Note this page may contain details and tropes on characters who appear throughout the rest of the Unicron Trilogy as well.
Spoilers are uncovered at your own risk.
The Autobot commander of the forces on Earth, Prime leads the team through the Mini-Con Battles, against Unicron (twice) and finally in an effort to save Cybertron and reality from the Unicron Singularity.
- A Father to His Men: Goes absolutely berserk after Smokescreen's near death. It's seen quite often throughout the show, which makes him a particular contrast to Megatron throughout the trilogy.
- Anti-Hero: While he's still, without question, a hero, it's worth noting that this Prime seems more willing to resort to violence compared to others. This is exploited by Sideways/Unicron who accuses Optimus of being as much of a Blood Knight as Galvatron, despite Optimus claiming he fights merely because he has to. Unicron is proven somewhat right in the Armada finale when Optimus and Galvatron have their final brawl in that series.
- Authority Equals Asskicking
- Big Badass Rig: A futuristic semitruck in Armada, a car transporter in Energon, and a fire truck in Cybertron. In the last series, it even lets him fly.
- Took a Level in Badass: In Armada, he was still a tough guy, but struggled a lot more in combat. By Cybertron, he is strong enough to kill Galvatron in a Single-Stroke Battle.
- Benevolent Boss
- Beware the Nice Ones
- Death Is Cheap: In Armada. He's back three episodes later.
- The Good Captain: As is tradition.
- The Hero: As is tradition.
- Look What I Can Do Now!: In Armada, he powerlinks with Jetfire, and later the pair link with Overload. Normally this equates into instant win. In Energon, he powerlinks with more or less the entire Autobot army, forming Optimus Supreme to fight a revived and very, very pissed off Unicron.
- In Cybertron, he combines with Leobraker to form "Savage Claw" mode and Wing Saber to form "Wing Optimus".
- Mighty Glacier: In the PS2 game. He is easily the slowest playable character in the game, but has two extra energy slots for gear, meaning he can equip more powerful weaponry than Hot Shot or Red Alert.
- Nice Guy
- Papa Wolf: Act like this towards the Mini-Cons.
Resident team rookie, Hot Shot has learned a lot of hard lessons throughout his career, much to the chagrin of some of the older bots.
- Composite Character: Of Bumblebee, Hot Rod, and Cheetor.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Despite his status as rookie, he is still very capable of kicking butt. He even gets to wield the Star Saber for a while in Armada.
- Took a Level in Badass: After his "Cybertron Defence" upgrade.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Sideswipe, who actually starts referring to him as his brother. Possibly to the kids too.
- Cool Car: He normally becomes a blue-and-yellow sports car, but in the second half of Cybertron, he is revived and upgraded so that he becomes a blue Humvee-like vehicle instead.
- Fragile Speedster: In the PS2 game. He lacks Optimus's power and Red Alert's defense, but is easily the fastest... unfortunately speed isn't that important unless you're doing a Speed Run.
- Friend to All Children
- Honor Before Reason: At least once, he rushed in to save two Velocitron natives in danger, shortly after Optimus had given him the order to not interact with said natives.
- Kid-Appeal Character: He almost always sports yellow in his colour scheme, and interacts with young humans the most.
- But in Cybertron, he's blue with yellow highlights. And in Energon the role is partially shifted to Ironhide, who disappears not too long after.
- The Lancer
- Lightning Bruiser: Though not quite as fast as Blurr.
- Pride Before a Fall: ...and totally let the power that the Star Saber granted him go to his head. It ends painfully.
- Rebellious Spirit
- Shoulders of Doom: That "wHy mY sHoUlDeRs huRt" meme? Guess where it came from.
- Super Speed: By the time of Cybertron.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: In Energon, he's depicted as a mature veteran. In Cybertron, he's back to being the immature rookie as he was in Armada.
- Young Gun: Probably not helped by the fact that his first foray into human culture consisted of spaghetti westerns.
- Brains and Brawn: Red Alert's the brains, Hot Shot's the brawn.
- Badass Bookworm
- The Bus Came Back: After being absent for the entirety of Energon, he returns in Cybertron.
- Combat Medic: Though he spent most of his time on the battlefield fighting, more than anything else.
- Expy: He's more similar to Ratchet than his G1 Red Alert (which makes sense, considering he is Ratchet in the Japanese version and he was only named Red Alert for the English Dub).
- Genius Bruiser
- Headbutting Heroes: With Hot Shot while on Velocitron, Though the pair eventually come to an understanding.
- Jack-of-All-Stats: In the PS2 game. He does have higher defense than Optimus or Hot Shot, but also lacks the former's strength and the latter's speed and as such he comes off as this.
- Minored in Ass-Kicking: He usually stays back at base in Armada, but he makes a pretty good showing in Cybertron.
- Mission Control
- Shout-Out: His Armada incarnation particularly shares a few cues with Robocop.
- The Smart Guy
- The Southpaw: In a way: in the PS2 game he aims and shoots with his left hand unlike Optimus and Hot Shot.
- The Spock: Not entirely, but he is pretty reserved.
- Swiss Army Appendage: Lost his hand in battle, got a cool new... thing.
Smokescreen / Hoist
Smokescreen originally intended to be one of the team members who accompanied Optimus Prime to Earth, but he entered the spacebridge portal late, and as a result, he materialized some time later then they did. He is later involved in a serious battle that leads to a major Mid-Season Upgrade.
- Big Fun
- Boisterous Bruiser
- Commuting on a Bus: in the Dreamwave comics, he'd go long stretches without appearances.
- Demonization: The kids all assumed that he was a Decepticon when he first appeared. Of course the fact that he chased them all over the place and didn't introduce himself properly probably didn't help much.
- Disney Death: In the third season of Armada, he is the first and most unfortunate Autobot to be on the receiving end of the Requiem Blaster, which does a grisly amount of damage to his body and forces Red Alert to transplant his spark to a new one, rebuilt as Hoist.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Out of all the team, he and Hot Shot seem to be particularly good friends.
- Nice Guy
- Stout Strength
- Those Two Guys: With Scavenger, in the comics.
Scavenger is an old war veteran. Who just so happens to be the Autobot who taught Optimus Prime everything he knows.
- Adaptational Heroism: Scavenger was a genuine member of the Decepticons in Generation One, whereas here he's a Reverse Mole for the Autobots.
- The Big Guy
- Caped Mecha
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Disappears after Armada.
- Genius Bruiser
- Old Master: He taught Optimus Prime after all.
- Old Soldier
- Reverse Mole: Though given the folder he's been placed under, you probably guessed this already.
- Senior Sleep Cycle: in the middle of a training session. Hot Shot is not impressed.
- Stealth Mentor
- Walking Spoiler: It turns out that he's actually an Autobot in disguise.
Cool and aloof, Blurr is one of the later additions to the Autobot ranks. He initially thought of the Mini-Cons as mere tools, a thought which Hot Shot slowly shot down.
- Cold Sniper
- Defrosting Ice King: Towards Hot Shot.
- Fantastic Racism: Thinks of the Mini-Cons as just weapons for a long while.
- Grumpy Bear
- Ineffectual Loner: In his introduction.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Disappears after Armada and never reappears again (unless you think the toyline character from Cybertron is him).
The second-in-command of the Autobots on Cybertron, Jetfire departed Cybertron and arrived on Earth in order to help Optimus and the others.
- Afraid of Needles
- Arch-Enemy: Starscream was his rival in Armada and Energon. Thundercracker is his in Cybertron.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Like this for a long while in Armada.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Very very boisterous.
- Cool Starship: He becomes a space shuttle in both Armada and Energon.
- Cool Plane: In Cybertron, he becomes a cargo jet with a space shuttle front half.
- Deadpan Snarker: Definitely in Cybertron.
- The Lancer: While the Bots don't form a Five-Man Band per se, he has shades of this trope.
- Large Ham: In Armada, not so much in Energon(at least in the english dub) or Cybertron.
- Number Two: It does seem a little odd that Optimus would pick a hot-head like him to be second in command. That is, until you see them together in battle.
- In the comics, however, he's much more calm and reserved.
- One-Man Army
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Again, in Cybertron.
Hot Shot's newest partner, it didn't take long for Sideswipe to be captured by Hot Shot's friend-turned-foe, Wheeljack. Sideswipe was saved but the experience taught him a harsh lesson about war, leading him to quickly sober up.
- Child Soldier
- Cute Bruiser: Though not much of a bruiser, he has his moments.
- Distressed Dude: In "Past II", after being abducted and chained up in a burning industrial complex.
- Dub Name Change: His Japanese name is Stepper.
- Genius Ditz: He's good at cracking codes, but not much else.
- New Meat: And it's very obvious to everyone.
- Tagalong Kid
Leader of the Decepticons. Megatron is a malicious, powerful leader. A refined, focused general who treats his men with little care, yet still infuses them with genuine respect for him and the Decepticon cause.
- Adaptational Heroism: In Armada while undeniably evil he is one of least villainous incarnations of the character. He actually proved capable of showing respect towards his underlings and in the finale makes a Heroic Sacrifice to stop Unicron.
- Affably Evil: Armada. When it comes to the next two series, however...
- Faux Affably Evil: Any air of politness to him is just an act, he is all about himself and has no respect for anyone else.
- Antagonist in Mourning: Optimus being dead wasn't nearly as fun as he thought it would be.
- Badass Boast: From the comic - "You are in my way, and anything in my way, I GO THROUGH! My troops may have fallen, but I AM MEGATRON!"
- Bad Boss: Became more and more his shtick with each incarnation. In Armada dents in his reign and planning started occurring as a result of his abusive and control obsessed treatment of his Decepticon army. By Energon he is a pretty straight up violent sociopath who will attack, reformat or kill those who remotely defy him, while in Cybertron he is a callous manipulator who sees all those that serve under him as dispensable pawns, leading his entire army to turn their back on him.
- Big Bad: Until Unicron shows up. Played straight in Cybertron, as Unicron has long since disappeared.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Only seen near the end of the Armada series, but it does massive damage when it finally shows up.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Tends to display snarky awareness to being an inflicter of evil, especially in the dub.
- The Comically Serious: His deadpan snark in spite of his vicious disposition leans him into this, especially in Cybertron.
- Control Freak: He chastises, threatens or outright brutally beats down his men for not following his orders to a tee. Verges on A God Am I in his ambitions in Energon and Cybertron.
- Cool Car: One of his two alt-modes (he is a triple changer) in Cybertron
- Cool Plane: His main alt-mode in Energon, and one of his two alt-modes (again, he is a triple changer) in Cybertron.
- Create Your Own Hero: Arguably the Megatron incarnation most apt at making enemies out of his own Decepticon soldiers due to his abusive, power hungry ways. Taken Up to Eleven in Cybertron where all of his minions eventually HeelFace Turn after he renders their lives meaningless.
- Defiant to the End: In all three series, he ultimately chooses death over submitting or accepting control to Unicron or another power. He may be a brutal, dastardly tyrant, but at least he's damn well consistent about it.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
- It was his death that stopped Unicron, in Armada and Energon.
- In the comic he defeated G1 Galvatron in one-on-one combat, albeit with help from the Star Saber.
- Evil Laugh: Likes to break into this when he's winning.
- A Father to His Men: Starts to slip towards this in Armada, particularly after his men start taking issues with his needless hostilities and prove themselves very capable of fighting back if pushed too far. Unfortunately this doesn't stick after he is reincarnated.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: By far one of the most volatile incarnations of Megatron, with his own minions often the brunt of his violent tantrums. He cooled down to befit his more manipulative tactics in Cybertron, but even then he's hardly not this trope, especially when he's losing.
- Heroic Sacrifice: At the end of Armada he chooses to fall to his death so that he can end the war a deprive Unicron of the power he needs to revive.
- Killed Off for Real: In the 2nd to last episode of Cybertron, he dies again, but unlike the previous shows he never comes back.
- More Dakka: In Armada, he could activate his "Full Blast" mode, effectively turning him into a walking minigun.
- Noble Demon: During Armada only. Afterwards, it got much worse, and with more or less no explanation why.
- One-Man Army: The comic version manages to lay waste to four armies worth of Terrorcons in a matter of minutes.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Optimus Prime is his to destroy. Sixshot in particular suffered very brutal dismissal for trying to dispose of Optimus himself throughout Energon, a disposition that did not remotely waver when Sixshot half slagged Galvatron to do so.Sixshot: *charges and aims laser at Galvatron* Optimus Prime will be mine!Galvatron: NEVER!!!
- Pragmatic Villainy: In Cybertron. Despite still having a nasty attitude, he is smart enough to keep most of his Decepticons motivated and capable, only truly disposing of those that betray him. Many of his minions even get upgrades at his choosing. He best exemplifies this through a Hannibal Lecture to Optimus later in the series, having kept his minions loyal to him until he finally achieved his goals and didn't need them anymore.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In the Energon comics. Ten years of pent up anger get spent in the space of a few minutes.
- Sorcerous Overlord: In Cybertron he drops the cannons and energon weapons in favor of straight-up firing bolts of lightning from the palms of his hands, presumably powered by the Armor of Unicron.
- Tank Goodness: His alt-mode in Armada.
- Team Dad: A horrible abusive dad, but a dad nonetheless. This changes after Armada.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In Energon, his Noble Demon and Affably Evil traits mysteriously vanish with no explanation, and he becomes even more ruthless and crueler then he already was. He gets even worse in Cybertron.
- Victory Is Boring: He falls into a deep depression after Optimus temporarily dies in Armada.
- Villain Teleportation: In Dreamwave's Energon comics, he rebuilt himself with a fancy teleportation ability that can take him across interstellar distances in seconds. It does come with the drawback of soaking up a lot of energy, though.
- Worthy Opponent: To Optimus Prime in Armada. To the point that he falls into a depression when he actually defeats him and hands control of the Decepticons over to him at the end of the series.
Megatron's poorly-treated second in command. He loathed Megatron, because of the sheer mistreatment and contempt Megatron often piled onto him. Megatron always seemed to expect too much from him.
- Adaptational Badass: No Starscream since him has come close to doing what he's done in Cybertron. Fights Primus twice and lives? Check, though he still loses both times. Only non-comic relief Decepticon left alive at the end of Cybertron? Check. Fought off eleven Autobots to steal the Omega Lock? Check. While his living up to the trope he named has been done by other Starscreams, he's done the best to date.
- Adaptational Heroism: His Armada incarnation is by far the most sympathetic version of Starscream ever; his character even borders on heroic at times, as opposed to his Transformers: Generation 1, Transformers Animated and Transformers: Prime incarnations, all of which were firmly evil. This changes for no apparent reason when he returns in Cybertron, although it's implied that he Came Back Wrong.
- The jarring change in personality makes more sense with the knowledge that in Japan, Galaxy Force/Cybertron has no connection to Micron Legend/Armada and Superlink/Energon.
- Adaptational Villainy: In the comics, he lacks any of his redeeming traits from the show.
- Adaptation Name Change: In the original Japanese edit of Energon, his character was in fact Nightscream, a separate Transformer who only had coincidental resemblance to Starscream. Only the dub establishes him as a true reincarnation to the character.
- Anti-Villain: After he returns to the Decepticons, his loyalties are clearly conflicted.
- Back from the Dead: He dies at the end of Armada and Energon, but returns not long after each time.
- Big Bad Ensemble: In Cybertron, he eventually breaks away from Megatron and starts fighting both him and the Autobots.
- Breakout Character: For Armada.
- Break the Haughty: Though he wasn't as much of a jerk as most other examples.
- Came Back Wrong: His Cybertron incarnation is far less heroic and much more malicious than before.
- In the Energon comic, he comes back as an energon ghost... and completely insane to boot.
- Composite Character:
- His Armada characterization is essentially a mix of classic Starscream and Beast Wars Dinobot.
- He also inherits the "conflicted loyalties" and "feels sympathy for humans" traits of Generation One Thundercracker, even getting a similarly blue-color scheme towards the end of the series. Said blue-color scheme was released as Thundercracker in the Hasbro Armada toyline.
- Cool Plane: Becomes a futuristic fighter jet in Armada, an F-22 Raptor in Energon, and a G1-inspired tetra-jet in Cybertron.
- Dark Chick: In Armada and Energon.
- Deadpan SnarkerOh great, time to get shot at again. Why couldn't I just been a normal 'bot working in a factory?
- Defector from Decadence: He join up with the Autobots for a few episodes in Armada. It doesn't work out for a mix of reasons and he soon rejoins the 'Cons, but his loyalties are clearly conflicted afterward.
- De-Power: He manages to become planet-sized in Cybertron, only to blow it when Primus hands him his tailpipe and makes him cry for his mommy.
- Determinator: In all series of the Unicron Trilogy he has his moments. The Cybertron incarnation in particular is always trying to get ahead through schemes, and just never gives up. Even at his lowest point after his battle with Landmine, he pulls himself back up and displays such power equivalent to Galvatron's, the Autobots are defeated by his shock waves. His speech to Galvatron basically boils down to he's risked everything for power, and he's not going to yield.
- The Dragon: Throughout most of the trilogy. In Cybertron this ends when breaks off becomes a Big Bad Ensemble with Megatron.
- Evil Sounds Raspy: His voice in the English dub.
- Expy: Of Dinobot from Beast Wars, though he also shares some traits with the original Starscream.
- HeelFace Revolving Door: He briefly defects to the Autobots in Armada, then returns to the Decepticons after some problems force him to leave, then sacrifices himself to stop Galvatron ignoring the threat of Unicron. He spends some of his time worrying about his loyalties in Energon, but this is given less focus until he sacrifices himself towards the end.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Twice. The first happens when he keeps shooting at Unicron in an effort to convince Galvatron that both sides must ally. The second occurs at the end of Energon, when he follows his master into the giant sun.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In Armada. He's not openly nice, but once he defects to the Autobots he does show that there is a surprising good streak in him. It's implied he might have been a better person if he weren't a Decepticon, and especially not if he had to endure Megatron's abuse. In later shows however he is just plain a jerk.
- Even before defecting to the Autobots, he is shown to care about his Mini-Cons
- Noble Demon: In Armada. Not so much in Energon and Cybertron, since he Came Back Wrong.
- One-Man Army: In Cybertron, mixed with Villainous Valor.
- Only Sane Man: In Armada, he's pretty much the only Decepticon who's both sane and competent.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Mostly Armada, but still retained traits of this throughout the rest of the trilogy.
- Redemption Equals Death: After dealing with his conflicted loyalties for most of Armada, he ultimately dies a hero, sacrifing himself to prove the threat of Unicron is real to Galvatron, ensuring that the latter allies himself with Optimus to save Cybertron.
- Retcon: In the original Japanese version of Energon, Nightscream (the Japanese name for Starscream) was a duplicate of the old Decepticon who was made with an inadequate supply of Energon and came to life with an incomplete and ghostly body that would fade intermittently. In the dub, this is the original Starscream. This makes for a headache when you see the copy has a remarkably less combative and questioning personality. This makes his evolution into the Starscream of Cybertron even more confusing, which apparently fixed all these problems and gave him back his old personality, but ramped up his ego to make him no longer noble as Unicron's evil infested his mind and made him act more like a traditional Starscream.
- Smug Snake: In Cyberton, though he starts far more shrewd and calculating than G1 Starscream, he's equally arrogant, and the fact he actually makes it part-way into his plans, capturing the Omega Lock and absorbing Primus' spark, only leads him to further think he is invincible, setting himself up for many defeats.
- Teleportation: Has this power throughout Energon.
- The Starscream:
- Subverted in Armada; while he has his conflict with Megatron, it's born more of a desire to gain his approval (and then just plain hatred) than any ambition to usurp as leader of the Decepticons.
- Played straight by the time of Cybertron, and when he does, he jumps straight in. The kicker? This particular Starscream is, to date, the most successful incarnation of the character.
- Token Good Teammate: In Armada, he's the only Decepticon with a sense of honor. He even pulls a HeelFace Turn at one point and later gets a Redemption Equals Death.
- Took a Level in Badass: In Cybertron, Starscream becomes a skilled and cunning turncoat who manages to keep Megatron and later Galvatron at bay, gains control of a sealed up Decepticon army hidden away in a prison, repeatedly upgrades himself with more power and the Omega Lock's energy, and is at one point the most powerful enemy in the series, going nose-to-nose with Primus.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Strongly gives off this vibe towards Megatron's derogatory treatment of him in Armada. The same thing gets on his nerves at the start of Cyberton too, though in this case he decides to just overthrow him.
Demolishor is extremely strong and acts very serious at all times. He is wholly devoted Megatron and the Decepticon cause, unquestionably following orders at every turn.
- Battle Butler: To Megatron.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Saves Megatron numerous times, but the first time he does in Energon, much tragedy ensues.
- Co-Dragons: Shared this post with Starscream in Armada until Thrust arrived. Returns to this position for a brief while in Energon until his rebuild.
- Dumb Is Good: He's the closest thing to a "nice" Decepticon that you're going to find, aside from Starscream. Though interestingly, those two don't get along at all.
- Expanded Universe: He doesn't appear in Cybertron, though a recolour of his original form was released as part of the toy-line.
- Hand Blast: His fingers are gun barrels.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In Energon, he saves Megatron's life at the cost of his old body being wrecked. He gets very poorly repaid for this.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: In Energon, he saves Megatron's life and gets his old body wrecked. Rather than repair him and leave it there, Megatron transplants him into a body he doesn't want to be in and tampers with his memory.
- Pet the Dog: A quite memorable one in Armada; following a defeat, Megatron decides to pass his nerves on Starscream by taking him to a room and delivering him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. Demolishor, realizing Megatron might well kill Starscream, breaks through the door to take his defense.
- The Rival: To Starscream, for the position of Megatron's right-hand man.
- Tank Goodness: In Armada. In Energon, he becomes a dump truck instead.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: After his body is destroyed in Energon, he is rebuilt into a far dumber ape-like format with little of his memories of before, usually playing an incompetent comic relief role alongside Snowcat.
- Undying Loyalty: Played mostly straight to Megatron, but the writers do subvert it at the end of Energon. When Galvatron hurls himself into the sun to stop Unicron and Starscream and Mirage follow, he and Snowcat don't bother to do the same.
- Yes-Man: Rarely questions Megatron, although his Pet the Dog moment proves he's not totally obedient.
Cyclonus has a very "trigger-happy" personality, laughing and cackling as he fires his weapons almost completely at random on the battlefield.
- Ax-Crazy: Though it comes across as more annoying than genuinely frightening.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite being cowardly and crazy, he's efficient when it comes to combat... usually.
- Butt-Monkey: A lot of bad stuff happens to him. Sometimes he deserves it.
- Dark Chick: For the Cons.
- Evil Laugh: Has a mad cackle until Megatron changes him into Snowcat in Energon.
- For the Evulz: Seems to have almost zero sense of camaraderie, and an even smaller grasp of right and wrong.
- The Hyena: Laughs like an absolute madman.
- Leeroy Jenkins: There's no strategy for him, beyond wildly shooting at things.
- Minor Injury Overreaction: He screams like a little girl every time he gets hit while in vehicle mode, which as you can imagine... happens a lot.
- Stupid Evil: Cyclonus is not a smart guy.
- Trigger Happy: He loves to waste all of his ammo all at once.
Thrust is Megatron's top intelligence officer and master tactician.
- Adaptational Heroism: In the comics, Thrust is not as cowardly or treacherous, and by the time of Energon he's one of the few Cons still loyal to Megatron.
- Adaptational Intelligence: G1 Thrust was a fairly low-ranking Decepticon and basically just a simple-minded thug at the end of the day, whereas Armada Thrust is a renowned military tactician. However, he's not as smart as he thinks he is.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: With Megatron, not that it did him any good.
- Butt-Monkey: The Dreamwave version spends most of his screen time getting his ass kicked.
- Composite Character: While he has characteristics of Generation One Thrust (an overconfident exterior that hides the Dirty Coward underneath, the cone-head design, etc.), he inherits several of G1 Starscream's traits as well, being Megatron's outwardly sycophantic second-in-command who in actuality desires only personal power and who betrays Megatron to get it (Armada Starscream was more of a Noble Demon, making this especially noticeable).
- Dangerous Deserter: Defects to serve Unicron.
- Dirty Coward: He talks a big game when he thinks Unicron will help him, but the moment he gets in trouble, he's begging Galvatron to save him.
- The Dragon: He supplants Starscream as Megatron's second-in-command soon after he arrives.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: He gets crushed by Unicron. Squesh!
- Jerkass: The other Cons often get sick of him for this reason.
- Karmic Death: He definitely got what was coming to him.
- Killed Off for Real: Unlike other instances, Thrust does not come back.
- Kneel Before Zod: Tries to pull it on Galvatron, and gets crushed shortly after.
- Professional Butt-Kisser: He's incredibly sycophantic when it suits him.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Thrust dies by being crushed to death during Unicron's transformation, just after gloating to Megatron about his betrayal no less.
- Smug Snake: He's a decent strategist, but not good at improvising, which means his ego far overshadows his ability.
- Spared by the Adaptation: The Energon comic shows him as in charge of Cybertron's security systems and one of only two Cons to not immediately defect at the start. It probably helps that in that continuity, he didn't defect to Unicron and is much more loyal.
- The Starscream: He betrays Megatron and allies himself with Unicron in an effort to consolidate more power.
- Stupid Evil: He overestimates himself far too much when he defects.
- The Strategist: He's actually pretty good at strategy, just not very good at improvising.
- Undignified Death: Gets crushed feet first inside Unicron and spends his last moments begging and whimpering to Galvatron not to leave him, shortly after bragging to him about his betrayal.
- Unwitting Pawn: Sideways manipulates him like a pro.
- Villainous Breakdown: As Unicron starts crushing him.
- Villain Team-Up: He breaks away from the Cons to ally with Sideways and Unicron.
- Would Hurt a Child: Don't forget that earlier on, to escape the Cons and Autobots he threatened the kids.
The lumbering giant Tidal Wave is the largest of the Decepticons, and proved himself a very powerful foe for the Autobots.
- The Brute: For the Cons, being their go-to muscle. He is a rare example of The Brute being the strongest of the villains.
- Cool Boat: Turns into an aircraft carrier.
- Dumb Muscle: He's not very intelligent, but is by far one of the toughest.
- Elite Mook: He's not just big, he's really tough to beat.
- Evil Sounds Deep: He's a giant Decepticon, what did you expect?
- Giant Mook: Even after being sized down, he still towers over most of the other cons.
- Hulk Speak: Tidal Wave is one of the least eloquent characters in the franchise.
- No-Sell: Tidal Wave is virtually indestructible. The Star Saber and the Requium Blaster have proved reliable ways to hurt him.
- One-Man Army: Wipes out the Autobots almost single handedly when he first appears, only being stopped by the Requium Blaster.
- Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: In Energon, his recoloured form is also much smaller, making him a little taller than Cyclonus. Yeah...
- Undying Loyalty: To Megatron. Which may come across as oddly amusing, considering his VA voiced the treacherous (and much higher pitched) Terrorsaur.
Wheeljack, formerly an Autobot serving under Hot Shot. When Wheeljack was pinned beneath some debris during a fire, Hot Shot was forced to leave him to get help, but was prevented by his superiors from returning. Wheeljack believed that Hot Shot had abandoned him, and when Megatron found and rescued him, he swore loyalty to the Decepticon commander.
- Adaptational Villainy: The previous incarnation of Wheeljack was a Gadgeteer Genius firmly on the side of the Autobots. In Armada, Wheeljack is a former Autobot turned Decepticon seeking revenge on a comrade that actually tried to help. He does eventually reform, or at least forgives Hot Shot.
- Arc Villain: Only in Past I and Past II.
- Best Served Cold: He's not here for revenge. Except he is.
- Demoted to Extra: The Dreamwave comics utterly ignore his history, just showing him in the background on occasion.
- Dub Name Change: He's called Rampage in the original version.
- Et Tu, Brute?: He assumes that Hot Shot betrayed him when in reality, the latter actually went to get help.
- Evil Former Friend: Hot Shot's, though when they fight side by side against Unicron he does seem to be warming up to him again.
- Fallen Hero: He is a former Autobot.
- Fire-Forged Friends: After initially wanting to kill Hot Shot, he grants him an audience with Megatron, and their dialogue when fighting against Unicron indicates that their friendship may be restarting.
- HeelFace Turn: Seemingly by the end, he's back with the Autobots again, or as at least forgiven Hot Shot.
- I Owe You My Life: Regardless of what he knows and doesn't know about the incident, Megatron truly did save him. After he joins the Decepticons, he never leaves or betrays them, no matter what amends are made. This proves useful once the Autobots determine that Unicron is the greater threat.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: In "Past II", when he shoots Thrust out of the sky. Not to say that Thrust didn't deserve it, from what we see of him.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: He believes that Hot Shot abandoned him to die earlier in the war. The reality is rather different.
- Noble Demon: He does grant Hot Shot an audience with Megatron.
- Poor Communication Kills: He wasn't abandoned quite as completely as he thinks he was.
- Revenge by Proxy: He takes Sideswipe hostage to get revenge on Hot Shot.
- Scars Are Forever: He has a giant scar over his old Autobot logo.
- That Man Is Dead: He does not like being reminded about his old allegiance, almost viewing it as a different life.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Out of all the Decepticons that survived the show, Wheeljack is noticeably missing from Energon. It is likely that he reformed, given how he's forgiven Hot Shot by the end.
Bradley "Rad" White
Rad is the one who reactivated the Mini-Con ship while exploring some caves, and is inadvertently responsible for the restarting of the Cybertronian War.
- Audience Surrogate
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: He once helped the Mini-Cons break Unicrons' mental hold on them.
- Beware the Nice Ones: May only be a human, but he's got guts.
- Put on a Bus: The comic pretty much ignores the kids once Simon Furman takes over writing duties.
- Ordinary High-School Student
- Ship Tease: Heavily with Alexis.
- Spanner in the Works: His interactions with High Wire in the ancient past are what ruined Unicron's original plans to use the Mini-Cons.
Carlos is Rad's friend and was with him when he reactivated the Mini-Cons.
Alexis Thi Dang
Alexis, along with Rad and Carlos befriended the Street Action Team Mini-Cons and Autobots on Earth. She frequently helped them by teaching them the ways of Earth.
- Audience Surrogate
- Deadpan Snarker
- Interspecies Romance: It certainly looked like she enjoyed being Starscream's friend more than the other kids ...except maybe Fred.
- Put on a Bus: All but ignored by the comic along with the other kids after Furman takes over writing duties.
- Only Sane Man: She thinks she is anyway.
- Ordinary High-School Student
- Ship Tease: Heavily with Rad.
- Tsundere: Ugh, boys.
A primal force of evil, his origins lost to the mists of time. He is the embodiment of all darkness and hate that lurks in the hearts of all beings.
- Back from the Dead/ Death Is Cheap: This happens an incredibly frequent amount of times. You honestly wonder why the bots try to put him down again when he just gets back up.
- The first is implied at the end of Armada, when his planet form is seen floating behind an unknown body. It's later confirmed at the start of Energon that he's just mentally inactive.
- The second and third attempts happen during Energon. He manages to reactivate his body form and possess Megatron, then dies a few episodes later at the hands of Optimus Supreme. Then after that he possesses Megatron yet again, turning him into the incredibly large Galvatron in an attempt to recreate his body. This is thwarted when Galvatron hurls himself headfirst into a sun.
- A fourth and seemingly definitive example from the Cybertron comic: Unicron frees himself from the Black Hole by hijacking a smaller Transformer's body, then recreates his body some time later. This time, he flees before Primus and the Autobots can defeat his weakened body.
- Brown Note: In the comics, Unicron speaking causes everyone pain.
- Eldritch Abomination: As is tradition, though this helped to codify this part of his character.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Voiced by Mark Acheson in Armada (and a ridiculously small amount of Energon). Downplayed when he's voiced by David Kaye.
- Greater-Scope Villain: To Megatron. While Megatron may be the Big Bad of the show, Unicron far eclipses him in terms of threat, while being detached from the main show.
- Omnicidal Maniac: This is the trilogy that established this trope best for him.
- Planet Eater: Though unlike his debut appearance, he doesn't physically eat them, rather breaking the planet into smaller pieces and then devouring them. Energon shows this best.
- Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Not as bad as his first appearance due to the fact that he rarely engages any Cybertronians physically, but when Thrust is perched/standing on his shoulder you do run into some fairly notable issues, notably the fact that he should theoretically be a speck from the distance we see him.
SidewaysA two-timing Transformer whose allegiance follows his own agency... or whims at the time, and eventually fell into the servitude of a dark menace. An intergalactic drifter, Sideways transforms into a motorcycle. His consciousness is apparently housed within the smaller robot head that rides his alternate mode, which can split into two components. By Cybertron, he is back in action and traded the heads for a faction symbol that switches on the cuff.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: One time on Jungle Planet, as the other Decepticons were being picked off, he was singing a mindless tune and deliberately not giving a frag.
- Anti-Villain: He was out to avenge his planet, turning to Unicron in hope that this would help him achieve his goals. The Dark Side Will Make You Forget soon kicked in afterwards, although by Cybertron he remembers again.
- A Wizard Did It: It's implied Unicron's dark energy preserved him.
- Back from the Dead: In Cybertron.
- Badass Biker: Well, he is a badass bike.
- Breakout Character: He was cited by many as one of the few redeeming qualities of the first half of Armada.
- Canon Immigrant:
- The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: Servitude to Unicron seems to have caused him to forget that he was hoping to avenge his planet, and turned him into the Jerkass we see him as in Armada. Subverted in Cybertron where he remembers again.
- Demoted to Extra: The Dreamwave comics just have him hanging around in the background, even when Unicron shows up.
- Digitized Hacker: It allows him to survive being sliced up.
- The Dragon: To Unicron in Armada.
- Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: In both Armada and Cybertron, though both times he does have different agendas.
- Expy: Averted with his other appearances- possibly. It's thought to be the same guy throughout the multiverse.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: It is implied that Unicron was in possession of Sideways during Armada, thus temporarily draining any sense of compassion the latter may have had. In Cybertron, with Unicron destroyed, it is shown that Sideways does has the ability to care; in this case for the inhabitants of his destroyed world, including Soundwave and Laserbeak.
- Evil Sounds Deep: When played by Paul Dobson.
- Faux Affably Evil: In Armada.
- Guttural Growler: In Armada.
- The Heavy: After he appeared, he gradually shifted towards this, particularly as his boss was not shown for most of the series. Even when his boss appears, he serves as the representative and does most of the fighting.
- Horned Humanoid: In Armada, he sports a pair of horns along the side of his head, which foreshadows who his master is.
- Kick the Dog: He enjoys doing this. Particularly when it simultaneously helps his goals and hurts others.
- Laughably Evil: In Cybertron.
- Manipulative Bastard: He can quite easily turn people into his puppets when he needs to (not literally). Even in Cybertron, he has a tendency to do this, as he manipulates both sides again, taking advantage of their amnesia as a result of the Unicron Singularity.
- Mind Screw: Unicron, Sideways, Sideways' Mini-Cons. It's kind of hard to tell where they each end and the others begin, which isn't helped by the shaky dub. Of course, he enjoys running on this.
- The Mole: To Unicron, betraying the Autobots and then the Decepticons in the process.
- Mouth of Sauron: His boss Unicron can talk, but to an extent Sideways still serves as this.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: A Badass Biker whose altmode is a Cool Bike, who also exists as a Digitized Hacker. This also goes with the fact that he's a Transforming Mecha. Also implied that he is the same character throughout the whole multiverse.
- Playing Both Sides: He initially screws over the Autobots by pretending to be a Decepticon, then in turn he screws the 'Cons over by leaking information of theirs to Unicron.
- Troll: He enjoys screwing people over, particularly when it helps him advance his plans. And he loves to flip his faction symbol just to mess with his enemy's heads.
- Unperson: His existence in Armada has been totally erased from memory, due to disturbances in time caused by the black hole. Nobody remembers him, and he doesn't refer his own role as Unicron's servant, simply saying he's a native of Planet X.
- Villain Decay: In Cybertron; He started out as a shadowy manipulator, playing both sides through sheer cunning. He became something of a joke in the later episodes, being outwitted and made a fool of by the humans (Though he gets better during his last few appearances). He even lampshades it at one point:"I'm the one who's supposed to be pulling everyone's strings!"
- Villainous Friendship: With Soundwave in Cybertron.