For the character sheet of the previous Transformers films, see Transformers Film Series.
Despite initially developed as a prequel to the previous movies, with Bumblebee, Hasbro began what they referred to as a 'new storytelling universe', confirming the film's status as a reboot. As such, characters from the movie are now here. As Bumblebee featured several returning characters but in vastly different, more G1-inspired appearances, the Bumblebee version of these characters are now considered separate entities.
The Autobot ResistanceThe 'good guys' in the civil war of Cybertron, the Autobots are a band of freedom fighters on the losing side who are forced to abandon their home planet to seek refuge in the stars.
- Alien Among Us: The benevolent kind as always, though its not until the end of Bumblebee that many of them even make it to earth.
- Arm Cannon: Notably a lacking feature this time, as besides Bumblebee they're all otherwise depicted with hand-held weaponry. Given their status as a resistance movement, its likely that they simply weren't built for war, but were forced to take up arms anyway.
- Mechanical Lifeforms: As are the Decepticons.
- Mythology Gag: Design-wise, they're all pretty much taken directly from the G1 character designs, albeit with a live action aesthetic. Bumblebee is the only one who doesn't, due to blending his G1 design with his prior movie design.
- La Résistance: To a greater extent than typical depictions, where the Autobots were typically the dominent party until the Decepticons took over, the Autobots here are explicitly the Autobot Resistance, and from what we see, they're losing the war.
- Transforming Mecha: They are Transformers of course.
- Undying Loyalty: None of them will give up Optimus Prime. Likewise Prime immediately calls for a retreat when the Decepticon forces become too much for them to bear, despite the fact he himself could probably take them on by himself; he'd rather fight them alone to buy time for his soldiers than risk any of them being caught in the crossfire.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: As far as the Decepticons are concerned, the Autobots are criminals and traitors to Cybertron.
The Hero of the movie, Bumblebee, or B-127 as he was initially called, is an Autobot soldier sent to seek out a new home for the Autobots so they can regroup and retake their planet. In 1987, he arrives on earth, but is followed there by the Decepticon Blitzwing who then proceeds to viciously attack and nearly kill him, forcing him to hide as a Volkswagen Beetle. Discovered by Charlie Watson, he's accidentally revived, but without any memory of who he is, and is terrified and confused by everything around him. Fortunately, Charlie befriends the lost Autobot, naming him "Bumblebee" after his yellow paint job, timid nature, and buzzing noises.
- AM/FM Characterization: Like the Bay films and Cyberverse Bumblebee, this is used by Bee to circumvent his inability to speak, conveying his thoughts and feelings through the music he plays. The film goes into the origin of this trait, and where he picked up his love of earth music. For the most part, he seems to prefer upbeat songs and power-rock music; most of the music he plays is along this theme, and he actually shows a dislike for Charlie's favoured The Smiths, but even he doesn't care for being Rickrolled.
- Amnesia Danger: When Sector 7 and the Decepticons arrive, Bumblebee doesn't remember how to fight and is confused by his Cool Mask activating, and doesn't appear to even know he has in-built weapons. As such, he's a sitting duck against Dropkick and Charlie has to beg them to leave him alone.
- Amnesiac Hero: Most of 'Bee's self-titled movie sees him without his memory.
- The Baby of the Bunch: Implied; when we see the Autobots at the beginning, they talk in a manner that makes them sound older, while Bumblebee's voice is youthful and almost like a teenager. The Decepticons evidently identify him as one of the younger ones, referring to him as Cliffjumper's 'young friend' when they're interrogating him.
- Berserk Button: As revealed in Bumblebee, he does not appreciate being Rickrolled and ejects a cassette of Whenever You Need Somebody rather violently when Charlie tries to make him play that song.
- Bee is one of the nicest little Autobots around and he doesn't want to fight any humans. But when you hurt Charlie? Red Eyes, Take Warning and run.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He's one of the sweetest Autobots to befriend. That doesn't mean he won't go easy on you if it's warranted. Agent Burns, Tina, Shatter and Dropkick have learned this the hard way.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Has a retractable arm blade in Bumblebee. It eventually gets torn off by Shatter, though.
- Character Development: He appears pretty flippant and prone to joking when we see him prior to his memory loss, but once he loses it he becomes harmless and easily terrified. Over the course of the movie he starts to regain his confidence and start to joke around more, and once his memories come back he regains his combat prowess and dedication to his mission, while also retaining the quirks he picked up while without his memory.
- Combat Parkour: Bumblebee's fighting style against others makes use of his smaller frame, with a lot of rolls, flips, and parkour moves thrown in.
- Combat Pragmatist: Likewise, given that he's significantly smaller than most 'Cons, he has to use speed, surprise, and his environment to take them out. Fighting Blitzwing has him use the Seeker's weaponry against him, while against Shatter he had to use the environment to avoid being killed by her.
- Composite Character: He maintains his G1 alt-form, while having a Cybertronian alt-form reminiscent of his Aligned Continuity's version, and maintaining the 'lost voice' trait his Bayverse self is known for. His relationship with Charlie is more akin to his relationship with Spike from G1, and his overall design seems to be closer to his initial IDW design or an 'Earth version' of the aforementioned Aligned Continuity's Cybertronian form. His excitability around earth also seems closer to his Animated self. In general, this Bumblebee takes from a lot of past versions.
- Constantly Curious: Since he doesn't know who he is, and is on a different planet populated by beings he's completely alien to, Bumblebee is really curious about the world. Since he can't ask questions very well due to his disability, it often results in him peering around in ways he shouldn't.
- Cool Mask: Doubles as a Game Face, Bee is able to slide a wasp head-looking mask over his face during combat, which seems to have some specific combat uses.
- Easily Forgiven: Charlie forgive him for trashing her house. Justified, she admits it was her fault for leaving him alone.
- Forgot About His Powers: Played for Laughs. Due to his memory loss, he tends to forget he's a transforming alien robot. When Charlie is teaching him to hide from sight, he forgets he could do so by turning into a car and instead tries to hide behind a pile of sand; a foot-tall pile of sand. Later when they realize their prank on Tina is backfiring Charlie tells them to hide again... which he does by mimicking how she was hiding by lifting Tina's car up and hiding behind it like a waist-high wall.
- Gentle Giant: By comparison to humans, he's a giant roughly the same size as The Incredible Hulk. He's also a sweetheart who loves watching movies and listening to music, and when he sees men pointing guns at Charlie, his reaction is to grab her and run. When he gets his memory back, this becomes Good Is Not Soft.
- Goggles Do Something Unusual: His Cool Mask appears to serve as a means for him to scan vehicles in order to take their form, as well as provide an aim-assist in combat. He appears to 'see' with a Heads-Up Display naturally as a robot, but the mask seems to enhance this and add additional aspects. Freeze-Frame Bonus also shows that the mask seems to be a means to translate languages, as it shows briefly a 'language setting' on the HUD.
- The Hero: Shares this role with Charlie in Bumblebee; he's the one sent to protect earth, but because of his memory loss he doesn't know about this mission. When his memory is restored, he takes it upon himself to stop the Decepticons and save the planet, then goes off to rendezvous with Optimus Prime and the arriving Autobots.
- Heroic Mime: And a Handicapped Badass; Bumblebee lost his voice in battle with Blitzwing. The attack was incredibly traumatic and caused critical damage to the rest of him, resulting in complete memory loss as well.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Non-romantic case, with him and Charlie, due to him being a large robot.
- Kid Hero: He's evidently one of the younger Autobots; Shatter even refers to him as such. His memory loss makes him even more child-like, to the point Charlie becomes something of a Cool Big Sis to him.
- Kindhearted Simpleton: As a result of his memory loss, Bumblebee is almost child-like, and combined with his lack of knowledge of earth customs, he appears quite unintelligent. However, he's also extremely good-natured and immediately does everything he can to be nice to his new and only friend, and has a fearful, but optimistic temperament.
- Mythology Gag: Due to the movie initially being a prequel before becoming its own separate continuity, he shares several traits with his previous movie counterpart. He's mute and forced to use the radio to communicate, his head design and his body keeping the front cab of his vehicle form on his chest resemble the previous movie Bumblebee, and he befriends a human teenager.
- Besides this, he also takes a lot of cues from his G1 counterpart, primarily using the VW Beetle as his alt form. His Cybertronian vehicle form also seems to greatly resemble what he turned into in Transformers: War for Cybertron, which could best be described as an alien smart-car.
- Nice Guy: He's a charming bot through-and-through, and while a tough soldier, he's willing to crack jokes to lighten the tension during combat. After he loses his voice and his memory, he has an innocent, child-like wonderment about everything, and repeatedly goes out of his way to brighten up other people's mood.
- Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: He's small by Transformers standards. But relative to humans he's virtually unstoppable.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: He did get a bit carried away there, but he was more than glad to have demolished Tina's car after witnessing her cruelty towards Charlie.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: His (relative) small-stature doesn't make him any less effective in battle. If anything, its an asset as he's able to roll and dodge better than the others, and his 'bouncy' movement makes him quite fast.
- Platonic Life-Partners: With Charlie. They watch movies and dance to music together, and are clearly closer to one-another than any two characters in the movie, but in a completely platonic way.
- Replacement Goldfish: To a minor extent, Bumblebee ends up becoming something of a replacement for Charlie's father. Its pretty clear that her dad was Charlie's best friend and she is utterly lost without his companionship, but Bumblebee's presence gives her someone she can watch movies together with and listen to music while working on the corvette, something she explicitly did with her father.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: After his battle with Blitzwing, Bumblebee was left traumatized by it, and even with his memory wiped he instinctively clutched his throat when he thought he was in danger. His fear when Charlie reactivates him seems to be, besides the confusion born from not knowing who he is or where he came from, a lasting effect of what he went through.
- Shipper on Deck: Its not explicit, but he does push Charlie and Memo extremely close to one-another during their car chase, one of the films' many Ship Tease between the two. Also when they're driving together, he plays the upbeat Everybody Wants To Rule The World and happily supports Charlie's attempts at showing off for Memo.
- The Speechless: Well, he talked throughout the prologue of the movie, but due to Blitzwing tearing out his vocal synthesizer during their battle, he becomes this for the rest of the film. However, he eventually learns to "speak" using radio/sound clips.
- Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Between getting attacked by human military and getting torn up by Blitzwing.
- True Companions: With Charlie. She helps him try to adapt to Earth after losing his memories, and he in turn does his best to help her get over the death of her father, later becoming very close Platonic Life-Partners. While he is forced to leave her behind to continue his mission by the end, they're both clearly broken up about it. One can hope they'll reunite in a sequel.
- Weak, but Skilled:
- He's physically one of the smallest and weakest Cybertronians seen in the movie, but he manages to defeat several more powerful Decepticons through ingenuity.
- During his fight with Dropkick, the Decepticon is relying on sheer brute strength, and manages to land a few powerful blows, but Bumblebee's clever fighting (taking advantage of his small stature to more easily dodge attacks, concentrating his hits on Dropkick's joints, and throwing a chain into his helicopter rotor then ripping Dropkick apart once he transforms) enables him to take the upper hand.
- Wrecked Weapon: Shatter breaks his arm blade off, and stabs him with it for good measure.
- You Are Number 6: His official designation is "B-127". Charlie gives him the nickname "Bumblebee" as initially, the only sound he could make was a buzzing noise that reminded her of one, and it stuck.
The Big Good of the film and The Leader of the Autobot Resistance, Optimus Prime is the one to send Bumblebee to earth, while holding off the Decepticon forces as long as he can so that the Autobots can escape. He survives the fall of Cybertron but his location was unknown, forcing the Decepticons to hunt down every Autobot they could find to force them to give him up. None of them give in.
- Action Hero: A leader from the front lines, he's easily the single most powerful Bot seen, fighting off hordes of Decepticons on his own.
- Adaptational Curves: Most G1-themed versions of Optimus have rather wide, bulky legs◊, presumably to match his G1 model/toy, where they are combined to form the truck bed. As can be seen from the picture to the right, not only are they much slimmmer here, but they're also shaped like boots instead of the block-like legs he usually has. They get slightly bulkier and angular after the truck kibble is added, but still remain rather thin.
- A Father to His Men: He talks to Bumblebee like a father would a son.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Again, he leads the Autobots and also happens to be the biggest badass on Cybertron.
- Badass Baritone: As to be expected when he's voiced by Peter Cullen.
- Benevolent Boss: He orders the retreat from Cybertron for the sake of his forces; though he could fight the Decepticons easily, the Autobots are otherwise outgunned and outnumbered, and he'd rather hold off the Decepticons as long as he can alone than risk any of their lives longer than needed.
- Big Badass Rig: When he gets to earth, he takes a Freightliner as his alt mode.
- Big Good: He's not the focus of Bumblebee, but it is him leading the Autobots, and he's the one to send 'Bee to earth. The fact he's the Big Good makes him a target; the Decepticons believe that the Autobots will fall apart without their leader.
- Demoted to Extra: In Bumblebee. It is, of course, focused on Bumblebee, so Optimus plays a smaller role than he does in most incarnations.
- The Dreaded: To Decepticons. When Dropkick, a fearless Blood Knight, learns that Optimus is coming to Earth (the planet he's on), he's actually visibly scared of the prospect.
- Gentle Giant: He towers over Bumblebee (who himself towers over humans), but when he's not fighting, he's a gentle father figure to the Autobots. He also sends Bumblebee to Earth with the strict order of protecting it from harm by the Decepticons.
- Good Is Not Soft: Doesn't hold back in a fight, and utterly demolishes any who try to fight him.
- Hero of Another Story: Functionally. We don't know how he escaped Cybertron, but it was probably awesome; Decepticons are eager to find him, and he's somewhere in the stars making his way to earth.
- The Leader: The Autobot Resistance wouldn't exist without him, apparently.
- Living MacGuffin: Because of his status as The Leader and Big Good, the Decepticons are desperately searching for him. None of the Autobots are giving him up.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Essentially, he brings the war of Cybertron to humanity's doorstep by sending Bumblebee to the planet. It's clearly not intentional, as he seems initially unaware of humanity's existence when he made this decision, but that doesn't change the fact he nearly inspired an army of Decepticons to come invade the planet.
- One-Man Army: He takes down an entire armada of Decepticons charging right at him led by Soundwave.
- So Proud of You: By the end of the film, after reuniting, Prime warmly congratulates Bumblebee's success in protecting Earth and her people, and that his heroism ensured the Autobots' future.
- Undying Loyalty: Again, its clear that he inspires this in any who follow him.
A lieutenant of the Autobot Resistance who's quickly hunted down by Shatter and Dropkick after escaping Cybertron.
- An Arm and a Leg: Has his right arm torn off by Dropkick.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Brutally bisected right down the middle, and this is after he's been mercilessly tortured extensively to the point that his right arm's been torn off, in addition to being stabbed in the chest, twice!
- Defiant to the End: Not once does he give in to the torture.
- Famous Last Words: "Never!"
- Half the Man He Used to Be: How he meets his end, courtesy Dropkick. Vertically.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He allows the Decepticons to slaughter him senselessly just so the same fate doesn't befall on Optimus or any other Autobot.
- Mythology Gag: The circumstances behind his murder of getting stabbed and bisected in half are hauntingly similar to that of his fate in Transformers: Prime.
- Red Shirt: Quite literally. His only notable scene was the one where he is killed at the hands of Dropkick.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Only gets one scene, and it's the one where he's being killed. He was first seen back on Cybertron fighting alongside Ratchet, Arcee and Wheeljack though he was forced to evacuate and then we see him being tortured by Shatter and Dropkick on one of Saturn's moons.note
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He is only shown for a few minutes before he is cut in half by Dropkick.
An Autobot soldier who escapes Cybertron.
- Adaptational Badass: Gets shot in the shoulder, much like his original counterpart from the G1 film. The difference is that in the G1 film, Brawn dies shortly after being shot, while here, he can be seen entering one of the escape pods, having survived his shoulder wound.
- The Cameo: Much like his TF Animated and his G1 film counterparts, he's just there for a few seconds to help the Autobot cause look better in terms of numbers.
An Autobot soldier who escapes Cybertron. The only female Autobot in the movie.
- Action Girl: Fighting on the front lines with the male bots, and holding her own as well as they are.
- Adaptational Early Appearance: In G1, Arcee didn't get introduced until The Movie, which was set in 2005. Here, she's shown alongside Optimus and the others on Cybertron, and likely arrives on earth with them in 1987 instead.
- The Cameo: As with other Autobots, she just appears to briefly showcase the war on Cybertron.
- Fem Bot: Moreso than Shatter, as she has a pink and white paintjob and a somewhat human feminine appearance.
- Oh, Crap!: When she can't make communication with the Autobot capital (this implies the Decepticons destroyed it).Arcee: I've lost contact with the capital!
An Autobot soldier who escapes Cybertron.
- Adaptational Badass: Typically Wheeljack is just a scientist, but he's shown fighting on the front lines alongside the others and doing well, if concerned by the overwhelming numbers.
- The Cameo: Just one of several Autobots in the opening battle.
- Oh, Crap!: When he sees that there aren't enough Autobots to hold off the Decepticon invasion.Wheeljack: There's too many of them!
An Autobot soldier who escapes Cybertron. He is traditionally a medic, but doesn't have much of a chance to demonstrate his skills.
An Autobot soldier who escapes Cybertron.
The DecepticonsThe primary antagonists and 'bad guys' in the civil war for Cybertron, the Decepticons are a ruthless military force that forced the Autobots to flee Cybertron, and won't stop until they've hunted each one down and permanently destroyed what's left.
- Aliens Are Bastards: They're ruthless and, when they interact with other races, hold little to no regard for them outside of how they can be useful to their cause. They also won't simply settle for driving the Autobots off-planet, but actively hunt them down simply to ensure they don't ever return.
- Arm Cannon: Unlike the Autobots, it's a case for each one seen.
- The Bad Guy Wins: By the time of Bumblebee, they've succeeded in conquering Cybertron, and have forced the Autobots off-planet.
- Bright Is Not Good: Physically, the Autobots and the Decepticons look about the same; they're both colourful and brightly painted machines, and to a neutral party, it'd be hard to distinguish which ones are the good guys and bad guys.
- Card-Carrying Villain: The name Decepticons is, without a doubt, not a good guys name.
- The Empire: This take on the Decepticons present them as such; they control Cybertron with an iron grip and the Autobots are merely a resistance movement against them. Two Decepticons present themselves as alien law enforcement officers to Sector 7, which isn't exactly a lie since that's what they are from the Decepticons' POV.
- Knight of Cerebus: Thus far the reboot has been Lighter and Softer than the original Transformers movie series. Except for the Decepticons, who murder humans on screen. Even the comedic moments with Shatter and Dropkick still mostly serve to show how evil the duo are.
- Obviously Evil: Compared to the Autobots, the Decepticons have more menacing voices, red optics, and of course, they literally call themselves Decepticons.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: To distinguish them from the Autobots, they have malevolent red eyes.
- Villain with Good Publicity: When they first make contact with Earth, the Decepticons present themselves as 'peacekeepers' who are hunting dangerous fugitives. Played With though as only Dr Powell believes them, and Burns makes it clear he doesn't trust them.
- Zerg Rush: Largely why the Autobots had to leave, the Decepticons just outnumbered them too much. Even though Optimus Prime could take on dozens of them on his own, they would otherwise overwhelm the rest of his forces.
A Decepticon triple-changer who's searching for Bumblebee on Earth with her cohort, Dropkick.
- And Your Little Dog, Too!: As she prepares to kill Bee, she threatens to kill Charlie, too, in retribution for disabling the communication hub.
- Benevolent Boss: A villainous example. She acts as Dropkicks superior, but doesnt treat him in an ill manner and addresses him with a sense of comradery, and while she's more than capable of terminating their targets, she happily leaves the dirty work to her brutish partner.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: She and Dropkick are the main villains of the film, but Shatter is the more senior and commanding of the pair.
- Big "NO!": She was not happy when Charlie disabled the communication tower, sparking her Villainous Breakdown.
- Brains and Brawn: The brains to Dropkick's brawn, employing deception and subterfuge to achieve her goals.
- Canon Foreigner: She was created exclusively for Bumblebee.
- Contralto of Danger: She's got a very low-pitched voice.
- Cool Car: Her Plymouth Satellite mode.
- Cool Plane: Her Harrier Jump Jet mode.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Easily counters Bumblebee's moves in their fight, overpowering him and breaking off his blade and stabbing him with it. He only survives by blasting open a dam wall, letting a cargo ship fly out and crush Shatter.
- Evil Duo: She's partners in crime with Dropkick.
- Dark Action Girl: She's one of the primary antagonists, and very capable of throwing down with Autobots.
- Establishing Character Moment: Her and Dropkick's interrogation of Cliffjumper shows her not doing much, if any physical torture, merely asking the questions and turning him over to Dropkick should he answer wrong. This shows that she's the brains of the duo, who leaves much of the dirty work to her partner, and focuses on the mission. Her manipulation of Sector Seven also backs up her deceptive nature.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Laughs at Bumblebee breaking down a dam to let a cargo ship come out and crush her, saying it would kill them both. She didn't count on him willingly risking his life to take her down.
- Exact Words: She seems to love wordplay, using it in her taunts before having people killed, but it's especially apparent in her manipulation of Powell and Sector Seven. Technically speaking, she never actually lies to them; as the Decepticons are the governing power of Cybertron and the Autobots are a resistance force, B-127 is a fugitive, and they're 'peacekeepers' in the sense that the war will end when the Autobots are all dead. If he's not found, the war will come to earth, but only because Shatter and Dropkick will bring it to earth in the name of hunting down the Autobots' seeking refuge. All she did was leave out which side of the conflict were the bad guys.
- Fallacy of Division: When Bee begins to attack their communication tower, Shatter dispatches Dropkick to deal with him while she prepares the tower to transmit their message. Had they attacked Bee together, they could have easily overwhelmed him as they did with Cliffjumper, but allowing Bee to take them on one at a time evened the odds, and they were both killed off in short order.
- Faux Affably Evil: Unlike her partner, Shatter puts on a friendly facade to trick Sector 7 into aiding them in their mission to capture Bumblebee. Undearneath it's clear she is just as bloodthirsty as her partner, she is just content to let him have his fun doing the killing.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: Her dynamic with Dropkick is much like a duo of cops. She's the "good cop" by virtue of recognizing the value in seeking aid with humans and playing nice when it suits her. But when it comes down to it, she's just as nasty as her partner.
- Ink-Suit Actor: She pretty much looks like Bassett if she was a Transformer.
- Iron Lady: Downplayed, but she seems to be the one calling the shots between her and Dropkick.
- Kick the Dog: She does the kicking, while Dropkick does the killing.
- When interrogating Cliffjumper, she teases that he deserves a better death for being a brave warrior... then lets Dropkick vertically bisect him.
- She also makes sure Dr. Powell knows he's a dead man after witnessing Optimus Prime's message and discovering the Decepticons true intentions, but not before mockingly thanking him for his hospitality and being an Unwitting Pawn, then allowing Dropkick to execute the poor man.
- Followed up by Bumblebee himself. Making false pleasantries with her victims seems to be a hobby for her, whilst Dropkick is just happy to get to kill things.
- Manipulative Bitch: Fitting the Decepticon name, Shatter plays to Sector 7's ignorance of the war to trick them into believing Bee is a dangerous criminal, and aid them in his capture.
- More Deadly Than the Male: Shatter is a far more vicious and skilled opponent than her partner, and could have killed Bee in their final fight were it not for her hubris.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Shatter. Does that sound like a trustworthy name?
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: As she descends into her Villainous Breakdown, Shatter's attacks on Bee become more violent, to the point she just nearly pummels his head into scrap.
- Omnicidal Maniac: After learning that Optimus Prime and the Autobots are going to hide on Earth, she attempted to send a message to call an army to kill the Autobots and destroy all life on the planet.
- One Head Taller: Non-romantic example, but she is about a head taller than her partner Dropkick.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Being the more level-headed of the two, Shatter realizes she can use Sector 7 to her advantage in finding Bumblebee by simply pretending to be an ally.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The more composed and level-headed blue to Dropkick's red. Ironic, given their respective color schemes.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: With a little coaxing, she and Dropkick are given access to the United States' entire satellite network, in order to find Bumblebee, and they've been tracking him from as far as Saturn.
- Slasher Smile: Shatter displays one when she is given access to Earth's computers.
- Strong and Skilled: Being a bigger bot, Shatter's obviously stronger than Bee but also very skilled in her own right, which allows her to match him blow for blow. This makes her the one opponent Bee's Weak, but Skilled style doesn't work on.
- Villainous Breakdown: Charlie disabling the communication tower sends her into a rage, and she proceeds to violently attack Bumblebee, threatening to kill Charlie out of spite.
- Has a minor one when attempting to interogate Bumblebee. Clearly agitated with him not talking, she lets her facade of manners slip and calls Powell "human Powell" instead of "friend Powell."
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Both of them employ this, but Shatter is the one who often makes it known, while Dropkick carries out the "dispose of them" part. Sector 7 planned to destroy them after they found Bumblebee, but the Decepticons employed the trope faster.
A Decepticon triple-changer who's hunting Bumblebee on Earth alongside his cohort, Shatter.
- Ax-Crazy: Unlike Shatter who wants to focus on the mission and actually attempt temporary alliances, he has nothing but contempt for Autobots and humans, and has no issue with murder... whether provoked or not.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: He and his partner Shatter are the villains of the film, though Dropkick's mind is more on fighting and killing things, so he leaves all the thinking to his partner.
- Blood Knight: Being the brawn of his and Shatters duo, he is always out for combat. He quickly gets pissed when amnesiac Bumblebee refuses to fight back during their first encounter.Dropkick: Why isn't he fighting back? Why don't you fight?!
- Bond Villain Stupidity: Zig-zagged. Dropkick's execution of Bumblebee was, indeed, fatal but was undone by Charlie resuscitating him. Considering how thorough he was in offlining Cliffjumper, this does earn Shatter's ire when Bee turns up again to stop them.
- Brains and Brawn: The brawn to Shatter's brains. He's not very fond of Shatter's underhanded approach and prefers to solve his problems with brute force.
- Breaking the Bonds: Subverted. Though the scene sets him up, Bee simply tears him apart before he can do so.
- Canon Foreigner: While the name "Dropkick" has been used in Transformers fiction before, this version has no basis in those previous incarnations, and is basically a new character.
- Cool Car: His AMC Javelin mode.
- Establishing Character Moment: During his and Shatter's interrogation of Cliffjumper, Dropkick tortures the Autobot by stabbing him and later bisecting him, highlighting him as a hot-headed thug who prefers using physical force, and is quick to murder.
- Evil Duo: He's partners in crime with Shatter.
- Evil Sounds Deep: In conjunction with Guttural Growler below, his voice is fairly low pitch.
- For the Evulz: He liquidates a random human upon arriving on Earth, commenting that he "loves how they pop".
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: The bad cop to Shatter's good cop (though they're both nasty pieces of work). He's more violent and prone to physical torture, not to mention his lack of temperament.
- Guttural Growler: He has a deep, gravelly voice.
- Karmic Death: [[spoiler: Given his fondness for inflicting Cruel and Unusual Deaths onto others, his first onscreen-victim being Cliffjumper, whom Dropkick viciously bisected after having already extensively tortured him, it's rather fitting that Dropkick meet an equally cruel and unusual fate at the hands of Bumblebee, who shares Cliffjumper's likeness.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Is killed this way. Bumblebee quickly wraps an enormous chain from a nearby ship around Dropkick's joints and other lesser-armored moving sections, yanking hard on the other end hard to pull him to pieces in one swift movement.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: "You think these little chains can hold—?"
- Omnicidal Maniac: He is excited about an army of Decepticons coming to Earth to kill the Autobots, relishing in the destruction they will bring to Earth.
- Oh, Crap!: He sounds more than a little worried when he learns that Optimus Prime is coming to Earth.
- "Pop!" Goes the Human: He possesses a special weapon that liquefies humans, popping them like balloons.Dropkick: I like the way they pop.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Right before he executes Bumblebee after they've gotten everything they need out of him.Shatter: Ah, B-127, I almost forgot about you.Dropkick: I didn't.
- Rabid Cop: To further play on the dark buddy cop dynamic he has with Shatter, Dropkick an openly violent, murder-happy Sadist to contrast his more reserved partner.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The hot-headed, aggressive red to Shatter's blue — the inverse of their actual color schemes.
- Scarily Competent Tracker: He and Shatter are given access to the United States' entire satellite network, in order to find Bumblebee, and they've been tracking him from as far as Saturn.
- Unskilled, but Strong: In his fight with Bumblebee, Dropkick's easily the stronger of the two, manhandling the smaller Autobot and knocking him around when he lands a blow, but Bee has his number when it comes to skill and ingenuity.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Double Subverted. Regular, human-made chains mess him up pretty badly as they go between the moving parts during transformations, but as he points out, the chains won't stop him for long. Then Bumblebee yanks the other end of the chain...
- You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: He's utterly baffled when Shatter kneels to humble herself to the Sector 7 agents, and reluctantly does so himself when she shoots him a glance.Dropkick: Wha-? What are you doing? (groans) This is humiliating...
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Shatter makes it known that they've gotten all they need out of their targets and "allies", then gives Dropkick the go-ahead to dispose of them. Sector 7 planned to turn on them, too, but were beaten to the punch.
A Decepticon Seeker Bumblebee encounters on Earth.
- Adaptational Job Change: Traditionally, most versions of Blitzwing are triple changers. This version is a Seeker.
- Advertised Extra: Despite being shown prominently in the trailers, Blitzwing plays a very small role in the beginning of the film where he is killed by Bumblebee. But he definitely leaves a mark by tearing out his vocal synthesizer.
- Arch-Enemy: He holds a special animosity for Bumblebee, originating in the prequel comics leading to the events of the film. Although the comics turn out to be non-canon, as Bumblebee arrives on Earth at the beginning of the film proper.
- Big "NO!": Right before Bee kills him.
- Cool Mask: He appears to be wearing some kind of mouthpiece akin to a fighter jet pilot's mask.
- Cool Plane: An F-4 Phantom II.
- Evil Is Bigger: Blitzwing towers over Bumblebee to the point where their fight has David and Goliath vibes.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Par for the course when you're voiced by David Sobolov.
- Flight: Unlike Shatter and Dropkick who can only fly in their respective flying vehicle modes, he can fly in robot mode.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: He is killed by one of his own missiles.
- In Name Only: The name Blitzwing has been used by characters in other past versions of the Transformers franchise. This only thing this Blitzwing has in common with the others is that he's on the Decepticon side.
- Kick the Dog: He rips out Bumblebee's voice box when the latter refuses to give away Optimus Prime's whereabouts, but not before taunting him about how he's going to officialize his unwillingness to talk.
- When he spots Bumblebee, he kills all the men Burns had sorrounding him. There is no stated reason why he did this, give the implication he only did so for fun.
- Lightning Bruiser: He is much larger and stronger than Bumblebee, and on top of that he can freely fly in robot mode, so he's also faster.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Bumblebee takes one of his missiles, jabs it into his chest, and then detonates it with his Arm Cannon. There's not much left of Blitzwing other than burning scrap metal afterwards.
- Near-Villain Victory: Is inches away from killing Bumblebee, who only survives because of his quick thinking and Blitzwing being a bit too slow to finish him off.
- Oh, Crap!: When Bee sticks him with one of his own missiles, he panics and tries to remove it.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Blitzwing is killed by Bumblebee at the start of the movie, but not before tearing out his vocal processors, inflicting his signature handicap and damaging him enough to lose his memory, which kicks off the film's plot.
- Starter Villain: He's the first Decepticon Bumblebee encounters after arriving on Earth in the film.
- Villain Ball: Blitzwing successfully incapacitates Bumblebee by ripping out his voice synthesizer and dropping him off a cliff, and moves in to execute the Autobot. Instead of doing so from a safe distance with his ranged weaponry, the Decepticon elects to walk up to the scout and finish him off close and personally, allowing the latter to snatch one of Blitzwing's missiles, penetrate it into his hull and blast it, exploding him.
- You Don't Look Like You: Considering everyone mistook him for Starscream when he made his appearance in the official trailer, as his design greatly resembles that of G1 Seeker. The real Starscream however also shows up in the movie. Subverted as he has been given Seeker-looking toys in the past, its just he's usually got a more tank-like build too.
A high-ranking Decepticon.
- The Beastmaster: He is the one who deploys Ravage (who is basically a Cybertronian equivalent of an attack dog) to attack Optimus Prime during the opening battle on Cybertron.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: He appears to be leading the Decepticon forces in the opening battle on Cybertron alongside Shockwave and Starscream.
- The Cameo: He appears briefly, leading the Decepticons in the opening sequence.
- The Dreaded: When he, Starscream and Shockwave arrive, the Autobots react with utter fear. His presence alone is what makes a background Autobot cry "GET DOWN! INCOMING!!" Previous incarnations of Soundwave can emit excruciating sounds and possess deadly minions, so yes the Autobots have every reason to fear him.
- Evil Counterpart: To Optimus Prime. He slightly resembles Optimus, and Optimus is leading the Autobot forces on Cybertron while Soundwave in Megatron's unexplained absence is leading the Decepticon armada on Cybertron.
- Mythology Gag: He looks identical to his classic form. He even ejects Ravage, one of his minions from his chest window, just like in Generation 1.Ravage, eject.
- The Stoic: He's emotionless and does not exhibit any anger or sadism in attacking Autobots.
A high-ranking Decepticon.
- The Cameo: Alongside Soundwave, he only appears for a few seconds.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: He appears to be leading the Decepticon forces in the opening battle on Cybertron alongside Soundwave and Starscream.
- The Dreaded: When he, Starscream and Soundwave arrive, the Autobots react with utter fear.
- Mythology Gag: Like Soundwave and Starscream, he looks identical to his original depiction. He even keeps his lack of a left hand. On a far smaller note, his arm cannon has the same firing sound as Megatron's fusion cannon from the original movies.
Soundwave's panther-like cassette minion. His best quality that most Decepticons lack is speed.
A high-ranking Decepticon.
- The Cameo: Moreso than Soundwave and Shockwave, as he doesn't even get a voice in Bumblebee.
- The Dreaded: When he, Soundwave and Shockwave arrive, the Autobots react with utter fear.
- Mook Lieutenant: He's the leader of the Seekers, Decepticon Mooks who make up the bulk of the faction's army, and has a more humanoid face and distinctive color scheme than any of his troops.
- Palette Swap: As is traditional, the Seekers are all the same model with different colors. So much so that Blitzwing was initially mistaken for Starscream when he appeared in trailers.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He doesn't appear much, but it's him and his Seekers who destroy the Autobot's tower, separating them from Optimus Prime. Travis Knight did initially intend to make him the Seeker that attacks Bumblebee on Earth, before changing the Seeker's name to Blitzwing.
- The Voiceless: Even though he is one of the most prominent characters in the Transformers franchise, and is quite popular and beloved by most fans of the franchise, he has no speaking lines in the film. Ironic, as he's usually one of the most talkative Decepticons in most versions. (Starscream's voice done by Chris Latta in the G1 cartoon helped make him popular back then.)
The leader of the Decepticons.
- Absentee Actor: He's conspicuously absent from the opening scene, which features his lieutenants commanding the Decepticons in his stead, and his name is never even mentioned over the course of the movie. As such, his status in this universe is not yet known.
- The Bad Guy Wins: As shown at the beginning of the film, the Autobots lose the war on Cybertron and have to evacuate to Earth. It would stand to reason that at the end of the film, Megatron has gained total control of Cybertron.
- Deleted Role: Travis Knight had originally written him in the war on Cybertron in the film's prologue, but ultimately cut him from the film because this was incongruent with continuity (this was at the time when the film was still a prequel). Knight then filmed a Stinger with Megatron, sporting a new design, frozen in Sector Seven's captivity, as he was the 2007 film. However, as the film was gradually reworked into a reboot (thus no longer obligated to remain in continuity with the former), this scene was cut, much to Knight's consternation.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Although he isn't seen or mentioned, Megatron's position as the Decepticon leader makes him this.
HumansThe people of Earth, unaffiliated with the Cybertronians until Bumblebee arrives in 1987, looking for refuge.
- Explosive Breeder: Have better numbers and so bigger militaries in comparison to the Cybertronians. Dropkick worries how many of them there are, telling Shatter "They're multiplying! Please let me kill them!"
- Humans Are Flawed: As Charlie sums up, some people can be horrible to anyone who's different, and they can make terrible decisions. Sector 7 seem to have the right intentions of protecting the earth, but they'll work with clearly evil aliens to take out a perceived mutual threat, while planning to betray the former all the while once its convenient. Even civilians are shown to often be apathetic to one-another, even ones they love, if not outright cruel for the sake of it. However, as Charlie proves, humans aren't all bad, and as Burns proves, humans can learn to change.
- Humans Are Insects: How the Decepticons, particularly Dropkick, see them when they meet them. To be fair, the Decepticons are a highly intelligent physically stronger race, who's lifespans greatly outnumber that of the humans. To them, humans are kinda insects in comparison.
- Mythology Gag: Due to initially being a prequel, Sector 7 become a nod to prior canon now that the movie is a separate continuity. They even share the same base. However, instead of being the secret agency that knew about alien robots this whole time, they're just the agency that makes first contact. Otherwise, they seem to just be a Special Forces division who's agents dress in military fatigues instead of being The Men in Black.
The main human lead, Charlie Watson is an ordinary, though withdrawn, 18-year-old girl from Brighton Falls, CA, who after fixing up a run-down Volkswagen Beetle, discovers the car is actually an amnesic alien robot. Immediately she bonds with the scared Autobot, gifting him the name Bumblebee, and together they help one-another heal from their respective traumas. Charlie has recently lost her father, and with her mother having already moved on she feels alone in her grief until Bumblebee arrives, problems accentuated by her difficulty in finishing the corvette her father was restoring, her money troubles thanks to a low-paying dead-end job, and the antagonism she receives from local bullies.
- Action Girl: Is only 18 years old, but is more than willing to help Bumblebee against the Decepticons. She even plays a pivotal part in the final battle by ripping out the Energon cell that Shatter was using to call for reinforcements. Though, her skills seem to be primarily in a supporting role as unlike prior human companions, she never fights a Decepticon head-on and is pretty easily subdued by human combatants. However, she also shows no fear when facing the Decepticons on to protect Bee, so even if she's not a fighter, she's definitely got the bravery of one.
- Adorkable: She's a pretty big dork behind the initial scowling; she's a big music fan who rocks out in the morning, is very easily excited about things she likes (music, movies, cars), wears Goofy Print Underwear, she's very clearly a klutz, and repeatedly finds herself in awkward and embarrassing situations. Also, she's played by Hailee Steinfeld, which more than guarantees the 'adorable' part.
- AM/FM Characterization: She's introduced with "Bigmouth Strikes Again" playing and is repeatedly shown to be big into The Smiths, listens to Bon Jovi's "Runaways" while driving after work, and her posters, t-shirts, and comments indicate she's also a fan of The Pretenders, Stevie Nicks, and Motörhead. Pretty quickly establishes that she's an outsider among her peers, is a bit on the angsty side, and in general, is really into music. She pretty much gives Bumblebee his love of earth music.
- Birds of a Feather: Though Opposites Attract is very much in play, Charlie and Memo are both geeks who work in Burger Fool jobs at the local boardwalk amusement park. Though their actual interests are very different (Charlie's into rock, punk, and cars, while Memo's into superheroes, comic books, and sci-fi movies), one look at their bedrooms show that they both decorate the walls with posters and have shelves littered with figurines. They both go around their respective fandoms in pretty much the same way.
- Butt-Monkey: Charlie is the textbook definition of unlucky. Even besides the stuff that happened before the film, during it she gets tossed around during the robot fights, nearly blown up and shot several times, tased when she tries to help Bee, and otherwise suffers a lot of punishment. Outside of the action she's not safer, since she also often ends up getting embarrassed by Bumblebee's antics, and there's some light humour at her extent. The deleted scenes on the home release show that initially she was going to be an even bigger case, as there would be far more humiliations (her friends alienating her and Bumblebee breaking down in the middle of the road just as Tina drives by), and she would have suffered some Amusing Injuries and Slapstick Knows No Gender as a result.
- Calling Parents by Their Name: She does this with Ron, as a means of reminding him that she doesn't see him as her father. As time goes on it becomes less disrespectful as she warms up to him.
- Calling the Old Woman Out: After her mom continues to reprimand her for continuing to be "mopey" over her father's death, Charlie calls her out for insensitivity, saying that just because she moved on from his death doesn't mean she has.Sally: I have had it! Your attitude! You're always soaking around. You brought home that piece of crap without even asking me! Every one in this family is trying to be happy! And all you want to do is make things harder!Charlie: You know, mom, just because you've moved on and you're happy with your new life doesn't mean I have! You found a replacement for my dad and I haven't, okay! I never will! So I'm sorry if that make things harder. But in ten months from now, you won't even have to deal with me!
- The Chew Toy: Her beloved father died. She's bullied by an Alpha Bitch and her Girl Posse. Her family can't connect with her and she feels alone. She's broke and needs money to repair her dad's car, and has to work a demeaning Burger Fool job at Hot Dog on a Stick. Her first real friend is an amnesic robot she needs to do everything she can to keep safe, and keeps unintentionally putting her in awkward spots. The government comes after said robot friend, causing her to get knocked about, tasered, battered, and nearly killed. In general, Charlie really has it rough.
- Contrasting Sequel Main Character: She greatly contrasts Sam Witwicky, whom she's something of a replacement for. Unlike Sam, she's a girl for starters, and has more focus on layering her character; she's more than just an Action Survivor, able to use her mechanic skills to be something of The Medic for Bumblebee and dismantling the Decepticon's beacon, whereas Sam's main role was his family legacy meant he was the target of Decepticons. She ultimately just stumbles upon the Autobots instead of being sought out by them like Sam, and whereas Sam was immediately terrified of the Transformers and took some time to get used to them (and was easily exasperated by the way they impacted his life), Charlie almost immediately approaches Bumblebee with awe and concern, and never shows fear towards Shatter and Dropkick, even being willing to stand in the way of them and Bumblebee. Ultimately, Sam treated Bumblebee more like a pet dog, while Charlie treats him more like a sibling.
- Cool Big Sis:
- She acts like this to Bumblebee throughout the film; he's got a child-like mental state thanks to his amnesia, so the late-teens Charlie seems older by comparison during their early interactions. She dotes on him very much like a big sister would, cheering him on when he's doing something, teaching him pranks or things to do, and in general guiding him through life on earth.
- She's also this to her actual little brother Otis... to some extent. He's an Annoying Younger Sibling and the two argue a lot, but despite her protests she does take him to karate practice, and is able to recruit him into helping Bee by convincing him its a top secret mission and going along with his Small Name, Big Ego rambling. When she's in a good mood, she even makes him breakfast.
- Cool Loser: Charlie isn't very popular at school, seen particularly with her interactions with Tina and Tripp, and the cliffside party where the other students are heard calling her a loser. In fact, Bee and Memo seem to be her only friends, despite being a very pretty, fun and affable girl with cool taste. This is somewhat justified though by the fact she's apparently pretty poor and works a very embarrassing dead-end job by comparison to the very rich looking Tina, and is pretty sullen about her father's passing, which would probably mean she'd actively avoid socialising. These kind of things don't tend to make kids popular in school. A deleted scene showed that she did have friends who were also unpopular, but even they alienated her because of her sullen attitude.
- Daddy's Girl: She and her father were very close. Conversely, it seems from her interactions with her mother and the way her mother reacts to her that the two weren't so close, even when her dad was alive. His death (and her mother's subsequent remarriage, which is implied to have happened somewhat quickly) seems to have strained that relationship even further by the time of the movie.
- Deadpan Snarker: She is a teenage girl in the 80s. Half her interactions with her family is Snark-to-Snark Combat (save for Ron, who seems to be too nice to be sarcastic back to her).
- Deuteragonist: Behind Bumblebee, she's the lead character; the film starts with his journey to Earth and follows his recovery from his injuries and eventually finding out who he is, but Charlie is given equal focus as she discovers Bee and helps him recover, while also going through her own arc on coming to terms with her father's death and finding herself again. In the climax, they're both equally important in stopping the Decepticons, as Bumblebee fights them head on while Charlie disables their beacon.
- The Dog Bites Back: She gets her payback to Tina with the help of Bumblebee, who smashes her car flat for her bullying.
- Emo Teen: Gives off this vibe and is thought of this way in-universe — sullen, grouchy, seems to have an affinity for alternative rock music and punk-inspired fashion. But she's actually not nearly as much of this as she comes off — she's just had a rough last year or two. She's also aware this is how she comes off, and actually hates it, but is too depressed to really change.
- Expy: Like Sam, she's one to Spike Witwicky from the G1 cartoon, albeit gender-flipped. More-so than Sam, as Charlie was a gifted mechanic, skills she learnt from her father, much like how Spike learnt from his.
- To a certain extent, she's basically Syd Forrester with traits inspired by Sam Collins, both from Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad.
- Extreme Doormat: Around Tina. While Charlie will snark back at anyone else who treats her like crap, Tina causes Charlie to become timid enough to just sit there and take it, giving the viewer the impression that Tina has been tormenting Charlie long enough that she's lost the will to stand up for herself (which is Truth in Television for those who've been picked on like that). Noticeably, when Tina stops her when she's about to leave in Bumblebee and tells her to wind the window down so she can hear her, Charlie actually complies, winding the window down so that Tina can insult her, when she could have just driven off. She doesn't even want to get payback when Memo suggests it, as she'd rather just get away and cry to herself, until he and Bumblebee encourage her to go along with getting her back.
- Fashion Designer: Per Word of God, Charlie's big into 'customising' her outfits. Her shirt in the last act is a hand-made original, while many of her tops and jeans have had pockets attached or bits cut together. Anything that isn't a band-shirt or her dad's hand-me-downs, is clothing she's cut together herself.
- Fangirl: Is a big fan of rock music, especially bands like The Smiths. She's pretty much never seen without a shirt baring a band's name on it, and its through her that Bumblebee gets his love of human music. She's also a big car fan, and has a lot of model cars decorating her room, particularly corvettes.
- Genki Girl: Downplayed as she starts the film still reeling from her father's death, which has left her seriously depressed. However once Bumblebee comes into her life, she quickly develops back into one, and is regularly beaming with positive energy any time she's about to go hang out with him.
- Goofy Print Underwear: She wears boxer shorts, which usually have some kind of striped or coloured pattern, and because she wears short-shorts the legs of the boxers peek out under. One pair she's seen sleeping in are even goofier than the rest, since they're patterned with Tigers and Chinese letter prints.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Not that Charlie is really that tiny (Hailee Steinfeld is 5'8, and Charlie avoids the Teens Are Short treatment), but Bumblebee is about 12 feet tall.
- Huge Schoolgirl: As stated above, Charlie is quite tall for a teenage girl, being 5'8. She even towers over her mother by 8 inches.
- The Lad-ette: Minus the more 'adult' aspects of this trope. Charlie collects model cars and is big into car repair, and dresses in a very tomboyish manner; jeans, band-shirts, boxers, shorts.
- Limited Wardrobe: Of the 'same outfit scheme' variety. For most of the movie, she wears a band shirt with no sleeves, denim cut-offs, and some patterned boxer shorts underneath, and boots, with only some variant (such as wearing denim overalls, which still have the legs cut short, or pairing the band shirt with an open overshirt). She has an alternate look of wearing a band shirt, slim-fit ripped jeans, and sneakers, which she also sports a few times as well. Generally, anything she wears follows that aesthetic.
- Made of Iron: She really gets put through the wringer in the movie, being flung around by explosions several times, but manages to make it through no worse for wear, save for some nasty bruises and cuts on her face. Even Memo ends up with his arm in a sling by the end.
- This is taken Up to Eleven when a stray missile hits her while inside a garbage can. She simply shrugs it off and gets back up.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Definitely the case with Memo and Charlie. Charlie's a Wrench Wench tomboy who wears boys clothes and is heavily into masculine tastes. By contrast, Memo is Memo.
- The Medic: Of robots, apparently. Her skills as a Wrench Wench actually make her quite useful as a medic of sorts for Bumblebee; she helps him fix some internal damaged components, provides him with a replacement radio, and later manages to resuscitate him when he's nearly killed.
- Nice Girl: Despite her affinity for punk attire, she really is a sweetheart.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: When she tries to start Bumblebee she accidentally sets off the signal that attracts Shatter and Dropkick.
- Oblivious to Love: Memo is really hung up on her, but she literally doesn't know his name at the start of the movie. She realizes quickly though that he's attracted to her when they become friends, but she's not quite ready for anything.
- The Pig-Pen: The opening shows her not changing outside of her clothing she wore the previous day and not showering, as shown when she sniffs herself for odors but simply shrugs it off. This is justified due to the depression of losing her father. She properly cleans up herself after meeting Bumblebee, though.
- Protectorate: She's this to Bumblebee. Though she's never a Damsel in Distress in need of rescuing, Bumblebee is prone to putting her safety before his own, as well as taking revenge on those who harm her. By contrast, Bee himself is this for Charlie, albeit she doesn't have his combat prowess to protect him; as soon as they bond, her main goal in life is to keep him safe from being found because she's scared he'll be experimented on (given what nearly happens, a justified fear), and the only time she came close to standing up for herself towards Tina, is after Tina mocks Bumblebee.
- Opposites Attract: Besides both being unpopular and nice, Charlie and Memo have seemingly little in common. They're a Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy duo with very different fashion tastes, and while Charlie is a Genki Girl underneath her introverted exterior, Memo is an Extraverted Nerd who puts on a confident shield to hide his nervous social awkwardness. Charlie also handles being bullied by shutting up and taking it, then crying to herself, while Memo stands up for himself/others and responds with revenge pranks. Despite the differences Memo is infatuated with Charlie from the beginning, while Charlie, upon meeting him, quickly demonstrates the attraction is mutual (though slower moving on her side).
- The Quincy Punk: Downplayed and somewhat deconstructed. Charlie is an 1980s punk (fan of The Smiths, wears band-tees and ripped jeans regularly, head-bangs to her music in the morning), but she's clearly a Nice Girl who's just a bit of an introvert and actually quite Adorkable. However, her punk leanings lead her stand out among her peers, with her own mother outright accusing her 'sulking' of ruining everyone's happiness, and she's a target for bullying around town as a result. Its not outright stated, but its inferred that the negative stereotypes of punks makes Charlie a social outcast.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Charlie is on both the receiving and giving end of one with her mother after Bumblebee accidentally trashes the house. Her mother tears into her for spending all her time locked away in the garage and her bad attitude always bring everyone else down. Charlie immediately fires back at her that what her mother calls being "mopey" is actually grieving for her dead father, who she has not moved on from as quickly as her mother and cannot simply pretend like everything is okay. Charlie storms out of the house telling her mother that if she has a problem with her attitude she can deal with it because in 10 months they won't need to see each other anymore.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: To emphasise her tomboyish nature, all her t-shirts either have short sleeves or the sleeves have been cut off. She does often wear overshirts with in-tact sleeves though.
- Ship Tease: With Memo. Though he's explicitly got a crush on her, Charlie does show attraction to him; she flirts with him when showing off Bee's reflexes and is seen Eatingthe Eye Candy when she gets him to take his shirt off. However, Charlie likes to take things slow so she's reluctant to move past a kiss on the cheek, at least for now.
- Short Tank: A tomboy through-and-through, and even wears the typical short-shorts and tank tops (though she doesn't Bare Your Midriff much). Her personality follows the no-nonsense sarcasm required.
- Spanner in the Works: Stops Shatter's message to the other Decepticons, thwarting her plan.
- Successful Sibling Syndrome: Downplayed as Otis isn't really all that successful (in fact, Charlie's diving trophies should make her the successful one), but some of his antagonism with Charlie seems to stem from the fact that by comparison, Sally treats Otis very much like the successful one. We see in deleted scenes that at least socially, this is somewhat the case as Charlie was part of the unpopular crowd (who actually ditch her for being too uncool for them) while Otis has a large circle of friends.
- Tank-Top Tomboy: As said, she doesn't like to wear sleeves, befitting a girl who seems to have very boyish interests.
- The Tease: When her and Memo go on a 'date', taking Bumblebee for a ride, she seems eager to impress him and is clearly flirting with him, leading her to get him to take his shirt off for her. She takes romance slow though, so by the end she's not even ready to hold hands yet, but she does make it clear she's interested.
- Tomboyish Name: Nickname or not, "Charlie" is predominantly a male name.
- Tragic Keepsake: Many of them; the garage is essentially her shrine to her father. She is seen early in the movie getting rid of diving trophies because she associates them with her relationship with her dad. She keeps all of his old vinyls as well as videotapes — including one her father took of the last swim meet he attended before his sudden death. Bumblebee popping the tape in at a moment Charlie wasn't expecting to see it triggers an emotional breakdown. The car they were working on counts as this, too. She finally fixes it at the end. Word of God also confirms that a lot of the men's clothes Charlie wears, like her flannel shirts and mechanic clothes, were his former clothes.
- Troubled, but Cute: Charlie didn't handle the death of her father very well, to the point of throwing out her diving trophies because he was there to encourage her. It doesn't help that her mother got over it much more quickly and doesn't sympathize with her, while she has relatively less attachment to her brother and stepfather. Bumblebee helps bring her out of it over time.
- The Unfavorite: Seems to be the case, due to Otis and Sally being quite close while Charlie is still grieving, and so she feels left out of the family. In general, Sally seems to give Otis nothing but support and praise, but with Charlie she treats her with a lot of criticism and disagreement, something that has clearly had an affect on her.
- When She Smiles: Due to how she's first introduced as a depressed, angsty teenager, who ended up getting a book on how to smile as a birthday present, Charlie's smiling when she first gets Bumblebee really does a lot to demonstrate how positive an influence he is on her. After that, she does smile a lot more, but mostly whenever she's around Bumblebee and Memo, or is about to go see the former.
- Who Wears Short Shorts?: While it was the style in the 80s, Charlie wears short-shorts more than anyone her age in the movie. Rather than played for fanservice, they're mostly to show how much of a tomboy she is, especially since they seem to be men's jeans she's cut the legs off of.
- Wrench Wench: She's trying to build her own car, and when Bumblebee shows up, she helps fix him up as best as she can and installs the radio that he eventually uses to speak.
Charlie's mother, who is trying to do good for her family after her husband died. Remarried to Ron.
- Deadpan Snarker: Though she's well-meaning, she's got a very snarky response to her daughter expecting breakfast to be made for her and seems to be where Charlie gets her sarcasm from.
- Hypocrite: She chastises Charlie for having Bumblebee, yet she takes the car herself without informing Charlie.
- Innocently Insensitive: She seems pretty oblivious about how terrible a bike helmet decorated with flowers would be as a birthday present for her car-obsessed, tomboy daughter. Also she's just in general seemingly oblivious about the fact Charlie clearly isn't grieving well and doesn't appear to have been there for her through it.
- Parental Neglect: She's not a terrible mother, but she's really not taken into account how her daughter is clearly not moving on from her father's death and is very insensitive about it.
- Parents as People: She butts heads with Charlie because they're at different levels of grief for her husband/Charlie's father, with Sally being at peace and having found love in Ron, while Charlie is still reeling from it. However, despite her troubled relationship with her, she clearly loves Charlie.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: With her new husband, Ron. They can't keep their hands off of one-another when alone and are almost always together.
Charlie's younger brother, obsessed with karate.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Definitely the case. Charlie's door literally has a crude sign made banning him from entering. He's also pretty quick to try and rat her out when he sees she's sneaking away.
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Spends the majority of the movie insulting and being terrible to Charlie, but when it comes down to it he willingly helps cover for her and feels guilty when he fails to do so.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He delights in tormenting Charlie, but when she needs help, he does actually come through for her. Or he tries to, anyway.
- Sibling Team: Otis pitches this towards the end, wanting to 'take point' on the rescue of Bumblebee. Charlie, wisely, instead gives him the task of distracting their mom and stepdad, which is enough to stroke Otis' ego.
- Sibling Yin-Yang: While Charlie is rather introverted, Otis is loud and boisterous. Charlie's a Nice Girl, while Otis is a little Jerkass (albeit with some heart). She's got low confidence in her abilities, believing she can't finish the car without her father's help, while Otis has delusions of being a great and highly skilled martial artist. Charlie actually is a talented swimmer with several trophies, while Otis is merely a yellow belt in karate. In a deleted scene we also see he's got a large friend circle and seems to be popular in his class, while Charlie is a friendless loser among her peers.
- Small Name, Big Ego: He's 12, but he's convinced he can kill someone with his bare hands, because he takes Karate lessons. He's not even very high ranked, going by the colour of his belt, making his confidence even more hard to believe. Played for Laughs, though.
Charlie's step-father, who married Sally after Charlie's father died.
- Badass Driver: Played for Laughs, but he's pretty impressive in a car chase, having learnt from Miami Vice.
- Bumbling Dad: Ron tries. He gets terrible gifts for birthdays (got Charlie a book on how to merely smile for her birthday), is not employed, never says the right thing, and has clearly no idea what he's doing at being a dad, but he tries.
- Former Teen Rebel: Also Played for Laughs. When Charlie is in trouble for 'stealing government property' (Bumblebee), Ron sympathizes because, when going through puberty, he also stole some things. Agent Burns knows all about it.
- Good Stepmother: Or father, either way. Charlie is apprehensive, but he clearly loves his stepchildren and is apparently close with Otis. He's a bit of a tool, but he's well-meaning and by the end of it Charlie's came around to him.
- Innocently Insensitive: His biggest flaw. In general he seems to treat Charlie like his own kid, and one much younger than she is (at one point, seems to think she's still going through puberty), despite the fact she's 18 and resents the fact he's trying to replace her father. Also, for her birthday he got her a book called 'Smile for a Change' because he thought she would feel better if she smiled more, oblivious to how insulting the present is and how irrelevant that advice is for someone in her state.
- Nice Guy: Never has a negative word for anyone and seems to always be smiling.
- Opposites Attract: To some extent; while Sally is a Deadpan Snarker who's quick to scold Charlie, Ron is a Nice Guy who never says anything (intentionally) cold. He's a happy-go-lucky optimist and a bit of an idiot while Sally is much smarter but also considerably more prone to anger. She's also a hard working single mother while he's an unemployed manchild.
- Parents as People: He's good guy who wants to help his family be happy which sadly backfires with Charlie. He does manage to eventually her acceptence.
- Parental Substitute: He's trying to be this, though only Otis seems to take to it. Charlie does eventually warm up to him when he saves her and Bee from Burns during a car chase.
- Replacement Goldfish: Charlie accuses Ron of being this for Sally, a replacement for her late husband. As we don't know how long its been since his death, and subsequently how long after it was before she got together with Ron, we don't know how accurate this accusation might be.
- Skewed Priorities: He's shown to be relieved when a tape machine is still working after Bumblebee trashed the house. Enough that he seemingly forgets that the house is still otherwise trashed.
Brighton Falls Residents
Guillermo "Memo" Gutierrez
A nerdy churro vendor who has a crush on his next-door employee Charlie.
- Adorkable: His goofy hair and awkward mannerisms combined with his general earnestness really gives this vibe, and it seems to be something Charlie likes about him.
- Burger Fool: Just like Charlie, but with churros instead of corn dogs. Unlike her, he at least seems to like his job well enough, or at least is far more upbeat at it. Even so, handling churros isn't as laborious as squeezing lemons or constructing corn dogs and unlike Charlie, Memo does not have to walk over and deliver food on trays to customers.
- Butt-Monkey: Some early humour is derived from his awkward attempts to ask Charlie out and failing to get her attention, and despite not being involved in the action half as much as Charlie, he manages to get far worse injuries. Downplayed though as he's not actually treated any worse than Charlie herself, and the most humiliating moments for him were reserved for Deleted Scenes.
- Camp Straight: Memo is definitely into girls (see his crush on Charlie that defines his role in the film, and the poster in his room of a bikini model), however his fashion sense is pretty camp. Fortunately this is the 80s, where men wearing flamboyant clothing was kind of accepted, especially near San Francisco.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Alongside movie posters, he has pin-up posters of bikini clad women in his bedroom during the brief scene we see. That doesn't change the fact he's nothing but a gentleman to Charlie and though infatuated, is very mindful of how he makes his move.
- Comic Relief: He lives to put a smile on faces, particularly Charlie's. Most of his scenes are him being goofy and awkward, trying to make a joke, being a joke, or otherwise lightening the scene.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Played for Laughs. He tries to do one to hold off Sector 7, something that Charlie is impressed with enough to give him an affectionate kiss on the cheek, but when they arrive, Sector 7 just drive past him and don't pay him any mind. When he finally catches up to the action, the world's already been saved.
- Slightly more serious was the scene beforehand, where Burns and S-7 soldiers are about to blow up the door to get inside. Charlie's focused on getting Bumblebee to his feet and so doesn't have time to move out of the way, so Memo shields her from the blast. He gets his arm pretty banged up as a result and its likely why he chose to stay behind in the first place.
- Hollywood Nerd: Memo calls himself a "nerd". He reads comics, collects action figures, and is fairly not-athletic and socially awkward, and dresses in an 80s nerd chic. However, he clearly fills his shirts well he's visibly attractive, it's really just down to his social awkwardness.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Charlie's reluctant to start a relationship with him, but he's not upset by this, instead respecting her boundaries and settling on being friends. It helps that she's not not-attracted to him, but is just not ready for a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, and is willing to explore that in time.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Definitely the case with him and Charlie. He's a pretty feminine young man who wears nice clothes and cares about his appearance, while Charlie is Charlie.
- Nice Guy: He's completely harmless and ultimately just seems to want to make Charlie happy. It helps mitigate how his stumbling upon Bumblebee amounted to him walking into her private space without invitation (while still a stranger, no less), since he clearly only had innocent intentions.
- Non-Action Guy: He's not a fighter. At all. He's pretty easily restrained by Sector 7 (when they're not just straight-up ignoring him), and his main contribution is providing emotional support.
- No Social Skills: He tries asking Charlie out three times, each time in progressively worse moments. At first when she's busy at work (indirectly leading to her being distracted and humiliating herself), later when she's frantically looking for the missing Bumblebee, then eventually entering her garage without warning and seeing Bumblebee.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Memo's pretty effeminate. He has a lot of hair products, he wears light colours and short-shorts, is quite squeamish and seems perfectly comfortable wearing Charlie's sweatshirt after she loses his own. Almost crosses into Camp Straight territory.
- Satellite Love Interest: He's not really got much of an arc to him outside of his crush on Charlie. Ultimately he just seems to be there to dissuade the film being seen as a romantic story between Charlie and Bumblebee.
- Ship Tease: With Charlie. A lot. And it gets lampshaded too.
- Shirtless Scene: Loses his shirt when Charlie uses it as a blindfold.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: When the action begins to seriously unfold, Memo opts to stay behind and hold off Sector 7. It doesn't work. However, it does keep him busy while Charlie and Bumblebee deal with the serious task of stopping Shatter and Dropkick.
- Stalker with a Crush: Basically gets caught up in the whole plot because of his attempt to ask Charlie out on a date. Note that he's apparently new in town and has never formally introduced himself to her before.
Tripp's girlfriend, and queen bee of the local scene. She takes joy in bullying Charlie.
- Alpha Bitch: Her main point of characterisation. Her and her Girl Posse only appear to make life hell for Charlie.
- AM/FM Characterization: The cliffside party (which Deleted Scenes confirms is her party) is shown playing "It Takes Two" when Charlie and Memo arrive, showing that in-contrast to Charlie's punk/rock tastes, Tina is more into hip-hop and mainstream pop. Helps further demonstrate how she is so opposite to Charlie, and that Tina fits in better with her peers and what's deemed 'popular' among them.
- Asshole Victim: Charlie and Memo only intend to give her house some TPing and egg her car, but Bumblebee completely destroys the car instead. Given that she's only seen bullying Charlie (and given Charlie's reaction, has been doing it for some time now) as well as stooping so low as to insult her for her father being dead, she more than has it coming.
- Break the Haughty: She cries like a baby after seeing her car obliterated.
- The Bully: She takes delight in making fun of Charlie any chance she gets, and given Charlie's timid reaction to her, has been doing it for a long time. Making this worse, Tripp's comment about his younger sister being on the dive team with Charlie implies Tina might actually be an older student, making the bullying come off as far worse.
- Demoted to Extra: She has a rather minor role in the movie since a lot of her scenes were cut, all of which involved her hurting Charlie some more. Though that said she was never meant to play a big role in the movie.
- Eating the Eye Candy: When Tripp takes his shirt off, she has the widest cat-like grin on her face as she looks him up and down, and is seen later keeping his shirt away from him so he needs to keep it off.
- Faux Affably Evil: Though she's got nothing on Shatter, Tina's brief interactions with Charlie drip with this. During the cliff-diving scene, she stops her from leaving to ask what happened, barely pretending to be concerned for her, and calls her 'Sweetie' with fake affection, but its clear she's just trying to get a rise out of her.
- Fat and Skinny: She has a chubby Asian female friend who joins her in bullying Charlie.
- For the Evulz: She really has no reason to harass Charlie other than for crueltys sake.
- Green-Eyed Monster: When Tripp approaches Charlie to encourage her to dive off the cliff with him, and tries to help her earn her classmates' approval, Tina is noticeably glaring at her constantly during the scene. When Charlie backs down, Tina takes even greater joy twisting the knife further. Earlier she seems to notice that Charlie starring longingly at Tripp and Tina's car, and has the brightest smirk on her face knowing she has what Charlie wants.
- Hate Sink: There's no doubt what the Intended Audience Reaction was for Tina. In a movie with two of the most sadistic Decepticons ever seen, she is somehow even easier to hate than those two combined.
- I Want My Mommy!: Cries for her mom after she sees what Bumblebee (accidentally) did to her car.
- Jerkass: She's cruel to Charlie and seems to enjoy making her miserable.
- Kick the Dog: She was already pretty cruel to Charlie, but making jokes towards her dead father just sinks her cruelty even further. She totally deserved to have her car smashed by Bumblebee.
- Lack of Empathy: She's not only totally uncaring towards Charlie's grief, but she has the nerve to mock her for it. As stated, it later bites her in the ass.
- Laser-Guided Karma: After she insults Bumbleebee while he's in his vehicle mode, her car gets destroyed, albeit accidentally, by Bumblebee.
- Ms. Fanservice: Downplayed as she's never focused on, but she dresses the way one would expect the lead girl in Michael Bay's past Transformers movies.
- Reality Ensues: It is implied that she has been harassing Charlie for a very long time, and we can see how emotionally damaged Charlie is as a result. Long-term bullying can cause an increase depth in self-esteem and can cause victims to lose faith in standing up to others.
- Rich Bitch: She lives in an abnormally large mansion and has her own car, including a vanity plate, which Charlie clearly envies. There's no doubt that Tina appears pretty spoiled.
- Sadist: She clearly takes such cruel pleasure in torturing Charlie.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Tina only appears twice in Bumblebee, however her bullying of Charlie leads to Bumblebee destroying her car and subsequently getting into a car chase. This leads to Charlie leaving Bumblebee alone while she goes to work to avoid him being spotted by police, which leads to him wrecking Charlie's house and unintentionally causing an Energon surge that attracts Shatter, Dropkick, and Sector 7. Essentially, she triggers the second half of the film's events by just being mean to Charlie. Also, despite her small screen time, she evidently demonstrated a lot of tropes, considering her entry is bigger than most of the other human characters from the film, sans Charlie herself.
- Smug Snake: Is very condescending towards others, especially Charlie. She also has the biggest grin on her face when she sees Charlie looking at her boyfriend or her car, knowing that Charlie is jealous, or any time Charlie is embarrassed and humiliated, taking absolute delight in this each time.
- Stealth Insult: During the cliff-diving scene, she approaches Charlie just to make condescending remarks barely disguised as concern, crossing into Faux Affably Evil territory. While she has her, she then insults Bumblebee, but then playfully suggests she should get a new one, or rather, she should get her dad to buy her a new one, knowing that Charlie's father is dead. It actually breaks Charlie a little as she's barely holding back tears after while Tina smugly walks off laughing.
- The Vamp: Of the more high school Alpha Bitch type, she's very attractive and knows it, and seems to use it to reinforce her place as the 'dominant' woman; she dates the Big Man on Campus, throws herself at him any chance she gets, and constantly gives sideglances to the less popular Charlie.
- Vanity License Plate: Her car's says "U WISH". Tina uses it to hurt Charlie and possibly other unseen girls that she may be bullying.
- What Does He See in Her?: Tripp and Tina are completely at odds personality wise. While he's a Nice Guy, she's The Bully, and while he seems to like Charlie well-enough, Tina bullies the girl. According to Tripp's actor, this would have ultimately lead to them breaking up, but the plot point was cut.
Tina's boyfriend, and Charlie's crush.
- Big Man on Campus: Everyone seems impressed with him. When Charlie recognises him at a party, Memo seems impressed at the implication Charlie knows the guy because of how popular he is.
- Mr. Fanservice: Takes his shirt off any time he's on-screen.
- Nice Guy: In a contrast to his girlfriend; though he's not interested in Charlie, doesn't treat her like shit, either. In fact when he recognises her at a party, he tries to encourage her into doing something he knows she's good at because it'll make her look cool in front of others.
- Out of Focus: He's Charlie's crush, but the actual storyline there was largely cut from the movie. According to Hoyos, Tripp had an arc of his own realising Tina and her friends were terrible people and opting to cut ties with them. As a result, its mostly just background set dressing that he's the boy she kinda likes but ultimately nothing comes from.
Charlie's uncle, who owns a scrap shop.
- Benevolent Boss: Downplayed, but he seems to get along great with the one mechanic who works for him.
- Cool Uncle: He's Charlie's uncle, and though the two engage in Snark-to-Snark Combat and he's a bit of a grump, he gives her massive discounts despite his statement that he could get twice the cash for only some of what she buys, and gives her a car from his lot for free once she starts it.
- Grumpy Old Man: He's pretty short with people and seems to think that they're all about to die in the Cold War. He's also easily annoyed, especially because a local radio tower is interfering with his TV signal.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He's only in two scenes within the first twenty minutes, but he's the one who's scrapyard Bumblebee's inert form had been taken to, and as such its his link to Charlie that leads her to finding him. Bumblebee would have remained inert and been unable to draw the Cybertronians to Earth, if not for his business.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: He's probably the person Charlie has the most positive relationship with within her family, despite the fact they trade snark and jibe one-another. Though he acts like she's an annoying kid, he's clearly very prideful of her abilities, to the point he initially rejects her deal for the Beetle because he knows she can get it started, despite its condition.
Brenda and Liz
Charlie's former friends. Their subplot was cut from the movie, but they appear in deleted scenes on the home release.
- Absentee Actor: Ultimately cut from the movie, despite being two of the first cast members announced for the film.
- Burger Fool: Seemingly how they became friends with Charlie, they all worked at Hot Dog on a Stick together.
- Deleted Role: Their scenes were cut from the final movie.
- No Sympathy: They acknowledge Charlie has a pretty good reason for becoming depressed, but they don't care. They find her angst annoying and cut ties with her.
- Small Name, Big Ego: After ditching Charlie, they buy their way into the popular crowd by giving them free food. When they see Charlie at a party, they delude themselves into thinking that not only are they cool now, but they always were and Charlie was the one dragging them down. This illusion is shattered when they're accosted as the 'Wiener Girls' at the party.
- Those Two Guys: Spend both their (cut) scenes together and conversing.
- Tomboy And Girly Girl: Both functioned as the Girly Girl to Charlie's tomboy. Its somewhat deconstructed as the differing styles cause them to decide Charlie isn't a match for them anymore, so they ditch her.
- We Used to Be Friends: They were Charlie's friends in school, but after her dad died they found her change in music taste, dress sense, and disposition to be 'no longer a match' and cut off ties with her. They did this the day before her birthday, after Charlie had made it clear that, despite her claims, it was something she was excited about.
Agent Jack Burns
A high-ranked agent of Sector Seven, Jack Burns discovered the Autobots and Decepticons when Bumblebee crash-lands into his unit and is subsequently followed and attacked by the Decepticon Blitzwing. Blitzwing's attack left most of his unit killed, and as a result, Burns becomes determined to protect the earth from these alien robot threats.
- Anti-Villain: He's a grim soldier determined to hunt down and tear apart Cybertronians, but only because his only experience has involved one (accidentally) landing on his squad, another bombing them and leaving him a grisly facial scar, and the only two he speaks to are called Decepticons.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: He doesn't trust any Cybertronians, seeing them as nothing but machines, but he chooses to let Bumblebee go and give him the respect he deserves after Bee saves his life.
- Big Brother Is Watching: He claims they 'know' about Ron's shoplifting past. It's not delved on how. Played for Laughs, though.
- Boisterous Bruiser: He's not just a tough guy, but a loud tough guy. One who is clearly in his element blowing things up and yelling.
- Deadpan Snarker: When he's not being Brutally Honest to Powell, he's being snarky. This was more pronounced early on when he responds to his friend's declaration that he 'hates him' by saying that he (Burns) loves him, but that the soldier is too closed off to accept it and should see a therapist about his issues. His 'issues' being that Burns had him tied upside-down and pelted him repeatedly and excessively with paintball pellets.
- The Gadfly: During training, he ambushes his friend's squad, strings him upside-down, then proceeds to pelt him with paintballs, while claiming his gun is malfunctioning. When said friend angrily complains about it, he chimes that it's because he has intimacy issues.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a large scar over the side of his face following him surviving Bumblebee and Blitzwing's battle. For much of the film its an evil scar, as it serves as a physical reminder of the loss he suffered from being caught in the middle of their battle.
- HeelFace Turn: He wasn't really a Heel so much (see below), but seeing Bumblebee risk his life to save his own, and his bond with Charlie, makes him change his mind about the yellow Autobot.
- Hero Antagonist: He's hunting Bumblebee. He's also trying to save his country (and his planet) from a potential alien invasion, which he's been lead to believe Bee is going to cause.
- It Is Dehumanising: He refuses to call Bumblebee a "he", insisting that "'it' is an 'it'." He stops this when Bumblebee saves his life.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Due to Blitzwing's attack, he's cold and ready to kill anything he thinks is a threat, and has no qualms tearing Charlie away from the machine she clearly cares about, or lying to her family to make them think she's a delinquent. However, he's able to recognise that Bumblebee is more than just a killer robot.
- Kick the Dog:
- He doesn't need to be nearly as rough with Charlie as he is. He also tells her parents she stole Bumblebee when claiming he was just a secret war machine, and that's without getting into his It Is Dehumanising treatment towards Bumblebee.
- Played for Laughs when introduced, when he takes the opportunity to repeatedly hit his friend with paintballs after tying him upside down. Said friend is pretty understandably pissed about it.
- Large Ham: He's loud, to put it mildly. There's very few scenes where he isn't shouting or being the centre of attention.
- Not So Different:
- Both him and Bee are soldiers fighting righteously for their country/alignment. He's also got a sense of humour, much like Bumblebee does, and despite how he appears, he's not a bad guy. He recognises this by the end of the film.
- To a lesser extent, him and Charlie. They were both overall nice and jovial people who became darkened by a tragedy (Charlie losing her father, Burns' unit being carpet bombed by Blitzwing). They both respond to this tragedy by becoming stand-offish and snarky to those around them.
- Only Sane Man: Comes across this way when Sector 7 invites Shatter and Dropkick right into their HQ to help hunt down Bumblebee.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Once he realizes which side Bumblebee is on, he lets him and Charlie go. He even stops using It Is Dehumanising towards him, and calls him 'soldier', rather than a machine.
- He also sees through Shatter's deceptions immediately and argues strongly against his superiors' decision to ally with the Decepticons.
- Scars Are Forever: He gains scars on his face during Bumblebee's fight with Blitzwing when they first arrive on Earth. Those scars are still on his face throughout the film.
- Would Hit a Girl: He has no issue roughing up Charlie when she tries to stop them detaining Bumblebee, even shoving her to the ground (in his defence, it's not like she wasn't fighting back).
A scientist at Sector 7 who is excited about the scientific potential of allying with the Cybertronians. Pity he found the Decepticons first.
- Alas, Poor Scrappy: In-Universe. Though he makes his distaste for Powell known early on in the film, Burns is notably shaken when Powell is killed.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: By Burns' words, "Powell's a weird guy, you ever notice that about him?"
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Bursts into a puddle of slime, courtesy Dropkick's cannon.
- Horrible Judge of Character: He thinks the Decepticons are friendly visitors. That said, he begins to realize something's up when witnessing the pair brutally interrogate Bumblebee, moments before their true colors are shown.
- The Quisling: Unintentionally, he gives the Decepticons access to human communications networks under the belief that they're the good guys. When he realizes his mistake, he immediately tries to warn Burns.
- Redemption Equals Death: Upon realizing Shatter and Dropkick's true intent, and well aware he unknowingly played a role in giving them the means to do so, the first thing Powell does is to alert Burns, before Dropkick then murders him.
- The Xenophile: By his own words, he's waited his entire life to meet aliens, and instantly befriends the two who come to them, and constantly praises the technological marvels they're performing. Unfortunately, the two they've made contact with are Decepticons.
Burns' superior, and seemingly the head of Sector 7.
- Bald, Black Leader Guy: Essentially this to Sector 7.
- Fantastic Racism: Shares Burns' distaste for the Decepticons, though he's not shown coming around to Bumblebee the way Burns does.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He recognises that the Decepticons are potentially very useful for their efforts in the Cold War, but clearly doesn't trust them and encourages Burns to betray them as soon as they can.