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Transformers Series

Fridge Brilliance
  • In most, if not all Transformers series - particularly the Japanese series, the live-action movies and Transformers: Prime, the Transformers move with impossible grace and agility despite being Humongous Mecha. However, this can be seen as Fridge Brilliance since, in the movies and the Marvel G1 continuity, Cybertron is MUCH larger than Earth - in Marvel G1, it's stated to be the size of Saturn, while in the movies, it appears to be more the size of a Super-Earth. Logically, Cybertron must have a MUCH higher gravity than Earth due to its greater mass, and so, Transformers are Heavy Worlders - on their home planet, they'd probably have an agility more like a human's, meaning non-rocket-assisted jumps wouldn't be too high. On the much smaller Earth, though, they can run faster, jump higher, and are generally more agile - much like Silver Age Superman.
    • Optimus managed to survive re-entry of Earth's atmosphere and only slightly injured.
    • On the other hand, in the original series story arc "The Ultimate Doom,'' Cybertron seems to be tiny compared to Earth (not that this affects its size in other continuities). It may still have high gravity for its size, since it's made of metal, and therefore dense. Indeed, when humans visit the place, it appears to have roughly Earth gravity. A different possible explanation for the Transformers' ease of movement (and their casual violations of the Square-Cube Law) could be that, judging by Megatron, Soundwave, and the Cassettes, the Transformers clearly have technology to change size and mass. If we assume this tech is ubiquitous in all Transformers, they may actually weigh a great deal less than they appear to, or they may be able to change their mass depending on their situation (probably not giving it any more conscious thought than we'd give to holding our arms out for balance when we're unsteady on our feet). This could also account for a lot of the scale issues that have always plagued the franchise.
  • Back in G1 there were Cassetticons - in 1985 cassettes were the common media for storing information both audio and visual, but they're hardly mobile. What do those Transformers turn into now? Memory sticks that can store over 4 million years of information! But they're not any more mobile...
  • The Original Series is often derided for its Nobody Can Die policy. Up until the 1986 movie, we never saw any Transformer die, except in flashbacks to Cybertron's history. This makes perfect sense. The war has been going on for millions of years, with many of the same combatants lasting through the whole conflict. This would be absurd if the war had anything like a human mortality rate. These aren't humans, they're multimillion-year old giant alien robots. Transformers are hard to kill. They're even hard for each other to kill. They fight their war on a mythological timescale, where a single warrior may fight for ages before falling. It should be a rare, major event when somebody actually dies. Notably, this isn't entirely a good thing, because it means the war can drag on forever, and it has. People praise the 1986 movie for having a "realistically" high body count, but in the established context of The 'Verse, it's the movie's high body count that is illogical, not the previous TV episodes.
    • Not quite as illogical if you realize that during the series, they were always fighting over the resources on a single world. In the movie, the Decepticons have taken over Cybertron, while the Autobots have the run of Earth, so it's not terribly unreasonable to conclude that the reason we suddenly see a high body count is that both sides are operating at full power for the first time in the series. That would also explain why the Autobots who were relying on the limited resources of the moon bases are so easily slaughtered by a small group of 'cons who were on Cybertron, but once the 'cons reach Earth it's a much more even battle.

Fridge Horror

  • Transformers: The war between the Autobots and Decepticons. Depending on the source material, this war may or may not have been going on for millions of years. Just to clarify, the Human race is maybe a couple hundred thousand years old. Not to mention that the body count both sides would be completely insane, the race is pretty much doomed to extinction (again, depends on the adaptation), and the fact that the Decepticons are still determined to win even though it's obvious that the whole conflict is basically glorified genocide. Suddenly makes Megatron and his army a lot less likable...
    • Also, short of completely destroying a Transformer's spark, it's fairly simple to put one back together and be in fighting order in a few days. Talk about eternal warfare.
  • Why not an even more basic aspect of the premise? Specifically, the "robots in disguise" part? You know, the part where they can pretty much pick anything they want to turn into, and you'd never know? Look really carefully at the parked cars in your neighborhood, kids. That Decepticon symbol on the fender might not have come from Hot Topic.
    • Not just the cars. Look at Reflector, the cameraformer. There could be a Decepticon in your room, and you'd never know.
    • The Real Gear Robots from the first live-action film toyline and the Device Label series from Japan take the concept further. Your MP3 player could be an infiltrator like Soundwave, and all your common electronics could be waiting for you to turn your back to snoop around and stuff. Device Label Ravage transforms into a working USB flash drive. He's got all your secrets in him now.
  • The entire idea of combiners is pretty horrifying once you think about it. You're joining your body with at least one other person, using specific unfolding connectors. Then you're stuck in this gigantic behemoth's mind. If you're lucky, you get along fairly well with your team and the combined mode is stable (Defensor, Computron, Predaking, Piranhacon) and usually stupid (Superion, Bruticus, Abominus). Then, sometimes you're with a bunch of people you disagree with, causing your merged mind to be completely berserk (Devastator). But oh, it gets worse. What if your components are a psychotic tyrant, a self-obsessed glory hog, a paranoid wreck, a suicidal weirdo and a batshit insane rampager who can't stay quiet for three seconds? Then you're Menasor, who has enough mental problems to warrant his own asylum. Have fun getting in that head.
    • And the whole combiner thing? The franchise never really goes in to what happens when a gestaltmate dies. When part of their freaking spark is just... extinguished. Gone. Just like that.
      • I wouldn't worry, as Scrapper died in the IDW G1 comics, and the other Constructicons were perfectly fine after that.
    • A recent revelation in IDW makes the implications of combination even more horrifying - as the combiner team continually combines, each member's individual personality becomes less distinct. The most likely end-game of this is that it would effectively make the mind of each part a fractal of the whole. As bad as this would be for the Predacons or the Combaticons, imagine how this would be for a team like the Stunticons—or anyone unfortunate enough to cross their paths.
      • The implications re: the Stunticons get worse in one of the 200x Classics toylines - a Legends-sized release for Menasor features him as a single robot without the ability to separate into individual Stunticons, implying that all of their personalities were suppressed or fully merged.
  • A lot of Transformers had oddball personality quirks, mental disorders, or were just plan nuts according to their tech spec profiles. Seems a little odd so many of them would be neurotic? Remember most of them have been fighting for millions of years in a war with not end in sight. They've seen untold death and destruction. No wonder so many Transformers have mental issues.
    • Worse: Some Transformers are said to be "cold constructed", meaning they were built solely for war and sent straight into the fight. All they know is fighting.
  • The hate plague episode(s) should be put into account we see Transformers vs Transformers fighting each other regardless of their side. And the plague later infects humans world wide. The infected individual will attack just about anyone in arms reach. So we can imagine humans killing each other in the millions, or worse, Transformers blasting and possibly stomping on Puny Earthlings with their weapons and feet.
  • Unicron is a universal entity, meaning that he exists in all universes. Including ours.
  • Another universal example, the titular robot aliens are almost completely incapable of dying of old age, so long as they remain properly nourished with energon. Throughout the entire franchise Cybertronians' have made strong friendships with humans and similar life forms. So it must be heartbreaking for them to watch as their organic friends seem to almost instantly deteriorate, from their point of view.

     Transformers Animated Series 

Transformers Animated

Fridge Horror
  • Transformers Animated: In the episode "S.U.V.: Society Of Ultimate Villainy," Swindle creates and activates a device capable of stopping anything and everything mechanical in its proverbial tracks - and, unlike the Ocean's Eleven example, this really did affect the entire city. Obvious Nightmare Fuel aside, consider the impact this event had on humans. Think about it. Anyone who had a pacemaker or respirator, or who was on life support, or who was being operated on at that time... in short, anyone who was relying on machines for survival. And let's not forget the airport. Or any number of other things. You really have to wonder how many people Swindle maimed or killed in that episode.
  • Blitzwing tearing off Ratchet's arm to get Sari's Key. In the next scene he shows up, he's still got the Key, but there's no sign of the arm. Probably just left it around somewhere, right? Except in a later episode, Blitzwing just happens to mention how much he loves servo salad...
  • Cyclonus' few minutes on the show and his entry in Allspark Almanac II all but confirm that Megatron will become Galvatron someday. Everything the Autobots did in this series will ultimately be undone and Megatron will be reborn as an even greater threat. And because the series is over, we'll never get to see if it turns out okay in the end.
  • In the name of creating an "organic transformer," human villain Meltdown mutated at least two humans (his lawyer and stock broker, for those curious) into horrifying fusion creatures, and out of petty revenge was dangerously close to doing the same exact same thing to his business rival Professor Sumdac's eight-year-old child Sari. Consider Sari's part-cybertronian heritage and the end results wouldn't have been pretty.
  • It kind of makes you wonder just what exactly goes on in the Stockade to drive Wasp insane...
    • The Timeline comics shows that the prisoners are kept in small cramped up cells that leave no room for them to transform to vehicle mode. Go Mad from the Isolation maybe?
  • Less Fridge Horror and more Fridge Depression, but Starscream’s clones are programmed to represent exactly one facet of Starscream’s personality. This being The Starscream, it’s not a pleasant prospect. They’ll spend the rest of their lives as a Dirty Coward, a Jerkass, a Sycophantic Servant, a chronic liar, and... something. In every case, they're pretty much doomed never to be happy.
    • Well, Derrick Wyatt explained in an interview that he intended to have the clones evolve into individuals the longer they remained online. While the concept appears to have been dropped, who's to say it won't still happen?

     Beast Wars 

Beast Wars

Fridge Brilliance
  • I was personally bugged that in Beast Wars, at least three characters - Inferno, Blackarachnia, and Rhinox - are reprogrammed, yet Megatron puts up with Waspinator's laziness and stupidity, Tarantulas' insanity, and Terrorsaur's Starscreaminess. Why didn't he just reprogram them? Then it clicked. Until Beast Machines (which, frankly, may as well not even have the same Megatron thanks to Character Derailment), there was only one hint that Megatron even had programming skills - the Transmuter, and that one backfired when Rhinox utterly wtfpwned pretty much the entire Predacon ship, and demonstrated that a fully-active Cybertronian is very very hard to truly reprogram. The only one to semi-permanently reprogram anyone was Tarantulas, and unless you're actively suicidal, you don't want to trust Tarantulas to reprogram all your henchmen. And even then, he was hotwiring protoforms rather than "adults" like Waspinator and Terrorsaur! No less than three reasons why he didn't try it until he was grotesquely misusing Sparks in Beast Machines! - Count Dorku
    • And note that in Beast Machines, he had to effectively wipe all but the basic functions from said sparks to reprogram them. Two of the three that he didn't reprogram ended up rebelling while the third was Waspinator, who didn't exactly need much coercing. The last two he "reprogrammed" turned out to be doing it out of their own free will (the need to protect Cybertron as a whole, even if it's no longer the Cybertron they knew).
  • Megatron's motivation in Beast Machines. Okay, so it's pretty impressive, much more creative and ambitious than generic 'take over the world/galaxy/universe', but I didn't fully appreciate it until some time after I saw Beast Wars (yeah, we didn't get Beast Wars until several years after Beast Machines had already aired). Anyway, look at how much his minions betray him - only two remain loyal, and one of those is just barely competent. Is it any wonder he would come to consider free will itself to be the problem? - Vampire Buddha

     Live-Action Films 

Live-Action Films

Fridge Brilliance
  • Whilst the Decepticons are mostly immune to our weapons, they can be hurt be extremely high-temperature explosive rounds. Now, some people still wonder how our weapons could effect robots with metal skin and armor far tougher than any of our alloy. And how could they be? Well, the first film explains that most modern tech, including weaponry, was produced by studying Megatron's inner-workings.
  • The Fallen's death becomes this when you think about it. The Fallen was personally responsible for the entire war, a war that Optimus has seen the horrors of first hand. In that perspective, it's little suprise that Optimus went for No Kill Like Overkill in dispatching the monster who was behind everything to happen to the Transformers for centuries.
  • Why does Optimus violently destroy anything/anyone who threatens Earth? Simple: He wants to make sure Earth doesn't wind up a barren wasteland like Cybertron, with its native inhabitiants reduced to near extinction.
    • This goes extra for the Fallen. Optimus probably knows that he was responsible for Megatron betraying them for his fell agenda, and thus the one ultimately responsible for the entire Cybertronian civil war. Of course he would want to ensure this villain does not survive their battle, in case he escaped to set up more misery for Earth and the remaining Cybertronians.
  • People are always going on about Give Me Your Face and the whole Off with His Head! thing the autobots do in the movies, but think for a minute what would be the most efficient way to kill something? Remove the head or destroy the brain.
    • Plus, when you consider how small Transformer heads are in proportion their bodies, it most likely takes more effort and focus to take out the head.
    • And as we saw, Frenzy continued to live in decapitated form, quickly taking another mode. If a Cybertronian doesn't destroy the head of his foe, he could easily find later on that one of his recovered weapons is secretly the disguised form of the foe's head, which could literally bite you in the ass later.
  • The movies get a lot of flak for how effective the American military is against the Decepticons, sometimes even moreso then the Autobots who have fought them for ages. This actually would make sense, because the Decepticons have had all that time to get used to Autobot tactics and adjust their own (the stalemate this causes is actually the entire plot of the franchise!) and with Earth tactics being alien, new, and unexpected. America would naturally be the most effective, with them getting their tech from Megs and all.
    • The Ameicans are shown teaming up with other militaries and governments as well, if only because the Decepticons aren't selective in where they operate. In addition to the tactics issue, also recall that the humans have the Decepticons heavily out numbered, and are fighting on their own turf, Paranoia Fuel form transforming enemies aside. The Decepticons by nature of where they are fighting are always in danger of being on the receiving end of a Zerg Rush, where the Zerg have fighter bombers, tanks, and rocket launchers. And that is before the humans tailor their infantry tractics ot dealing with Cybertronian enemies in the third film.
    • Humans are also a fraction of the size of most Decepticons. Smaller targets are harder to hit. Sure, if a Decepticon does hit a human that human won't be there anymore, but once that human is armed with weapons that can actual deal damage to the Decepticon, the fight becomes deceptively fair.
  • The gripes about how all machinery that is affected by the Allspark transforms and acts somewhat hostile can be negated by the fact that every piece of technology on Earth was reverse engineered via Megatron's makeup, so technically everything is more or less another version of Megatron once brought to life.
    • Alternatively, one can argue that the Allspark simply gives life to the machine. It's possible that something else (Vector Sigma?) is needed to give the newly activated Cybertronian higher intelligence, such as a sense of morality. As a result, the Allspark-imbued machine is simply a primal beast, working on preserving itself in an alien environment.
      • Adding to this, the newly formed Cybertronians might have the capacity for higher intelligence, but lack the knowledge and life experience to really have intelligence. Go back tens of thousands of years, pluck a caveman out of it, and drop him in the middle of New York and see how many seconds it takes him before he goes ballistic.
  • When the Wreckers were first revealed, a lot of fans thought they would have redneck voices. They don't; instead, they're British (Cockney to be percise). So why do they have alt-modes as NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars? Because Daytona International Speedway is about half an hour away from Canaveral, and engineers like them would want top-notch vehicle modes.
  • Optimus is criticized for not overly reacting when Jazz dies, or for that matter many of the Autobots who die. But remember that the Autobots and Decepticons have been at war for a long, long time. Optimus has likely been through the deaths of a lot of friends. It's not that he doesn't care, he's just been through too much to openly mourn anymore.

Fridge Logic

  • In the first film, while you can understand why the American Government would want Megatron on US soil to keep it out of any foreign nation's hands, why the hell didn't they build a base to hold him in the Artic? That way, Megatron would remain frozen without needing the power of an entire dam to keep him that way?
    • Keep in mind, they could still have built Hoover Dam to house the Allspark! Overall, what in the name of sanity made them think that keeping an artefact that can animate technology into hostile alien robots, right next to a known hostile giant robot, was ever going to be a good idea?
      • They didn't KNOW Megatron was evil. They found him already frozen and knew nothing about him at all. They didn't find out he was evil until he unfroze and went on a rampage. That said, I agree that keeping him and the cube in the same facility was not the brightest idea.

     Transformers G 1 

Transformers Generation 1

Fridge Brilliance
  • Why did Galvatron finally do what he flat out refused to do as Megatron and kill Starscream? Two possible reasons: (1) Unicron's reformatting of him him may have had subtle influence on his thought patterns. He was rebuilt to find the Matrix, and this was likely prioritized in his mind, with the additional thought pattern of destroying any that obstructs this goal, and what was Starscream if not obstructive? (2) Along with his own reformatting, he also got new minions. Among them, Cyclonus. Who was all the things Starscream wasn't: Loyal, competent, and powerful. Megatron is implied to have kept Screamer around due to not having better options. That changed when Cyclonus, who is all the things Starscream is, only better, came along. No wonder Galvatron vaporized him. Starscream had finally outlived his usefulness.
    • Nice catch; I always just thought it was because when Megatron was reformatted, Unicron's influence turned him into an insane and ruthless madman. Which I suppose is still likely, but a lot less brilliant.
    • Or, more simply, that Megs had been willing to put up with Screamer as long as Starscream kept failing. By this point, Starscream had won. Megatron was only still alive by pure dumb luck, and was arguably stuck in a Fate Worse than Death, getting his whole identity warped and enslaved by Unicron. This was beyond the last straw. No wonder he finally let Starscream have it.
  • In the second episode, Starscream tests the Energon cubes to see if they work. This may seem really stupid, but remember, before Starscream became Decepticon air commander, he was a scientist. Of course he'd want to test the cubes!
  • Why would Predaking be much smarter than the other combiners if the writers ever bothered to read the characterizations? Because his components' altmodes are animals. Whereas the other combiners are amalgamations of minds that don't always get along (and sometimes outright hate each other), Predaking is a pack. When the hunt is on, internal conflicts get put aside.
  • Sky Lynx's near-insufferable sense of superiority makes a lot of sense when you step back and take a look at his combined non-alternate mode: He's a dragon. How often in modern fiction do you see sentient dragons without an ego?
  • Megatron's alt mode is a gun, which has to be held by others in order to be fired. A case of What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?? Nope - a gun has only one purpose, and that's to kill people. He chose it in order to be more intimidating!
  • Why does Megatron allow himself to be wielded in gun mode by Starscream, whom he hates and distrusts? Because when he's the weapon in Starscream's hand, Megatron becomes the only thing Starscream CAN'T shoot.
  • After their first fight, the Junkions become instant friends of the Autobots. Why? Because the Junkions love Earth TV and the Autobots help protect the Earth. So by helping the Autobots, the Junkions insure that Earth will survive to produce more TV shows.
  • A combination of Brilliance and Horror: in the original cartoon it was established that the Autobots and Decepticons were originally created for to be labor drones and combat droids respectivly. The horror comes from the fact that this basically means that the only reason the Decepticons fight it because they’re subconsciously acting out their programming and all the talk about power, glory and destiny are just rationalizations. The brilliance comes from the fact that this means that the reason the Autobots always win in the end is because they Grew Beyond Their Programming and took up the sword.

Fridge Horror

  • In the G1 movie, it always seemed that the mass murder of most of the original cast was arbitrary, and just a way to make the movie darker. But as the Nostalgia Chick points out, all of the dead characters were replaced, in the movie, by new characters that had never existed before. The reason? Commerce. It was time to sell new toys, and what better way to do it than to kill everyone off and start fresh? Realizing this motivation makes it a lot easier to understand the huge divide between loving and hating Hot Rod/Rodimus; he was a character created for the sole reason to sell toys. Optimus Prime was killed because he wasn't selling enough; basically most of the original cast was euthanized.
    • This was brought up on discussions for 'Ghost In The Machine', where Blitzwing (old toy) had his part rewritten for Octane (new toy). Instead of sales figures, the real case was that the old toys were out of production, and the new ones were on the shelves.
  • During "The Search for Alpha Trion", Optimus Prime deduced that he and his "girlfriend", Elita-1, were created by Alpha Trion. At the end of the episode, Optimus awkwardly rejects Elita's affection. Although it's not stated outright, it's implied that Optimus dated his own sister and just became aware of it.
    • Which is a horrendous lack of basic research from the same damned series, given that Optimus and Elita-1 are rebuilt from Orion Pax and Aeriel by Alpha Trion in War Dawn and were involved long before the then middle-aged engineer ended up growing that beard some more.
  • The Hate Plague episodes: It's established that the plague went beyond earth to other planets, to the point that the entire galaxy was threatened. Imagine the kind of destruction unleashed on earth occurring everywhere else in the galaxy. That's a death toll measuring so high that there might not be a number large enough to catalog the amount of lives lost. That scene of the two humans apologizing for weaponizing the plague is likely very their last action on earth before they're imprisoned some where in space or executed.
  • In "Ghost In The Machine", Unicron wanted Starscream to connect him to Cybertron so he could reformat it into his new body. Knowing what we know now about the TF mythos, especially the fact that Cybertron essentially IS Primus in physical form...just what WOULD have happened if that had occurred?

    Transformers G 1 Anime series 

Transformers Victory

Fridge Brilliance
  • Considering how many long years of hibernation of the original G1 characters, you'd think Autobots are leaderless right? Until we found out, new leaders were created for this reason, such as Fortress Maximus and Star Saber. Unfortunately, Fridge Horror comes to play as well, since we have later Decepticon leaders who are very brutal.
    • Given the concept of 'Cold-constructed' Transformers and the personality quirks that can result, it's easy to see why Star Saber is so much more stable and sane in the original Victory timeline compared to his extremist incarnation in the IDW timeline - without a stabilising influence in Jan and the other humans he would regularly interact with, he would find solace in religion and take it too far, becoming a heartless extremist.
Fridge Horror
  • As Fridge Horror comes to play, could you imagine if Deathsaurus goes around, destroying everything with his Decepticon Fortress without the creation of Star Saber? Granted, it may not defeat Unicron, but still.
  • The Landforce Combiner team, composed of six Autobots who form Landcross, are so used to combining that even in their base camp they usually stay partially combined as three pairs. Given the franchise concepts of Combiners and how being together for extended periods of time can result in their minds merging, it's hard to tell how much of the Landforce team's collective personality has become attached to being in their combined state, as their six component Autobots are rarely seen on-screen as individuals.

     Transformers Unicron Trilogy 
  • Most Decepticons in Cybertron keep their Cybertronian alt-mode, with the exception of Thundercracker; all the Autobots, on the other hand, adopt Earth-modes. Keeping in mind that Thundercracker eventually becomes disenchanted with the Decepticon cause, one can say that Planet Cybertron has the hat of robotic self-interest, while Planet Earth has the hat of protecting and caring for others, the Autobots' prime motivation. Vector Prime even fits in this categorization, with his initial motivation safeguarding Cybertron, arguably coming from a form of self-interest.
    • Lugnut and Mudflap get earthmodes, and eventually become good guys as well.
    • Thunderblast also has an earth based mode, but she's the epitome of self interest.
      • She's keeping her options open


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