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Shout Out / Transformers: Animated

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Transformers: Animated pretty much runs on shout outs, from other entries in the Transformers multiverse, as well as lots of other places.

  • The artsyle itself is largely inspired from Mighty Orbots, ABC Warriors and the works of Studio Gainax.
  • Wreck-Gar, played by Weird Al Yankovic, yells at one point, "I dare to be stupid!" Which is the title of the song by Weird Al Yankovic that the original Wreck-Gar and the Autobots rocked out to for an indefinite period of of time in the original movie. The "Universal Greeting" associated with the song also gets a mention.
    • Wreck-Gar also bears a marked resemblance to his voice actor, even down to the facial hair. The whole thing gets topped off when, as he confronts Soundwave and tries to counter his music, he pulls out an accordion.
  • In "Velocity" Blitzwing fires out a Macross Missile Massacre in the style of the Valkyrie fighters from, well, Macross.
  • The appearances of the human villains Angry Archer and Slo-Mo are based on Hasbro executives Aaron Archer and Samantha Lomow respectively. The former was unaware of the character until late in production, but his only request was that the Archer be left-handed so he was apparently not too upset about it.
  • Also Master Yoketron may have been named after Takara's lead designer on Transformers Hideaki Yoke.
  • Perceptor's voice bears a distinct resemblance to the synthesized voice of famous physics genius Stephen Hawking.
  • Highbrow is a clear shout out to actor Terry Thomas, from his accent to his "mustache" to the gap in his "teeth".
  • Rodimus' design takes the characteristics the original shared with Marvel Comics' Hawkeye and runs with them, even giving him a bow.
    • Not to mention Rodimus is voiced by Judd Nelson, his G1 version/counterpart's original voice actor in the 1986 movie.
  • Dirt Boss' design is extremely similar to another pint sized mind controlling villain, Marvel Comics' MODOK, and he's also a caricature of various real life mob bosses, particularly Al Capone, in temperament, speech, and methods, and later pulls a huge reference to White Heat; "Top of the world, cogs!" He's also the first legitimate homage to Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, his diminutive size being (especially the stubby legs) inspired by Lagann itself along with using drills to control other machines. And he looks sort of like Wario, to go with the Mario and Luigi-like pair of Scrapper and Mixmaster.
  • Huffer and Pipes take the Mario and Luigi thing to new heights, however.
  • The title "Decepticon Air" is a reference to the Nicholas Cage movie "Con Air", which also features prisoners being transported gone wrong. It help that the Decepticons are often called 'Cons for short.
  • Forsooth! It must not go unmentioned that, by Od's Beard, Ultra Magnus' hammer is strikingly similar to Mjolnir, possessed by the Odinson himself, Norse Mythology's Thor!
  • Lockdown wears a Western-style poncho in "A Fistful of Energon" for no apparent reason but to shout out to Fistful Of Dollars.
  • Flareup's accent is an obvious shoutout to how she was voiced in the BotCon script reading, "Bee in the City".
  • Plenty of incidentals are homages to characters from previous generations, such as Hot Shot, Red Alert (albeit gender-swapped), Strika, Blackout, Spittor... heck, characters like Powerglide, Beachcomber and Cosmos even show up in crowd shots on Cybertron!
  • Taken to extremes by the AllSpark Almanac, which manages shout outs to TF fandom memes, obscure characters (as in 'only appeared in a spin-off racing track set in 1984' obscure), and a metric ton of other stuff. That's not even getting into the non-Transformers stuff that gets namechecked. There's a map of the galaxy in the second Allspark Almanac featuring planets like Eternia, Krankor, and Marklar, among dozens of other refs on those two pages alone.
    • Even GoBots! Tonka was merged into Hasbro some time back, so they are now legally in the same universe after all. As such, Blackout's seismic stomp ability is said to have been based on technology from Gobots' Crasher, and Porter C. Powell's limo Stretch is patterned after the Renegade Tux. In fact, he's implied to be the very same character!
    • One of the mysterious Prisoners in Trypticon prison is Man bear Pig
    • In the Addendum at the back of the Collectors club issues has even more. Blot's chemical shells look like Metroids. And the Evil Sari of an Alternate universe has a sketchbook where she doodles a pony named Rainbow Dark.
    • In the Allspark Almanac II, Pipes and Gears are visually and obviously based on Mario and Luigi.
    • The entry on the in-universe videogame "Ninja Gladiators", which itself could be seen as an homage to either Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter, is crammed full of multiple cartoon homages: one of the sample fighters is literally Snake-Eyes from G.I. Joe, whilst the NES-style cover that explains the game's plot mentions Brandon "Big Boss" Babel, Dr. Emmet Benton (the guy who created the hologram tech used in Jem), both the heroic Earth Corps and titular villains from Inhumanoids, and the Lunartix; a short-lived 1994 G.I. Joe toyline about aliens battling the space-war divisions of both G.I. Joe and Cobra.
  • In "Decepticon Air" Sari fixes the space bridge by extending her robotic fingers for quick typing. It looks exactly like similar scenes from Ghost in the Shell.
  • Sentinel Prime, voiced by Townsend Coleman, more famous for being the voice of The Tick. Sentinel Prime himself greatly resembles the character, being mainly blue, with a humongous chin and a head shaped like The Tick's mask. He even has a similar personality.
  • The Cool Shades worn by Prowl and Soundwave are a reference to the ones worn by the ABC Warriors of 2000 AD fame. (Although they also resemble those worn by Kamina, that's just a happy coincidence.)
  • Starscream's elaborate transformation in the season one finale harkens back to the stock footage transformations used in Transformers: Armada and its sequels — although the Twinkle Smile smirk at the end just takes it on to parody. It does, however, bear exceptional resemblance to Gasket/Ransack's transformation from Galaxy Force/Cybertron. And Ransack's partner in crime, Crumplezone, probably wonders why Animated Bulkhead has his jaw. Furthermore, during Starscream's stock-footage transformation, he very obviously enters a state where most of him is still in jet mode, but his robot mode legs are folded below the jet. This "jet-with-legs" mode is a reference to the "GERWALK modes" that can sometimes be formed from Transformers with jet alt-modes. The term originally comes from Macross by way of the G1 Jetfire toy, (rather infamously) a recolored Macross Valkyrie, and has since been used in the fandom to describe similar "walking jet" unofficial modes.
  • Not even recolored - it's a simple repackaging of the Super Valkyrie set, and early versions came with the Macross logo painted on the wings.
  • In one of the shorts on the Season 1 DVD, one of Prime's fans asks him where his trailer goes when he transforms — a common question asked among fans of the original Optimus Prime. Optimus is confused, probably because he doesn't actually have a trailer. One of the kids kept trying to get him to turn into a fire truck. An actual episode would go on to have Blitzwing (while in crazy mode) say "Ooh, ooh, I wanna see him turn into a fire truck!"
  • Lately, Beast Wars references are all the rage: at the end of the episode that sees Wasp become Waspinator, he and Blackarachnia are teleported to a jungle, where a gorilla, a cheetah, a rhino, and a rat are standing over them, references to Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Rhinox, and Rattrap, the original four Maximals. Blackarachnia sees them, and says "You've got to be kidding." Also, a few episodes back, there was Tigatron Stadium. And earlier, during Sari's birthday party, the kids are hitting a piñata in the shape of a very familiar purple Tyrannosaurus. (You may also add the very existence of Waspy, Blackarachnia, and the more recently-introed Jetstorm, but that just comes with the TF franchise's oft-rebootedness.) Waspy is often showing parallels to the original, but being a darker and more tragic character than Beast Wars' resident Chew Toy, it's always got a sinister twist to it. "Waspinator has plans," indeed...
  • A sign that's a homage to the Sinclair Oil logo has a dinosaur that looks a lot like the Generation One Dinobot Sludge (who doesn't have a TFA incarnation).
  • There's also some self-reference lately: Bulkhead points out his susceptibility to The Worf Effect once. "I'll keep him distracted! He always shoots at me first." [Charges in, gets blasted all the way down the street by Blitzwing, flips over, and a pebble bounces off his head] "Called it."
  • Each member of Starscream's clone army has the color scheme of one of the Starscream-repaint Seekers from Generation 1.
  • They also get the names of those characters later on. The sole exception is Slipstream, since she was an entirely new color scheme for the mold as well as a girl. (It's loosely based on Overlord, who isn't a Seeker.)
  • When Blackarachnia opens the pod to turn Wasp into Waspinator, the keys she presses play an electronic form of the famous five tones used to open communications with the aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
  • Blitzwing has three faces within his helmet that rotate forward to signify which of his personalities is in control, just like Man-E-Faces from the Masters of the Universe series.