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"This is how we stop them. You've got me, and I’m not going anywhere."
"Let me tell you somethin': a driver don't pick the car, nuh-uh...the car picks the driver. It's a mystical bond between man and machine."
Bobby Bolivia, Transformers
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Bumblebee is a 2018 film based on the Transformers franchise. Written by Christina Hodson (Shut In, Unforgettable (2017)) and directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings) in his live-action directorial debut, it is the first Transformers live action film not to be directed by Michael Bay; instead, he serves as executive producer. Peter Cullen and Grey Griffin reprise their roles as Autobots Optimus Prime and Arcee respectively from Bay's film series.

The story takes place in 1987, twenty years before the events of the first film took place. Bumblebee (voiced briefly by Dylan O'Brien) takes refuge in a small California beach town junkyard, where a teenage girl named Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld) befriends him. They are soon hunted by a government agency known as Sector Seven, led by Agent Burns (John Cena). As they run from society, Bee and Charlie learn that Bee isn't the only Transformer on Earth, and that the others might not be as friendly.

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The film was released December 21st 2018. Its TFwiki page tries to catalogue new information as it is revealed. An Optimus Prime-centered spinoff is now in the works.

Previews: Teaser, Trailer 1, International Trailer.

Originally a prequel film in the Transformers Film Series, the future of the series came into question after the failure of Transformers: The Last Knight. However, despite a significantly lower budget, Bumblebee ended up being a critical and commercial success, so much so that at Toy Fair 2019, Hasbro officially declared the movie the start of a "new storytelling universe", confirming its status as a Continuity Reboot, severing its ties to the earlier films.


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Bumblebee contains examples of:

  • The '80s: The film is set in 1987 and as such features near-constant references to '80s music, movies, fashion, the style of cars... It takes place in the 80s. Nicely done, Mr Knight.
  • A Boy and His X: A Girl and Her Car: The Movie. The bulk of the movie is playing this trope between Charlie and Bumblebee, in a big Genre Throwback to 80s classics that followed this trope.
  • Actor Allusion: This is not the first time that Jorge Lendeborg Jr.'s character is being friendzoned by a woman.
  • Adults Are Useless: Played with and ultimately averted. Charlie's mother and stepfather are utterly ignorant of her grief over the loss of her father, and are in the dark of Bee's true nature. Ron DOES help Charlie escape the military convoy after her with some badass driving skills near the end of the film. Burns is a competent military man who is willing to listen to Bumblebee early in the movie when he says he doesn't want to hurt anyone, and he immediately doesn't trust the Decepticons by dint of their name alone. He doesn't trust Bee either since Bee didn't have time to explain anything before Blitzwing blew everyone to hell, so he doesn't know that there are two factions at war until it's almost too late.
  • Advertised Extra: A lot of trailers featured Blitzwing prominently. While he does play a critical part in the film, as he's the one who rips out Bumblebee's voice box and damages him enough to transform and enter stasis so Charlie can find him, he ultimately plays a very small part in the film's opening scenes where Bumblebee destroys him.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Shatter sees the value in asking the native lifeforms on this strange planet for help, if it will complete the mission, and sinks to one knee to act nice.
    Dropkick: Huh? What're you doing? (kneels and mutters) This is so humiliating...
  • Aliens Speaking English: Played straight as usual with Transformers, which doesn't even bother with a Hand Wave justification like in the 2007 filmnote . When Sector Seven establishes First Contact with Shatter and Dropkick, the fact that they speak perfect English is never questioned nor addressed.
  • Alpha Bitch: Tina, who mocks Charlie about her car, her job, and her dead father. Charlie does get her back though, with Memo and Bumblebee's help.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The purple Seeker beheaded by Bumblebee in the Cybertron scene is Hotlink, while the orange one knocked out by his severed head is Sunstorm.
    • Memo's full-name is Guillermo Gutierrez, and Tina's last name is Lark.
  • All There in the Script: Shatter, Dropkick and Blitzwing are never named on-screen in the film, only being named in the credits.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Charlie's parents, Sally and Ron, have their moments, especially the latter. The best showcase is when they each give Charlie her present for her 18th birthday: respectively an adorable floral helmet she insists Charlie ride her moped with, and a self-help book about smiling (which even Sally mildly cringes at).
  • Amnesia Danger: As a result of Blitzwing's attack, Bumblebee can't remember why he's on Earth or any details about the war from before. He accidentally flips down his battle mask at several points without knowing what it even is, and when Shatter and Dropkick find him, Bumblebee doesn't even remember enough about them or himself to know to fight back.
  • Amnesiac Hero: Bumblebee himself spends most of the movie without his memory.
  • Anachronistic Soundtrack: Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock's "It Takes Two" features diegetically in the film despite being released in 1988, one year after the film's setting of 1987. Hailee Steinfeld's "Back to Life (80s Remix)" also soundtracks the final scene and the credits, though it can be passed off due to being a Retraux-style track made for the film.
  • Anti-Villain: Agent Burns, played by John Cena, is a soldier who just wants to protect his country. Unfortunately, he and the rest of the military have been tricked by Shatter and Dropkick into thinking that Bumblebee is a dangerous escaped criminal. On the other hand, he is also unwilling to trust the Decepticons.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Cliffjumper got his arm ripped off by Dropkick before bisection.
  • Armies Are Evil: The U.S. Army isn't portrayed in such a heroic light in this film. They immediately attack Bumblebee the moment they see him, and side with the Decepticons immediately with blind trust assuming that the Decepticons can help them turn the tide against the Soviet Union to end (and win) the Cold War.
  • Artistic License – History: The Decepticons are depicted as inventing the internet in 1987, except that DARPANET, the internet's predecessor, had been online since 1969, and its direct ancestor NSF Net had been online since 1985.
  • Asshole Victim: Roy, the hick who gets vaporized by Shatter & Dropkick when they first arrive. He apparently attempted (and failed) to cheat on his girlfriend with her sister, and cares more about his car than he does the lives of anyone around him. His death is even played for a little bit of dark humor.
  • Badass Adorable: Bumblebee, a shy friendly robot capable of taking a helicopter to the chest.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Charlie gets thrown around by explosions a lot, yet she only gets a few bruises on her face. Compare to Agent Burns, who gets a scar early on and ends the movie with his face all dirty. On the other hand, Charlie dives into water at the end, which completely wrecks her makeup. She's somehow fixed it by the time she says bye to 'Bee.
  • Big Bad: Although there is are two Decepticons who function as the main villains, Shatter is the true brains behind the duo and calls the shots, while Dropkick just likes to kill things, making him The Dragon.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: On a broader scale, with Megatron's absence, Soundwave and Shockwave seem to be the ones calling the shots among the Decepticon forces on Cybertron, if the opening scene (where they're the ones giving orders) is anything to go by.
  • Birthday Episode: The movie begins on Charlie's 18th birthday. Her parents don't make much money, so they only get her a bicycle helmet and a book, but Bumblebee is given to her as a gift by her uncle Hank (who did not know that the Volkswagen Beetle he was giving Charlie was actually a sentient robot).
  • Big NO: Blitzwing's last words as he hurriedly tries pulling out his own missile that Bumblebee stuck right into his chest before Bumblebee shoots it, blowing him up.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: How does Charlie ultimately learn of Bumblebee's true nature? Because she looked underneath and saw a giant robot face sticking out, a quirk more than a few Transformers toys tend to have in vehicle mode.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Dropkick shoots a redneck and Doctor Powell at pointblank range, but their bodies simply turn into a colourless liquid.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: When the Decepticons have no more use for him, Dropkick blasts Bumblebee at point-blank range with a shot that is suggested would have been fatal in other circumstances, so this is somewhat justified, but both he and Shatter leave without confirming Bumblebee is dead for good and Dropkick did kill an Autobot earlier in a way that was permanent. Charlie manages to revive Bumblebee using Sector Seven's shock guns and when he turns up to confront them at the climax, Shatter angrily admonishes her partner for not being so thorough in his execution.
    Shatter: Handle him! And finish the job this time!
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Otis.
  • Breaking the Bonds: Averted with Dropkick. Bumblebee shreds him apart before he can pull off the feat.
  • Brick Joke: Upon discovering Bee's tape deck, Charlie tries to get him to play a "brand new" tape of The Smiths. He ejects it with extreme prejudice. Before the final battle, when Bee puts Charlie in the dumpster to keep her safe, he tunes into the same Smiths song to express his feelings, much to her delight.
    • Bumblebee is seen watching the movie The Breakfast Club and even mirroring Judd Nelson's fist pump at the very end of the movie. When he says goodbye to Charlie, he plays "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds, the main theme from The Breakfast Club.
      • The fist pump also comes back a bit earlier, when after their Enemy Mine situation, Burns demonstrates his respect for Bumblebee by calling after the robot and Charlie, referring to the former as 'Soldier' and giving him a military salute. 'Bee's response is to do the fist-pump, as the closest gesture he has to respond with.
  • Broad Strokes: Takes this approach to the films' canon, keeping things like Bumblebee's disability, Sector 7, and some design attributes, but providing a completely new backstory for the Transformers' history on earth.
  • The Bully: Tina and her (unnamed) friends, who we see make life difficult for Charlie multiple times. Notably, while Charlie is normally a Deadpan Snarker unafraid to talk back to her mom, Ron, or even Agent Burns, when Tina is around Charlie becomes quiet, shy, and visibly sullen, making it clear that Tina's been bullying Charlie long enough she's had an effect on her.
  • Burger Fool: Charlie is a hostess for Hot Dog on a Stick, and she's implied to be a pretty awful one too, accidentally spilling a whole tray of corndogs and lemonades on a customer she could've seen by not being distracted.
  • But Now I Must Go: By the end, Bumblebee must leave Charlie to rejoin Optimus Prime and assist in the Autobot Resistance.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Bumblebee himself, as he takes a lot of beatings from both the U.S. Army and Decepticons.
    • One of the Decepticon seekers that tried to fight Optimus Prime noticeably takes on more punishment than the rest. The fact that it may have been Starscream makes it even funnier.
    • Charlie and Memo both get a lot at their expense. Besides getting knocked around whenever they're inside Bee as he's being actiony, they're both sent flying by several explosions, and get various minor injuries as they're knocked about, plus they're both clearly not particularly popular at school and get picked on regularly by Tina and her friends, and work dead-end jobs in the local amusement park. Individually, Charlie also gets her house trashed by Bumblebee, and when the action kicks off, she's tasered alongside Bumblebee, gets manhandled a lot by Burns, gets placed in a dumpster by Bumblebee to protect her, and has said dumpster get hit by a missile shortly after. Memo by comparison gets far less, but his Non-Action Guy status does get a few jokes at his expense as the military completely ignores him when chasing Charlie and 'Bee, he arrives too late for the big finale, and in the end Charlie (playfully) spurs his attempt at holding her hand.
  • The Cameo:
    • On the Autobot side, Cliffjumper, Brawn, Ironhide, Ratchet, Wheeljack, Arcee, even Optimus Prime only make cameos.
    • On the Decepticon side, there is Soundwave, Ravage, Shockwave, Starscream, Thundercracker, Skywarp, and Thrust.
    • A young agent Simmons at Sector Seven informs Agent Burns of the Decepticons' arrival.
  • Call-Forward: The first trailer features the speech Bobby Bolivia (Bernie Mac) gives Sam just before Sam meets Bumblebee in the original film.
    Bobby Bolivia: Let me tell you somethin': a driver don't pick the car, nuh-uh... the car picks the driver. It's a mystical bond between man and machine.
    • In the movie itself, one of the scenarios Burns suggests while trying to talk his superiors out of working with the Decepticons is an invasion of Chicago.
    • When Optimus is cornered by the Decepticons on Cybertron, he pulls a stance very similar to the stance he pulled when he arrived in Mission City in the first film.
  • Casting Gag: In the Japanese dub, this is not the first time we hear Aoi Yuuki (Shatter) voicing a robot.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Bumblebee at one point plays The Touch, by Stan Bush, to cheer Charlie on. While the timeline of release lines up, The Touch was first heard... on the soundtrack of the original Transformers movie.
  • Chain Pain: Bumblebee kills Dropkick by tangling the latter's rotor in helicopter form. Dropkick attempts to transform into robot mode, but the chains still tangle him and by doing so he rips himself apart.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Charlie is noted to be a very talented diver with promises of even joining the Olympics. A portion of the movie revolves around her trying to move past the memories of her father that are associated with her diving accomplishments, which she finally does at the end when she dives off a 100 foot tower to save Bumbleebee from a flood.
  • Color Motif: The color yellow is used strongly throughout the film. Cybertron is awash in a yellow glow. Charlie's Walk-Man is yellow. Her work uniform prominently features a yellow stripe, her boss wears yellow, the work phone is yellow, she's seen making lemonade which is yellow... Heck, even the wire she cuts to remove a part from a boat at the scrapyard is yellow. Expect something yellow to be in frame in Charlie's world whenever Bumblebee is not on screen. Notably, all scenes focusing on the army are devoid of yellow, except for the final shot of Burns, when he is bathed in the yellow glow of the shipyard while saluting Bumblebee for saving the planet.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Bumblebee is smaller than every Decepticon he fights, forcing him to make use of objects around him and unorthodox tactics and fighting moves to even the odds.
  • Composite Character: Blitzwing has the name of the Generation One triple-changer, but this version of the character has been reimagined as a Seeker, with a colour scheme that isn't indifferent to that of Starscream's G1 design. He also takes on the role previously held by Megatron in being the one responsible for the loss of Bumblebee's voice.
  • Continuity Reboot: It was confirmed at Toy Fair 2019 that the movie is a reboot of the Transformers film franchise.
  • Cool Old Guy: Uncle Hank. He lets Charlie have an old beetle (Bumblebee) for her birthday, even after she offers to pay him back by working at his garage. Of course, he didn't actually pay for it.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Subverted. Charlie walks into an attractive guy and spills drinks on his shirt early in the movie. Said guy is completely irrelevant to the plot.
  • Curiosity Is a Crapshoot: Bumblebee screwing around with the power outlets in Charlie's house is what gave his location away to the Decepticons and Sector Seven.
  • Cute Machines: Bumblebee's a giant robot, but his round design, expressive face, and nervous demeanor are clearly designed to be adorable. Even when he's wearing his battle-mask, which is supposed to be scarier-looking since it's visually stylized after a wasp's face, he's still cute. This is in contrast to Shatter and Dropkick's faces, who still look quite fearsome.
  • Cute Mute: Bee spends most of the movie trying to find a way to non-verbally communicate with Charlie in the most adorable fashion. He finally masters communicating via his radio by the end of the film.
  • David vs. Goliath: Bumblebee may be more than twice the height of any human, but he's a small fry compared to any of the Decepticons he faces. Fortunately, he's a scrappy Pint-Sized Powerhouse.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Bumblebee has always been one of the main characters, but now he has his own film. Though Charlie still seems to be more of the main protagonist of the movie named after Bumblebee, getting more screen time and attention than the titular character.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: The main Decepticons in the movie all explode on death. Justifiable for Blitzwing given how Bumblebee kills him, not so much for the other two.
  • Disappeared Dad: An instance where we know exactly how he left: a simple heart attack that killed him so suddenly Charlie never got to say goodbye.
  • Disney Death: After Shatter and Dropkick have extracted all the information they need from Bumblebee, they put him out of his misery. Charlie and Memo find him dead, and try to revive him with Sector Seven's shock guns. It takes a while, but not only does Bee come back, he also reboots and recovers his lost memory.
  • Dragon Ascendant: In Megatron's absence, Soundwave and Shockwave have assumed command of the Decepticons.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Both Tina and Charlie are seen eyeing Tripp when he's taken his shirt off, though in Charlie's case it might just be Tina's car she's eyeing. However on her date with Memo she does seem to enjoy looking at him when she got him to take his shirt off.
  • Egging: Bumblebee gives Tina's car an egg bath.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Our Anti-Villain Burns is introduced capturing his buddy in a wargame and then repeatedly shooting him with a paintball gun as the man yowls in pain, establishing Burns as a skilled soldier who is nonetheless not a very nice guy.
  • E.T. Gave Us Wi-Fi: Shatter and Dropkick invented DARPANet.
  • Evil Is Bigger: All of the Decepticons Bumblebee faces are taller and bulkier than he is, but this also seems to apply to the Decepticons as a whole in this film as well. The only Autobot shown to match or exceed the Decepticons in height and bulk is Optimus Prime himself. The only Decepticon explicitly smaller than the rest of the Autobots featured in the film is Ravage.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Sector 7, while more of a Well-Intentioned Extremist sort of evil, intend to backstab Shatter and Dropkick once they've gotten what they want from them. Shatter and Dropkick beat them to the punch and would've destroyed humanity then and there had Bumblebee and Charlie not stopped them.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: Shatter mocks Bumblebee for missing when he tries to shoot her. She's not so confident when she realises he breached the gate to the drydock they were fighting in, resulting in the bay flooding and her being crushed by a barge.
  • Exact Words: When Bumblebee refuses to give up information on Prime and the Autobot Resistance, he shouts in defiance, "I will never talk!" Blitzwing taunts back with, "Let's make it official," and rips out Bee's vocal synthesizer.
  • Expressive Ears: Bumblebee once again has them, but they are used much more effectively here, as he doesn't have his versatility with the radio at the beginning.
  • Face Death with Dignity:
    • Cliffjumper dies having refused to give up any information to Shatter and Dropkick. He instead does the Autobot equivalent of giving his name, rank, and serial number.
    • Upon realizing that Shatter and Dropkick played him for a fool and have no more use for him, Powell calmly pulls out his radio and tells Burns that the robots are dangerous - however he doesn't have the time to explain the Autobots are good guys, so they still shoot at Bumblebee.
    • Though he survives the encounter, Bumblebee himself does this early on when Blitzwing has him cornered. 'B-127' refuses to give Optimus' location and insists he'll never talk, which is what prompts Blitzwing to rip out his vocal processor. Even with that injury he shows no fear, and instead attempts a Taking You with Me that he fortunately survives himself.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Cliffjumper gets vertically bisected by Shatter and Dropkick.
    • Blitzwing gets blown to pieces after Bumblebee embeds one of his own missiles into his chest before shooting it.
    • Dropkick gets wrapped up in a chain by Bumblebee before being torn apart by it.
    • Shatter is crushed between a ship and a harbour wall.
  • Fanservice: Tripp spends most of his screen time shirtless, and Charlie is visibly Eating the Eye Candy. Charlie herself to a lesser extent spends a lot of scenes in cut-offs that show She's Got Legs and/or not wearing pants, though the latter is played more for comedy than anything as she's not exactly wearing sexy underwear. And she is a teenager in the 80s, so it was very much the style.
    • Non-sexual kind, but the robot designs are essentially just high-res CGI recreations of their G1 versions, with the Cybertron scenes in particular looking like cut-scenes from Transformers: War for Cybertron but with really up-scaled rendering. Bumblebee himself is the only one to retain his prior film design, but even that is made rounder and more aesthetically closer to past instalments. A few reviewers also noted that the transformations of the robots themselves were more fluid and believable, and are attributed to director Travis Knight's extensive background in stop-motion animation.
  • Fembot: Arcee and Shatter, although it's far more pronounced with the former, the latter's most obvious feminine trait simply being her voice.
  • First Contact: Having run into Cybertronians before (Bumblebee and Blitzwing), a more prepared US Military intercepts Shatter and Dropkick to both establish first official contact with an alien species, and blow them to hell if said alien species doesn't cooperate. Agent Burns is all for the latter, while Doctor Powell is adamant about the former.
  • Forever War: For the first time since Dark of the Moon, we get flashbacks to the Great War of Cybertron.
  • Foreshadowing: Early in the film, Uncle Hank complains about the new transmission tower near the junkyard wreaking havoc with his television reception. Shatter and Dropkick later use the tower to transmit a message to Cybertron to summon reinforcements.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Played for Laughs when Charlie and Bumblebee are practicing what the latter should do when other people are nearby. Charlie hides behind a large rock and when she looks over, she discovers that Bumblebee tried to conceal himself behind a small pile of sand rather than transforming into his vehicle mode. Happens again when Bumblebee wrecks Tina's car, Charlie tells 'Bee to hide to which he (ineffectually) tries to do by turning over car wreckage and crouching behind it to which prompts Charlie to tell him to turn into his car form so that they can get away.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • When Bumblebee shoots out the "Never Gonna Give You Up" cassette tape, its trajectory would have gone through the top of Charlie's hair. She was never in danger of getting hit in the head.
    • When Memo is shown first coming out of his house he can be seen carrying the first issue of GoBots Magazine.
  • "Friends" Rent Control: Charlie's family is tight on money, yet they live in a multi-bedroom house with an ocean view in California. This is probably the result of becoming a one-income family after the death of Charlie's father.
  • Genre Savvy: While eager to work with the Decepticons (if only to keep them from going to the Soviet Union), Sector Seven is acutely aware that they're likely up to no good, and makes plans to get rid of both Shatter and Dropkick as soon as they kill Bumblebee.
  • Genre Shift: The previous movies were more Alien Invasion Disaster Movie films with hints of A Boy and His X that's overshadowed by the more prominent The Chosen One and Ancient Conspiracy aspect, and lots of focus on positively showcasing the US military. Bumblebee however is purely focused on the A Boy and His X with a Coming of Age feel, has essentially no disaster movie aspect at all (in fact, there are almost zero non-combatants killed in the movie, unlike the prior casual Inferred Holocaust), completely leaves out the above-mentioned Chosen One Ancient Conspiracy stuff, and while the Autobot/Decepticon war is featured, it's more of a backdrop. The Darker and Edgier vs Lighter and Softer shift can best be seen in the designs of the Autobots and Decepticons in the movie; prior movies went with more 'alien' redesigns, with the Decepticons in particular looking like monsters (and the Autobots only looking marginally less scary), while in Bumblebee, they sport colourful, original cartoon-inspired designs with blocky, round features (with even the Decepticons looking 'pretty' by comparison).
  • The Gloves Come Off: Most of the film gives the impression that humans are a serious threat to Cybertronians, with Bumblebee seemingly driven into a corner by them, downed by their stun guns and apparently overpowered by jeeps with harpoons. Then Charlie is injured, as Bumblebee's memory is restoring. He goes from being dragged along the ground to halting his progress with one hand, effortlessly standing up (dragging the jeeps forward) and very quickly demonstrating that in all those other encounters, he never actually fought back.
  • Gift-Giving Gaffe: Mom knows Charlie wants a car. For her 18th birthday, she gives her gearhead, tomboy daughter a girly, pink flowered helmet for her moped. Step-dad gives her a self help book telling her to smile.
  • Good Stepfather: Played with. Charlie's Mom's boyfriend is a very nice man who gets along with Charlie's mom and brother. But nice as he is, he's not perfect, duly noted when he's just as Innocently Insensitive as Charlie's mom about Charlie's grieving over her late father
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Charlie is apparently fond of this, as throughout the film she's seen wearing boxer shorts with colourful designs to sleep in and under her denim cut-offs, which are short enough the underwear peeks through under. Its mostly pretty casual patterns like purple flowers or red zebra stripes, but one pair she's seen waking up in is decorated with animal pictures all over. It helps visualize her rocker chic style.
  • Got Volunteered: When Tripp asks for volunteers to high dive with him, Bumblebee opens one of his car doors, which makes Charlie stumble forward and thus Tripp thinks she volunteered.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: Agent Burns of Sector Seven is after Bumblebee.
  • Greater-Scope Paragon: Truer words cannot be said about Optimus Prime, who has a rather small cameo as the Autobot resistance leader. He even altruistically stays behind on Cybertron to tackle Soundwave's armada himself ordering the rest of the Autobots to evacuate to other parts of the universe.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Dropkick vertically bisects Cliffjumper in the middle.
  • Hard-Work Montage: There's one of Charlie trying to get Bumblebee up and running after receiving him as a birthday present.
  • Hate Sink: The Alpha Bitch Tina and her friends who gleefully make Charlie's life a living hell and are implied to torment Memo's life as well, and every time they show up, they always have smug smiles on their faces. Tina fully cements herself as this when she taunts Charlie over her dead father. Tina at least got a helping of Laser-Guided Karma by means of Bumblebee "accidentally" destroying her car after Charlie and Memo decide to take a little payback on her.
  • Headbutt of Love: Charlie and Bee do this a few times.
  • Hellish Copter: Burns goes after Shatter in an attack helicopter at the climax. After a brief exchange of fire, she shoots it down. Fortunately, Bumblebee catches the helicopter before it crashes.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Bumblebee is believed to be a criminal by the military thanks to the Decepticons deceiving them.
  • Hope Spot: Bumblebee's initial pursuit by Sector Seven ends with him cornered and no way to escape. However, he manages to speak to them, telling them he doesn't want to hurt anyone. Burns seems willing to listen to him before he's distracted by the arrival of a fighter jet, which Bumblebee warns is not the Air Force. Blitzwing's subsequent attack ruins both the chances of Burns and Sector Seven viewing Bumblebee as a friendly and also of the very idea that Earth would be a safe haven, as it means the Decepticons beat the Autobots there.
  • How We Got Here:
    • The opening tells us why the Transformers came to Earth when they originated from Cybertron: Optimus chose our planet as a desperate last-resort refuge for the Autobots when Cybertron fell.
    • How Bumblebee lost his voice is explained: Blitzwing ripped out a component of his voicebox.
    • It's also explained that Charlie is the one who gave Bumblebee his name. He was previously addressed as B-127. He appears to go by this name to help him remember Charlie.
    • Granted, while Bumblebee is confirmed a reboot, one could interpret it as a spiritual prequel, explaining certain elements present in the 2007 movie.
  • Humans Are Morons: Shatter and Dropkick note that the humans' cyber infrastructure is primitive and that they're very gullible to whatever lies they are told.
  • Identity Amnesia: After a grueling battle with Blitzwing, Bumblebee is so severely damaged his memory core shuts down. When Charlie finds the derelict VW Beetle in a junkyard, he has no memory of who he is or what his mission was, and his personality pretty much regresses to that of a Manchild. It takes Charlie shocking him several times with multiple electric guns to boot his memory core back up.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Ron's driving skills as shown during the car chase to find Charlie is something he apparently picked up from Miami Vice.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The film plays Duran Duran's "Save a Prayer" when Charlie discovers Bumblebee (seen only as a junk Volkswagen Beetle at the time) at the junkyard. The chorus of the song goes, "Don't say a prayer for me now, save it for the morning after." Charlie ends up going back the following morning to repair and acquire Bumblebee.
    • Similarly in the scene, we see that Bumblebee's inert car form has became home to a hive of bees. Serves as a Call-Forward to when Charlie christens him 'Bumblebee' later in the film.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Charlie's stepdad seriously thought that getting her a self-help book telling her to just smile more for her birthday was a good idea. Remember that her real dad is dead.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Burns, who has a severe distrust of anything Cybertronian, insists on referring to Bumblebee as "it" and calling him a machine. By contrast, Charlie always refers to Bumblebee as "he." After Burns has his Heel Realization, he tells Bumblebee and Charlie to leave before the rest of Sector Seven arrives stating that they'll be looking for "him", and salutes Bumblebee after calling him "soldier" when bidding him farewell.
    Burns: It is a machine!
    Charlie: He's more human than you'll ever be!
  • Karmic Death: Dropkick spends the majority of his movie making his victims pop. He explodes at the end when Bumblebee uses chains to tear him apart with pieces of him flying everywhere as did his victims.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Shatter decides to drop one final taunt towards Cliffjumper before Dropkick bisects him.
    Shatter: You're a brave warrior. You deserve a better death... Then again...
    • She also makes sure Dr. Powell knows he's a dead man after witnessing Optimus Prime's message and discovering the Decepticons true intentions, but not before mockingly thanking him for his hospitality and being an Unwitting Pawn, then allowing Dropkick to execute the poor man.
    • Followed up by Bumblebee himself. Making false pleasantries with her victims seems to be a hobby for her, whilst Dropkick is just happy to get to kill things.
    Shatter: Ah, B-127, I almost forgot about you.
    Dropkick: I didn't.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Dropkick, right in the middle of an attempted Badass Boast as well.
    Dropkick: (after being wrapped in chains by Bumblebee, hooking under his plates and keeping him from transforming) You think these little chains can hold(Bumblebee pulls on the chain, ripping him to pieces.)
  • La Résistance: The Autobots are explicitly depicted in this manner more so than any other movie. The Deceptions appear to have near-total control of Cybertron, with the exception of the Autobots fighting back, though the Decepticons seem to outnumber them by a significant margin. Both Autobots and Decepticons also refer to Optimus Prime and his troops as members of the Autobot Resistance. The Decepticons are hunting Optimus Prime specifically because as the leader of the Autobots, killing him will demoralize the entire Autobot movement.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Agent Burns points out the ridiculousness of siding with what are obviously Card Carrying Villains.
    Burns: They literally call themselves Decepticons! Does that not set off any red flags?
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: When Bee readies himself to fight, his face morphs into a battle-mask reminiscent of a wasp's head. The end of the film features two more straightforward examples. Bumblebee was only attempting to escape the first time he encountered Sector Seven. Burns making him angry by tossing Charlie around demonstrates it's a damn good thing he usually doesn't want to hurt others. With Shatter and Dropkick, when they found Bumblebee his amnesia meant he didn't know enough to even fight back. Their attempt to kill him and Charlie's resuscitation grant him his memory back, and despite being overmatched he rushes into battle against the two Decepticons without hesitation and manages to win through a mix of sheer skill and resourcefulness.
  • Like That Show, But with Mecha: Is basically E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial if E.T. were a Transforming Mecha.
  • Lighter and Softer: The film appears to eschew the near-apocalyptic scenarios from the previous five films in favor of being a character-driven piece. The Transformers themselves now sport more colorful and simplified designs evocative of their Generation One designs (contrasting with their gritty, hyperdetailed designs in previous live-action films).
  • Magical Defibrillator: Charlie uses multiple stun guns, previously used by Sector Seven to incapacitate Bumblebee, in an attempt to revive Bumblebee after Dropkick shoots him offline.
  • Matriarchy: Charlie's family appears to be this (without a choice). Only Charlie and her mother have paying jobs, but don't make much as a Hot Dog on a Stick vendor or a nurse respectively. Charlie's real dad passed away, her stepdad Ron can't find a job anywhere and her brother's too young to work.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Averted, as we see that Cybertronians have female members among their race, who are active in the war. Shatter herself is a Dark Action Girl who is killed while in combat with Bumblebee. Sector 7 is shown to have female soldiers among its ranks, so it stands to reason that they'd be in the action as well.
  • Militaries Are Useless: When it gets down to it, the human military does not stand a chance against the Transformers. It's clear when Shatter and Dropkick are cornered at a road block that they only go along with them for strategy, not because they think the humans can actually harm them, and as soon as Bumblebee fights back Sector 7 are quickly tossed aside. On a strategic side, General Whalen and Powell end up deciding that it would be wise to let the Decepticons access their communication network, the former because he believes that once done, they can betray the Decepticons, but doesn't take into account that the Decepticons would make their move quicker.
  • Mooks: Several generic Seekers serve this function during the Cybertron-set sequences.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: Shatter appears to be a higher ranking Decepticon over Dropkick, given that she calls the shots and comes up with the plans. Also, while the two seem to both be about equal in power, Dropkick is an Unskilled, but Strong brawler, while Shatter combines her strength with more practical fighting manoeuvres.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Powell, after realizing that now that Dropkick and Shatter have the information they want, they're planning to call the Decepticons to Earth so they can destroy the planet, calls Burns and says they "may have made a terrible mistake."
  • Mythology Gag:
    • During its production, the film started as an explicit prequel to the Michael Bay films, intended to bridge the gap between Bumblebee's WWII adventures and the first film before undergoing significant rewrites that made the film into a reboot. As such the film does still have some connective tissue to those films:
      • Megatron is absent from the Cybertron battle scenes, due to being frozen on Earth at the time the film would be taking place.
      • Sector Seven is shown to operate from the Hoover Dam, which was where the AllSpark and Megatron's body were being kept hidden in the 2007 film.
      • A younger Seymour Simmons appears amongst Sector Seven's ranks, subservient to Agent Burns.
      • Bumblebee manages to teach himself how to "speak" via the radio Charlie installs in him, which is how he communicated in the other films.
      • At the end of the film, before departing, Bee scans a yellow Camaro driving down the Golden Gate Bridge, and changes into it. Charlie calls him out for not doing that before, but is thrilled nonetheless. Given Bee knows exactly what Camaros mean to her, it's likely he scanned that model on purpose. As the film is confirmed to be a Continuity Reboot, Bumblebee's Camaro alternate mode is now considered as a callback to the Bay-directed movies.
      • The film reuses a number of sound effects from the previous films to the same effect, whilst mixing in some new ones. Notably, Bumblebee's blaster, battle mask and transformation all use sound effects from the previous films for the character. Optimus Prime also makes the same footstep sounds as the prior films and his blaster uses a remixed version of his blaster effects from those films. The Seekers on Cybertron also include effects from Megatron's transformations for the prior films.
    • Blitzwing's robot mode closely resembles Starscream from the G1 series, particularly his head design and the classic grey-with-red-shades color scheme.
    • Bee transforms into a VW Beetle, his original altmode from the cartoon. His head is also located on the underside of his body when transformed, as is the case for many of the actual toys.
    • Bee transforms inside a garage and initially doesn't trust the human presence nearby. Optimus went through the same thing in Transformers: Age of Extinction, albeit more hostile. Bonus points for sporting their respective G1-esque appearances in both instances.
    • The garage scene mentioned above has also a parallel with Bumblebee's first transformation witnessed by a human in the comics published by Marvel Comics, back in the 1980's, when he transformed in front of Buster Witwicky at Sparkplug's garage.
    • The year of the film's setting, 1987, was the final year for the G1 series.
    • Because of the film's time setting, cassette tapes, decks, and Walkmans are the music players of choice. This was the standard alternate mode of Soundwave's (and later Blaster's) minions, before they became obsolete. The tape shown in the trailer is black and gray, like Ravage's traditional alt mode.
    • Bumblebee can transform with his legs still in a wheeled form, referencing the G1 Throttlebots (which G1 Bumblebee briefly evolved into), whose toy forms were basically bots on wheels.
    • Soundwave is a dead ringer for his G1 design, complete with the shoulder cannon, and Ravage emerges from his chest in a rectangular shape like a cassette before transforming into his feline mode, just like how the character functioned in the G1 series. Shockwave is just as close to his original look as well.
    • Bumblebee's first Earth vehicle mode is a jeep, which is a sidelong reference to what G1 Hound turned into (he appears in the movies in a much bigger form). The yellow coloring causes him to resemble the Combaticon Swindle.
    • The iconic Transformers sound effect makes a return; the loudest one is when Ravage ejects out of Soundwave.
    • Cybertron's design here takes after the original cartoon's design, right down to its Southern Hemisphere missing large chunks of mass.
    • Bumblebee plays Stan Bush's "The Touch" at one point in the film.
    • A young Bumblebee befriending a young human girl? Where have we heard that before?
      • Bumblebee hiding Charlie in a dumpster is similar to how Sari Sumdac hid in a dumpster in the Animated episode "Transwarped Part 2".
    • As with Transformers Prime, Cliffjumper serves as the Sacrificial Lamb, suffering yet another bisection. His body also seems to be exactly like Bumblebee's Cybertronian form but with a different-shaped head, much like in Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. His head in this case, ironically, being that of his and Bumblebee's G1 head sculpt, providing an idea what a G1-faithful Bumblebee could have looked like.
      • Bumblebee being interrogated by Dropkick and Shatter for Optimus Prime's location is similar to when in the Prime episode "Out of the Past", Arcee and Cliffjumper were interrogated by Starscream and Shockwave for the same piece of information.
      • Bumblebee helping Charlie get payback on the bully Tina by vandalizing her car is similar to how Smokescreen helps Jack get payback on the bully Vincent by vandalizing his car in the Prime episode "Legacy".
    • During the movie's climactic battle, Bumblebee is thrown into the air by Dropkick, transforms into a car as he hits the ground, then drives back around and launches himself at Dropkick, transforming in the air so he can throw a punch at his enemy. Jazz pulled the exact same move on Skywarp in the first opening of The Transformers.
    • Shatter and Dropkick's teamup and respective attitudes are more than a little reminiscent of Strika and Obsidian.
    • The film's plot in general mirrors the first movie in a lot of ways, at least superficially. Bumblebee is found by the human protagonist hiding as an Alleged Car barely holding together, and for a while said human protagonist and their Love Interest serve as their Secret Keeper. At one point they attend an outdoor party-of-sorts hosted by the Big Man on Campus where they get accosted by the 'cool kids', resulting in them leaving. They get detained by Sector 7 when they find and confront them, which also results in Bumblebee being captured. Besides this the film is considerably different, but it helps with the feeling of being a reboot and for contrasting the differing styles between Travis Knight and Michael Bay.
    • Blitzwing tells Bumblebee "You'll die screaming, like your friends!"; "Die screaming," is a Furmanism, a dialogue phrase frequently used by frequent Transformers writer Simon Furman. In a bit of a visual pun, Blitzwing literally dies screaming.
    • By the end of the movie, after Bee scans a Camaro as his new alt mode, he drives across the Golden Gate bridge near a flat nose semi truck with trailer, which is a exact real life recreation of the G1 version of Optimus Prime. And the mid-credits scene reveals that that truck IS Optimus Prime.
    • The Cybertron scenes seem heavily inspired by Transformers: War for Cybertron and its sequel; besides the upscaled G1 influence, Bumblebee's Cybertronian vehicle form and his chest mold both highly resemble those from the game.
    • The titular character's status as an Amnesiac Hero was also used in the recent Transformers cartoon Transformers: Cyberverse.
    • Bumblebee's quote-unquote real name of B-127 brings into mind Aligned Megatron's original designation of D-16 into mind; at the time, Aligned Cybertron's lower caste people were never given names, only numerical designations.
    • The Transformers in this film have pupils in their eyes reminiscent of Transformers Animated.
    • One of the boats that Charlie knocks down at Hank's garage had a "Bayliner" name on it, in reference to the director of the previous five films.
    • Thrust's green-and-black color-scheme invokes his Transformers Armada incarnation.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Charlie's father died during a sudden heart attack, meaning she never had a chance to say goodbye to him before he died.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Several moments in the trailer are cut from different scenes in the movie. The heartwarming "Do you have a family?" line from the trailer is from later in the film; Bee pointing at Charlie is from an earlier scene where he's asking who she is.
  • Nice Guy:
    • Bumblebee himself is a complete sweetheart. He never does anything to harm another intentionally and immediately develops a close, playful bond with Charlie. He's happy to see her and is very careful of her feelings, and whenever she's upset his priority is to make her feel better.
    • Memo similarly, though awkward and clumsy, is clearly a good guy. He handles his attempts to ask out Charlie with respect, immediately giving her space when its clear he's came at a bad time and doesn't take it personally. He does barge into her garage without asking, but apologises for it and after that, does what he can to help her hide Bee and tries to befriend the Autobot himself. Overall, he's pretty respectful and supportive of Charlie's feelings.
    • Despite Charlie not getting along with him due to her still grieving over the loss of her father, Ron is still a patient and kindly stepfather to Charlie. His attempts at cheering her up (including, but not limited to giving her a book on how good it is to smile on her birthday) are incredibly awkward, but his heart's in the right place.
    • Tripp Summers is the Big Man on Campus, but he's evidently this as well, coming off as more of a Lovable Jock. He seems to take Charlie spilling drinks on him in stride and later tries to encourage her into taking part in his cliff-diving in a friendly, playful manner, unlike the teasing and taunts the other students make. He also recognizes Charlie's talents when it comes to high diving. Generally, by comparison to Tina, Charlie and Memo seem to react much more positively to him when they see him, indicating he's a pretty well-liked guy.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Charlie, trying to start an unconscious Bumblebee, accidentally transmits a signal from Bumblebee that helps Shatter and Dropkick locate which planet he's on while they were busy interrogating Cliffjumper.
    • Bumblebee puts his finger into an electrical socket in Charlie's house out of curiosity. This predictably shocks him, but also alerts the Decepticons and Sector Seven to his location, which eventually gets him captured.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Blitzwing helps pull Bumblebee out of being surrounded by Burns and Sector Seven by killing every one of those men except for Burns.
  • No Name Given: Charlie's father is never explicitly named. However, she wears a lot of adult men's shirts that seem to have been his, including a mechanic's work-shirt that indicates his name was 'Dutch'.
  • Obviously Evil: Burns doesn't trust Shatter and Dropkick, not purely because they're sinister looking alien beings who want access to Earth's satellites and technology, but because they're literally called Decepticons.
    Burns: Doesn't that raise any red flags?!
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Optimus's last scene on Cybertron has him surrounded by dozens of Decepticons, who immediately attempt to swarm him when they see they have him cornered. However, as of Bumblebee's arrival on Earth, the Decepticons are searching for his whereabouts, meaning he not only managed to fight his way out of a seemingly impossible situation, he managed to lose his pursuers in the process as well. Seems like there's a darn good reason why he's the Autobot leader.
  • Off with His Head!: The first film in the series where Optimus does not invoke this trope (at least on-screen).
    • Back on Cybertron, Bumblebee cuts off a Seeker's head and kicks it at another Seeker.
    • After Bumblebee blows him up with his own missile, Blitzwing's head can be seen intact on the ground.
    • After Bumblebee tears Dropkick apart entangled in chains (causing Dropkick to explode for some reason), you can see Dropkick's head ablaze roll on the ground.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Bumblebee is initially quippy when he first arrives to help the Autobots on Cybertron, but both he and Optimus opt to fall back as soon as they see that Soundwave, Starscream and Shockwave have arrived.
      • Heck, there's even a close up of Optimus' eyes widening in fear as the Decepticon reinforcements arrive, before giving the desperate order to his troops to fall back.
    • Bumblebee gets one during his first run-in with Sector Seven, when he realizes that an incoming jet is not a United States Air Force jet, but actually Blitzwing in disguise.
    • Minor, but Dropkick has a noticeable tinge of worry in his voice when he learns Optimus Prime is coming to Earth. The same planet that he's currently on. Without an army backing him up. Given he was amongst the Decepticons that tried and failed to capture Prime back on Cybertron, he's seen first-hand how capable the leader of the Autobots is in combat.
    • Burns gives one of thesenote  when Bumblebee stops turning the other cheek at Charlie's behest and Burns realizes that Bumblebee had been holding back on them the entire time.
    • Charlie has this reaction when she pops out of a dumpster only to realize she's in the path of a stray missile.
  • Parental Neglect: Although Charlie's mother means well, she is the unsupportive type. As a nurse with an unemployed husband she is constantly working. While she's physically present, she smooches all over her new husband while her oldest child still grieves the loss of her deceased husband. She loves Charlie, but it is obvious she has a favorite. She shows no respect for Charlie's belongings (while she's concerned over Charlie dumping her diving trophies, she's upset with Charlie that she got a car and didn't tell her and later takes the car without asking Charlie if it's okay), and she berates Charlie for always being gloomy when it's due to the aforementioned grief.
  • Parent with New Paramour: Charlie's mother moved on from her husband's death and found a new husband in Ron, much to Charlie's displeasure.
  • Period Piece: The film feels like an 80's movie at heart, taking place in 1987 and referencing all sorts of nostalgic media of the setting (most prominently popular music), and even reveling in a few popular story tropes from that era, namely the A Boy and His X-style relationship between Charlie and 'Bee.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Charlie is this early on, to the point that her stepfather actually buys her a book to encourage her to smile more.
  • "Pop!" Goes the Human: Dropkick just loves seeing this.
  • Posthumous Character: Charlie's biological father, who serves as a source of angst for her until Bumblebee comes along
  • Pragmatic Villainy: After Shatter and Dropkick's arrival to Earth and being intercepted by Sector Seven, the two take the humans' initial willingness to cooperate and learn more about them as a means to track down Bumblebee.
  • The Precious, Precious Car: A trailer park redneck uses the money his wife gave him as down payment for a new house on a brand new car, before Shatter scans and changes into an exact replica of that car as well as destroying it.
  • Prequel: Initially billed as this, with the film taking place in 1987, over twenty years before the first film took place. However, it appears to no longer be the case and is now the start of an entirely new continuity.
  • Primary-Color Champion: Shatter and Dropkick are able to affect this image due to being red and blue. Agent Burns is rightly skeptical.
  • Product Placement: Hot Dog on a Stick. The camera even zooms in on hot dogs drenched in batter being deep fried and lemons being squeezed to make lemonade.
  • Properly Paranoid: Burns doesn't trust Shatter and Dropkick, even when they offer their aid to help hunt down Bumblebee (whom Burns believes to be a dangerous alien). He thinks they're up to no good, even pointing out to his superior that the name Decepticon raises red flags. And sure enough, he's right.
  • Puny Earthlings: Dropkick's overall assessment of humans. In his opinion the only cool thing about us is the way we "pop" when shot with his energy cannon.
  • The Quisling: Dr. Powell, a scientist of Sector Seven who's at the forefront of cooperating with the Decepticons, on the grounds of understanding their incredibly advanced and potentially revolutionary alien technology before the Soviets do. He comes to regret this once he learns the sheer scope of their actual plans, but by then, it's too late for him.
  • Real Is Brown: Averted for the first time in the live-action films. Where, in the previous films, the Decepticons (and to a lesser extent, even the Autobots) existed almost entirely in various shades of steel-gray or black, here they all sport their bright, vivid colors from the original toys and cartoons, with even new characters Shatter and Dropkick appearing in bright red and blue rather than dull grey or black.
  • Reality Ensues: The use of Decepticons as a faction name sounds similar to the word "deception", and would probably clue in third party members on exactly which side to join your war (read: against you).
    • Everyone grieves at their own pace, and Charlie and her family are a prime example of this.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Burns and his supervisor both have shades of this. Burns himself is understandably mistrustful of 'Bee when he arrives, but pauses when he sees that he can communicate and seems ready to hear him out; however, he immediately doesn't trust the Decepticons because of their Obviously Evil traits. In the end, he even lets Bee go, recognizing him as a fellow soldier and one fighting a righteous cause. His supervisor meanwhile is willing to listen to both Burns and Powell's points, and though he agrees to work with the Decepticons to capture Bumblebee, he does so with full intention of betraying them, having agreed with Burns' assessment of them being clearly evil (but under the assumption that 'Bee is evil too).
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Charlie's mom and Charlie herself do this back and forth to each other after Bumblebee trashes the house. Charlie's mom goes after her for her poor attitude and spending all day in the garage with her car and being moody which she claims is dragging everyone else down. Charlie lets go right back by yelling at her mother that her being "mopey" is her grieving for her father despite her mom has already moved on to a new husband; and if she's so upset that Charlie is "moping, she should learn to deal with it."
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When Burns manhandles Charlie and seemingly injures her, Bumblebee goes berserk, ripping out his bonds and laying waste to the Sector Seven taskforce, all while his eyes go from their cool bright blue to an intense, burning red.
    • The Decepticons all have red eyes, whereas the Autobots blue. Not only a nod to the original toys, but it's also convenient for identifying faction.
      • Shockwave is a notable exception: as in the G1 cartoon, his single eye is yellow, the only Decepticon to not have red eyes.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Amusingly inverted with the two primary Decepticon villains. While Shatter is red, she seems to have a marginally calmer, more collected personality, and is willing to use diplomacy to achieve their ends in the short term. Dropkick, the blue one, is best described as a hothead that would prefer to shoot first and ask questions later.
  • Red Scare: Powell convinces his superiors to help Shatter and Dropkick because they're worried the two might go to the Soviet Union for help instead, and as well as eager for first contact he argues that the Decepticon's advanced technology will surely give them the edge in the Cold War.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Charlie deconstructs this when she lampshades that, while her mom has found a "replacement" for her husband, it's pretty callous not to regard that her daughter isn't ready to replace her father and never will be.
  • Retcon: Movie-related fiction established Megatron was the one responsible for the loss of Bumblebee's voice, having destroyed his vocal processors centuries ago on Cybertron (something that was also adopted by other continuities like Transformers Prime and Transformers: Cyberverse). Here, Bumblebee can still speak when he first arrives on Earth and Blitzwing is the one to do the deed.
    • The film also provides a completely different look at Cybertron, the Great War, and what Bumblebee and the others were doing prior to the 2000s (i.e him arriving on Earth at the very beginning of this film as opposed to supposedly having been around since World War II). See Continuity Snarl above. In general outside of Bumblebee's head, Sector Seven, and Bumblebee becoming a Camero at the end, the film could easily pass for being a complete reboot.
  • Road Block: How Dropkick and Shatter get their "Welcome to Earth" greeting by the United States Army squadron led by Agent Burns after the violence Blitzwing brought upon Burns' men.
  • Roaring Rampage of Rescue: Bumblebee undergoes a brief one after Charlie reactivates him and he sees Burns seemingly injuring her. He goes red-eyed and openly fires at the Sector Seven troops, with only Charlie's safe presence able to finally calm him down again.
  • Rule of Symbolism: In one scene, we see Charlie's family happily spending time together (sans Charlie herself) in a well-lit room, whilst Charlie silently stands in the morose, dimly-lit background. Not only does it reflect the family's emotional state, but also Charlie feeling alone in her grieving.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Shatter and Dropkick execute Cliffjumper before coming to Earth.
  • Save the Villain: Bumblebee when he saves Burns, prompting the latter to make a Heel–Face Turn and switch sides aiding Bumblebee instead then saluting him.
  • Shirtless Scene: Tripp gets two played for Fanservice. Memo gets one played for comedy.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Bee watches The Breakfast Club and he does the iconic fist pump more than once.
    • To The Iron Giant, after Burns knocks Charlie to the ground, Bee goes berserk and starts attacking the soldiers, even killing a few, until Charlie calms him down, not unlike the famous “You are who you choose to be!” scene from the aforementioned film.
    • To Star Wars A New Hope, when Charlie tries to repair some of Bumblebee's damaged systems, she accidentally bumps into the wrong part and causes a hologram of Optimus Prime to project automatically, playing a message that relays Bee's mission and pleads for his help.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Otis is learning karate and likes to show off and brag about how he could cripple/kill someone with it. Keep in mind he's like twelve and only a yellow belt (one of the lowest ranks, implying he's only been doing it a short while).
  • Soft Reboot: Ultimately what the film ends up being. Though there are nods to the prior movies (Bumblebee's head design, Sector 7's existence, Bumblebee becoming a Camero at the end, and Megatron's absence from Cybertron), the film takes far more from the original cartoon, comics, and other media, and ultimately follows its own continuity of what lead the Autobots to earth. Word of God confirms they don't want to just outright reboot, but that future instalments will follow after Bumblebee rather than the prior movies.
  • Sole Survivor: Burns seemingly ends up as the only member of his unit to survive Blitzwing's assault on Bumblebee, and as a result he ends up developing a grudge against all Cybertronians until the end of the film where he realises Bumblebee is one of the good ones.
  • Spanner in the Works: During the climax, Charlie's family inadvertently saves her and Bumblebee from being pursued by Sector Seven. While Sector Seven is chasing them down as dangers, her parents are simply concerned for her safety and pleading for her to return home, and their interference in the car chase ends up causing a gridlock that allows the duo to escape and complete their mission.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: As per usual in the live-action films, Bumblebee invokes this, using his radio to play various clips of spoken audio to communicate. This film shows him slowly developing the skill after Charlie repairs his radio.
    • Cliffjumper keeps stating "My name is Cliffjumper!" right when Bumblebee's signal song (the Cheers theme song) starts playing Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name.
  • Take Me to Your Leader: Shatter says this line to Powell after the latter causally refers their superior as leader.
  • Take That!: At one point, Charlie inserts a music cassette into Bumblebee, which is Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up". Bumblebee immediately spits it out toward a wall, breaking it.
  • Tamer and Chaster: The film is far more tame in content than the Michael Bay directed entries, with no overt sexual humor or Fanservice of the like featured in those films.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The Decepticons and Sector 7. Burns and his superior mention that once they help the Decepticons deal with Bumblebee, they'll turn on them, which is obviously what their "allies" were planning to do with them. The Decepticons backstab them first.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Tina and her friends are incredibly unpleasant people. Making fun of Charlie is bad enough, but taking a jab at her deceased father is downright cruel.
  • They Would Cut You Up: Charlie uses this warning to drive home the need for Bumblebee to stay hidden from anyone but herself.
  • Trailers Always Lie: Trailers and commercials feature Optimus Prime referring to Bumblebee by his name. In the film proper, Bumblebee's name was given to him by Charlie and his Cybertronian designation was "B-127." Even through to the mid-credits scene where Bumblebee asserts his new name, Optimus never refers to him as other than B-127.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailers and TV spots end up showing the deaths of all three major Decepticons in the film.
  • Translation Convention: The scenes set on Cybertron are all voiced in English, with this instalment, unlike the 2007 movie, not concerning itself with how Cybertronians know our language when they arrive, likely in favour of a simpler story.
  • Truer to the Text: The robot designs have been greatly simplified and now bear a closer resemblance to the G1 cartoon, with Bumblebee being much rounder and bulkier. He is also shorter than he is in the previous movies, and wins fights through cunning, determination and resourcefulness (like his G1 counterpart). This goes even further with a flashback to Cybertron, which shows several characters outright sporting their G1 appearances with few alterations (which mostly amount to not having earth vehicle kibble given this is pre-earth forms), including Optimus Prime, Shockwave and Soundwave.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Two Decepticon Seekers, specifically Shatter and Dropkick, trick the military into thinking they're the good guys and that Bumblebee is an escaped criminal. Though Burns doesn’t buy it, even mentioning how they call themselves Decepticons. But ultimately this is averted since the military planned to eradicate the two Seekers as soon as possible once Bumblebee was found.
  • Villainy Discretion Shot: When Shatter and Dropkick have Bumblebee in their clutches, a few of their punches cut away to Dr. Powell's pained reactions instead. The (near-)fatal arm cannon shot is also off-screen.
  • Visual Innuendo: In her opening shot, Tina takes a rather large bite out of her hot dog.
  • The Voiceless: Bumblebee's voice synthesizer gets destroyed by Blitzwing during their fight, leaving him voiceless for the rest of the movie. He manages to find a workaround by messing with his radio, switching from station to station to form sentences.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Otis suddenly throws up onto his lap after being in an intense car chase with his mom and stepdad.
  • Wasn't That Fun?: After narrowly avoiding not one, not two, but three car crashes — including a van flipping overhead — Otis' first response is to yell "That was RADICAL!" Then he throws up.
  • Watching Troy Burn: Bumblebee in his escape pod is visibly devastated to see the fall of his home world Cybertron. Camera then pans out to many areas of the planet including its core being scorched in flames.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Charlie especially, though both Tina and Memo both wear short-shorts too. Unlike the prior movies' female leads, in Charlie's case its not played for fanservice, but just seems to be keeping with what a California teen would wear; she even wears boxer shorts underneath to prevent showing too much. Tina's case seems to be fanservice though, in order to help visualise her being The Vamp of the local teens.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye:
    • Blitzwing. He shows up on Earth to briefly fight Bumblebee and destroy his voicebox, only to be killed barely two minutes later.
    • Cliffjumper was introduced in the same scene he gets halved. Though Cliff did spew out details about himself as he died.
    • Back on Cybertron, a few Seekers died before we even get to know their names. (Though basing on the G1 cartoon, there are likely hundreds of them, as nameless and generic as Stormtroopers).
  • Willfully Weak: Bumblebee only takes damage and is cornered (and later captured) by Sector 7 because he doesn't want to hurt them. When he finally stops holding back, it's clear he could've curbstomped them in all confrontations if he'd wanted to. It's also made clear Shatter and Dropkick are playing nice with humans purely out of Pragmatic Villainy. The moment they decide to become aggressive, it's clear that if they succeed in summoning the rest of the Decepticons to Earth, humanity is screwed.
  • Wipe the Floor with You: Blitzwing inflicts a vertical example by dragging Bumbleebee up against a rocky cliff.
  • With All Due Respect: Burns, in reaction to Powell's suggestion that they ally with the Decepticons.
    Burns: With all due respect, have you lost your damn mind?!
    Powell: That's with all due respect?
  • Would Hit a Girl: Shatter being a Fembot does nothing to stop others fighting her head-on. Once they know who she is, both Bumblebee and Agent Burns are quick to open fire and attack. Similarly, even though Charlie is an 18 year old girl, Agent Burns is willing to toss her around in order to stop her interfering in their attempt to capture Bumblebee.
  • Wrench Wench: Charlie, so much so that wrenches seem to be her instrument of choice. Her skill in mechanics and interest in cars is what brings her and Bumblebee together in the first place.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Why the Autobots came to earth in the first place, they lost the war and the Decepticons have overtaken Cybertron. They're essentially refuges now, and Earth is a place hidden enough that they could regroup and figure out a plan to fight back.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Shatter and Dropkick to Cliffjumper, "Friend" Powell, and Bee himself once they've gotten what they wanted out of them.
  • You're Insane!: What Burns says to Powell, prefaced by With Due Respect, in response to the proposal to ally with the Decepticons.

"You've got people out there who need you. This is why you're here, Bee."

Alternative Title(s): Transformers Universe Bumblebee

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