragon (As Noble); Spaceship (Grand Mal); Jet; Armored Transport (Optimal Megatron)
Click here to see his Transmetal form: 
Click here to see his Transmetal II form: 
Click here to see him in Beast Machines 

Voiced by: David Kaye
Debut: "Beast Wars (Part 1)"
A smooth, calculating, Machiavellian mastermind, Megatron seeks to avenge the defeat of his ancient namesake and restore the Predacons to glory — with himself at the top of the pyramid, of course. Anyone who stands in his way or questions his method is to be eliminated regardless of faction.

He is not the original Megatron but a Legacy Character who was inspired by the G1 version and took his name for himself, making G1 the only verse that has two Megatrons.

If you want to know how he would describe himself, go to this page.

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  • 0% Approval Rating: Megatron's own team fears and detests him for his Bad Boss tendencies, the Tripredacus Council regards him as a dangerous extremist, and Ravage considers him a pale imitation of the original Megatron. Come Beast Machines, the only reason anyone follows Megatron is because they're either mindless drones or programmed to obey him. Megatron, narcissist that he is, isn't overly concerned with what others think of him. He even acknowledges in Season 2 that Cybertron taking notice of the Beast Wars means someone will be sent to destroy him, and admits that his destruction would be a "likely outcome."
  • Adaptational Heroism: The Megatron of Beast Wars: Uprising Used to Be a Sweet Kid and is legitimately trying to help his people cast off the yoke of oppression. Sure, he still has a lot of wealth and power to gain from it, but he isn't trying to threaten space and time to accomplish it.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: The version of Megatron who appears in Beast Wars: Uprising is a far cry from the narcissistic, godhood-seeking, would-be tyrant of the animated series.
  • Admiring the Abomination:
    • In Other Voices, Part 2, the Vok intend to destroy the Earth with their recently unveiled "Planet Buster" weapon. Megatron is seemingly impressed with such disregard for life. The other Predacons are, understandably, freaked out since they're on the Earth.
    • In "Other Victories", he admires the then-Vok's emissary Tigerhawk for his "awesome" power.
  • A God Am I: In the series' finale, he finds the Nemesis ship and delivers fire all over the place. This trait sticks around in Beast Machines, to the point that Megatron tries to consume every other spark in existence, becoming a god in his own right. This plays into the fact he seems to literally be the Cybertronian equal of The Antichrist.
    Megatron: I am Alpha and Omega, Optimal Optimus. Now and forever, until the very end of time!
  • Amplifier Artifact: G1 Megatron's spark transforms him into his One-Winged Angel Transmetal II form.
  • And This Is for...: A villainous example delivered to Optimus Prime, which doubles as his Motive Rant.
    Megatron: And now Optimus Prime, in memory of the Decepticons, for the glory of the Predacons, for the Cybertron that is rightfully ours! And mine to rule!
  • The Antichrist: Starts quoting the Transformers equivalent of him in the "Nemesis" two-part finale. The prophecy is referring to him directly and thus he's this trope. Somewhat composited with Satanic Archetype, as the same prophecy references the Devil.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Optimus Primal, with it growing very, very personal as the series progresses.
    Optimus Primal: We must seek the balance, Megatron. Not only between the organic and the technological, but the balance between eternal enemies: between you and I!
  • Arm Cannon: True to form as the Legacy Character to the original G1 Megatron. In his original form, his beast mode's head replaced his right hand and could fire laser blasts. In his Transmetal form his tail becomes a cannon, but can be removed to let him use both hands. His Transmetal II form gives him back the head cannon in the form of the dragon head mounted on his left arm.
  • The Assimilator: His grand plan in Beast Machines is to assimilate the sparks of everyone on Cybertron so he can become a god.
  • As the Good Book Says...: He starts quoting from the Covenant of Primus in "Nemesis", by which point he's totally snapped and realized he is the Transformers equivalent of The Antichrist.
  • Ax-Crazy: By the end of Beast Wars, he’s gone completely insane, developing a god complex, firing on his own troops, and occasionally referring to himself in third person as “the dragon”. In Beast Machines he’s become far more sedate, but is still insane and by the end he goes right back to being completely unhinged.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: He could maul his troops if he felt like it. According to the Manual, this is how Predacon leadership works. They value successful betrayals, believing that if the leader could not fend off the treachery, they obviously were not fit to lead.
    Megatron: Treachery requires no mistakes.
  • Bad Boss: All of his troops are expendable and he cares nothing for their lives beyond how they can serve him best, and he never tries to pretend otherwise except for mockery of the idea. The other Predacons are very frequently insulted, shot at, or smacked around, for failure, incompetence, or just because he was in a bad mood and they said or did something that annoyed him. A particularly shining example comes up in "The Low Road" when Dinobot tries to use Tarantulas as a human shield against him; Megatron shoots Tarantulas out of his hands and mocks Dinobot for thinking that kind of ploy would work on him.
    Dinobot: Do not fire, Megatron! I have a hostage!
    Megatron: Why, so you do. [blasts Tarantulas]
  • The Bad Guy Wins:
    • In Season 1, he successfully orchestrates Optimus' death and gloats about it to his face right before he is killed.
    • Season 2 ends with him infiltrating the Ark and shooting Optimus Prime in the face, altering the timeline so that the Decepticons won the Great War and the Predacons now rule Cybertron. Unfortunately, in the Season 3 premiere, Blackarachnia intervenes and helps the Maximals restore Prime, undoing Megatron's plan.
    • Beast Machines opens with him having already won, having conquered Cybertron and transformed it into a Villain World by stealing his entire race's sparks and melted their bodies down to make his Vehicon drones. Given that he's Megatron, he rubs this in Optimus' face whenever he can.
  • Bastard Understudy: Before stealing the Golden Disk, he was disciple to a Predacon kingpin named Cryotek, who wanted the disk for himself but Megatron betrayed Cryotek, leaving him to face the authorithiesnote .
  • Berserk Button: He despises disloyalty. Whenever he gets really angry at something, it's very often because one of the Predacons is trying to betray him or is not obeying his orders.
  • Big Bad: He is the main villain in both Beast Wars and Beast Machines, with both series having the Maximals having to stop him from carrying out his heinous schemes.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: With the Vok and the Tripredacus Council in Beast Wars. Megatron is very much The Heavy, however.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Zigzagged.
    • While he's the main threat to the Maximals in Beast Wars, it's because they're stranded on Earth, in the grand scheme of things he's a small-fry. The Maximal High Command is barely aware he exists, and the Predacons' Tripedacus Council considers him an upstart criminal who, while cunning, is too brash and arrogant for his own good. Expanded worldlore establishes this perception is actually accurate — back on Cybertron Megatron was a protégé of the mobster Cryotek before he hijacked his mentor's scheme to steal the Golden Disk. The major problem they all overlook is that Megatron has found the means to live up to his delusions of grandeur in a way that make him a genuine threat to the galaxy. Ravage lampshades the trope.
      Ravage: I served under the original Megatron; you may have his name, but not his army.
    • Averted in Beast Machines when he returns to Cybertron and takes over the planet, extracting and imprisoning the sparks of all its citizens.
  • Big "NO!": He gives one out in the finale of Beast Machines as he falls to his death.
  • Big "YES!": In the Grand Finale of Beast Machines, he screams this after he absorbs the sparks of Cybertron's population.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Develops a deep hatred for organics in Beast Machines, to the point of eliminating any Maximals and Predacons on Cybertron for their Beast Modes. The problem? He still has his Transmetal II dragon form. He spends the series finding a way to get rid of it so he can achieve absolute "perfection".
  • Breaking Speech: He gives a truly merciless one to Optimus when they meet for the first time in Beast Machines.
    Megatron: No, Primal, you have failed. You're still too late to save your people. Billions of Transformers, their extinguished sparks are on your hands! Perhaps if you had won the Beast Wars, things would be different. Who's to say? (This makes Optimus furious enough to revert to Beast Mode) Who's the beast now, Primal?
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Megatron is a theatrical, hammy madman who revels in being an over-the-top villain. He's also a world class The Chessmaster who nearly rewrote all of time and space and took over all of Cybertron through sheer cunning.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Megatron proudly calls himself a tyrant at any opportunity, and, in his Near-Villain Victory at the close of season 2, he dramatically proclaims that "evil triumphs!". Taken Up to Eleven in the finale of Beast Wars where he finds out he's essentially the Cybertronian equal of The Antichrist or Satan in the Book of Revelations and revels in it.
  • Came Back Strong: After Tarantulas and Quickstrike throw him into a pit of lava, he comes back out as a Transmetal II, stronger than ever. Of course, his sanity has also taken a massive hit from the experience.
  • Came Back Wrong: After being transformed into a Transmetal II by Tarantulas and Quickstrike's attempt on his life, he not only becomes stronger, but even crazier. He winds up killing Quickstrike and Inferno while using the Nemesis to get petty revenge in the protohuman settlement and doesn’t even care, when he previously treated Inferno as something of a friend, and develops a god complex that, by the time of Beast Machines, has gotten even worse to the point he’s become a Godhood Seeker.
  • Catchphrase: In Beast Wars he tends to add a drawn out "yes" or "no" to the ends of his sentences. Qualifies as both a Big "YES!" and Verbal Tic, yeeessss. It's so popular, that even characters from both factions lampshaded it, yeeeesss!!! It even has a compilation video!!!, yeeess!!!
  • The Chessmaster: To an impressive degree, towards his enemies and allies, especially towards Tarantulas. He actually incorporates several other character's plans into his own without their knowledge.
    • Several of his plans depend on his minions betraying him...
      Megatron: Spiders spin their webs, yesss... but I spin them larger.
    • When entering the Nemesis, Megatron outright said that the deceased Tarantulas' treachery is his best asset.
      Megatron: [when entering the control room of the Nemesis] Excellent. Even after his demise, the spider's treachery remains my best asset.
  • Cold Ham: In Beast Machines, everything he says still drips with theatricality, but he's far more detached, almost clinical, as part of his new desire to purge his beast mode and its instincts. He goes right back to his old Large Ham self at the end of the series.
  • Colonel Kurtz Copy: He's a charismatic, megalomaniac Dangerous Deserter with a god complex who leads a small band of renegades on an isolated planet.
  • Combat Pragmatist: As much as he may hate Terrorsaur's guts, the one thing he has in common with The Starscream of his team is that he'll more than gladly shoot a distracted Maximal in the back or pull off any dirty trick to win at all costs.
  • Companion Cube: His rubber ducky. Seriously.
  • Complexity Addiction: His greatest weakness aside from his overconfidence. He'll often sabotage himself by indulging in needlessly dramatic additions to his plots purely to play into his own bloated ego. Though he will abandon this if pressed enough.
  • Consummate Liar: A good portion of his manipulative skill set involves hiding the truth from both allies and enemies.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: After Divergent Character Evolution kicked in, this Megatron established himself as the near-opposite of his G1 namesake. The original Megatron was infamous for being a General Failure who came up with complicated but deeply flawed plans that never panned out, and it was also well-known that he never kicked Starscream out despite his many betrayals. The Beast Wars Megatron on the other hand is a dangerously competent schemer who had simple but effective plans that scored him several victories, and he despised treachery and had no problem putting traitors in their place, and he was often keen to keep an eye on them even if he let them back into the Predacons.
  • Control Freak: Megatron doesn't trust anyone except himself (which, given the general back-stabbing that goes on in his ranks, is probably wise). It's taken even further in Beast Machines, where he's turned all of Cybertron into a virtually lifeless husk of a world, populated almost entirely by mindless drones, all of which are controlled by Megatron himself. While he later makes use of generals for his army, Megatron values their independence about as much as he does that of the drones.
  • Cursed With Awesome: In spite of the numerous upsides of his Transmetal II body, by Beast Machines Megatron has grown to despise it for its beast mode in spite of the countless advantages it gives him.
  • Cybernetic Mythical Beast: His final beast mode for the last few episodes of Beast Wars Season 3 is a red Transmetal II dragon with purple and gold wings.
  • Dark Is Evil: In Beast Wars, Megatron's first two bodies were primarily dark purple and black, and in Beast Machines, he favours a steely gray and dark blue color scheme and operates in low lighting.
  • Darker and Edgier: In Beast Machines, he loses his hamminess and the comical elements of his personality, and instead is cold and ruthless.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A particularly nasty, arrogant version. When asked about why he monologues to himself, rather than to his troops:
    Megatron: I simply have a penchant for intelligent conversation.
  • Death by Irony: His attempt to reformat Cybertron at the end of Beast Machines results in his death.
  • Deck of Wild Cards: The one of the receiving end of this trope, Megatron spends the entire series dealing with his backstabbing lieutenants more often than not. It's Justified in series as it's encouraged for the Predacons to openly challenge their leader, for failure to stop a rebellion is proof of weakness on the leader's part. Megatron being Megatron, those challenges go unsuccessfully.
  • Decomposite Character: Along with the toyline moving the events of present-day Earth to a time-travel adventure and similary to what happened with Optimus Prime and Primal, it did this to Megatron, as the toyline originally painted Beast!Megatron not as an expy/legacy character to G1 Megatron, but as the G1 Megatron himself in an upgraded form.
  • Devil Complex: He took his name from an Antichrist figure in the Covenant of Primus. As he goes off the deep end, he becomes convinced he and this figure are one and the same; it's heavily implied that he's actually right.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Megatron's operation may be small, but there's no doubt that he's a criminal mastermind.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: Hand-in-hand with Decomposite Character, in the first season this Megatron was basically the same as the G1 Megatron, with a similar body structure in robot mode, the exact same name, and an identical plan, that being leaving Cybertron to find another planet rich with energon and harvest it to aid in the war effort. By the time the second season rolled around and it was known that the two Megatrons were different characters, this Megatron was evolved to have a more distinct personality, motivation, and physical appearance.
  • Do Wrong, Right: After Tarantulas’ attempt on his life, which results in him gaining a Transmetal II body, he’s less angry about the attempted murder and more that Tarantulas failed to actually kill him.
  • Elemental Powers: His Transmetal II body can alternate between fire and ice attacks.
  • Electric Torture: A few episodes of Beast Machines had him subject the Vehicon generals to this if they failed him, or just pissed him off.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Inferno calls him his "Queen", which frustrates him on numerous occasions. Eventually, Inferno switches to the less embarrassing "Royalty".
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: He shifts into a dinosaur form.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • He considers killing Optimus Prime highly risky, and debates over it before shooting him in the face upon deciding he has no other option.
    • He genuinely believes the Predacons have gotten a raw deal, and genuinely wants to fix that, though he still wants to be the ruler of them.
  • Evil Brit: Or at least a very close approximation thereof.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Optimus. See Amplifier Artifact for details.
  • Evil Gloating: Megatron likes to make sure his enemies know they've been beaten. This bites him in the ass more than once (he tries to "make the Maximals suffer" in the first episode, which gives them the opportunity to shoot them down too and thus start the Beast Wars, and later on he gives a gloating speech to a heavily damaged Dinobot, who uses the opportunity to make an improvised hammer and beat him down.)
  • Evil Is Hammy: In "Other Visits: Part 1", he and Tarantulas try to out-Evil Laugh each other.
  • Evil Is Petty:
    • In the final episode, looking at the proto humans and aboard the Nemesis rather than conserving the ship's fire power...
      Megatron: Hmm. I suppose, given my imminent godhood, these primitives should really be beneath my attention. Ah, still. No score is too small to settle, I always say.
    • At the end of Beast Machines, he transfers his spark to a duplicate of Optimus' Optimal Optimus body just to fuck with Optimus.
  • Evil Knockoff:
    • He likes making evil clones of Dinobot. Though Dinobot 2 was his greatest success, there were others, including one in the first season who couldn't transform out of beast mode, and a squad of Cyber Raptors in the third season. All of these knockoffs came to bad ends (with the real Dinobot actually eating his evil clone in one case.)
    • At the end of Beast Machines, he inhabits a replica of Optimus' Optimal Optimus form just to spite him, and of course because it was too ironic to pass up.
  • Evil Plan: The ultimate one in Beast Wars being to restore the Predacons to glory on Cybertron. In Beast Machines, it's evolved into purging Cybertron of any and all individuality and organic life until he is the only sentient being on the entire planet.
  • Evil Laugh: Oh, yes. Rich, deep, and often heard.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: He has a very deep voice.
  • The Evils of Free Will: In Beast Machines, Megatron preaches about the chaos of individual minds, seeing the Vehicons (mindless hordes that obey Megatron's ever whim) as true peace and harmony. Downplayed, as Megatron's rhetoric has nothing to do with any actual desire for peace; his narcissism has hit new heights since the Beast Wars, and he only preaches against free will because he's a Control Freak of the highest order who believes that he and he alone should be the sole mind governing the future of Cybertron. He's also fine with using the free will of others to his advantage, creating the Vehicon generals when the drones prove ineffective against the Maximals, and thanking Tankor for coming up with plans that Megatron himself would never have dreamed up (and that he, true to form, hijacks for his own ends at the earliest possibility).
  • Evil Feels Good: Megatron clearly loves being the Big Bad and revels in his theatrical villainy.
    Megatron:, Now, where was I? Ah yes, mindless destruction. That's always good for the spark.
  • Expy: For G1 Megatron. In-universe, this gets him sneered at by Ravage.
  • Fantastic Racism: In Beast Machines, he has developed a deep hatred of organic life. To the point that he's trying to purge his dragon mode despite the fact that it would actually help him.
  • Fatal Flaw: He would probably win if he could just stop gloating for a minute whenever he's about to win.
  • Faux Affably Evil:
    • He's charming, erudite, and eager to grind his enemies underneath his heel even if he has to sacrifice all of reality to do so.
      Megatron: Why, Dinobot! What a delightful surprise. Let's see, where are we now? I have the Golden Disk, I have the power to change the future, and the only remaining obstacle in my path to unimaginable glory... is yourself. [sighs]
    • While far more cold and sinister in Beast Machines, this quality continues to pop up, with Megatron affecting a civil and mockingly polite tone. This is especially the case when he's dealing with Optimus, treating their conversations as philosophical debates and pretending to consider Primal an old friend despite their deep, mutual loathing.
      Optimus: What do you want from us?
      Megatron: Oh, nothing much. Just every bit of data on the Oracle to better understand how I can fully exploit the precious sparks in my possession. I anticipate that extracting this information will be slow, painful, and, regrettably... fatal.
  • Final Boss:
    • In the 1997 Beast Wars: Transformers video game, he is the final boss of the Maximals campaign.
    • The PlayStation version of Beast Wars: Transmetals features him as the final opponent of the Maximals campaign, with the Nintendo 64 version having a version of him called Megatron X serve as the final boss regardless of which character the player has selected to play as.
  • Flesh Vs Steel: His newfound hatred of his own beast mode and all things organic in Beast Machines is the central driver of plot, impelling him as it does to purge and assimilate all other Transformers on Cybertron.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: On Cybertron, Megatron was considered nothing but a small-time crook with delusions of grandeur, an insult to the legacy of the Decepticon leader from whom he took his name. With his arrival on Earth, however, Megatron became a threat to not just Cybertron, but all of time itself, and upon returning to his homeworld, conquered it with such swiftness and efficiency that no one saw him coming or had any hope of stopping him before Optimus Primal and crew arrived.
  • Garnishing the Story: In the last few episodes of the third season, he gets transformed into a giant transmetal dragon. No explanation is given for how he went from a T. rex to a dragon, especially given dragons are fictional animals, but it definitely qualifies for Rule of Cool.
  • Genius Bruiser: Seeing as he has a great big purple Tyrannosaurus Rex as his alt-mode, it's a given that he'd be a bruiser. He also appears to be one of the smartest Megatrons.
  • Godhood Seeker: Megatron's endgame in Beast Machines is to assimilate every spark on Cybertron into his own, thus making himself into a god and the sole dominating intelligence (and sole intelligence period) on Cybertron.
  • Godzilla Threshold: His true agenda, as detailed below.
  • The Heavy: He's nowhere near as powerful as the Tripredacus Council and the Vok, but his cunning and mad plans set the series' plot into motion and he causes the most problems for the Maximals over the course of Beast Wars.
  • Hero Killer: He is responsible for the deaths of many Maximals; including Tigerhawk (Tigatron and Airazor), Dinobot, Rhinox and Noble.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: It's revealed the real reason he came to Earth in the past was to destroy the original Optimus Prime within the Arc and wipe out Maximal existence. He was very hesitant and settled for the energon instead as a bonus until he no longer had any other option to win the Beast Wars.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: In the series finale of Beast Machines, Megatron assimilates several sparks into his own, causing his body to grow in size. The increase in mass prevents him from being able to fly or resist gravity when Optimus Primal pushes the both of them into Cybertron's organic core, where both leaders die.
  • Hulking Out: In Beast Machines, Megatron has come to hate his organic beast mode and tries to repress it. But when he loses control of his emotions and gets angry, he reflexively transforms into his dragon mode and will often attack first before calming down enough to transform again.
  • Hypocrite: He despises treachery and tends to be particularly hateful towards his troops that try to betray him, usually Terrorsaur, Tarantulas, and Blackarachnia. However, he's entirely untrustworthy himself and will go back on his word as soon as it suits him, he's a Bad Boss who inspires no loyalty in his troops nor does he even try to, and according to the backstory he betrayed his own boss back on Cybertron when he stole the Golden Disk for him and then made off with it himself. (to be fair though, said boss was planning on betraying him as well)
  • An Ice Person: After gaining a Transmetal II body, he gains the ability to use ice attacks.
  • Infernal Retaliation: After Quickstrike, manipulated by Tarantulas, drops him into a pit of lava, Megatron emerges from the pit, stronger than ever and now with a dragon beast mode. He then proceeds to "thank" Tarantulas.
  • Irrational Hatred: He inexplicably develops a burning hatred for all forms of organic life in Beast Machines. Optimus even points out how this makes zero sense, and it's implied it's just a rationalization for Megatron's attempt to ascend into godhood by removing his organic aspects.
  • It's All About Me: The only thing that matters to Megatron is Megatron. Taken Up to Eleven in Beast Machines, where he aims to become the only sentient being on Cybertron.
    Optimus Primal: Is that the only ideal you serve, Megatron? Megalomania?
  • Jerkass: For all his manipulative charm and cultured demeanor, Megatron revels in the suffering he causes and loves to gloat about how badly he's screwed his enemies over.
  • Karmic Death: At the end of Beast Machines, he is killed by Optimus Primal while he attempts to reformat Cybertron.
  • Kick the Dog: After he decides that Transmutate is useless because of its deformities, he coldly orders Inferno to execute it. Rampage only barely talks him out of it, and Megatron makes it clear that if it screws up, he will kill it without a second thought.
  • Kick The Son Ofa Bitch: Any time Tarantulas is a victim of his Bad Boss tendencies falls under this, given that the former is a depraved, cannibalistic Mad Scientist
  • Killed Off for Real: After surviving countless attempts on his life and things that would kill anyone else, he finally dies at the end of Beast Machines when Optimus sends them both into the core of Cybertron, disintegrating them both and reformatting the planet.
  • King of the Dinosaurs: He's a T. rex in both his original and Transmetal beast modes.
  • Large Ham: Megatron's are hammy. Cartoon villains are hammy. Beast Wars a ham maestro. He becomes more of a Cold Ham in Beast Machines... right up until the end of the series, where he goes right back to being this.
  • Large and in Charge: Generally played straight with him. Before Rampage was conscripted into the Predacons, Megatron was the biggest of the group, and once he converted into his dragon body, Megatron dwarfed even Rampage.
  • Laughably Evil: His hamminess and sarcasm make Megatron a blast to watch. This doesn't apply as much in Beast Machines, where he's more serious and cold... right up until the end of the series, where he reverts back to his original persona for the most part.
  • Legacy Character: He's a descendant of the original Megatron.
  • Look What I Can Do Now!: At one point, he's dropped into a lava pit by Quickstrike, who was manipulated by Tarantulas, in an attempt to kill him. Instead of dying, this actually makes him stronger and crazier than ever; mainly because he also had the spark of his namesake inside him at the time.
  • Mad Scientist: He shows signs of being one of these, particularly when he uses the Transmetal II Drive to create Dinobot II and starts acting like Dr. Frankenstein, complete with Waspinator serving as The Igor.
    Megatron: I give you LIFE! TRANSMETAL II LIFE! AHAHAHA!
  • Mad Libs Catchphrase: He's prone to expressing Villain Respect by saying "I rather like him/her/them."
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: He traveled to past Earth in the first place to kill Optimus Prime so the Decepticons could win the great war and thus control Cybertron.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Many of his greatest advantages were unwittingly supplied by his more treacherous underlings.
  • Multiple Head Case: A notable aversion. While Megatron is one of the most famous Transformers that has his beast mode head fully visible in robot mode,note  his T. rex or dragon head simply becomes an inanimate Arm Cannon when he transforms. "Before the Storm" seems to play with this trope by having his T. rex hand act like a Right-Hand Cat in subtle ways, but this is Played for Laughs and can easily be explained by Megatron putting on a puppet show for himself, simply because he's that kind of guy.

  • Narcissist: To an insane degree. In Beast Machines, Megatron did everything in his power to turn Cybertron into a reflection of his own self-image. Reflected in this scene:
    Megatron: ...yeeesss.
    Blacharachnia: Why do you always talk to yourself?
    Megatron: I simply have a penchant for intelligent conversation.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Several times. For all of his intelligence and chessmastering, he just can't win for definite.
    • At the end of the first season, he kills Optimus Primal. This carries over to the second season and he would've killed the rest of the Maximals had Rhinox not brought Primal back.
    • In the Grand Finale, he finds the Nemesis, kills Tigerhawk with it, and proceeds to attack Mt St Hilary in an attempt to destroy the Maximals and the Ark. If not for Dinobot II's Heel–Face Turn and subsequent Redemption Equals Death moment, he would've won.
    • But his best one of all had to be in the season two finale: He's been captured by Ravage and Tarantulas, with some help from the Maximals. His troops are either incapacitated or pursuing their own agendas. To top it off Ravage has instructions from the Tripredacus Council to eliminate all the witnesses, and what does Megatron do? He plays his last card to change Ravage's allegiance, revealing the whole thing as a plan orchestrated by G1 Megatron to change the outcome of the Great War in his favor. While Ravage keeps the Maximals busy, Megatron flies to Mt. St. Hilary, threatens Silverbolt to get Blackarachnia to open the Ark for him, and attempts to Ret-Gone the Maximals out of existence by blowing Optimus Prime's brains out. Really, his only mistake was keeping Blackarachnia, who was a Maximal Protoform and thus threatened by his attempt, alive long enough to betray him.
    • He gets two of these in Beast Machines, coming seconds away from winning both times.
  • Never My Fault: Megatron often blames others for his failures, whether it be his underlings or the Maximals, since his gargantuan ego has blinded him to the possibility he could make a mistake.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Inflicts one on Tarantulas after he Comes Back Strong from his assassination attempt.
  • No Name Given: He chose the name "Megatron" for himself; his original name is unknown (though in Beast Wars: Uprising, he was originally known as "Gnashteeth").
    • In the IDW 2021 series, it is revealed that his name was Galavar.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Megatron was little more than a particularly ambitious but still small-time renegade in the eyes of the Tripredacus Council and Maximal High Command. However, he and his crew are the biggest threats to Optimus Primal Maximals on account of being the only other Cybertronians on prehistoric Earth.
  • Not So Similar: On one occasion he was told he was unworthy of the respect that usually comes with the name Megatron because of the robots who had the name before him being far superior to him. Though this came from a surviving servant of the original.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Initially, he comes off as a Smug Snake with delusions of grandeur, content to have a large supply of energon. By the end of Season 1, it’s clear he is a legitimate Diabolical Mastermind with grand aspirations and the intelligence to back it up, managing to kill Optimus with his clever planning, and Season 2 reveals he’s a threat to time and space itself.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Although a Card-Carrying Villain by trade, Megatron occasionally at least acts like his plans stand to benefit people other than him, but it's always proven to be a load of bull:
    • In Beast Wars, Megatron likes to play himself up as a return to the glory days of conquest for the Predacons, once angrily ranting that the Pax Cybertronia essentially turned the Predacons into slaves. However, Megatron's Bad Boss tendencies and egomania override whatever little belief he may have in trying to lead the Predacon race into glory. By the time of Beast Machines, he very obviously doesn't care about anyone or anything but himself; in conquering Cybertron, he didn't just steal the sparks of the Maximals, but his own people as well.
    • Throughout Beast Machines, Megatron claims several times that his efforts are meant to eliminate The Evils of Free Will and turn Cybertron into a single, elegant machine, under his guiding hand. By the end of the series, it becomes clear that Megatron is nothing but a callous, insane megalomaniac, seeking nothing less than godhood and being willing to exterminate his entire species to see it happen.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: How he usually manipulates his more traitorous minions to his own ends. He acts completely unaware of their intentions, slyly playing his own Batman Gambit.
  • Oh, Crap!: He has this reaction right before Quickstrike drops him into a pit of lava under Tarantulas' orders in "Master Blaster".
  • Omnicidal Maniac: By the finale he's so all consumed at the thought of victory that he attempts to destroy the Arc with G1 Megatron included, which would mean the destruction of both Maximals and Predacons.
  • One-Winged Angel: He gains his Transmetal II form with just three episodes left in the series, in time for the final battle.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: In the season one finale, he contacts Optimus for a temporary ceasefire, and is genuine in the offer. Optimus immediately knows something is up, because there's no way Megatron would pull this without something else on the table.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Megatron spends most of Beast Machines plotting and directing his legions of Vehicons instead of fighting himself, only engaging in combat when directly confronted. He finally starts acting on his own in the series finale, where he uses a copy of Optimus' Optimal body to great effect.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: His beast mode is a metallic dragon in the last four episodes of the third season.
  • Pet the Dog: He actually has a minor case of this in Dark Designs. Despite initially berating Scorponok for getting crushed under the crates, once he hears him out afterwards he calmly acknowledges that he was the one who made the mistake by converting Rhinox into a Predacon. As Scorponok whimpers while explaining what happened Megatron even gives him a soft, comforting "there".
  • Playing with Fire: After gaining a dragon for a beast mode, he gains the ability to shoot fire from his mouth.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: He was initially unwilling to alter time by destroying Optimus Prime, deeming it a dangerous, extreme last resort. A tie-in game would raise the point that with Optimus and the Matrix destroyed, nothing would stop Unicron when he came to Cybertron…
  • Purple Is Powerful: His tyrannosaurus bodies both had a largely purple colour scheme.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: He has red eyes, and is a callous, genocidal megalomaniac willing to kill anyone to get what he wants.
  • Ret-Gone: In "The Agenda", he tried to do erase the Maximals from history by killing Optimus Prime.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Something clearly happened to Megatron between his escape from the Maximals and their arrival on Cybertron after his conquest; by the time they arrive, he's developed a virulent hatred for the organic (including his own beast mode), and is scarred over his right eye. The intervening time and stark changes in his characterization have never been addressed.
  • Right-Hand Cat: In his first and third bodies, his beast mode head becomes one of his arms, and he's seen treating his T. rex head like one of these. There's also his rubber ducky, to a lesser extent.
  • Rogue Agent: Megatron is a renegade from the Predacons, acting without their knowledge to carry out his own agenda. The Tripredacus Council consider him a dangerous extremist, and even dispatch Ravage to terminate him.
  • Rollerblade Good: As a Transmetal, his dinosaur feet have wheels.
  • Sadist: At several points in Beast Machines, he does things that have no purpose other than to make Optimus suffer, whether it be taunting him about Megatron's victory or drawing out a battle with him. This tendency ultimately shoots him in the foot at the end of the series, when this gives Optimus the chance to kill Megatron and reformat the planet.
  • Same Character, but Different: In Beast Machines, he's far colder, less prone to his usual theatricality, inexplicably despises organics, and is far more clinical and ruthless in general, coming off as an almost entirely different character. As the series goes on, it gradually becomes clear that the change was in attitude only; he's still the same power-hungry megalomaniac he was in the original series, it's just that his ambitions have massively grown in scale, and near the end of the series he goes right back to his previous hammy self.
  • Sanity Slippage: At the end of Beast Wars, the combination of taking the original Megatron's spark, Tarantulas' attempt on his life, and him gaining the beast mode of a dragon causes him to go even crazier, to the point he starts occasionally referring to himself in Third-Person Person and developing a god complex. He’s become far more composed in Beast Machines, only to lose it again at the end of the series after absorbing all the sparks of Cybertron expect for Optimus'.
  • Satanic Archetype: The Covenant of Primus's passages present him as a composite of this and The Antichrist. The fact he becomes a dragon in the end just sells it.
    The Covenant of Primus: (about Megatron) "...and the great dragon was cast out upon the Earth... and his followers were cast out with him."
  • Self-Serving Memory: In Beast Machines, Megatron smugly claims to Optimus, currently suffering from Laser-Guided Amnesia, that he won the Beast Wars. In reality, Megatron firmly lost; all of his allies abandoned him, died, or both and all of his plans failed. The only reason he actually managed to conquer Cybertron was because he was able to break out while the Maximals' ship was traveling back to Cybertron, allowing him to get there first.
  • She Is the King: Inverted. Megatron is called a "Queen" by Inferno, despite repeatedly warning the latter not to do so. Inferno also uses the more gender-neutral term "Royalty", which doesn't bother Megatron so much.
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: Regarding a bunch of Dinobot clones:
    Megatron: Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Well, further into evil. Megatron starts off as an evil, megalomaniacal sociopath, but his Sanity Slippage results in him getting even worse, turning into a deranged Omnicidal Maniac with delusions of godhood. Then he somehow manages to get even eviler in Beast Machines, committing what amounts to genocide on his own race.
  • The Sociopath: Megatron is self-centered, self-important, cruel, manipulative, has no respect for any authority apart from his own, has no empathy, and majorly narcissistic.
  • Third-Person Person: After gaining a Transmetal II body, he starts occasionally referring to himself as "the Dragon" in third person.
  • Tin Tyrant: Megatron's initial robot mode isn't all that grandiose, but by Transmetal, he's got thick metallic armor and mocking Dinobot for leveling a stick at it (before being struck with a stone hammer). By Transmetal II, he is fully decked out in armor in a foremost vainglorious display befitting a Megatron (this transformation occurring from having absorbed the spark of his namesake, fittingly). However, Megatron is also called this verbatim by Tarantulas, in a passing swipe at Megatron's overblown ego and need for glory. Megatron fires back, "Traitorous arachnid."
  • Took a Level in Cynic: In Beast Machines, Megatron sports a more sedate, cold attitude, although hints of his old fondness for melodrama bleed through every now and again, and towards the end of the series, he starts to regain his old, hammier persona.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: He was never even remotely a good guy, but he becomes even worse by the time of Beast Machines, attempting to carry out an Assimilation Plot tantamount to planetary genocide, fully embracing his god complex, and dropping his Faux Affably Evil demeanor in favor of a more openly ruthless, no-nonsense persona.
  • TV Genius: He's undoubtedly sophisticated, intelligent, and verbally elegant. Unfortunately for him, his social skills and inability to attract and maintain followers through anything other than fear, brutality, or blackmail pretty much establish him as The Friend Nobody Likes among his own Predacon troops. Not counting Inferno, who honestly has more than a few loose screws, Scorponok is practically the ONLY character in the show of relatively sound mind who likes Megatron.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Neither the Predacon or Maximal leadership thinks of him as more than a crook with delusions of grandeur. He manages to steal a ship and nearly unravel time, then take over Cybertron near-singlehandly.
  • Undignified Death: In the Grand Finale of Beast Machines, while Optimus calmly accepts his fate as they plunge to their deaths in Cybertron's core, Megatron screams with impotent rage and fear the whole time.
  • The Unfettered: Nothing, not even reality itself, is safe from this megalomaniac.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: While he's a skilled battlefield tactician and good long-term planner, Megatron's combat style really boils down to punching, straightforward kicks, blasting other 'bots, and, while in beast mode, biting and tail-slamming his opponents. Not that there's much wrong with it because a lot of the times, his overwhelming brute force will get him through a lot of scraps. However, it doesn't always serve him well because throughout all three seasons, there have been characters who beat him through simply being more skilled than him (Dinobot) or just possessing more raw power (Tigerhawk).
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: In Beast Wars: Uprising, Megatron is shown to have been a Nice Guy even willing to talk with Maximals before his mentor Double Punch screwed him over.
  • Verbal Tic: A long drawn-out "Yeeeess..." or "Noooo...". The former was uttered 166 times throughout the series.
  • Vetinari Job Security: Though abusive and manipulative to his subordinates, he has proven to be the only one capable of leading his nearly-psychotic crew of Predacons. He proved this to Terrorsaur once by granting him command during a crisis and watching him fail spectacularly.
  • Villain Ball: Megatron's main weakness. He himself acknowledges that Predacons gloat too much, but can't quite shake the habit. The series is bookended with him ignoring Dinobot / Dinobot II's advice in favour of something more fun- which only results in him killing Quickstrike and Inferno, his last two Predacons aside from Dinobot II.
  • Villain Respect: Whenever Megatron is threatened or simply runs into someone as evil, violent, or cunning as him, his usual response is to proclaim he "rather likes" them.
  • Villainous Valor: While he did pull a Villain: Exit, Stage Left many times during the series, he undeniably embodies this trope when he doesn't quit against Tigerhawk despite being in awe at his power.
  • Villainous Friendship: Downplayed with Inferno. Megatron treats Inferno as his most useful pawn, but genuinely likes him for his loyalty, even if he finds him to be incompetent. He even rescues Inferno in the middle of a battle for no real reason. Killing him with the Nemesis while firing on the protohuman settlement in the series finale is what finally makes it clear Megatron has lost it completely.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • After Tarantulas' failed assassination attempt and absorbing the spark of the original Megatron give him a Transmetal II body, Megatron just loses his mind and becomes increasingly irrational and unhinged, culminating in him trying to destroy the Ark even though it would mean the destruction of both the Maximals and Predacons alike.
    • Right before Optimus kills them both in the finale of Beast Machines, he begins panicking and loses his cool, culminating in a Big "NO!".
  • Vocal Dissonance: In Beast Mode, his articulate tone of voice is quite odd to hear coming out of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
  • Vocal Evolution: In Beast Machines, his voice becomes even deeper and he loses his smug, jovial tone for a more colder, serious tone.
  • We Have Reserves: He seems to value his troops' lives slightly less than a normal person does pocket lint and would probably kill them all in a second if they proved to be no longer useful. An impressive feat, since at no time does he have more than a handful or so Predacons, even if some are Made of Iron and being blown to bits is more of an inconvenience than anything else.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Downplayed heavily in Beast Wars. While he’s generally a Card-Carrying Villain putting on a front of being well-meaning, Megatron is implied to genuinely believe the Predacons have gotten a raw deal, and this motivates many of his actions as much as his desire for power does, most notably the attempted murder of Optimus Prime. This vanishes in Beast Machines, by which point he’s become entirely focused on himself and lost sight of these goals.
  • Wicked Cultured: Speaks with an aristocratic accent, fond of quoting literature, and is often found soaking in a energon hot tub.
  • Would Hit a Girl: The most blatant example is when he slaps Blackarachnia in "Aftermath" out of anger for working with Tarantulas behind his back.
  • You Are What You Hate: By the time of Beast Machines, Megatron has grown to despise organic life, up to and including his own organic beast mode, which he spends all of the first season struggling to rid himself of. This goes even further in the second season, where he spends the first few episodes trapped in an entirely organic body until he manages to liberate his spark.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: His reaction to realizing his new body is a Diagnostic Drone.
    Megatron: I LIVE! I LIVE! I- ...What kind of puny body is this? (Descends into Angrish as Rattrap mocks him)

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