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Regarding Michael Bay's Transformers:

  • During its production, the film started as an explicit prequel to the Michael Bay films, intended to bridge the gap between Bumblebee's WWII adventures and the first film before undergoing significant rewrites that made the film into a reboot. As such the film does still have some connective tissue to those films:
    • Megatron is absent from the Cybertron battle scenes, due to being frozen on Earth at the time the film would be taking place.
    • Sector Seven is shown to operate from the Hoover Dam, which was where the AllSpark and Megatron's body were being kept hidden in the 2007 film.
    • A younger Seymour Simmons appears amongst Sector Seven's ranks, subservient to Agent Burns.
    • Bumblebee manages to teach himself how to "speak" via the radio Charlie installs in him, which is how he communicated in the other films.
    • At the end of the film, before departing, Bee scans a yellow Camaro driving down the Golden Gate Bridge, and changes into it. Charlie calls him out for not doing that before but is thrilled nonetheless. Given Bee knows exactly what Camaros mean to her, it's likely he scanned that model on purpose. As the film is confirmed to be a Continuity Reboot, Bumblebee's Camaro alternate mode is now considered as a callback to the Bay-directed movies.
    • The film reuses a number of sound effects from the previous films to the same effect, whilst mixing in some new ones. Notably, Bumblebee's blaster, battle mask and transformation all use sound effects from the previous films for the character. Optimus Prime also makes the same footstep sounds as the prior films and his blaster uses a remixed version of his blaster effects from those films. The Seekers on Cybertron also include effects from Megatron's transformations for the prior films.
    • When Burns tries to dissuade an alliance with the Decepticons, he mentions that there's a risk the Decepticons could invade cities like New York, Washington, or Chicago.
  • Bee transforms inside a garage and initially doesn't trust the human presence nearby. Optimus went through the same thing in Transformers: Age of Extinction, albeit more hostile. Bonus points for sporting their respective G1-esque appearances in both instances.
  • The film's plot in general mirrors the first movie in a lot of ways, at least superficially. Bumblebee is found by the human protagonist hiding as an Alleged Car barely holding together, and for a while said human protagonist and their Love Interest serve as their Secret Keeper. At one point they attend an outdoor party-of-sorts hosted by the Big Man on Campus where they get accosted by the 'cool kids', resulting in them leaving. They get detained by Sector 7 when they find and confront them, which also results in Bumblebee being captured. Besides this the film is considerably different, but it helps with the feeling of being a reboot and for contrasting the differing styles between Travis Knight and Michael Bay.
  • One of the boats that Charlie knocks down at Hank's garage had a "Bayliner" name on it, in reference to the director of the previous five films.
  • Agent Burns at one point jokingly threatens a subordinate that if he fails, He'll "personally tear your face off", likely referencing the infamous scene of Optimus tearing off the Fallen's face in Revenge of the Fallen.
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Regarding the Generation 1 cartoon and 1986 movie

  • Blitzwing's robot mode closely resembles Starscream from the G1 series, particularly his head design and the classic grey-with-red-shades color scheme.
  • Bee transforms into a VW Beetle, his original altmode from the cartoon. His head is also located on the underside of his body when transformed, as is the case for many of the actual toys.
  • The garage scene mentioned above has also a parallel with Bumblebee's first transformation witnessed by a human in the comics published by Marvel Comics, back in the 1980's, when he transformed in front of Buster Witwicky at Sparkplug's garage.
  • The year of the film's setting, 1987, was the final year for the G1 series.
  • Because of the film's time setting, cassette tapes, decks, and Walkmans are the music players of choice. This was the standard alternate mode of Soundwave's (and later Blaster's) minions, before they became obsolete. The tape shown in the trailer is black and gray, like Ravage's traditional alt mode.
  • Bumblebee can transform with his legs still in a wheeled form, referencing the G1 Throttlebots (which G1 Bumblebee briefly evolved into), whose toy forms were basically bots on wheels.
  • Soundwave is a dead ringer for his G1 design, complete with the shoulder cannon, and Ravage emerges from his chest in a rectangular shape like a cassette before transforming into his feline mode, just like how the character functioned in the G1 series. Shockwave is just as close to his original look as well.
  • Bumblebee's first Earth vehicle mode is a jeep, which is a sidelong reference to what G1 Hound turned into (he appears in the movies in a much bigger form). The yellow coloring causes him to resemble the Combaticon Swindle.
  • The iconic Transformers sound effect makes a return; the loudest one is when Ravage ejects out of Soundwave.
  • Cybertron's design here takes after the original cartoon's design, right down to its Southern Hemisphere missing large chunks of mass.
  • Bumblebee plays the first two lines to Stan Bush's "The Touch" at one point in the film.
  • During the movie's climactic battle, Bumblebee is thrown into the air by Dropkick, transforms into a car as he hits the ground, then drives back around and launches himself at Dropkick, transforming in the air so he can throw a punch at his enemy. Jazz pulled the exact same move on Skywarp in the first opening of The Transformers.
  • Blitzwing tells Bumblebee "You'll die screaming, like your friends!"; "Die screaming," is a known "Furmanism', a dialogue phrase frequently used by Simon Furman, a prolific Transformers comic writer who is widely considered My Real Daddy for the franchise. In a bit of a visual pun, Blitzwing literally dies screaming.
  • By the end of the movie, after Bee scans a Camaro as his new alt mode, he drives across the Golden Gate bridge near a flat nose semi truck with trailer, which is a exact real life recreation of the G1 version of Optimus Prime. And the mid-credits scene reveals that that truck IS Optimus Prime.
  • The first time we see Optimus, he makes a leap shooting down Decepticons in the same fashion of how he had done so in the 1986 movie just as he was about to take on Megatron.
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Regarding Beast Machines

  • Shatter and Dropkick's teamup and respective attitudes are more than a little reminiscent of Strika and Obsidian.

Regarding Transformers Armada

Regarding Transformers Animated

  • A young Bumblebee befriending a young human girl? Where have we heard that before?
  • Bumblebee hiding Charlie in a dumpster is similar to how Sari Sumdac hid in a dumpster in the Animated episode "Transwarped Part 2".
  • Blitzwing - who sports Starscream's usual colours in this movie - Neck-Lifts Bumblebee over a sheer drop at one point. Coincidence?
  • The Transformers in this film have pupils in their eyes reminiscent of Transformers Animated.

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Regarding Transformers: Prime

  • As with Transformers: Prime, Cliffjumper serves as the Sacrificial Lamb, suffering yet another bisection. His body also seems to be exactly like Bumblebee's Cybertronian form but with a different-shaped head, much like in Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. His head in this case, ironically, being that of his and Bumblebee's G1 head sculpt, providing an idea what a G1-faithful Bumblebee could have looked like.
    • Bumblebee being interrogated by Dropkick and Shatter for Optimus Prime's location is similar to when in the Prime episode "Out of the Past", Arcee and Cliffjumper were interrogated by Starscream and Shockwave for the same piece of information.
    • Bumblebee helping Charlie get payback on the bully Tina by vandalizing her car is similar to how Smokescreen helps Jack get payback on the bully Vincent by vandalizing his car in the Prime episode "Legacy".

Regarding Transformers: Rescue Bots

  • Powell seems to be based on the character of the same name from Transformers Animated. Likewise, Agent Burns shares his surname with your favorite family of public service heroes from Transformers: Rescue Bots. Additionally, Charlie shares her nickname with Chief Charles "Charlie" Burns, also from Rescue Bots.

Regarding Transformers: War for Cybertron

  • The Cybertron scenes seem heavily inspired by Transformers: War for Cybertron and its sequel; besides the upscaled G1 influence, Bumblebee's Cybertronian vehicle form and his chest mold both highly resemble those from the game.
  • Bumblebee's quote-unquote real name of B-127 brings into mind Aligned Megatron's original designation of D-16 into mind; at the time, Aligned Cybertron's lower caste people were never given names, only numerical designations.
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