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Characters / Transformers: Generation One - Decepticons - 1984 to 1986

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This character sheet is for listing the tropes related to Transformers Generation 1 Decepticons introduced between 1984 and 1986. For tropes relating to Decepticons introduced in later years of the series, go here.

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Megatron

Function: Leader

Alt Mode: Walther P-38 Pistol

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/megatron_7372.jpg
"Peace through tyranny."

The founder and most famous leader of the Decepticons, Megatron is one of the most powerful Transformers in existence. As one of the key characters in the G1 mythos, he has been subject to multiple interpretations, from megalomaniacal conquerer to tragic fallen (and re-risen) hero. No matter what, though, you wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of his fusion cannon...

Voiced by: Frank Welker (US), Seizo Kato (JP)

  • Adaptational Badass: His IDW incarnation is a Took a Level in Badass variation. He went from being a lowly miner to a gladiatorial Warrior Poet to a ruthless Well-Intentioned Extremist. It also helps that he has other alt-modes (a stealth bomber and a tank) aside from his iconic Walter P38 handgun form.
  • Adaptational Heroism: The original cartoon version of Megatron was a standard villain who simply wanted to Take Over the World and often mistreated his henchmen. Several other continuities since have tried to add depth to his character in an effort to portray him in a more nuanced light, especially IDW, in which he eventually becomes an Autobot.
  • Antimatter: He can use this by interdimensionally linking up to a black hole. He rarely uses it though, since it's, y'know, antimatter.
  • Arm Cannon: His iconic fusion cannon remains attached to his right arm and can pack incredible destructive power. With it, he provides the page image for the arm-mounted type.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority:
    • If him taking on Devastator, Astrotrain, Blitzwing, Starscream and Devastator for Decepticon leadership and winning in "Triple Takeover" is anything to go by.
    • Subverted in the comics. He tries enforcing this on Shockwave, only for it to get turned on him pretty damn quickly. Though, as he was still recovering from injuries, it could be counted as a case of Worf Had the Flu, as two issues later he's recovered enough to handle the Dinobots.
  • Bad Boss:
    • In the Sunbow cartoon. Though having a bit more pragmatism and camaraderie than standard cartoon Big Bads, he still regularly chides and insults his henchmen; the sole exceptions are Soundwave and Shockwave, who, due to the two of them being both loyal and competent, he treats with genuine respect.
    • It's also implied in "The Secret of Omega Supreme" that he brainwashed at least some of his troops into servitude with the Robo Smasher.
    • The comic version is just a bad boss in general, shooting or hitting his soldiers for talking back, including Soundwave. In one instance of insanity, he crushed Brawl's head. His emotional instability is why Shockwave regularly challenged him.
  • BFG: He not only has one, but turns into one. In addition, the barrel of his gun mode appears on his back and can seemingly flip under his right arm (which is how the toy is meant to be transformed) and be fired.
    • Usually wielded by Starscream or Soundwave when Megatron turns into one, twice he let Optimus Prime use him (once to launch Dr. Arkeville's Exponential Generator into space before it could turn Earth into energy, once to shoot antidotes into the Insecticons before they could explode and kill everyone in Iron Mountain.)
  • Big Bad:
    • He's the Decepticon leader (well, one of them, but he's the most famous), and Optimus Prime's Arch-Enemy. Generally, he's only not this when Unicron or The Fallen are about.
    • Subverted in the original Marvel comics: Megatron was just one of many warlords on Cybertron, and he's not the leader of the Decepticons on Earth for very long, and when he is, things don't usually go very well. Shockwave, Scorponok and Ratbat last longer in the job than he did.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Averted in the original 80s cartoon. Despite being a laughably incompetent General Failure, Megatron lacks the necessary competition to fall fairly into this trope. He retains the role of Big Bad simply because there is no other villain to put him in his place. The only competition he has is Starscream, who’s even more inept than he is. This all changes in the film when Unicron shows up.
    Megatron: Nobody summons Megatron!
  • Body Horror: In the comics, he and Ratchet end up fused together after an accident involving a teleporter and some bombs.
  • Cool Sword: Has a lightsaber-esque sword in Transformers: The Movie. Some versions of the original figure (mostly Japan exclusive ones) give him a silver sword too.
  • Driven to Suicide: Subverted. Upon Optimus Prime's initial death in the Marvel comics, Megatron (rightfully so) believed Prime to be still alive and blew up the Space Bridge while he was riding it. Except he was faking some of it. The space bridge exploding wasn't part of the plan, though, instead leading to Laser-Guided Amnesia.
  • Emperor Scientist: This guy invented (or at least rediscovered) transformation in the Marvel Comics, and is behind many doomsday machines of the week. In the Sunbow cartoon, he's also capable of making working Transformer bodies from human cars to create the Stunticons.
  • Enemy Mine: During G2, after his forces get slaughtered by Jhiaxus, Megatron decides to work with the Autobots.
  • Epic Flail: Has a purple energon mace.
  • Evil Laugh: The sheer creepiness of Megatron's Evil Laugh in the original animated series is in and of itself Nightmare Fuel.
  • Evil Mentor: Pentius in the IDW comics. One can practically hear the Leitmotif of a certain Sith Lord when the student finally surpasses the master:
    Megatron: Farewell, Pentius. Know that your legacy of hate... shall live on in me.
  • Evil Overlord: He's the leader of the Deceptions.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: Frank Welker gave Megatron a fairly raspy voice. A few obscure audiobooks made him even raspier.
  • A Father to His Men: He's this in some continuities, albeit a gruff and angry one. In the cartoon, he even worked with Optimus Prime on numerous occasions to protect his warriors.
    "I do this only for the welfare of my Decepticons. It grieves me that you should profit from it."
  • Fallen Hero: In some continuities, particularly IDW, he started out as a revolutionary who wanted to tear down Cybertron's caste system and create an equal society, before those instincts transformed into a mere lust for power and violence.
  • Flight: Most media depict him as able to do this, despite not transforming into any form of aircraft.
  • For the Evulz: Why did comic Megatron start the war? He was bored with a peaceful Cybertron.
    Megatron: I would happily wade across a river of corpses, chest-deep in rust and grease and engine oil, just to crush the spark of the last Autobot standing. And I would not do so simply as a means to an end. No. I'd do it, Prime, because it would give me pleasure.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: In IDW comics he started out as a low-class miner.
  • General Failure: Megatron has made some... questionable... decisions during the war. Such as an overly-complex scheme involving Bruticus firing at the moon causing it to shift Earth's tides to make a tidal wave that would flood a single dam causing a massive power surge... when, as an earlier episode proved, Rumble was all he needed. Even Starscream would tell Megatron when a plan was bound to fail, but he would hear nothing to do with failure. He was more competent in the Five-Episode Pilot, though.
  • Genius Bruiser: Has an Intelligence score of 10 out of 10.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Whenever he is VERY happy, making the accompanying Evil Laugh all the more creepy.
  • Good Guns, Bad Guns: The Walther P38 (which is his alt-mode) is a Nazi handgun. Coincidence? Probably, as his specific design was based on the gun used by the heroic spy agency U.N.C.L.E.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Of Beast Wars. Aside from leading the Decepticons (whom the Predacons are descendants of), it's his recorded message on the Voyager's Golden Disk, which hundreds of years later ends up being stolen by a Predacon named after him, that ends up kickstarting the whole conflict on prehistoric Earth.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In IDW, he becomes an Autobot. Yes, you read right.
    • In the Japanese continuity, between G1 and G2, he turned good and joined forces with Optimus. Then his old friend Kiloton got killed by some angry humans, and Megatron took it pretty hard.
    • In the IDW continuity, after Dark Cybertron Megatron has a true change of heart and becomes an Autobot.
  • Heel Realization: In the IDW continuity, he describes one of these as motivating his Heel–Face Turn.
    Megatron: I once told Optimus that I kill for the sake of killing. I wanted to make him hurt me, you see, because when he hurts others, he hurts himself. But, when those words were in my head, I didn't think I meant them, but when they left my mouth, I realized that I did. If the world thinks you're a monster, what does it matter? The world is wrong. But... when you start to think of yourself... as a monster... I grew to hate the person I'd become, and I decided the best way to leave that person behind... maybe the easiest way... was to become an Autobot.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Why does he keep Starscream around, no matter how often he betrays? Because, in his own words, he's an idiot, that's why. IDW did eventually give a justification - Starscream's treachery (and the inevitable consequences of Starscream getting in charge) keep Megatron from getting complacent.
  • Large Ham: Courtesy of the legendary Frank Welker.
  • Laser Blade: Has one in Transformers: The Movie.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia:
    • In the Marvel Comics, when his suicide attempt failed, he was transported to the Dead End region of Cybertron and wandered around as an Empty. He got better when he saved Blackjack from a group of Autobots.
    • He also experienced this in the UK Comics after Straxus attempted a botched Grand Theft Me on him, and Ratbat sending him back to Earth expelled Straxus's mind from him.
  • Living Weapon: When he transforms into his gun mode, he's generally wielded by one of his lieutenants. Soundwave and Starscream are some of his most frequent users.
  • Losing Your Head: His Titans Return toy features the Titan Master Doomshot forming his head, granting him the ability to fire super-fusion fireblasts.
  • Machiavelli Was Wrong: In The Transformers: The Movie, an injured Megatron has to beg Soundwave just to not to leave him behind. Then when his Decepticon minions realize they could jettison the wounded on Astrotrain to make it go faster, Megatron is Thrown Out the Airlock despite his pleas, not one Decepticon lifting a finger to help him. It seems once his forces had no reason to fear him, they had no reason to be loyal to him. This is contrasted with the Autobots going back for Optimus Prime, and showing reverence for him even in his final moments.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: He is often depicted as being a gladiator (sometimes a miner beforehand) before he created the Decepticon faction. However, the original cartoon and Transformers: Wings of Honor claim he was created for conquest by the Constructicons. Also different is how much of a Well-Intentioned Extremist he is or if he just wants raw power.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Despite being an infamous General Failure, Megatron could still prove to be formidable and calculating, often losing to the Autobots by an inch, and sabotaging many of their attempts to get a permanent advantage over the Decepticons (eg. he instantly reversed around Mirage's attempt to turn them and the Insecticons against each other and also managed to steal or outmatch some of Wheeljack's gadgets such as the Immobilizer and the Dominator Disc). This really came into play by the time of The Movie, where the Decepticons have actually started to dominate the war under Megatron's leadership, and in one unsuspected invasion, managed to destroy a lot of key Autobot soldiers.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: During the comics. The screaming breakdown after Optimus' death was all part of a ruse to fake his death. Pity shooting the Space Bridge point blank gave him some Laser-Guided Amnesia.
  • One-Man Army: Megatron is frequently portrayed as unstoppable against Autobots on the battlefield. Barely a handful of Transformers (Optimus Prime, Ratchet, Shockwave) have been able to go up against him and live to tell the tale. The cartoon episode "Triple Takeover" showed he even took on Starscream, Devastator, Blitzwing AND Astrotrain to come out the undisputed Decepticon Leader after a coup d'etat attempt.
    • He was especially formidable against human forces, particularly in the comics. About the only chance they could have against him without help from the Autobots is if he ran out of energy and shut down. A crossover with The Avengers had him battling Iron Man (in a Humongous Mecha) and defeating him.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Megatron is pretty territorial about who ends up offing Optimus Prime.
    • Deconstructed in the comics; Megatron may obsess over killing Optimus Prime but he has often left the killing up to subordinates so that he can focus his energies on Ratchet, who Megatron respected after Ratchet single-handedly beat him.
    • Then, in Regeneration One, he is focusing on Optimus once again, wanting one final Duel to the Death on Earth. Either he kills Prime, or Prime kills him, and his failsafes launch Earth's remaining nuclear arsenal.
    • Used against him in the cartoon, when he gets overpowered by a juiced up Optimus and signals for help, Starscream objects to butting into the two leaders' sacred rivalry, and smugly watches Megatron takes an inevitable pounding.
  • Paint It Black: His stealth bomber incarnation from the Mike Costa era.
  • The Red Baron: "The Slag Maker," "The Emperor of Destruction".
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In the Sunbow cartoon and the IDW comics.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Very few Autobots were willing to accept IDW Megatron after his becoming an Autobot. The crew of the Lost Light ignore him at best and insult him at worst.
  • Size Shifter: His iconic Walter P38 form can be held by Decepticons or normal humans. Or even become as large as Optimus Prime. IDW's Escalation actually addresses the size-shifting: It consumes a lot of energy, which neither side has a lot of, so Megs hasn't used it in a while.
  • The Starscream: In the Marvel comics, Megatron was this to Shockwave and Scorponok after their Klingon Promotions. He was generally smarter about it than the trope namer, his attempt to whack Shockwave involved blackmailing Ratchet to sic the Dinobots on him (since they had beaten Shockwave before). He saw this as a Xanatos Gambit, since if they failed, he would still at least have the satisfaction of having effectively killed six more Autobots. He didn't plan on Ratchet taking a third option. Ironically, he attempted to use a brainwashed Starscream to assassinate Scorponok, with Ratchet again putting a Spanner in the Works.
  • Story-Breaker Power: One of his often-forgotten powers is the ability to use antimatter as a weapon. Though his original bio was written with the intent that it was a property of his fusion cannon, some continuities (i.e. the UK Marvel and IDW comics) depict Megatron himself as being able to create it. Given how violently antimatter reacts with matter, there's probably a good reason why said power is often forgotten by writers.
  • Tank Goodness: Modern incarnations of him usually transform into a tank instead of a Walter P38 pistol (mostly because changes in US law prohibit the sale of firearm replicas in toy stores).
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Part of Optimus' Batman Gambit was for Megatron to get fired up enough to defeat the usurpers for the title of Decepticon Leader in "Triple Takeover."
  • Villainous Friendship:
    • Type 1 with his loyal left-hand-man Soundwave, who along with the Mini-Cassettes are the only sentients that he has shown to be fond of. Though ironically, it didn't keep Soundwave from letting Starscream expel Megatron into outer space in the movie.
    • He obviously trusts and even respects Shockwave (that is, his cartoon version; not so much in other continuities). We just don't see it as much since Shockwave never leaves Cybertron.
  • Villain Respect: In the G1 comic story "Shooting Star" Megatron is about to kill Joey Slick, the human who had been using him as a weapon against his will. However, Joey states that he's not afraid of him, due to having just confronted and knocked out the man he was most afraid of. Megatron is impressed enough to spare Joey's life, acknowledging that he's never seen such courage in a human before.
  • Villains Want Mercy: In the movie, Megatron begs Optimus Prime to spare his life, while reaching for a blaster on the ground.
  • Warrior Poet: Used to be this in the IDW comics, even after founding the Decepticons.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The IDW version. Not so much any other. "Peace through tyranny."
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Optimus in the IDW comics. Averted elsewhere. While he did call Optimus "old friend" in both the Marvel comic and the Sunbow cartoon, it was always in a mocking, sarcastic tone, referring to their millennia-long rivalry rather than a genuine past-friendship.
    • Their early history in the Marvel comics continuity is explored a bit more in UK exclusive storylines; they were rivals who regularly competed with each other in "The Games" but to describe them as friends at this point would be a bit of a stretch.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: His altmode is a pistol, which cannot aim or fire by itself and has to be held by someone. Some stories have suggested it'd be more powerful, but it's anyone's guess whether that's true or not based on his in-show record. And he already has an arm cannon, anyway.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • His rivalry with Optimus Prime transcends petty hatred into a deep respect and understanding: so much so that whenever they fight side by side for a common goal, they are unstoppable.
    • More so with Ratchet in the comics; Megatron doesn't like Prime in the comics but he's Affably Evil to Ratchet during their fights and will tell Ratchet that he respects him, something he'll never do to Prime.

Starscream

Function: Air Commander

Alt Mode: F-15 Eagle Fighter Jet

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/starscreamofficialart_2667.jpg
"Conquest is made of the ashes of one's enemies."

Megatron's infamously treacherous lieutenant. Eager and ambitious for power, Starscream is almost always plotting ways to usurp Megatron and control the Decepticons, believing guile and speed is the key to victory, and not Megatron's brute force. As the fastest Decepticon flyer, he may have a point.

Voiced by: Chris Latta (US), Hirotaka Suzuoki (JP)

  • Adaptational Badass: He's not a complete idiot (though he definitely has his moments) in the G1 cartoon, but his Unicron trilogy and IDW counterparts are flat-out Agent Peacocks. Even more so with the latter, who is a Villain with Good Publicity.
  • Agent Peacock: He may be vain and flamboyant in the IDW comics, but he's definitely not someone who should be taken lightly.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: A human character in the comics even commented on how cool his name is.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • In the cartoon universe, he can live on after death as a "ghost" thanks to having a mutant spark that is indestructible. In the episode "Ghost in the Machine", Unicron gave him his body back.
    • In the Marvel Comics continuity, after Starscream died during the Underbase Saga (taking many characters with him), Megatron had him brought back as a Pretender.
  • Berserk Button: Though he doesn't think highly of working under Megatron's command, he seems to get especially standoffish whenever his importance is questioned or unappreciated. In "Enter the Nightbird" when Megatron deemed Starscream dispensable with his new weapon, the Seeker outright attacked him in a rage.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: The few times he takes control, he just can't cut it - he's not completely incompetent at leadership, but he's nowhere near as cruel or dangerous as Megatron.
  • Bullying the Dragon: Iconic for perpetually mocking and criticising Megatron, vowing to knock him from his position right to his face. Despite Megatron's pragmatism, Starscream would often remember too late he'd only take his impudence for so long.
  • Butt-Monkey: A good deal of the comedy in the cartoon series is how much abuse Starscream takes almost every episode. Not that he doesn't deserve it.
  • Came Back Wrong: In the UK comics, his time with the Underbase means he briefly comes back as a shambling corpse for a while. Then Megatron has him brought back properly.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: During G2, Starscream starts getting influenced by the Matrix, making him nice and helpful, causing him to scream at Megatron that he doesn't want to be good.
  • Cassandra Truth: Starscream often knows when a plan of Megatron's is not going to end well, but Megatron never takes his advice. Expect merciless shrieking and gloating when things inevitably do go wrong.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He will backstab anyone and everyone to get ahead. Or he'll try, at any rate. And this has exactly the result you'd expect, towards the latter half of the comics - none of the Decepticons like or trust him, or even want him around, because they know he'll shoot them all in the back sooner or later.
  • Co-Dragons: Alongside Soundwave and Shockwave, Starscream is one of Megatron's highest ranking Decepticons.
  • Cool Plane: His iconic F-15 form. Though he's had other jet forms as well, especially in the IDW continuity.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: If not for his extreme cowardice and inability to fall in line, G1 Starscream would be a horrifyingly dangerous enemy. He's one of the fastest and most powerful Decepticons physically and can occasionally come up with well thought out plans.
    • In the cartoon:
      • Somehow, in The Transformers: The Movie, out of all the Decepticons in the big huge brawl, Starscream outlasts everybody else. Word of God later clarified in an interview that he hid in the corner until one person was left then sucker punched the winner.
      • In the episode, "Starscream's Brigade", Megatron actually kicks Starscream out - so he revives the Combaticons into bodies made from old World War II vehicles, and he leads them to victory and overthrows Megatron, becoming the leader of the entire Decepticon army (if ultimately only for one minute). He was only thwarted because the Stunticons intervened—-which they actually debated about even doing at first.
      • In the episode, "A Prime Problem", Megatron made a clone of Starscream fight a clone of Optimus. The real Starscream was running the clone on remote, and even the Autobots remarked how good a fight he was putting up that day.
    • In the Marvel comic:
      • He managed to absorb the Underbase while playing both sides, and killed off many, MANY Transformers, Autobot and Decepticon alike.
      • After being destroyed at the end of the above mentioned Underbase Saga, he was revived as a Pretender by a Not Quite Dead Megatron, brainwashed, and almost defeated Optimus Prime and all of the Decepticons on Earth. But Ratchet had actually turned him into a reverse Manchurian Agent, hiding his true personality deep within his neural circuitry, and when Hot Rod shoots Starscream during the fight, he immediately panics and begs mercy to Scorponok.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mostly regarding Megatron or his comrades' incompetence.
  • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: In "Ghost in the Machine", he talked Unicron into giving him a new body so he could connect the Chaos Bringer's head to Cybertron. Once he got what he wanted, Starscream refused to go through on his end of the bargain, mockingly telling Unicron "Do it yourself!".
  • Dirty Coward:
    • He wouldn't shoot Megatron in the face if you held a gun to his.
    • It's also a plot point in the comic. Megatron has Ratchet revive him after the Underbase incident, as a Blank Slate, but Ratchet makes sure Starscream's personality will take over the minute he's badly hurt. Sure enough, the minute it happens, Starscream grovels and pleads to be spared, screwing up Megatron's plan.
  • The Dragon: Megatron's most iconic lieutenant.
  • Demonic Possession: If his body is destroyed, his Spark can wander about and take over other Transformers, ordinary machines, or even cyborgs.
  • Evil Genius: In the cartoon, he occasionally makes use of his former scientist side, like when he constructed an electric generator to recharge the Decepticons, made gunpower to compensate for running out of regular ammo in "A Decepticon Raider In King Arthur's Court", and his creation of the Combaticons in "Starscream's Brigade".
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Learnt this in the Marvel comics. While the Underbase isn't evil, Starscream ended up being destroyed by the sheer power he had absorbed from it.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Inverted; Starscream has the screechiest voice among the Decepticons. When his voice does drop though, he's much more sinister and/or serious.
  • Fatal Flaw: It's not greed or ambition (even though he has plenty of both) but pride.
  • Faustian Rebellion: Bargained with Unicron for a new body in "Ghost in the Machine", then successfully betrayed him.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He may be a cowardly suck-up, but he's as villainous as you can get with Decepticons.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Few of his fellow Decepticons can stand being around him, especially when he tries to betray Megatron.
    Starscream: I still say the diversionary attack on the solar plant was a waste of energy.
  • Genius Bruiser: In the cartoon, he was a scientist and explorer prior to joining the Decepticons, and he often uses his smarts to his advantage.
    • Genius Ditz: Played up in the cartoon. For all of his scientific knowledge, he's severely lacking in common sense and leadership skills. This can cause him to enter Too Dumb to Live territory, and he would've probably been killed repeatedly off if G1 wasnt a kids show.
  • Hero Killer: In the comics, he manages to kill over thirty Autobots in the space of a single issue, thanks to absorbing the power of the Underbase.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Very briefly, in the UK comics, after his resurrection. Starscream actually thinks, despite having wiped out no less that fifty-five 'bots on both sides during the Underbase fiasco, that the other Decepticons think he's a joke, taking their avoidance and whispering for mocking, rather than them staying the hell away lest he murder them. Eventually, he runs into a bunch of Autobots, who are also scared of him and try running away, which sends Starscream in a fury. And after murdering them, his usual confidence starts to return.
  • Informed Attribute: His treachery was this in the original G1 comics; Though he did speak of overthrowing Megatron in the early issues, he never acted on those thoughts, and his critical injuries at the hands of Omega Supreme put him out of commission for a long time. It wasn't until the Underbase saga that Starscream finally got the chance to showcase his most famous trait, betraying both Decepticon factions for his own benefit.
    • In the G2 comics, Megatron actually stated that Starscream's record of deceit and betrayal was "legend". Kind of ironic, considering Starscream's Underbase scheme (his first real act of betrayal in the US comics) happened while Megatron was out of commission. Shockwave had actually betrayed Megatron more times in the original comic's run.
  • In-Series Nickname: Characters sometimes call him "Screamer".
  • It's All About Me: Starscream is vain and self-centered, constantly letting his ambition get in the way of his actual competence.
  • Jerkass: He's a self-centered jerk who can be just as rude and condesceding to his fellow Decepticons as he is to Autobots.
  • Joker Immunity: As the first iteration of one of the most popular and iconic Transformers characters, Starscream is rarely killed off. Even in the post-movie cartoon, he lives on with his indestructible spark.
  • Large Ham:
    • Cartoon Starscream has a memorably screechy voice.
    • Comic Starscream is usually far more composed, but when he gets the Underbase, he spends many pages showing off his god complex, complete with constant pontificating about how great and powerful he is.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He's the fastest of the flying Decepticons (with a Speed rating of 9 out of 10), able to reach Mach 2.8 and fly as high as 52 miles. His Strength and Firepower are also listed at a 7.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: For all his flaws, Starscream is a dangerous combatant, with plenty of Autobots under his belt (and as Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass shows, he has come close to winning many times). This is the only reason Megatron keeps him around. The main problem is he foils almost as many of the Decepticons plans as he succeeds at.
    • Meanwhile, in the comics, Starscream manages to do incredibly damage to both sides, taking out some of the most hardened badasses both sides possess.
  • One-Hit Kill: His Null Ray shuts down nearly anything that runs on electricity, meaning he can defeat several Transformers with one clean hit. However, organic beings and powerful Transformers like Megatron, Optimus Prime, and Starscream himself will only get knocked backwards by the Null Ray.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Starscream possesses a mutant spark that is indestructible - allowing him to survive death as a "ghost".
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Humbly deferred to and took orders from Astrotrain in "The God Gambit". note 
  • Paint It Black: When his spark possesses someone, their appearance may change to reflect him. This includes Atari Hitotonari's uniform turning black and Waspinator's Predacon emblem turning into the Decepticon emblem.
  • Palette Swap: With his Seekers (Thundercracker, Skywarp, Ramjet, Dirge, and Thrust, plus various miscellaneous generics and Canon Immigrants).
  • Put on a Bus: Despite his usual prominence in the franchise, in the Marvel comics he was imprisoned in the Ark following a disastrous battle with Omega Supreme. While he was released over twenty or so issues later, the UK comic let him out much earlier, during their "Target: 2006" storyline.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Some of Starscream's recent characterizations have this.
  • Red Ones Go Faster: Has a significant amount of red detailing, and is one of the fastest Decepticons.
  • Smug Snake: Starscream believes himself to be smarter, deadlier, and handsomer than the rest of the Decepticons, when this is repeatedly shown to be inferior to several of his teammates much less his boss. No matter how many times he fails his ego is too bloated to realize this. He has frequently been portrayed as more interested in being Decepticon leader for the sake of the title than defeating the Autobots. Unsurprisingly, most of the Decepticons hate him.
  • Terrible Trio: Part of the Seeker trio with Skywarp and Thundercracker. He also forms one with Megatron and Soundwave.
  • The Starscream: Though this really goes without saying...
  • They Killed Kenny Again: After getting destroyed the first time in the cartoon, he can barely keep a host or rebuilt body for a short time before getting blown up again.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: In the IDW comics, after being elected as the leader of a neutral faction.

Soundwave

Function: Communications

Alt Mode: Micro-Cassette Recorder

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/soundwave_9682.jpg
"Cries and screams are music to my ears."

The Decepticon Communications Officer, Soundwave is also a spy wrangler. For this latter task, he stores several smaller robots that transform into cassette tapes in his chest. Though famously known as Megatron's right-hand man, he's also been known as a dirt-digging blackmailer who uses information on friend and foe alike to advance himself through the ranks.

Voiced by: Frank Welker (US), Issei Masamune (JP)

  • Adaptational Badass: Same deal as Megatron in the IDW comics, but in this case, his other alt-modes are based on armored cars.
  • Adaptational Heroism: The IDW comic's version of Soundwave is perhaps the most sympathetic among all of his incarnations. His backstory is quite sad too.
  • Alien Arts Are Appreciated: He enjoys music, even calling the alien music from "Carnage in C-Minor" heaven.
  • All There in the Manual: Soundwave's bio depicts him a telepathic robot who keeps notes on all of his fellow Decepticons for blackmail, and everyone hates him for this. This is quite the opposite of his comic and cartoon portrayal (though the blackmail element ended up finally showing up during "Earthforce").
  • Back from the Dead: In The Headmasters, he's rebuilt into Soundblaster following a battle with Blaster, in which both combatants died.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: He's going to dig up any dirt you have on you and use it. This is chiefly used in the UK Marvel comics during the "Earthforce" series.
  • Broken Pedestal: IDW Soundwave did not appreciate Megatron betraying his ideals and going over to the Autobots... until All Hail Optimus.
  • Catchphrase:
  • Co-Dragons: Across continuities, he's usually this with Starscream and/or Shockwave.
  • Communications Officer: This is his official function in the Decepticon army.
  • The Creon: Unlike most of Megatron's lieutenants, Soundwave is content with his position and has no desire to lead the Decepticons himself... usually.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: In the IDW continuity, he was originally a Homeless Pigeon Person who suffered from Sensory Overload, not knowing where he came from or even what his name was. Ravage, Buzzsaw and Laserbeak happen upon him, and Ravage's advice helps him to control his mind-reading through focus. After that, he lives with them on the streets, and they remain loyal to each other, even coming with him when he was employed by the Senate and later when he joined the Decepticons.
  • Depending on the Artist:
    • While Soundwave's original toy has a yellow visor (which carried over to the Marvel comics), the cartoon opted to give him a red one. Various toys and other incarnations have switched between the two at various points.
    • In the Marvel comics, Soundwave was consistently colored purple (evidently based on an early animation model), and Sarra Mossoff used the same coloring in the Generation 2 series. In the UK comics, though, he was consistently colored blue. Regeneration One depicts him as blue, but this is later shown to be an in-universe change as a result of being possessed by the Dark Matrix entity.
    • In some issues, José Delbo would draw Soundwave with an actual face. Previous and later artists would depict him with his more well-known faceplate.
  • Depending on the Writer: Soundwave is usually Megatron's most loyal supporter, however, certain sources, like the UK "Earthforce" story and his original Tech Specs, write him as an unscrupulous conman in it only for himself. His use of blackmail varies from continuity as well. In the IDW comics he's usually a complete loyalist, however sometimes he's written as an opportunist. His speech patterns also tend to vary, from normal to stilted and robotic.
  • The Dragon: He's Megatron's most faithful and competent subordinate. And every time a new Big Bad surfaces in the Marvel comics, Soundwave keeps his Dragon status.
    • Dragon Ascendant: In the UK exclusive future timeline depicted in The Space Pirates and Time Wars, he has become leader of what's left of the Decepticons. His leadership style is essentially a mixture of what he considers to be the best qualities of his old bosses.
  • Drone Deployer: He keeps an army of Mini-Cassettes inside his chest, which he sends out for espionage and battle purposes.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His cassettes (barring Ratbat in the IDW continuity) and Megatron. As he puts it:
    Soundwave: You do not understand LOYALTY!
  • Evil Laugh: Very rarely, he does this in the cartoon. It's rather unsettling when he does it.
  • Evil Virtues: Loyalty.
  • Homeless Pigeon Person: His backstory in the IDW continuity explains why he is called "Soundwave".
  • Inexplicably Awesome: In the comics, Soundwave survives everything (being poisoned, the Underbase, Unicron) with nary a scratch, becoming the only Decepticon to last all the way through the entire series, despite lacking any particular gimmick.
    • Note also that the Underbase saga had Soundwave very definitely fried... yet he was up and around later, with no explanation for how. Apparently, Soundwave's just too badass to die.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Soundwave's main weapon is a concussion blaster (one that transforms into a battery, no less!).
  • Laser-Guided Karma: His Tech Specs note that because of his opportunistic blackmailing nature, he's a target of retaliation for fellow Decepticons.
  • Losing Your Head: His Titans Return toy gives him a Titan Master named Soundblaster (not to be confused with his rebuilt black form) who turns into his head.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: According to his toy bio quote (quoted at the top).
  • Loyal to the Position: Of Decepticon leader.
  • Machine Monotone: His cartoon depiction had this, as well as a memorable vocoder effect applied to it. Comic depictions made after the cartoon tend to write his dialogue this way, too.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: OK, so he doesn't do it by actually shouting, but he does possess sonic powers.
  • No Mouth: Mostly, see Depending on the Artist. Though it is implied he does have a mouth, since the cartoon makes his mouthplate move as if a mouth were underneath, plus his IDW backstory depicts him with a regular mouth before he is hired by the Senate.
  • Not So Stoic: Though he gives off the impression of an emotionless robot in the cartoon, he does have moments of emotion (see Screams Like a Little Girl and Evil Laugh). Also in Child's Play, he tried to play baseball with Skywarp, while in Microbots he gets as drunk off his ass from Energon with the other Decepticons.
  • Operation: [Blank]: Soundwave would seem to use this trope, except his speech patterns meant he was simply issuing orders to his Casseticons.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: He didn't lift a finger to save Megatron when Starscream had him Thrown Out the Airlock in The Transformers: The Movie. Especially after he just risked his neck to save Megatron in the first place. Apparently, this is the result of editing; a Deleted Scene would've clarified that his subsequent bid for leadership was just so that he could force Astrotrain to go back for Megatron.
  • Paint It Black: As Soundblaster.
  • Robo Speak: Though he doesn't always talk robotically in the cartoon, his iconic catchphrases do fall under this.
    "Soundwave superior, Constucticons inferior."
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Believe it or not - he screams in the cartoon episode, "Roll for It", after being sent flying.
  • Size Shifter: Transforms into a microcassette player able to be held by humans. Even more bizarre in the cartoon, in which we see him quickly shrink in size after transforming.
  • The Spymaster: He sends his little minions out to spy on the Autobots... and his fellow Decepticons.
  • Tactful Translation: In "Atlantis, Arise!" Soundwave translates what Nergal really said to his troops—instead of taking Wheeljack to the dungeons as Nergal told Megatron, he's to be taken to the labs to develop weapons against both Autobot AND Decepticon alike.
  • Telepathy: Though an often forgotten power of his, Soundwave can read minds by monitoring electrical brain impulses.
  • Undying Loyalty: Unlike his Co-Dragons Starscream and Shockwave, Soundwave is consistently depicted as utterly loyal to Megatron.
    • In the original screenplay of the movie its shown that he opposed Starscream's decision to throw the mortally-wounded Megatron off Astrotrain, and fought for Decepticon leadership just so he can force Astrotrain to go back for him. This was Executive Meddling, unfortunately, cut to "save screentime" and in the final film, Soundwave is even shown among the Decepticons agreeing with Starscream on throwing Megatron to his death. Maybe Megatron recorded over Soundwave's favorite mixtape before hand?
  • Villainous Friendship:
    • Type I with Megatron. There is a reason why Megatron begged for his help when mortally-wounded, as he is the only being, much less Decepticon, he could trust. Thankfully, this love is fully returned even when his leader became Galvatron, as in The Headmasters, he brought him back to life as Soundblaster after he died fighting Blaster.
    • Some continuities also have him have a Type I friendship with his cassettes, most prominently his backstory in the IDW comics.
  • Yes-Man: To Megatron, but an unquestionably cool example.

Buzzsaw

Function: Spy

Alt Mode: Micro-Cassette

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/buzzsaw_2047.jpg
"My bite is worse than my bark."

A Mini-Cassette spy for Soundwave, he is a crazy "artist", whose "art" is killing people and playing with their dead corpses. Though that said, he doesn't respond to criticism well...

Voiced by: Chris Latta (US/JP)

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: His beak, quoth his Tech Specs, is diamond-hard and can carve up almost any opponent.
  • Break the Haughty: His ego is not the hardest thing in the world to break.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: His appearances in the cartoon weren't frequent to begin with (see below for why), but Season 3 forgot all about him.
  • Depending on the Writer: Can he speak English, or just squawk and caw?
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's civil and sophisticated, but also cruel and destructive.
  • Feathered Fiend: Even though he doesn't have any feathers, this bird is still not friendly.
  • Improv: He isn't good at it.
  • Killed Off for Real: In the Marvel Comics, thanks to an Underbase-powered Starscream.
  • Mad Artist: Buzzsaw's idea of art is to display his victim's corpses in grotesque ways.
  • Palette Swap: He and Laserbeak are these to each other.
  • Pirate Parrot: In the Marvel Comics, he was this for Shockwave when he was Decepticon leader.
  • Put on a Bus: In issue 25 of the Marvel comics, he's one of many 1984 Decepticons who were destroyed and imprisoned in the Ark. It wasn't until many issues later that he was rescued.
  • Out of Focus: Despite having the "Spy" function and being packaged with Soundwave, most tie-in media (mainly the cartoon) ignored him in favour of Laserbeak (obstensively because so long as Soundwave was advertised, so was Buzzsaw, so he didn't need to appear as much). Somewhat averted in the comics, where he got roughly equal time with Laserbeak up until Buzzsaw was among Omega Supreme's victims, but even Laserbeak fell out of focus after that, despite escaping that battle intact.
  • Size Shifter: Goes from a normal sized bird to a microcassette (or a regular cassette in the cartoon).
  • Small Name, Big Ego: To the point where he'll sulk if things don't go his way.
  • Stationary Wings: His wings are often still, with jet engines doing the flying for him.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Taken to ridiculous levels when in the Marvel Comics he takes down Omega Supreme, though it does serve as a measure of revenge for his earlier defeat.
  • The Unintelligible: Sometimes.

Laserbeak

Function: Interrogation

Alt Mode: Micro-Cassette

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/laserbeak_5424.jpg
"The only point I like in Autobots: Melting point."

One of the Decepticons' premier spies and one of the Mini-Cassettes. While often known as a spy, he's also served as an interrogator and assassin, which might be the cowardly bird's preferred role.

Voiced by: Chris Latta (US/JP)

  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: He survived the Great Toy Purge that was The Transformers: The Movie, but, save for a brief cameo in "Webworld," never appeared again, his spot in the cartoon and toyline taken by fellow Mini-Cassette Ratbat.
  • Composite Character: In the cartoon, Laserbeak took up Buzzsaw's role as the Decepticons' spy since use of Buzzsaw was rarely encouraged (as a result, Laserbeak's less family-friendly role of "Interrogator" was ignored).
  • Depending on the Writer: In the cartoon, he makes squawks. Other media have him speaking English.
  • Dirty Coward: The main reason for his tactic of quickly attacking and quickly disappearing. He even shows hesitation in the episode, "Divide and Conquer", after being told to spy on the Autobots, specifically to report on a severely wounded Optimus Prime's condition. He does end up doing it though.
    Skywarp: I think Laserbeak's chicken!
    Megatron: He will have more to fear if he refuses to obey me!
  • Feathered Fiend: Just without the actual feathers.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • In the Marvel comics, due to an Underbase-powered Starscream.
    • In the IDW comics he's killed by the legions of Unicron.
  • Lighter and Softer: The cartoon version (and subsequently most other adaptations) is this compared to his original Tech Specs, in which he's not a spy but an interrogator (and assassin), and a pretty nasty one at that.
  • Mutilation Interrogation: Is described as using his lasers to carve into prisoners until he gets what he wants to know.
  • Pirate Parrot: He sits on the shoulder of Soundwave or anyone who is the Decepticon leader at that time. Most noticeable in the comics. A joke on TFWiki.net tells, "Autobots pass the Matrix, Decepticons pass the Laserbeak". This is usually due to his cowardice — should the helm change, his loyalty to the previous leader will almost instantly disappear.
  • Power Crystal: His Tech Specs say his lasers are powered by ruby crystals. Running short of them can be enough to panic his systems into shutdown.
  • Professional Killer: He is often used as an assassin.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Primarily red and black.
  • Size Shifter: Goes from a normal sized bird to a microcassette (or a regular cassette in the cartoon).
  • Stationary Wings: Like Buzzsaw, Laserbeak's wings don't flap like real bird wings.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: In some episodes he's easily defeated. In, "A Prime Problem", he effortlessly manhandles Optimus Prime and Starscream.
  • The Unintelligible: Speaks with bird noises in the cartoon.

Ravage

Function: Saboteur

Alt Mode: Micro-Cassette

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ravageofficialart_6770.jpg
"Today's Autobots are tomorrow's scrap metal."

The Decepticons' spy and saboteur and one of the Mini-Cassettes. Despite being a beast robot, Ravage is one of Megatron's most loyal Decepticons, though he is aloof towards all others.


  • Ascended Extra: Of all the Mini-Cassettes, Ravage is the most prominent, with an increased role in the Marvel comics, a reappearance in Beast Wars and Kiss Players as a Predacon, and a member of the Lost Light crew in The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye.
  • Blinded by the Light: Ravage doesn't take too kindly to bright light.
  • Cats Are Mean: A loyal Decepticon cat who turns his nose up to his comrades. You better believe he's mean.
  • Cool Plane: In addition to a Spy Tablet (in lieu of the outdated Mini-Cassette), his Titans Return toy has a jet mode.
  • Depending on the Writer: Sometimes he speaks perfect English. Sometimes he's The Unintelligible. And sometimes he's just The Voiceless.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In the Japanese G1 continuity, Ravage had actually been an Autobot Imperial Guard, before he became a Decepticon.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: IDW Ravage is torn in half by Tarn in issue 54 of The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye. He manages to survive this, but eventually succumbs and dies.
  • I Work Alone: He operates best alone, and he's not shy about letting the other Decepticons know it.
  • Last of His Kind: One of the few remaining Decepticons in Beast Wars, while by the end of Regeneration One he's not only one of the last 'Cons, he's the last known surviving Decepticon Mini-Cassette.
  • Panthera Awesome: His robot mode is panther-like.
  • Size Shifter: Goes from being a normal sized jaguar to a microcassette (or a regular cassette in the cartoon).
  • Stealth Expert: He has an electromagnetic emission shield, walks without making a single sound and disappears in low light/shadow.
  • The Strategist: He's good at concocting newer, deadlier strategies.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: He can fight evenly with Autobots or be knocked away by humans.
  • Took a Level in Badass: He gets reformatted into a Predacon in Beast Wars, giving him a humanoid form.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Megatron. In fact, Ravage was his first recruit in the UK Marvel Comics.
  • The Unintelligible: As with Laserbeak and Buzzsaw, whether he can speak or not all depends on who holds the pen. While he's this in the cartoon, he did speak once, in "More Than Meets The Eye Part 3".
    Ravage: The rocket base is one hundred and forty kilometers due west of the Autobot camp.
  • Villainous Friendship: Ravage is touted as one of Megatron's most loyal and faithful Decepticons. This is most obvious in the UK Marvel story, "Head Games", and in The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye (though by then Megatron is an Autobot). To some degree, this also applies to Soundwave and his fellow Decepticon Mini-Cassettes.

Rumble and Frenzy

Function: Demolitions (Rumble), Warrior (Frenzy)

Alt Modes: Micro-Cassette

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rumbleofficialart_4217.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/frenzy_1132.jpg
Rumble: "Destroy what's below and what's above will follow."
Frenzy: "Sow panic and surrender will bloom."

A pair of robotic Mini-Cassette twins who are adept at destroying things. While Rumble acts as the Decepticons' go-to demolitions cassette, Frenzy is instead a warrior with an endless lust for war and conflict.

Voiced by: Frank Welker (US)

  • Adaptational Superpower Change: Frenzy's sonic abilities were never used (or even mentioned) in the Sunbow cartoon. Instead, he had piledrivers like Rumble... which themselves were an invention of the cartoon, with Rumble's Tech Specs saying that his earthquakes are caused by transmitting low-frequency groundwaves.
  • Ax-Crazy: Frenzy, as his name implies, has a few screws loose and is a battle-hungry warrior. His Tech Specs note that his manic attacks can be countered with cool logic.
  • Bash Brothers: The two fight Autobots well together, though whether or not they really are brothers depends on continuity.
  • Battlecry: Frenzy uses his sonic powers as one.
  • Blood Knight: To quote his Tech Specs, if Frenzy needed to breathe, war would be his oxygen.
  • Boisterous Weakling: Neither one is physically very powerful, but this doesn't stop them from picking fight with larger opponents.
  • Brown Note: Frenzy's sonic screeches disrupts electrical flows in other Transformers, causing malfunctions and imbalances. Humans don't fare much better, since they can reach 200db — well above the eardrums' threshold.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Like Laserbeak, the two stopped appearing around Season 3 of the cartoon. The Marvel comics also had it out for them - though they're freed from the Ark after over twenty issues, they're never seen in any major capacity, not even getting killed in the Underbase Saga!
  • Depending on the Artist: Rumble is red/black and Frenzy is blue, or it is backwards? At one point, due to a limited palette, they were both blue in the Marvel comics. And at one point in The Transformers: The Movie, they were both red/black!
  • Depending on the Writer: Rumble can create earthquakes and Frenzy has sonic screeches. Or can both create earthquakes?
  • Dub Name Change: In the Japanese dub of the cartoon, Rumble became Frenzy and Frenzy became Rumble.
  • Earthquakes Cause Fissures: Rumble's earthquakes sometimes make fissures.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Cons team up with the Subatlanteans in the episode "Atlantis, Arise!" When their King Nergill tries to detonate his kingdom with the Autobots and Decepticons still onboard when the battle goes south, Rumble says he's insane and brings the ceiling down on him.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: At least four unnamed look-alikes of Rumble and Frenzy turn up in More than Meets the Eye, Part 2. No explanation is given and they were never re-used.
  • Long-Range Fighter: The duo are effectively this — their physical strength is pathetic due to their size, and an enemy close enough to them has more or less won, but Rumble's earthquakes and Frenzy's sonic screeches make getting near them a difficult task. In addition, their Tech Specs give them a Firepower rating of 9.
  • Loud of War: Frenzy uses sonic abilities that can create a high-pitch sound of 200 decibels.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Frenzy uses his sonic powers as a "battle cry", creating high-pitched screeches that physically harm opponents.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Rumble makes earthquakes.
    • The IDW comics (mostly All Hail Megatron) have Frenzy as The Berserker. His powers occasionally drive him mad.
  • Nerd in Evil's Helmet: Frenzy. Or rather, the other Decepticons see him this way:
    Skywarp: Geek work's made for a geek! Like you!
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: While their physical strength is impeded by their size, their earthquake and sonic powers make them formidable opponents and difficult to approach.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: One of the two is colored red and black. Whether they're Rumble or Frenzy differs, but you can bet that whoever it is, they're a Decepticon through and through.
  • Single-Minded Twins: They both are punks with a knack for destruction.
  • Size Shifter: They are normally no taller than Soundwave's hips. They transform into microcassettes.
  • Tank Goodness: Rumble's Titans Return toy gives him an extra tank mode (presumably, this is larger than his alternate Spy Tablet mode).
  • Those Two Bad Guys: They fit the trope more often in the Marvel comics as opposed to the cartoon (where Rumble appeared far more often than Frenzy).
  • Yes-Man: Rumble is one of Megatron's more loyal Decepticons, and he eagerly follows his orders.
  • Your Size May Vary: While the cartoon consistently depicted the two as being smaller than Soundwave, other G1 media tended to depict the pair as being just as tall as him. How small they are also varies; sometimes they're as tall as human adults, other times they're slightly or significantly larger.

Reflector

Function: Reconnaissance

Alt Mode: Camera

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/reflector-1_5568.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/reflector-2_6559.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/reflector-3_6929.jpg
"See and you can know, know and you can destroy."

The Decepticons' reconnaissance, these three single robots named (respective to the pictures above) Viewfinder, Spyglass and Spectro are banded together under the name Reflector. They combine into a camera, and they love to watch things - be it Earth's topography, or their fellow Decepticons for any juicy blackmail they can use to their advantage.

Voiced by: Chris Latta (US), Yoku Shioya & Keiichi Nanba (JP)

  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: Is said to watch his fellow Decepticons and learn their secrets. He's impressed by his ability at this.
  • Blame Game: Spectro blames others when something goes wrong.
  • Blinded by the Light: He can generate a bright flash to blind his enemies.
  • Combining Mecha: Of a sort - instead of three robots becoming one large one, they combine into a single small camera.
  • Composite Character: The version of Reflector that becomes Thrilling 30 Skrapnel's gun is one guy named Reflector, which uses the orginal Viewfinder design.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Rarely if ever featured after Season One, he was only used in Season One of the cartoon to boost the Decepticon ranks. He was banned from usage in the comics and from the cartoon once the second wave of Transformers started showing up on the show.Why? 
  • Depending on the Artist: While Reflector's toy depicts the three robots with distinct designs, various fiction (including the cartoon) opts for a composite design, using the humanoid look of Spectro and Spyglass while using Viewfinder's color scheme (as well as his lens apeture on the "main" robot).
  • Depending on the Writer: Reflector's character is somewhat nebulous - while he's three separate robots collectively known as Reflector, the cartoon instead interpreted him as one single robot who could create copies of himself. In addition, his Tech Specs only described Reflector as a single entity, wth no mention of his components' personalities.
  • The Dividual: While the toy bio gives each a different personality they are almost always characterized as a single minded trio of individuals.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him:
    • In the Marvel comics, Reflector's sole appearance consisted of a single panel showing Spectro, Viewfinder and Spyglass among several poisoned Decepticons.
    • IDW Viewfinder literally has a bridge dropped on him prior to Spotlight: Wheelie.
  • Flat Character: He had no real personality in the Sunbow cartoon, and Spectro, Spyglass and Viewfinder weren't even given their own bios until years later.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: In the IDW-verse, Viewfinder is impaled by a shard of glass prior to the story's events.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals:
    • The cartoon depicted Reflector as three identical robots (with one having a lens aperture in his chest) that slightly resembled Viewfinder, all of which were simply named "Reflector", rather than the toy's individualy named and designed robots.
    • In addition, several Reflectors appeared in various crowd scenes in early episodes. They may or may not be the result of Reflector possessing the ability to produce copies of himself.
  • The Leader: Viewfinder is the leader of the trio.
  • Leader Forms the Head: Well, not a head, but Viewfinder forms the lens in camera mode.
  • Me's a Crowd: Reflector in the Sunbow cartoon could create copies of himself, two of which were almost always accompanying him. Several Reflector-esque Decepticons appear in crowd scenes in "More than Meets the Eye Part 2", as well as a few generics in certain episodes (such as "Divide And Conquer").
  • Never My Fault: Spectro tries to pin the blame for his screwups on anyone and anything but himself.
  • Out of Focus: Reflector's use in the cartoon was actively discouraged by Season 2, and eventually he ceased appearing in scripts, only making appearances at the animators' discretion. In later years, toys and other incarnations of Reflector are very rare, it wasn't until the WFC Siege line that he was given a proper figure, before then he was an accessory to Megatron and Shrapnel and an expensive Botcon exclusive (retooled from Shockwave's legends figure). Even then the unique designs of the original Reflector toy have never been replicated since the 80s.
  • Size Shifter: They're miniature 'Cons whom form a camera that can be held by robots or humans.
  • Self-Duplication: Though not explicitly spoken of, Reflector's cartoon iteration could do this. One scene in "Divide And Conquer" shows Reflector's three robots running into each other and colliding into one.
  • Smug Snake: Viewfinder is smug and self-assured. This comes back to bite him as he is incapable of recognising his own flaws.
  • Speak in Unison: He/they did this in the cartoon.
  • Terrible Trio: Reflector is made up of one, at least when he's not one robot with Self-Duplication powers.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: The Reflector trio only appeared in the fourth issue of the Marvel comics, amongst a pile of poisoned Decepticons.

Skywarp

Function: Warrior

Alt Mode: F-15 Eagle Fighter Jet

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/skywarp_4248.jpg
"Strike when the enemy isn't looking."

A black and purple Decepticon flier who can teleport. Skywarp is a dim-witted thug who loves to abuse his powers by playing pranks on his fellow Decepticons, but in a battle he's useless without supervision and orders.

Voiced by: Frank Welker (US), Masashi Ebara (JP)

  • Big Bad: Of the Bumblebee miniseries in the IDW comics. He tried to gather up all sorts of weapons for Megatron's return, and gained a device to disable the Earth Autobots.
  • Brought Down to Normal: After his IDW self suffered from a destabilizing body thanks to an injury interfering with his teleportation powers, the Earth Defense Command restored his form at the cost of his powers. He's not too happy with that.
  • Cool Plane: An F-15 Eagle, to be exact. The early IDW comics updated him to the more modern F-22.
  • Dumb Muscle: Easily one of the stupidest Decepticons. The only time Skywarp actually becomes a credible opponent for the Autobots is when a more intelligent Decepticon, like Megatron or Starscream, is present to supervise his teleportational shenanigans.
    Skywarp: I'll show you dumb, Starscream!
    Starscream: You always do.
  • The Generic Guy: Of the Seekers; compared to Starscream and Thundercracker, his characterization is a little thin.
  • Homing Projectile: Skywarp can fire heat-seeking missiles.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: Four unnamed Seekers in variations of Skywarp's colors turn up in More than Meets the Eye, Part 2.
  • Informed Flaw: While he's meant to be a Dumb Muscle, Skywarp's Tech Specs were accidentally switched with Starscream's (which has a high Intelligence rating), thus making his stupidity seem odd (one rerelease of his toy even rewrote his bio to Hand Wave the discrepancy).
  • Jerkass: Skywarp loves to play cruel pranks on his fellow Decepticons.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • A powered up Starscream bumps him off in the Marvel comics.
    • To a lesser extent, he's this in the cartoon, as despite being reformatted as either Cyclonus or... someone else (it's weird), Cyclonus shows little to no acknowledgement towards having ever been anyone but himself.
  • More Dakka: Skywarp uses variable-calibre machine guns in combat.
  • Out of Focus: Despite having numerous redecos of Starscream toys homaging him, Skywarp has rarely made appearances in media (especially television) — and when he does, he's more of a crowd-filling mook than a character with a strong personality. Even his most notable appearance to date, the IDW comics, took a while to make him stand out.
  • Palette Swap: Like Thundercracker, he's one for Starscream. Personality-wise, however, the three Seekers are drastically different.
  • The Prankster: He prefers to use his teleportation powers for this, and often on his fellow Decepticons as well.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: While he may be a Joe in G.I. Joe (2016), he's still a Decepticon and therefore not above extreme measures. In addition, he's only around humans because he wants his teleportation abilities repaired.
  • Spanner in the Works: During "Dark Cybertron", Skywarp loses control of his teleportation due to an injury he sustained from Arcee. This ultimately proved fortunate as once Metalhawk and Waspinator discover Shockwave's plans, he luckily appeared long enough to teleport the two (and knowledge of what they had seen) back to the city.
  • Teleporters and Transporters: The only Decepticon with the built-in ability to teleport. While one might think this would make Skywarp a crafty and dangerous adversary, in truth the Seeker is far too dimwitted to employ his unique talents for anything more than pulling childish pranks, like pushing his comrades down a flight of stairs.
  • Terrible Trio: A Seeker alongside Starscream and Thundercracker.
  • Token Evil Teammate: He winds up becoming one to G.I. Joe (2016), of all people, in the Hasbro Comic Universe.
  • Undying Loyalty: The first thing he does upon being revived in the cartoon's pilot is ensure Megatron is the next Decepticon who gets revived. Later, in The Transformers: The Movie, he becomes Galvatron's unswervingly loyal and dedicated dragon, Cyclonus. Or possibly not. It's weird.
  • Unexpected Character: No-one expected a Transformer to become a Joe in G.I. Joe (2016), let alone a Decepticon, let alone Skywarp of all of them.
  • Villain Teleportation: Skywarp, as his name implies, has the ability to teleport. Subverted in that it's only really effective when someone like Megatron or Starscream tells him how to use it — he's a complete idiot otherwise.

Thundercracker

Function: Warrior

Alt Mode: F-15 Eagle Fighter Jet

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thundercracker_4105.jpg
"The deadliest weapon is terror."

A blue Decepticon flier, Thundercracker is an elitist jerk who looks down with disdain upon those who can't fly like he can. Despite this, he has doubts over the Decepticon cause.

Voiced by: John Stephenson & Wally Burr (EN), Yuu Shimaka (JP)

  • Adaptational Villainy: Thundercracker's doubts over the Decepticon cause are all but absent in the Sunbow cartoon, with episodes depicting him more as a simple goon that obeys Megatron without question.
  • Ascended Extra: Typically a background player, he has a much larger role in the IDW continuity, which is also the first time that his Anti-Villain traits were used to full effect.
  • Anti-Villain: He's uncertain if he really believes in Megatron's cause. Or in the attacking and killing of humans.
  • Cool Plane: Just like his fellow Seekers, it's an F-15 Eagle.
  • Halfhearted Henchman: He's not convinced that the Decepticons' goal of conquest is right, even though he remains on their side.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In the IDW continuity, Thundercracker finally abandons the Decepticons to live peacefully on Earth before eventually joining the Autobots full-time.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: Six unnamed seekers in variations of Thundercracker's colors turn up in More than Meets the Eye, Part 2.
  • Jerkass: He may not be fully committed to evil, but don't let that make you think he won't sneer at you. "Fire on the Mountain" even has him get lippy with Megatron.
    Thundercracker: What’s the matter, fearless leader? You and Starscream look real geeky!
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite his elitist/abrasive qualities, he's arguably the only member of the Nemesis crew with truly redeeming qualities. This is especially true for his more sympathetic incarnations.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Yet another victim of the Underbase powered Starscream in the Marvel comics.
    • To an extent he's also this in the cartoon, as Scourge (who Unicron reformats Thundercracker into) doesn't acknowledge him being anyone other than Scourge.
  • Loud of War: His sonic booms can collapse structures and blow up enemy jets.
  • Noble Demon: Has traits of this, especially in the IDW 'verse where he doesn't find joy in human slaughter unlike his allies.
  • Palette Swap: For Starscream.
  • Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: The only reason Thundercracker is still a Decepticon is because Starscream and the others have to repeatedly convince him he's where he belongs.
  • Playing with Fire: Thundercracker uses incendiary guns as a weapon.
  • Straight Man: Sometimes, like in "Countdown to Extinction", after Megatron and Starscream go missing, he's the one trying to get everyone to focus on fixing their base, and has to intervene when Skywarp gets into a fight with Rumble and Frenzy. Humorously Soundwave showed signs of The Starscream by insulting Thundercracker's tentative command.
  • Terrible Trio: With Starscream and Skywarp as the Seekers.

    1984/ 85 Decepticons 

Shockwave

Function: Military Operations Commander

Alt Mode: Cybertronian Laser Gun

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shockwave_8271.jpg
"Clarity of thought before rashness of action."

A Decepticon as cold and logical as you could expect from a machine. Shockwave is Megatron's rival and another Decepticon who plots his control over the Decepticons. With intellect and power possibly exceeding even that of Megatron, Shockwave may have his day yet.

Voiced by: Corey Burton (US), Yuu Shimaka (JP)

  • Adaptational Badass: In Dark Cybertron, he's a chessmaster and a Magnificent Bastard.
  • Adaptational Heroism: His IDW incarnation used to be one of the only decent senators in a corrupt Senate, up until Shadowplay turned him into the amoral servant to logic he is. These memories come back for the finale of Dark Cybertron.
  • Aliens of London: He was meant to sound similar to David Warner of TRON according to Corey Burton, Shockwave's VA (who would ironically go on to voice Sark in Kingdom Hearts using his Shockwave voice).
  • Arm Cannon: His left arm has a gun in place of a hand.
  • Arch-Enemy: Grimlock (although he doesn't care).
  • BFG: His alt-mode is a Cybertronian ray gun. It's also an aversion of Size Shifter — he doesn't change size in his gun alt-mode, so he becomes a robot-sized gun.
  • Bad Boss: While not abusive like Megatron or Galvatron, his troops do harbor some fear of becoming guinea pigs in his latest experiments, and he is also not above executing those who fail him.
    Shockwave: All life is equal. I merely assign it a quantifiable value—zero.
  • Beam Spam: Being one-handed, when Shockwave fights, he generally relies on the firepower of his arm-cannon. More often than not, however, it's all he needs, it was powerful enough to cripple Fortress Maximus. Video game adaptations where Shockwave is a boss will usually take this Up to Eleven.
  • Big Bad:
    • In comics only, but he shows he's a much better Decepticon leader than Megatron. Recently, he's the one for Dark Cybertron.
    • Also, for Dreamwave's comics. Pretty much everything that happens beyond "The War Within" series is his fault.
  • The Blank: His face consists of nothing beyond his eye. In the IDW comics he originally had a normal face, but was forced against his will to undergo empurata, a mutilation ritual where the face and hands are removed, after angering the corrupt Cybertronian Elders.
  • The Chessmaster: His IDW self is this, having enacted a plan millions of years old that would effectively make him a god. And when that fails, he gets sent back in time and enacts pretty much the entire IDW saga.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: In the cartoon, he totally disappeared after The Transformers: The Movie. While he was supposed to have been killed by Unicron, this scene was never actually animated, leaving his status by the movie's end questionable.
  • Co-Dragons: Usually with Starscream and Soundwave, being on the same level of importance as them.
  • Cyber Cyclops: Shockwave's face is nothing but a single yellow eye.
  • Depending on the Writer: While he was originally a cold and logical commander seeking to usurp Megatron, the Sunbow cartoon made him a loyal follower of Megatron. These days, however, you're likely to see the former depiction over the latter.
  • The Dragon: With a Rank of 9 and the function of Military Operations Commander, Shockwave is among Megatron's most important Decepticons.
  • Dragon Ascendant: In the Marvel comics, having driven Megatron "to suicide".
  • Dying as Yourself: By the end of Dark Cybertron, Shockwave's emotions and morality return, and, horrified by what he has become, allows Optimus Prime and Megatron to kill him. However, it's revealed much later that he survived... and sadly didn't become a better person.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: He showed up in the first episode of the cartoon, well over a year before his toy was released.
  • Emotions vs. Stoicism: While his logical approach to battle makes him dangerous, he is often confounded by emotional thinking and initiative.
  • Equippable Ally: His Combiner Wars toy can be held by a Combiner figure, with the packaging associating him with Bruticus.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Dreamwave Shockwave, who tinkered with Triple-Changers, creating the Duocons and Sixshot, and used Vector Sigma to make the Micromasters, for reasons that were never adequately clear.
  • Evil Genius: Shockwave has an Intelligence rating of 10, and is often depicted as being a scientist responsible for many of the Decepticons' weapons (such as the space bridge and even combiners).
  • Exact Words: In the Sunbow cartoon, Shockwave swore to a departing Megatron that Cybertron will be as he had left it. Four million years later, Cybertron remained essentially unchanged, with no technological advancements made.
  • Fantastic Racism: Comic Shockwave's first impression of humanity: We're weak, stupid (his words), and illogical. The inferior of Decepticons in every way.
  • Flight: He has rockets in his legs that allow him to fly in either his robot or gun modes.
  • For Science!: Despite the specialty listed on his packaging, he is the Decepticons' resident Science Officer in most media. He created combiner technology in the Marvel comic, Triple Changer technology in the Dreamwave comic, and the Achilles virus in the IDW comic.
  • Genius Bruiser: He has strength and firepower equivalent to his intellect, and can easily take Megatron himself in a fight.
  • A God Am I: Shockwave's plan in Dark Cybertron amounts to "ascend to godhood".
  • I Love Nuclear Power: Shockwave's Tech Specs note that he can be powered with nuclear energy, which helps his high fuel usage. In addition, his laser gun mode can fire lethal beams of any energy across the electromagnetic spectrum, up to and including gamma rays.
  • It's Personal: Subverted in the IDW comics. When he gets stuck in stasis for several million years, he's woken up and put on an Explosive Leash by the humans to stop all other Transformers. He attacks Grimlock out of revenge, and even fights his way through Scorponok to get it, but he spares Scorponok because he has no real reason to fight him. When he finally gets to Grimlock, they brawl, until Shockwave gives up the fight (when he gets the upper hand), because it was all just a distraction to have Soundwave deactivate the leash. He says he has no real quarrel with Grimlock and that he doesn't care about the stasis thing. Grimlock chooses to blow them both up with a grenade instead of letting him walk away.
  • Joker Immunity: In the comics. The Marvel comics had him survive being entombed (an avalanche caused by the Dinobots, and later Optimus Prime knocking him into a quicksand pit) and nearly burning up in Earth's atmosphere after his flight systems were disabled in a space battle with Fortress Maximus. A UK exclusive story set in the future had him Killed Off for Real after his troops sold him out to Death's Head, but it is implied that his present day self, armed with the knowledge of his future murder, might be able to prevent it.
  • Kill and Replace: His IDW-self, having gone millennia into the past after Dark Cybertron, kills a shepard named Onyx and impersonates him, becoming the Onyx Prime of legend.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Shockwave spends the whole of the Marvel comics betraying other Decepticons and acting on his own agenda to be in charge. Then, at the finale of the series, he runs into Megatron and Galvatron, who've just decided to work together.
    • He also crippled Josie Beller, causing her descent into violent obsession and transformation into Circuit Breaker. During the second Decepticon Civil War, she finally spots him, and unleashes everything she has. Cue a blasted Shockwave dropping out of the sky.
  • Me's a Crowd: Shockwave's cartoon bio mentions an ability to create duplicates of himself, but this never appeared in the show itself. He does, however, use it in Transformers: Devastation.
  • Nothing Personal: Shockwave's actions are never personal, just logical to their best outcome. When The Dinobots attack him out of a personal grudge, he struggles to comprehend why they would follow him so far through space, and waste so many resources over wounded pride.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Shockwave is a cold, emotionless killing machine. When he does show emotion... run. Shows up early in the Marvel UK comics. Buster manages to cause Shockwave to freak out, and it is terrifying to behold.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Shockwave is predominantly Decepticon purple. His original Japanese "Astro Magnum" template was gray, but, like The Incredible Hulk before him, he was changed to a color that animators and illustrators would have an easier time working with.
  • Redemption Equals Death: In the IDW-verse, the Shadowplay punishment inflicted on him millions of years prior to "Dark Cybertron" is broken as his old, emotional persona returns. However, the only way the universe can be saved from his actions is to destroy him (as the chronal drive is inextricably bound to him and therefore cannot be detatched. Sadly, although he survived, he ends up engineering the entirety of Cybertron's past as a "test model".
  • Sanity Slippage: UK comics Shockwave, thanks to Cyclonus telling him Cyc and Scourge will help Death's Head kill him, and inadvertently allowing Megatron and Galvatron to team up. Whoops. Touched on in the US comics, when Mindwipe wonders if his plummet to Earth knocked a few screws lose.
  • The Spock: He claims that logic is the only master he serves, and takes a brutally scientific approach to warfare. Fittingly enough, he was written to be an evil version of Spock himself. In one instance, he secedes leadership back to Megatron when he points out that Shockwave has in fact screwed up.
  • The Starscream: Excluding his cartoon depiction, Shockwave is always scheming to overthrow the current Decepticon leader, regularly challenging both Megatron and Scorponok in the Marvel comic. However, unlike the glory-hound Starscream, he does so simply because he believes he's the more logical choice (and in stories where he succeeds, he proves that he's not far off).
    Megatron will brand me a rogue, a traitor, but such considerations are moot. In the war I envision, one of dislocation and attrition, resources will become paramount.
  • The Stoic: Though the IDW comics show that originally, he was the complete opposite of a stoic.
  • Time Abyss: Thanks to time travel shenanigans, IDW Shockwave is one of, if not the oldest living Transformer in existence.
  • Tragic Monster: In the IDW continuity. Originally one of the only decent Senators in a corrupt government, Shockwave was an outspoken, emotional, friendly guy. Then his emotions were forcefully removed, turning him into an emotionless husk, and his face and hands were taken away and replaced with a blank mask and claws for no reason other than spite. This had the side effect of freeing him from morality, allowing him to choose the most logical path to saving Cybertron... culminating in his A God Am I plan that would be activated in "Dark Cybertron".
  • Trauma Button: In the Marvel UK storyline "Robot Buster", Buster Witwicky managed to temporarily blind Shockwave by throwing sand in his optic. The blindness reminds Shockwave of the millions of years he spent trapped under a pile of rocks following his battle with the Dinobots (and more recently, his submersion in a swamp after Optimus Prime defeated him), with nothing but darkness to keep him company. Shockwave completely loses it, and spends the rest of the story angrily attempting to kill Buster.
  • Undying Loyalty: Shockwave has total obedience towards logic and/or Cybertron. In the cartoon, he unsusually had this towards Megatron (he apparently kept trying to contact him for four million years!).
  • Ungrateful Bastard: In the Dreamwave comics, Scourge saves him from a pack of wild Sharkticons and immediately tries to warn him about the bad future he comes from. Shockwave returns the favor by shooting him and turning him into a lab rat.
  • Unstoppable Rage: In the IDW comics, the Dinobots attack him because he destroyed a cargo cruiser they were guarding. Shockwave is mystified at the fact that the Dinobots commandeered a spaceship, took energon and went on a perilous cruise across the cosmos after Shockwave just for revenge at this (minor in the grand scheme of things) offense to their pride. He simply stops trying to think and gets really angry. Curb-Stomp Battle ensues.
  • Verbal Tic: Declarative: Comic Shockwave eventually gained a tendency to preface statements with an explanation of what they were.
  • Wild Card: He has no problem going behind the other Decepticons' backs or usurping Megatron. Some versions will even work with Autobots, if it's deemed logical enough.
  • You Have Failed Me: While Megatron would (usually) just beat the tar out of anyone who failed him, Shockwave was less forgiving. He would issue a polite warning for the first failure; if you screwed up again, you would face termination unless you could (logically) convince him you were a resource worth maintaining. Even Megatron found himself on the receiving end of this; though he managed to turn the tables.
    Shockwave: Your argument is sound. I have failed.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In the Marvel comics to Megatron.

Astrotrain

Function: Military Transport

Alt Modes: JNR Class D51 Steam Locomotive; Space Shuttle Orbiter

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/astrotrain_7073.jpg
"In confusion there is opportunity."

A Decepticon who often serves as transport for other Decepticons. He is a Triple Changer - a Transformer with three alternate modes rather than the standard two. He specialises in creating confusion amongst his enemies, and he relishes in their fear and panic.

Voiced by: Jack Angel (EN), Takurō Kitagawa (JP)

  • Big Bad Wannabe: In the Sunbow cartoon. His idea of leading the Decepticons was to create an army of drone trains to collect Energon, which could seem a good idea at first, but their A.I.s were too primitive for creative thinking. Contrast with Blitzwing, whose plan seemed dumb at first but ended being better and more successful.
    Thrust: Astrotrain couldn't lead rats to a garbage can.
  • Bigger on the Inside: As a space shuttle. Taken to ridiculous lengths in Transformers: The Movie, where not only can he fit in the entire Decepticon army, but there's also enough space for freaking Devastator to move around in!
  • Confusion Fu: He loves to sow confusion and panic against enemies, and when you have three forms at your disposal, you can probably screw with someone effectively.
  • Cool Starship: He turns into a space shuttle, and one that seemingly has TARDIS technology.
  • Cool Train: If outdated. Some modern toys have him become a bullet train instead.
  • Disintegrator Ray: His weapon of choice is an ionic displacer rifle, which breaks apart a target's molecular bonds.
  • The Dragon: In the IDW comics, he replaces Starscream as the second-in-command of the Earthbound Decepticon Infiltration Unit. The fact that Soundwave and Shockwave were MIA at the time probably helped him get there.
  • God Guise: In "The God Gambit", he conned an alien tribe into worshiping him.
  • Just Train Wrong: His train mode has no tender.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • He's one of the many victims of a power-mad Starscream in the Marvel comics, though some of the different continuations have him survive or come back from it.
    • In the IDW series, he gets hacked to bits by Arcee after Galvatron ditches him.
  • Losing Your Head: His Titans Return toy has his head transform into a Titan Master named Darkmoon.
  • Meaningful Name: He transforms into an astroship and into a train.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: One of his focus episodes, "The God Gambit", has him ordering around Starscream and making rather grandiose speeches, a far cry from his usual role as a put-upon spacebus. It's believed his role and dialogue in that episode were intended for Megatron, of all people.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Astrotrain never received a proper introduction during the original cartoon's second season; he was presented as if he had always been with them on Earth.
  • Size Shifter: Stands shoulder to shoulder to Starscream in robot form; can transform into a space shuttle that can fit the entire Decepticon army, even Devastator in his hull.
  • The Starscream: He tried to be this in the cartoon episode "Triple Takeover". It... didn't exactly work out for him.
  • Steam Never Dies: Transforms into a JNR Class C62 steam locomotive. He does get with the times with newer toys, where he's often a bullet train instead.
  • Villainous Valor: In the cartoon, he was brave enough to take on bigger, stronger opponents, such as Omega Supreme and Sky Lynx.
  • Voice of the Legion: A quirkier, more nasally example than most, but Astrotrain has a much louder reverb than the other Decepticons.

Blitzwing

Function: Ground and Air Commando

Alt Modes: Soviet MiG-25 Fighter Jet; Japanese Type-74 Assault Tank

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/blitzwing_8626.jpg
"Destroy first, think later."

Another Triple Changer, able to turn into a tank and a jet. Blitzwing is loud-mouthed, obnoxious, and has a cruel sense of humor only Skywarp could appreciate, but he can transform between his two modes fairly quickly, making him one of the most dangerous Decepticons... provided he doesn't get stuck mid-transformation.

Voiced by: Ed Gilbert (EN), Keiichi Nanba (JP)

  • Aborted Arc: After the opening five-parter of the cartoon's third season, he's exiled from the Decepticons and refuses to join the Autobots... but is later seen in some crowd shots with other Decepticons. Is this an oversight on the part of the producers? Or was the whole idea of his exile just quietly dropped? Maybe Galvatron just forgave him for some reason. Who knows. It's possible the arc was going to continue in the episode, "Starscream's Ghost", but his role was taken by Octane to promote the new character.
  • Anti-Villain: In "Five Faces of Darkness", it is shown that he cares for the survival of the entire Transformers race over Decepticon victory, and is willing to work with Autobots to prevent their mutual extinction at the hands of the Quintessons. Even after he is exiled by Galvatron for allying with Rodimus and betraying the Decepticons, he graciously refuses Rodimus' offer to join the Autobots and quietly accepts his punishment, such is his loyalty to his own brothers.
  • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: In "Triple Takeover", he defeated several Autobots and made a throne from their bodies during his brief reign as the Decepticon Leader. The Autobots were later rescued and repaired.
  • The Brute: Most versions. The Dreamwave version prominently, who during a supposed attempt to get the Autobots to stand down peacefully interrupts Ultra Magnus and tells Optimus if he doesn't surrender, Blitzwing will level a nearby city.
  • Cool Plane: He turns into a jet as one of his alt-modes.
  • The Dragon: In the Dreamwave continuity, he's Shockwave's top thug. Toward the end of the run, he's fallen from grace, with the implication Sixshot is Shockwave's new favorite.
  • Killed Off for Real: Dreamwave and the original Marvel Comic.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Once Galvatron has shown himself gullible enough to fall for the Quintessons' "Decepticon Matrix of Leadership" ploy and unwilling to listen to Blitzwing's warnings, Blitzwing knows the Quintessons' are the TRUE enemy the Transformers should be fighting that one time instead of each other. And takes his lumps and leaves the Decepticons after the Quintessons' defeat.
  • Losing Your Head: Sometimes he's partnered up with a Titan Master named Hazard, who forms his head.
  • Mauve Shirt: In many continuities where he isn't as important as the main cast, he falls into this. This is pretty noticeable in the IDW comics, where he's introduced in the very first arc, and he has numerous appearances, fights and dialogue in the series, but like Astrotrain, he never really takes center stage, compared to his teammates (The Seekers) and Megatron. note 
  • Mysterious Past: In the cartoon's "Five Faces of Darkness" five-parter, it's hinted that Blitzwing had somehow met the Quintessons before. Though the cartoon itself never followed up on this, Japanese media decades later would.
  • Orcus on His Throne: In "Triple Takeover", he simply sits on a throne while the Autobots try to make their way through his fortified football stadium. They're so worn out when they get through that he beats them easily.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Like many Season Two characters, Blitzwing was introduced without much fanfare or explanation. He even succumbs to Cybertonium depletion alongside the Season One cast (who had been inactive on Earth for four million years), suggesting that he was always there, but never seen.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: A weakness he has is that he occasionally gets stuck while transforming between his three different modes.
  • Size Shifter: His jet mode can fit the entire Stunticon team.
  • The Starscream: On occasion.
  • Tank Goodness: One of his altmodes is a tank.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Japanese media claims that Blitzwing was once one of many Quintesson tank drones known as "Overcharges", until he was convinced to forge his own destiny (by his own future self).

The Constructicons

Function: Construction Engineer (Scrapper), Surgical Engineer (Hook), Material Fabrication (Mixmaster), Demolitions (Bonecrusher), Transport (Long Haul), Mining & Salvage (Scavenger), Warrior (Devastator)

Alt Modes: Payloader (Scrapper), Nissan Diesel Unic Truck Crane (Hook), F12 Concrete Mixer (Mixmaster), Bulldozer (Bonecrusher), Hitachi DH-321 Mining Truck (Long Haul), Power Shovel (Scavenger)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/scrapper_2535.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hookofficialart_486.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mixmaster_7553.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bonecrusher_8632.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/long_haul_5784.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/scavenger_4678.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/devastatorofficial_4324.jpg
Scrapper: "My work is a monument to - and of - my enemies."
Hook: "Strive for perfection even if others must suffer."
Mixmaster: "How strong the steel, how quick the conquest."
Bonecrusher: "Hit it till it stands no taller than dust."
Long Haul: "A battle front is only as good as its supply line."
Scavenger: "Everything is worth something, even me."
Devastator: "Thinking and winning do not mix."

A group of Decepticons who transform into construction vehicles and serve as the Decepticons' engineers. They are frequently portrayed as the first combiner team and combine into Devastator. They consist of Scrapper (a payloader), Hook (a crane), Mixmaster (a cement mixer), Bonecrusher (a bulldozer), Scavenger (an excavator) and Long Haul (a dump truck).


  • Adaptational Badass: The IDW version of Devastator is treated as a dangerous threat, despite being a combiner prototype. In Combiner Wars, it took three combiners working together to beat him.
  • Affably Evil: Scrapper, despite being the Decepticons' top fortress designer, is surprisingly modest. Doesn't stop him from using the corpses of Autbots in the construction of said fortresses.
  • Beachcombing: Scavenger's shovel has a variety of sensors that can detect metals and fuels. He constantly tries to use this ability to find valuable things in an attempt to prove his worth to the team.
  • BFG: Devastator sometimes has a gun the size of his arm. This would mean the gun is as big as a Transformer.
  • Combining Mecha: Their combined form, Devastator.
  • Decomposite Character: A late Marvel UK story featured the Constructicons (who had somehow lost the ability to combine) attempting to recreate Devastator as a singular entity.
  • Depending on the Artist: Devastator's cartoon model had two different head designs - one without a red visor (seen in "Heavy Metal War") and one with. The latter seems to have been adopted as the official design.
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • The cartoon went in and out with the Constructicons' loyalty. In some episodes they were loyal and enthusiastic followers of Megatron, in others they were perfectly willing to usurp his position. Don't even ask about their origins.
    • Who actually leads the Constructicons? While Scrapper is often depicted as their leader, Hook is sometimes their leader too, and even Mixmaster showed some authority once. Then you have the suggestion that there is no leader, and that all of them are on equal standing.note 
  • The Dreaded: The Movie treats him as the Decepticons' ultimate weapon (due to being produced before Bruticus and Menasor came along), causing Kup (who is usually unfazed by anything) to whisper his name in horror once the Constructicons combine.
  • Dumb Muscle: Devastator sets the ground-rule in G1 that once Combiners become one, their conflicting personalities WILL make the resulting giant as dumb as a box of rocks, no matter how smart each individual component may be. Devastator, case in point, is made up of six genius level engineers, only to be a roaring, screaming monster whose mind is severely hampered by the competing thoughts of his components. If they actually agree on a certain plan, however, Devastator gets far more dangerous.
  • The Engineer: All of them serve as the Decepticons' go-to base/weapon developers.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: Scrapper has a raspy voice in the Sunbow cartoon.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Cartoon Megatron reprogrammed them into Decepticons and gave them the ability to combine. Possibly.
  • Flawed Prototype: Devastator is usually the first Decepticon combiner, and the first combiner at all. He also usually has the brains of a particularly stupid lump of rock. Inverted in the IDW comics, which instead portray him as a Super Prototype.
    Springer: You really were first off the production line, weren't you? Six of the sharpest minds on Cybertron, mushed into "Devastator smash".
    Top-Spin: Hey -
    Whirl: - that's progress for you.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Poor, poor Scavenger. Were it not for his shovel's ability to detect fuel and metal, both Megatron and the Constructicons would've left him in the dust long ago.
  • Heel–Face Brainwashing: Underwent an infamous bout of this in the cartoon episode "The Core".
  • Human Resources: Scrapper tends to incorporate his enemies' corpses into his buildings, and Mixmaster recycles his for building materials.
  • Humongous Mecha: Devastator towers over several Transformers, who themselves are on the large side.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Scavenger constantly tries to prove his worth to the team, which only reinforces the poor sap's image as a loser in his teammates' eyes.
  • Insufferable Genius: Hook is a skilled craftsman, but his snobbish attitude and perfectionism hasn't won him many friends.
  • Killed Off for Real: In the IDW series, Scrapper is killed some time after The Transformers: All Hail Megatron. As such, the Constructicons have had a few replacement members (though currently Scoop serves as Scrapper's replacement).
  • Leader Forms the Head: Actually averted with The Constructicons, the first of the combiners. Scrapper, the leader shovel-dozer of the six warriors, actually forms the right leg of Devastator, whereas it is actually Hook the crane who forms the head instead. In the Wings Continuity, he was the leader, but after a defeat, he was demoted, and Scrapper given the position.
  • Mad Scientist: Mixmaster is likened to a chemistry lab on wheels, and he uses a variety of acids and bonding agents to dissolve anything and recombine it into something else with his cement truck mode's drum.
  • The Medic: Hook occasionally acts as one, as indicated by his Surgical Engineer function.
  • Mighty Glacier: Bonecrusher has a Strength rating of 9, but his Speed is at 2. Devastator is much the same, only even stronger.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: The Sunbow cartoon gave the team three wildly different and contradictory origins. Were they built on Earth? Are they Autobots reprogrammed by Megatron? Are they the Decepticons that built Megatron in the first place?
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Bonecrusher's idea of a beautiful landscape is a rubble-strewn wasteland. Naturally, Devastator is also this given how his one purpose is to commit total destruction.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: ...yeah, guys, great disguise, no-one will bat an eye at construction vehicles painted bright green and purple. At least a European rerelease had them painted a more realistic yellow.
  • The Perfectionist: Hook demands that his job be done flawlessly, often leading to construction taking far longer than it should. That he's damn good at said job regardless keeps him around.
  • Sensor Character: Scavenger's shovel has magnetic, ionic, electrical and gas sensors, allowing him to detect underground resources.
  • Size Shifter: Devastator is shown to be several times larger than his components, so this is implied. A few continuities make it an explicit ability of his (and of combiners in general), however.
  • Sour Supporter: Long Haul understands the importance of his role as the Constructicons' materials transport, but that doesn't mean he's happy with it.
    Long Haul: REMOVE! REMOVE! ALWAYS REMOVE! I didn't join this outfit to be a dump truck!
  • Super Prototype: The IDW comic portrays him as this in comparison to other combiners, hailing from a time before the Enigma of Combination made combiners ridiculously easy to spontaneously create. He is consistently shown capable of standing toe-to-toe against several other combiners simultaneously.
  • This Is a Drill: The original Constructicon figures came with two drills, which could be used as missiles. These drills are used by Devastator in Transformers: Devastation, albeit as replacements for his hands midway into his fight.
  • Villainous Valour: Certain episodes such as "The Core" gave the Constructicons blatant showings of camaraderie.
  • The Worf Effect: Hailing from a Merchandise-Driven show like Transformers, the fearsome Devastator would usually be the go-to character to have the newest toy curb stomp to show just how powerful he is.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Downplayed, but Long Haul's Combiner Wars toy makes him significantly stockier and chunkier compared to his orginial toy and depictions in the comic and cartoon.
  • Your Size May Vary: While Devastator is big, how big he is varies wildly. Then you have his Action Master toy, which depicts him as being the same size as Megatron (did the Constructicons shrink?)!

Dirge

Function: Warrior

Alt Modes: Delta Wing F-15 Eagle Fighter Jet

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dirge_8498.jpg
"Fear is the element that unites all losers."

A Seeker who forms part of the "Conehead" trio. Dirge is a gloomy and mournful master of fear who puts even other Decepticons off, but if he's lost control of a situation, he succumbs to fear himself. He's also prone to dying repeatedly over several continuities.


  • Badass Boast: "Death comes to he who crosses me." Ironically, it becomes less badass when one knows Dirge has a nasty habit of dying in many continuities.
  • Brown Note: Dirge's engines are able to spark fear and dread in anyone who hears them.
  • The Chew Toy: In the IDW-verse, lots of bad things happen to him. He's been injured in an explosion, almost executed, mind controlled, shot, and put on Cybertron's most wanted because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • Cool Plane: A modified F-15 Eagle that has a delta wing.
  • Depending on the Artist: As the picture above shows, the original toy of Dirge depicts him as having his nosecone down. The cartoon and most other media, however, depict it pointing upwards instead.
  • Dirty Coward: When his ability to sow fear is overcome, he gets scared himself.
  • The Dreaded: His morose and silent nature causes people to fear him, but if he finds himself in a situation over which he has no control, Dirge will find himself crippled and paralyzed with terror.
  • The Eeyore: Dirge constantly acts gloomy, morose and mournful, something which gives his fellow Decepticons the creeps.
  • Palette Swap: Like all Seekers, he's a recolored Starscream. The positioning of his wings and his upwards nosecone do distinguish him from the traditional Seeker template, however.
  • Remember the New Guy?: As with many Season Two characters, he appeared without comment or an explanation partway through the season (though an early draft of the Beast Wars episode "Nemesis Part 2" would have suggested he and his fellow Coneheads were on Earth with the Season One cast all along).
  • Sole Survivor: His IDW incarnation, in an act of irony, is the only Conehead Seeker to not get killed off (at least until Unicron arrives and Anyone Can Die).
  • Terrible Trio: Along with fellow Coneheads Thrust and Ramjet.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: He tends to die or get severely damaged a lot in every iteration of G1 in which he appears. A lot. The fandom, naturally, has picked up on this tendency and run away with it. Averted in the IDW-verse, one of the very few stories where he plays a large role and avoids getting killed.
  • Unexplained Recovery: He seemingly bites it in The Transformers: The Movie when Unicron bites him, but turns up alive and well in Season 3 of the Sunbow cartoon.

The Insecticons

Function: Espionage (Kickback), Electronic Warfare (Shrapnel), Psychological Warfare (Bombshell, Venom), Thief (Chop Shop), Gunner (Barrage), Warrior (Ransack)

Alt Modes: Grasshopper (Kickback), Stag Beetle (Shrapnel, Chop Shop), Rhinoceros Beetle (Bombshell, Barrage), Cicada (Venom), Locust (Ransack)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bombshell_6868.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kickback_4923.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shrapnel_4106.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/venomofficial_8618.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/barrage_102.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/chop_shop_4430.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ransack_1604.jpg
Bombshell: "The mind is my playpen."
Kickback: "Friend is another word for fool."
Shrapnel: "Control electricity and you control the world."
Venom: "Friends are more dangerous than enemies."
Barrage: "Nothing left standing means nothing left to change."
Chop Shop: "I take no prisoners, just spare parts."
Ransack: "The sight of ruin only makes me crave more."

Seven Decepticons who have bugs as their altmodes. Most media tend to show only the three smaller ones (Bombshell, Kickback and Shrapnel), but occasionally the more-obscure Deluxe Insecticons (Venom, Barrage, Chop Shop and Ransack) may appear.


  • Adapted Out: The Deluxe Insecticons (Venom, Chop Shop, Ransack and Barrage) didn't appear in the cartoon, nor did they appear in the Marvel comics (although Venom and Chop Shop did appear in the UK comic's Time Wars story). This was likely done for reasons smilar to the controversy behind Jetfire/Skyfire - the toys were from a different company, and including them would be giving Takara's competitors free publicity.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: All of them change into insects, but the "big" part is especially evident in the Sunbow cartoon, where they don't change size in their altmodes.
  • Big Eater: Their depiction in the cartoon made them Extreme Omnivores that can, and will, devour anything.
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: Kickback's modus operandi is making friends, digging up anything they don't want getting out, then using it to get them to do his bidding. His Tech Specs note that humans are particularly susceptible to him.
  • Blood Knight: Ransack loves to fight and destroy, and is always ready for the next battle.
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • Their loyalty to the Decepticons varies across mediums. While the original toyline and the Marvel comic portrayed them as rank-and-file Decepticons, the cartoon opted to instead show them as Decepticon-allied mercenaries, only tagging along with other Decepticons when there's something in it for them.
    • Who leads the Insecticons? Obstensively it's Venom, but in fiction where the Deluxe Insecticons are absent, it gets more complicated. The cartoon initally presented Shrapnel as the group's spokesperson, but as the show progressed, Bombshell got more and more focus. Meanwhile, Kickback's toy has the highest Rank of the three small Insecticons at 7.
    • While the Insecticons are obstensively Decepticons who turn into robotic insects, Transformers: Devastation depicts them as a separate breed of Cybertronian, with little indication that the "main" three Insecticons ever show up.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Bombshell, Kickback, and Shrapnel are shown to be capable of and willing to eat anything.
  • False Friend: Kickback establishes himself as friends to people he wants to use for his own ends via blackmailing them.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Barrage isn't very popular among the Decepticons thanks to his destructive tendencies, and considering the Decepticons aren't too big on mercy themselves, that's saying something.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: If one of Bombshell's cerebro-shells is removed from a victim's head, it can be used against him.
  • Hollywood Acid: Venom's stinger is able to make acids that dissolve metal.
  • Horde of Alien Locusts: Quite literally in the cartoon's case, where they have the ability to create clones and have voracious appetites.
  • Japanese Beetle Brothers: Shrapnel (stag beetle) and Bombshell (rhinoceros beetle), along with Chop Shop and Barrage, are a Type A example of this.
  • Kill 'Em All: The Deluxe Insecticons, in the Dreamwave comics, are murdered by the combined forces of the Autobot and Decepticon Micromasters.
  • The Leader: Venom is said to be the Insecticon leader, but in fiction where the Deluxe Insecticons don't appear, Shrapnel seems to take the role.
  • Meaningful Name: Kickback is getting repayment for a favour, usually from something illegal. Fitting name for someone who loves blackmail. Also, he can kick people really hard.
  • Mind-Control Device: Bombshell uses cerebro-shells, which he can inject into his target's heads (be they robot or human) and use to control them as he wishes.
  • No Ontological Inertia: In the cartoon, if the control beam for the Insecticons' clones is disrupted, said clones will disintigrate.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: When Barrage is sent into battle, he's not stopping until the entire ground is smouldering rubble and every last opponent, be they wounded or taken prisoner, is dead. Ransack, likewise, is perfectly fine with killing high numbers of innocents and levelling settlements so long as his enemy is among the dead.
  • The Paranoiac: Venom is constantly afrad that his position as Insecticon leader will be usurped one day (and with Decepticons like Starscream and Shockwave around, can you blame him?), and as such he doesn't trust a single one of his subordinates.
  • Poisonous Person: Appropriately enough, Venom's stinger can release dangerous toxins. He even uses this on fellow Decepticons thanks to his constant paranoia.
  • Punny Name: Kickback is technically named after recoil, such as the type one might find in a cannon...but as a charming yet shameless manipulator who blackmails people, he also happens to be named after illicit bribery commonly disguised as 'facilitation fees.'
  • Psycho Electro: Shrapnel's main power is manipulating electricity, and he considers the noise of war and screaming to be music.
  • Send in the Clones: The main three Insecticons are capable of creating clones of themselves. Often overlaps with Expendable Clone and The Swarm.
  • Shock and Awe: Shrapnel's antennae can attract lightning bolts, which he can then shoot out from his hands. Venom is also armed with an electric-blaster gun, and Ransack's anennae can shoot up to 80 kilovolts.
  • Size Shifter: The Insecticons are sometimes shown to be able to shrink down to the size of an actual insect.
  • Sticky Fingers: Chop Shop is a kleptomaniac who can't help but steal things from friend and foe alike. Something seems thief-proof? He only wants to grab it that much more.
  • The Swarm: The Insecticon clones are often this. The IDW comics also show an army of failed Insecticons known as, fittingly enough, the Swarm.
  • Technopath: Shrapnel's insect antennae can uplink with machines, allowing him to control them.
  • Theme Naming: For some reason, the three primary Insecticons are named after the dangers of an exploding bomb.
  • Unexplained Recovery: While the three small Insecticons are heavily damaged and reformed into the Sweeps (and possibly Cyclonus) in The Transformers: The Movie, Shrapnel shows up perfectly fine on Junkion. All three even appear in the opening five-parter of Season 3. Their duplication abilities may have something to do with this, but it's never explicitly spelled out.
  • Verbal Tic: Shrapnel always repeats the last word of his sentences, sentences.
  • Villain Decay: They got hit with this hard in The Transformers: The Movie, especially Shrapnel, who is taken down three times over the course of the Battle of Autobot City.
  • Virtue Is Weakness: Barrage is a firm believer that showing kindness only stirs hope among the vanquished, and that's not happening while he's around.

Ramjet

Function: Warrior

Alt Mode: Delta Wing F-15 Eagle Fighter Jet

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ramjet_7196.jpg
"If it flies, crash it!"

Another Seeker who forms part of the Conehead trio. Ramjet considers himself the king of the skies, and excels at colliding into things. He doesn't care if his target is an opponent or not; he'll still do it out of sheer pleasure.


  • Big Bad Wannabe: His IDW incarnation tried to overthrow Megatron, and got exactly what you'd expect in return.
  • Cool Plane: An F-15 Eagle with F-16XL wings.
  • Depending on the Artist: While most fiction has his nosecone pointing upwards, the IDW series has him resembling his original toy (where the nosecone was meant to go behind his head).
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: When IDW Ramjet plots against Megatron, he's brutally beaten and dismembered to death.
  • Hidden Depths: Ramjet has higher-than-average competence even when only compared to his wingmates Dirge and Thrust. In fact, whenever it's only the three of them he becomes the de-facto leader of the group and directs them or tells them to get their acts together.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He can fly as fast as Mach 2.8 and is strong enough to withstand several md-air collisions.
  • Nanomachines: His plan in the IDW verse involved mind controlling humans by injecting them with microscopic "Mini-Constructicons".
  • Palette Swap: For Starscream. As a Conehead, he's also this among Thrust and Dirge.
  • Remember the New Guy?: He just appeared in the cartoon's second season without any explanation, as if he were always among the original cast.
  • The Starscream: In the IDW-verse, he was basically a less-effective (and more killable) one than the original.
  • Straight Man: Among his wingmates, the gloomy Dirge and the obnoxious Thrust, he serves as this.
  • Super Toughness: His nose module can withstand flying into three-foot thick concrete at 1500 miles per hour. His internal mechanisms, however, aren't nearly so used to constant collisions.
  • Terrible Trio: Forms the Conehead trio of Seekers with Dirge and Thrust.
  • Unexplained Recovery: He shows up alive in the Sunbow cartoon's third season, despite apparently dying to Unicron in The Transformers: The Movie.
  • Use Your Head: Ramjet, as one would expect, likes to ram things with his conehead — in and out of vehicle mode. Case in point.

Thrust

Function: Warrior

Alt Mode: Modified F-15 Eagle Fighter Jet

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thrust_6407.jpg
"My engines' roar is my enemies' song of doom!"

Another Conehead Seeker, Thrust is a brash and arrogant Decepticon who makes no effort to be subtle. Though he often declares victory to be his before the battle even begins, he's largely all bark with little bite.


  • Big Entrance: He uses his engine's roar to create one for himself, letting his enemies know just who they're dealing with.
  • Cool Plane: Like the other Coneheads, he is a modified F-15 Eagle — in his case, he has different tailfins and VTOL wings.
  • Dirty Coward: An unusual example. While he can go into battle without pause, a strong enough counterattack can break his nerve, driving him to retreat.
  • Depending on the Artist: While Thrust's nosecone is supposed to go behind his head like the other Seeker toys as pictured above, the cartoon and comic had it pointing up and stylised as a helmet (alongside Dirge and Ramjet).
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: When trapped in a Starscream-possessed Trypticon in the cartoon episode "Ghost in the Machine", Runabout, Runamuck, Thrust and Dirge realize they need to stop him. Thrust himself smashes Trypticon's controls, throwing a wrench in Unicron and Starscream's plans and saving Cybertron (Unicron makes one last attempt, but this is stopped by Starscream being Starscream). It's never spoken of afterwards.
  • Miles Gloriosus: He'll brag and boast about how his mere presence has guaranteed Decepticon victory, but if the enemy is stronger than he gives them credit for, he'll quickly turn tail and flee.
  • Palette Swap: As a Seeker, he's basically a red Starscream, but he's distinguished by his VTOL wings and (usually) his nosecone pointing up.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Where exactly he came from between the first and second seasons of the original cartoon is never explained; he's treated as if he was always there.
  • Size Shifter: The cartoon episode "Kremzeek!" had Megatron fly in Thrust's jet mode cockpit. In his robot mode. Bear in mind that robot mode Thrust is only as tall as Megatron, if not smaller.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Thrust believes himself to be far more competent than he actually is, and he wants you to know that he's coming.
  • Spanner in the Works: In the episode "Ghost in the Machine", Thrust happens to be inside Trypticon when Starscream possesses him and uses him to send Unicron's head down to Cybertron to become his new body. He immobilizes Trypticon from the inside, preventing Starscream from making the necessary connections unless his physical form is restored (and once it is, he's all to happy to ditch Unicron).
  • Terrible Trio: He forms part of one with fellow Coneheads Dirge and Ramjet.
  • Unexplained Recovery: In The Transformers: The Movie, he and his fellow Coneheads fly into Unicron's mouth and seemingly die, but he shows up alive in Season 3 of the cartoon.
  • Unfortunate Names: "Thrust" isn't a name no-one will snigger at already, but remember that he's also a Conehead Seeker, and he wants to let his enemies know he's coming.

     1986 Decepticons 

Galvatron

Function: City Commander

Alt Mode: Cybertronian Artillery Unit

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/galvatron_7073.jpg
"My power is everything; defeat is absurd!"

A powerful, cold-hearted and oftentimes-insane Decepticon, Galvatron is a dangerous Decepticon leader. While mostly known for being a reformatted Megatron after a chance encounter with Unicron following a final battle with Optimus Prime, sometimes he's an ancient Transformer warlord, seperate from either entity.

Voiced by: Leonard Nimoy / Frank Welker (EN), Seizo Kato (JP)

  • Adaptational Badass: His comic selves were shown to be immensely powerful, shrugging off multiple Autobot assaults in rapid succession, and surviving many experiences that could have killed other Transformers. In the IDW comics, he even killed a Prime!
  • All Take and No Give: When energon-low Decepticons (who'd already given energon to bring back Galvatron) were hired by the Quintessons to take on the Autubots with enough energon to keep going, they're seen as "disloyal," and Galvatron makes no bones about it. Swindle calls him out on it.
    They gave us energon! They led us on this raid! What can you give us that they didn't?
  • Arm Cannon: Galvatron wields a powerful particle cannon much like Megatron's fusion cannon.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • In the third season, he becomes so unstable that Cyclonus and Scourge take him to a planet designed to deal with psychotic people, but Galvatron ultimately ends up demolishing the planet.
    • Meanwhile, the UK comic version starts off as relatively composed. However, it soon becomes clear he's holding back a great deal of madness, and circumstances keep pushing him over the edge.
  • Bad Boss:
    • Whereas Megatron was genuinely respected by his warriors, Galvatron is feared and hated for his erratic tendency to suddenly kill them for the most insignificant of slights.
    • In his first appearance, the Marvel US version threatens to kill Wildfly for bad-mouthing him, then actually does kill Cyclonus for being overpowered by an Autobot.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: One alternate universe Galvatron (dubbed "Galvatron II") managed to conquer Earth and allow Unicron to devour Cybertron in his universe.
  • Barbarian Hero: He's far from being a hero, but his portrayal in the IDW continuity perfectly fits the bill.
  • Berserk Button: Starscream. The winning Batman Gambit of "Target: 2006" relies entirely on Galvatron's sheer hatred for him (and Starscream's Chronic Backstabbing Disorder).
  • BFG: He transforms into a futuristic howitzer cannon.
  • Big Bad: As he's (usually) Megatron himself in an upgraded form, Galvatron naturally fills this role. Even in the IDW-verse where he's a separate entity, he managed to become Decepticon leader following Megatron's Heel–Face Turn.
  • The Caligula:
    • After his being submerged in a lava pit on the planet Thrull, he went into a more insane state after his "sanity chips" had suffered from being in a "plasma bath" that long.
    • The Marvel US version (a.k.a. Galvatron II) clearly had a few screws lose, talking, yelling at and shooting Rodimus' corpse.
  • Came Back Strong: Following Megatron's deal with Unicron in his near-death throes, he became far stronger than before as a result, as Starscream can attest to.
  • Continuity Drift: In the Transformers UK series, this happened with Galvatron when Simon Furman took over writing the US Transformers comic and wanted to bring Megatron back. While Megatron had survived Shockwave's attempt to drive him to suicide in the UK comic, he was still dead in US comic canon and could not simply evoke the UK canon since no one in the US knew about the Transformers UK stories. So for the UK stories, the Megatron Galvatron ran around with in the Time Wars was made into Lord Straxus, who put himself inside a clone body of Megatron (although that later revelation resulted in a Continuity Snarl, since Time Wars had Galvatron remembering events through the clone's eyes).
  • Deal with the Devil: Megatron's transformation into Galvatron was essentially a Faustian pact with Unicron.
  • Decomposite Character: In some continuities (especially the IDW comics), Galvatron is a completely separate entity from Megatron rather than an upgraded iteration of the latter.
  • Depending on the Writer: Galvatron's relationship with Megatron. In most cases he is an upgraded Megatron going by a new name. However, the IDW comics show him as a completely separate entity from Megatron.
  • The Dreaded: The mere mention of Galvatron conjures despair in the bravest of hearts, and whereas Megatron was respected by his own warriors (except Starscream), said warriors now fear for their lives every waking moment thanks to Galvatron's temper and insanity.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: The Headmasters anticlimactically buries Galvatron under mounds of ice, which serves to write him out of the series and the rest of the Japanese continuations of the original cartoon. Bear in mind he managed to survive an exploding planet beforehand.
  • Evil Laugh: With a gloriously-goofy-sounding one in the Malaysian-dub.
  • Evil Old Folks: IDW Galvatron, who's a good twelve million years old, and has been killing and murderising pretty much everyone that's gotten in his way all that time.
  • Evil Overlord: He's the Decepticon leader given a considerable upgrade. Even when he isn't, he still commands a powerful army and even takes command of the Decepticons.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Leonard Nimoy and Seizō Katō gave him a very guttural, growly voice. Not so much when voiced by Frank Welker (who used a variation of his Mr. Mxyzptlk voice).
  • Faux Affably Evil: Target: 2006 Galvatron initially acts calm, reasonable and measured. It eventually becomes clear that Galvatron is not all the way sane (and this is before he starts really going mad).
  • Graceful Loser: After the Hate Plague crisis is resolved in "The Return of Optimus Prime", he graciously calls a temporary ceasefire.
    "There will be no war today, Optimus Prime; you have earned Galvatron's respect."
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Even Megatron had a better temper than Galvatron did.
  • Hero Killer:
    • The Marvel US version helped Unicron destroy Cybertron, and by the 21st century, pretty much every Autobot's dead (including Rodimus Prime, whose corpse has been strung up between the ruins of the World Trade Center).
    • The UK comic version killed several of the Wreckers when they fought him.
  • I Hate Past Me: Marvel US version actually tries to beat an insensate, just-revived Megatron to death when they meet, thinking it will cure his madness. His UK version's first order of business was usurping Megatron and burying him alive.
  • Implacable Man: The Galvatron that appears in Dreamwave's Armada comic just effortlessly walks through the local Decepticons (of whom, admittedly, there are only three, besides Megatron). Had the Air Strike Team decided not to help out, he would've killed Megatron too.
  • Informed Ability: He's actually a Triple Changer, his second transformation being a human-sized laser pistol. This was never brought up in the cartoon, and only shown once in the Marvel UK comics (where he had forced a terrified bystander to transport him covertly). His Dreamwave profile notes it, but has Cyclonus declaring most aren't "worthy" enough to wield it.
  • Joker Immunity:
    • The Marvel UK incarnation basically had nearly all of his appearance involve something that would turn anybody else to scrap metal, but he kept coming back, over and over. It eventually took a time rift erasing him from existence to get rid of him for good.
    • His IDW self has returned from apparent death several times. First when the Ark was sent to the Dead Universe and its crew revived as undead beings, then when he was thrown into a solar pool by Optimus Prime and survived against all odds, then when the D-Void seemingly atomised him (in actuality sending him back to the Dead Universe), until he finally gets killed by Optimus Prime in the climax of All Hail Optimus. But considering how his head survived, and his Titans Return toy has a Titan Master that turns into his head, even THAT may not be permanent.
  • The Juggernaut: Galvatron in the UK Marvel comics was so powerful, it's easier to list the attempts to hurt him that actually do something.
  • Kneel Before Zod: Played completely straight:
    Galvatron: Before a society can move forward, all must agree on the rules. Now kneel!
  • Large Ham: It does not help that Frank Welker decided to give Galvatron a high-and-screechy voice, not unlike another screeching-and-effeminite villain called Skeletor.
  • Light Is Not Good: Galvatron's original toy, in contrast to his design in The Transformers: The Movie, was predomnantly bright white. This color scheme carried over to his appearance in the Marvel comics (as well as "Galvatron II") and even his post-Dark Cybertron IDW body.
  • Losing Your Head: His Titans Return toy has a mini-Megatron lookalike named Nucleon who turns into his head.
  • Mood-Swinger: In Season 3 of the cartoon, he could switch between calm, insanely gleeful, sarcastic, terrified, enraged at the drop of a hat. It was even lampshaded in one episode.
    Galvatron: (after being told to stop) And just how do you intend to stop me? You lump of--
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: He's often portrayed as being nearly unbeatable. Some sources claim that this is due to him drawing power from Unicron himself.
  • One-Man Army: Comic Galvatron is usually capable of plowing through anything thrown at him.
  • Pet the Dog: In the IDW comics, a Sweep mistakes Autobots for a threat and attacks them, but is shot down and found by Galvatron. He heals the Sweep, and claims to be the Savior of Cybertron and that they all need to unite to save it.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: His IDW counterpart is a barbaric ten million-year old badass.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: In Season 3 at times, his behaviour's similar to that as a spoilt child with a horrible temper with Cyclonus being the "damage control" for the Decepticons and he's leader of an entire army of Decepticon warriors. He definitely fits the third dot point of the trope.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Galvatron is often depicted as being purple, and there's no denying that he's very powerful.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Cartoon Galvatron is the red to his lieutenant Cyclonus' blue.
      Cyclonus: Mighty Galvatron please!! We must use strategy and—
      Galvatron: [punches him into outer space] Strategy is for cowards!!
    • Inverted with the comics, where Galvatron is the calm, cunning blue to Cyclonus' red.
  • Related in the Adaptation: In the IDW comics, Galvatron and Arcee are twins.
  • The Rival: Not Rodimus, but Ultra Magnus. The two frequently pair off against one another.
  • Samurai: The crests upon his head clearly invoke an imagery of the helmet worn by Samurai.
  • Sanity Slippage: He wasn't exactly playing with a full deck before, but in the UK comics his second time-jaunt leaves him disoriented. Then, in a fight with some Autobots Blaster zaps him with his electro-scrambler, and much of Galvatron's remaining sanity evaporates.
  • Sanity Strengthening:
    • After being hit by the Autobot Matrix by Optimus Prime, Galvatron seems to regain some of his marbles, enough to show lucid appreciation for Prime in the end. This came into play in both "The Rebirth", where Galvatron shows himself to be a (comparatively) more calculating and reserved commander who can manage some amount of strategy again.
    • Zigzagged in the Headmasters cartoon, which for a while, similarly follows with the idea of Galvatron being a more cunning and stable commander. Then he reveals his master plan; to make himself into a Unicron-esque entity called "Grand Galvatron", with a new body made out of the components of most of his loyal soldiers. Sixshot, who is apparently planned for "donations", is quick to double cross Galvatron upon seeing his utterly ludicrous idea.
  • The Starscream:
    • Ironically for a character usually born of Starscream's treachery, Galvatron tends to plot against Unicron the first chance he gets.
      Unicron: You underestimate me, Galvatron. For a time, I considered sparing your wretched little planet Cybertron. But now, you shall witness its dismemberment!
    • Galvatron's Tech Specs note how he's a City Commander (therefore of a similar rank to Ultra Magnus) who plots against his allies and is determined to lead the Decepticons, as if he were one of Megatron's dragons and not Megatron himself.
  • That Man Is Dead: Subverted in the cartoon (everyone knows Megatron and Galvatron are the same but don't make a big deal out of it) and deconstructed in the Marvel Comics, as the various time travelling Galvatrons have a hard time coping with past versions of themselves that somehow manage to cheat fate and not become Galvatron, often having to tell themselves that they are not Megatron to muster up the courage to attack their past selves.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Double subverted. Upon Megatron's initial reformatting in the movie, he is actually a fairly stable commander. However, his "plasma bath" in the third season alters Galvatron's sanity chips, rendering him insane.
  • Tranquil Fury: In an O.O.C. Is Serious Business kind of way. In Season 3, when this happens, it means he's even more furious than usual.
  • Two-Faced: His UK comics version got half his face blown off toward the end. That didn't help his sanity one iota.
  • Unstoppable Rage: If someone ticks Galvatron off (something easy to do, given his degraded mental state), expect to see things blowing up.
  • Villainous Friendship:
    • Surprisingly, he retains this with Soundwave after his transformation. This carries over to Transformers Headmasters, where he has Soundwave rebuilt as "Soundblaster".
    • To a lesser degree, Season 3 of the cartoon series shows he had a similar relationship with Cyclonus, even though he didn't show it nearly as often as Cyclonus did.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Subverted; when Megatron first becomes Galvatron, he is perfectly rational. The insanity part usually comes soon after.

Cyclonus

Function: Saboteur

Alt Mode: Cybertronian Fighter Jet

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cyclonus_1932.jpg
"Compassion is the Autobots' downfall."

Galvatron's second-in-command, created by Unicron from the remains of either Bombshell, or Skywarp. Or some guy named Life-Spark. Or was always Cyclonus; it various from continuity and fan you speak to. Fiercely loyal to Galvatron, he is often tasked with the thankless job of babysitting his insane leader.

Voiced by: Roger C. Carmel (EN), Tomomichi Nishimura (JP)


  • Adaptational Heroism: In the IDW comics he's at his most heroic, pulling a Heel–Face Turn and becoming a brooding Anti-Hero, who nevertheless allies with and assists the Autobots.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Whilst a Noble Demon in the cartoon, the Universe Wreckers comic and Rodimus Vs. Cyclonus comic both him as only pretending to be one to cover his cowardly duplicitous nature.
  • The Berserker: In the IDW comics, Cyclonus's main conflict is that internally, he's a huge ball of rage, despite trying to be The Stoic, and wanting Nemesis Prime's peaceful "utopia." As the series goes on, he mellows, being calmer in action and more silent off the field, he mentions in issue 1 of the MTMTE ongoing, that if he gets into a real fight, he's gonna have trouble stopping.
  • The Consigliere: In the cartoon, he is constantly trying to keep Galvatron's Ax-Crazy attitude in line. Compared to Starscream however, who is a compulsive Commander Contrarian, Cyclonus is just trying to keep things smoothly for his master, aware many Decepticons are just a stone throw away from turning on their commander as much as the Autobots he risks diving head first into in his insane rampages.
  • Continuity Snarl: Cyclonus in the US Marvel Comic, along with Scourge, had a blink and miss cameo appearance in "The Headmasters" comic in order to pimp their Targetmaster figures. This created a problem since the book was set in the present. Simon Furman ultimately fixed this (even though the Headmasters comic would not be published in the UK) by creating a time travel scenario where Cyclonus and Scourge would be sent back in time and ultimately hook up with Scorponok.
  • Cool Starship: Cyclonus transforms into a space fighter, sometimes even serving as Galvatron's personal transport.
  • Depending on the Writer: His true identity. In recent comic continuity, writers sidestep the issue by either having him be created by Unicron from scratch or having him be always Cyclonus and not a Transformer who got upgraded into a new body.
    • In the G1 cartoon, he was either Bombshell or Skywarp. Due to an animation error, this has been hotly debated.
    • In the Marvel comics, he was a Decepticon called Life-Spark.
    • In the Universe continuity, he's implied to be Bombshell, calling Skywarp his Armada.
    • In Macrocosmic Seekers, he's implied to be Skywarp.
    • In the Dreamwave comics, he's himself and a servant of Unicron, and there seems to be many of him.
    • In the IDW comics, he's still himself, an old Transformer from before the war.
  • The Dragon: He's commonly portrayed as Galvatron's right-hand man.
  • Demonic Possession: In Starscream's Ghost.
    • Cast as a Mask: Roger C. Carmel still voiced Cyclonus when the story demanded he "act normal" to fool Galvatron in that episode. When he made the deal to betray Galvatron to Rodimus, Chris Latta voices Cyclonus.
  • Discontinuity Nod: IDW comics, after being erroneously labeled as a Decepticon throughout Heart of Darkness and Chaos (he really is non-affiliated), Cyclonus mentions in The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye that he isn't and never was a Decepticon, and in the issue before, he's seen protesting being locked up with the Cons, as he isn't one.
  • Dumb Muscle: The Marvel UK version, who is even dumb enough to tell Shockwave that he and Scourge would help kill him one day. He is also this the Japanese Headmasters anime.
  • Ear Ache: In The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, Whirl breaks one of his horns in the first issue. He goes for over 30 issues before it finally gets fixed.
  • Empathic Weapon: As a Targetmaster, his gun is formed by Nightstick.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In the IDW comics, Cyclonus goes to activate a Nega-core, which will flood the positive universe with his Negative Universe, and he has several debates with himself over if he should activate the guardian, Thunderwing, who destroyed his planet. Ultimately he decides not to, but when the Autobots corner him, he banishes his doubts and activates the guardian.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Ultra Magnus. This is actually lampshaded by a Quintesson scientist in The Killing Jar. When their leaders seemed to attack them in an insane rage, BOTH Magnus and Cyclonus tried to use reason before they fought, only doing so when they "were given no other option."
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Courtesy of Roger C. Carmel.
  • Flat Character: Invoked by his Transformers Universe profile, which states he has no personality beyond being a ferocious warrior. Averted pretty much everywhere else, where he usually has some kind of personality.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: In the cartoon, he's either Bombshell or Skywarp; two low ranking Decepticons. In the UK continuity, he's a no-name Decepticon called "Life Spark".
  • I Love Nuclear Power: His jet engines are nuclear powered, allowing him to cruise at Mach 2 and reach escape velocity.
  • Noble Demon: Deconstructed; while he was willing to save Ultra Magnus from certain doom, he was more than willing to employ Death's Head to kill Shockwave so he wouldn't have to get his hands dirty himself.
    "Warriors such as you and I should meet their end in battle."
  • Number Two: To Galvatron. It has been stated he could easily become a better leader than Galvatron any time he wanted to, were it not for his Undying Loyalty to the maniac.
  • Off with His Head!: His Marvel UK version gets his head torn off by Megatron.
  • Only Sane Man: Shares this with Soundwave in Season 3. He serves as the voice of reason in the Decepticon command.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to his commander Galvatron's red.
    Cyclonus: Mighty Galvatron please!! We must use strategy and—
    Galvatron: [punches him into outer space] Strategy is for cowards!!
  • Shrug of God: In-Universe. In a coded Ask Vector Prime from a Transformers Animated guidebook, Vector Prime, an immortal multiversal traveler, says that Cyclonus's identity varies by universe.
  • Size Shifter: Even though he is as tall as Galvatron, if not slightly taller, Cyclonus can fit his leader perfectly in his plane mode's cockpit.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Cyclonus's Tech Specs claim he has vast resources of power, from which he can draw upon in proportion to his current needs.
  • That Man Is Dead: Evoked in a comic included in a Hot Rod/Cyclonus toy box set, by Cyclonus
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Several, actually. Transformers Headmasters inexplicably changed him and Scourge from genuinely menacing and formidable warriors into dumber Dirty Coward Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain comic reliefs who manage little more than cheap childish slapstick whenever they appear.
  • Undying Loyalty: To Galvatron. To emphasise, he uses Starscream's "Mighty Galvatron" addressing with complete sincerity.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: That "tells Shockwave they're going to kill him" bit mentioned up above? So much death could've been avoided if Cyclonus hadn't said that. The remark provokes Shockwave into finding a way to save himself, which kickstarts the whole Time Wars storyline, and Cyclonus' own death.
  • Villainous Friendship: In S3 he is loyal to only Galvatron and the Decepticon cause. He always stayed by Galvatron's side. In Webworld he even attempted to find help for him when his insanity caused mutiny to stir in the ranks of the Decepticons, he demonstrated towards the end of the episode he'd rather have a psychotic boss rather than just a mindless machine (the therapists were about to lobotomise him) and in Burden Hardest to Bear he's the only Decepticon who stayed by Galvatron's side after a Matrix empowered Scourge usurped command of his army from him.
  • Worthy Opponent: He respects Ultra Magnus as a brother-warrior, and the feeling is mutual.

Scourge

Function: Sweep Leader

Alt Mode: Cybertonian Hovercraft

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/scourge_6449.jpg
"Desolation follows in my tracks"

Created from a former Decepticon (originally former Seeker Thundercracker, though recent adaptations have him just be a Transformer named Scourge), he serves Galvatron as the leader of the Sweeps, a battalion of robotic doppleganger huntsmen who track down and assasinate elusive Autobots.


  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Scourge's beard in the box art appears white (or light grey on his toy itself). In the cartoon, it's either dark blue, dark greyish blue, dark grey, or black.
  • Beard of Evil: A stylish Fu Manchu and Goatee. Or Van Dyke.
  • The Brute: Under Galvatron.
  • Butt-Monkey: While Cyclonus gets his fair share of abuse from Galvatron, it is Scourge who truly bears the brunt of his leader's hideously-bad temper, as he is not one TENTH the warrior that Cyclonus is.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: In the IDW comics, after the Chaos event, the Dead Universe Transformers are all accounted for; Galvatron is temporarily dead, Cyclonus has pulled a Heel–Face Turn (kinda) and Jhiaxus has gone to cause trouble in space, but Scourge has disappeared. In the first issue of MTMTE, Cyclonus is seen searching for him, before leaving, and Sky-Byte mentions that a Sweep head looks like someone he knew. Editor John Barber eventually confirmed he was considered dead.
  • Co-Dragons: Alongside Cyclonus, he serves as Galvatron's highest-ranking minions.
  • Continuity Snarl: Scourge, in the US Marvel Comic, along with Cyclonus, had a blink and miss cameo appearance in "The Headmasters" comic in order to pimp their Targetmaster figures. This created a problem since the book was set in the present. Simon Furman ultimately fixed this (even though the Headmasters comic would not be published in the UK) by creating a time travel scenario where Cyclonus and Scourge would be sent back in time and ultimately hook up with Scorponok.
  • Demonic Possession: In Ghost in the Machine.
  • Dirty Coward: It's implied that the Sweeps in general are cowards, but after what happened to a Sweep that was shot in the eye in "Five Faces of Darkness, Part 3" by Wheelie, soon after they recovered Galvatron, nobody would blame them.
    Sweep: My guidance system is hit! Galvatron, save meeee!
    Galvatron: Please, meet your end with dignity! I despise whiners!
  • Empathic Weapon: The Nebulan Fracas transforms into his gun as a Targetmaster.
  • Heel–Face Turn: At the end of the Timelines comics, a continuation of the G1 cartoon, Scourge signs a peace treaty on behalf of the Decepticons with the Autobots Neutrals and Second Generation Transformers that ends the war.
  • Losing Your Head: Titans Return reinvents Fracas as an ancient Cybertronian Titan Master, and he forms Scourge's head as opposed to his weapon.
  • Out of Focus: While he's nominally part of a trio with Galvatron and Cyclonus, ol' Scourge tends to get the short end of the stick, almost never getting the same amount of face time as them. IDW's comics even left him out completely until he suddenly appeared without comment, then shoved him to the side just as quickly.
  • Powers via Possession: When he takes in the Autobot Matrix of Leadership in his own body, he turns into a hideous freak with the power of a hundred Decepticons and great madness to boot in "The Burden Hardest to Bear." Scourge wipes the floor with Galvatron and Cyclonus and usurps control of the Decepticons for a strike on Earth. However, Hot Rod, having seen the changes the Matrix did to Scourge, defeats him to reclaim it and become Rodimus Prime once again.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: His claw-tips are painted pink, and Depending on the Artist, the tips of his toes as well.
  • Remember the New Guy?: IDW comics, he just shows up in All Hail Megatron 14. In the Revelation miniseries the Dead Universe Transformers were: Nemesis Prime, Galvatron, Cyclonus, Straxus, Jhiaxus, and Grindcore. 14 states that Scourge was also one, despite having not been seen before.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: This is mostly an Informed Ability.
  • Super Senses: Demonstrated when a storm erupts on Jupiter (from Galvatron shooting at it) is audibly painful to the Sweeps, but not Galvatron or Cyclonus.
    Sweep 1: This is blowing out my audio sensors!
    Sweep 2: It's torture!
    Galvatron: (Evil Laugh) "No, no, it's music! The symphony of destruction and the anthem of agony!"
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Several, actually. Transformers Headmasters inexplicably changed him and Cyclonus from genuinely menacing and formidable warriors into dumb Dirty Coward Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain comic reliefs who manage little more than cheap childish slapstick whenever they appear.
  • Yes-Man: Unlike Cyclonus, he's not so willing to speak up against Galvatron's deranged choices.

The Combaticons

Function: Combaticon Leader (Onslaught), Interrogation (Vortex), Munitions Expert (Swindle), Ground Assault (Brawl), Space Warrior (Blast Off)

Alt Modes: Anti-Aircraft Truck (Onslaught), Kaman SH-2 Seasprite Helicopter (Vortex), FMC XR-311 Combat Jeep (Swindle), Leopard 1A3 Battle Tank (Brawl), Modified International NASA Space Shuttle (Blast Off)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/onslaught_8690.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/vortex_29.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/swindle_5529.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/brawlart_6353.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/blast_off_3623.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bruticus_9151.jpg
Onslaught: "The mind is the greatest weapon."
Vortex: "I'm Vortex, fly me - if you dare."
Swindle: "Make Deals, not war."
Brawl: "I was built to be wild."
Blast Off: "I destroy Autobots by choice, not command."
Bruticus: "The road to conquest is paved with Autobot wrecks."

Five Decepticons who transform into military-based vehicles. They are Onslaught (an anti aircraft truck), Blast Off (a space shuttle), Brawl (a tank), Swindle (a jeep) and Vortex (a helicopter). They combine into Bruticus.


  • Adaptational Heroism: Swindle and Blast Off are given more sympathetic characterizations in the IDW comics. Eventually even Brawl had a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Aloof Ally: Blast Off considers himself to be above the rest of his comrades — figuratively and literally, given that he's often out in space.
  • Arms Dealer: Swindle acts as the team's munitions expert, and he knows all about weapons and their market prices.
  • The Barnum: Considering how his name is Swindle, it'd be kind of shocking if he didn't enjoy conning people out of cash/energon.
  • Berserk Button: Onslaught flies into a rage whenever something unexpected messes up his plans.
  • Blow You Away: Vortex can use his rotor blades to create wind funnels of speeds up to 300 miles per hour.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Brawl is not only a strong fighter, but he's also a loud, noisy one.
  • Breakout Character: While they were all introduced and characterized together, Swindle has gotten the most focus out of all of them in the years since, having the most moments away from the team in the cartoon, and is the most prominent Combaticon in the IDW comics. He's also the most heavily featured of the team's Transformers: Fall of Cybertron counterparts, as well as the only Combaticon to be adapted into Transformers Animated.
  • The Chew Toy: Swindle in the IDW comics. He's had an illegal weapon that drains a victim's energon tested on him, Optimus Prime once landed on him in truck-mode and crushed him, he's had his arm shot off and hung by a chain attached to his back for interrogation, and Astrotrain ran him over and dismembered him. Most of these happened to him for reasons contrary to his wrong doing.
  • Combining Mecha: They merge into Bruticus.
  • Cool Plane: Blast Off's Combiner Wars toy gives him a thematically more appropriate Harrier jet alternate mode (though this is due to being a redeco of the Aerialbot Quickslinger/Slingshot from the same line).
  • Death from Above: Blast Off is good at raining destruction down on Earth from orbit, with an x-ray laser that can hit targets over 12,000 miles away.
  • Dumb Muscle: Bruticus is a model military grunt. This is good in that he'll faithfully execute any commands his commanders give him...but it's bad in that he won't think for himself and won't even do anything if there's no one to tell him what to do.
  • Face–Heel Turn: According to the Transformers: Wings of Honor comics, they were once part of the Autobot Elite Guard.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Brawl has an extremely foul temper that sets him off into a wild outrage.
  • High-Altitude Interrogation: This is Vortex's main way of interrogating enemies. However, he doesn't just hang them out of his helicopter altmode — he also takes them on death-defying wild rides until they spill the beans.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Swindle thrives on wheeling and dealing, and loves to... well, swindle people for his own materialistic personal gain.
  • Hulk Speak: Bruticus speaks this way in the cartoon.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Blast Off likes to act as if he's superior to others, but that behavior is just a mask, to conceal how lonely he is when he's up in space.
  • The Juggernaut: Bruticus tries, he tries so hard. Wings of Honor shows him as one, having heavy weapons and near invincible armor, he rips his way through the Elite Guard, and even when he's brought down, there's barely enough of them left to form a team.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: When the rest of the group transforms into a jeep, a tank, a missile trailer and a helicopter, Blast Off's space shuttle mode looks very out of place. His Combiner Wars toy made him a more thematically appropriate fighter jet (though the Japanese Unite Warriors toyline made a different version that retained the classic space shuttle).
  • Lightning Gun: Brawl carries a 10 megawatt electron gun in robot mode.
  • Loud of War: Brawl has a twin sonic cannon that can fire off sound at 300 decibels.
  • Mighty Glacier: Bruticus isn't quick or agile, but he is able to lift up to 500,000 pounds.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: In the Sunbow cartoon, Starscream created the bodies from junked WWII vehicles and inserted the minds of five renegade Decepticons. Said Decepticons could also have been part of the Autobot Elite Guard who defected to Deathsaurus' Decepticons to later be imprisoned by Megatron's Decepticons (to coincide with the TV origin, yet still with some slight discrepances). And so on.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: In the cartoon, most Decepticons have red eyes (to show that they're the bad guys). Swindle stands out as one of the few with purple eyes. They're also noticeably pretty large, something that's consistent about his design starting from his original toy (in an age when Transformers actually looking like their toys or vice versa was... haphazard at best).
  • Pragmatic Villainy: "Webworld" has Motormaster and Swindle disillusioned with the insane Galvatron, and give Cyclonus an ultimatum:
    Swindle: Either you do something about his craziness, Cyclonus—
    Motormaster: —Or we'll do something about both of ya!
  • Sonic Stunner: Onslaught uses a powerful stun gun, which Bruticus also uses. Said stunner is strong enough to "stun" a hillside into powder, so the term "stun gun" is used perhaps loosely.
  • Spanner in the Works: Onslaught hates it when something messes up his carefully planned strategies.
  • Sticky Situation: Vortex uses a semi-automatic glue gun that traps his targets in place.
  • The Strategist: Rather than get his hands dirty, Onslaught prefers to devise strategies for his Combaticon subordinates to carry out on his behalf.
  • Tank Goodness: Brawl transforms into a tank.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Brawl's tank turret fires shells equivalent to 200lbs of TNT, and Onslaught fires photon missiles equivalent to 3000 tons of the stuff.

Gnaw

Function: Assault Sentry

Alt Mode: Alien Shark

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gnaw_8148.jpg
"I live for the taste of an Autobot's fuel line!"

A Sharkticon from planet Quintessa, Gnaw's loyalties lie with whoever feeds him. He must get lots of food from the Decepticons, then, as he proudly wears their symbol.


  • Adapted Out: While Sharkticons were present in The Transformers: The Movie and Season 3 of the cartoon, none of them were allied with the Decepticons like Gnaw.
  • Big Eater: As with all Sharkticons, and Gnaw in particular is loyal to whoever last fed him.
  • Epic Flail: His weapon of choice in robot mode, which also acts as his shark-mode's tail.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In at least one comic continuity, he's joined the Autobots and become Wheelie's best friend.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Presumably, like most Sharkticons, he's perfectly fine with devouring Cybertronians.
  • Mook Promotion: Once a Sharkticon identical to the rest of his kind, Gnaw now holds a spot in the Decepticon army.
  • Threatening Shark: Well, his altmode is more akin to a robot frog pirahna thing.
  • Uniformity Exception: His Decepticon insignia is the only thing distinguishing him from any other Sharkticon.

Octane

Function: Fueler

Alt Modes: Extended Cab Tanker Truck, Boeing 767 Jet

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/octane_3078.jpg
"He who has fuel, has power."

A greedy Triple Changer who becomes a jumbo jet and a fuel tanker. Octane is a mean-spirited bully who enjoys forcing planes to abort landings and watching Decepticons painfully fall inoperative due to a lack of the fuel he is supposed to provide.


  • Achilles' Heel: In his tanker mode, he is heavily armored everywhere except for the underside.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Especially noticable compared to the other more consistent Decepticon Triple Changers
    • In the Marvel comics he's a bully and Dirty Coward... most of the time. Other times he's a moderately competent soldier.
    • In the G1 cartoon he's a greedy opportunist who eventually goes neutral and befriends Sandstorm. This persists in the Wings of Honor continuity where he's a reluctant ally to the Autobot/Decepticon alliance.
    • In the classics continuity he's a high ranked soldier in Megatron's splinter faction and largely in it for the money.
    • In the Legends continuity... he's a pervert and tries to make a sexy video business. This was based on a gag from the cartoon in which he oggles a fembot.
    • In the IDW continuity he's a fairly standard soldier until post-war where he goes onto be one of the more moral ex-Decepticons and works to promote peace.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He'll do anything if it'll get him something in return. Just ask Galvatron about Trypticon's vacation in Carbombya.
  • Dirty Coward: His Tech Specs give him a Courage rating of 3.
  • Deflector Shields: He has a deflecto-shield that repels beams and artillery.
  • Friendly Enemy: To Sandstorm.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Octane's self-serving outlook and habits of making his allies beg for drops of fuel have made him one of the more despised Decepticons. That he's able to locate fuel and transport it as well as he does is probably what keeps Megatron from kicking him out.
  • Hazy Feel Turn: After the Decepticons kick him out in the cartoon, he sorta sides with the Autobots, getting a job as a salvage operator, and being friendly with Sandstorm. He never actually became an Autobot, but he did seem to scheme with Starscream and Rodimus to get Galvatron killed.
  • Kill It with Fire: In a surprising show of backbone, Octane once takes on a Scraplet monster with the other Triple Changer Decepticons in the Marvel comics. He sets it on fire with his flamethrower, which is powered by his large fuel supply.
  • Killed Off for Real: He dies in the Marvel comics, killed alongside his fellow Triple Changers against Starscream.
  • I Have Many Names: At different points, he's been renamed Tankor, Fuselage, and Octone, almost always for trademark reasons.
  • Losing Your Head: Sometimes the Titan Master Murk transforms into Octane's head.
  • Playing with Fire: His weapon of choice is a fuel-powered flamethrower.
  • The Starscream: He tried to be this in the cartoon episode "Thief in the Night". As with the original, this didn't work out well for him, and after getting kicked from the Decepticons, he meets the ghost of the REAL Starscream, who shows him how it's done.
  • Troll: Loves to make commercial aircraft abort landings. The other Decepticons find such activities to be pointless. They're not particularly happy with his hobby of withholding fuel from them and watching as they fall painfully inoperative, either.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: He teams up with Starscream and the Autobots to defeat Galvatron in "Starscream's Ghost", and when Galvatron comes back in the end, Octane just runs off, and is never seen again. Future appearances had him back in the Decepticons, but they might have just been animation errors. The fact that it's possible Octane's role in those episodes was meant to have been filled by Blitzwing doesn't help.

The Predacons

Function: Predacon Leader (Razorclaw), Gunner (Rampage), Ground Assault (Headstrong), Fueler (Tantrum), Aerial Assault (Divebomb), Warrior (Predaking)

Alt Modes: Lion (Razorclaw), Tiger (Rampage), Rhinoceros (Headstrong), Bison (Tantrum), Eagle (Divebomb)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/razorclaw_6544.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rampage_2065.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/headstrong_4775.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tantrum_4470.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/divebomb_7049.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/predaking_1369.jpg
Razorclaw: "All good things succumb to those who wait."
Rampage: "Those who conquer, act; those who are conquered think."
Headstrong: "The best advice is not to listen to advice."
Tantrum: "Anger gets me running better than any other fuel."
Divebomb: "Conquer the skies and below you will fall."
Predaking: "Destroy first, ask questions later."

A quintet of wild and powerful Decepticons with powerful, savage animals as their beast modes. In some continuities, they are the forebears and original leaders of the Predacon faction from Beast Wars. Their members include their leader, Razorclaw (a lion), Divebomb (an eagle), Headstrong (a rhinoceros), Rampage (a tiger), and Tantrum (a water buffalo). In most continuities, they are able to combine in order to form the mighty Predaking.


  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Razorclaw's claws are able to rip through one foot-thick steel.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Rampage is different type. Seemingly, television is his Fatal Flaw.
  • Affably Evil: Divebomb is the most cheerful of the Predacons, particularly (and especially) when he has several targets to choose from while in the air.
  • A Load of Bull: Tantrum's alt-mode is a robotic water buffalo.
  • Chemistry Can Do Anything: One of Tantrum's weapons is a catalytic carbine, which sprays a foe with reactive chemicals and forms hazardous compounds on contact with metal.
  • Combining Mecha: The team combine to form Predaking.
  • Cool Sword: All five Predacons (including Rampage the gunner) and Predaking use swords as weapons, and all of them have some extra feature.
  • Energy Ball: Headstrong uses a plasma-sphere shooter that fires explosive energy balls.
  • Evil Counterpart: A quintet of five vicious, near-feral robots with savage animal modes? Sounds like they fit the bill for the Dinobots (which their original commercial even pointed out).
    Megatron: Few Decepticons can stand up to the Dinobots, but the Predacons can!
    • Invoked by the rivalry between Divebomb and the Dinobot Swoop in the UK Marvel comics. When they picked up their rivalry on Earth, the rest of the Dinobots and the rest of the Predacons joined in the fight. The Dinobots were less than impressed.
  • Feathered Fiend: Divebomb transforms into a mechanical eagle.
  • Flaming Sword: Rampage uses a thermo-sword that can reach temperatures of up to 5,000 degrees.
  • Genius Bruiser: Unusually for combiners, the Predacons' mental merging as Predaking is successful, resulting in a highly effective (if animalistic) super warrior.
  • God in Human Form: Predaking's Power of the Primes toy includes Onyx Prime's Prime Master, which is contained behind Razorclaw's lion head, and thus the robot chests of Razorclaw and Predaking.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: As their names might imply, Tantrum and Rampage are both prone to frequent and violent rages.
  • Hollywood Acid: Headstrong releases corrosive acid from his rhino mode's horns.
  • In a Single Bound:
    • Razorclaw's lion mode can leap distances as long as a football field (120 yards or 110 meters).
    • Rampage can jump up to 300ft high and 500ft long in tiger mode.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Headstrong acts stubborn to hide his own deep insecurities. Too bad for him that he's more susceptible to psycological (rather than physical) attacks.
  • Informed Ability:
    • Their combined form of Predaking is supposedly a nigh-unbeatable Genius Lightning Bruiser. In all the myriad continuities in which Predaking has appeared, however, the big guy acts like a dumb brute and has had perhaps one victory against anyone, and that was against the Combaticons.
    • Tantrum's official function is "fueler", possessing four fuel tanks on the sides of his beast mode. He's never seen actually performing that function.
  • Killed Off for Real: The hunters became the hunted in the Marvel comics thanks to Starscream during his Underbase power-trip. Some continuations of the story have some or all of them recover, however.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Razorclaw wields twin concussion blasters, which do the bulk of their damage through physical force.
  • King of Beasts: Razorclaw transforms into a mechanical lion.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: In "Nightmare Planet", after being freed from Daniel's nightmares, they're ready to go after Rodimus and the Autobots — all except Headstrong, whose leg had been injured by a giant Nightmare Galvatron badly enough to keep him from transforming into his beast mode. Knowing that without him, they can't form Predaking, Razorclaw calls for a retreat (since without Predaking, the odds are with the Autobots, not them).
  • Laser Sight: Divebomb has a very unusual example in that his sword uses it — specifically, it locks onto a target and guides the sword towards it.
  • Lightning Gun: Rampage uses a 60,000 volt lightning rifle as a weapon.
  • Master of Illusion: Headstrong uses a diffraction sword, which bends light and makes him appear somewhere he isn't while hiding his true location.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Razorclaw doesn't screw around when he's on the hunt — he won't waste a drop of energon unless he's certain the results are worth it. He's willing to go long periods of staying motionless (causing others to mistake this for laziness) until the opportune time to strike, when he finally goes all-out.
  • Panthera Awesome: Rampage's alternate form is a tiger.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: The individual Predacons are dangerous and well-armed by themselves, but as a combiner, Predaking takes it to a new level, being a successful (if animalistic) merge of the five.
  • Predecessor Villain: Certain continuities establish them as the founders of the Predacon faction in Beast Wars. When the Decepticons accept the Autobot's offer for peace, the Predacons separate from them, gathering together former dissidents and protoforms to begin the conflict anew.
  • Remember the New Guy?: The Predacons simply show up without any origin in the original cartoon's third season, though Japanese media would claim they were created by the Quintessons as a means of gaining the Decepticons' trust during "Five Faces of Darkness" (though that explanation ignores Razorclaw, Headstrong and Divebomb briefly being seen among the Decepticon forces beforehand).
  • Rhino Rampage: Handstrong's beast form is a rhinoceros.
  • Shock and Awe: Tantrum wields an electro-sword and can shoot bolts of electricity from his horns (up to 20,000 volts). Predaking can also generate a protective electric field.
  • Thieving Magpie: Divebomb has shades of this, using late-model sports cars (among other things) to build mecha-nests for himself on buildings and mountains.
  • Sigil Spam: Divebomb's Power of the Primes figure becomes this if you choose to apply all of his stickers, as most of the many stickers that go on his wings each has a miniature Decepticon symbol printed on them.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Rampage goes through these a lot, and friend and foe get torn to shreds during these outbursts. Strangely, TV is one way of keeping him under control; rock music videos in particular keep him enraptured for hours.
  • Use Your Head: Since Headstrong and Tantrum transform into horned animals, this is naturally a favored tactic of theirs.
  • Vibroweapon: Razorclaw wields a sonic sword, the vibrations of which shatter metal on contact. Predaking also uses this sword as a weapon.
  • Walking Armory: All the Predacons use swords and guns at the same time, and each of those has a distinctive function or advantage.
  • Wings Do Nothing: Divebomb's wings detach to form Predaking's wings. Though it looks visually impressive, Predaking is just too big to get any lift from them. Played for Laughs in the Power of the Primes show where Predaking falls into a chasm and tries to flap them in an attempt to slow down his descent.

Ratbat

Function: Fuel Scout

Alt Mode: Micro-Cassette

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ratbat_4982.jpg
"The road is my dinner plate."

The Decepticons' cold-blooded and efficiency-obsessed fuel scout, who tends to criticise the waste of fuel in each Decepticon plan. He's one of Soundwave's tapes, but sometimes he finds himself in a high position despite his size — often to the position of Decepticon leadership!


  • Adaptational Badass: His Marvel comics incarnation is a great deal more effective than his other characterisations; besides being a rather effective Decepticon leader for a Mini-Cassette, he managed to take on Fortress Maximus.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: In the cartoon, he was shown to have an animalistic intelligence like all animal Transformers. In the Marvel comics, he was Cybertron's chief fuel auditor, with a talent for calculating expenditures and profits.
  • Baleful Polymorph: IDW afflicts him with a robotic form of this — once a humanoid with bat-like features, his former goon Soundwave places his spark into a smaller body that is all bat.
  • Bat Out of Hell: Ratbat's robot mode is that of a giant mechanical bat.
  • Big Bad: Some continuities have him be in some position of Decepticon leadership.
    • In the Marvel comics, it was really more of a Big Bad Duumvirate with Scorponok, until Scorponok killed him.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Decepticon equivalent of one, using "fuel" and "energy efficiency" in the context that a human would use "money" or "profit." An issue of the Marvel comic mentions that he was an accountant before the war.
    Narrator: On Cybertron, Ratbat was an accountant. He used to count fuel stockpiles. But since his arrival on Earth, this energy-efficiency expert has become commander of this planet's Decepticons. Today he prepares to count Autobot casualties. To Ratbat, it's all the same job... just a different inventory.
  • Corrupt Politician: In the IDW comics, Ratbat is shown to have once been a senator who did immoral things for profit, such as arming Megatron's little band of gladiators (not that it ended well for him).
  • Depending on the Writer: While most continuities have him capable of speech and put him in some high ranking position, the cartoon merely made him The Unintelligible and a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Laserbeak.
    • The Dreamwave comics attempted a sort of middle ground; during the War Within era he's a relatively powerful warlord with a bipedal body. However, once Shockwave conquered Cybertron, Ratbat refused to swear fealty to him, so as punishment, he was dismantled and reformatted into a more animalistic form closer to his cartoon counterpart.
  • Evil Overlord: In the Marvel comics, Ratbat became Decepticon leader for a considerably long while, and later G1 material has put him in a similarly high position of power.
  • Fantastic Racism: Shares the average Decepticon hatred of humans, but will put this prejudice aside for the right business opportunities.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: In IDW, Ratbat was a greedy senator who used Megatron's uprising for his personal gain. Then his minion, Soundwave, betrayed him, destroyed his body and placed his spark in his current "cassette" body, thus making him Soundwave's servant.
  • It's All About Me: Ratbat's only allegiance is to himself. As for his friends? They're not friends, just business partners.
  • Killed Off for Real: Offed by Scorponok in the Marvel comics and Arcee in the IDW comics.
  • Mister Big: While he's usually larger than the mini-cassette he transforms into, Ratbat is still a good deal smaller than most of the Decepticons he finds himself leader of in most continuities (such as the Marvel comics).
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Played with in the comics; he's a businessman, not a soldier. However, when he does have to fight, he takes full advantage of his flight maneuverability, shoulder mounted blasters, and powerful bite.
  • Sensor Character: Ratbat's wings contain sensors that can locate fuel sources. His primary function per his Tech Specs is as a fuel scout for the Decepticons.
  • Size Shifter: Turns from a microcassette into a bat. His Tech Specs note that his wingspan can change from being one foot to ten feet, implying he can also change his robot mode size.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: While supposedly the Decepticons' fuel scout, the cartoon used him more often as a spy as if he were Laserbeak (who made less and less appearances in the third season).
  • Vampiric Draining: He refuels himself by biting into the gas-lines of cars. He prefers high-quality cars as they have higher-quality fuel. He can also use this bite to take down Autobots.
  • Was Once a Man: Sometimes (most prominently in IDW), Ratbat was once a humanoid Transformer before being unwillingly given a new animal robot mode.

Runabout and Runamuck

Function: Shock Troopers

Alt Mode: Lotus Turbo Esprit Sportscar (Runabout), Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Sportscar (Runamuck)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/runabout_2561.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/runamuck_3454.jpg
Runabout: "A pretty car makes an even prettier wreck."
Runamuck: "The road is my playpen; cars are my toys!"

A duo of Decepticons collectively known as the Battlechargers, with the ability to transform faster than any other Transformer, taking under half a second to do so. The two are dim, but equally commited to causing chaos and mayhem.


  • Affably Evil: Sometimes, like in the Wings of Honor continuity, they happily inform Jhiaxus of the war, and even give advice on how to pursue a fembot to Sideburn.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Both of them suffer this to an extent, but Runabout in particular. He's easily distracted and prone to indulging in flights of fancy, random violence, and petty vandalism.
  • Chaotic Stupid: Both are violent, short-sighted, impulsive, "wacky", and not as clever as they think they are.
  • Delusions of Eloquence: One of the few differences between them is that while Runabout is fully aware that the duo's pranks and graffiti are childish and silly (and gladly embraces this fact), Runamuck has deluded himself into believing that he's a brilliant, Banksy-style artist who creates revolutionary art and social commentary. His art is actually poorly scribbled phrases like "humans are wimps".
  • Drives Like Crazy: Though not to the extreme of the Stunticons, the Battlechargers have little regard for humans and their silly little traffic laws.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains: In most continuities, like in Marvel, where they put graffiti on the Statue of liberty, and especially in the Wings Continuity, where they are incredibly dim, and fairly awkward.
  • The Hyena: Runamuck's constant chuckles are always written as "heh heh," almost to the point of a Verbal Tic.
  • Killed Off for Real: They suffer this fate in both the Marvel and IDW comics.
  • Monumental Damage: Though more like monumental petty vandalism, since their most memorable moment is spray-painting "Humans are wimps!" on the Statue of Liberty.
  • Palette Swap: Averted, surprisingly. You'd think from their designs that they share a body type and were just recolors of each other like the Seekers, but they have noticeably different heads, bodies, and legs. They were produced simultaneously so it's likely each one had his own mold instead of one being retooled to make the other.
  • Playing with Fire: Runamuck's friction rifle increases the generation of heat between molecules for five minutes, meaning a target hit with it will burn to death if they make even the slightest move before then.
  • Psychopathic Manchildren: Basically what you get if Beavis And Butthead were giant robots.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Runamuck's Red to Runabout's Blue — and Runabout is only the Blue Oni by being compared to Runamuck.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: They're more or less a couple of hooligans, but also something of a double act—Runamuck is an amusingly thuggish idiot, while Runabout is slightly better spoken, but not by much.

The Stunticons

Function: Stunticon Leader (Motormaster), Warrior (Drag Strip, Dead End), Terrorist (Wildrider), Scout (Breakdown), Super Warrior (Menasor)

Alt Modes: Kenworth K100 Aerodyne Tractor Trailer Truck, Modular Repair Bay (Motormaster), Tyrrell P34 Racecar (Drag Strip), Porsche 928 Sportscar (Dead End), Ferrari 308 GTB Sportscar (Wildrider), Lamborghini Countach Sportscar (Breakdown)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/motormaster_9425.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/drag_strip_8369.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dead_end_9573.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wildrider_5647.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/breakdown_7105.jpghttps://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/menasor_8872.jpg
Motormaster: "These wheels are made for crushing."
Drag Strip: "The first one to cross the finish line lives."
Dead End: "We are all just food for rust."
Wildrider: "Either you're out of my way or you're out of luck."
Breakdown: "Keep your optical sensors to yourself."
Menasor: "Leave no Autobot uncrushed."

A group of automotive-based Decepticons who combine into Menasor. The team is a Dysfunction Junction made of the tyrannical Motormaster (a Class 8 tractor trailer truck), the egotistial Glory Hound Drag Strip (a Formula One race car), the vain and nihilistic Dead End (a Porsche), the psychotic Wildrider (a Ferrari) and the paranoid Breakdown (a Lamborghini).


  • American Accents: In "The Burden Hardest to Bear," Wildrider inexplicably developed a Deep South accent.
  • Ax-Crazy: Wildrider exults himself in the accidents and mayhem he causes. Menasor is also rendered this as a result of his components all despising Motormaster.
  • Bad Boss: Motormaster is this to his teammates, which ultimately hampers Menasor's mental acuity since his four limbs all hate him.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: The group saves Megatron from Bruticus and Starscream when they combine in "Starscream's Brigade" — earlier, Bruticus had taken out Devastator and was about to get Megatron to submit to Starscream. Only Motormaster's point about Starscream's ego not knowing when to quit got them to do it though.
  • Blow You Away: Motormaster uses a cyclone cannon to fire off devastating high-force winds. Menasor often uses this weapon as well when the Stunticons are combined.
  • Car Fu: Their modus operandi. They were specifically built to be able to demolish anything and everything on the road, in fact. Wildrider is the worst driver of the bunch, though.
  • Cast as a Mask: For "Masquerade," where Autobots who closely resemble the Stunticons' altmodes impersonate them, the voices of Motormaster and Wildrider (Roger C. Carmel and Terry McGovern) are used when Optimus and Windcharger impersonate them.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Motormaster realizes in "Starscream's Brigade" that Starscream's ego would not let Starscream and Bruticus stop with just defeating Megatron and Devastator. This lets him convince the other Stunticons to form Menasor and defeat Starscream and Bruticus.
  • Combining Mecha: Menasor.
  • Cool Car: All of them transform into cars (or a truck in Motormaster's case).
  • Drives Like Crazy: All of them do this, but Wildrider goes above and beyond largely because he himself is crazy.
  • Dub Name Change: In the Italian G1 dub, each Stunticon is named after a predatory animal who got a military vehicle named after them:
    • Motormaster = Barracuda
    • Drag Strip = Iguana
    • Dead End = Cobra
    • Wildrider = Shark
    • Breakdown = Caiman
  • Dumb Muscle: Menasor is an idiot like nearly every other combiner, but he is made worse by the fact that since ALL five components absolutely hate each other, he is a self-loathing and criminally insane idiot.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Every one of them has a disorder of some sort.
  • The Eeyore: Poor, poor Dead End. He sees no point in the Transformers' war and is convinced that life itself is meaningless.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Motormaster. "Bottomless pit" deep, in this case.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: None of the other Deceptcons, Megatron included, can stand Drag Strip's costant bragging and glory seeking. If it didn't make him a dangerous and motivated foe against the Autobots, Megatron would've gladly reduced him to scrap.
  • Glory Hound: Drag Strip is obsessed with victory, to the point where he'd rather die than lose. And when he does win, he'll make sure everyone knows it.
  • Gravity Master: Drag Strip has a gravito-gun, which enhances the gravity of its target, tearing them to pieces.
  • Guide Dang It!: Motormaster's Modular Repair Bay mode was supposed to attach to Trypticon. This is never mentioned anywhere on Motormaster's packaging, instead being documented only on Trypticon's instructions.
  • Insane Equals Violent: While this applies to all the Stunticons, Wildrider is the most overt example.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: When Megatron's constructed weapon explodes in the cartoon episode "Masquerade", Autobot reinforcements arrive. Menasor retreats, as the number of Autobots greatly increased from five.
  • Large and in Charge: Motormaster is the largest of the quintet in both modes and acts as their tyrannical boss.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Those don't know Wildrider believe his mad attacks are part of a calculated strategy to unnerve the enemy. Those who do know him better are aware that he really is that crazy.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Motormaster considers Optimus Prime to be his rival as "King of the Road" and goes out of his way to destroy him before Megatron can. In the cartoon, he finally got his chance in "Masquerade" to go up against Optimus when he rammed the Autobot leader at maximum speed when they were both in their truck forms.
    Motormaster: Well, look who's here! The old King of the Road! When I'm finished with ya, you'll be King of the Junkyard!
  • Out of Focus: Menasor appeared a grand total of once in the whole of Marvel's comics.
  • The Paranoiac: Breakdown is this because he thinks everyone and everything, living or nonliving, is out to get him.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: "Webworld" has Motormaster and Swindle disillusioned with the insane Galvatron, and give Cyclonus an ultimatum:
    Swindle: Either you do something about his craziness, Cyclonus—
    Motormaster: —Or we'll do something about both of ya!
  • The Psycho Rangers: Of the Aerialbots. Played straight in the comics, but interestingly inverted in the cartoon, as the Stunticons were created first: Megatron originally built them because the Autobots thwarted his plans one too many times by being able to drive into places where Decepticon jets couldn't follow them, and he decided he needed his own fleet of cars. That they were mistaken for Autobots early in their existence was a nice bonus.
  • Ramming Always Works: Motormaster was designed to smash though enemy ground blockades, and his tech specs even go so far as to describe him plowing through K-rails without even cracking a headlight. Doesn't do him much good against Optimus, though.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Drag Strip. Motormaster too, as seen above.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The Stunticons despise each other, yet the four smaller cars are united in how much they hate and fear Motormaster. They're forced to join minds to form Menasor and are thus constantly to exposed to each other's neuroses and loathing. They only way they manage to work together is because they fear Motormaster or, more likely, fear the possible wrath of Megatron if they don't cooperate and do as he commands.
  • This Cannot Be!: Menasor is insulted in "Masquerade" when "Motormaster" (really Optimus Prime in disguise) accuses HIM of being an impostor, but this trope hits when with Windcharger's magnetism and Mirage's illusion-creating ability, the "Stunticons" form a second Menasor!
    Starscream: IMPOSSIBLE!
    Megatron: (looking at them both) TWO Menasors??
    Menasor #1: Can't be! I Menasor! Me!
  • Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Drag Strip loves brushing his ego and bragging about his accomplishments at any opportunity he can get.
  • Villain Decay: In their debut appearance in the cartoon, the Stunticons had "automatic forcefields" that made their hulls impenetrable, and were more than capable of pounding practically the entirety of the Autobot forces. In later appearances, they were taken down much easier, with no mention of their forcefields.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: When Menasor is formed, he is very powerful. Too bad that his components not only consist of a cruel tyrant, an egotistical glory-hog, a nihilist, a paranoid wreck and a complete nutter, but also that all of them hate the cruel tyrant. As such, this practically makes Menasor a walking asylum.

Trypticon

Function: Assault Base

Alt Modes: Fortress, Mobile Battle Station

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/trypticon_5582.jpg
"Total victory requires total destruction."

A giant saurian robot who transforms into a battle station and a city. He acts as the Decepticons' ultimate weapon, but he finds war to be a pointless and boring prospect. His G1 toy includes two drones under his control named Brunt (a tank) and Full-Tilt (a car that becomes a robot). The Marvel comics add a third drone, a robot named Wipe-Out.


  • Adaptational Intelligence: While Trypticon's Marvel depiction and Tech Specs don' exactly paint him as a genius, they don't make him put to be an idiot. The Sunbow cartoon, however, essentially turned him into an upscaled, evil Grimlock. Meanwhile, the Dreamwave comics have him act an awful lot like a Genius Bruiser.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: His Tians Return toy replaces his battle station mode with a spaceship mode instead.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • His toy bio mentioned him having the ability to Mind Control others, and possessing Anti Gravity projectors in his city mode that kept his enemies away. Neither of those abilities show up in any other media.
    • While his Sunbow cartoon incarnation was no genius, he was treated as a major problem that couldn't be handled easily. In the Headmasters anime, he's taken out by Wheelie. Wheelie.
  • Adapted Out: Brunt and Full-Tilt effectively never existed in the Sunbow cartoon, with Full-Tilt only appearing as part of Trypticon's chest.
  • The Artifact: His rivalry with Metroplex, which came from them both being the biggest toys of 1986. Pretty much no depiction of them since the cartoon has actually had them as rivals.
  • Big Eater: Oh yeah, he consumes 50 energon cubes (50000 barrels of oil) an hour!!
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: There's no questioning Trypticon's raw power, but he cares very little for it, or for the war in general.
  • Cool Car: He has a car drone named Full-Tilt, which can transform into a small robot. The Marvel comics also featured the similar character Wipe-Out.
  • Composite Character: In a sense, as Brunt's War for Cybertron: Siege figure gives the previously non-transforming tank drone a new robot mode heavily based upon the Centurion droids that guard Vector Sigma, in particular the IDW comic depiction of them.
  • Drone Deployer: Full-Tilt can be sent out in any of his forms (hanging on Trypticon's chest when not in use). When in his alt-modes, Trypticon can send out Brunt as well.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: His robot mode resembles a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
  • Faux Affably Evil: His Dreamwave incarnation talks in a sophisticated and polite fashion, as he's testing his weapons out on Prowl's troops.
  • Genius Loci: He can transform into a city and a fully armed mobile battle station.
  • Humongous Mecha: He's a city-sized dinosaur that can turn into a mobile battle station.
  • Informed Attribute: His bio states that Trypticon secretly finds warfare boring and pointless, and is filled with much self-loathing. This has been brought up precisely never.
  • Losing Your Head: Not Trypticon himself, but Full-Tilt, whose Titans Return toy has the Titan Master Necro (a renamed Wipe-Out) form his head.
  • Meaningful Name: "Trypticon" is derived from "triptych", used to refer to a painting or object that's divided into three hinged segments. When in his battle station or city modes, Trypticon transforms by effectively splitting into three attached segments.
  • Mind-Control Device: Strangely enough, Trypticon's optical sensor has a hypno beam.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: While he finds war boring, once he starts attacking, he won't stop until there's nothing but rubble.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Giant city-sized dinosaur? Yep. Strength and Firepower ratings of 10? Yep. A Weapon of Mass Destruction as an altform? When they say he's the Decepticons' ultimate weapon, they're not exaggerating.
  • The Rival: He functions as this to the Autobots' giant city-bot, Metroplex.
  • Shout-Out: As was probably bound to happen with a giant dinosaur-bot, there's been more than one time where Trypticon has been used as an homage to the king of kaiju, Franchise/Godzilla. The Legends comic even goes as far as naming his Titans Return form "Shin Dinosaurer".
  • Story-Breaker Power: If Trypticon was ever depicted as being as powerful as a city-sized 'bot armed to the teeth as then some should be... there probably wouldn't be many Autobots left. This probably has something to do with his scant appearances in most media.
    • In the Japanese exclusive Transformers: Zone, Trypticon is one of the nine "Warriors Elite" resurrected by the Big Bad. They destroy an entire planet in a matter of minutes.
  • Tank Goodness: While in city mode, a tank drone called Brunt is deployed.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: His mouth contains heat-seeking plasma bombs.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: Trypticon's battle station mode is this, as it's armed with a laser cannon, rotating blasters, destructo-beams and dual photon launchers. Oh, and it can move and is around the size of a city.
  • Yes-Man: Wipe-Out is this to Trypticon, laying so much praise and compliments upon him that he annoys the city-bot at times.
  • Your Size May Vary: Trypticon's size has never been consistent. In the Marvel comics, he was only around two to three times the size of regular Transformers, while other depictions make him as tall as a building or two. Meanwhile, his size hardly ever comes close to representing a robot the size of an entire human-scaled city (let alone one scaled for Transformers).

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