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Transformers More Than Meets The Eye / Tropes E to I

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Tropes A – D | Tropes E – I | Tropes J – R | Tropes S – Z

This series provides examples of:

  • Ear Ache: Whirl breaks one of Cyclonus' horns off in the first issue. Tailgate makes him a new one as a present and he's fixed in issue 21.
  • Easily Condemned: Cyclonus when Red Alert is found near dead. It doesn't help he was Galvatron's Right-hand man in the The Transformers (IDW) before his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Easily Forgiven: Rung to Fortress Maximus. This proves pivotal as it later gives Max the chance to fight Overlord. It also seems to be in Rung's nature to forgive easily, as he himself says he's lived long enough to know when to forgive.
    • Later on, everyone else to Fortress Maximus, as he seems to take over security duties with Ultra Magnus gone and Red Alert comatose.
    • Heavily deconstructed with Megatron. Much of the plot of Season 2 revolves around the Autobots struggling to come to terms with the fact that the guy who's killed more of his fellow Cybertronians than anyone alive is onboard their ship and wearing their badge. Not everyone believes it, even himself. It eventually gets so severe that Getaway mutinies against the rest of High Command and leaves them to die at the hands of the DJD.
  • Eccentric Mentor: Orion's Senator friend: Quirky, and quite forward thinking for his time. He likes to remodel his body, and does so 3 times willingly, joking about how he'll be remembered for his vanity. He's fascinated with other cultures and has sank billions into off-world travel, and communication to alien beings. He's also apparently quite emotional, and gathers strange empowered colleagues around him, even having Orion rebuilt in The Transformers (IDW) with a chest compartment "just in case". That Senator Friend eventually is revealed to be Shockwave.
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  • Egocentrically Religious: Star Saber.
  • Eldritch Abomination:
    • The Sparkeater in issue 3.
    • The multi-colored spark that Skids meets in issue 21 seems to be a benevolent one.
  • Eldritch Location:
    • The ship the ragtag Decepticon group discovers which contains such beauties as a room with (robot) brains hanging from the ceiling, a robot made of wood, a room filled with dead protoforms (aka, a bunch of aborted Transformer fetuses), a hallway made of bleeding skin, and Grimlock in stasis. In response Misfire delivers this pure gem of dialogue:
      Misfire: You know, there are some Decepticons who, upon finding themselves in a skin-covered room surrounded by aborted protoforms and mechanoids made of bark, would rub their hands together, marvel at the universe's infinite capacity for surprise and dive right in. I am not one of those Decepticons. I say we run away screaming.
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    • Tyrest's portal leads to one with a giant city standing in the distance, four moons, and a huge, multi-coloured spark that communicates with Skids using sensations.
    • There's an disturbing and increasingly heavy implication that the Lost Light is an Eldritch Location in and of itself.
  • Electric Torture:
    • Star Saber subjects Getaway to this via a variable voltage harness.
    • This is also Kaon's specialty; he transforms into an electric chair. The DJD's first appearance shows him using his altmode to electrocute Black Shadow.
  • End-of-Series Awareness: The final issue of Lost Light plays around with this with the end of the adventure paralleling the end of the series. This especially evident in the 2nd timeline where the other Lost Light enters a new universe/comic continuity and crew comments that's to early to tell what it will be like.
  • Ensemble Cast: The cast is large, and they all take turns at the front.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Rung presumes that the reason Rodimus is so upset post-Overlord is that he had no part in saving everyone. This is a rational conclusion given Rodimus' Glory Hound tendencies. It's also about as thoroughly inaccurate as one could get.
  • Epic Fail: In the fight against the DJD in issue 8, Krok gets grabbed by Vos and Kaon and is getting the crap kicked out of him. Misfire runs over to help and somehow shoots Krok three times by mistake. This is truly epic considering that the members of the DJD are way bigger than the Scavengers and should be way easier targetsnote .
    • Fulcrum was a suicide bomber who didn't explode... out of fear.
  • Epigraph: at the title page of issue 28.
    Dostoyevsky: "Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him."
  • Equippable Ally: Vos turns into a sniper rifle, which his teammates on the DJD can wield (and if a flashback is any indication, Megatron has done so at some point in the past as well).
    • Rung can turn into a club like object and is used to bludgeon an antagonist at one point.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • The regular frontline Decepticon grunts (like the Scavengers) are just as repulsed (and terrified) by the brutality and zealotry of the Decepticon Justice Division as the Autobots. Fulcrum even calls them out on this when they arrive on Clemency, saying it's the thugs and psychopaths like the D.J.D. that ruined the Decepticon cause.
    • More complicated is the demonstration of why Tyrest's plan to kill Constructed Cold Cybertronians is so insane - just because somebody is predisposed towards negative actions through being Constructed Cold, doesn't make them a bad person or a criminal. Survivors would include Whirl (who still has the capacity for a conscience, but is lashing out at the world as a prolonged suicide attempt), Soundwave (loyal and honourable but also a dyed-in-the-wool Decepticon for most of the series), Grimlock (an Autobot, but a brutally violent one) and the likes of Tarn and Overlord (sadistic killers of spectacular scale), while casualties would include Riptide (good-hearted but occasionally insensitive), Prowl (ruthless but well-intentioned) and Deathsaurus (a Noble Demon who quit the Decepticons to protect his men).
    • A subversion with Tarn. Issue 39 claims that Tarn is disgusted by the rest of the DJD's Blood Knight tendencies and wears his mask to hide the fact that he always closes his eyes when they torture people, but he still turns a Decepticon over to the others for calling him a coward. As later issues show, Tarn doesn't actually feel any regret for his actions.
    • In this series' comedic tie-in to the Revolution event, Megatron was disgusted by the Dire Wraiths, and tried to steer clear of a Wraith-infested area dubbed the Dark Nebula (though not everyone got the hint- a fleet of Worldsweepers got lost in there).
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: Played straight in Issue 32 where a group of the crew members arrive at the future version of the lost light with Ravage. Everybody on board has been killed in different brutal ways by the DJD, even Overlord, still trapped in the Basement. The only survivor is Rewind.
    Nautica: But we haven't finished looking for survivors.
    Megatron: There are no survivors.
    Nautica: How do you know that?
    Megatron: There are no survivors.
    Nautica: But how do you know?
    Megatron: Because I trained the DJD to be thorough.
  • The Everyman: Hoist calls himself that.
    Hoist: You know why you can't get a handle on me? Because I'm an ordinary person. I'm normal. I'm just a mid-ranking maintenance engineer who takes each day as it comes. I'm not particularly chatty, handsome or clever, but you know what? I get by. I manage.
  • Everyone Has Standards: The Decepticons aren't all a bunch of psychopaths or criminals, as demonstrated with the Scavengers who show several moral standards. Even the most callous Con is utterly disgusted or horrified by the DJD. It says something that the only way Megatron was able to keep his army together was to terrify them into submission with a squad of murderous lunatics.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: When Drift interrupts Ratchet's story in the Shadowplay arc to describe all of Ratchet's prayers before helping him he has sparkles and a halo drawn around him.
  • Evil All Along: Pharma had been killing patients, and sold out Delphi, creating the virus as part of the selling out. Subverted with Ambulon, who was a Decepticon, but defected, and didn't start the virus despite suspicions.
  • Evil Former Friend:
    • The Shadowplay series reveals that Orion Pax's conspicuously-unnamed senator friend was Senator Shockwave.
    • Pharma and Ratchet seemed to be good friends in the past, as well.
    • Issue 36 hints that Roller is Tarn and therefore another instance of this for Optimus. It's eventually revealed to be Glitch though.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Tarn vs Overlord in issue 52.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: There's More Than Meets the Eye to the cast of More than Meets the Eye.
  • Exact Words: When asked about Dominus, Minimus Ambus merely states that he's "long gone". Given that Minimus turns out to be Ultra Magnus, who has previously noted issues with inexact language, this probably means Dominus is out there, somewhere.
  • The Exile: Drift after issue 16. Issue 21 reveals that it was voluntary and after issue 40 Ratchet tracks him down and ends his exile.
  • Expressive Mask: Characters such as Chromedome, Rewind, Tailgate and First Aid, whose only facial feature is a sort of visor set into their head, will often have said visor change shape the way eyes and eyebrows would to convey their emotions. Justified in that they're robots, and their facial components are probably made of a material that allows that kind of movement.
    • Tailgate's even gives off sparks or streams of light reminiscent of tears.
    • Whirl also manages to convey a surprising amount of emotion with what is, functionally, a torch in a box. Shockwave doesn't, but that's probably not the fault of the torch.
  • Expy: The Sparkeater is one to the eponymous monster from the Alien series.
  • Eyeless Face: The Legislators.
    • Apparently several patrons of Swerve's have tried to invoke this trope before, claiming they don't have eyes in the "traditional" sense.
  • Eye Scream: Subverted with Vos. His face has all sorts of drills and needles underneath it, but the eyes are unaffected, because he still needs to see, but the victim will also still be able to see the rest of his tortures.
    • In issue 21 Cyclonus stabs Star Saber in an eye.
  • Eye Take: Tarn gives a chilling one in issue 39 when he sees that Megatron has defected.
  • Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: In the Sensuous Frame arc, the crew encounters invisible monsters, who reproduce by infecting cybertronions with spores. Getaway ends up inadvertently getting a bunch of them on his face.
  • Face Ship: The Rodpod. It's shaped similarly to Rodimus' face and it's absolutely hideous. The rest of the crew loathes it, but they know Rodimus likes it, so when it gets destroyed they have a new one built.
    Skids: Come on, Perceptor!
    Perceptor: No-one's locking the Rodpod?
    Skids: Hopefully someone will steal it.
  • Faking the Dead: As of issue 8, Fulcrum is doing this by accident.
  • Fallen Hero: Pharma, once a brilliant and promising surgeon, having saved many lives including Tumbler/Chromedome. DJD demands and the increased fervent need to meet them made him fall, though his psychotic nature may have run deeper than that.
  • False Flag Operation: Proteus's plan during the "Shadowplay" story arc. He attempted to orchestrate a terrorist attack during Nominus Prime's funeral which he could blame on the Decepticons and use as a justification for arresting them all.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death:
    • Shock, Sonic and Boom, Black Shadow, Flywheels, Nautilator, Pipes, Rewind, Ambulon...
    • Issue 32 manages to take this to its extremes: A copied version of the Lost Light crew, and Overlord, brutally murdered by the DJD.
  • Fantastic Caste System: Pre-war one's alt-mode, and how common it was, determined their job and their role in society. Sleek flashy alt-modes were the Intellectual Classes on top, with big bulky manual workers, like Megatron and Impactor, near the bottom. The only beings lower than the manuals were animal-form Cybertronians and the Disposables, those who turned into data-sticks or laser pointers, who were so common they were reclassed as objects that just happened to be capable of moving about, rather than proper Cybertronian life. Zeta Prime, for all his faults actually passed a few laws granting more rights to the disposable class.
  • Fantastic Racism: Both Decepticons and Autobots tend to regard organics as an inferior species. Some admire their culture, but even so Tailgate regards their death as nothing important, and Rodimus derogatorily calls K'gard a fleshling. K'gard and the galactic counsel really don't like Cybertronians, because their war has destroyed numerous planets and solar systems (it came up in The Transformers: All Hail Megatron), and before the war, Nova Prime showed fascistic tendencies towards organic planets.
    • In addition, there were those of lower castes, and Alt-modes. Bulky heavy altmodes were looked down upon by the sleek upperclass, while disposable classes are even lower. Monoformers are also somewhat reviled, Whirl mentions Killmaster may have been one and expresses revulsion at the idea.
    • It's also mentioned that there was a certain amount of racism directed towards Cybertronians who had been constructed cold via spark-splicing, though in reality having sparks created from draining the Matrix, as opposed to having "natural" sparks after the disappearance of Nova Prime and the Ark-1. There was even a derogatory term for those constructed cold; "Knock-Offs".
  • Fantastic Slur:
    • Genericons for Decepticon foot-soldiers. The Autobots and the DJD use it.
    • Knock-off for the Constructed Cold.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: The Annual issue begins with a shrunken team of Autobots battling nanocons inside Ultra Magnus.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Issue 34 plays this trope straight. Given the option to save an injured soldier which has all evidence pointed toward being a hostile ally, Bluestreak and Mainframe opt out of donating energon, and while First Aid at first chastises them, he too opts to let the patient die upon the reveal that it's a DJD agent. Trailcutter alone takes the initiative to save him only to be attacked by him, and brutally killed by a hidden DJD agent whom he accidentally helped revive.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Cyclonus has one horn broken since issue 1 and doesn't get it repaired, contrasting the rest of his injuries up until issue 21. Crankcase is missing a piece of his head, and one of his back cannons is larger than the other.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: Here it's called quantum jumping, which is performed using quantum engines. It's capable of launching starships over great distances, but if the location isn't specified than it can cause a ship to randomly hop halfway across the galaxy. It seems to be of the warp drive variety, with an amusing Lampshade Hanging in issue 2 that it basically flouts the laws of physics. Also, apparently it's possible to "hijack" someone else's quantum jump, essentially riding off of the slipstream created by their quantum jump and thus arriving in the same area shortly after they do.
  • Fate Worse than Death: The DJD invokes this trope on their victims. According to Ratchet, there have been Decepticon POW's who have commited suicide or requested to be killed by their captors simply because they're scared that the DJD will punish them for being captured.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Tarn speaks in soothing tones and plays music while having his victims tortured to death right before making their sparks explode just by talking to them.
    • Overlord.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Whirl and Cyclonus become this, though Cyclonus still briefly fantasies about shoving Whirl into a smelting pool.
  • Fingore: A crazed Fort Max rips off Rung's thumb (which has a built-in microphone) when he realizes Rung is recording his ranting.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Tailgate, due to being in stasis for 6 million years.
  • Five-Man Band: While technically villains, the Scavengers are Villain Protagonists, and fit the archetypes:The Leader is Krok, The Lancer is Misfire, The Smart Guy position is filled by Crankcase (or Spinister, when his talents are put to use), The Big Guy is Spinister, The Chick is Flywheels and the Sixth Ranger are Fulcrum and Grimlock.
  • Flashback: Inverted in issue 8 which ends with a flashforward to 18 months in the future to show the Necrobot recording the death of Flywheels after recording the deaths of the alternate Lost Lighters. Ironically, the issue opens with a normal flashback showing Fulcrum's past.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Ratchet. He's more justified than most since so far there hasn't been any direct sign of Primus or Unicron, just myths and legends.
  • Flipping the Table: Prowl has a tendency to do this, according to Rewind and Chromedome, to the point of it being a meme both in the fandom and in-universe. Rewind tries to demonstrate, but is too small.
  • Foil: A team of deadly, highly trained warriors and their vicious wolf monster vs a team of incompetent losers and their mentally disabled Dinobot.
    • The Wreckers and the Diplomatic Corps. Where the Wreckers are an extremely noisy squad fueled with bravado and with a tendency to going on suicide missions, the Diplomatic Corps are all about guile, subtlety and precision. There's also the fact that while the Wreckers work exclusively with the Autobots, the Diplomatic Corps have ties with the Galactic Council.
  • Forever War: Deconstructed. Now that the war is over, nobody really knows what the hell to do with their lives. Swerve is implied to simply be bouncing from one random quest to another because he just plain doesn't know what else to do. The Scavengers get into a discussion about the war and Fulcrum expresses his disbelief that the war could actually be over since it was already in full swing when he was born. The war is older than at least half the people fighting it, meaning that for most Autobots and Decepticons war is quite literally all they know.
    • In issue 22 we learn that there's a Forever War going on even longer and more ridiculous than the Great War; the Stentarian war between the Ammonites and Terradores. It's been going on for sixteen-million years. It also caused the Shattering, which is the whole reason the Galactic Council was formed.
  • Foreshadowing: Oodles and oodles of it. The biggest example coming from an Ominous Message from the Future at the end of the first issue.
  • Forgiveness: A concept that keeps coming up again and again, with villains usually being unable to forgive either others or themselves (Getaway being the most notable). Whether it's the Scavengers accepting no less than two former enemies as members of their little group (elite Autobot warrior Grimlock and ex-DJD Nickel), Rodimus forgiving the mutineers and saving Getaway from a fire despite wanting him dead minutes previously, Rung instantly accepting Fortress Maximus's apology for holding him hostage, or Megatron being given the chance to seek some sort of atonement for his many sins, letting go of grudges and the war mentality is a recurring theme; even Rung's last words are him telling Chromedome and Rewind to forgive themselves for their pasts.
    Fulcrum: The war's over, Crankcase. We help [Grimlock] up.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • It's strongly implied at the end of issue 1 that the Lost Light was such an event; seemingly minor for anyone outside of the crew, but actually have massive consequences. The message from the future was sent to prevent this but failed due to no one hearing it.
    • In issue 35 Brainstorm's meddling in the past creates an alternate timeline where the Decepticons were never able to overthrow the Senate. As a result the Great War never took place, the Functionist Council eventually took control of the Senate instead, Minimus Ambus never became Ultra Magnus, Dominus Ambus never disappeared, Chromedome and Rewind never got together, functionism and ratioism is planetary law on Cybertron, the Black Box Consortia pressured Cybertron into selling Luna 2, and the Lost Light crew never met each other to go on their quest.
  • Framing Device:
    • The Shadowplay arc.
    • Issue 13 consists of Swerve recording a message recounting previous events.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • Whirl's is explored upon in issue 6 and 18. It's explained that not only has he had a deeply traumatic past, but he deliberately makes life difficult for himself so that he has an excuse to not confront the awful things he's done.
    • Firestar's is more subtly hinted at, involving crippling loneliness in a society where people without at least one amica endura are viewed as pathetic failures.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • In issue 10, when Swerve comments on how he wants to hear more about Orion Pax, he absentmindedly tosses his drink up. If you look closely then you can see that he accidentally splashes it in Whirl's face.
    • When Ratchet shuts Drift up from being an Unreliable Narrator, the conversation switches elsewhere, and in the background Drift has red paint from Ratchet's newly painted hands on his face.
    • Overlapping with Meaningful Background Event in issue 4, while Ratchet and Swerve are talking in the foreground, we see Skids grabbing a drone with his claw and drunkenly arguing with Chromedome. Fast forward 3 issues and we find out Chromedome stole Skids' gun while he was distracted.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Brainstorm is known for this, making all sorts of weapons including Whirl's gun, and upgrading Trailbreaker's legs to have guns. He alludes to more deadly weaponry which Last Stand of the Wreckers revealed that he set the record for the most unethical inventions by the ethics committee.
  • Gas Leak Cover-Up: The Senate seems to have used this often. When the Senator's school is burned down in a fairly blatant arson incident, they blame it on a faulty energon line. They use the exact same excuse when the Matrix-bomb levels Orion's police station.
  • Gaslighting: Swerve admits to doing this to his roommate, Red Alert. Since Red Alert has paranoiac tendencies it's a bit of a Jerkass moment for Swerve.
    • The whole crew starts suffering this in "World, Shut Your Mouth" with things randomly disappearing or changing when no one is looking. At first Nightbeat is the only one paying enough attention to notice, until entire walls start disappearing.
  • Genius Loci: The planet Hoist, Perceptor, Sunstreaker, Bob the Insecticon and Swerve crashland into. It turns out it has a Phobia Shield, which makes their fears real.
    • Metrotitans.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Swerve makes a comment regarding how Trailbreaker has trouble getting his forcefield up.
    • With all the violent and graphical ways several Cybertronians have met their end, you realize the only reason they get away with it is because they are robots and not humans. Case in point Ambulon's insanely graphic demise would have been vetoed otherwise.
    • One instance that sadly failed was in issue 6. Instead of limpfistedly saying "drop dead", Cyclonus was supposed to tell Tailgate to fuck off. Hasbro vetoed it even though the swear was censored.
    • Issue 13 managed to sneak an implied masturbation joke past the censors. The fandom lives in fear of whatever Magnus was going to finish his sentence with when he said that "Sprocket keeps touching his-"
    • In issue 28, Rodimus comments that the Lost Light's engine is "purring like a turbofox in heat". Wow.
    • In issue 44, Chromedome calls Rewind "My love", right there to his face. They lean their foreheads together. There are no protests. Oh man. Oh man. Roberts isn't holding back on the meaning of Conjunx Endura.
  • The Ghost: The Knights Of Cybertron.
  • Giver of Lame Names: Crankcase
    "I'd have called [my ship] something noble and majestic, like Mega Starpuncher or Mighty Spaceship."
  • Glory Hound: Rung implies Rodimus is this, and hates himself for it. Rodimus doesn't take this well.
  • Grammar Nazi: Ultra Magnus. He once arrested someone for mutiny because they had misplaced apostrophes.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body:
    • Overlord uses a vehicle mode Whirl as a club to smash Inferno.
    • How Swerve beats Paddox in issue 22. The body in question happens to be Rung in alt mode.
  • Going to See the Elephant: A lot of people on Cybertron feel like the crew's quest is basically this, especially Bumblebee and Prowl.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Parodied with Brainstorm's new C.C. Gun.
    Brainstorm: Color Coded Lasers. Red if you're an Autobot, Purple if you're a Decepticon. And this is the best bit: the color changes depending on who's firing the gun.
    Nautica: So the gun would—
    Brainstorm: -Know if you were good or bad! Yes! What do you think? Good Idea? Amazing Idea? Be Honest.
    Nautica: Honestly? I think for an intuitive program to promote long-discredited notions of moral absolutionisms is problematic in the extreme.
    Brainstorm: ... ... It doesn't have to be red and purple."
  • Good-Guy Bar: Swerve's Bar aboard 'The Lost Light'.
  • Go Out with a Smile: A very disturbing example is seen in issue 10, in which the "devil's grin" indicates the precise moment a Spark leaves a body.
    • Pharma smirks and makes a joke right before his head is shredded by gunfire.
  • Goomba Stomp: Crankcase uses a Cybernought on Tarn to do this, it stuns him bou doesn't take. Ultra Magnus does it to Slugfest, smashing him and even knocking off at least one foreleg (ironic as his scales were supposed to make him The Spiny), but the jury's out on whether or not it was fatal. Overlord does this to Pipes, which is pretty fatal.
  • Gorn: James Roberts is definitely taking advantage of the "robot gore doesn't count" rule. There can be some pretty jarring scenes of violence, and/or torture, like Ambulon being graphically cut in half lengthwise or heads exploding in some messy fashion.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: We only see Energon splashes and some parts flying during Flywheels’ death.
    • We cut away to the Command Trio's reactions when Rung's thumb is pulled out.
  • Götterdämmerung: The final arc of the comic reveals that the Guiding Hand did indeed exist, and even survived into modern times (and that we've met all of them in one form or another over the course of the IDWverse though all of them save one had forgotten their original identities), but they're all dead for good by the final issue. Mortilus/Censere the Necrobot was killed by the DJD at the end of the second season, Adaptus/the Grand Architect and Solomus/Tyrest end up killing each other after Tyrest attacks Adaptus in anger over Adaptus stealing his life from him, Epistemus/the Magnificence has become a vessel for the Omega Guardians and is crushed by Nickel to prevent them from bringing their plans to fruition, and Primus/Rung sacrifices himself to create the twelve necessary Matrices needed to defeat the Functionists. Though as Rung points out, the Guiding Hand were never really gods, just the first and very powerful Cybertronians.
  • Grandfather Paradox: Defied with Brainstorm's briefcase. However he made it, he managed to find a way to circumvent the paradox, allowing the new timeline to slowly bed in around the current timeline.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Prowl feels this way towards Rewind. Notably, while everyone else speaks of Chromedome and Rewind as Conjunx Endura (as would be expected), Prowl insists on calling them "friends".
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Omega Guardians are revealed to be this to the Functionists' Big Bad in the final arc. They intend to use the Warren-actually the fourth-dimensional corpse of an Omega Guardian that attempted to return from the higher planes to reality and died in the process, its body becoming a maze of tunnels through space and time-to return en masse and consume reality itself, which they can do thanks to the fraying of space from Megatron's AVL and Functionist Primus crossing over from the Functionist universe. While they gloat about the inevitability of their victory through their mouthpiece the Magnificence, Nickel simply crushes the artifact between her hands, cutting the Omega Guardians off and apparently preventing them from following through with their plan.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: The Great War was full of this, as Cyclonus lampshades.
    Cyclonus: I gave you the briefest overview of the war through the eyes of an outsider. You're the one who wanted to pick a side. Bad guys and good guys... do you really think life is a straightforward as that?
  • Guilt by Association Gag: Downplayed. Cyclonus was locked up with the Decepticons after the planet reboots, in-spite of his insistence that he wasn't one. Ultimately it didn't matter as he was considered a threat, alliance or no.
  • Guilt Complex: Tyrest developing one leads directly into his Start of Darkness.
  • Gun Nut: Brainstorm and Whirl, though Brainstorm tends to be more interested in inventing new firearms rather than firing them himself.
  • Gut Punch: Overlord murdering Pipes on the third page of issue 15.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be:
    • Fortress Maximus rips Sonic in half paralleling Overlord ripping Guzzle in half back in LSTOW.
    • Flywheels' top half gets shredded by Tesarus. His legs are then picked clean by the other Scavengers.
    • Ravage is torn in half by Tarn, and eventually dies from it.
  • The Handler: Issue 20 reveals that the Duobots were this for Skids and Getaway, which is why Skids shuttle appeared near the Lost Light.
  • Hands-On Approach: Drift teaching Rodimus sword techniques in issue 13.
  • Handshake Substitute: Saying "BOMP!" seems to be this for Getaway.
  • Happily Failed Suicide: When Chromedome and Rewind first met, Chromedome was preparing to commit assisted suicide but was interrupted by an encounter with Rewind. Meeting Rewind led to the two developing a relationship, which gave Chromedome something to live for.
  • Harmless Villain: The Scavengers, though they're not really villains in the traditional sense. Issue 13 implies that Misfire may not be as friendly and harmless as he makes himself seem.
  • Hates Being Alone: Hoist's greatest fear as revealed in his Spotlight.
  • Hate Sink: Getaway and Atomizer following the reveal in issue 47. Issue 50 actually manages to make us hate them even more.
  • Healing Shiv: Cyclonus uses a Great Sword to give Tailgate enough strength for the cybercrosis cure to work.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Cyclonus went through one just before the series started. For a while he wasn't trusted thanks to all those Autobots he killed, but over time he proved himself honorable and dependable. While people still think it's ridiculous that he's so insistent he was never a Decepticon, on the whole he's considered trustworthy and part of the crew.
    • Megatron of all people pulls one in season 2 and joins the Lost Light's quest. Nobody really trusts him. Not even readers. By the finale of season 2, it turns out it is completely genuine, and of his own free will. And then the DJD nearly buggered it all up looking for revenge. Only the fact that the Necrobot had saved Terminus stops him going back to his old ways.
  • Heel Realization: Its suggested that Ravage is experiencing this after issue 33, due to seeing just how monstrously cruel the DJD is.
  • Hellhole Prison: Grindcore, a Decepticon prison camp for Autobots and neutrals during the war. Its revealed to be less a prison, than recycling center for melting down still living bots for spare parts.
  • Hero Killer: Overlord, and the Decepticon Justice Division.
  • Hero of Another Story:
    • Spoke and Lockstock. Their deeds are always mentioned as having happened off-panel, Heck, we have yet to see them. Ironically, might also count as Those Two Guys.
    • Issue 33 reveals there's a second Lost Light thanks to a Quantum Engine accident, and thanks to Quantum, just as real as the one we've been following in the comic. We only found out about them after they got slaughtered by the DJD.
    • Issue 45 recap page shows us bits and pieces of all kinds of adventures the Scavengers have embarked on, which we have not been privy to because they've been Out of Focus for all this time.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Subverted when Fulcrum reveals that he was rebuilt into a bomb as punishment for abandoning his post, but he was too afraid to detonate. He calls the DJD out on all their mistreatment of the cause, and how they've perverted everything Fulcrum ever believed in. He calls them sadists with no belief in the cause, and he jumps off a ledge transforming into a bomb and diving towards them. He crashes and the DJD just think he died. They leave and then Misfire informs Fulcrum that Spinister removed his explosive parts because they didn't want him exploding on them.
    • Rewind pulls one at the end of issue #15 so that the basement door can be closed and successfully jettisoned from the ship with both himself and Overlord in it.
  • Heroic BSoD: Ratchet, after Pharma slices Ambulon in half, lengthwise, and then tells Ratchet to save him.
    Ratchet: I don't know, First Aid. I mean, He's — look at him. LOOK AT HIM!
    • First Aid spends the first few issues of season 2 going through one after Ambulon's death and him killing Pharma.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Whirl, from being a Jerk, to messing with a comatose Rung's eyebrows to make him look mad, to casually trying to fire his weapons when shrunk down into Ultra Magnus's head, later admitting to leaving graffiti in there. Later on, he uses a passed out Ultra Magnus' head as a coaster for his drinks, and even builds a jenga tower of drinks; but why was Ultra Magnus passed out in the first place? Whirl switched his drink.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Rodimus starts suffering this after the events of issue 15 though the exact reason why is left up to the reader to decide.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: According to Swerve, he and Blurr are this but that's not actually true. Lkewise, Nautica claims to be this with Firestar but it becomes clear that they're only pretending to like one another.
  • He's Just Hiding!: In-Universe example. Crankcase suspects that Krok trying to find his missing squad is an instance of this.
  • Hidden Depths: The whole cast, since we learn as the series progresses that no one is what they seem at first glance. Hence the title. Except Bob.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The New Crystal City at least it was until the Legislator's showed up.
  • Hidden Villain: The mysterious 'bots committing disturbing acts of mad science, using the gear symbol Skids saw. So far, no-one on-board the Lost Light even knows about them. The only one who does is Grimlock.
  • High Concept: How James Roberts pitched the series to IDW: "Rodimus and Drift set off to find the Knights of Cybertron".
  • High Turnover Rate: The Lost Light's Director of Security. Everyone who's gotten the job so far either stepped down, left the ship, or died.
  • Hitler's Time Travel Exemption Act:
    • A variant; the future message from issue 1 was intended to keep the Lost Light from taking off when it did to prevent all the bad things that apparently happen because of the launch. It proceeds to arrive in Prowl's office when absolutely no one is around to hear it, negating the whole thing.
    • Brainstorm's entire plan with the time travel machine was to go back and prevent Megatron turning evil, which didn't work. Plan B was prevent him ever being created, but he couldn't bring himself to pull the trigger. Rewind does, but Whirl uses the Point One Percenter spark Brainstorm had to create Megatron out of spite at the Functionists, since Megatron's absence would have created a world ruled by Functionist.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Chromedome. He never realized that Overlord was familiar enough with Mnemosurgery to turn the tables on him if they were to share a familiar memory.
  • Holier Than Thou: Cyclonus believes that the Autobots are becoming like this now that the war is over.
  • Hollywood Personality Disorders: Whether intentional or not, several of the characters show traits of known personality disorders:
    • Red Alert is clearly suffering from severe Paranoid Personality Disorder, which Rung actually lampshades.
    • Tailgate shows most of the traits of Borderline Personality Disorder (has a black and white worldview, hates abandonment, breaks down under pressure, is prone to outbursts when frustrated, lack of self image, etc.). The only symptom he's missing is the tendency for Self-Harm, though he shows signs of extreme self-loathing.
    • Krok shows some Obsessive Compulsive tendencies with the device in his hand that he keeps clicking to signal his squad. He's so bound to the thing that he keeps a death grip on it even while in the middle of a fight. Ultra Magnus is a more standard example, being a hyper neat freak who obsesses with making things as orderly as possible.
    • Brainstorm has a lot of narcissistic traits, such as a desire for attention/recognition and massive self-esteem.
    • Both Rodimus and Misfire show aspects of Histrionic Personality Disorder, like a desire for attention, charming behavior, and an impulsive and erratic personality.
    • Grimlock is an Idiot Savant when it comes to fighting, and Spinister seems to be a mixture of Autism, Genius Ditz and/or Idiot Savant with very violent tendencies.
    • Chromedome shows some bipolar tendencies, having multiple downswings in his mood. Most notable in issue 28 where after six months of being fine and apparently moving on from Rewind's death, he suddenly has a violent downswing and starts secluding himself in his room. Still, his swings are nothing like as bad as...
    • Whirl, who is an Ax-Crazy Mood-Swinger with a wide range of issues. While he's bitter, impulsive and highly provocative, this is coupled with self-loathing, guilt, and implied low self-esteem, along with frequent (if distorted) displays of empathy. His most likely mental diagnosis would be Manic Depression with Psychotic Episodes.
    • Issue 31 reveals that Swerve has been diagnosed with Logorrhea and Dipstick has Coprolalia, which is symptomatic of Tourettes Syndrome.
    • Nautica has been noted to have several traits associated with Asperger's. She's socially awkward, has several intense interests, is prone to infodump, and is very picky about her engex. She also seems to have No Sense of Personal Space.
  • Homage: Word of God says that issue 1 was meant to be done in the style of a grand opening credits sequence ala Magnolia, with the disparate characters and events being connected by dialogue, scene cuts, and long shots.
    • The "Shadowplay" story arc runs through homages of three different genres. The first part is a police procedural (complete with CSI-style cold open involving unimportant characters finding a body), the second is a political thriller with conspiracies up the wahoo, and the last part is a heist story starring numerous thieves with different skills.
  • Hope Is Scary: In issue 17, when Cyclonus decides to bring Tailgate with him to Luna 1, he tells him to abandon the idea of finding a cure for his cybercrosis there.
    Tailgate: Right. Fine. So I'm not allowed to hope.
    Cyclonus: Listen to me. Never. Hope. Hope is a lie.
  • Hope Spot:
    • A villainous version happens in issue #51. While on the receiving end of a brutal beating from Tarn on the Necrobot's planet, Megatron starts laughing. He says that Fool's Energon, the strength-sapping fuel he's been taking ever since joining the Lost Light has been known to change a bot's personality. This gets Tarn to start excitedly talking about how Megatron might still be "the real him" if they got him off the Fool's Energon. Megatron then counters by saying that while he used to fear his mind being altered in any way, if the Fool's Energon is changing him, keeping him "in line", then he's okay with that because he's better off like he is now. This enrages Tarn to the point of just wanting to kill Megatron.
    • Issue 54 has another: The Autobots have gained temporary superpowers thanks to Skids' sacrifice... and then Skids dies and the powers fizzle out.
  • Horse of a Different Color: A literal example in Issue #46, wherein the Scavengers ride a pack of multicolored horse robots from Demus' collection.
  • Hostage Situation: in issue 6.
  • Ho Yay: Chromedome and Rewind are the primary canon couple. Any weak pretense of it just being 'close friendship' went out the window in #44. Of course as robots they aren't really gay but... yeah, okay, they're gay.
    • There's also implications of something building between Tailgate and Cyclonus, although it feels strange thanks to one being twice the height of the other.
  • Human Shield: Tyrest tries to use Tailgate as one in issue 21. Unfortunately for him, Tailgate is already dying and just yells at Rodimus to shoot anyways since it won't matter in the long run.
  • Humanoid Abomination: There's some eerie hints that Rung of all people is something like this. He has an utterly unique alt mode and an unnaturally bright spark, is some sort of historical constant (he's been present at numerous major events but never actually plays a role, almost like an outside observer), somehow managed to go through millions of years of war and came out in like-new condition, can survive having his head blown apart, has lived for an unnaturally long time, and seems to have an amnesia-inducing effect on others; if he's conscious and present, than nobody can remember his name or any details about him beyond some vague description. Also, issue 38 suggests that he may be the unwitting bringer of the apocalypse.
  • Humongous Mecha feels like an understatement for the events of Lost Light #22. Forget Omega, gaurdians, forget combiners, forget 'Titans', issue 22 sees the return of Functionalist!Cybertron, still under the control of the Functionalist council but they've made some changes. What changes? Oh the planet can now transform into a massive 'planet sized replica of Primus!'
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Mostly averted. Quantum jumping is pretty safe, and the crew even ends up using it to take out the Sparkeater and later to escape from the K'Gard and his mooks. Well, it's safe as long as you don't stand too close to the engines...
    "He's sort of been... Whats the scientific term? Totally mashed into the engine.
  • Hyperlink Story
  • Hypocrite: The Galactic Council bars Cybertronians from having a representative due to the Great War and the Decepticons conquering planets. Of course it's totally okay for the Galactic Council to get into conflict with the Black Block Consortia and to annex random planets the second they can get away with it.
  • Hypothetical Casting: James Roberts has said that Overlord is based off of John Simm's performance as the Master from Doctor Who, Mark Hamill as Pharma's voice, and Susan Blu as Tailgate. Nick Roche is partial to Andrew Scott as Overlord's voice. Alex Milne has said that he sees Brent Spiner as the voice for Rung, David Kaye as Tarn, and Jeffery Combs as Ratchet. Colorist Josh Burcham has proposed Adam Baldwin as Whirl.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Overlord to Ultra Magnus.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Overlord when imprisoned in the slow cell. And he really wishes that wasn't the case. He changes his mind pretty quickly when he learns Megatron is alive.
    • Seeing as Cybertronians don't die so easily, this is the main reason why Relinquishment Clinics functioned during the War.
    • A red rust-infected Drift asks Ratchet to kill him when it looks like the DJD might be coming. Ratchet refuses.
  • Idiot Savant: Spinister and Grimlock.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: This is the reason Tailgate became a Phony Veteran; he always wanted to be a hero. Viciously deconstructed when he finally becomes a hero, only to find that he would give anything to just go back to being a nobody who has movie nights with his friends.
  • If You Die, I Call Your Stuff: The Scavengers follow this rule for when a group member dies. They rob Flywheel's remains after he's killed by Tesarus. Fulcrum is the only one who doesn't partake, because he's too disturbed by Robbing the Dead.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: The reason Ratchet tells First Aid that they can't kill Pharma, because then they'd be no better than him, and he'd still win. However, First Aid disagrees rather vehemently with Ratchet about this, so it remains to be seen if they'll actually do it or not. First Aid ultimately decides to go through with it in issue 21 by shooting Pharma in the head as Pharma laughs about all the harm he's caused.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Or rather, Swerve Just Shot Himself In The Face because he was awkwardly handling an experimental gun Brainstorm had just devised the day before that was a little too big for him, causing it to go off pointblank in the face. The result of this shown in the aftermath of the battle is really disturbing.
  • I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Chromedome decides to save Dominus Ambus after discovering he was turned into the DJD's Pet because he believes he can't compete with Dominus for Rewind's love and it's better for them to be together, even though saving Dominus will kill Chromedome. Deconstructed, because Rewind tells Chromedome that's not his choice to make and then stops Chromedome from repairing Dominus, which saves him, but causes Dominus to die.
    • This is also the reason why Cyclonus and Tailgate have not become conjunx endura after the whole Getaway incident. Cyclonus believes Tailgate is a far better person than he is and deserves someone better too. Though it's implied he hasn't asked Tailgate's feelings on the matter either...
  • I Just Want to Be Special:
    • Tailgate spends the first thirteen issues claiming he was a member of the Primal Vanguard, and accomplished numerous scientific feats and rubbed shoulders with some of Cybertron's greats. It's all lies. He spent the first two weeks of his life as a sluicer, followed by six million years stuck in a hole. He made up all those claims because no-one ever came looking for him. He eventually recants this attitude after nearly dying of cybercrosis.
    • Minimus Ambus, brother of the much more famous Dominus Ambus, has some of this. He put his heart and soul into his job, and pleads with his employer when he's stripped of his job because of a mental breakdown, claiming it's everything to him. Said job is being Ultra Magnus.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Swerve secretly suffers from this. It's also deconstructed, as this causes him to latch onto kind actions (real or perceived) as a sign of complete friendship. For example, he fools himself into thinking that Blurr is his best friend after Blurr gives him a communicator number (one that isn't even really his) and automatically assumes that Ultra Magnus lending him a spare Autobot badge is a sign that Magnus wants to be his roommate.
  • Immune to Bullets: Helex shrugs off Spinister's gunfire. In an interview Roberts mentions that not only could Helex survive an assault with Gideon's glue (established as being able to melt through most metal), but he would find a way to store some and use it for his next torture session.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: A few times.
    • Fortress Maximus goes off the deep end and takes Rung and Whirl hostage, impaling Whirl through the abdomen with a piece of metal in the process. At the end of the issue, Whirl pulls himself off it, and impales Fortress Maximus in turn through the back and out the front (also non-fatal).
    • Snap-Trap get's one of Drift's swords sent through his head, it's non-fatal as well.
    • Overlord impales Ultra Magnus with Drift's great sword. It would have been fatal if not for Pharma.
    • Star Saber stabbing Skids in the gut.
  • Implacable Man: Cyclonus: In the first issue, he gets thrown off a cliff with enough force to break his horn off and get knocked out, and still gets up and attaches himself to the hull of the Lost Light which proceeds to have some complications with lift-offnote . Later, when he gets into a fight, and is locked in a room with (a severely reduced) bomb, it blows up, and takes him out, but later he just gets up and walks it off with a rough patch job.
    • The Phase-Sixers are supposed to invoke this, taking on would be fatal damage and still going on. Their skeletons are designed to be nearly indestructible, and their armor's strength lacks equal. Prowl really wants to know how they work.
    • Star Saber proves to be this, being capable of taking on established badasses like Dai Atlas and Cyclonus on singlehanded. Cyclonus only wins his duel with him because of a lucky shot to Star Saber's eye.
  • Indulgent Fantasy Segue: Cyclonus shoving Whirl into the smelting pool during issue #21.
  • Indy Ploy: Rodimus' modus operandi most of the time.
  • Info Dump: Parodied in issue 7 where Misfire introuduces all of the Scavengers in rapid succession with short insulting speeches about them.
    Fulcrum: Well that was relentless.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Pharma has this towards Ratchet.
  • In Name Only: Star Saber barely resembles his original character at all. Tropes Are Not Bad though, since the original Star Saber a stereotypical good guy who was basically Optimus Prime with a different design.
  • Innocent Bigot: Tailgate was born in the era of Nova Prime's rule. Nove Prime was a Cybertronian-supremist who viewed other species (especially organics) as being inferior to Cybertronians, and Primes tend to reflect their eras (according to Spotlight: Optimus Prime). Thus Tailgate doesn't quite get why Swerve and Rewind are a little unsettled about him causally talking about killing organics. Cyclonus is also from that era, but has spent more time in the modern world and doesn't suffer this problem.
  • Innocuously Important Episode: The Scavengers two-parter in season 2 initially seems to have no real relevance to the ongoing plot, only serving to let us catch up with the Scavengers and Fortress Maximus. The "domestication" process introduced here comes back into play in "The Dying of the Light", where it turns out to be a piece of the puzzle in the fate of Dominus Ambus. More importantly, Roberts mentioned that Spinister's "cure" had a high chance of working on Dominus, had the Lost Lighters known about it.
  • Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: Rodimus removes Drift's Autobrand before banishing him from the Lost Light.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Rodimus tries to prevent Trailbreaker from getting killed by the DJD, this is undone by him shaking hands with Chromedome as he was wiping out everyone's memories bya handshake.
  • Instant Marksman: Just Squeeze Trigger!: Averted with Swerve. When he says he's not a good shot, he really isn't. When a crazed Fortress Maximus takes some hostages, Swerve is told to shoot him through a window with a riveter gun, but Rung is in the way, trying to talk Fort Max down. Rodimus tells him to take the shot, and he does, accidentally blowing open Rung's head.
  • Insufferable Genius: Brainstorm.
  • Insufficiently Advanced Alien: The Cybertronians' war caused them to spend more time fighting than innovating. This caused their technology to fall far behind other alien races'. Even their weapons are outdated as the Galactic Council have planet destroying bombs that are as small as an eyeball.
  • Internal Reveal: Tailgate is stunned to learn that Orion Pax is Optimus Prime.
  • Interrogating the Dead: Chromedome's ability to read the thoughts and memories of other Transformers via surgical means is used to do this a few times.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Getaway has these feelings towards the Wreckers.
  • I Owe You My Life: Drift is rather protective of Ratchet because Ratchet saved him from death by drug overdose many years ago.
  • Ironic Echo: "It's not a good name, but all the best were taken" was funny when said about Dent, but takes on a darker meaning when said about Ambulon's name.
    • Pipes describes his first off world impression as “wet and kinda brilliant”. Later, he describes his symptoms as “wet and kinda horrible”.
    • "Everyone's shape serves a purpose" — Originally mentioned by Rewind as a comeback when Chromedome was poking at him for slowing them down as his alt-form is non-mobile. Then said by Rewind again when he utters it right before sneaking into Overlord's Cell in order to dislodge the sword that was preventing it from being ejected into space..
    • Pharma in Issue 17, to Ratchet
    Pharma: Need a hand?
    • Issue 19 ends on a particularly disturbing use of this.
    Chief Justice Tyrest: Fully deserved.
    Minimus: Fully deserved.
  • It Amused Me: One of the reasons why Whirl would do anything.
  • It's All About Me: Part of Rodimus' character. He wants to be a father to the crew, but doesn't take the time to get to know any of them or even remember their names. He assumes being a leader is just something that comes naturally to him, liking it to Trailbreaker using his force field. The greatest honor he grants the crew are badges with his face on it. And worst of all in the aftermath of the fight with Overlord, Rodimus is distraught and destroying his office. He tries to play it off to Rung as if he's just worried about Ultra Magnus and the rest of the crew, and mad that he failed them. Rung instead argues that what Rodiums is really mad at is that he didn't defeat Overlord himself, and it was someone else that managed to save the day.
    • Subverted with Whirl, who puts on a pose of complete self-interest, but gets enough Pet the Dog moments that it becomes a little hard to take it seriously.
      Whirl: I don't do "relationships". My world begins and ends with me.
  • It Only Works Once: Chromedome notes that his use of Trepan's Trigger on Overlord will only be effective once since Overlord, possessing some memnosurgery abilities himself, will work out what they did and prevent them from doing it again.


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