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Franchise / Transformers

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"Autobots, Roll out!"
Optimus Prime

If you're looking for the live-action movie series, see Transformers Film Series. For the original Generation One animated film, see The Transformers: The Movie.
For more information, you might want to consult the Transformers wiki, Its informality is similar to that of TV Tropes.

A long-running franchise consisting of dozens of toy lines, many Animated Series and Comic Books, and a series of live-action movies. Reduced to its simplest terms, Transformers is the story of an eons-old battle between two factions of a race of sentient Transforming Mecha, usually called the Autobots and Decepticons, whose battles frequently take them to Earth. Traditionally the Autobots transform into civilian automobiles, while the Decepticons transform into military hardware, though this distinction has grown less obvious over time.

Considering its origins as a toy line, the franchise is highly Merchandise-Driven, each incarnation serving to pimp a line of transforming toys. The original toy line sold in America came about when Hasbro imported several disparate Japanese toy lines, primarily Takara's "Diaclone" from 1980 and "Microchange" lines from the "Microman" toy franchise of 1974-84. The piecemeal origins of the individual toys are largely responsible for the enormous disparity in scale and style of the early toys, as it paired regular road vehicles, large military gear and household items together. When brought in as a single toy line, they were given the Transformers brand and established the "sapient robot" aspect of the story.

After the original toy line, further incarnations were designed specifically for the mega-hit Transformers brand, creating a more internally-consistent style, though still with inappropriate sizes between toys. At any given point there might be three distinct toylines for the franchise depending on the companion media of the time, while the broader "Generations" and "Masterpiece" lines reimagine classic characters with more modern, advanced and sometimes pricier versions.

The Transformers franchise has known the following incarnations in television, anime, film, and comics:

Note: Descriptions here are to be kept brief; for detailed information, see the individual series pages.

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Generation 1 continuity family

The saga that started it all, Generation 1 specifically refers to the base story of the Autobots' and Decepticons' war and their leaders, Optimus Prime and Megatron, crashing on prehistoric Earth. Back on Cybertron, the war came to a very uneasy stalemate because of their missing faction leaders. It isn't until their return that the war begins again. Other than that, between the various series and comics there is little that is consistent.

     Generation 1 


Another series based on a Japanese toyline about a war between two factions of a Transforming Mecha race. However, instead of Autobots and Decepticons, this time its the Guardians and Renegades.

Although, it was initially a separate rival franchise, Hasbro gained the rights to itnote  after their buyout of Tonka during the 90s. As such, the Gobots stories were retconned into being a distant part of the Transformers multiverse.

Beast Era

The Beast Era is a break from the usual presentation, featuring Transformers with animal altmodes instead of vehicles, and Maximals and Predacons replacing Autobots and Decepticons. It is in continuity with the Generation 1 family, but the toys and fiction are distinct enough to be considered on their own. It stands as probably being the era that is the most different from the original series.

     Beast Era 
  • Beast Wars (1996) was animated in CGI and produced by Mainframe Entertainment, famous for the first CGI television show, ReBoot. Treating the events of Generation One in Broad Strokes as historical legend, it featured a determined Maximal crew under the rookie captain Optimus Primal (who takes on the form of a gorilla) fighting a rogue band of Predacon criminals led by Megatron (who took on the name of the original Decepticon) on a prehistoric world. It also introduced several plot points that would go on to greatly influence future fiction, notably sparks.
  • Beast Machines (2000), the direct sequel series to Beast Wars, was animated by the same company, and saw a return to Cybertron. This series aired on Fox Kids, as opposed to Beast Wars, which aired in syndication, though reruns began airing on FK shortly after Beast Machines started.
  • Beast Wars II, a traditionally animated show set far into the future of Beast Machines but broadcast in Japan between the first and second series of Beast Wars to fill the gap while the second series was being dubbed. It is powered by slapstick and notably geared towards a much younger audience than the original Beast Wars.
  • Beast Wars Neo, which continued after Beast Wars II and was broadcast between the end of Beast Wars II and the start of the second series of Beast Wars. The series was notable for having the leader of the team (Big Convoy, who became a woolly mammoth) actually resent being put into command by his superiors and undergoing Defrosting Ice Queen as the series progressed. Also unusual was the genuine respect between Big Convoy and his archenemy Magmatron (traditionally, any respect between the faction leaders tended to be grudging). There are fandubbed episodes of this series and Beast Wars II at
  • End of G1 Universe: Taking place even further into the distant future than Neo, this series follows a mysterious maximal named Dark Amber Lio Convoy as he finds his destiny in an aging Universe that's about to reach it's end.
  • Transformers: Beast Wars (2021), a comic based on the original animated series that tells its own version of those events, with new characters also included. It takes place in its own continuity, separate from the rest of the Beast Era, but is inspired by it.

Robots In Disguise

Transformers: Robots in Disguise started the trend of Hasbro creating a new line of Transformers toys and backstory, then rebooting the property with a new continuity about two or three years later; this has caused an explosion of independent continuities in the past decade. However, while RiD was originally intended to be a filler series — as the Japanese did not import Beast Machines for several years — it was very successful in western markets, though it was also intended as filler here because the successor line to Beast Machines, dubbed TransTech, was scrapped due to Hasbro's losses from the Star Wars: Episode 1 line and Beast Machines being less successful.

  • Robots in Disguise (2001-02) rebooted the series continuity (only in the US, in Japan, it's part of the Generation One cartoon timeline), with the Autobots facing off against their perennial rivals, the Predacons (the Decepticons in this continuity are a group of Autobots subverted by the Predacons). The first Japanese Transformers series to have major Western distribution. RiD is also notable due to several episodes of the series being pulled from American airwaves after the September 11th attacks, as they featured footage of collapsing buildings. Also one of last new original animated series to air on Fox Kids prior to its demise.

The Unicron Trilogy

The Unicron Trilogy (2002-2006) was the next reboot and was intended as a full saga with an expansive toy line. It featured three anime series that were dubbed into English and aired on Cartoon Network. Each sub-series to the trilogy had a 'gimmick' that was always in the limelight.

Armada restored much of the original mystique, as the world's smallest armada (Autobots: 3, Decepticons: 4) duke it out to dominate a race of smaller transforming robots, the Mini-Cons. The Mini-Cons can link up to their larger counterparts to give them power upgrades, having obvious merchandise potential. Transformers: Energon and Transformers: Cybertron are sequels to this series, the three are retroactively referred to as the Unicron Trilogy, concerning the reboot of the Generation One Movie villain Unicron and a new take on his presence.

The gimmicks for Armada toys were the Mini-Cons, micro-transformers who would activate lights, sounds and/or hidden weapons by plugging into the larger toys. Energon toys were "Powerlinxing" where every transformer of a certain size class could combine with another. Cybertron toys had "Cyber Keys" which were similar in function to the Mini-Con gimmick. The general disinterest shown in these gimmicks by the fans has led to a reduced prominence in later toy lines, focusing more on what features they can do with the actual transformation instead.

Of note is that Cybertron was not intended as a sequel to Energon; the original Japanese Transformers: Galaxy Force took place in its own universe. Hasbro designer Aaron Archer had intended it to continue the earlier shows, so this is a case of conflicting sources. Interestingly enough, recent material released in Japan seems to have retconned Galaxy Force into the same universe as Armada and Energon.

  • Armada also had a video game based off of it, which surprisingly actually turned out to be pretty darn good, in a rare aversion of The Problem with Licensed Games.
  • Dreamwave also did a Unicron Trilogy comic. Armada focused on the plight of the Mini-Cons as born to serve the larger robots, then did an abrupt turn into the characters fending off Unicron. Energon had several ongoing plotlines, all of which were cut off when Dreamwave went bankrupt.

Transformers Film Series

A live-action film franchise, mostly directed by Michael Bay, and plenty of expanded universe comic books. Generally referred to by fans as "Bayformers".

  • Transformers (2007) introduces the new continuity, featuring an origin of the Transformers in a mystical artifact known as the AllSpark, with the Autobots and Decepticons arriving on Earth and humanity having to learn which side are the good guys.
  • The sequel, Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen (2009) continues directly from the first movie, it delves deeper into Transformer mythology.
  • The third film, Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) follows a new revelation dealing with further Transformer involvement in human history, with a story that arcs back to a Secret History involving the first moon landing in 1969 and finding the lost warrior and Optimus' mentor Sentinel Prime.
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), intended to be the start of a new trilogy with a new Myth Arc to it. The art design was changed dramatically (with completely new appearances for returning characters like Optimus and Bumblebee). The movie deals with a human conspiracy targeting Autobots and Decepticons alike, with a new enemy tied into Cybertronian origins setting its sights on Earth.
  • Transformers: The Last Knight (2017), the final film directed by Bay, follows up where the last film left off with Cade Yeager learning that he and Viviane Wembly are destined to save the world from the coming of a threat from Cybertron’s past. It was intended to be the launchpad for a full-on Shared Universe of films in the Bay continuity, but due to poor financial and critical reception, it ended up becoming the last of the original series of films.
  • Bumblebee (2018) is a shake-up to the status quo. Though initially set to be within the main continuity, the poor reception of The Last Knight resulted in the film being retooled into a Lighter and Softer reboot with Travis Knight in the director’s chair. The story is now set in the 1980’s with Bumblebee, now sporting his G1 alternate mode, forming a friendship with teen girl Charlie Watson while hiding on Earth from the Decepticons. Though a reboot, it still carries over several aspects from the mythology of Bay’s movies, such as the presence of Sector 7 and Bumblebee’s muteness and eventually assuming a Camaro as his alt mode.
  • Transformers: Rise of the Beasts (2023) is an upcoming installment of the series, taking place in the year 1994. Directed by Stephen Carple, Jr., this film will see two new human allies from New York City—archeologist Elena (Domonique Fishback) and her credit-stealing boss Noah (Anthony Ramos)—wind up in the conflict between the Autobots and the Decepticons, only for the Maximals and Predacons to join the fray. Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), Bumblebee, Mirage (Pete Davidson), and Arcee will appear, as will Optimus Primal (Ron Perlman), Cheetor, Rhinox, and Airazor (Michelle Yeoh). Also joining the fray are the Terorrcons, which will feature Scourge and Nightbird.

In addition to the movies, many other projects based on the movie-incarnation have been made.

  • Transformers: The Game (Console): a 2007 video game adaptation of the first Transformers film. It is divided into two campaigns focusing on the Autobots and Decepticons.
    • Transformers: The Game (DS): The Nintendo DS version of the above game project. The Autobot campaign follows a rough adaptation of the film like the console game, while the Decepticon campaign tells an original story involving a power struggle within the Decepticon ranks.
  • Transformers: The Ride - 3D, a spin-off attraction that can be found at the Universal Studios theme parks that once again is about a grand battle between the Autobots and Decepticons over the AllSpark.
  • Arcade Series
  • Studio Series: A toyline that began in 2018 that celebrates the decade's worth of movies with extremely movie-accurate figures of pretty much every major character, many of whom haven't had a new toy in a while.

IDW has done prequels, adaptations, and sequel comics for the movies. Titan Magazines also did a series based on the movie, with issues that initially fit around IDW's, much as Marvel UK did for Marvel US. As well as this, in the gap between the first and second film, Titan published a series set in an alternative timeline where the Decepticons won the battle of Mission City.

Transformers Animated

A new continuity and a dramatic new art style highlights this series. It is largely a throwback to the classic G1 while cementing a stronger canon and taking influence from newer series. This series ended up returning the franchise to its roots, being American produced with no dramatic changes to the core story and not trying to highlight any new toy gimmick (instead focusing on the transformation itself as the gimmick).

  • Transformers: Animated had its pilot in late 2007 to ride the popularity of the movie, and was the first American-written series since Beast Machines. This time the Autobot/Decepticon war ended years ago and Optimus Prime is only the commander of a small repair crew. Megatron hasn't been seen in years, but when they come across the AllSpark, this small team has to deal with the feared Decepticon, which eventually strands them on Earth.

Fun Publications Transformers continuities

Fun Publications has introduced multiple continuities of their own for the official fan club and conventions. These continuities are not very prominent compared to the others due to their relative inaccessibility, their stories mostly having only been released to convention attendees and fan club members.

Transformers Battle Universe

Aligned Universe

The Transformers Aligned Universe was meant to establish a definitive multi-medium continuity for Transformers by cherry-picking the best aspects of past iterations of the franchise. It launched in 2010 with the video game Transformers: War for Cybertron and the corresponding Exodus book. The intention behind this set-up was to create a longer-lasting Alternate Continuity than the frequent reboots every few years in the 2000's.

     Aligned Universe 
  • Transformers: Prime is a cartoon, animated in CGI, that premiered November 2010 on Hasbro's new Hub network. The Autobots are in hiding on Earth and combat the also-hidden Decepitcons, while also taking on the role of protectors for a group of three human children. The designs are strongly influenced by the complex Transformers Film Series look while retaining the more stylized approach of Transformers: Animated. Peter Cullen and Frank Welker return as Optimus Prime and Megatron, making it the first Transformers series in which the two have reprised their roles together. The third season was subtitled Beast Hunters, and concluded in 2013 with a TV movie, "Predacons Rising".
    • Transformers Universe was a video game largely based on this series. After being delayed time and time again, it was cancelled at the end of 2014 — after finally going into Beta testing.
    • Transformers: Prime – The Game is a video game with an original story that takes place during the animated series about a meteor made of pure Dark Energon containing an ancient warrior of Unicron called Thunderwing that falls to Earth.
    • Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2015) is a confusingly named sequel to Prime aired in 2015. The art style is a blend of the Prime and Rescue Bots styles. Set some years after "Predacons Rising", for the first time the story doesn't focus on an Optimus or even a Prime, but upon the now speaking Bumblebee, who heads back to Earth on a mission from the 'dead' Optimus, only to be unwittingly joined by a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits who he must lead to neutralise a Decepticon threat on Earth. As the series goes on, it becomes clear something sinister is going on behind the scenes...
    • Transformers: Rescue Bots is a series taking Broad Strokes from the rest of the Aligned Continuity, while also being a Lighter and Softer series targeted towards preschool children. The series focuses on a rescue team of Autobots consisting of Heatwave, Boulder, Blades, and Chase, who work with a family of first-responders to aid people in trouble. Peter Cullen returns as Optimus Prime, but as a guest character, while the show focuses mainly on its characters. Its focus is primarily on safety education.
    • A Sequel Series, Transformers: Rescue Bots Academy, premiered in 2019, featuring five recruits: Hot Shot, Whirl, Hoist, Medix and Wedge, who are trained by the original Rescue Bots to become heroes like them.
  • Transformers: Go! is an animated series direct-to-dvd with the Samurai Team and the Isami Tatewaki to find Laserdiscs and awake more transformers.
  • Transformers: War for Cybertron is a video game that dives into the basic history of the Autobot/Decepticon war and meant to be a stepping stone showing how that war finds its way to Earth. It takes major mythology points from various sources and re-presents them to the audience, setting up the greater franchise (such as why Starscream is The Starscream and how come Megatron doesn't just shoot him). It was built from the Unreal engine and was released on PC, Xbox 360, Wii, DS, and PS3 in July 2010.
    • Transformers: Exodus is partly a novelisation of War for Cybertron and partly a manual further explaining the backstory. Although it contradicts both the game and itself on a number of occasions, which leads to the majority of Continuity Snarls within this new franchise (Starscream was stated to be a dedicated scientist only for it to later state that he wasn't ever a scientist).
    • Transformers: Exiles is a sequel novelization to Exodus showing what happened after the Autobots and Decepticons departed Cybertron. Their journey leads them to Cybertron's sister worlds and a great many secrets of their ancestors.
    • Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is the sequel to War for Cybertron, including a heapload of new characters, as well as a Darker and Edgier plot.

Transformers Legends

A Japanese-exclusive toyline consisting of figures from multiple eras of the franchise's history. The line was promoted by a webcomic that can be viewed on the official Takara Tomy website, with Bonus Edition chapters included as pack-in comics that come with the toys.


After the Transformers franchise began releasing the Lego-like Kre-O construction sets, these have also began to develop their own fiction, and just like the sets are based on several iterations of the franchise, the fiction also bases its stories on a mix-and-match of versions, with a humorous touch.

  • The Transformers Kre-O animated shorts use stop-motion without dialogue for one-minute gags. These were later replaced by the Think Like A Kreon shorts, which used a wider variety of Kre-O figures besides Transformers.
  • The Transformers Kre-O webcomic, being made in Japan, is drawn in Manga style and features wacky humor and cameos of several fiction-only Kreons based on characters from all corners of the franchise.

Transformers: Cyberverse

In 2017, Hasbro announced a series titled: Transformers: Cyberverse, which started in 2018. Hasbro also stated that each season is dubbed as a chapter, and focuses on the characters and lore of the Transformers Universe. It is likely yet another Continuity Reboot for the franchise, showing no ties to the Aligned Universe.

Transformers: BotBots

In late 2018, banking on the success of Shopkins and other blind bagged franchises, Transformers: BotBots were released. Unlike other Transformers franchises, this line features a much more lighthearted and goofy take on the lore, with some odd alt modes, such as food and sports equipment.

Transformers: EarthSpark

In February 2021, Nickelodeon ordered a 26-episode animated series titled: Transformers: EarthSpark. In this action-comedy series, a new species of Transformers must find their place and purpose among Autobots, Decepticons, and the human family that adopts them. The first 10 episodes of the series released in November 11, 2022. The following 8 episodes released in March 3, 2023.

The series is executive produced by Ant Ward (Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and Nicole Dubuc (Transformers: Rescue Bots) and developed and co-executive produced by Dale Malinowski (Also from ROTTMNT).

Several times, Hasbro has attempted to put transforming toys related to other lines under the Transformers umbrella. It didn't work out so well for the Animorphs, but the Marvel Universe and Star Wars ones have been better received. Takara also has gotten in on this, with the Disney Label (yeah, we dunno what possesed Takara either).

In October 2021, it was announced that the G1 Optimus Prime, Megatron, and Starscream would be appearing as character skins for Smite.

In August 2021 there would be a crossover event in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang with the Transformers franchise, the first wave of skins made for the event had Optimus Prime, Megatron and Bumblebee; a second wave would be announced in may 2022 and it seems their going to bring back the event indefinetly annually.

A scene change gimmick from G1 is a faction symbol wipe, if switching to the Decepticons from the Autobots the symbol will flip from Autobot to Decepticon, but it can also flip from Autobot to Autobot (for another Autobot scene) or Decepticon to Decepticon. Some incarnations have used a similar eye-catch and it has been parodied in many instances in modern media.

The franchise is the Trope Namer for:

Other franchise-wide tropes:

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  • 90% of Your Brain: The book Project Brain Drain.
  • Action Figure File Card: Many of the toys have had them.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Certain characters get hit with this through the many different iterations:
    • In the G1 cartoon, the Dinobots were nigh-unstoppable powerhouses, tearing through even Megatron with little effort, with the only foe that actually gave them trouble being Devastator. In the original comics, the five of them were curbstomped by Megatron early on.
    • The strength of the Combiner gestalts tends to fluctuate throughout the franchise. In the G1 cartoon, they were powerful enough that entire squadrons of normal-sized Transformers couldn't even scratch them. In the original comics, they were still quite strong, but some of the more powerful singulars, such as Megatron or Galvatron, could take them down. In Robots in Disguise, they were treated much the same way as in the comics; Ruination in particular could be blown apart by the attacks of a single (albeit powerful) foe.
    • In both the original cartoon and official tech specs, Trypticon was depicted as a city-sized Transformer with immense strength. His first appearance in the Marvel comics showed him as being barely twice the size of a regular Transformer, and he was almost overwhelmed by the Dinobots.
  • Advertising-Only Continuity: Sometimes it's relatively minor, like a movie Jazz figure recolored as an homage to G1 Jazz being explained in his bio as having been revived by Ratchet, or Beast Machines quietly expanding the small band of surviving Maximals. Other times it's more complex, like how the early Beast Wars toys' bios set up the series as a direct continuation of G1 on modern-day Earth, with Optimus Primal and Megatron being the same characters as G1 Optimus Prime and Megatron (which would later be contradicted by the TV series). In extreme cases, such as the current Kre-O sub-line, on-package bios and commericals may be the only fiction available.
  • The Ageless: Almost always applies to the Transformers.
    • Though occasionally averted by characters whose schtick is that they're old fogies. Not only do they have the personality to match, but for some reason they're the only Transformers to physically age.
  • Alien Among Us: Alien robots, but aliens nonetheless, the series has many elements of this plot.
  • Alien Invasion: Technically, almost every series, but the 2007 movie and the IDW comics focus most on this trope.
  • All Deaths Final: While it varies how much the franchise adheres to this trope, Transformers is notable for being one of the few children's series to often have characters be Killed Off for Real. As long as you're not a huge name person like Optimus Prime, than chances are if you die you stay dead. The comics are able to go even further with this since they're meant for adult fans.
  • All Gravity Is the Same: The planet Cybertron, Depending on the Writer, is either bigger or smaller than Earth. Yet the Autobots' human (and even alien) allies have no trouble with the gravity there.
  • All Part of the Show: A retroactive example, and a quite interesting one at that; the franchise is somewhat infamous for its very fluctuating animation quality, with some series (G1, Armada, and Energon) having at least some errors in nearly every episode. Eventually, someone came up with an in-universe explanation for them, and Hasbro used the Character Blog Ask Vector Prime to explain that all animation errors are small, harmless and self-resolving anomalies in time and space that are more or less invisible to the characters. So, in the Transformers multiverse, Off-Model animation is canon!
  • All There in the Manual: Many characters have all or most of their characterization provided in toy bios or profiles.
  • Alternate Continuity: Currently, 5 different "main" continuity lines. When you go into the comics, on the other hand, talk about Continuity Snarl.
    • This chart is also several years out of date.
    • Here is Japan's take with their continuities (yes, some shows are in different continuities in different countries). It's not any better.
  • Ancient Keeper
  • Animal Mecha: They've been a thing since the start, and exist in about every continuity, with such alternate modes referred as 'beast mode'. They come as either robots that turn from a humanoid robot to an animal (the Dinobots, Insecticons, Predacons and everyone on Beast Wars are robot-alien variations of this) or animal-like robots with alternate modes (such as Sky Lynx or the majority of Cassettes).
    • It should be noted that 'beast mode' refers to about any character with a mode that resembles another creature, as such some like the Terrorcons or the Monsterbots are put in the same category.
  • Anime Theme Song: Several in the cartoon series, whether Japan releases it first or dubs it after the US releases. More notable with Beast Wars II and Beast Wars Neo.
  • Armies Are Evil: If a character turns into a military vehicle, like a tank or a jet fighter, they're probably a Decepticon. Autobot's with military vehicle modes exist, but they're nowhere near as common.
  • Arms and Armor Theme Naming: The Insecticons have bomb-related names: Bombshell, Shrapnel, and Kickback.
  • Ass Kicking Pose
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Not surprising, since they can choose their alternate forms, but each invariably picks a vehicle that suits them very well.
  • Atrocious Arthropods:
    • Transformers: Generation 1: The Insecticons are Decepticons with insect alt modes. In addition to serving as Mooks for Megatron, they possess the ability to convert any sort of matter into Energon for the Decpeticons to use.
    • Beast Wars: The Predacons had reptiles, dinosaurs,insects, arachnids and crustaceans as their alt modes. The arthropod Predacons where Waspinator (wasp), Inferno (ant), Scorponok (scorpion), Quickstrike (part snake, part scorpion), Tarantulus (spider), Rampage (crab) and Blackarachnia (spider). Blackarachnia does pull a Heel–Face Turn but doesn't quite shake her Predacon ruthlessness.
    • Transformers Film Series: The Decepticons are given monstrous animal-like features to contrast with the more human-looking Autobots. Some of them have arthropod features such as Megatron, Demolishor, Scalpel and Frenzy. There is also Scorponok whose robot mode is a scorpion.
    • Transformers: Animated: Waspinator and Blackarachnia are sympathetic variations of this trope.
      • Before she became Blackarachnia, Elita-1 was an Autobot cadet who, along with her friends Optimus and Sentinel, went to the planet Archa Seven looking for a Decepticon ship. The trio were attacked by Giant Spiders and Elita was presumed dead. In reality, she had used her ability to copy powers from other creatures allowed her to survive being injected with the spiders' venom but she was also transformed into a techno-organic Transformer with a spider alternate mode. Blackarachnia hates the Autobots, particularly Optimus and Sentinel, for abandoning her and has sided with the Decepticons. However, her main goal is to reverse her transformation into a techno-organic and she is depicted as a Tragic Villain.
      • Wasp was once an arrogant but promising Autobot cadet until he was framed for being a Decepticon spy by Longarm Prime (aka Shockwave). Wasp was imprisoned and driven mad by the experience, swearing revenge on Bumblebee for ruining his life. He broke out and ultimately fell in with Blackarachnia who convinced him to undergo a procedure that transformed him into a techno-organic Transformer with an insect alternate mode.
    • Transformers: Prime: In addition to the Insecticons, we also have Airachnid. A sadistic spider-like robot, Airachnid served as a mercenary during the Cybertron War, holding no allegiances to either side. Not only does hunt other species into extinction for sport, but she also murdered Arcee's first partner Tailgate.
  • Author Catchphrase: Furmanisms
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Dinobots. Even bigger robots that can turn into robo-dinosaurs? Awesome! Only problem is Transformers are Transformers (mostly) because they blend into Earth machines and since humans don't drive around in giant robot t-rexs this makes it a bit trickier to work in the Dino-bots. It is most likely why The Wreckers were made to be alternate heavy hitters.

  • Bell-Bottom-Limbed Bots: The majority are examples, often with Kibble attached to their lower arms, while upper arm Kibble usually turns into Shoulders of Doom detached from the arm. In toys with this, it's Justified since it's literally impossible to have the upper arm bigger, if the shoulder pad and upper arm are supposed to be flush with the lower arm when transformed.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Rhinox in Beast Wars and Bulkhead of Animated are both fairly gentle, if large transformers, but are also the ones to avoid getting angry.
  • Beyond the Impossible: The Alternity are overpowered enough to give Demonbane a run for their money, with weapons that can shoot you before you were born, weapons that can warp reality, and weapons than can shoot you in the past, present, future and other dimensions at the same time. Megatron's Tesseractal Swords are blades of infinite length. "Physical space is not an obstruction." They also have the ability to perceive reality on a higher-dimensional scale and can detect any changes in space-time immediately when they occur to reverse the damage caused by them.
  • Big Bad: Mostly Megatrons, but the Marvel comics gave Shockwave and other Cybertronians chances to gloat. More recently, Overlord as seen in IDW's The Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers might also qualify.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Take your pick of series or characters. Inverted in the 2007 movie when Starscream shows up and beats up Ratchet and Ironhide, stopping their protection of Sam in what could be called a "Big Damn Villains" moment.
  • Big Good: Optimus Prime in any adaptation.
    • Prime is ever so slightly outranked by Primus.
  • Black-and-White Morality: Autobots are good, Decepticons are evil (except in Shattered Glass, where it's the other way round).
    • Though in Transformers: Animated some of the Autobots are selfish, corrupt, or incompetent, though not in the main cast. Sentinel Prime, we are looking at you. Likewise, while "sympathetic" might be stretching the portrayal of the Decepticons as a whole, they are at least clearly motivated (most of them want to reconquer Cybertron, but some have other motivations).
    • Many Transformers continuities play with and partially subvert the idea, going right back to the Marvel comic series in the 1980s. It is always with individual characters though so the trope is played straight for the overall factions even if the individuals within the groups don't necessarily all adhere. Also, the trope is played painfully straight whenever Unicron is involved, usually with "Unicron = BAD Those who fight him = good"
      • Well Unicron is basically the cybertronion equivalent of Satan so it's not entirely unreasonable.
    • The new book Exodus also establishes a whole lot of gray in the origins of the war and looks like a subversion, but later on plays this trope straight. Sort of.
    • In the IDW comics Continuity, it is suggested that the conflict became this way over time. The Decepticons were once a rebel force rising up against the corrupt Senate, while the Autobots, who also believed in change, believed the change was moving too quickly and in the wrong direction.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: Optimus Prime (i.e. one of the most powerful of a race of giant, sapient Humongous Mecha) sometimes has a human military escort.
  • Breakout Character: Several characters went on to become highly popular characters with larger roles.
    • Swindle is one of the early examples, rising above his origins as a member of the Combaticons and into a prominent character in his own right, especially in Transformers: Animated and IDW.
    • Bumblebee went from being a B level (but still fairly prominent) character to being one of the faces of the franchise thanks to the popularity of the 2007 movie, and he even gets to headline a series with RID 2015.
    • Several names became highly popular thanks to an original take on the character; among these are Slipstream, Bulkhead, Knock Out, Dreadwing, and Barricade.
    • Among the Canon Foreigner's, Lockdown became a major supporting character in IDW and even the Big Bad of the fourth Michael Bay movie; Knock Out was basically copy-pasted to IDW, etc.
  • Caged Inside a Monster: Many larger figures had storage for smaller figures, some of which were identified as jail cells or prisons due to Rule of Cool:
    • The original Fortress Maximus figure had a jail cell concealed in its left leg. Given Fortress Maximus was a Cityformer, that makes sense. This likely inspired his characterization in the IDW comics as warden of a prison.
    • Transformers: Armada Megatron has storage for Mini-Cons. What makes it likely to be a prison is the fact that Megatron also has a capture claw for Minicons.
    • From the same line, Unicron is filled with Minicon storage gimmicks. The animation makes it clear that the Minicons are not in there by choice.
  • Cain and Abel: The franchise has Planet-sized, Transforming Mecha (that turn into planets) Physical Gods Primus and Unicron. Unicron is the Big Bad God of Evil Omnicidal Maniac seeking to destroy everything that isn't him. Primus is the Big Good who is completely loaded with BFGs and Wave Motion Guns seeking to thwart his brother. However, his trump card isn't any of that weaponry - it's the Transformers themselves. Unfortunately, they'd rather spend their time fighting each other.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Every series has a few insane ideas that got ignored, like Unicron being the discarded science project of an alien monkey...
  • Canon Immigrant: The Transformer "Spark" concept introduced in Beast Wars has continued and become a vital part of Transformers mythology.
    • As far as characters go, Animated's Lockdown, Lugnut, and Bulkhead have crossed over into the IDW, Aligned, and Movie continuities - in particular, Lockdown serves as the Big Bad of the fourth film. IDW has recently began featuring a large number of Ensemble Dark Horse Canon Immigrants from Beast Wars, Robots in Disguise, Prime, and Animated.
  • Catchphrase:
  • Central Theme: How constructive and deconstructive it is to live by your principles. Every Autobot and Decepticon have personal mottos that they define themselves by, as well as the principles of the two factions - the Autobots stand for freedom and autonomy, while the Decepticons promote tyranny and deception - and both must live with the consequences of their ideologies, whether glorious or tragic.
  • Character Outlives Actor:
    • After Scatman Crothers fell ill shortly after the Movie, Jazz stopped speaking and eventually left the show completely. It wasn't too noticeable at the time, as the third season concentrated on the new characters, but it did stand out a little, considering that the movie had made a point of the fact that he was one of the few originals who had unquestionably survived.
    • Roger C. Carmel's characters were simply recast.
  • The Chew Toy: Four words: "Why universe hate Waspinator?!?"
  • C-List Fodder: Issue #50 of the original Transformers comic featured Starscream on a killing rampage that culled older characters by the dozens. Victims included C-list characters like Gears and Buzzsaw, as well as popular ones such as Omega Supreme and the Predacons.
  • Collector of Forms: The Transformers typically scan to gain their altmodes. Mostly they can do this themselves but there is a device called the Sky Spy that collects data for Transformers to provide altmodes.
  • The Collector of the Strange: Autobot Pipes collects interesting human knick-knacks.
    • Also, in Cybertron, Shortround collects...Transformers toys. The "grails" of his collection? Generation 2 Defensor and Menasor. Two toys whose real-world counterparts were never produced (or at least never mass-produced) in full.
  • The Colored Cross: In the original toyline, comic book and cartoon, the Red Cross symbol was used on ambulance-mode Transformers like Ratchet and Red Alert. Ratchet in particular had two such symbols on his shoulders in robot mode. However, since the 80s Hasbro has opted to use all sorts of workarounds instead due to this trope. For example, both the Animated and Live Action Film incarnations of Ratchet instead have circles with zigzag lines invoking a heartbeat monitor screen. Even modern toys of the original G1 Ratchet (e.g. in the high-end Masterpiece line, 2016's Combiner Wars and 2022's Studio Series) no longer use the cross: one attempt had the cross shifted to instead become an X while another added diamonds at the end of each cross arm, but now the consistent one is having the Autobot emblem at the center of the cross.
  • Combining Mecha:
    • The combiners, such as the Constructicons, Aerialbots, Stunticons, Destruction Team, etc. Some characters, like Sky Lynx, play with it a little - he's only one character, and can not only be either his "bird" or "lynx" form, but can also be both at once, working as a team, and can recombine them into a single form.
    • The Double Powermaster named Overlord is a more literal example, as he is formed from a tank and jet combining and is an actual Humongous Mecha rather than a living character in his own right. He's controlled by the husband/wife team of Giga and Mega.
    • Energon introduced the idea of Powerlinx combination, where any Autobot (of Deluxe or Mega class in the toyline) could form either the top or bottom half of a combined super robot. Any two appropriate characters could connect together using a universal connector clip.
    • Lampshaded in the IDW comics, where Swerve points out the Decepticon's obsession with combination.
      "Put two of 'em in a room and within seconds one will be standing on the other's shoulders. Fact.
  • Continuity Snarl:
    • Non-fans or casual fans have NO idea how crazy it's gotten for the Aligned universe since the release of Transformers: War for Cybertron, its accompanying prequel novel "Transformers: Exodus", and Transformers: Prime. For the record, all three of those media allegedly take place within the same continuity. It was later resolved that they are a closely related continuity family, meaning they each share a large number of events but are irreconcilable as a single timeline. Basically, it did not become the simple, universal subfranchise it was meant to, but came closer than anything before it. Rescue Bots and Robots in Disguise (the new one, not the old one) also introduce a few issues.
    • Transformers: Armada, Transformers: Energon, and Transformers: Cybertron are part of a larger metaseries called the Unicron Trilogy. However, Studio GONZO decided they didn't like the idea of making a sequel to another studio's cartoon, so they used the most basic points of the outline they were given to make a show that was largely written in-house. This meant that characters who knew each other were suddenly strangers and established concepts like combining (central to Energon) were suddenly foreign ideas in Cybertron. It was finally explained due to one very important plot point that was kept in - Alpha Quintesson's Energon sun collapsing into a black hole. Since that sun was made from Unicron's body, all the negative energy produced by the so-called Unicron Singularity was screwing up time and space due to his ability to jump from one universe to another. They went so far as to use it to write off any Plot Hole in any continuity of the franchise or any media that ever crossed over with it.
  • Cool Car: Kind of a given, but the live action movie had to use real cars. Barricade in the 2007 movie is a Ford Mustang, Jazz is a Pontiac Solstice, Bumblebee is a 1976 Chevy Camaro who later becomes a 2008 Camaro, Revenge of the Fallen is showcasing a one-of-a-kind Concept Corvette that will not actually reach consumers.
  • Cool Guns: Megatron's original altmode was a The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Walther P38 with stock, barrel extension and scope; the latter became his Fusion Cannon.
  • Copycat Cover: Transmorphers, whose title also copied the classic font and was released just after the 2007 movie.
  • Cosmic Retcon: The franchise, of course, has one of its own: the Unicron Singularity, which ripped and tore at the fabric of time and space in a way that essentially opens up a planet-sized plot hole just to make room for itself to fill it.
    • The Unicron Singularity didn't exist as this at first, and it was transformed into one by the club comic writers to account for some (admittedly minor) inconsistencies between Transformers: Energon and Transformers: Cybertron. Mind you, these are only minor in comparison to the humongous plot holes that already populated the rest of the entire Transformers multiverse, which did not have such a black hole, though later media claims that its effects branch out to other universes as well, ergo it is both the cause of and solution to many errors in continuity (and even animation).
    • There actually exists a Transformer, Vector Prime, who was tasked by Primus to protect the stability of the timeline - in other words, the number of plot holes in Transformers is so bad, it is actually an in-universe threat, and there needs to be someone to keep the holes and inconsistencies from destroying everything. He does his best to fix things (usually retconning them from outside the timeline to cover inconsistencies, but coming in person for tremendous holes like the Singularity) so presumably any inconsistency we see was simply recorded before he got around to it, and our media are ripple effect proof.
    • The concept of the multiversal singularity (that is, characters of which only one exists in the entire multiverse, such as Primus, Unicron and The Fallen) was nullified by this - while at first it was gradual, with Ask Vector Prime claiming certain appearances of Unicron (such as the one in the original American cartoon continuity) were not part of the main singularity Unicron, the 2015 Fun Publications story "Another Light" had Nexus Prime solidify the walls between reality, limiting travel between dimensions and splintering all former singularities (such as Vector Prime and Nexus himself) into infinite selves across existence, as had been the case with many "regular" beings.
  • Cyber Cyclops: Shockwave's defining feature across continuities.

  • Dark Lord on Life Support:
    • After being heavily damaged in the pilot movie of Transformers: Prime, Megatron has to be attached to extremely large power cables just to remain in a catatonic state, leaving him very vulnerable especially with his subordinates threatening to unplug him. He eventually recovers.
    • This is a common way for saving the big battle with Megs for a big moment. The movie keeps him frozen until the climax, and Animated keeps him a disembodied head until the first season finale.
    • Another example came from Transformers: Cybertron, where Megatron ends up in a life support bubble of some kind after having Atlantis, an ancient Cybertronian starship, explode with him aboard. He fully recovers several episodes later.
  • Dark Reprise: A non-musical, cross-continuity version during Animated!Waspinator's last appearance. He speaks a line originally said by Beast Wars!Waspinator, but in a much less humorous, darker intonation.
  • Death Is Cheap: Let's just say "destroyed" doesn't necessarily mean "dead" and leave it at that.
  • Decepticon Scientists Get No Respect: You don't see many Decepticon scientists, outside of Shockwave. The number of named medics we've seen can be counted on one hand. That is, until we find out in Generation 1 and the Aligned continuities that Starscream of all bots is a scientist note . The comics then start introducing a number of medics, no actually get no respect because they "waste their time" patching up "weaklings" who had the audacity to get hit in a firefight. Then there are the Mad Scientists like Rossum, Vertibreak, and Vivisector.
  • Deck of Wild Cards: In this series, both the Decepticons and their descendants, the Predacons, have established their regimes based around this philosophy. Only those who are strong and cunning deserve to rule, and being deposed of by a weak underling is a sign they were never meant to rule to begin with. Of course, the franchise has tended to depict this haphazardly, so it's not always consistent in this regard.
    • The original animated series showed that, with the exception of Soundwave and Shockwave, nearly every Decepticon tried to backstab or remove Megatron aside from Starscream himself, as a consequence of their ambitions getting the better of themselves. Notably, Astrotrain and Blitzwing worked with Starscream to depose Megatron, then backstabbed the both of them so they could jointly rule. The Combaticons were also once a band of Starscreams before the series, having been melted down and left as just personality components for trying to overthrow Megatron long ago, and falling right back onto old habits the moment the Trope Namer himself brings them out of storage for his own ends. By the third season, even Galvatron's most loyal subjects—Scourge and Cyclonus—were not above doing this, as a consequence of Drunk On Power and committing his insane leader to therapy respectively.
    • Beast Megatron didn't have it much better. Aside from Inferno and Scorponok, every other Predacon starting with Dinobot and ending with Dinobot II tried to betray, kill, or otherwise defect from his ranks. Terrorsaur was very much like the Trope Namer, Waspinator got tired of getting blown up and decided enough was enough, Blackarachnia and Tarantulus were far more ambitious than they were skilled, Rampage was forced into servitude, and Quickstrike was an easily manipulated idiot who just wanted to shoot things. Tellingly, none of them succeeded, as Megatron was too good of a Manipulative Bastard and The Chessmaster to fall for it.
    • The Unicron Trilogy mostly averted this, as nearly all the Decepticons under Megatron/Galvatron's ranks respected him enough to fall in line, aside from Starscream himself and Thrust. Well, at least until Transformers: Cybertron, when Galvatron became so Ax-Crazy and decided to remake the universe in his own image that his troops hightailed it out of there and betrayed him.
    • This was taken literarily in Transformers: Animated, when Starscream cloned himself to create an army of Seekers he could use to depose Megatron. It almost worked until Megatron trounced his treacherous underling, at which point his clones Subverted this trope and joined Megatron instead. If anything, the Decepticon forces avert this trope entirely, since they are all loyal to Megatron's cause to a fault.
    • The Micromaster Air Strike Patrol are all out to replace their leader, Whisper. Fortunately for Whisper, Nightflight and Storm Cloud are unable to make an effective move against him (one is a coward, while the other is stupid), meaning he only has to worry about Tailwind.
  • Demoted to Extra: The franchise is somewhat the reverse of many other examples on this page, in that a number of characters appear only in the toyline. That said, there's plenty of straight examples...
  • Developing Doomed Characters: An endemic problem with the franchise is that the first installment - the 2007 film, Armada, Infiltration - will sometimes focus excessively on the less-than-likable Puny Humans and ease into the robots. Infiltration is a case of this backfiring spectacularly, with the humans' development inspiring enough annoyance and boredom that the next arc, Stormbringer, was advertised as "Nothing but ROBOTS on CYBERTRON!"
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: When Unicron is a robot Eldritch Abomination, they come across this trope in order to win.
  • Divine–Infernal Family: In a similar vein to Zoroastrianism, Cybertron's God Primus and God of Evil Unicron be warring brothers. Their "parent" is a mysterious being known as The One, hinted to be The Maker or the true God of the setting. Unless Unicron has an origin different from "ancient dark god".
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Nearly all of the cast from the first two seasons is killed off during the movie, as well as Optimus and Starscream albeit temporarily.
    • Beast Wars was sometimes almost careless with how they killed certain characters; a few times they were intended to be dead but Hasbro insisted they bring them back.
  • Dub-Induced Plotline Change:
    • With the Japanese dubs of the various cartoons, the dub of the original series cut out several characters, including Skyfire and Omega Supreme, due to rights issues with their toys (this was also the reason why they never got carried over to the toyline when it released in that region). Thusly several episodes got skipped over as a result and replaced with Recap Episodes. It wouldn't be until the 90s that two of them would get dubbed, and later on when the "Rebirth" three-part finale would be released.
    • In the 90s with the dub of Beast Wars, as would eventually become franchise norm with subsequent dubs, the series would be retooled extensively to a far younger audience, changing characters completely (such as turing Airazor into a male and Arachnid into a Yandere), and contain mass amounts of Filling the Silence and Throw It In to the point of self parody. A trademark of sound designer and dub director Yoshikazu Iwanami's other works.
  • Dub Name Change: Many examples, but some of the more notable ones here:
    • Optimus Prime will usually be called "Something Convoy" in Japan (Optimus Primal is "Beast Convoy", for instance); Jet Optimus's first appearance in the English dub of Armada infamously referred to him as "Jet Convoy". Averted in the Japanese dub of Animated in order to fit the live-action movie... but it also changed Bulkhead's name to Ironhide for the same reason.
    • Megatron/Galvatron's name is usually the same, but Beast Wars II reused the name "Galvatron" for an unrelated character, Car Robots (Robots in Disguise) originally called him Gigatron/Devil Gigatron, and Galaxy Force (Cybertron) called him Master Megatron/Master Galvatron.
    • In US media, the Autobots from planet Cybertron fight the Decepticons. In Japanese media (except the Animated dub) the Cybertrons from planet Cybertron (pronounced differently) fight the Destrons.
    • Now with their own page.
  • Dub Pronunciation Change: Most Italian dubs of the franchise have Energon pronounced as "Ener-gone" instead of "Ener-john" and the latter part of Ultra Magnus's name pronounced as "Man-yous" instead of "Mag-noose". The dub of Transformers: Animated is the only time where both terms keep the English pronounces.
  • Dull Surprise: Pat Lee currently holds the dubious honor of providing its page image; his art is full of it.
    • Energon is notorious for the extremely rigid facial models on its Cybertronian characters, leaving them with almost zero emotive capabilities.
  • Dumb Muscle: The Dinobots, especially Sludge.
    • Though that was because in the G1 cartoons, they were built on Earth, without Cybertron-built brains. The "GI Joe Vs. the Transformers" Dinobots were originally five totally Cybertronian Autobots who were time-warped to Earth's prehistoric age by Teletran 3, and given dinosaur bodies (with which they tore through Shockwave's Decepticons) as alternative forms. The following volume, had Grimlock talk in the familiar third-person speech we know him for, but he does learn to appreciate the Joes as valiant warriors... and "Good friends."
    • Devastator in the original, Tidal Wave in Armada
  • Dysfunction Junction: Many of the Transformers, Autobot and Decepticon alike, are barely-functional piles of neuroses. The Stunticons (G1) in particular take the cake, as not only do most of them have severe mental issues, but they dislike each other so much (their commanding officer in particular) that their combined form of Menasor is often totally uncontrollable due to the mental schism.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Generation 1 stands out from much of the Transformers media that followed it in a number of ways:
    • "Mass-shifting," a phenomena where Transformers explicitly alter their size and mass during transformation, was far more prevalent than in later installments. Several characters transform into tiny alt-modes (Megatron into a handgun, Soundwave into a portable tape player, Reflector into a camera, etc.) despite standing the same height as their comrades who become cars and jets. Others get dramatically bigger when they transform, like Broadside being able to become an entire aircraft carrier or Silverbolt, Cyclonus, and Astrotrain all becoming spacecraft big enough for other transformers to ride inside them, despite again, being similar in size to a "regular" Transformer while in robot mode. This sort of thing still pops up, but it's never been anywhere near as commonplace as it was in G1.
    • The concept of the Transformers going incognito on Earth is completely abandoned almost immediately in both the G1 cartoon and comics, with both factions revealing themselves quite publicly early on and their existence becoming widely known soon after their emergence. Many, but not all, later incarnations put more emphasis on the Masquerade in which Transformers are secretly on Earth for some period of time, hiding in their alt-modes, before revealing themselves.
    • As far as toys go, the G1 toyline is an oddity both because it was made up primarily of toys recycled from other lines initially, and because many of the early toys were "parts-formers," requiring partial disassembly to transform. This has been almost entirely eliminated from the modern Transformers design philosophy, with the overwhelming majority of toys from subsequent lines only requiring accessories like guns to be removed prior to transformation, if even that.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Unicron.
  • Emergency Services: Many autobots, and even decepticons, use emergency service vehicles as their alt modes. The Protectobots in particular are an entire subgroup made of them.
  • "Everybody Dies" Ending:
    • The Original Movie was deliberately plotted to kill off as many characters/toys as possible, traumatizing kids who expected a continuation of the TV show.
    • Age of Extinction reveals that all of the characters who were in the previous trilogy that didn't return for this one were hunted down by Cemetary Wind. Including the Autobots. Ratchet, the Wreckers, Arcee, Sideswipe...
  • Expository Theme Song: Autobots wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons! Transformers: Cybertron has not only the regular lyrics, but also a monologue from Optimus Prime describing the show's basic premise.
  • Expy: The franchise is constantly rebooted, technically making Optimus, Megatron, Starscream, etc. expies of about eight or so identically-named characters. And then, there are other examples:
    • Hooligan from the G2 series is Skywarp in all but name and color. A dumb jetformer who is fairly powerful but only focused on pranks.
    • One notable Expy is Breacher from the "Hunt for the Decepticons" toyline. He's an Expy for Roller, the drone in Optimus Prime's trailer. They're both six-wheeled blue (well... usually, when it comes to the toys) all-terrain vehicles with a black gun on top, and they're both designed to fit in the back of a larger figure. Then, a reversal for the Thrilling 30 subline of Generations: Optimus came with a new Roller whose vehicle mode was basically a blue six-wheeled APC, with a robot mode based directly on Breacher's.
  • Eye Lights Out: Whenever a Transformer dies "goes off-line".
  • Faceless Masses: Many nameless background Transformer (or robots in general) characters have various designs (some resemble Soundwave or Prowl).
  • Famous for Being First: Several Transformers are known to love being the first into a fight, though whether or not this is mentioned as one of their weaknesses tends to depend on if they can actually back up that desire.
    • The Autobot Axelerator Skram tries to be the first into battle and takes full advantage of his superb acceleration to zoom into Decepticon bases, inflict as much damage as he can, and then pull back so the other Autobots can follow up.
    • Windbreaker, also an Axelerator, likewise tries to be first to make contact with the enemy as part of his function as scout. However, due to his body basically being flooded with the Cybertronian equivalent of adrenaline almost 24/7, his circuits sometimes overclock and cause his systems to fail. This results in him becoming completely stalled out and unable to move at all, making him dead weight.
    • The Stunticon Drag Strip loves being first. Doesn't matter what it is, if he's first and can brag about it, he's happy. This normally translates to him being first in a race or a fight, but if it can be made a competition (no matter how inane) and he can brag about being "first" later, Drag Strip is in.
  • Fantastic Firearms: In IDW Publishing's Transformers comics, it's eventually revealed that most Cybertronian weapons are fueled by Energon, and bullets that don't have an Energon core are basically duds. The Autobot deep-cover spy Agent 113 uses that fact to conceal information in bullets, which he then shoots into the "eyes" of fellow Autobots' insignia during battle. Energon also serves the same purpose as blood and a foodstuff for Cybertronians, a fact that wierds out at least one human character (the Autobots, for their part, never gave it much thought).
  • Fake Ultimate Hero:
    • Sort of. Many of the Autobots' victories are because of their human allies.
    • This was lampshaded by Beast Wars Megatron, who plots to exterminate the proto-human race and ensure the Decepticons will triumph over the Autobots. He would've succeeded if it weren't for his former right-hand man, Dinobot. That's right folks, a Predacon (therefore a descendent of the Decepticons) enabled the Autobots to win all those battles.
  • Fauxrrari: In the Generation 1 days, a great many Transformers had alt-modes that were recognizable but slightly modified real-world vehicles, such as Optimus Prime (a Freightliner WFT-8664T with a different grill) and Jazz (a Martini Racing Porsche 935/76 whose decals read "Martinii"). This practice became less common as the franchise moved towards more fantastical vehicle designs, and by the time realistic vehicles were brought back Hasbro had started actually licensing them from manufacturers like General Motors. However, the occasional lookalike still pops up when such a license can't be obtained, as was the case with the toy of Optimus Prime's look in Bumblebee, which isn't a perfect match for the Freightliner seen in the film.
  • Firefighter Arsonist: The Decepticon Smolder transforms into a fire department brush truck and is partnered with the Mini-Con Chopster who can function as a flamethrower. Ratchet and Bumblebee confront him after the latter burns an already burning building that firemen were working to put out.
  • Five-Episode Pilot:
    • The original series was a three-parter called "More Than Meets The Eye".
    • Animated started with a 170 minute movie that got broken into three parts for re-runs.
    • Prime got an actual 5 part miniseries call "Darkness Rising".
  • Fix Fic:
    • There's rewriting The Transformers: The Movie and leaving out the Dinobots. How does that even work?
    • There's also ignoring the movie (and Seasons 3 and 4) completely.
    • Many fans are discontent with the Unicron Trilogy, and try to rewrite the entire series (yes, 52 episodes for each) to make it better fit with their sensibilities. This usually results in a fanverse that, but for the names of the characters, is absolutely nothing like the original shows. Keep an eye out for Darker and Edgier, elimination of perceived Scrappies, and the Decepticons as Always Chaotic Evil.
  • Flanderization:
    • Grimlock, who, in the original cartoon, goes from a "Brawn over Brains" thug to a mentally-challenged child between season 2 and The Movie.
    • Starscream's cowardice and underhandedness often eclipse any kind of military or leadership skills he has, to the point where some incarnations of the character is so weak or incompetent that it's unbelievable that Megatron would keep him as his second in command.
    • In the Aligned continuity (outside of the High Moon games), Optimus Prime has been criticized for not being a unique take on the character, usually just being The Stoic and there not being much to him besides being the Big Good who makes G1 quotes all the time. Peter Cullen is also being directed to use his "movie trailer narrator" voice all the time, denying the actor a chance to truly portray a full-rounded character. note  Prime even went so far as to treat him as the Comically Serious.
  • Five-Man Band: Combiner teams generally make up these, barring the occasional six member teams like the Constructicons and Trainbots.
  • Forever War: Any continuity focusing on Autobots vs Decepticons. The precise details differ, but expect it to have lasted a few million years - and for a good chunk of the cast to have personally lived through most of that. In some continuities, the Great War is closer to a billion years old, having lasted since near the creation of the species with only a short-lived armistace before leading back into the familiar conflict.
  • Fragile Flyer:
    • Swoop is the smallest and fastest of the Dinobots and the only one capable of flight in every version. While the Dinobots are heavily armored and mostly invulnerable in their dinosaur modes, Swoop is still very vulnerable to enemy fire when transformed into his Pteranodon form. His G1 bio explicitly mentions his wings as his Achilles' Heel, since damage to them will ground him and his Pteranodon mode is ungainly on land.
    • The Seekers form the backbone of the Decepticon air forces and generally transform into fighter aircraft or spacecraft, but in most versions of the franchise when a firefight begins they'll most often transform into robot mode and join in the fight on land. Transformers: War for Cybertron and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron demonstrate why this is the case: when fighting fliers like Aerialbots or Seekers the fastest way to get rid of them is to damage their foot-mounted thrusters, which invariably sends them screaming into the nearest surface and a flaming, explosive death.
    • The bios of many Transformers with helicopter alternate modes (e.g. Vortex of the Combaticons, Blades of the Protectobots, Whirl) will note that damage to their rotors will effectively ground them and heavily reduce their effectiveness, if not take them out of a fight completely.
    • Transformers Victory: While Star Saber is known as a Showy Invincible Hero, partway through the anime he is shown undergoing a reinforcement procedure due to discovering he has two very significant weak points: his shoulders (where the ammunition for his starcraft alternate mode is stored) and back of his legs (where his thrusters are located). Since he was preparing for the Final Battle, his precautions were fully justified. In addition, while almost unbeatable in robot mode, he's shown to be much, much weaker in alternate mode where he can't use the sword skills he's so famous for.
    • Beast Wars: Played very straight with the bios of the cast, where all the flying characters (Waspinator, Terrorsaur, Airrazor) have noticeably low endurance compared to their comrades (4, 4 and 5 respectively). As a point of comparison, Rattrap, the smallest and weakest character on the show, also has an endurance score of 5.
    • Transformers: Devastation: Based on the G1 cartoon, the Seekers appear as Mooks used by the Decepticons utilising the "Conehead" design made famous by Thrust, Dirge and Ramjet (who are conspicuously absent). The airborne Seeker variants (one variant primarily uses rockets and missiles while the other uses blasters) have significantly lower health than the melee combat variant that is introduced Dual Wielding scimitars when he attacks the Autobots. The reason for this is because the player is meant to shoot down the airborne Seekers using their ranged weaponry (and in fact the airborne Seekers are introduced during the tutorial for said weaponry) and so have less health to avoid becoming frustrating Demonic Spiders.
    • Transformers: Prime: Skyquake, an imposing Decepticon warrior, was killed with somewhat embarrassing ease by Bumblebee, who managed to climb atop him in his jet mode and rip out his internals. The resulting damage caused him to crash-land and perish.
  • Frankenslation: The original toys were from two different Takara toylines that Hasbro had planned on importing into the US and selling. They created a whole new backstory to go with it. However, Takara loved the changes so much that they eventually dropped both original lines and imported the Transformers lore back into Japan.
  • Glorious Death:
    • The various iterations of Bludgeon throughout the franchise generally share the same desire to die in battle at the hands of a Worthy Opponent. In the UK The Transformers (Marvel) comics, he was once defeated by the Autobots but taken alive on the advice of a former Decepticon as a form of Cruel Mercy. Similarly, in Transformers Regeneration One Bludgeon is defeated by Rodimus Prime, and left badly wounded. He begs Rodimus to end him, but Rodimus refuses, well aware that Bludgeon seeks a "glorious" death, and instead has him healed and imprisoned. Worse, he is killed off-screen by the Anti-Matrix.
    • The Transformers: In the 3rd season episode "Call of the Primitives", the various animal-mode Transformers (including the Dinobots, Predacons and animal-type cassettes) are fleeing from the energy draining monster Tornedon. While initially trying to escape in order to regroup, the Predacons realise evasion is impossible and so decide they don't want to die being struck from behind while running away. They combine into Predaking to challenge Tornedon, and quickly drained of all energy.
    • Transformers: The Movie: When Kup and Hot Rod are captured by the Quintessons, they're forced to watch Arblus, the Last of His Kind from the destroyed planet Lithone, get dumped into a pit to be devoured by the Sharkticons. As they listen to his dying screams, a grim Kup tells Hot Rod that's not the way he'd want to go. This inspires the pair to fight the Sharkticons when it's their turn to be dumped into the pit, and they manage to hold out until the Dinobots arrive and proceed to massacre the Sharkticons.
    • Also from the UK Transformers comics, in the "Kup's Story" Kup once suffered such a severe bout of Heroic BSoD that he was given a ship and simply allowed to drift through space waiting to die. In his state of fugue he encountered Hot Rod, and seeing the younger Autobot's determination to save his comrade Blurr reminded Kup that simply sitting and waiting for permanent deactivation to come for him just wasn't how he wanted to go. He'd either fall in battle or after the war was won, and those were the only scenarios that counted.
    • In the Dreamwave Productions continuity, the Decepticons explicitly consider death in battle to be preferable. In the Transfromers Legends anthology, potential Decepticon recruits Grabber and Sting engaged in a fight to the death during a recruitment drive, and when the outmatched Sting pulled a Taking You with Me by throwing himself into Grabber so they both fell to their deaths it was considered a worthy way to go.
    • In The Transformers: Last Stand of the Wreckers, Pyro has his perfect death all planned out: he would heroically sacrifice his life in battle while his idol Optimus Prime watches, and his heroism would resonate with Optimus to the point he'd recognise Pyro as a kindred spirit. So strong is this desire that when he learns that one of the team would have to sacrifice their life force to unlock the door to their objective, he demands one of the others give up their lives instead. Human ally Verity Carlo, who has met Optimus Prime, is disgusted he would dare to claim to admire and want to emulate Optimus while demanding someone else die in his place. Pyro eventually sacrifices himself pulling a You Shall Not Pass!, being literally pulled to pieces by a mob of Decepticons.
    • Part of the reason the Autobot Targetmaster Pointblank is so morose is because he dearly wants to spend his twilight years in peaceful retirement, but fully understands he's trapped in a Forever War and so more likely to find up flaming wreckage on a battlefield than just peacefully pass away.
    • The Decepticon Pretender Finback suffered wounds while fighting on a water planet, leaving him with a wasting disease that is only kept in check by his Pretender shell. He's described as no longer feeling death due to always risking permanent deactivation by leaving his shell, and so his desired final death is him surrounded by Autobot corpses.
  • God of Darkness: Hasbro introduced the concept of the Thirteen, the Super Prototype Physical God creations of the Transformer creator-god Primus. Megatronus (also known as The Fallen) is described as "a warrior of darkness" and guardian of entropy. In the Aligned universe (i.e. the universe comprised of Transformers: War for Cybertron, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, Transformers: Prime and Transformers: Rescue Bots), he's explicitly described as being created as a counterpoint to Prima, the first Prime and warrior of light. Because of this, the two don't get along, with Megatronus mockingly referring to Prima as, "old man". note 
    • IDW Publishing's Transformers comics presented their version of the Thirteen as "merely" being powerful Cybertronians and instead introduced The Guiding Hand as their version of a Transformers pantheon. Mortilus, the grim and unsmiling one, was the Transformer god of death and darkness. According to myth, he sought to wage war on all life, forcing the other gods to destroy him and thus destroying death for the Transformers (in-universe, this is used by the religious-minded to explain why Transformers have such incredibly long lifespans).
  • Good-Guy Bar: Maccadam's Old Oil House. Also the Bad-Guy Bar - Autobots and Decepticons alike are allowed in as long as they don't cause trouble (which happens anyway, if an Autobot approaches the Decepticon side uninvited).
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors:
    • Decepticons tend to have red optics, Autobots have blue. Exceptions exist, especially since the toys were not designed with this in mind. It was largely an invention of the original cartoon that later carried into other media.
    • The symbols themselves also qualify, seeming to indicate good/evil alignment; the Autobots' insignia is traditionally red and the Decepticons' traditionally purple; in the mirror universe called "Shattered Glass", populated by evil Autobots and heroic Decepticons, the Autobot insignia is purple and the Decepticon insignia is red.
  • Greater-Scope Paragon: Primus is the embodiment of all good in the Transformers multiverse as the Lord of Light and Order, and the creator of the Transformer homeworld Cybertron, opposite his brother Unicron, the embodiment of darkness. He rarely gets involved in the story at large because he was forced into an eon-long sleep after managing to defeat Unicron for the first time.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
    • In many continuities, Unicron. He's the one controlling Galvatron in the original series and Sideways, Thrust, and (unwittingly) Alpha Q in the Unicron Trilogy. He also manipulates a different Galvatron in Beast Wars II. Prime reveals that Dark Energon is his lifeblood, explaining its corrupting influence. Megatron had infused himself with so much of the stuff that when Bumblebee kills him during the series finale, Unicron is able to simply take over his body and use him as a herald.
    • Megatronus Prime, AKA The Fallen, in the first two movies and 2015's "Robots in Disguise".
  • Growing with the Audience: The franchise started as a daily syndicated cartoon based on a line of toys, The '90s brought the Darker and Edgier Beast Wars, and the 2000s-2010s saw the Michael Bay live-action movies, Transformers: Animated (a mix of goofy, mature and Continuity Porn), and the mature TV cartoon Transformers: Prime.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Ironhide, Kup, Jetfire and Ratchet usually qualify.

  • Hammerspace:
  • Hanging Judge: The Quintesson judge would actually often find the defendant innocent. Too bad that the Quintessons throw you to the Sharkticons either way.
    Ultra Magnus: Where are they taking us?
    Kup: First, they're gonna give us a fair trial. Then they're gonna kill us.
    "Five Faces of Darkness"
  • Historical AU: The Hearts of Steel miniseries places the contemporary characters into the American Industrial Revolution.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Plenty of human proverbs Recycled IN SPACE!:
    • "You can stuff it up your ass exhaust pipe."
    • "Do you ever think you could be destined programmed for something bigger?"
    • "Mind Processor over matter."
    • "He eats babies protoforms for breakfast!"
    • "Don't just stand there with your pistons in your servos!
    • "I've got one foot servo in the grave scrap heap."
    • "Aw, hexagonal nuts!"
    • "My olfactory sensors detect a rat named Megatron!"
  • Homeworld Evacuation: A staple of the series.
  • Humans Are Special: Played with.
    • Humans are often instrumental in defeating the Decepticons, but they are rarely shown as being somehow "better" than any other species or important to the universe. The Transformers tend to be the special ones since they are the only ones who were directly created by the only known god in the Transformers franchise and typically have lifespans, technology, and powers beyond that of most other species.
    • Humans are also often shown to have some sort of inextricable link with Cybertronians. In particular, there's an oft made comparison that still hasn't been fully explained about why Transformers, for the most part, look like giant armored human beings. There's also the fact that only humans and Nebulans (who are explicitly decended from humans who colonized Nebulos) can form a link with a Transformer to become a Head-, Power-, or Targetmaster. Doing so with other Cybertronians is possible, but seemingly not any other humanoid alien species.
    • According to the movies, Optimus thinks humans are special because our civilization's history very closely mirrors Cybertron's, but without the world-encompassing, generations-spanning war of attrition that has depleted Cybertron of its resources. Basically, we're special because we're like them but never had a Megatron to lead to societal collapse.
  • Humongous Mecha:
    • Besides the Transformers themselves, there are Transtectors that more closely follow the formula; they're giant robots piloted by humans (or human-sized robots in some continuities) who can turn into the head or engine of the robot.
    • The Apex Armor is this even to a Transformer. In Prime, it's a little taller than Optimus Prime or Megatron but worn/piloted by much smaller characters like Starscream or Arcee. Or Miko.
    • Some characters, like Powermaster Optimus Prime had a trailer or mobile battle station that could turn into a large suit of armor that the main robot could then combine with.
  • I Control My Minions Through...: Despite his usual standby of Authority Equals Asskicking, Megatron is not always or even usually the most powerful Decepticon in any given continuity. What makes him the leader is his ability to hit nearly every item on the Controlling Minions list for his various mooks. Some fear him, some respect him, some just follow him out of habit, some because they know he knows where the good killing's at, and a few are in it for the cash, gear, or upgrades he offers in return. Only Starscream ever consistently seems unsatisfied with this status quo.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Similar to Batman - a logo flies at the screen, then away from it. If changing from one faction's viewpoint to the others, it will spin and change sides.
  • I Know Kung-Faux: Occurs fairly often throughout the various Transformers lines, most notably with Metallikato, Crystalocution, and Circuit-su.
  • Insistent Terminology: Despite being Transformers, the instructions never tell you how to "transform" them; instead they tell you how to "convert" them to robots, vehicles, beasts, etc. This is because if they used the term "transform" so informally, the franchise name would be considered descriptive and would be impossible to defend legally as a trademark. This has not, however, stopped them from making Optimus's Catchphrase, "Transform, and roll out!"
  • Interpretative Character: Several names have been used throughout all the various continuities. While there are often consistencies between these incarnations of these names, there is usually enough leeway to take them in all sorts of directions.'s article on the term "character" is a good analysis on this phenomenon, and the Interpretative Character page here has more specific examples.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Any time human characters get involved.
  • Interspecies Romance: Humans have been romantic interests for Transformers characters at least since the G1 episode "The Girl Who Loved Powerglide". But besides that, various humanoid aliens and even a few non-humanoid ones have been shown to be in relationships with Transformers.
  • Introdump: Possibly the trope namer: the fan wiki has a whole page devoted to the concept. Most continuities have at least one near the beginning, with some being more graceful than others.
  • Irregular Series: For its first few years, IDW Publishing's Transformers series consisted of multiple mini-series and a 12-issue event series before having an ongoing one.
  • Just a Machine:
    • The Cybertronians themselves avert this by being a) the main characters and b) able to point out their immortal soul on a blueprint. Any human who invokes this is going to be unsympathetic.
    • Whenever the villain has plenty of (seemingly) unintelligent drones at their disposal, however, the good guys will spend a lot of time blowing them up en masse.
    • This form of Fantastic Racism is given focus in Age of Extinction.
    Optimus Prime: They're not your technology! ...They were my friends... We're NOT your technology!
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Bumblebee is the former trope namer. Usually one or two per series.

  • Leader Forms the Head: Often the way combiners are formed, as the team leader (usually bigger than his or her subordinates) forms the main body while the rest of the team form the limbs. One notable exception is Devastator (the Constructicon team leader Scrapper forms his right leg).
  • Lightning Bruiser: Despite being heavily armed giants composed of huge durable metal, Transformers are all very swift and agile. Even planet sized bots are capable of moving in amazing speed.
  • Live-Action Adaptation: The 2007 movie.
  • Long Runner: There have been Transformers toys in production somewhere in the world since 1984. Even when the line was cancelled in America in 1990, European and Japanese exclusives were continually made.
  • Loud of War: Soundwave (in numerous incarnations) uses this as a weapon, while Frenzy and Rumble (his cassette minions) used ultra- and infra-sound respectively (although the cartoon opted for earthquake-inducing earthpounders instead). Thundercracker's sonic boom could collapse structures and blow up enemy jets, and Dirge's engine vibrations were supposed to induce panic in his victims.
  • Martyr Without a Cause: Optimus Prime
  • Masquerade: In some continuities, the presence of giant robots on Earth is not public knowledge. True to its tagline "Robots in Disguise", the Cybertronians scan vehicles (or animals) to blend in with Earth society, changing from their futuristic mobile forms to be more in line with what humans use. The government keeps it under wraps while the Autobots agree to stay in their disguised modes around civilians with only a small number of exceptions. However, this is not consistently present and, ironically, the original series didn't even bother with it - by the end of the first season, mechanical alien shape-shifters were just a fact of life.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • About 90% of all names are meaningful. The few that aren't are still usually indicative of their faction, or are a bit more subtle. (Such as "Megatron" bringing to mind "megaton," a unit bombs can be measured in.)
    • Transformers: Animated provides a clear justification for this process with most Cybertronians. In addition to self-assigned names (like Blackarachnia or Dirt Boss) several characters received their current names from drill sergeants in boot camp (Ironhide for his ability to harden his skin, Bulkhead was named as such for being "all bulk and no brains," Optimus was an optimistic idealist before being broken) or others (like the Constructicons or Wreck-Gar).
  • Mechanical Animals:
    • Soundwave's mini cassette spybots can transform like the other Cybertronians. However, while their larger counterparts have humanoid robot modes, some of Soundwave's cassette bots such as Ravage, Laserbeak and Buzzsaw are animals in robot mode.
    • Torbufoxes are Cybertronian fauna. Unlike, the other animal bots seen in the series, they lack advanced intelligence and a robot mode, being fauna that are sometimes hunted for sport.
  • Merchandise-Driven: ...but, as the entry on that page states, Transformers fans generally embrace the merchandising aspects.
  • Mistaken for Transformed: Since the toyline's tagline is "Robots in Disguise", this naturally comes up a few times over the course of the franchise.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: Considering they're robots, it was the default look for them. Later incarnations would avert this in some instances though.
  • Morphic Resonance: All Transformers have parts of their bodies correspond to at least one alternate mode they convert into. As an example of this, Optimus Prime’s chest is the from of his truck mode. Some even have wings regardless if they transform into cars (in cases like Autobot Prowl) or aircraft, essentially making them WingedHumanoids.
    • Similarly, Generation 2 gave Optimus Prime a new "Hero" body that still had his distinctive red truck cab chest, even though his chest actually became the underside of his new vehicle mode (which had a white cab of a completely different design).
    • Mind you, that's a major improvement over the original series, which applied the same concept going backwards in time. G1 Bumblebee had VW Beetle hood halves on his feet long before he turned into one (indeed, long before there was any such thing as a Beetle, or Volkswagen, or automobiles, or Germany, or anything resembling present-day humans).
      • It's not just Bumblebee. Soundwave still had his cassette tray and buttons, Megatron's chest was still the side of a Walther P-38, Optimus Prime still had a semi truck's grille and windows on his chest, and the Seekers still had F-15 cockpits and wings, just to name a few examples.
    • Beast Wars: Several of the transformers' faces resemble that of their beast modes. For example, Rattrap has buckteeth like a rat, Cheetor and Tigatron (big cats) both have catlike noses and whiskers and Dinobot has sharp teeth in and out of raptor mode.
    • This is something in several series (but not in just as many others). Rather than make two designs for every character, a pre-Earth one that will only be in part of the premiere as well as their standard form they'll have the rest of the series, the standard robot modes will be used in Cybertron scenes and they just won't transform (except in G1, where alien vehicles transform into robots and 'grow' their eventual Earthen vehicle parts on the way.) Transformers: Animated seems to be the only series so far that gives everyone pre-Earth and Earth forms in vehicle and robot mode (they've all got toys, natch. At least, the main Autobots do) They actually get quite a bit of mileage out of the pre-Earth forms: characters still on Cybertron will be the Cybertronian forms repainted; apparently, there are only so many body-types a 'bot can start out with, and it's through scanning new ones on their own later that more unique forms are obtained.
    • And who can forget the episode "Only Human"; when Rodimus, Ultra Magnus, Springer, and Arcee are forced into human bodies, not only does Arcee's hair resemble her robot form's helmet, but they almost immediately find a building with jumpsuits in their robot forms' color schemes for them to wear.
    • Animated did a similar plot in the two-part "Human Error". This time, the resonance was justified by the world where the Autobots were human being a simulation run by Soundwave, who was brainwashing their bodies to fight for him while their minds were preoccupied.
  • Motifs:
    • As a recurring theme, Autobots focus on ground vehicle forms, while Decepticons focus on aircraft forms (as well as weapons), though both sides mix and match in each series.
    • In Beast Wars, the Predacons have of more carnivorous or predatory creatures than Maximals, who are more herbivore-focused. Neither side is mutually exclusive.
      • Megatron for example is a gun (G1), a cannon (The 1986 Movie), a T-Rex (Beast Wars), a dragon (Transmetals), a tank (Animated), and a jet (Prime and the 2007 movie) throughout the franchise.
  • The Movie: Twice, 1986 and 2007.
  • The Multiverse: The franchise has a whole pile of alternate universes which sometimes cross over, and which Hasbro and Takara disagree over which are actually separate and which simply occur to the side of other stories. The Transformers of the Axiom Nexus have grouped all continuities into a number of universal streams, with each stream corresponding to a continuity group. Thus, for example, Primax is the G1/Beast Era family, Tyran is the live-action movies, Gargent is the GoBots, Quadwal is the real world, etc. Some of these are negative-polarity universes in which Decepticons are good and Autobots are evil; these are assigned negative numbers. There are also sparks that resonate across the universe, giving rise to multiple similar but separate versions of Optimus Prime, Megatron, Starscream, and various others.
    • The Transformers Aligned Universe, which includes Transformers: Prime, Transformers: Rescue Bots, the War for Cybertron video game series and the novels retelling the narrative of the games, were originally considered to be outside this multiverse, but were eventually retconned in, allowing the "Alligned" version of Slipstream to turn up in Axiom Nexus.
    • To make things really nuts, at one point there were also characters known as multiversal singularities, of which only one existed in all reality. Some of these, such as Alpha Trion, existed in every universe simultaneously, while others, like Vector Prime and The Fallen, traveled between universes. This got less and less plausible as time went on and various universes wrote those characters differently, and eventually in the 2015 Club story most of them got together to de-singularitize themselves, so now there's a TransTech Vector Prime and a Shattered Glass Unicron and so on.
  • Multiversal Conqueror: Unicron is a Planet Eater who wants to eat everything. One planet at a time, one timeline at a time, one universal stream of branching timelines at a time, in sequence. When he says he wants to be completely alone, he damn well isn't beating around the bush. Even if he's destroyed in any one universe, he just gets shunted to another to start over again thanks to mucking about with different flows of time across the multiverse. Oh, sure, there are a few permanent methods of dealing with him, like trapping him in a physical form to slow him down, but if they go horribly wrong, well...
    • One Comic has another Multiversal constant state that he has so far consumed some 47% of the known Multiverse. Yeah. Not mucking about.
  • Mythology Gag: PLENTY in the later series.
  • Name-Tron: Megatron, Cybertron, Galvatron, etc.
  • Never Say "Die": Depending on franchise. The characters in Generation 1, for instance, freely used the words 'die', 'dead', and 'kill', but other series have used 'destroyed', 'sent to oblivion', 'offline', and so on.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Just being a Transformer makes you a giant, alien, transforming, robot. Then there's the ones that are also things like ninja, dinosaurs, bounty hunters, and wolves.
  • Non-Lethal Warfare: Mostly.
  • No One Should Survive That!: Multiple times, characters will be torn to pieces, blown up, or simply be at ground zero of a massive blast only to either be rebuilt or come out unscathed. Sometimes, instead of getting destroyed, they get a new body with new powers.
  • Nominal Compatibility:
    • Armada's Mini-Con gimmick was carried over into Energon and Cybertron and later briefly included in the Generations toyline. However, in most of the cases of later figures including Mini-Con ports, they were "dead" connectors that didn't unlock any new features - the primary purpose of Mini-Cons. In the case of Generations, two of the three figures that had them were too small to support the added weight of the Mini-Cons that were released during that time period, due to them being larger than most of those from the time period.
    • During Energon, Autobots and Decepticons made by recoloring Autobot toys had a Powerlinx feature where one would be made into legs and the other into the chest, arms, and head (called "Pants Mode" and "Shirt Mode" by fans, respectively). Several of them had proportions that made combining them look extremely awkward, like Hot Shot and Inferno who work fine together but not really with anyone else. Deluxe and Mega Class figures even used the same connector, but had such a difference in size that a Voyager Shirt/Deluxe Pants combination would have its arms reach the ground, while the other way around would look like a the smaller one was riding some kind of walker mech.
    • The series overall has used 5mm posts for weapons almost univerally since Armada but even before then was the most common weapon handle size, so that they could be swapped between characters. However, some like Classics Grimlock used smaller than normal pegs with a 5mm base so that other characters could use them, but the character they belonged to could only use the one included with them. Others, like Siege Shockwave, have an accessory only meant for specific spots on their body and so use a slightly different sized peg and hole while also adjusting the rest so they won't fit at all, which also means other accessories won't stay plugged in no matter where you put them.
    • Titan Masters and Prime Masters use the same basic body style and connector, meaing they can be used interchangeably. However, Titan Masters turn into heads while Prim Masters turn into "Spark Power Symbols"; very few Power of the Primes figures had interchangeable heads and Prime Masters don't look like heads at all. Swapping them just results in weird combinations, though some people may enjoy it anyway.
  • Not Quite Dead
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: In most of the comics, Grimlock acts like this. He still talks in the caveman dialect of his animated counterpart, but is one of the Autobots' most brilliant leaders, often coming off as a sort of brutally cunning Josef Stalin to Prime's FDR (or Prime's Churchill, if you're reading Marvel UK).
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Unicron
    • Galvatron too. Megatron wanted power, Galvatron just wants to kill everything
  • Only One Name
  • Palette Swap: Redecoes are very common. The most well-known examples are Frenzy/Rumble, the Seekers, Bumblebee/Cliffjumper, and Prowl/Bluestreak/Smokescreen.
    • In Beast Wars, there's also Cheetor/Tigatron, and Tarantulus/Blackarachnia (notable for being the only one of these with one character of each gender), plus a few others exclusively in the toys.
  • Phlebotinum Muncher: Energon can do everything, and also serves as fuel for Cybertronians.
  • Planet Eater: Yet again, Unicron.
  • Planet of Hats: Cybertron revolves around five planets. Cybertron and Earth are both hatless, but on the Speed Planet, all anyone cares about is racing, on the Jungle Planet, everyone is obsessed with strength, and on the Giant Planet, the only thing anyone does is build stuff.
  • Plot Hole: A literal example in the Unicron Singularity, a massive Black Hole that canonically damaged the continuity of the Unicron Trilogy animes and was used as a Sure Why Not by Hasbro to explain away any continuity errors due to Unicron formerly existing as a single being within every continuity, rather than separate but derivative characters like the various Optimus Primes and Megatrons. And since it explains the damage done to any Transformers continuity, that means it can be used to explain any plot hole ever due to crossovers, at least according to a common joke among fans.
  • Post-Adventure Adventure: In one comic, Orion Pax, the police captain of the city of Rodion, appears out of nowhere and tackles a fleeing criminal to the surprise of the protagonists. He off-handedly implies that he'd just taken care of a completely different set of criminals, noticed the commotion, and decided to come help out.
  • Praetorian Guard: The Wreckers, for Emirate Xaaron.

  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Before making an appearance in The Movie, The Fallen created one of these in the War Within comic series. Decepticon mystics Bludgeon, Bugly, and Mindwipe made a very effective one, too.
  • Retcon:
    • G1 presented the Transformer origin as being created by a squid-robotic race called the Quintessons as slave labor. Most later incarnations, including G1 versions, have ignored that origin story in favor of the Primus-God version. Although it could be argued one does not preclude the other...
    • Hasbro had earlier stated that the Aligned universe isn't part of the larger Transformers multiverse. Between Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark (which involves the titular artifact going from the Aligned universe to the universe of the movies and Generation One universe), the Ask Vector Prime column (which confirmed the events of Dark Spark revealed the existence of the Aligned universe to the larger Multiverse), The Complete AllSpark Almanac (which also mentioned the Aligned universe), Regeneration One (which has a subplot of Hot Rod seeing all his counterparts, including his Algined incarnation from the DS version of War for Cybertron), and Andromeda - Axiom Nexus News Reporter (which officially confirmed the Aligned universe being part of the larger multiverse) this has since been changed.

      This also put an end to the idea of the original Thirteen being "multiversal singularities" as the Aligned!Thirteen includes very different members including Alpha Trion and Optimus Prime, and Vector Prime outright stating that his Aligned counterpart is a distinctly separate entity. Later, in 2015, the entire concept of multiversal singularities was nullified by a Cosmic Recton in the Transformers: Timelines storyline, "Another Light", where Nexus Prime solidify the walls of reality to such a degree that not only were the original 13 across the multiverse splintered, but even Primus and Unicron were separated into separate entities across the Multiverse.
  • Reveling in the New Form: On occasion, Transformers can be revived in a new body or receive a Mid-Season Upgrade like reformatting into a new form. As part of the Merchandise-Driven nature of the franchise, they'll generally express their approval of their new bodies, partially to encourage kids to go out and buy their toys.
    • The original G1 Bumblebee was upgraded into the Throttlebot leader Goldbug in the toyline, the cartoon and the comic books, though in differing ways. It was an Emergency Transformation to save his life in all versions note , but he appreciated his more powerful new form and took the name Goldbug to reflect he was now more mature and confident than he was as Bumblebee. As an example of how dramatic the change was, Bumblebee's strength stat was 2 while as Goldbug it was increased to 9.
    • Beast Megatron was intrigued when his archnemesis Optimus Primal took in the Spark of Autobot leader Optimus Prime in a desperate attempt to save the latter's life and preserve history, resulting in him reformatting into a powerful new body named Optimal Optimus. He broke into the Ark and found the comatose body of the original Megatron and took in his Spark, hoping to gain a similarly powerful new form. His plan succeeded, granting him an awesomely powerful Transmetal 2 body and a new dragon alternate mode, which he was more than pleased with.
    • In the Crapsack World of Beast Wars: Uprising (where Beast Megatron successfully assassinated Optimus Prime, but in retaliation Black Arachnia murdered the original Megatron), the Predacon Gnashteeth eventually takes the name Megatron and develops the Beast Upgrade. This upgrade allowed the Maximals and Predacons to feed on Cybertron's wildlife and plant life to fuel themselves, rather than relying on processing Energon like the Builders of Cybertron they were warring with. Gnashteeth himself reserves the most powerful Upgrade for himself, reveling in his new physical power alongside his wealth (from selling the Beast Upgrade to anyone who wanted it) and political power (since he was now "legit").
    • Some of the cartoon cast from Beast Wars didn't undergo the Transmetal upgrade, including Rhinox, Waspinator and Terrorsaur (and Terrorsaur was Killed Off for Real to boot alongside Scorponok). However, they did get Transmetal 2 toys, and their bios generally mention how happy they are with their new bodies. Waspinator in particular gains an additional F-15-inspired vehicle mode (a reference to how he was possessed by Starscream in the episode "Possession"), and is described as greatly enjoying the enhanced speed and firepower.
    • Subverted with the Combaticons in the episode "Starscream's Brigade". Having been rebuilt on Earth by Starscream, they express disgust at their new bodies with Blast-Off going so far as to exclaim he hopes he doesn't run into anyone he knows, since he's so embarrassed. Their disgust is understandable: Starscream had stumbled upon the remains of the World War II battle of Guadalcanal and used the wreckage he found to construct their new bodies. Assuming that the episode took place in the year it aired, that means their bodies were built out of 40 year old scrap metal.
    • In both of the Transformers continuities by IDW Publishing, it's implied that becoming part of a combiner has this effect. In the original continuity begun by the Transformers Mega Series, the Aerialbots (forming Superion), Constructicons (forming Devastator) and the Monstructor Six (forming Monstructor) begin spending much of their time in their combined mode. When the Combaticons form Bruticus as part of a revenge scheme against Starscream, Vortex actively revels in the power of Bruticus. Meanwhile, in the 2019 continuity, when they first combine the Constructicons are excited and thrilled by their new combined form thanks to the raw power it provides, allowing them to do the work of entire construction crews in a matter of minutes. The problem starts when they realised there's a seventh consciousness in there with them...
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Wheelie and Blaster (though not as often as Wheelie).
  • Robot Buddy: Reversal: the Transformers have human buddies.
  • Robot Hair: Arcee, the goto Fembot (and her expies) generally has a helmet-like structure on her head which resembles a haircut.
  • Robot War
  • Rule of Cool: The entire franchise is all about this.
  • Running Gag: Optimus Prime has a terrible habit of dying and coming back to the point where it's not even considered a spoiler to say he does and nobody ever expects it to stick. Dirge and a few of the Seekers overall seem to share this trait.
    • Lampshaded by Megatron in the season 1 finale of Beast Wars. "Oh, you Optimuses do love sacrificing yourselves, don't you?"
  • Sacred Scripture: The Covenant of Primus, a combination of historical records and list of prophecies.
  • Sacrificial Planet: One ad for a Unicron model goes, "He devours entire worlds. His name is Unicron. And he's heading ... for Earth."
  • Sapient Tank: Any transformer with a tank based alt-mode.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Space travel varies depending on needs of the plot. Cybertron appears to sometimes be in the same solar system as Earth.
    • Since getting teleported here in "The Ultimate Doom," it probably is.
    • Also, partly due to the Time Dissonance described below, the Transformers backstory typically has Optimus and Megatron chasing each other around the galaxy for literally millions of years before crash-landing on Earth.
    • They have also had issues in consistently getting the scale of characters and even planets right. A character that starts off as a car that people can comfortably sit in suddenly becoming a robot that a human is only at ankle-height to is commonplace, as is it suddenly losing twenty feet of height a scene/figure or two later. There's a reason why the's summation of scale in the Transformers series is this trope's page quote.
    • Unicron turns from a planet the size of Cybertron to a robot barely the size of Rhode Island during the original movie. He is able to pinch Galvatron between his fingers and swallow him, even though Galvatron should even then be so small as to be a speck on him. The Dinobots then are each roughly the size of one of his glutes while they literally kick his butt, even though Galvatron and Grimlock are of similar height.
  • Sealed Cast in a Multipack: The show has this in spades. Since G1, 'bots have been sealed and unsealed time and time again. And the introduction of stasis pods in Beast Wars only served to make this even easier.
  • Series Continuity Error: Cybertron is sometimes a tiny planet with buildings jutting out into space in G1 to resembling Coruscant in the Beast Era and everything in between.)
  • Serious Business: Beloved childhood toys, TV, and comics/manga ARE Serious Business. Even the newer materials.
  • Shady Scalper: While generally the popular characters like Optimus Prime or Megatron will have more than enough copies released to satisfy fan demand, more niche characters can easily become fodder for scalpers who will then resell the toys at a much higher markup. It should be pointed out that this gets even worse when toys are exclusives that are only available at certain retailers (e.g. stores like Target or Walmart in the US) that are intended from the start to have a limited run.
    • Ironically, in-universe mass-production characters often become the target of this due to their scarcity in the franchise. The character Gnaw, for example, is basically the same as the countless swarms of Sharkticons. This means that many collectors will want quite a few Gnaws for army-building or diorama purposes... which also means some collectors will be willing to pay through the nose to get them. That certain characters are shortpacked (i.e. they only make a small part of a shipment of toys) adds to their desirability to scalpers due to their comparative rarity.
    • 2020's Earthrise suffered from a perfect storm of limited distribution and production (thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic) as well as having several generic characters clearly meant for army-building. The Quintesson Judge represented the first ever official G1 take on the characters, the Allicons had never been done as toys before, and Fasttrack was easily represented the Guardminders, meaning all of them became highly sought out.
    • Some of the exclusive toys for Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy resulted in a lot of ill-will from the fanbase, due to releasing Bumblebee and Soundwave in the Netflix Earthrise line. Both were considered the finest representation of their G1 selves in decades (e.g. Bumblebee transformed into an officially licensed Volkswagen Beetle while Soundwave into a tape player), but since they were exclusives they were extremely limited. In fact, on the secondary market Earthrise Bumblebee can go for almost as much as one of the high-end Masterpiece toys, costing anywhere between three and five times as much as it went for retail.
    • When Hasbro announced the development of Victory Saber as a Haslab project, on several Transformers fansites many fans announced they planned to get multiple copies (the maximum allowed per customer being 5). While some intended to get multiple copies for display purposes (e.g. one copy in Star Saber and Victory Leo's robot modes, one copy in their starship modes and one copy in their combined Victory Saber form), others freely stated their intent was to resell their extra copies later once they felt aftermarket demand made it worth it. However, this is not an example of scalping: Haslab projects (including Unicron, Jabba the Hutt's sailbarge, the Razor Crest and the Sentinel) are a mix of a crowdfunding platform and preorder service, meant for projects Hasbro does not think will be financially viable using regular retail. As such, there will only be enough Victory Sabers made to fulfill orders (with a few extra for replacement parts and quality control), meaning that, unlike scalpers who buy a toy reducing how many are available on the market, the people buying multiple copies to sell increased how many would be available instead.
  • Shapeshifter Longevity:
    • Transformers are generally depicted as having a life span in the millions if not billions of years, to the point that even a relative "youngster" like Bumblebee or Hot Rod still predate human civilization by several thousand years - though this isn't related to their ability to transform into vehicles and/or animals. However, in the Japanese G1 continuity, Convoy (AKA Optimus Prime) gains access to the Reconfiguration Matrix, a hidden power of the Matrix of Leadership he carries. This allows him to assume any of the many forms he's had over his lifetime and fully restore himself to boot; the latter fact dramatically demonstrated when he effectively rises from the dead after Megatron delivered a fatal blow to him in battle.
    • Convoy also uses the Reconfiguration Matrix to resurrect Ultra Magnus after his death in Transformers: The★Headmasters, granting him a similar ability to switch forms as necessary. However, since Magnus doesn't carry the Matrix it takes a lot more out of him.
  • Shapeshifting Sound: The Transformers franchise famously has what the TFWiki refers to as "the Noise" on their article on Transformation. It's described as an 8 Hz pulse, repeated five times, with each pulse lasting a roughly equal amount of time, with variation in the absolute value of a declining (for alt mode to robot mode) or increasing (for robot mode to alt-mode) sine wave. Transformers manga consistently use the onomatopoeia "gi-go-ga-go-go" to represent the Noise, but its usage has varied throughout the history of the franchise.
    • In The Transformers, the Noise was audible whenever anyone transformed. Notably, it was generally shown that the larger the robot, the deeper the pitch of the sound and the longer the duration of the pulses. The Noise of a smaller Transformer like Bumblebee would be higher with very short pulses, while a giant like Omega Supreme would have a Noise with a very deep sound and a longer pulse duration.
    • In Transformers: The★Headmasters, the Noise was still present. However, as time went on, the Noise's use became intermittent, especially for the titular Headmasters. In the sequel Transformers: Super-God Masterforce, the Noise was only heard for "older" Transformers like the Pretenders or the Decepticon reinforcements like the Guardminers, while "newer" Transformers like the Headmaster Juniors and Godmasters had brand new sounds (falling under the Vroorp category mentioned in the trope description). By the time of Transformers Victory and Transformers Zone, the Noise was dropped completely.
    • For Beast Wars, both factions used generic whirring sounds to represent transformation, though original Decepticon Ravage still used the Noise in his memorable sole appearance. Notably, when the Decepticon Air Commander Starscream appeared in the cartoon, he didn't make the Noise when he transformed, due to possessing the body of the Predacon warrior Waspinator. Like with the latter G1 anime (i.e. Masterforce to Zone), this gave rise to the impression that the Noise was specific to the physiology of the older model Transformers i.e. the initial ones of the franchise.
    • Beast Wars II and Beast Wars Neo gave the Transformers on both sides new sounds, again falling under the Vroorp category.
    • Transformers: Robots in Disguise reintroduced the Noise, but only at the beginning of transformations instead of for the duration like in G1. However, the original Japanese version Car Robots didn't use the Noise at all, instead using sounds similar to those from Beast Wars II and Beast Wars Neo.
    • In the 2007 Transformers film, the Noise was homaged with one inclusion of the alt-mode-to-robot sound played just before Blackout's first transformation at the army base. It is also audible during Bumblebee's off-screen transformation as he saves Mikaela and Sam while fleeing Sector Seven, and a modified version of the Noise is used during Ironhide's slow-motion transformation during the climax. The live action films otherwise used generic whirring sounds to represent transformation, though in Transformers: Dark of the Moon the Noise is heard when Bumblebee transforms from vehicle mode to robot at the end of the film.
    • In Transformers: Animated, the Noise is used for all transformation sequences, including for things like deployment of battle masks or switching out their hands for their tools or weapons. In those cases, the Noise is played sped up or given a higher pitch. In addition, in the episode "Human Error, Part One", the Autobots actually acknowledge the Noise in-universe, to the point of trying to approximate it during a conversation.
    • While Transformers: War for Cybertron gives all Transformers a variant of the Noise (complete with both "ascending" style for robot-to-alt and "descending" style for alt-to-robot), in Transformers: Fall of Cybertron each character was given a unique Noise that was personalised for them. For example, Optimus Prime's version closely resembled the G1 Noise, while Jazz's version incorporated kick drums. For the titanic Metroplex, the Noise played repeatedly alongside whirring and industrial sounds as he slowly transformed out of his city mode, in order to properly sell the idea that he was so massive that he had many, many moving parts.
    • In both Transformers: Prime and Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2015), a new version of the Noise is introduced. The individual pulses are more continuous and less discrete, resulting in a sound that has a vaguely "swishing-of-parts" effect. In addition, it's only used in the "ascending" style whether or not the Transformer is going from robot mode to alt mode or vice versa. Transformers: Rescue Bots (which takes place in the same continuity) makes use of a version of the Noise that's closer to the original, but throws in metallic clanking sounds for the duration.
  • Shipless Faster-Than-Light Travel: Zigzagged. A few Transformers do have the ability to travel between worlds without ships, mostly those that transform into spaceships or the like. However, it's also made clear this is very energy-consumptive and risky, which is why options like space bridges and warp gates are preferred. A few examples include:
    • Omega Supreme's alternate mode includes a gigantic rocket that has been utilised for transport in the G1 cartoon. However, in both "The God Gambit" (where he transported a team of Autobots from Earth to Saturn's moon Titan) and "The Key To Vector Sigma" (where he brought Autobots to Cybertron, at the time possibly just outside the solar system) the strain left him weakened. In "The God Gambit" he wasn't fully fueled even before departing, and he was left so low on energy he wasn't able to transform. In "The Key To Vector Sigma" he was weakened enough that Shockwave inflicted heavy damage in an Offscreen Moment of Awesome, resulting in him exploding when he managed to get the team back to Earth.
    • Cosmos in his flying saucer mode has been shown to travel around space fairly easily. In "Quest For Survival" he, Bumblebee and Spike stop by a different planet to pick up robotic insecticide (to battle the Insecticons), and in "The God Gambit" he's shot down while travelling nearby Saturn.
    • Star Saber and Galaxy Shuttle transform into a starship and space shuttle respectively. Star Saber in particular actually leaves Earth in one episode to attend a meeting on Planet V in his role as commander of the Pan-Galactic Defense Force, and during a visit to the Micromaster homeworld of Micro while the accompanying Rescue Squad and Jan Minakaze need Galaxy Shuttle to transport them Star Saber simply flies there himself. Unlike Omega Supreme, there's no indication that this strains him at all, though as a Brainmaster he's explicitly much more powerful than the average Transformer, even one as mighty as Omega Supreme.
    • When they are brought back to life in "The Return of Convoy", both Optimus Prime and Megatron (in their new forms as Star Convoy and Super Megatron respectively) no longer need spaceships to travel between worlds and easily make interplanetary journeys using their alternate modes. Super Megatron being able to do so thanks to his starfighter mode makes a bit more sense than Star Convoy's futuristic truck mode, though.
  • Sigil Spam: Nearly every incarnation of Transformers abuses the faction symbols to some degree.
  • Signature Style: Simon Furman has a series of phrases that make their way into virtually every comic he writes, referred to as Furmanisms. The most famous is either "like some vast, predatory bird" or "It never ends!"
  • Simple Solution Won't Work:
    • The Transformers: During the "Rebirth" trilogy, the Decepticons gain possession of the key to the Plasma Energy Chamber, whose energies could wipe out entire planets. The Nebulans suggest that the Autobots simply destroy the key before the Decepticons can use it. Optimus Prime is against this, as Alpha Trion had informed him that the key needed to remain intact in order for a "miracle" to happen. The argument ultimately becomes moot, due to the key being used to activate the chamber not long after.
    • Transformers: Animated: In Season 2 "A Bridge Too Close, Part II", when Starscream and his clone army arrives at Megatron's mine headquarters and attacks him for his Space Bridge, Optimus Prime wants to help fight against them. Bumblebee asks why don't they let Starscream and his clones take down Megatron, Optimus points out they can't afford to have any Decepticons go through the Space Bridge to get to Cybertron.
    • Transformers Aligned Universe:
      • Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark: When Swindle and Shockwave, bearing the titular Dark Spark, arrive at the gates of the Decepticon capital of Kaon they discover a huge Autobot army laying siege in order to stop them. Blast-Off, Swindle's fellow Combaticon, suggests he simply take the Dark Spark from Swindle and deliver it by air. Shockwave dismisses the suggestion as being too risky: if Blast-Off were to be shot down or otherwise drop the Dark Spark, for all they know it might explode and take all of Kaon with it. Combaticon commander Onslaught agrees with Shockwave's assessment and orders him to retreat to a safe location with the Dark Spark, while the Combaticons begin clearing a path.
      • Transformers: Fall of Cybertron: The Autobots have stolen an entire lake of Energon from the Decepticons and are transporting it aboard a gigantic transport vehicle. When Swindle manages to damage its drivetrain, it transforms into a flying mode and takes off. As he fights his way through, he wonders why the Autobots didn't just use the flight mode from the start, to which Onslaught replies that it probably takes so much Energon it'd eat up most of the fuel it was carrying. Unknown to the Combaticons, Ironhide had raised the same issue earlier, but Optimus decided it was worth the risk.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Mostly on the idealistic side, though the writers have clearly been making an effort to be realistic about it in recent years.
  • Sluggish Sloths: Slo is a beastformer who is based on a three-toed sloth. He's also quite slow (although he can create the illusion of being faster with the help of the Slo-Bar Spear, which can slow time for sixty seconds) and spends most of his time sleeping.
  • The Smurfette Principle:
    • You can count the female Transformers who appeared more than once in a series on both hands. A list of all female Transformers can be found here. This isn't helped by long-time Transformers comic writer Simon Furman, who writes Transformers as having no gender and has publically stated that he hates the idea of female Transformers. This, combined with the fact that Jhiaxus' experiments in giving Transformers gender made Arcee both a female and Ax-Crazy brings up some Unfortunate Implications.
    • In more recent years, the idea that Cybertronians shouldn't have gender because they are robots has been more or less ignored, with a slew of new characters being introduced. That Transformers don't have gender has been swept under the rug as the females of Cybertron being wiped out by a "perfectionist" visionary Galvatron from another universe, and that the links to the Allspark on other planets still regularly produce female sparks. Windblade, who was more or less designed by fan vote, was chosen as female by an overwhelming majority. The club subscription bonus excusive Pyra Magna similarly was voted to by female, as were all six of her components. After that, new female characters, some with toys, have been made to help diversify the cast. They still make up a minority, but not by such a wide margin.
  • Special Effect Branding:
    • Taken to an extreme in most series, where everybody's weapons are theirs and theirs alone. This is a combination of the Merchandise-Driven idea of making sure everyone uses the weapon they come with and launches the appropriate missiles, and the fact that, as Transforming Mecha, their weapons are more or less part of them.
    • Averted in one of the G1 animated episodes. The Decepticons have captured the Autobots with the exception of Wheeljack. Wheeljack manages to infiltrate their holding cell, discovers his buddies are tied up, depowered, soaking wet (bad thing for robots), and with their carbine-shaped weapons piled sloppily in the corner. He then proceeds to go Guns Akimbo—pointing AT THE AUTOBOTS. "My friend's weapons! Hmm. Okay, Sideswipe's flare gun should dry off your circuits, and Bluestreak's bolts should give you all an instant recharge!" It's amazing the first thing Optimus didn't do was Face Palm: "It's a wonder the Decepticons didn't just kill us outright, but vector sigma, am I the only one that knows that guns are supposed to be for killing?"
    • In some continuities, each faction has different colored beams from their energy weapons. The different factions also generally have different coloured eyes (blue for Autobots, red for Decepticons) although their optical sensors presumably all function the same way.
    • Beast Wars averts this. While all the characters do have their own signature weapons, the Maximals have a separate armory, supposedly for gunless characters like Dinobot.
  • Spiritual Successor: The Alternators line was an attempt at appealing to adult collectors by featuring licensed vehicles to scale with each other and with complex transformations that allotted actual interior space such as the seats, steering wheel and even an engine block. Characters were re-imagined in new vehicle forms; some of the characters known for a car-based mode received a different model, spiritual successor, rather than the modern version of their original model (e.g.: Sideswipe was reinterpreted as a Dodge Viper, rather than being a modern Lamborghini), while some characters known for non-vehicle alternate modes, such as Grimlock and Shockwave, were reinterpreted as vehicles. The Human Alliance line is angled towards the same principles, with the movies backing up the toys and adding to the interactivity with human figures. The Masterpiece line is a more literal update of the original toys, featuring complex transformations to convert a more detailed version of their original alt mode into a more detailed and more cartoon-accurate version of their on-screen robot appearance. The line received a "soft" reboot by revisiting the Optimus Prime/Convoy and Starscream figures, and ramping up the frequency of character releases, with the increased activity also including the introduction of several figures based on licensed versions of their original car modes.
  • Spy Bot: Many Transformers serve this function in various ways.
  • Steampunk: The Hearts of Steel miniseries.
  • Stuff Blowing Up:
    • Beast Wars, along with most of the Transformers cartoons, has a lot of explosions. At least one of the Transformers will be blown up in every episode.
      • Not counting Waspinator, who gets blown to bits in nearly every episode regardless.
    • Rather hilariously, there is actually a Transformer called Landmine. That's right. An alien robot with the name of an explosive.
    • Lugnut has perfected the art of making things explode. Behold! The P.O.K.E!
  • Stumbling in the New Form: Sometimes comes up in regards to two scenarios: Emergency Transformation (i.e. into a new body in order to save their lives or to upgrade) or becoming part of a combiner, especially if it's unexepected.
    • Examples of Emergency Transformation include:
      • The Transformers: In "Autobot Spike", Spike is injured during a battle. In an attempt to save him, the Autobots transfer his mind into a spare Autobot body Wheeljack had built for such an emergency (named Autobot X) while the human doctors operated to save Spike's life. When Spike awakens, he's disoriented due to his new form and staggers around, even accidentally activating weapons systems.
      • In Story of Binaltech, the Dinobots are infected with a mind virus that causes them to go berserk. They're put into stasis, and in an attempt to save them the Autobots decide to transfer their minds into new bodies after learning the virus explicitly attacks the minds of particular animal-mode Transformers. Grimlock is the first to undergo the process, and is initially very unhappy due to his new Ford Mustang body being much smaller and weaker than his T-Rex one. In addition, his fighting style involves transforming back-and-forth between robot and T-Rex mode to take advantage of the latter's thicker armour and fire breath. It takes him a bit of time to get used to his new body, which is helped by the Autobots promising to return him to his original once they find a proper cure.
      • In IDW Publishing's comics, the Dynobots, an elite counter-terrorist assault team, find themselves under attack by strange monsters during a mission under Cybertron's surface. Outmatched by the monsters' sheer power, team medic Skarr initiates an emergency reformatting system he'd been developing that allows the team to adopt alt-modes similar to the monsters, giving them the strength and durability to fight back and win. However, since their minds aren't prepared for the accompanying beastial nature, Grimlock winds up killing Skarr in the process.
      • In Spotlight: Orion Pax, Orion is given a new body for a mission. However, he spends much of the issue complaining that the body feels "off". In particular, he misses his signature faceplate, and when during a fight a blade stabs him right through his mouth he grumbles that it wouldn't have happened if his new body still had the faceplate.
    • Examples of combination include:
      • Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2015): Due to a series of events (including being bathed by nuclear radiation and the presence of a so-called Crash Combiner), the Bee Team unexpectedly discover they can now combine (with Bumblebee forming the torso, Strongarm and Sideswipe the arms, Grimlock the legs and Drift the sword). Unlike traditional combiners, the resulting "Ultra Bee Team Combiner Form" apparently has no mind of its own, and so is completely useless unless the components are all united in purpose.
      • IDW Publishing: In both continuities, some combiners initially struggle to function. In the original continuity, Menasor barely functions due to the haphazard nature of his creation (and the small fact that all the component Stunticons hate each other) while Bruticus immediately begins rampaging due to his component Combaticons not being united of purpose note . In the 2019 continuity, both Devastator and Computron have an initial phase of not being able to move properly due to the sudden increase in size and mass throwing off their component bots.
      • Transformers: Cyberverse: In "The Immobilizers", the Dinobots combine into Volcanicus for the first time. Unused to the new form, Volcanicus promptly catches his own foot on the ground, tripping himself up.
    • Downplayed examples also sometimes come up:
      • Beast Wars: In "Call Of The Wild", it's revealed that while the Maximals (and presumably the Predacons) adopted beast modes, they'd been suppressing the accompanying beast mode instincts. When the Maximals are trapped in their beast modes, their minds begin to go dormant and the beast take over due to being so unfamiliar with the various senses and urges their beast bodies give them (e.g. Dinobot instinctively wants to hunt).
      • During IDW's Dark Cybertron Crisis Crossover, Starscream (in a body based on his Armada counterpart) is attacked by Mad Scientist Jhiaxus. Jhiaxus uses one of his technologies to duplicate Starscream's body, and his usage of the body lets Starscream realise his body actually had swords built-in. He simply never bothered to put the new body through its paces or ask what features it had.
      • Deliberately invoked in the Spotlight: Megatron comic, where Megatron spends part of the comic getting used to his new stealth bomber body. Partially by beating up Starscream.
  • Suave Sabre: In the Transformers franchise, the name Star Saber comes up quite a bit. However, it's a Non-Indicative Name.
    • Despite his name, Star Saber wields a gigantic two-handed longsword. To give an idea of its size, its hilt is formed from the nosecone of his starfighter mode and in his smaller Saber robot mode it's large enough to function as a shoulder-mounted shield. That said, Star Saber actually is a War Hero as commander of the Pan-Galactic Peace Alliance Defense Force.
    • The Star Saber weapon from Transformers: Armada is likewise a double-edged broadsword or longsword (to a smaller Transformer, it's basically a gigantic broadsword, to someone the size of Optimus Prime or Megatron, it's more like a longsword).
    • The Star Saber from Transformers: Prime is likewise a two-handed longsword rather than an actual sabre.
  • Super Reflexes: Some characters have this power on their own, while others can acquire it through bonding with a partner (Headmasters, Powerlinx, etc.).
  • Suspiciously Small Army: Does this in a big way. Even when fighting for the fate of the universe, or the very fabric of space and time, it's rare to see more than a few dozen fighters involved in any battle. Sometimes this is due to the limitations of the budget (such as the expense of animating CGI models in Beast Wars, Beast Machines, and Prime), or to have a more intimate feel for the battle (The final battle in Animated features only the main cast fighting each other, the majority of whom are having their character arcs wrapped up). The movies tend to have much larger-scaled battles thanks to a larger production budget: the second movie featured a large amount of NEST troops aided by US and Jordanian military fighting at least twenty elite Decepticons alongside the Autobots; the third film features twelve Autobots and a small contingent of humans fighting around two hundred Decepticons; and the fourth film features just two Autobots fighting a fifty-strong horde of Decepticons before Optimus arrives with the Dinobots.
    • Dark Cybertron features another aversion in what is perhaps the most massive battle to be featured in Transformers fiction since the original movie: the surviving Autobots, Decepticons, and NAIL's facing off with an army of Ammonites (a hostile race of transforming robots). Seventy. BILLION. Of them.

  • Tactical Superweapon Unit: Since Transformers is primarily about war ("Autobots wage their battles to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons", after all), this sometimes comes up throughout the franchise. This is normally undercut by the fact nearly all named Transformers are unique characters (thus voiding the "these don't have much in the way of a personality" angle mentioned in the description for this trope), there are still some examples:
    • As a group, the combiners are meant to be this, being gestalt beings created from several regular Transformers. Being Merchandise-Driven, sometimes this results in Badass Decay: the first ever combiner Devastator was initially portrayed in The Transformers as being The Juggernaut, and even treated as a terrible threat in Transformers: The Movie (despite the fact that in season 2 of the cartoon several characters were introduced who could match him, including other combiners). By the time of the third season, he was once defeated by Perceptor, the Autobot chief scientist, with a single shot. note 
    • The Guardian Robots (aka GADEP) are mass-produced versions of the Autobot Guardian Omega Supreme. In some media (e.g. The Transformers, Transformers: Energon), Omega is treated as simply being a member of the Guardians, The Last of His Kind, or even their leader. In others like The Transformers (Marvel), Omega is built on Earth completely independent of the Guardians. In any universe where they appear, the Guardians are treated as the biggest military threat faced by the Decepticons at the beginning of the war (due to their sheer size and power), and it's their defeat that causes the Autobots to realise that they'll have to take up arms themselves.
    • Transformers: Super-God Masterforce introduced the Godmasters, who were (prior to the introduction of the Thirteen Original Primes) the most powerful Transformers in existence barring Unicron. Among other things, their command of Chokon Power note  granted them the ability to use Elemental Powers (Ginrai had a fondness for fire and lightning, while Overlord had a preference for wind) as well as the ability to regenerate from almost any injury near-instantly. The presence of even one of the Godmasters would've swung the Great Offscreen War between the main Autobot and Decepticon forces in space in their factions' favour, but luckily at the end of the series when the Godmasters and their comrades left Earth their power had been greatly reduced thanks to events of the finale. In fact, God Ginrai, the mightiest of the Godmasters, was killed off in the sequel series with comparative ease by Deathsaurus.
  • Take That!: The comics feature a lot of jabs against the mostly-forgotten competitor to the original Challenge of the GoBots, mostly involving Cy-Kill getting killed.
    • Self-Deprecation: Of course, these days Go-Bots are themselves part of the Transformers franchise.
  • Tank Goodness: A bunch of Decepticons, Warpath (who's an Autobot), including some versions of Megatron.
  • Telescoping Robot: Highly prevalent in G1, where the 30-foot tall Soundwave became a microcassette player, amongst plenty of other examples. Later installments avoid this for the most part, simply consenting to change size off camera. Not to be confused with the Cybertronians that turn into telescopes.)
  • Tiered by Name: Megatron and Galvatron are usually the same being from two different time periods, although in some continuities, such as the IDW G1 continuity, they're two different people.
  • Time Dissonance: Transformers are immortal unless killed, and see time differently. This becomes jarring when a character like Prime Smokescreen has been around for millions of years like the others but only matures in the time span of a few months covered by his tenure on the show.
  • Token Flyer:
    • Generation 1: A point is made that few Autobots are capable of flight compared to the Decepticons, something that evidently stuck on future series as seen below. Amongst them there's Jetfire, Powerglide, Cosmos, Omega Supreme, Sky Lynx, the Aerialbots and some of the Technobots.
      • Swoop is the only member of the Dinobots that can fly since he is a Pteranodon while the others are land-based dinosaurs.
      • The Protectobots have Blades who transforms into a rescue helicopter. The other four Protectobots transform into land-based vehicles.
      • Divebomb transforms into a robotic eagle and is the only only one of the G1 Predacons with an aerial alt mode.
    • Beast Wars: Before Airazor and Silverbolt joined the team, Optimus Primal was the only Maximal who could fly. Ironically, his alt mode is a gorilla which is not a flying creature.
    • Transformers: Robots in Disguise: Ultra Magnus is the only Autobot in the series who can fly. This is even commented on by Scourge in his first fight with the Decepticons.
    • Transformers: Armada: Jetfire is the only flight-capable Autobot in the series.
    • Transformers Film Series:
      • Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen: The ex-Decepticon Jetfire is the only Autobot with an aerial alt mode. In the film's climax, he sacrifices himself so that Optimus Prime can use his parts to defeat The Fallen.
      • Transformers: Dark of the Moon: None of the Autobots have a flight-based alt mode but Optimus's truck can transform into a Jet Pack for him to use.
      • Transformers: Age of Extinction: Drift is the only Autobot with a flying alternate mode, although he only uses it twice in the film and it's never seen or mentioned again. Optimus does become capable of flight near the end of the film. Strafe is a straighter example as he turns into a pteranodon.
    • Transformers: Animated:
      • The Autobots lacking flight abilities is justified in-universe as them being primarily made up of artisans and civilians. Jetfire and Jetstorm are the first Autobots in this setting to be granted the power of flight. They serve as the Token Flyers to the Elite Guard.
      • Before them, however, the Autobots won the war by making hulking Omega Sentinel robots that turned into large flying ships, of which only one remains alive and that's Omega Supreme, who serves as the ship of the main cast.
      • Initially, none of the main five Autobots can fly but Optimus Prime and Prowl both get upgrades that allow them to fly. In the final episode, Prowl dies saving Detroit leaving Optimus as the only Autobot main character who can fly.
    • Transformers: Rescue Bots: Blades is the only member of the team to have a flying vehicle mode, in the form of a helicopter - though he only gained it after they arrived on Earth (and he turns out to be afraid of heights). While several new Autobots are introduced over the series, none of them can turn into flying vehicles, keeping Blades unique. In season 3, the team gain the ability to transform into dinobot forms, with Blades still being the only one whose new form (a pterodactyl) can fly.
    • Transformers: Rescue Bots Academy: Of the Rescue Bot trainees, Whirl is the only one lacking a ground-based vehicle mode. Like Blades, she becomes a helicopter.
    • Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy: Jetfire defects from the Decepticons and joins the Autobots as their singular aerial member. One Autobot in season 2 even expresses gratitude that at least one of them can fly. During Kingdom, Airazor is the only Maximal capable of flight.
  • Toyline-Exclusive Character: Incredibly common for every incarnation of the franchise. Every single toyline ever has characters whose only appearance in fiction is the little bio on the back of their packaging, and even some don't have those. This is often eventually subverted, as later writers love using obscure toyline-exclusive Transformers in media or by retconning them to be existing characters. Of course, the toys are rarely still on shelves meaning these subversions make the original toys much more expensive on the secondary market.
  • Time Storm: What happens when you try to change history to too great a degree.
  • Transformation Discretion Shot: Done in various ways over the years, depending on the medium.
    • In the original toy commercials, longer ones would have a quick montage of steps to transform a toy (e.g. unfold legs, swing head out). The shorter versions would simply Smash Cut to the toys in their other modes.
    • In some episodes of The Transformers, Transformers would occasionally transform off-screen, accompanied by the distinctive transformation sound. They would then re-emerge on-screen in their other mode. An example might be Megatron ordering the Decepticons to attack, followed by the sounds of transformation after which the Decepticons then run on-screen. This trick would be used in just about any animated iteration (e.g. Transformers: The★Headmasters, Beast Wars), since it would greatly save on animating. Some animated series would rely on Stock Footage (e.g. Transformers: Super-God Masterforce, Transformers: Cybertron), making this unnecessary for the most part.
    • Sometimes, Transformers would be shown transforming in a flash of light or a motion blur, as if the movement was so fast it couldn't be followed by the naked eye. On at least one occasion, Star Saber went from his starfighter mode into his Star Saber mode in an instant (normally there's an extended Stock Footage sequence of him separating from his V-Star attachment, transforming into robot mode, transforming again into torso mode, and then docking with an also-transformed V-Star to form Star Saber). In Transformers: Animated, Transformers sometimes changed form hidden by a motion blur.
    • In The Transformers (Marvel), sometimes Transformers would be shown transforming hidden by some sort of energy discharge. The artwork of the time wasn't exactly geared towards loving depictions of transformation in action, so nearly all transformation scenes were hidden behind movement lines or motion blurs.
    • In some of the live action films, like the above animated examples sometimes Transformers will transform off-screen before stepping on-screen in their robot modes. In the first film, there was at least one sequence where Bumblebee is shown driving towards the screen, followed by the next shot depicting him doing a leap in robot mode.
  • Transforming Mecha: The entire concept.
  • Translation Nod: Prior to the release of Michael Bay's live-action film, in Japan the Autobots were known as Cybertrons, the Decepticons known as Destrons, and Optimus Prime known as Convoy (with the name Convoy used in the same way as "Prime" was in the West with characters like Rodimus Convoy/ Rodimus Prime). After the live-action films, Takara Tomy began using the Western names even in Japan (e.g. in Transformers: Animated, the names Autobots and Decepticons were used instead of Cybertrons and Destrons). However, even before this, there were examples of this occurring on both sides.
    • Some manga (e.g. the pack-in manga for some of the high-end Masterpiece toys) would have examples where a character's alternate names are mentioned. An example is when Convoy was making a report, and his in-universe nameplate during the broadcast included both his Japanese and English names.
    • In Transformers Galaxy Force (brought over to the west as Transformers: Cybertron), Vector Prime is notable for being identified using "Prime" rather than "Convoy" like the other leader characters (e.g. Galaxy Convoy of Cybertron, Live Convoy of Earth, Flame Convoy of Animatros). This was an acknowledgement of how Convoy is the Japanese equivalent of the Prime rank for Autobot leaders.
    • As early as the G1 toyline, while Takara decided to use Cybertrons in place of Autobots there was still a nod to the name when the characters sold as the "Autobot cars" in the US (e.g. Jazz, Prowl, Sunstreaker, Sideswipe among others) were marketed as "the Autobot unit/squad/team" in Japan. This matched the Theme Naming of other units where the hero teams ended with "-bot" (e.g. the Aerialbots were the Airbot unit) while the villains ended with "-tron" (e.g. the Stunticons became the Stuntrons).
  • Truce Zone: Maccadam's Old Oil House in some stories.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The later seasons of Generation 1 and Energon are both obviously set in the near-future (G1 after The Movie is explicitly set in 2006). Cybertron, despite being explicitly set in the same continuity ten years after Energon, appears to be contemporary.
  • Units Not to Scale: There's a TFwiki page about it. In short, there are many size-scale inconsistencies with the various Transformers, both in the toyline and in the cartoons and comics. Due to some effort by the production team, the Live-Action Film series has fewer scale issues.
  • Unusual Euphemism: The word 'slag' seems to be a Transformer equivalent to the human word 'shit/crap'. Transformers: Animated has fun with this, featuring such gems as "You'll have to pry it from my cold, offline servo!"
  • Vanilla Unit: Several characters from the initial 1984 and 1985 toyline didn't have fancy titles like "Air Commander" (Starscream, Rank 9), "Special Operations Agent" (Jazz, Rank 8) or "Communications Officer" (Soundwave, Rank 8), instead having the function of "Warrior" with a rank of 5. Examples include...
    • The Lamborghini twins Sunstreaker and Sideswipe both had the rank of 5 and the function of "Warrior". Sideswipe had significantly higher stats for Courage and Endurance than Sunstreaker, but conversely Sunstreaker had much higher stats for Skill (reflecting how he's the more skilled of the two). Otherwise, they didn't have any particularly unique skills or powers (other than Sideswipe having a jetpack he could use for limited flight).
    • Of the 6 Decepticon jets (Starscream, Thundercracker, Skywarp, Thrust, Dirge, Ramjet), Thrust stands out as the most vanilla of the group. While all of them bar Starscream are ranked 5 with the function of "Warrior", Thrust is the only one without any notable or unique powers or abilities note .
  • Vehicle-Based Characterization: Three varieties come up throughout the Transformers franchise.
    • Based on their function: Transformers might choose an alternate mode that helps with their function. For example:
      • Starscream is often the leader of the Decepticon air forces and so nearly always transforms into a fighter aircraft. Some versions, such as the Transformers: Cybertron version of Starscream, transform into fighter spacecraft instead.
      • The various incarnations of Warpath often transform into some sort of tank, reflecting his function as Autobot heavy artillery.
      • Several incarnations of Bumblebee (except for his movie counterpart) transform into fairly innocuous vehicles, helping his function as a spy. Examples of this include the Volkswagen Beetle mode he originally started out with, while in the Alternity toyline he updated into the ubiquitous Suzuki Swift (a car that's a familiar sight on many roads in Japan and other parts of Asia).
    • Based on their personalities: A Transformer might choose an alternate mode based on their own preferences. For example:
      • Knockout from Transformers: Prime is notable among the Decepticons for having a sports car alternate mode whereas the rest of Decepticon High Command all transform into aircraft. He explicitly explains he chose his alternate mode because he found it stylish.
      • Beast Megatron chose a Tyrannosaurus Rex as his alternate mode due to viewing it as the most powerful of the alternate modes available and thus most worthy of his choice.
      • Galvatron of Beast Wars II chose a dragon and a drill tank to be his alternate modes due to his belief they were the most powerful of the alternate modes available to him.
      • When the Dinobot Grimlock was given a car mode as part of the Alternity toyline, his alternate mode was a Ford Mustang. This reflected his "brute force" mentality, as the Mustang was viewed as a powerful muscle car compared to the other characters like Starscream with his sleek super car mode or the aforementioned Bumblebee and his unassuming Suzuki Swift form.
    • Based on their names: Some Transformers choose alternate modes that happen to line up nicely with their names. On occasion, Transformers actually change their names to suit their new modes better.
      • The Autobot medic First Aid adopted an ambulance as his alternate mode, viewing it as an obvious choice considering his name and temperament (he would rather spend a battle tending to the wounded than actually engaging in combat).
      • Several of the Beast Wars cast explicitly renamed themselves to match their new forms. Examples include Cheetor (who transformed into a cheetah) and Rattrap (a rat).
    • All of the above:
      • Cosmos from the G1 series transforms into a classic "flying saucer" spaceship as part of his function as orbital spy. He's also noted to be a bit "spacey" at times (at least partially due to long periods of time being alone in orbit). Plus his name...
      • Drillhorn of Transformers Victory transforms into a Drill Tank. He has "drill" in his name and while officially his function is strategist he's also the Decepticon siege expert. Additionally, one of his noted weaknesses is that once he's set on a course of action it's very difficult to get him to change direction: the same problem one would have with a drill.
  • Verbal Tic: Beast Wars Megatron, "yeeeessss". And BAM! KAZOWIE! for Warpath. I am Wreck-Gar!
  • Video Game Adaptation: Several games have been made for the series from the Famicom Convoy game of Nintendo Hard instant death to the latest PC and Xbox 360 game.
  • Walking Ossuary: Using certain sets under the F.O.S.S.I.L. Technology line, which resemble the skeletons of prehistoric creatures, a Fossilizer Combiner can be made that resembles a humanoid made out of the bones of multiple distinct beings.
  • Wasn't That Fun?: Lampshaded in the original G1 cartoon episode "Fire on the Mountain", after Brawn and Windcharger are under attack by the Decepticons.
    Windcharger: Let's peel out of here, Brawn!
    Brawn: And miss all the fun?!
    Windcharger: Remind me to discuss your definition of 'fun' some time!
  • Welcome Titles: The openings tend to use this, except in the series that animate the Transformers in CGI.
  • World of Badass: Cybertron. Literally, as it is the god Primus in disguise.
  • Wretched Hive: In several continuities like the Dreamwave and IDW comics, the named city Kaon on Cybertron is often referred to as a miserable place, where the local law enforcers are hopelessly corrupt and/or helpless - in several backstories Kaon is also the place where the underground gladiator rings are located, and thus forms the birthplace of the rebellious movement that would become the Decepticons. Megatron in particular typically makes his name here as a champion in the arena before he becomes the Decepticon commander. Amusingly, on Primus's body as per his Transformers Cybertron incarnation, Kaon is located under his heel when he transforms to robot mode.


Video Example(s):


Megatron Kills Starscream

Do not ever betray and try killing Megatron, especially if you are his servant seeking to usurp him. The price is just too grave. Starscream learned this the hard way.

How well does it match the trope?

4.77 (22 votes)

Example of:

Main / NoHoldsBarredBeatdown

Media sources: