Character list for Transformers.
Animation, Film, and Web Series
- Generation 1
- Super God Masterforce
- Beast Wars
- Robots in Disguise (2001)
- Unicron Trilogy
- Aligned continuity
- Prime Wars Trilogy
- Live-action films
- War for Cybertron Trilogy
- Shattered Glass
- Last Stand of the Wreckers
- More Than Meets the Eye
- Robots In Disguise
- Till All Are One
- 2019 continuity
- Beast Wars (2021)
- Shattered Glass (2021)
While the Transformers get overhauled with every new incarnation, the characters tend to stay true to a few core traits, and there are iconic members among them who appear across multiple incarnations. The following is a list of some of these more prolific and recurring characters.
- "Til all are one!"
The heroic faction of the Transformer race. While they of course all have varied personalities, the Autobots generally stand for justice, peace, and freedom, and are the main force opposing the Decepticons. They tend to adopt "civilian" alt modes like cars, trucks, and planes.
- Arc Words: "Til All Are One", reflecting their desire for unity and peace no matter how long they have to fight for it.
- Battlecry: "Transform and roll out" is often used as their rallying cry, often shouted by Optimus.
- Black-and-Gray Morality: Some later media depict the Autobot-ruled Cybertron as suffering from a Fantastic Caste System that oppresses lower-ranked Cybertronians. This is usually not by design, but a consequence of their society having roles and expectations of certain types of Transformer. The Autobot leaders aside from Optimus Prime may also be corrupt and self-serving. That said, even in these stories, the Autobots are still depicted as the more heroic faction compared to the Decepticons.
- Good Is Not Soft: They may be the good guys, but don't think they can't and won't give the Decepticons a good fight.
- The Hero: The Autobots as a whole are the heroes of the franchsie.
- Meaningful Name: The live-action films state that "Autobot" is short for "autonomous robotic organism", while the comics say it's symbolic of their desire for a government that preserves the autonomy of the individual, contrasting the Decepticons, who desire a tyrannical government.
- Red Is Heroic: The Autobot insignia is red, their technology often has a red/orange aesthetic, and many of their members are prominently red, including Optimus Prime of course.
The main protagonist of the franchise and often the Big Good. As the leader of the Autobots (or at least, leader of the group the story is following), Optimus is considered one of their most honorable and courageous warriors. He will never give up until the Decepticons are stopped, no matter the cost. He often takes the alt-mode of a red and blue semi-trailer truck.
Sometimes, his role is assumed by a lookalike (God Ginrai or Optimus Primal).
- All-Loving Hero: Optimus' compassion for other beings is almost limitless. While he wars with the Decepticons, he will show them mercy if he can. The one exception is Megatron, and even he may not be ruled out in some adaptations.
- An Ax To Grind: Optimus' axe is one of his most recurring weapons.
- Badass Baritone: Optimus almost always has a deep, booming voice, the most iconic of which is Peter Cullen.
- Big Badass Rig: His typical alt mode is a semi-trailer truck. Even when he isn't, Optimus tends to be some sort of large truck-like vehicle.
- Big Good: Even when Optimus isn't the overall leader of the Autobots, he's one of their most respected members and the others will look to him for guidance and leadership.
- The Chosen One: Optimus possess the Matrix of Leadership, designating him as leader of the Autobots and possibly some other destiny, depending on the incarnation.
- Cool Sword: Another recurring weapon for this character.
- Death Is Cheap: With a few exceptions, every time Optimus dies, he always tells Death "screw you" and comes back stronger. In Transformers Animated, he was dead for all of 90 seconds.
- Gentle Giant: He's often depicted as one of the largest of the rank-and-file Autobots, yet is one of the most humble and kind of any of them.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Optimus often has to do this, though it may be turned into a Disney Death. "Optimus Dies" is such a cliche in Transformers that the wiki for the series has a page documenting how many times it's happened.Megatron (Beast Wars): "Oh, you Optimuses do love to sacrifice yourselves, don't you?"
- Large and in Charge: As the leader of the Autobots, he is usually one of larger Autobots if not the largest of them all. And that is before he activates his Super Mode.
- Meaningful Name: His name approximately means "Best of the best".
- Meaningful Rename: In most incarnations, he was once Orion Pax, a humble Cybertronian with no aspirations of heroism. The name Optimus Prime tends to come hand-in-hand with him being promoted to a leader of the Autobots, discovering his heritage as a descendant of the Primes (the original 13 Transformers), or receiving a power boost that changes his appearance.
- Messianic Archetype: Given his penchant for dying and coming back to life as as well as being the Big Good, he has some shades of this archetype. In recent installments (starting from Transformers: Prime), he even turns out to be the Thirteenth Prime, having reincarnated himself as an oridinary Cybertronian only to regain his memories.
- Red Is Heroic: Optimus is almost always depicted with a red upper body and blue lower body, but red is his more predominant color and sometimes he's much more red than blue.
- Series Mascot: Optimus is, without question, the one Transformer everyone can recognize immediately, if not necessarily the specific incarnation he is.
- Super Mode: Occurs in various instances throughout the franchise. Sometimes he combines with his trailer while other times he combines with another Autobot (Godbomber/Apex Bomber, Ultra Magnus, Jetfire, Overload, Wing Saber, Omega Supreme, Leobreaker).
- "Some of my best friends are humans."
An Autobot scout, Bumblebee is small but powerful, and just as determined and heroic as his more imposing comrades. He tends to have the closest relationship with the Autobots' human allies. His alt mode varies, but is always some sort of yellow car.
Depending on continuity, sometimes his role is assumed by Hot Shotnote , other times they're separate characters.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: His iconic weapon is a retractable wrist-mounted blade.
- Breakout Character: While Bumblebee was always part of the core cast of Autobots, the live-action films focused much more heavily on him than previous incarnations, and his prominence in later media was ramped up accordingly. After Optimus, Bumblebee is the most well-known and most heavily-marketed of the Transformers.
- Kid-Appeal Character: Bumblebee is the former Trope Namer. His smaller size, more friendly personality than the stern Optimus, and close relationships with humans cements him in this role in most incarnations.
- Number Two: While Jazz is usually depicted as Optimus' lieutenant in the Autobot hierarchy, Bumblebee is one of Optimus' most trusted soldiers and friends, and is the Autobot most likely to be trusted with important missions. In some media he takes over Jazz's typical role as Optimus' second-in-command.
- Pint Sized Power House: He is usually smaller than most other Transformers, but no less powerful or brave, and can fight bots much larger than him and win.
- "Have your own style of doing things or have none at all."
Optimus' first lieutenant and an aficionado of Earth culture, which is likely the reason for his unusual speech patterns among the Autobots. His alt mode is a white, red and blue Cool Car, emphasis on the Cool.
- Cool Car: Jazz always transforms into some sort of sports car.
- Cool Shades: He often has a mirrored visor over his eyes to give this impression.
- Jive Turkey: Jazz tends to talk in hip, cool lingo.
- The Lancer: As Optimus' lieutenant, Jazz is second-in-command of the Autobots, and his laidback and cool demeanor sharply constrasts Optimus' stern professionalism.
- Meaningful Name: The cool, lingo-happy Autobot is called "Jazz".
- Out of Focus: While Jazz has certainly not faded away, his prominence in later media has decreased as Bumblebee became the second-most pushed Autobot in marketing and adaptations, and accordingly he began supplanting Jazz as Optimus' right-hand Autobot in some media.
- Token Minority: While the Transformers don't really have ethnicities, he is often voiced by African-Americans and talks in a lot of street lingo, making it clear he's intended to be perceived as the "black" Transformer.
The combat expert of the Autobots. When the Autobots need some muscle power, they call for Ironhide. His alt mode is usually some sort of truck, usually red.
- The Big Guy: Tends to have this role, since he likes fighting and often has the firepower to be very good at it.
- Blood Knight: There's nothing Ironhide likes more than busting up Decepticons.
- BFG: While their exact design varies, Ironhide likes whatever weaponry he wields to be big and powerful. His film incarnation goes for dual Arm Cannons, while in the Unicron Trilogy he's sporting a pair of Shoulder Cannons.
- Cool Car: He tends to transform into a pick-up truck, though his G1 incarnation was a slightly less cool minivan.
- Good Is Not Soft: Ironhide is one of the most enthusiastic of all Autobots when it comes to getting into a fight. But he's still firmly heroic.
- Red Is Heroic: Save for the live-action films, Ironhide has bright red as his predominant color.
- "My old fashioned ways have saved plenty of servos."
The Autobots' chief medical officer, Ratchet is always there when the Autobots need repairs. His alt mode is some sort of emergency vehicle, most often an ambulance.
- Combat Medic: His exact combat proficiency varies depending on the incarnation, but Ratchet is always at least able to join in the fight with the other Autobots.
- Depending on the Writer: Perhaps more than any of the other core Autobots, Ratchet's personality can vary wildly between adaptations. He's been an Actual Pacifist who refuses to fight unless he must; a grumpy and snarky Dr. Jerk; a quiet professional who just doesn't open up to others; and more. He may or may not also demonstrate Fantastic Racism towards humans.
- Disney Owns This Trope: His G1 incarnation used The Red Cross logo, which got their attention since they are very protective of their copyright. Subsequent appearances by Ratchet tend to have him using more lawyer-friendly logos, like a red cross with an Autobot crest in the center or a cardiogram.note
- Good Wears White: Since he turns into an ambulance, his usual color scheme is predominantly white and red.
- The Medic: Provides the current trope image. His position in the Autobots is their medical officer.
The chief Autobot military strategist. His alt mode is always some sort of police vehicle, usually a car though sometimes a bike.
- The Chessmaster: As a military strategist, Prowl is also an expert manipulator, though his manipulations sometimes come at the expense of the rest of the Autobots.
- Cool Car: His alt mode is usually a police car.
- Cool Shades: Sometimes has a mirrored visor over his eyes to give this impression.
- Cyber Ninja: A trait exhibited by more recent iterations of the character.
- The Lancer: Sometimes is the second-in-command to Optimus.
- Out of Focus: Much like Jazz, his prominence in latter media has decreased. This is not only due to Bumblebees increased presence in media but also due to Barricade (whose most popular iteration ironically started out as an Evil Counterpart to Prowl) being equally recognizable as a police car bot.
- Pragmatic Hero
- The Spock: Usually the voice of logic and reason among the Autobots.
- The Stoic
An Autobot engineer and inventor who comes up with a wide range of zany contraptions. His alt mode is usually a white car with red and green highlights, most iconically a Lancia Stratos.
- Badass Driver: In addition to being an inventor, he also has a tendency to show off his driving skills.
- Badass Moustache: Some iterations possess a robotic version.
- Cool Car: His alt mode is usually a white car.
- The Engineer: His primary function.
- Genius Bruiser: Despite being the resident Mad Scientist of the Autobots, Wheeljack is oftentimes not afraid to enter the heat of combat and blow stuff up.
- Mad Scientist: His primary characterization.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: He is the Mad Scientist (though his role is specifically The Engineer) to Perceptor's reserved scientist. This also carries into their fighting styles; while Perceptor prefers to fight at range, Wheeljack is not afraid to enter the thick of combat.
- Stuff Blowing Up: The eventual fate of most of his inventions. It's also what happens whenever he enters battle.
An Autobot trooper, Sideswipe tends to be reckless and eager to enter the heat of combat. His alt mode is always some sort of sports car, but most iconically a red Lamborghini.
Sometimes he has a sibling, Sunstreaker, who turns into a yellow Lamborghini.
- Bash Brothers: The dynamic whenever Sideswipe and Sunstreaker are together.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Sideswipe sometimes sports these as weapons.
- Blood Knight: The brothers crave a good fight, Sideswipe more so.
- Cool Car: Their alt mode, usually a Lamborghini.
- The Fighting Narcissist: Sunstreaker has a very vain personality and is very showy in battle. He is also very protective of his paint job.
- Identical Stranger: In some continuities, there are two Sideswipes running around. Sometimes, one is a clone of the original.
- Kid-Appeal Character: Sometimes, Sideswipe is one of the younger Autobots, being even younger than the likes of Bumblebee or Hot Shot.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Sideswipe has a penchant to charge into dangerous situations with near-suicidal recklessness.
- Red Is Heroic: Sideswipe usually sports a red paint job.
- "Dinobots RULE!"
Five Autobots that have dinosaurs as their alt modes. Their usual lineup is as follows:
- Grimlock (Tyrannosaurus Rex)
- Slug (Triceratops)
- Sludge (Brontosaurus)
- Snarl (Stegosaurus)
- Swoop (Pteranodon)
- Badass Crew: The Dinobots are some of the most badass combatants on either side of the warlines, and as a team they're almost unstoppable.
- The Big Guy: Collectively, the group is this for the Autobots. As strong as some of them can be, the Dinobots are the major muscle of the faction.
- Blood Knight: All of them tend to be much more enthusiastic about violence than the other Autobots.
- Combining Mecha: They sometimes possess the capability to combine into Volcanicus, an animalistic Autobot Combiner who strikes fear into the Decepticons.
- Cool Sword: They're typically depicted as preferring swords to guns and blasters, though they have those too of course.
- Did Not Do the Bloody Research: Slug was originally named "Slag", which is considered a curse word in the UK (in other English speaking countries, its a term for a junk metal byproduct that results from smelting or forging processes). Since Transformers media would later establish "slag" to be a curse word in-universe too, his name was changed to Slug in later appearances.
- Dumb Muscle: The Dinobots are usually much, much stronger than other Transformers, and a lot dumber too.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Pretty much the reason they exist in-universe, even — in the G1 cartoon, the Autobots found out about dinosaurs and decided "they're cool, let's build some new Transformers based on them!"
- Hulk Speak: They talk this way on account of their limited intelligence.Grimlock: "Me Grimlock not kisser, me Grimlock KING!"
- Military Maverick: Due to their rowdy nature, Grimlock and the Dinobots are often at odds with the rest of the Autobots and have been known to frequently show insubordination. In fact, there have been times where Grimlock has left the Autobots, sometimes even temporarily joining the Decepticons.
- Reimagining the Artifact: In the original G1 cartoon, the Autobots made the Dinobots just because "that'd be cool to do" and no other reason. Various adaptations since have tried to provide justification for why, among the race of robots that turn into vehicles, there's a small subset of them that turn into dinosaurs. The usual explanation is that the Dinobots survived the crash on prehistoric Earth that sent the rest of the Transformers into stasis, or were awoken earlier than the rest of them, and they scanned dinosaur alt modes that they retained into modern times.
- The Smurfette Principle: Some media add a sixth Dinobot to the core five, Slash, who is a female and transforms into a Velociraptor.
- Theme Naming: Aside from leader Grimlock, the Dinobots have short, one-word names that start with "S". The core four are Slug, Snarl, Sludge, and Swoop, and auxiliary members include Slash, Scorn, Scowl, Strafe, and Skar.
- "In my Decepticon life, I never did a thing worth doing until now..."
Jetfire (aka Skyfire; long story, detailed further down) is an Autobot aerial combatant. In most incarnations he was once a Decepticon, but underwent a HeelFace Turn and joined the Autobots. He turns into a jetcraft of variable design. He is able to combine with Optimus Prime to grant him flight and enhanced firepower.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: Given where his toy originated from, he can been seen as one to the Macross Valkyrie.
- Cool Plane: He turns into some sort of jet plane, usually a fighter plane though sometimes a spy plane or cargo plane.
- Fusion Dance: He's sometimes able to combine with Optimus Prime to give Prime a power boost and a winged jetpack.
- HeelFace Turn: He tends to start out as a Decepticon, but then changes sides when he realizes his ideals align with them more. Even on occasions where he doesn't start out on the Deceptions, Jetfire's backstory tends to somehow personally connect him to the enemy faction.
- One-Way Visor: He sometimes sports this.
- Powered Armor: He sometimes has access to this, which often comes a visored helmet and a pair Shoulder Cannons. Said armor usually makes him more closely resemble the original Macross toy he was based off.
- Screwed by the Lawyers: The reason he's variably known as Jetfire or Skyfire is due to "legal reasons" according to Hasbro's production bible for the G1 cartoon. In the franchise's early years, Hasbro tended to just browse Japanese toy fairs and pick transforming robot toys they liked to market in the US under the Transformers brand, but it happened that Jetfire's original toy was a Macross VF-1S Super Valkyrie manufactured by Takatoku Toys (which was later bought out by Bandai), and the Diaclone and Microman toys that formed the bulk of Transformers were manufactured by Takara; i.e., a competitor company. Presumably (never confirmed) this is the source of the "legal reasons" that caused Jetfire to be renamed Skyfire, and his animation model in the G1 cartoon only vaguely resembled his toynote .
- Shout-Out: And in spite of the above-mentioned legal issues regarding the original toy, some versions of the character continue to harken back to the Macross design. As far as legally possible.
- We Used to Be Friends: His relationship with Starscream before the war; when it broke out, they found themselves on opposite sides.
- Your Size May Vary: He is usually one of the larger Autobots, but his size ranges from being an average Transformer to towering over the likes of Optimus and Megatron (though not Combiner-sized).
- "When the music is blastin', I'm rollin'."
An Autobot communications officer, Blaster is often depicted as one of their higher-ranking members. His alt mode is either a boom-box, or a civilian vehicle outfitted with a killer soundsystem.
- Depending on the Writer: While Blaster is usually a more laidback and fun character, some incarnations make him more serious and dour.
- Drone Deployer: He can deploy smaller transformers that store inside him. While he has fewer recurring ones than Soundwave, the most recurring are Eject and Rewind (humanoid robots), Steeljaw (a feline), and Ramhorn (a rhino).
- Good Counterpart: To Soundwave, as a communications officer who deploys cassette robots from his chest. Naturally they end up duking it out directly frequently. To further contrast them, Blaster is red while Soundwave is blue, and Blaster's casual and fun attitude is juxtaposed with Soundwave's cold, robotic monotone.
- Palette Swap: Given how he is the Autobots' answer to Soundwave, Blaster's toys are often redecoed from Soundwave or vice versa.
- Red Is Heroic: His usual color scheme is red and yellow.
The premier Autobot scientist, Perceptor usually serves as the chief science officer. His alt mode varies; while his most iconic is a microscope, he sometimes turns into either a truck laden with research equipment or a tank.
- Good Counterpart: To Shockwave. Both are the head scientists among their respective factions and exhibit Spock-like behaviors. Their original G1 alt modes also required them to change scale, and such has caused their alt modes to vary in future media despite them maintaining consistent design elements in robot mode.
- Long-Range Fighter: He prefers to fight at range, which reflects his alt mode being a microscope as he has unparalled accuracy. The 2005 IDW continuity even turned him into a Cold Sniper.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: A rarity for a franchise that uses Cast Speciation to sell more toys by using different characters for different roles rather than giving them all to a few characters, Perceptor is perhaps the closest to this trope. He is described as being highly versed in a wide range of scientific fields, ranging from metallurgy to electrical engineering to astronomy.
- Primary-Color Champion: His color scheme consists of red and cyan (a shade of blue) with yellow highlights.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: He is the reserved Autobot scientist to Wheeljacks Mad Scientist (though Wheeljacks role is specifically The Engineer). This also carries into their fighting styles; while Perceptor prefers to fight at range, Wheeljack is not afraid to enter the thick of combat.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Being a scientist obsessed with technical details, his speech patterns are full of overly complex words and scientific jargon that most of his fellow Autobots would find unnecessary.
- Shoulder Cannon: He always sports one which is always incorporated into his alt mode, be it his scope or tank barrel.
- Sizeshifter: In his original G1 incarnation, Perceptor turned into a microscope (though he could also turn into a tank). Naturally, future iterations of the character have moved towards different alt modes.
- The Smart Guy
- The Spock: Perceptor is perhaps the one of the most logic-oriented Autobots (though he usually does not steep towards Prowls level since he views himself as a scientist rather than a soldier). Perhaps the most obvious is his Animated iteration, who speaks with the same speech synthesizer as Stephen Hawking and is described as having deleted his emotions to make room for more scientific knowledge.
- Tank Goodness: He can transform into a tank, even when he has his microscope alt mode.
- You Don't Look Like You: As with the likes of Megatron, Soundwave, Shockwave, and Blaster, Perceptors alt mode being a microscope has resulted in his alt mode varying across continuity. Unlike the rest, hes been much more consistent with his choice of alt modes, turning into either a truck or tank while always finding a way to incorporate his signature Shoulder Cannon.
The Aerialbots are a team of Autobots that take the form of aircraft, most often fighter planes. Their names and personalities vary across continuity, but they are always able to combine into Superion, the first of the Autobot Combiners. Their usual lineup is as follows:
- Silverbolt (Concorde)
- Slingshot (Harrier)
- Fireflight (F-4)
- Skydive (F-16)
- Air Raid (F-15)
- Combining Mecha: Superion is perhaps the most iconic Autobot Combiner.
- Cool Plane: Their alt modes.
- Depending on the Writer: The individual Aerialbots vary in names, appearance, and personality, but theres usually either five to six members.
- Good Counterpart: Considering how most Autobots turn into cars while most Decepticons turn into planes and other military vehicles, they count as they provide the Autobots with a way to counter Decepticon flyers such as the Seekers. In addition, as the Decepticons usually are the first to develop combiners, the Aerialbots serve as the Autobots answer to them.
- Humongous Mecha: As a Combiner, Superion stands tall over all other Transformers short of other Combiners and Titans.
- Military Maverick: The Aerialbots are sometimes act like this to the rest of the Autobots at first, but over time they warm up to them.
- "Undisciplined thinking can make even the simplest task impossible."
Ultra Magnus is another high-ranking Autobot, sometimes even outranking Optimus Prime. His battle prowess is feared across the Decepticon lines, and with good reason. He transforms into a truck that hauls a combat trailer; the cab forms Magnus' core robot form, and the trailer is worn as power-enhancing armor.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: "Ultra Magnus" rivals "Optimus Prime" as one badass name.
- Drop the Hammer: His signature weapon is a large hammer.
- Large and in Charge: Not only is he is a high-ranking Autobot who sometimes fills in for leader when Optimus is incapacitated, he also often towers over Optimus himself as he often wears Powered Armor.
- Mythology Gag: The Diaclone toys that became Ultra Magnus and Optimus Prime were originally the same "Convoy" figure, just with different trailers — this is why Ultra Magnus without his armor looks suspiciously like a white Palette Swap of Optimus Prime, because that's exactly what his Diaclone toy was. Transformers media after G1 reference this frequently by giving Prime and Magnus a connection, such as being brothers or that they were both rebuilt by Alpha Trion. Within the toyline, Optimus Prime toys are often redecoed into Ultra Magnus toys, and in the Masterpiece line Magnus' cab mode looks just like Prime's cab mode for his MP-10 figure, even though the cab isn't a separate robot anymore and transforms entirely different.
- Palette Swap: Sometimes, his toys are merely redecoes of Optimus.
- Powered Armor: He's often depicted as a much smaller transformer that wears the Magnus armor to enhance his powers for combat. In some versions, it turns out he is a Legacy Character with multiple smaller bots having worn the armor throughout ages.
- Related in the Adaptation: In the original G1 cartoon, he was just another Autobot of many that appeared suddenly during the shift to Season 3. Some media make him related to Optimus Prime in some way, due to the nature of Magnus' original toy.
- "Talent and looks; I got it all!"
A young, hot-headed member of the Autobots, Hot Rod is nonetheless a courageous and reliable soldier. He has the potential to one day become a leader among the Autobots, earning the deserved title of "Prime". He transforms into a futuristic sports car, naturally often based on a hot rod.
- Alliance of Alternates: At the end of Regeneration One, all versions of this character at the time teamed up to stop the Dark Matrix Creature.
- Arm Cannon: His signature weapon are blasters on his forearms, formed from his exhaust pipes in vehicle mode.
- Cool Car: He transforms into a futuristic sports car, almost always with flame designs over it and hot rod-like exhaust pipes visible on it.
- Energy Bow: Some versions have access to a Rocket Bow, which is a reference to the fact his original characterization was modeled after Hawkeye.
- Fire-Breathing Weapon: He frequently has access to flame-based weaponry regardless of continuity.
- Large and in Charge: As Rodimus Prime, he grows in size so that he matches his predcessor in height.
- Meaningful Rename: In the original G1 movie, Hot Rod was christened "Rodimus Prime" when he received the Matrix of Leadership. Since Prime was not yet established as a title or rank one could earn, this was simply to anoint Hot Rod as heir to Optimus' position as the new leader of the Autobots.
- Next Tier Power-Up: In incarnations where his Rodimus form is an upgrade of his Hot Rod form, it tends to come with a new facial design, larger robot mode, and possibly a new vehicle mode (usually a Big Badass Rig like his predecessor).
- Red Is Heroic: His primary color scheme is predominantly red with orange and yellow flames.
- Writing Around Trademarks: Because of legal issues with trademarking the name "Hot Rod", the character bounced between names for years — Hot Rodimus, Rodimus, Rodimus Major, and Hot Shot, have all been used at various points. In later years it seems Hasbro finally got their hands on a trademark of some sort, because he's gone back to Hot Rod.
The quintessential female Autobot and perhaps the most iconic female Transformer. Her alt mode is either a Cybertronian hover car or a motorcycle.
- Cool Bike: In more recent incarnations, she turns into a bike.
- Cool Car: More traditional iterations of this character usually turn into some sort of car.
- Dual Wielding: Her usual armament is a pair of swords.
- Fem Bot
- Pink Is Feminine: Most of her incarnations, regardless of alt mode, are pink and white in color.
- The Smurfette Principle: She is usually the only active female among the Autobots.
An Autobot courier, Blurr both moves and talks extremely fast. He turns into a sleek futuristic car.
- Blue Is Heroic: Technically hes usually colored cyan, but seeing as cyan is a lighter shade of blue, he still qualifies.
- Cool Car: Given his Super Speed, his alt mode has to be one. Sometimes he turns into a hover car.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: A relatively recent (and morbid) trend for this character involves him being killed off in some of the most horrific ways possible to illustrate how dangerous the stakes have gotten. From being crushed into a cube to running himself out of existence to succumbing to cosmic rust and dissolving into dust a la Infinity War
- Motor Mouth: He has a penchant for filling the air with his sentences in quick succession (either by repeating himself or Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness). This derives from the G1 cartoon, where he was voiced by world-famous speed-talker John Moschitta Jr.
- Super Speed: He can move very fast in both robot and alt mode.
- Token Minority: In-universe example; hes usually from Velocitron rather than Cybertron.
A special task force of various Autobots called in whenever the odds are the worst. Their membership varies across continuity, but given what theyre called in for, their roster is usually in flux.
A legendary warrior known for his skill with the sword, oftentimes at odds with the rest of the Autobots. His alt mode is a futuristic jetcraft.
- Cool Sword: Is usually known for wielding some sort of sword, oftentimes a BFS.
- Cool Plane: His alt mode is always some form of jet aircraft, almost always Cybertronian in origin.
- Fusion Dance: Most iterations of this character possess the capability to combine with Optimus (or a lookalike in the case of Ginrai/Victory Leo). Between Saber and Jetfire, it is more likely the former will have the capability to combine with Optimus.
- Knight Templar: More recent iterations of this character exhibit this kind of behavior.
- Large and in Charge: Given his alt mode being a heavy combat aircraft, he is usually one of the larger Autobots, often being on the same level (both in terms of rank and scale) as Ultra Magnus.
- Master Swordsman
- Military Maverick: Despite eventually becoming one of the more higher-ranking Autobots (if not the leader), Star Saber is known to have a bit of a rough side that puts him at odds with the rest of the Autobots. His Cybertron iteration is described as having a penchant for insubordination (even having attacked Optimus once), whereas his IDW iteration was (to put it very lightly) an outright Knight Templar and The Fundamentalist.
- One-Man Army
- Primary-Color Champion: His usual color scheme is predominantly red, blue, and yellow mixed with white.
- Samurai: Sometimes has this characterization, reflecting the fact that he originated in a Japanese-only installment.
- Sixth Ranger: He usually joins the Autobots midway into the conflict.
- Super Robot: While the franchise are usually closer to this genre than the Real Robot Genre, he perhaps fits this trope even more than the average Transformer, being known to display fantastical capabilities and tropes heavily associated with the genre.
A samurai-themed Autobot with a checkered past, oftentimes having once been the Decepticon Deadlock. His alt mode is a car of some sort, but usually a Japanese rally car.
- Cool Car: His alt mode. Said car is usually themed around Japanese street racing cars.
- Defector from Decadence: He usually defects from the Decepticons once they start exhibiting signs of He Who Fights Monsters or Full-Circle Revolution.
- HeelFace Turn: Even more so than Jetfire, Drift is almost always a defector from the Decepticons.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: In some continuities, he leaves the Autobots and goes back to being Deadlock (and thus a Decepticon). And sometimes, back to the other side.
- Katanas Are Just Better: His preferred armament, coming in either BFS or Dual Wielding flavor.
- Master Swordsman
- Meaningful Rename: He changes his name from Deadlock to Drift not only to separate himself from his Decepticon past, but also to signify his new wandering lifestyle.
- Noble Demon
- Red Is Heroic: While his color scheme has varied across incarnations and hes not particularly that heroic of an Autobot, almost all versions of the character have sported the color red in some capacity (usually as a secondary color).
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head. The most consistent color scheme hes had is white and red, the same colors of the Japanese flag.
The result of the Thrilling 30 Fan-Built Bot poll, Windblade is a female Autobot hailing from Caminus with a onna-bugeisha motif.
- Combat Hand Fan: Sometimes has these as secondary weapons.
- Cool Plane: Her alt mode is a VTOL jet aircraft.
- Distaff Counterpart: Can be viewed as one to Drift, seeing as they are both samurai-themed Autobots who are relative newcomers to the franchise. Both officially debuted in the 2005 IDW continuity and received at least two separate series each.
- Facial Markings: Possess geisha/kabuki-inspired red markings on her eyes. In some continuities, such markings are a Camien tradition.
- Fem Bot
- Geisha: A major visual motif that she possesses, with some overlap from Kabuki theater.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Her signature weapon, the Stormfall Sword.
- Lady of War
- Meaningful Name: Her name refers to both her being a flying swordfighter and her alt mode having VTOL turbofans.
- Official Fan-Submitted Content: Her entire design was voted on by the fans, though her Japanese aesthetic was added on later.
- Red Is Heroic
- Samurai: Technically an onna bugeisha rather than a samurai.
- Token Minority: In-universe example; she's usually from Caminus rather than Cybertron.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Tomboy compared to Arcees Girly Girl.
The resident Autobot Titans, the largest class of Transformer. Usually taking the alt mode of an Autobot city, base, or starship, there's no bigger muscle on their side than either of those three.
- Arch-Enemy: Metroplex to Trypticon, Fortress Maximus to Scorponok. They are among the recurring Titans on either side, so they tend to end up being depicted fighting each other a lot.
- Arm Cannon: Omega Supreme has one for his arms.
- BFS: Fortress Maximus sometimes wields the Master Sword, an enormous sword scaled to his size.
- Cool Starship: Fortress Maximus (and Omega Supreme depending continuity) can turn into a starship that other transformers can use for transport.
- Forgotten Superweapon: As Titans, they usually are long-dormant and hidden, forcing the Autobots to discover them as well as how to activate them. When the Autobots succeed, it means they have attained a powerful new asset that can tip the scales of the war in their favor.
- Genius Loci: Their alt modes are cities for Transformers.
- Humongous Mecha: Seeing as their alt modes are usually cities for Transformers, which are already much bigger than humans. This entails that they tower over their standard-sized brethren. In terms of scale, Omega Supreme is usually the smallest (sometimes not even being classified as a Titan), while Fortress Maximus is the biggest (when he's not a smaller Transformer piloting a larger body).
- Meta Mecha: Fortress Maximus is a Headmaster - meaning a much smaller Transformer forms his head. Unlike other Headmasters, said smaller Transformer also has another Transformer form his head as well. In some continuities, Fortress Maximus is a much smaller Transformer who pilots a much larger body into battle.
- Light Is Good: Metroplex is depicted with bright white and silver as his main colors. Fortress Maximus sports a similar color scheme, though his has blue and red highlights.
- Weaponized Headgear: Omega Supreme has a cannon on the back of his head.
- "Respect your elders."
One of the Thirteen Primes, Alpha Trion is a wise sage who usually plays the role of being the mentor to Optimus Prime. He usually does not transform, but when he does, his alt mode is usually a Cool Starship.
- Big Good: Given that hes usually responsible for creating or empowering Optimus Prime, he counts.
- Caped Mecha: He often sports purple protrusions on his back while in robot mode that given the illusion of a mantle.
- Cool Starship: His usual alt mode.
- Keeper of Forbidden Knowledge: Oftentimes possesses special knowledge or capabilities that allow him to empower the Autobots.
- King of Beasts: Sometimes, he turns into a lion.
- Last of His Kind: While not the last of the Thirteen proper (especially if one considers Optimus to be one of the Thirteen), he usually outlasts most of his brothers into the present day to interact with the Autobots.
- Magic Librarian: A rare sci-fi version of the trope. His role among the Thirteen was to act as the record keeper, having written the Covenant of Primus.
- The Mentor: To Optimus Prime.
- Purple Is Powerful: His color scheme usually mixes purple and red. As hes one of the Thirteen, it makes sense to reflect his otherworldly knowledge.
- Toyless Toyline Character: Being a background character, Alpha Trion usually does not get a toy in most Transformers toylines.
- Virtual Ghost: Some versions of the character have already passed on and only continue interacting with Optimus and company through some sort of hologram.
- Wizard Beard: Has a robotic version.
- You Don't Look Like You: While Alpha Trion's overall robot mode appearance has remained constant, his alt mode has varied wildly due to him not often transforming on screen.
- "The Decepticons are led by a single undeviating goal: total domination of the universe."
The villainous faction of the Transformer race. The Decepticons wish to conquer Cybertron, and often expand their sights to Earth and the entire universe. They tend to adopt militaristic alt modes like fighter jets, tanks, and armored vehicles.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Unlike the Autobots, who are lead by a Prime bestowed with a Matrix of Leadership, the Decepticons are lead by the most powerful member of the group. This is deconstructed as a horrible idea since all of the Decepticons think they're the most powerful, hence the all Chronic Backstabbing Disorder from Starscream and others, as well as all the arguing and fighting over who'll be the next leader whenever the current leader is incapacitated.
- Battlecry: "Transform and rise up", a Dark Reprise of the Autobots' call. Fitting given that modern media depicts have Decepticons rebelling against the Autobots they see as oppressing them.
- Big Bad: The Decepticons are always the villains in any Transformers media.
- Full-Circle Revolution: Whenever an adaptation touches on the Decepticons seizing control of Cybertron, of course they prove themselves even more cruel and oppressive towards the remaining Autobots than the Autobots were to them when they ran things.
- Meaningful Name: "Deceptive cons(tructs)", obviously. Some adaptations try various ways to justify the name due to how Obviously Evil it sounds.
- Purple Is Powerful: The Decepticon insignia is purple and the color features prominently in their technology and some of their higher-up members like Megatron and Shockwave.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: In many later adaptations, the Decepticons are depicted as rebels who began an uprising against the Cybertronian ruling class of Autobots because they felt oppressed and abused by society. However, even if they're shown to be correct in this perception, the Decepticons demonstrate they are far more villainous than the Autobots.
The leader of the Decepticons, Megatron seeks to wrest control of Cybertron from the Autobots in the name of Decepticon supremacy over the Transformer race. Depending on the Writer, he may be a Well-Intentioned Extremist who truly thinks his rule will be better for everyone, but other times he is a megalomaniacal warmonger who just wants to exterminate his enemies and rule the galaxy. In some media, Megatron may be upgraded or rebuilt into a more powerful form, in which he may take the name Galvatron. Megatron's alt mode varies — his original Generation 1 alt mode was a pistol, but in other incarnations he tends to be a tank, jet, or even a dragon.
- Arch-Enemy: To Optimus Prime, and it is very much a mutual feeling. Megatron would slaughter his way through his own troops if it meant he could get a clear target on Optimus.
- Arm Cannon: His iconic weapon is his fusion cannon, which is mounted on his arm or replaces one of his arms.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He is universally depicted as one of the most powerful Decepticons, if not the most powerful. This is usually implied to be why they follow him, due to either Asskicking Equals Authority or because Megatron is The Dreaded.
- Bad Boss: Most Megatrons care nothing about the other Decepticons beyond them providing minions and soldiers to fight in his name. They usually follow him anyway because they're terrified of him.
- Big Bad: As the leader of the Decepticons, Megatron is usally the primary antagonist in Transformers media. When he isn't, it's usually because he's incapaciated somehow, or because something even worse (like Unicron) overshadows him.
- BFG: His fusion cannon is massive, usually the size of the rest of his arm.
- Character Development: Meta-wise, the earliest incarnations of Megatron were just Generic Doomsday Villains who desired conquest and power. In later media, Megatron is emphasized as a Well-Intentioned Extremist who had good reasons to begin his rebellion. There's even been media where Megatron becomes disillusioned with his own cause, has a Heel Realization and renounces the Decepticons (one version even joined the Autobots for the rest of the series when this happened), though this is very rare.
- Cool Gun: His original G1 alt mode was a laser blaster based on the custom Walther P38 from The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. In later media he tends to transform into a tank or a plane, partly because some dislike the idea of the leader of the villains turning into a handheld weapon he lets his subordinates wield, and more prominently because of legal difficulties in the sale and possession of toy guns that made his G1 toy difficult to market for merchants and collectors alike. At the time some places actually required a gun license to own a G1 Megatron.
- Cool Plane: His second most common alt mode.
- Cybernetic Mythical Beast: Sometimes, Megatron can turn into a robotic dragon.
- Decomposite Character: Some media depict Megatron and Galvatron interacting with one another, either by making Galvatron an ancient Transformer who long predates Megatron or through the use of Time Travel.
- The Dreaded: The Autobots greatly fear Megatron, and so do most of the Decepticons for that matter.
- Epic Flail: His preferred melee weapon is a chain mace.
- Evil Sounds Raspy: His voice is usually deep and raspy, the most iconic of which is provided by Frank Welker.
- He Who Fights Monsters: In later media especially, it's common to depict Megatron as starting the Decepticon rebellion for good reasons, or at least with sympathetic intentions. However, almost universally the war triggers Motive Decay to the point he just wants to destroy the Autobots and rule Cybertron no matter what it takes.
- Large and in Charge: As the leader of the Decepticons, he is usually one of larger Decepticons if not the largest of them all.
- Legacy Character: "Megatronus" is the name of The Fallen, one of the Thirteen Primes who underwent a FaceHeel Turn. Most adaptations imply or outright state that Megatron took his name from The Fallen. Additionally, the Beast Wars era Megatron took his name from the original G1 Megatron.
- Meaningful Rename: Megatron is occasionally upgraded into a new, more powerful form, and he is rechristened "Galvatron".
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: As stated above, some versions of Megatron took their name from The Fallen, a.k.a. Megatronus Prime, who is basically the Transformers' version of The Anti-Christ or Judas.
- Overarching Villain: Megatron is always the most recurring leader of the Decepticons, even if he loses his position as leader, he always finds a way to get it back.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Megatron's original G1 alt mode was a gun, but this created numerous headaches when it came to marketing and selling it because of legal restrictions on the sale of toy guns in North America (it also doesn't help that his gun mode looks rather realistic◊ as far as toy guns go). For this reason his later incarnations have different alt modes, usually a tank or jet. His gun alt mode now tends to only appear in media that is purposefully evoking his G1 design.
- Tank Goodness: His most recurring alt mode (introduced in G2) is a tank.
- Transforming Mecha: Sometimes, Megatron possesses the ability to transform into more than one alt mode. His RID 2001 iteration takes this Up to Eleven by having ten modes (including robot mode), the most of any Transformer ever.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: In incarnations that emphasize Cybertron's Fantastic Caste System, Megatron is usually a low-ranked Cybertronian who begins the Decepticon uprising to overthrow the corrupt and oppressive government that is keeping them down. With incarnations that emphasize Cybertron is a dying world due to its energy crisis, Megatron wants to rebuild Cybertron and restore the Transformer race to its glory days. Either way, he's willing to do anything to make it happen. His methodology is reflected in his recurring motto, "Peace through tyranny!"
- We Can Rule Together: Megatron often espouses the belief that he and Optimus ought to be allies to rebuild Cybertron together. If only Optimus wasn't such an idealistic fool and could see things Megatron's way...
- We Used to Be Friends: In some incarnations, Megatron and Optimus used to be friends, or at least like-minded in acknowledging the problems with Cybertron and the need for reforms. Then Megatron begins his rebellion and the two find themselves on opposite sides.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Whenever Megatron gets turned into Galvatron, his increase in power is often accompanied by a decrease in sanity.
- Worthy Opponent: He usually regards Optimus Prime as one.
- You Don't Look Like You: Megatron's physical design (his robot mode appearance and overall color scheme) has varied wildly across the franchise. Even more so is his choice of alt mode - he's been a gun, tank, jet, helicopter, truck, dragon, race car, and tyrannosaurus rex.
- "Kneel and worship the TRUE leader of the Decepticons!"
Starscream is, well, The Starscream. Though he is Megatron's lieutenant, Starcraft is itching to lead the Decepticons himself and takes any opportunity he can to kill Megatron or leave him to his death. Megatron is well aware of Starscream's treacherous ways; why he keeps him around in spite of that is something writers have struggled to explain for decades. Starscream's alt mode is a fighter jet.
- Ace Pilot: Starscream is generally regarded as a powerful warrior in the air and a skilled flyer in his jet mode.
- Arm Cannon: His trademark weapon is a pair of forearm-mounted blasters.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: No matter how many times his plans to overthrow Megatron fail, Starscream never learns his lesson and keeps trying.
- Co-Dragons: The most recurring (and least loyal) of Megatron's usual top lieutenants, alongside Shockwave and Soundwave.
- Cool Plane: His alt mode is a jet fightercraft, and he leads the Seekers, a squadron of Decepticon aircraft.
- Depending on the Writer: Starscream's competence, both in scheming and battle, vary wildly across adaptations. Later works tend to emphasize he actually is very powerful and a good fighter, but he's held back by his cowardice.
- Dirty Coward: When his plans fall apart, Starscream will quickly degrade into a sniveling sycophant and kiss "Lord Megatron's" feet to avoid his wrath. He also tends to dislike fighting unless it's an easy win for him, and will flee if it isn't.
- The Dragon: He's usually Megatron's second-in-command. In media where Megatron is incapacitated or no longer around, Starscream often becomes a Dragon Ascendant that leads the Decepticons in his absence.
- Evil Sounds Raspy: He is usally voiced in this manner, as provided by the likes of Chris Latta, Tom Kenny, and Steve Blum.
- Hidden Depths: Several continuities give him a background in science, not that it tends to make him any more competent. That said, his creditentials tend to be forgotten if Shockwave is also present.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: While the level varies, a lot of Starscreams' treacherous sides stem partially because their Megatron doesn't treat them very well or heed their advise, useful or not. Of course in many cases it is unclear whether Starscream himself was always an impudent, disloyal jerk to Megatron that earned his shabby treatment, though Megatron usually being a Mean Boss all around certainly doesn't help either way.
- Palette Swap: Starscream's body type is often used as the basis for the general "Seeker" mold in both the cartoons and in the toyline, and in the cartoons Seekers may be so widespread as to serve as Mooks. How much Starscream's mold gets reused depends on the specific incarnation.
- Primary-Color Champion: Inverted. Starscream's iconic color scheme is red, blue, and yellow, but he's one of the most conniving and treacherous Decepticons around.
- Reimagining the Artifact: The major problem with the original Starscream is "why would Megatron let him live when Starscream keeps trying to betray him?" Various media over the years have tried to explain this by giving Megatron understandable reasons to keep Starscream around in spite of his treachery, or by making Starscream a more competent schemer who better masks his traitorous intentions. In some cases, Megatron tolerates Starscream's behavior because he (usually accurately) presumes that Starscream's incompetence ensures his plans never succeed and his cowardice will keep him from doing anything too detrimental out of fear of punishment. Then there's incarnations where Starscream's behavior isn't tolerated and Megatron slags him when he's worn out his patience, or at least cast him out of the Decepticons.
- Small Name, Big Ego: While Starscream wants to command the Decepticons and considers himself the only one worthy of the position, whenever he gets the chance he's a terrible leader — he lacks the power that made the Decepticons follow Megatron out of fear, he has no charisma to inspire genuine loyalty in them, and his plans against the Autobots never work out and end terribly, which makes the Decepticons hate his leadership even more.
- The Starscream: He's the Trope Namer. One thing that never changes across the franchise is that any time there's a Decepticon called Starscream, you can be assured that sooner or later he'll try to backstab Megatron and take over the Decepticons.
The term "Seeker" refers to the recurring fliers of the Decepticon army. They usually resemble Starscream and as such they transform into jets; usually all the same model to make it easier to animate the cartoons and redeco the toys. The "Coneheads" are so named because they also transform into jets and may even have similar robot modes to the Seekers, but have some differences including the tip of their jet mode being on top of their heads, hence the name.
Skywarp and Thundercracker debuted around the same time as Starscream and are usually among the first named Seekers to arrive alongside him in any continuity. Other Seekers include Sunstorm, Slipstream, and the Rainmakers (Acid Storm, Ion Storm, and Nova Storm). The most recurring coneheads are Dirge, Ramjet, and Thrust.
- Arm Cannon: Like Starscream, their weapons are arm-mounted blasters.
- Color-Coded Characters: To tell the Seekers apart from each other since they tend to share the same body type and alt mode, they all have different colorations: Starscream is red, Thundercracker is blue, Skywarp is purple and black, Sunstorm is orange and yellow, Slipstream is purple and blue, Acid Storm is neon green, Ion Storm is neon blue, and Nova Storm is neon yellow. The Coneheads, having more visual differences to their designs (such as each having a different type of wing), don't need just the color-coding to tell them apart, but Thrust is usually red (though sometimes green), Dirge is is blue, and Ramjet is white.
- Divergent Character Evolution: Thundercracker and Skywarp didn't have much personality in G1 besides just being "the two main Seekers who aren't Starscream, and are violent thugs like most generic Decepticons". Later adaptations give them more personality: Thundercracker tends to have a sense of morals and honor, while Skywarp is more cruel and sadistic.
- Mooks: In some incarnations, generic Seekers serve this function, forming the main Decepticon attack forces but only a few of them getting prominent roles.
- Palette Swap: The Seekers tend to all have the same body type with maybe only minor differences besides color. This makes it easier for the animators to reuse the character models and the toy manufacturers to reuse their molds.
- Purple Is the New Black: Skywarp is usually purple, but also sometimes black and purple.
- The Smurfette Principle: Slipstream is usually the only girl among the Seekers.
- "Cries and screams are music to my ears."
The Decepticon communications officer, Soundwave is Megatron's most loyal and trusted soldier, carrying out any order with obedient efficiency. He commands a small army of mini-robots that store inside him, waiting to be deployed to aid him in operations. His alt mode varies constantly, due to attempts to avoid Sizeshifter mechanics, but the most iconic is a cassette tape player, with his assist robots turning into cassettes.
In some continuities, Soundwave is upgraded into Soundblaster, other times Soundblaster is a clone of him.
- The Artifact: Despite the fact that the franchise's main demographic (young kids) probably won't know what a cassette player is, new toys of Soundwave with that alt mode continue to be released. Nostalgia aside, this makes sense because of his central character trait and toy gimmick — having smaller Transformers that store inside him, which perfectly fits a cassette player with tapes. Whenever Soundwave has a different alt mode, he usually retains this gimmick even if it doesn't make much sense, and the writers tend to just not draw attention to or explain why he's the only Decepticon who can do this.
- Co-Dragons: Generally depicted as one of Megatron's main lieutenants, alongside Starscream and Shockwave, and usually the most loyal.
- Communications Officer: This is his role in the Decepticons.
- The Creon: Soundwave's loyalty to Megatron is absolute. In media where Megatron vacates his position for whatever reason (killed, exiled, lost and left for dead, or renouncing the Decepticon cause entirely), Soundwave will try to get him back.
- Decomposite Character: While Soundblaster is usually an upgrade of Soundwave, more recent media has made him a clone.
- Drone Deployer: He commands a crew of smaller Transformers that store inside him and are deployed for specific missions. The most recurring ones are Rumble and Frenzy (humanoid robots with piledriver arms), Laserbeak and Buzzsaw (birds of prey), Ravage (a panther), and Ratbat (a bat).
- Machine Monotone: His voice often has a metallic distortion to it.
- One-Way Visor: He usually has one instead of traditional eyes.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Soundblaster's color scheme is predominantly black with his translucent parts such as his visor and chest window becoming red.
- Shoulder Cannon: His signature weapon is a concussive cannon mounted on his shoulder.
- Sizeshifter: In his original G1 incarnation, Soundwave transformed from a towering robot to a handheld casette player, and his mini-robots which were approximately the size of humans transformed into his cassettes. Over the years Hasbro has decided to downplay mass-shifting like this across the franchise, resulting in Soundwave getting other alt modes like a satellite, a stealth bomber, armored cars, and space fighters. None of them really stuck however, and he's still often a cassette player no matter how uncommon mass-shifting may be otherwise.
- The Stoic: He almost always speaks in a calm, robotic monotone, further helped by his visor and mouthplate meaning he usually has no facial expressions.
- Undying Loyalty: To Megatron. While other Decepticons might turn from Megatron under various circumstances, Soundwave would never abandon his commander.
- Villainous Friendship: With Megatron. Because Megatron is correctly assured of Soundwave's absolute loyalty, Soundwave may be the only other Decepticon he trusts and treats with respect.
- You Don't Look Like You: Soundwave's general robot mode aesthetic has remained the same throughout the franchise but his alt mode has varied wildly in order to keep him to date. His alt mode has ranged from a cassette tape to a truck to a satellite to a spy drone.
Shockwave is the Decepticons' resident Mad Scientist, always experimenting to develop new, more dangerous weapons of warfare for the Decepticons. His alt mode varies but is almost universally a vehicle of Cybertronian design.
- Arm Cannon: His signature weapon is a cannon replacing one of his hands.
- Co-Dragons: Almost always depicted as one of Megatron's top lieutenants, along with Starscream and Soundwave. His loyalty varies, but when he's The Starscream he'll probably be more successful than the Trope Namer.
- Cyber Cyclops: His signature head design is one single, large, glowing eye.
- Depending on the Writer:
- Evil Genius: He's the tech expert of the Decepticons and usually the smartest among them.
- Genius Bruiser: While usually portrayed as being anywhere from "puny" to "average", some versions of the character have had the bulk to match his genius.
- Hidden Badass: Sometimes. He isn't sent on field missions often, but his cold efficiency still makes him a worthy fighter if the need arises. This is also why he often lacks an earth altmode; if he is needed on earth, it's either for his mind or combat skills - either way, he's not going to need to hide among humans.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Shockwave is one of the Transformers that almost never adopts a traditional Earth alt mode and sticks to his Cybertronian alt mode, even though Cybertronian technology is very different from Earth technology and Shockwave's alt modes look like nothing seen on Earth.
- Purple Is Powerful: Moreso than any other Decepticon, Shockwave's primary color is purple, and he's often depicted as one of their strongest members on-par with Megatron.
- The Reliable One: Often portrayed as someone who takes his job - whatever it may be - extremely seriously as long as he agrees with its goal.
- The Spock: Shockwave follows cold, impersonal logic in all his decisions. In the original G1 Marvel Comics, he overthrows Megatron and declares himself leader of the Decepticons not out of personal ambition, but because he has calculated that he is better-suited to the job. Then when Megatron presents a logical argument that he has failed in that position, Shockwave agrees and steps down. Comics writer Bud Budiansky even admitted the trope by name — he wrote Shockwave as Spock, if he was a Decepticon.Shockwave: Clarity of thought before rashness of action.
- Sizeshifter: Much as with Soundwave, this is why Shockwave's alt mode has varied so much over the years. His original G1 alt mode turned into a laser pistol (though distinct enough from a real gun that it didn't cause legal problems like Megatron), and later incarnations try to give him a more to-scale alt mode to avoid this trope.
- Writing Around Trademarks: Almost literally — the Unicron Trilogy incarnation of the character was named "Shockblast" because at the time Hasbro didn't have a copyright on the name "Shockwave". They got such a trademark for later appearances and Shockblast has been formally acknowledged as Shockwave just under a different name.
- You Don't Look Like You: The general aesthetics of Shockwave's robot mode (angular head with one eye, horns, broad chest, Arm Cannon) have stuck through different incarnations, but the various writers can't seem to agree on what his alt mode should be. He's been a laser pistol, a Space Fighter, a traditional tank, a Spider Tank, and he's adopted an Earth vehicle as an alt mode on occasion too. Fortunately, Shockwave is one of the Transformers who usually retains his Cybertronian alt mode, and Cybertronian technology tends to look strange and unusual anyway, so the creative team can fold him up into pretty much whatever form they want that vaguely resembles some sort of vehicle, and it'll fit the character.
A Triple Changer with two alt modes, a tank and a fighter jet.
- Cool Plane: His first alt mode is some sort of jet aircraft.
- Depending on the Writer: He can be a Noble Demon, a Blood Knight, or a Psycho for Hire depending on the incarnation. And sometimes, all of the above.
- Split Personality: A relatively recent development for this character, to coincide with him being a triple changer.
- Tank Goodness: His second alt mode is a tank.
- Transforming Mecha: He can change between tank, jet, and robot forms.
The Insecticons are a group of Decepticons who turn into various insects. Their role in the Decepticon war machine is twofold: they provide a seemingly endless source of Mooks for Megatron to sic upon his enemies, and they possess the capability to convert any sort of matter into Energon to fuel the Decepticon war effort.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies
- Cloning Blues: Sometimes used as an explanation for their numbers.
- Depending on the Writer: Sometimes the Insecticons consist of just a few named individuals, a mindless swarm, or a mix of both (a few individuals with an army of clones).
- Explosive Breeder: As another explanation for their mass numbers, the Insecticons can duplicate themselves.
- Hive Mind
- Horde of Alien Locusts: A robotic example (seeing as they like all other Transformers are alien robots). Some of them even turn into locusts.
- Zerg Rush: When they appear, they usually appear as a swarm to overwhelm the Autobots through sheer numbers.
The Constructicons are a team of Decepticons that take the form of human construction vehicles. Their number, names, and personalities vary, but they are well-known for one constant — the ability to combine into Devastator, an awesomely powerful and gigantic Decepticon that strikes terror into the hearts of the Autobots. Their usual lineup is as follows:
- Scrapper (Front-end loader)
- Hook (Crane)
- Long Haul (Dump truck)
- Scavenger (Excavator)
- Bonecrusher (Bulldozer)
- Mixmaster (Cement mixer)
- Combining Mecha: There are many Combiner teams on both the Decepticons and Autobots, but Devastator was the first and most well-known.
- Depending on the Writer: The individual Constructicons vary in names, appearance, and personality, and there may be as few as three or over a dozen.
- The Dreaded: Every Autobot with sense gets nervous if Devastator is on the scene.
- The Engineer: The Constructicons collectively tend to hold this position, due to their own skill at construction and the fact that the size and strength of Devastator makes such jobs easier.
- Humongous Mecha: As a Combiner, Devastator stands tall over all other Transformers short of other Combiners and Titans.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: Their iconic color scheme is lime green and purple.
The Combaticons are another Decepticon Combiner team, who turn into various military vehicles such as tanks and helicopters. As with most combiner groups, their members vary across continuity, but the constant is that they combine into Bruticus (or Ruination), a unstoppable juggernaut of a combiner only hindered by his intellect. Their usual lineup is as follows:
- Onslaught (Artillery vehicle)
- Blast Off (Space shuttle)
- Vortex (Helicopter)
- Brawl (Tank)
- Swindle (Humvee)
- Backpack Cannon: Onslaught (who is usually the Combaticon leader) sports these, which are then incorporated into Bruticus himself.
- Combining Mecha
- Depending on the Writer: The individual Combaticons vary in names, appearance, and personality, but theyre usually a team of five
- Humongous Mecha: As a Combiner, Bruticus stands tall over all other Transformers short of other Combiners and Titans.
- Tank Goodness: Some of the Combaticons turn into tanks.
Cyclonus is a high-ranking Decepticon, usually being the right hand to the current Decepticon leader. His alt mode is usually some sort of spacecraft, though he sometimes turns into a helicopter.
- Combining Mecha: Sometimes, Cyclonus is able to combine with other Decepticons to form Galvatronus.
- Cool Spaceship: His alt mode, which is either a space fighter or cruiser.
- Noble Demon: He is noted as being particularly honorable for a Decepticon.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: He often places great emphasis on an honorable confrontation and has a noted disdain for cowards.
- Purple Is Powerful: His signature colors scheme is predominantly purple.
- The Spymaster: Sometimes he plays an underhanded role in the Decepticon army. His original G1 incarnation was given the role of saboteur, whereas his Aligned incarnation covertly masterminded the takeover of Cybertron only to be foiled.
- Undying Loyalty: Unlike Starscream, he shows complete loyalty to his master, be it Megatron or Galvatron.
A Decepticon who resembles a giant skeletal samurai, Bludgeon is a monstrous warrior adept at the Cybertronian martial art of Metallikato. His alt mode is always a tank.
- Breakout Villain: While Bludgeon debuted in the sunset years of the G1 toyline, his usage in the Marvel comics by Simon Furman coupled with the Samurai skeleton look of his toy resulted in him becoming one of the more popular characters from that time. He has since made multiple appearances across various Transformers toylines.
- Gashadokuro: A robotic example, seeing as he is basically giant samurai skeleton.
- Katanas Are Just Better: His preferred weapon.
- Meta Mecha: His original G1 toy was a Pretender, with the outer shell being the iconic samurai skeleton and the inner robot turning into a tank.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Almost literally this trope embodied. Hes a Samurai Skeleton Transforming Mecha who turns into a tank. Had he made an appearance in Transformers Animated, he would also have been a Space Pirate.
- Non-Indicative Name: Despite being named Bludgeon, his preferred weapon is usually a katana (a cutting weapon) rather than any sort of crushing weapon. The closest hes had to a crushing weapon was a kanabo club in his Power of the Primes toy.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: His signature colors are green and orange (with a little bit of purple for the Decepticon insignias).
- SkeleBot 9000: His signature appearance is that of a robot skeleton.
- Tank Goodness: His alt mode.
- Toyline-Exclusive Character: Bludgeon didnt make an appearance in any Transformers media outside of comics until 2018s Transformers: Cyberverse, but hes shown up in a variety of toylines such as for Revenge of the Fallen (which was backported into G1 media such as Forged to Fight) and the Aligned Continuity.
A spider-themed female Decepticon.
- The Beastmaster: Usually associates herself with other bestial Decepticons (oftentimes the Insecticons), and may be responsible for their creation.
- Dating Catwoman: She usually has a relationship with one of the good guys. Willing or otherwise.
- Fem Bot
- Femme Fatale
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Sometimes turns against the Decepticons for one reason or another.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Can use her spider legs as extra appendages in robot mode.
- Spiders Are Scary: Her robot mode motif and most of the time her alt mode.
- Verbal Tic: In Japanese dubs, she usually makes a hissing tshaaaa noise, courtesy of Ryoka Yuzuki.
Sideways is an enigma of an entity, but his presence is usually a sign of trouble to come. Regardless of which side hes working on, Sideways is usually working for a much greater evil, usually Unicron.
- Consummate Liar
- Dimensional Traveler: Originally implied to be this, but after the Shroud, all the versions of Sideways throughout the franchise are their own distinct entities.
- Double Reverse Quadruple Agent
- The Dragon: To Unicron.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: Will change allegiance from Autobot to Decepticon to everything in between, but ultimately serves one master: Unicron.
- The Starscream: Will backstab whoever hes working with at some point. Of course, this isnt the case for his true master, Unicron.
- You Don't Look Like You: His design has varied wildly throughout the franchise, which fits his unpredictable nature. Sometimes he's a motorcycle, a space fighter, or a sports car.
A corrupt cop turned Decepticon enforcer. His alt mode is usually a police car.
- Breakout Character: While the name has been used for various Decepticons since 1990, the iconic version of this character debuted in the 2007 movie as Bumblebees rival and gone on to become one of the more iconic Decepticons in the franchise, receiving iterations in multiple continuities since then.
- The toyline for the War For Cybertron Trilogy takes it further by not only including a G1 version of Movie Barricade as a repaint of Prowl, but by also renaming the original G1 Micromaster Barricade to Runner to avoid confusion.
- Cool Car: He turns into a police car.
- Dirty Cop: Hes an evil Decepticon who turns into a police car. His backstory usually makes him this before the war. Sometimes, he's a full on Rabid Cop as well.
- Evil Counterpart: To Prowl. Incidentally, the iconic 2007 movie version of the character ended up replacing Prowl during the films production.
- FaceHeel Turn: Sometimes, hes a defector from the Autobots.
A bounty hunter who usually finds himself aligned with or in the company of the Decepticons. He turns into a black (and sometimes green) muscle car.
- Arch-Enemy: To Ratchet.
- Bounty Hunter: His occupation.
- Cool Car: His usual alt mode.
- Cool Starship: Usually has access to one to allow him to traverse the galaxy for his targets.
- Fauxba Fett: The original version of this character was likened to Boba Fett, and it has colored all subsequent versions of the character.
- Good Colors, Evil Colors: His primary colors are green and black.
- Hook Hand: His signature weapon.
- Spikes of Villainy: He usually sports spikes on both his robot and alt modes.
- Your Size May Vary: Despite being a car, hes usually much taller in robot mode than what his alt mode might indicate. Sometimes, hes just as tall as Optimus himself (who has a much bigger alt mode).
A Decepticon who turns into an oversized scorpion. His personality and role varies quite wildly depending on the continuity.
- Arch-Enemy: To Fortress Maximus. Not only are the traditional iterations of both characters Titans, they also both lead their respective faction's Headmasters.
- Beware My Stinger Tail: Has an oversized one that he can use in both robot and alt mode.
- Depending on the Writer: Depending on which iteration youre looking at, Scorponok can go from an animalistic minion to a hulking brute to an Evil Overlord on par with Megatron himself.
- Genius Loci: Some versions of the character are large enough to turn into cities.
- Humongous Mecha: At his largest, he is one of the Decepticon Titans. This entails that he towers over his standard-sized brethren.
- Large and in Charge: Scorponok is usually one of the larger Decepticons around (even when he is not a proper Titan), and he sometimes takes command of the Decepticons.
- Meta Mecha: Traditionally, Scorponok is a Headmaster - meaning a much smaller Transformer forms his head. In recent years, to bring him up to scale with Fortress Maximus, his Headmaster also has another Transformer form his head as well. In some continuities, Scorponok is a much smaller Transformer who pilots a much larger body into battle.
- Power Pincers: His alt mode pincers oftentimes carry over into his hands in robot mode.
- Scary Scorpions: His alt mode.
- Secondary Color Nemesis: His iconic color scheme is green, orange, and purple.
- The Starscream: As one of the higher-ranking Decepticons, Scorponok often vies for the position of leader, which he has held in some continuities. Sometimes, he also covertly works for a much greater evil.
- Your Size May Vary: Scorponok's size has varied drastically across continuity. His size has ranged from a small drone to slightly bigger than Optimus to only being just a bit shorter than Fortress Maximus.
A Titan, Trypticon is a city-sized Transformer that turns into a towering dinosaur.
- Arch-Enemy: To Metroplex. Since Metroplex is the Titan the Autobots have easiest access to in most incarnations, whenever the Decepticons bring in Trypticon, the Autobots summon Metroplex to even the odds.
- Breath Weapon: He has access to one in dinosaur mode.
- Cool Starship: Sometimes, Trypticon can turn into a full fledged battleship which then serves as the Decepticon flagship.
- Dark Is Evil: His main color scheme is black and purple.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: His robot mode is a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
- Genius Loci: As a Titan, he turns into a city.
- Humongous Mecha: As a Titan, Trypticon is the largest class of Transformer in the series.
- Kaiju: Fits the bill in his robot mode, as a towering dinosaur that stomps on even Transformers like bugs.
- Not Zilla: Is often likened to Godzilla in his design.
- Based on a Great Big Lie: Some media imply that the incident that caused the Fallen's exile was either an accident or he was set up, and the truth has been lost to time.
- Dark Is Evil: His color scheme is predominantly black, with purple and orange mixed in.
- Evil Counterpart: To Alpha Trion, being a member of the Thirteen who associates himself with the Decepticons.
- Evil Vs Oblivion: Sometimes, he turns out to be eviler than the Decepticons themselves, prompting them to turn on him.
- Fallen Angel: The imagery he evokes, being the Prime who betrayed the others and was cast out. The fact that he usually appears Wreathed in Flames and sportingdark metallic colors only serves to amplify this imagery.
- Greater-Scope Villain
- Monster Progenitor: Sometimes, he is the first Decepticon.
- Nepharious Pharaoh: Sometimes his robot mode sports a subtle Egyptian motif to evoke this imagery.
- Satanic Archetype
- That Man Is Dead: Megatronus' name was stricken from history when he betrayed the Thirteen, and he was thereon known only as The Fallen.
- Villainous Legacy: In his betrayal of the others and being cast out, The Fallen became the first Decepticon. Some incarnations say his face was the inspiration for the Decepticon insignia, and almost universally Megatron took his name from The Fallen, once called Megatronus.
- Wreathed in Flames: His design oftentimes has him engulfed in flames, if not having vents that radiate heat.
- You Don't Look Like You: The Fallens appearance (both in robot and vehicle modes) has varied throughout his appearances. Sometimes he turns into a spacecraft, othertimes he turns into a tank.
Sam "Spike" Witwicky is often the main human ally of the Autobots on Earth. He's usually depicted as a young teenage boy.
- Audience Surrogate: As a young man who gets to hang out with the Autobots and go on adventures with them, every kid would love to be in Spike's shoes.
- Distressed Dude: Being a tiny, squishy human with no weapons or fighting prowess that can stand up to the giant robots, Spike tends to be endangered a lot.
- Legacy Character: While Spike doesn't always appear in every incarnation of Transformers, there is often a human character comparable to him as the young human friend of the Autobots.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Maybe; the various adaptations aren't clear on when his given name is Sam and he's known by the nickname Spike, or when Spike is his given name.
An evil incarnation of Optimus Prime that possesses power and courage comparable to Optimus, but holding none of his honor or morals.
- Ax-Crazy: Freed of Optimus' restraint, Nemesis Prime is often just as big a war-monger as Megatron, if not moreso.
- Depending on the Writer: Nemesis Prime's origin varies wildly across continuity. Sometimes, he is an evil clone of Optimus made by either the Decepticons or some other party, a long-lost Prime who became corrupted with power, or even the evil alter-ego of Optimus himself.
- Evil Counterpart: Of Optimus Prime, naturally: Nemesis is what Optimus might become if he discarded his sense of honor and used his power for destructive purposes.
- Eviler Than Thou: It's not uncommon for Nemesis to make an enemy of Megatron as well as Optimus, since he usually wants to lead the Decepticons himself.
- Evil Knockoff: He's usually cloned from Optimus in some manner, or is built to emulate him.
- Legacy Character: While Nemesis Prime doesn't always appear in every incarnation of Transformers, it's still common for some Evil Counterpart of Optimus to show up in some form.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: His color scheme is a black and dark grey recolor of Optimus Prime's red and blue, and red eyes, windows, and weapons.
- Ambiguously Human: In some incarnations they're entirely mechanical, or implied to be, but other incarnations say they're organic beings encased in mechanical exosuits.
- Depending on the Writer: Aside from being enemies to the Transformers regardless of faction, the role of the Quintessons varies from incarnation to incarnation.
- Fridge Logic: They exist to explain it; the Aligned continuity materials state that the reason many of the Transformers have cockpits or the like in their alt modes is because the Quintessons intended to sell them to other races, who would utilize such interfaces.
- Kangaroo Court: They hold trials for their captives, during which they are not necessarily told what they're being charged with, they have no one to speak on their behalf, and the verdict of guilt or innocence is irrelevant to if the Quintessons intend to kill them or not. Actually tracing when they judge someone guilty or innocent shows no consistent pattern, so it is likely the Quintessons really are just holding the trials for their own amusement before doing what they want anyway.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: The G1 cartoon revealed in Five Faces of Darkness that the Quintessons are the creators of the Transformers. Different adaptations may or may not retain this.
- Mook: They have a massive army of Sharkticons they employ as their main soldiers.
- Multiple Head Case: The leaders of the Quintessons, the Judges, have ovular bodies with five masks on it that each have their own distinct personality (which head represents what varies Depending on the Writer).
- Non-Action Big Bad: While they're often a major threat, Quintessons aren't really fighters themselves and are easily overpowered.
- No Name Given: Most media don't give individual Quintessons individual names and they are differentiated in out-of-universe materials by their roles in society.
- Starfish Aliens
The Thirteen are the progenitors of the Transformer race, the first ones created by Primus eons ago. They are all Primes, designating them as the most powerful and honored of the Transformers. Their exact members vary between incarnations, but the usual lineup (known as the Covenant Thirteen) is as follows:
- Vector Prime
- Alpha Trion
- Solus Prime
- Micronus Prime
- Alchemist Prime
- Nexus Prime
- Onyx Prime
- Amalgamous Prime
- Quintus Prime
- Liege Maximo
- The Fallen (AKA Megatronus Prime)
- The Thirteenth Prime (AKA Optimus Prime)
- Depending on the Writer: The exact identities of the Thirteen tends to shift around between media. There are always at least a few key members you can be assured will be among them, but the rest are up in the air.
- Disposable Woman: Solus Prime is usually killed off as part of Megatronus's Start of Darkness.
- Monster Progenitor: Quintus Prime is responsible for the creation of the aforementioned Quintessons.
- The Smurfette Principle: Solus Prime was the sole female among the Thirteen.
- 13 Is Unlucky: In an obvious bit of Biblical symbolism, the Thirteen Primes were followers of the god Primus, and one of their number betrayed them and became The Fallen.
- Token Evil Teammate: Two — the Fallen, the traitor Prime who was cast out, and Liege Maximo, a scheming liar who manipulated the others to his own ends. Sometimes, Onyx Prime qualifies.
- Transforming Mecha: Amalgamous Prime was the originator of the transformation cog that allows Cybertronians to transform.
The God of the Transformers. He originally created the first Transformers, the Thirteen Primes, to battle Unicron, and the race propagated in the name of defending the universe from Unicron. In modern times, Primus is the core of the planet Cybertron, and his essence lingers in the Spark of every Transformer, and in the Matrix of Leadership.
- Big Good: As the God of the Transformer race and their creator.
- Cain and Abel: He's the good Abel to Unicron's evil Cain.
- Depending on the Writer: Sometimes, Primus has a more mundane origin as being merely the first Transformer rather than a deity. Though sometimes, these origins are combined.
- DivineInfernal Family: If portrayed as deities, he and Unicron are brothers.
- Genius Loci: Most of the time, his alt mode is Cybertron.
- God: Officially, he is one.
- Humongous Mecha: In some media, not only is his consciousness housed within Cybertron, but Cybertron is his body that he can transform into a robot mode.
The Greater-Scope Villain of the franchise. Unicron is Primus' brother who desires the destruction of all reality. Taking the alt mode of a gigantic planet, Unicron travels the universe devouring anything in his path until all is extinguished.
- Cain and Abel: The evil Cain to Primus' Abel.
- Chaos Is Evil: He is also known by the epitaph "the Chaos-Bringer".
- Depending on the Writer: Sometimes, Unicron has a more mundane origin as the creation of a rogue alien scientist.
- DivineInfernal Family: If portrayed as deities, he and Primus are brothers.
- Genius Loci: He turns into a planet.
- Greater-Scope Villain: He is the highest evil ever seen in the franchise, but it's not all that often he gets involved in stories directly. When he does, it's usually a sign that particular incarnation of the franchise is about to end, since Unicron is the biggest threat a writer could pit the Transformers against and thus a battle with him would be suitable as a Grand Finale.
- Humongous Mecha: He's a planet-sized Transformer.
- Metal Muncher: A rather drastic example, as he regularly eats entire planets made of metal — along with the robotic inhabitants of said planets.
- Planet Eater: His introduction to the series in the G1 movie has him devour a planet as a snack. Unicron tends to devour words both as sustanance and because he's an Omnicidal Maniac who wants to destroy existence.
- Satanic Archetype: Primus' brother who seeks to destroy all existence and may make deals with lower beings or offer them power to make them his servants and corrupt them to his will.
- Spikes of Villainy: Unicorn is always adorned with lots of pointy bits, most iconically his horned head.