- After unintentionally crashing into field training drill of Sector 7, being chased, and finally being cornered by them, Bumblebee starts speaking to them to defuse the misunderstanding. For a short moment, it actually seems to work as Agent Burns tells his troops to lower their guns. Only for Blitzwing to fly in and start a furious assault at the Autobot, resulting in Bumblebee getting mauled and critically damaged, while finally managing to blow the furious Decepticon into pieces. All the while all of the soldiers are caught in the crossfire, leaving Burns the Sole Survivor with deep hate and sense of dread for the alien robots.
- Just how scared Bumblebee is when he first transforms post-amnesia. He doesn't run, he doesn't fight... he just slowly moves into the fetal position, his arms coming up to hug his legs and shield his face.
- Given that memory loss can sometimes be a coping mechanism for victims of trauma, it's likely that having his vocal cords ripped out may have pushed this hardened soldier so far he regressed into a childlike personality. Though there's an in-universe mechanical reason for it (ripping out his vocal processor caused a shock that damaged his memory systems, not to mention the repeated impacts from Blitzwing dropping him off the cliff and the hard landing), it really shows just how alive Cybertronians actually are (being robots who think and feel just the same as humans do), as he demonstrates genuine PTSD-like symptoms, and honestly comes off as a real trauma victim.
- The moment when Charlie holds her hands up and Bee slowly presses his face to them, showing just how lonely he's been for so long.
- When Charlie asks Bumblebee if he can talk, the static he releases sounds like an utterly painful gasping of, "Can't."
- Cliffjumper's Cruel and Unusual Death.
- And the way he is Defiant to the End even as the two Decepticons take him apart piece by piece...yet he refuses to rat out on his friends and constantly recites his name and rank as a Survival Mantra of sorts.
- How he reacts when they detect Bumblebee's radio signal being accidentally triggered. All he can do is whisper a Little "No" as Shatter and Dropkick light up with sadistic glee. Not only does it mean that Cliff is no longer needed, but it means that the Decepticons now know where one of Prime's most trusted scouts is, and that he's now going to be hunted down to undergo the same torture he's been victim to. The "no" isn't just for his own sake, but for Bee's as well; the last thing he has to think about before he dies is fear for Bumblebee's safety.
- The two times Charlie snaps at Bumblebee (first when he watches the video tape of her diving competition and second when he touches her dad's record player). Both times, poor Bee is scared and even sadly confused as to what he did wrong.
- Bumblebee doesn't just seem scared and confused, he visible recoils in fear, as if Charlie will lash out and harm him in some way. It instantly makes Charlie calm down and, rather than lash out further, calmly explain what he did wrong and why it upset her, showing that even in-universe his reaction is heart-breaking.
- Charlie really isn't coping very well with the death of her dad. Not helping is that her mother remarried and both her mother and step-father expect her to 'hurry up' with her grieving.
- That's nothing compared to what her classmates are like. Some rich bitch had the gall to snidely mock her for having a dead dad.
- In general, Tina's presence visibly causes Charlie to become more timid and quiet, and while normally Charlie is quick to snark off at others, with Tina she just quietly takes her abuse without defending herself, which really makes it seem that Tina's been doing this for quite some time and Charlie has lost the will to stand up for herself. The cliff scene in particular demonstrates just how bad she is, as a humiliated Charlie doesn't do anything to stop Tina from making her mean comments, even when she could have. Charlie briefly seems to get ready to stand up finally when Tina mocks Bumblebee...but then she mocks Charlie's dead father too, and this completely cuts Charlie down. After Memo suggests they get her back, Charlie actually refuses at first, so upset and beaten down from the constant abuse she just wants to leave, and is clearly on the verge of tears.
- Charlie's emotional state throughout the first half can actually hit pretty hard if you've ever experienced depression because of just how subtle and real some of it is. The long sad looks she gives others alone show the more obvious signs of her depression, as does how quickly she'll snap at her family and how timid she is around others her age, but her morning routine actually ticks a lot of red flags. She doesn't take great care of herself (not treating a pimple and skipping showers), she's genuinely reluctant to wake up in the morning, sleeping in her clothes and not even bothering to properly get changed. Serious props to Hailee Steinfeld's acting and Travis Knight's characterisation for really capturing a lot of the subtle nuances of depression, when they could have easily just settled on Charlie looking sad in the mirror.
- A later scene has Charlie confess to Memo that she sees herself as a drain on everyone's happiness and she hates it. It's pretty obvious the kid has some serious issues, but that line really demonstrates how bad her self-loathing is and really reinforces how much her mom has kinda dropped the ball in dealing with her daughter's emotional state.
- Bee being taken down by Sector 7 while trying to save Charlie, with Charlie begging Bee to fight back. Imagine what Bee felt when he was captured by Sector 7 later on in the first film...
- When he mows down the Sector 7 agents - or didn't - one might imagine he's experiencing something like PTSD, and reverting to trained combat behaviors.
- The last time Bee saw Optimus Prime, he was fighting off several Decepticons but as hopelessly outnumbered. Given the implications that Optimus was like a father figure to Bee, it can really get to you.
- During his later interrogation scene by Shatter and Dropkick, the formerly scrambled message from Optimus is activated, revealing the Autobots plan to regroup on Earth right in front of two Cons. Bumblebee, having had a flashback for the last time he saw his leader, can only lower his head, saddened and defeated. He may had not fully regained his memory at that point, but you can see Bees sadness for not only is the Earth under threat of the Decepticon armada, but also having let down someone who was important to him and trusted the future of their people to him.
- Charlie telling Bee how she lost her father, and how she has been trying to fix up the car in the garage without him ever since, but she feels helpless without her dad there. She breaks down as Bee comforts her.
- The climax of the final fight between Bumblebee and Shatter. Having all their plans foiled, the furious Decepticon beats him down, boasting that after killing the Autobot, Charlie is next. Bee immediately blasts the dam behind them, fully intending to take himself out along with Shatter.
- Charlie and Bee going their separate ways at the end.
Bumblebee: "Thank you...so much...for giving me...my voice."
- Bee's final words to Charlie before he leaves, talking to her through the radio she gave to him.
- What really hits is that Bee himself doesn't want to leave her, but Charlie realised that they both had their own families they needed to return to (the Autobots and the Watsons). Neither of them want to separate, but they feel they need to in order for Bee to continue his mission.
- In general, while Bumblebee and Charlie's relationship is a really strong, heartwarming platonic bond, part of what makes their bond so endearing is just how tragic their lot was before meeting one-another. Bumblebee's PTSD and trauma and Charlie's grief and depression both feel so real that the way they help each other cope just hits so much harder. All the heartwarming fuzziness of their friendship is, to some extent, built on how much they needed it.
- In meta sense, the films' reported box-office struggle. Technically for its budget, the film is a great success, but people have seemingly gotten fed up with the film series after The Last Knight flopping at the box office, and thus probably causing minimal interest in the next installment. There's something very unfortunate that a film that many people have praised as charming and great return to the roots of the original series, made by people with genuine love and passion for the materialnote , to suffer from the poor reputation of its predecessors.
Tear Jerker / Bumblebee