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Transformers More Than Meets The Eye / Tropes J to R

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This series provides examples of:

  • Jaywalking Will Ruin Your Life: If you're a Decepticon, at least in the eyes of the DJD.
  • Jerkass:
    • Whirl, twice voted "Autobot most likely to defect". He is disliked by most of the crew; even the normally bleeding-heart Ratchet hesitates to repair him. He mutilates corpses in his spare time, and is probably unhinged. There has been some explanation as to why he is the way he is, but he shows little sign of wanting to improve.
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    • Swerve is also a bit of a jerk. He has no qualms about making insulting or biting comments about people, and loves playing mean-spirited pranks and messing with people's heads even when it's a really bad/horrible idea (see the Gaslighting entry above, for instance). Unlike Whirl, though, it's Played for Laughs in a Comedic Sociopathy sort of way. He treats Ten like absolute shit for the majority of Season Two since he believes he's not sentient, until by the time of the season finale he comes around.
    • Firestar, Nautica's Amica Endura (in name only; she pressured and manipulated Nautica into accepting her as her amica). She bullies around Nautica, pressuring her into doing things she doesn't want to, calling her mean nicknames, and making insults thinly-veiled as compliments. Nautica later reveals that part of the reason Firestar sought her out as an amica is because nobody else could stand her.
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  • Jerkass Has a Point: While no one in their right mind would defend Getaway for what he planned to do to Tailgate, some feel that he wasn't completely wrong, as Megatron's actions throughout the war are legitimately horrible, whether he had good intentions or not doesn't excuse the millions of years of pain, suffering, death, and torture he caused, and Ultra Magnus' speech in issue 7 of Lost Light actually points this out to a degree. His points about Rodimus also aren't invalid, as Rodimus' character during season 2 did regress back to an immature, full of himself, Jerkass due to having to share his duties with Megatron. There's also points about Rodimus letting criminals and murderers such as Cyclonus and Brainstorm get off relatively scot free, add to that the fact that Rodimus allowed Drift to take the fall for Overlord and was downright gleeful at the prospect of Thunderclash dying made Getaway's points about him being a failure and a horrible leader look legitimate in the eyes of some readers, and the fact that the crew of the Lost Light as well since trusted characters such as Perceptor, Bluestreak, Blaster, Riptide, Hoist, among others, all decided he was right should tell you something. So while he's not a good person in the slightest, he's not entirely wrong.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
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    • Rodimus is a self-loving glory hound who is strongly implied to have been more upset about the fact that he didn't save the crew from Overlord than over the fact that Rewind, Pipes, and several others were killed. Nevertheless he does have a good spark, even if he's usually too lazy and immature to do anything too nice for anyone.
    • Cyclonus. He regularly shows his honourable warrior side, but that doesn't keep him from also showing his chilly, harsh side too. He's nicest to Tailgate.
    • Over time, Whirl becomes this thanks to his slow-burning Character Development - best shown when in #47 he refuses to go through with Getaway's "Megatron revenge club" due to the fact that Tailgate will have to be killed for it.
    • Ravage may have joined the crew, but he's still no big fan of any of the Autobots and is usually pretty rude to the crew. Eventually he comes to be a team player thanks to the kindness the crew shows him (and him having grown a bit disillusioned with the Decepticons after witnessing the horrors of the DJD).
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot
  • "Just So" Story: Cyclonus' telling of the Guiding Hand creation myth. (For instance: Cybertronians are ageless immortals because Mortilus, the god of death, was killed.)
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Subverted with Senator Proteus; at the end of the flashbacks in "Shadowplay" he gets away with his crimes, but if you look closely at a flashback montage in issue 3 you can see that he got murdered by Starscream.
    • The Galactic Council, basically a glorified galaxy-wide protection racket that hates Transformers with a passion for their endless conflict, gets away with all their deception and extortion as they are strongly implied to have executed Megatron regardless of his genuine Heel–Face Turn, and now Earth is just another member of their racket.
  • Karmic Jackpot: Cyclonus forgiving Whirl. This has a lot of side-effects, including Whirl coming up with an idea to save Tailgate, and later able to go back in time with everybody else to... do time-travel things.
  • Kent Brockman News: During "Shadowplay" Ratchet accuses the Iaconian Newsfeed Service of being state-backed propaganda, or just useless.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • In a flashback collage panel, you see Starscream executing Senator Proteus.
    • In issue 56, Fort Max literally kicks Prowl in the undercarriage on-sight.
    • Demus' death was rather pitiable, sent fleeing from his life in terror before being mercilessly shot in the back by Fortress Maximus, until Maximus tells us that Demus was mutilating live Cybertronians to construct his merchandise.
  • Kill ’Em All: In issue 32, the crew discovers an alternate version of the Lost Light where the DJD tracked the ship down thanks to Brainstorm. The result is the Lost Light blown in half with all of the crew except Rewind murdered in unspeakably horrible ways before the DJD finally went into the slow cell and mutilated Overlord with a chainsaw.
  • Killed Off for Real: Flywheels, Pipes, Rewind, Deftwing, Ambulon, Dai Atlas, Trailcutter, Quark, Censere/Necrobot, Skids, Ravage, and all five of the DJD's main members have all bitten the dust so far.
  • Kill the Cutie: Rewind, Pipes, and very nearly Tailgate. This series isn't kind to its cuties.
  • Kitsch Collection: Rung and his collection of model spacecrafts, including a Klingon warbird, the Interstella 5555 guitar-shaped ship, but more often than not, several models of the Arks.
  • Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: So far, we have seen a grand total of two Decepticon scientists: Shockwave and Rossum, who gets his head crushed shortly after appearing.
  • Knight of Cerebus:
    • The Decepticon Justice Division. They're some of the most terrifying villains of the franchise due to their sheer power and insane loyalty to the Decepticon cause. Even their own faction is terrified of them.
    • Overlord - a sadistic, ruthless monster who comes to be an Arc Villain midway into Season 1. The story revolving around him is dead serious and leaves lasting consequences for the series.
    • Tyrest and Star Saber - more insane zealots who seek to wipe out more than half of the Cybertronian race. Star Saber in particular a vicious religious nut-job who proposed an "atheist holocaust".
  • Knight Templar:
    • Tarn is such a huge believer of the Decepticon cause that he uses the Decepticon's insignia as his faceplate. When Black Shadow protests that the war is over meaning there is no reason for the DJD to be punishing him, Tarn claims that the war will never be over until Megatron is victorious. When Megatron defects, he's livid and decides that the cause will always be bigger than any leader.
    • Tyrest and Star Saber.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In issue 56, Red Alert's paranoia has him focusing on how unnatural Fortress Maximus's info-dumpy dialogue is.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Fulcrum, lampshaded by the Scavengers, and the "Meet the 'Cons" page.
  • Large and in Charge: According to the cast picture this is inverted with the Scavengers as Krok is one of, if not the smallest of them. The Legislators are the biggest characters in the comic bar Tesarus, and they're just mooks.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Mnemosurgeons are able to perform this on other people and themselves.
    • Turns out that Chromedome tends to erase all memories of his lost loved ones so as to not suffer anymore. Rewind is not his first Conjunx Endura, but his fourth!
    • Skids' memories from the last 12 months before the series have been erased, and a large portion of his early life is missing (he seems to have suppressed his memories after a traumatic event). The former turns out to be deliberate, when he shot himself with his Nudge Gun after the failed attack on Tyrest. The later is eventually revealed to be because of what he saw done to prisoners at Grindcore, which was partially his fault.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Due to the series being released monthly and several hiatuses, several once-shocking twists are not even hidden by recent issues or promotional material. Perhaps the biggest one was Megatron's defection to the Autobots at the end of Dark Cybertron, as much of Season Two revolves around the long-term effects of his defection and his own attempts to deal with it.
    • Ultra Magnus is a Legacy Character, who is in fact the small 'bot Minimus Ambus wearing a suit of armor based on the original Ultra Magnus.
    • Overlord was snuck aboard the ship.
  • Late to the Tragedy:
    • In the Annual, the Lost Light arrives at Crystal City to find it in ruins and all of its inhabitants missing. The rest of the issue is spent trying to find out what happened.
    • Chromedome arrives just in the middle of Overlord's rampage.
    • Issue #32 has Megatron and the other Lost Light new arrivals who haven't disappeared like everyone else exploring the ruined hulk of a possible future/alternate timeline version of the Lost Light after the Decepticon Justice Division has rampaged through it and killed practically its entire crew just to get at their actual target, Overlord.
    • Issue #50 has the gang return to Necroworld only to find it razed and wrecked, with Censere dead.
  • Legacy Character: Ultra Magnus isn't exactly the first Ultra Magnus...
    • Legacy Immortality: Magnus was known for miracle recoveries and surviving seemingly impossible injuries. In fact, every time he "died", Tyrest swapped him out for a new guy.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Rung does this when he complains about his holo-avatar's name not being suitable. After all, Mary Sue does NOT sound like the name of a human male.note 
    • Issue 28 opens with Brainstorm saying "and we're back!", referencing the fact that it was the first real issue since the Dark Cybertron crossover.
    • In the bonus story of #50, Atomizer claims most series hit their stride in their second seasons - but admits it's not a definite, end-all rule. It's a clear reference to the negative critical reception of MTMTE's second season - especially those released in 2015, often decried as the low points of the series.
    • It probably isn't a coincidence that Red Alert's narration in 56, the first of a two-parter wrapping up the series before the retool begins with "everything has an ending".
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Drift finds an infected bot sneaking up on Pipes, and acts quickly, cutting it down. Then Ratchet yells at him for killing an innocent Autobot who was stumbling about (all things considered though the guy was pretty much dead anyway).
    • Pipes also counts, though it's more out of naivety than anything.
    "I'm trying to be impulsive!"
  • Like a God to Me: K'gard reveals that the Galactic Counsel thinks very highly of Ultra Magnus, and K'gard (who hates Cybertronians) himself tells Ultra Magnus that he's legendary, having lived throughout the entire war with a firm and unwavering belief in the law. He offers Magnus a spot on the council and is disappointed when Ultra Magnus turns him down.
  • Lighter and Softer: As an adventurous romp full of snarky humor and witty dialogue, it could be considered this compared to its sister series The Transformers: Robots in Disguise being a more serious and political storyline. In and of itself, MTME is definitely not "light and soft", as there's plenty of creepy horror and intrigue going on.
  • Limelight Series: A lot of characters who haven't gotten much focus or have never gotten any focus period are all major characters here.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Rewind is this to Chromedome. It's even written in Domey's Meet the Crew page ("Relies on Rewind to keep him honest").
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: Due to their incredibly long life spans, many Cybertronians believe that Cybertronians never die of natural causes, only trauma, and with a cure for the only thing that really challenged this- cybercosis- now being created, this indeed seems to very much be the case. Religion claims this is because the Transformer god of death, Mortilus, was destroyed in ancient times. The popular conception is definitely this trope, with it often being bragged about.
  • Living Macguffin: Thunderclash unwittingly becomes this in season 2. His strange visions mean he may be the only way the crew can find the Knights of Cybertron since they lost the map. Then it turns out Rodimus has been scrawling down a map of his own as well.
  • The Load: Misfire is this for the Scavengers, occasional moments of brilliance aside. Tailgate briefly becomes the load during "Remain In Light" due to the Cybernecrosis afflicting him causing his joints to seize up, though he subverts it Determinator-style in the end.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Just take a look at the still growing character page. Moreover, they're also a Cast of Snowflakes.
  • Locked Room Mystery: Issue 31.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Dominus Ambus is this for his spark brother, Minimus Ambus/Ultra Magnus.
  • Losing Your Head: Pharma removes Ratchet's head and spark to show off his surgical skills (and because he's crazy).
  • Lost Colony: Cybertron has thirteen due to Metrotitans that were carrying hot spots within them landing or crashing on other worlds. Transformers from these colonies ended up evolving different than Cybertron-born Transformers over the course of millions of years. Nautica hails from one such colony, specifically from a titan named Caminus, hence why she's biologically female in a race with no real gender.
  • Lost in Transmission: The ominous message in issue 1, seemingly from the future, before its full warning can be given. Eventually, it turns out the message was from the past (time-travel was involved) and the full warning was "don't let Megatron on board".
  • Lost World: Luna-1, the "Seething Moon" is quite literally a lost world, being one of Cybertron's two moons that somehow disappeared in the very distant past and has been built up since then to contain numerous lost treasures which have sent many Cybertronians, including Swerve, Rewind and his old friend Dominus Ambus to search for it with no success. Turns out the set of engines on its dark side have allowed it to move about.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: "The Waiting Game", which focuses on Hoist, Sunstreaker, Perceptor, Swerve, and Bob.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Many of the soundtrack songs are songs that sound calm, sweet, or upbeat but have darker meanings in the lyrics (for example, "Do You Realize" sounds very happy, but is basically a song about how everyone is going to die so saying goodbye to people is a waste of time). This reflects the characters themselves; many of them seem happy on the surface but are actually just covering their horrible disorders, mistakes, or insecurities.
  • MacGuffin: The Matrix Map, which the crew is following to find the Knights Of Cybertron. It's role as this becomes a problem when the crew is forced to destroy it to stop Tyrest's Universal Killswitch, robbing them of their only lead to the Knights Of Cybertron.
  • MacGyvering: Getaway does this in order to allow a prison break for the rest of the Autobots in the Remain in Light arc. Ratchet does this with Ambulon's corpse and rigs a one-shot gun out of it to kill a Legislator in the same issue as Getaway's prison break.
  • Mad Doctor: Pharma gradually evolves into one. Lockdown even name-checks the trope while describing him.
  • Mad Scientist: Brainstorm. Veers into Morally Ambiguous Doctorate considering all his ethics transgressions.
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: The crew speculate that Brainstorm went back in time to ensure that the Decepticons win the war...
    • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: ...ultimately, however, Brainstorm merely wants to save the people he loved from either being killed or affected by the war. He just doesn't know the horrific consequences this plan would have.
  • The Main Characters Do Everything: Averted in Issue 42, where the Monster of the Week is defeated by three random background characters, Skater, Flex, and Borer, who actually figured out the mystery before Nightbeat did.
  • Man Behind the Man: Senator Proteus was this to several Primes, though ironically it's hinted that Sentinel is secretly this to Proteus.
  • Manchild: Rodimus starts out as this but learns to grow up.
  • Mark of Shame: Empurata: aka having your face and hands removed and replaced by a singular optic and clawed appendages. Like all Marks of Shame it's an instantly recognizable punishment, and known victims include Whirl, Glitch, and Shockwave.
    • And played with Drift. Losing his badge and getting exiled IS his Mark of Shame.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!":
    • The Scavengers upon being told told that the DJD is coming for one of them. The Lost Lights crew when it's learned that Overlord is loose on the ship.
    • The crew has another one when they make contact with Cybertron only to discover that Starscream has taken charge.
  • Mathematician's Answer: Megatron gives one to Terminus as they look upon Cybertronians falling to their knees in prayer as a member of the Functionist Council goes by whilst in the Functionist Universe.
    Terminus: What is it? Fear? Faith? Deference?
    Megatron: Yes. And it's disgusting.
  • Matryoshka Object: Ultra Magnus is revealed to be this in "Remain in Light."
  • Mauve Shirt: Pipes, Trailcutter, Riptide, and Hoist. They're not as important as the main cast, but fairly recurring and appears more than the likes of Atomizer or Aquafend.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The whole point of the Annual. Did the ground in Theophany give way by chance, or was it in response to Drift's plea? Was everyone teleported to safety because the Metrotitan's faith in the Cybertronian race was restored after Rodimus' selfless act, or was it because he got the energy to do so after some of his mass was displaced? Did Ore disappear because Primus sent him to the Afterspark, or, as an extension of the Metrotitan (having been temporarily resuscitated by him), did he teleport along it? Was it something else? We'll never know.
  • Meaningful Background Event: The bar scene in issue four has the events of Chromedome stealing Skids' gun play out in the background of Ratchet and Swerve's discussion. In issue 7, Chromedome and Brainstorm discuss it, and the analysis of the gun.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • "We're done. No more for today."
    • Issue 20, First Aid going "Tell me you can save him. Ratchet? You can save him, can't you?" to Ratchet, as he refers directly to Ambulon, but the comic first shows us Minimus Ambus dying from a crushed head, and then to Tailgate. Two bots Ratchet couldn't save before.
    • Lost Light issue 2: When Anode and Lug see Tailgate beating up Fangry, Lug declares "we should do something", and Anode retorts "By "we" you mean "me"". A few pages later, Rodimus and Megatron have the exact same exchange.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Deconstructed: One of the doctors at the Delphi medical facility was named Ambulon, like "Ambulance". It's actually short for ambulate: to move about. Ambulon was an ex-Decepticon who went rogue after being forced into a combiner procedure, and now can only turn into a leg. Another bot was named Dent: his name used to be Prowl, but he had to change it because of the confusion.
    • Pharma, like Ambulon, has a double meaning. It can be like "pharmacy", befitting his role as a medic, or like "farmer", as in what he's doing with the transformation cogs of Delphi's patients.
    • Also played straight in the form of the name of the Autobots' ship, the Lost Light, which does indeed become lost after an accident causes an explosion in their navigational drive.
    • Misfire: named for an accident involving a gun and about a dozen dead Decepticons. Helex comments on his poor aim, and when he tried to save Krok, he ended up shooting him accidentally.
    • The Benign Intervention (the Galactic Council's ship) is a reference to both UN-like politics and the phrase "divine intervention".
    • Luna-1's nickname of "The Seething Moon" refers to the fact that it is seething with life; the surface is littered with a billion sparks, each one of them an unborn Cybertronian, which Rodimus reignites when he sets foot on the surface.
    • Brainstorm, Chromedome, and Highbrow were given their head-related names working at the New Institute, where the main purpose was Brainwashing for the Greater Good.
    • The Lost Light got its name from a Cybertronian funeral festival.
    • Sentinel Prime's predecessor, Nominus, seems to take his name from the Latin word "nomen", and from which the term "nominal" is derived. Very fitting, given he turns out to have never had the Matrix, making him quite literally a Prime in name only.
    • Theophany (the planet where Crystal City is) is a Greek word meaning "the appearance of God witnessed by a person".
  • Meat Moss: The strange ship the Scavengers find in issue 7 has a hallway covered in bleeding skin. It's noted that the ship probably crashed because the biomass leaked blood everywhere tainting the fuel or frying something important. In other words, the spaceship bled to death.
  • Mêlée à Trois: The Scavengers accidentally stumble into the site of one in Lost Light 12 between the Galactic Council vs. The Black Block Consortium vs. the forces led by Deathsaurus and Nickel.
    • Lost Light Issue 22 culminates in a battle between the Lost Light crew and Megatron's backup against Pharma, Tyrest, Flame, and their forces vs. the Functionist Council.
  • Men of Sherwood: The Circle of Light, from Dai Atlas to all the unnamed characters. It cost Tyrest 10,000 Legislatures to finally take them all down, now the survivors prove they can still kick ass with Whirl and Cyclonus.
  • Mental Fusion: How mnemosurgery works. Played a lot more disturbingly than most examples.
  • Merchandise-Driven: While in this trope, normally the toy line dictates the story canon. This series inverts it by being so popular that three characters got new toys based on their designs here instead of the other way around.
  • Mercy Kill: Chromedome apparently blows Rewind up to save him from a much worse death at Overlord's hands.
  • Meta Guy:
    • Brainstorm and Chromedome have commented on story pacing, background art, and confusing story reveals.
    • Swerve becomes an especially blatant example after activating Brainstorm's "Meta Bomb", a weapon that makes the victims believe they are fictional characters. Eventually Swerve becomes aware that some things happen "off panel", realizes that he was Out of Focus at the start of season 2, and started giving recaps of previous events at the start of issues, because he suspects that there is an audience that may need to be caught up.
  • Meta Mecha: In issue 21 Minimus Ambus, who has been wearing a suit of armour that disguises him as Ultra Magnus, is revealed to have been wearing another suit of armour the whole time. His true self is half the size of a normal transformer.
  • Mexican Standoff: Issue 31 has one occur between Megatron and Tailgate, which gets defused by Hound discovering Ravage.
  • The Millstone: Misfire is easily the most useless of the Scavengers and severely hinders the effectiveness of the rest of the group (see the Epic Fail example above for an instance of that).
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: Starscream makes an interesting case in issue 29 that Megatron could be viewed as this; someone who didn't fully grasp the consequences of his actions until it was far too late.
  • Mind Rape:
    • Chromedome deleting Prowl's memories of the unsavoury things Chromedome did.
    • Shadowplay in general is this.
    • Lampshaded in a chilling manner when Trepan is about to modify Megatron's brain: "I know, I know. This is your first time. Shhhh. I'll be gentle. Try not to resist."
  • Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: Somewhere in the middle, though it leans a bit closer to the soft side.
  • The Mole:
    • Shock and Ore were this for Prowl on the Lost Light. They die before they can report anything back to him. Though a side-story for issue 50 reveals the plan was to only stay on-board until the ship got to Hedonia, then go and do whatever they wanted.
    • Issue 14 reveals that Drift is also this for Prowl. Not only that, but he's manipulated Brainstorm into the scheme as well. And so is Chromedome, although involuntarily.
    • Ravage snuck onboard to act as this for Soundwave.
    • Subverted with Brainstorm. He's a Decepticon agent, but he actually only became one to get resources for his time machine.
  • Mole in Charge: Rodimus was this in the whole Overlord scheme. He deeply regrets it and sacrifices the Matrix Map to try and repent.
  • Mood Whiplash: The series is full of witty dialogue, slapstick, snark, and humorous character interactions and situations... but it's also full of creepy horror, squick, shady characters, betrayals, and Ominous Foreshadowing. Sometimes all in the same issue.
  • Mook Horror Show: Issue 46 is one from the Scavengers' perspective, as they flee from Fortress Maximus.
  • Moral Dilemma:
    • Issue 34 deals with one; Bluestreak, Mainframe, First Aid, and Trailcutter have to decide whether to kill or medically treat a wounded cybertronion who may be a murderer. Surprisingly Trailcutter is the only one willing to save the cybertronion after his identity is discovered.
    • Issue 51: The stranded Team Rodimus have a choice between running, and apparently leaving dozens of organics at the non-existent mercy of the DJD, or staying and almost assuredly dying horrible deaths. They choose to stay.
  • Moral Myopia: Tyrest. Getting shot with a foreign thought urging you to resign from your position? THOUGHT CRIME! Arrest those Diplomatic Corps agents! But using the exact same technology to implant the idea to your enemies that they can't move, completely immobilizing them? Well that's okay, because now you can go forward with your "divinely approved" plan to exterminate a large portion of your own people and go to the Transformer equivalent of Heaven as a result.
  • Morph Weapon: Pharma gets a pair of hands from Tyrest that can transform into anything he imagines. His favorite form for them seems to be chainsaws. Also allows him to escape from conventional bindings.
  • Motor Mouth:
    • Swerve loves to chatter whenever possible, to the point of annoying the bejeezus out of everyone else. He claims his nickname at the Academy was "Shut the Hell Up". As it turns out in issue 31, it's because he has logorrhea.
    • Misfire as well. His bio says that he has the Cybertronian equivalent of ADHD.
    • Nightbeat, once he gets excited, is incapable of firing off his chain of thought as fast as possible.
  • Mugging the Monster: To a certain degree, Prowl trying to blackmail Chromedome, which resulted in Chromedome doing some mnemosurgery on Prowl. It comes back to bite them both back in the ass later on in their respective series.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Helex has two regular sized arms and two large ones. Tesarus has an extra pair, but they're basically crane arms which he uses to lower in his victims.
  • Mutants: The Outliers, of the X-Men style.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Megatron's feelings towards the Decepticon movement and the Great War in general. The whole reason he joined the quest is to seek redemption.
    • Chromedome similarly feels this way about pretty much everything in his life before Rewind, especially his time at the New Institute.
  • My Greatest Failure: Ultra Magnus sees him not aiding the Wreckers in their mission to Garrus-9 as this, since it resulted in most of the team being wiped out.
  • Myth Arc: The hunt for the Knights of Cybertron drives the story and there's definitely an overarching plot, but the exact nature of it is currently unclear.
  • Mythology Gag: Tons, mostly thanks to Roberts being a Promoted Fanboy.
    • In the pre-war flashback segments of the Shadowplay story-arc, most the characters shown are in Cybertronian versions of their original G1 incarnations.
    • It's not the first time Ultra Magnus dies at the hands of a Phase-Sixer. Except not really.
    • "Ultra Magnus" being actually a Powered Armor is a nod to the toys.
    • When asked about his life before becoming "Ultra Magnus," Minimus responds that "I was just a soldier".
    • Tyrest's fears that the sparks created from draining the Matrix are "predisposed to sin" calls to mind the Cybertronian Empire of the Marvel G2 comics, who were created using the rediscovered process of "budding" that had been collectively wiped from Transformer memory. They actually were amoral and ruthless because of the dilution of Primus' essence within them, and ended up being enemies of both the Autobots and the Decepticons who had created them.
    • Alex Milne confirmed in his concept art, that Helex was based on the Decepticon Harvester from the Marvel series.
    • The Legislators being a legion of identical, mindless, Sparkless drones who are capable only of blindly following orders and are constructed from the recycled bodies of the people Tyrest has had killed make them essentially reskinned Vehicons. Whirl labels them as "knock-off Guardian units", after the infamous security droids from the original comics.
    • In the first issue, Rewind buys some golden disks from Swindle. A few pages later, Tailgate swears by the Underbase.
    • While trawling through Overlord's memories, Chromedome notes the memory decay, which comes in the form of the crowd watching Overlord and Megatron fight being in block colours, in imitation of the colouring styles of the original comics.
    • It's mentioned a few times that Whirl often introduces himself by saying that he has no known weaknesses. "No known weaknesses" was a phrase infamously used in the Dreamwave guide books to fill out character profiles for the ones that had to be written from scratch.
    • The fact that Whirl was kicked out of the Wreckers might be a reference to the Marvel UK comics, where Whirl mysteriously disappeared from the group after a certain point, leading to theories that he had left or been kicked out.
    • When the Scavengers first meet Fulcrum, Flywheels starts calling him a zombie. Flywheels' only prominent use in fiction up to that point been in a Marvel UK story about zombies.
    • Brainstorm being revealed to have a mouth under his faceplate is a nod to Transformers Headmasters, where he had a mouth instead of the faceplate of his Western incarnation.
    • Deathcobra's design in his cameo in issue 39 is a reference in a reference. First off, he's a cameo of a one off character from Victory who was killed by Hellbat, a bot who he was supposed to replace and in this continuity has, seeing as Hellbat's died. He cameoed in Shattered Glass where he was colored to look like Serpentor. In 2014 Serpentor had a toy released that retooled Scourge's toy with a new head. In this comic Deathcobra shows up as that 2014 toy, but in his own colors.
    • The Scavengers' ship, the Weak Anthropic Principle, closely resembles the Ark from the G1 cartoon. When it crashes, the crash is drawn to resemble the Ark crashing in the first episode of the series.
    • Megatron seeing a giant Verity Carlo looming over him (actually Ultra Magnus' holomatter avatar) is drawn exactly like a panel from Infiltration where Verity sees Megatron looming over her. Megs even recalls that he's seen her somewhere before.
    • Ratchet's new body is very reminiscent of his design from Transformers: Prime, particularly the head mold. He's also shown Dual Wielding a pair of laser pistols, much as he did in the 1986 animated film when the Decepticons attacked the shuttle he was on. MTMTE Ratchet uses them to much greater effect.
    • In issue #54, Ultra Magnus announces that he can't deal with that right now when Rewind tries to tell him about the death of his brother Dominus, because Team Rodimus are busy fighting for their lives against Deathsaurus's Decepticons.
    • That same issue, Drift calls Rodimus "Hot Shot". Not only was Hot Shot the name of an Autobot from the Unicron Trilogy who was very similar to G1 Hot Rod (and in Transformers Animated Hot Shot even served under Rodimus Prime in Team Athenia), "Hot Shot" has even been used as a trademark-friendly name for Hot Rod in the DS Transformers: War for Cybertron game.
    • When the Luna-2 Harvester attacks Adaptica in the Functionist Universe, the image of so many Transformers being sucked upwards into the giant gaping maw of a moon to be harvested for resources definitely invokes the image of Unicron doing the same thing in other continuities. Especially considering that Unicron has already pretended to be Cybertron's moon in another Transformers continuity.
    • When we first see the Grand Architect, he is obscured by shadows before stepping out and fully revealing himself. In Transformers Headmasters Zarak (Scorponok's Japanese name) was similarly obscured by shadows, often to a ridiculous degree, finally stepping out of them a good fifteen episodes into the series.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Pipes. According to him, he hasn't even set foot on a planet other then Cybertron. Same with Tailgate, who spent about 6 million years in stasis lock.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Roberts' new character, Rung, is a reference to famous psychologist Carl Jung. A professional rival of his is named Froid, after Sigmund Freud.
  • Nay Theism: Cyclonus believes in Primus but doesn't believe that he's infallible due to scumbags like Star Saber being around and Tailgate developing cybercrosis.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Megatron regards Simanzi as the nearest he ever came to winning the war, at least at a military level. On an ideological level, it was when he had the people on his side on what was a justified revolt of the populace against the oppression of the Autobot Senate.
  • The Needs of the Many:
    • Drift takes the fall for the Overlord scheme due to this.
    • This is Alternate!Rewind's reasoning behind killing the newly constructed past!Megatron. If Megatron's dead and unable to lead the revolt that descends into war, Cybertron becomes a dystopian place run by the Functionist Council; however, every other world outside of Cybertron will be happy - unaffected by the Cybertronian race.
  • Nerves of Steel: Ratchet has them. The fact that First Aid has them too is what convinces him to take First Aid as his protégé.
  • Never Found the Body: Pharma's apparent death at Delphi. He survived and was found by Tyrest, who brought him to Luna-1 to make sure his universal killswitch worked properly. Repeated after his head gets blown up, and dragged through the spacebridge portal. Ratchet insists the body is recovered, but it isn't.
  • Never Live It Down: In-Universe, no one will let Cyclonus live down the time he was working for Galvatron, despite the fact that, as Cyclonus himself notes, he was basically brainwashed into doing it against his will (and immediately turned on Galvatron once he snapped himself out of said brainwashing).
  • Never Suicide: Rodimus feels this way after being told that Red Alert attempted suicide. Subverted. Red Alert did indeed attempt suicide, just not for the reasons everyone else thinks.
  • Nice Guy: Rung.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Chromedome does this repeatedly:
    • It turns out he's actually managed to break things in two comics at once, as his rush job on deleting some of Prowls memories (In response to Prowl attempting to blackmail him) left mental damage that let Bombshell take complete control of Prowl with a Cerebro-shell over in The Transformers: Robots in Disguise.
    • And his haughtiness enables Overlord to turn the tables on him, during mnemosurgery, allowing Overlord to figure out a way to escape his containment cell.
    • Prowl as well, seeing as he ordered Overlord transported into the ship.
    • Subverted with Tailgate, among many of the great things he's managed to accomplish in life one was convincing Nova to look to the stars, Nova would proceed to try and conquer and exterminate backwards worlds because of this. However Tailgate made the whole thing up, meaning Nova's ambitions were of his own accord.
    • Getaway and Skids shot Tyrest with a thought suggestion bullet. Combined with Tyrest's damaged brain module, not only did it fail, but the attack convinced him that his crazy ideas about the knights were true because he felt he was being silenced. It also gave him the means to create the device to stop the heroes cold when they confront him.
    • In issue 22, Whirl helps out some Ammonites by driving off a group of Terradores and shooting their leader. Too bad the Ammonites are actually the bad guys of their war. Whirl's actions cause the Ammonites to turn to Shockwave for help. All several million of them.
    • In Elegant Chaos the crew causes Orion Pax and the Outliers to forget about Roller's disappearance.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Starscream's "The Reason You Suck" Speech at Megatron during his trial ends makes the latter go from a Death Seeker to Worth Living For.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Overlord and other Phase Six level Decepticons.
  • Nightmare Face: Vos's face is removable, and it has all sorts of drills and spikes on the back of it. He gives it to Krok to wear.
    Vos: wear my faaace.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Tailgate inflicts one on Fangry, thinking he attacked Cyclonus, even when Cyclonus tells him to stop. He knocks the guy out for days. And then it turns out it wasn't Fangry who attacked Cyclonus, but Tailgate.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: The DJD's modus operandi. Justified since their job is not only to punish Decepticon traitors but to make an example of them, and they use this as an excuse to indulge themselves.
  • No Indoor Voice: Siren, full stop.
  • Non-Action Guy: Rung and Fulcrum. This means that they take a lot of damage.
  • No Name Given: The Metrotitan that appears in both annuals is never given a proper name. A later retcon would make it the Metrotitan.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • How Misfire got captured by the Galactic Council and what Fulcrum's plan to bust him out alone (which we only know that Misfire ruined by stopping for snacks) were are this, as we only come in at the very end.
    • Based on what they say while fighting him, some members of the DJD have met Grimlock before, and whatever it was that happened, Grimlock left his usual impression.
    Tarn: I'd forgotten how much I hated you.
    • Chromedome enters Brainstorm's lab while the latter is working on making Holomatter avatars more intuitive. Chromedome remarks that this is the second time he's found Brainstorm with a giant naked human.
      • Likewise, at one point Brainstorm gets a call from Whirl and wonders if he's being asked to help hide a body - again.
  • Not Good with People: Cyclonus. More poignant when it is shown he doesn't know how to handle the news about Tailgate's imminent death.
  • Not Quite Dead: Overlord was shot with anti-meteor cannons, with the only visible damage being a missing arm. He reappears during "The Dying of the Light", having be found and repaired by the Galactic Council.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain:
    • Misfire may be this, as when all is said and done in the Scavengers arc, he comes up with a pretty clever plan with what to do with Grimlock, that even Crankcase thinks is a pretty good idea that Krok would normally think of (had he not been indisposed), and it seems very uncharacteristic of him. He is also apparently (by Skids' reckoning) Skids' archenemy. Skids is reticent to talk about why, though it's suggested he's forgotten. But it also implies there may be more to Misfire than just comic-relief.
    • Dai Atlas apparently laughed in Star Saber's face when Saber came to him with his "atheist holocaust" idea and everyone seems to consider Star Saber nothing more than a religious lunatic. As he demonstrates a few issues later, this idea is very far from the truth.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • Ultra Magnus after consuming the Mood Whiplash (or the weapons grade nucleon) has a breakdown starts laughing and crying, then admitting that no one likes him, how he's unable to find any friends, and how he likes music.
    • Cyclonus has a few moments of anger and of pity. More noticeable in issue 17, really doesn't know how to deal with Tailgate's imminent death, and is really upset not only about it, but at himself for not knowing how to handle it, specially because he came across as uncaring about it to Tailgate himself.
    • Soundwave is normally emotionless, and his response to almost being lobotomized is a "what took you so long," to his rescuers after the saw was removed from his head. When the killswitch starts killing Ravage he's panicking and shouting for someone to help him.
      • During issue 55, he feels Ravage's death, and has a silent breakdown.
  • Nursery Rhyme:
    Nickel, iron, cobalt, chrome,
    He'll eat your soul,
    Turn your spark to stone,
    Nickel, iron, cobalt, chrome,
    Run, little robot, run away home.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Swerve may seem like a bit of an idiot, but he's a very skilled metallurgist. This comes in handy when his skills allow him to decode Pharma's notes and supplies to make a cure for Tailgate's cybercrosis.
  • Obligatory War-Crime Scene: Whirl finds a way to make it funny, distressing, and a Mythology Gag to the G1 Movie.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: How Fort Max feels about Prowl.
  • Odd-Shaped Panel: Rewind’s previous storytelling sessions are framed with film tapes.
  • Odd Couple: Prowl and Chromedome seem to have been this in pre-war Cybertron.
  • Odd Friendship:
    • Nightbeat and Nautica. Nightbeat is an antisocial, blunt, and stoic detective. Nautica is friendly, earnest, and klutzy engineer.
    • Brainstorm and Nautica as well. Brainstorm is an amoral, arrogant, Heroic Comedic Sociopath Mad Scientist. Nautica is sweet, humble, cheerful, and moral.
    • Later, Nautica and Ravage, the grouchy, angry, murderous cat-bot.
  • Oddly Common Rarity: Point One Percenters are supposed to be super-rare, as in "one every ten generations" rare. Despite this, there are a lot of them around, most of whom are big names on both sides.
  • Off-Model: Chromedome's excursions into Overlord's memories show an In-Universe example. Chromedome notes that he does have a very good memory, and it hasn't faded with age, looking at a gladiator match, though, he notices that the crowd are mostly the same color and the faces are missing from every third bot.
    • One panel in issue 19 has ,as per the dialogue, have Ambus point at a Legislator while Tyrest' replies offscreen. However, Alex Milne drew Tyrest' arm, making the dialogue appear quite jarring.
  • Official Couple: Chromedome and Rewind. Doubles as a Chastity Couple.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The fight with Overlord and the greater portion of the Lost Light's crew takes place almost entirely offscreen, or just off-panel. Magnus and Fort Max's contributions are onscreen though.
  • Off with His Head!:
    • How the Legislators kill Deftwing.
    • The DJD does the same thing to the alternate Overlord.
    • Tesarus grapples with alternate Cosmos, and uses his crane arms to shove Cosmos's head into his own shredder chest.
    • Tarn rips off Kaon's head as a show of brutality.
    • In Lost Light issue 2, Roller punches straight through a Functionary's head.
    • ''Lost Light issue 7 has Fangry rip off Kaput's head.
  • Oh, Crap!: Skids has one that almost borders on Heroic BSoD when he realizes what happened to the crew of the wrecked Lost Light; they were all slaughtered by the Decepticon Justice Division when they came looking for Overlord.
  • Older Than They Look: Rewind. Judging by Chromedome's comments in issue 12 he may be one of the oldest crewmembers next to Cyclonus, Tailgate and Rung who were alive in the time of Nova Prime's rule of Cybertron six million years ago.
  • Ominous Message from the Future: One arrives in Prowl's empty office in issue 1, not heard by the Lost Light crew but providing five warnings of what not to do. We finally learn what those warnings are about in issue 38. To whit:
    • "Don't open the coffin": Warning about the coffin containing the alternate Rodimus's corpse, which will trigger the main Lost Light's brief disappearance.
    • "Don't let them take Skids": Warning to keep Skids out of the Legislators' hands, as they're trying to take him to Chief Justice Tyrest and Star Saber.
    • "Don't go to Delphi": Warning about the DJD and Pharma's red rust plague, both of which are located on Delphi.
    • "Don't look in the basement": Warning about Overlord being locked up in the Lost Light's basement.
    • The final warning is cut off and later revealed to be "Don't trust Brainstorm" as he's a Decepticon double agent and planning to travel back in time to kill Megatron.
  • Omniscient Morality License: In-Universe, Star Saber believes that every single thing he does, no matter how cruel or monstrous, is divinely sanctioned. Thus, in his mind, he has never done anything even remotely evil. Both Dai Atlas and Cyclonus call him out on the arrogance of this view.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. There were two guys named Prowl, the Prowl we all know and some guy posted on Delphi who turned into a lion. The other Prowl changed his name to Dent to avoid confusion. The issue becomes a moot point when Drift ends up having to chop Dent to pieces because he was a zombie (sort of).
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Lampshaded by Perceptor in issue 19 about how often stab wounds miss the spark.
  • Only Friend: Chromedome is this to Brainstorm, having known him since their days at the Institute.
  • Only Sane Man: Rung for the crew of the Lost Light. Fulcrum for the Scavengers.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: Rung theorizes that Tyrest's Space Bridge functions like this; because it uses Aequitas technology, only those who contain no "guilt" can pass through it, but not necessarily only criminal guilt. Only a 'bot who carries no self-doubt or personal anguish, one who is completely at peace, can actually pass through the portal. Rung, Pharma, and Skids all try to use the portal, but only Skids can do so because since discovering the truth of his identity, only he is completely at peace.
  • Ontological Mystery: It's not the main drive of the story but Skids' character arc essentially involves this. He wakes up on a shuttle made of three robotic monsters, carrying a pistol he can't remember, wearing an inhibitor claw, and having no memory of how he got there or of a good portion of his life. A large part of season 1 focuses on finding out the answers to the mystery behind him. We finally get most of those answers in "Remain In Light". The remaining chunk doesn't come until the end of season 2.
  • The Only Way They Will Learn: Ultra Magnus lured Rodimus to Tyrest to invoke this trope, but was unaware of Tyrest's insanity.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • You know things are serious when Soundwave is freaking out over Ravage being affected by the Killswitch
    • The dire situation in issue 51 prompts Ultra Magnus to swear. Of course, he then immediately apologises.
  • Opposites Attract: Chromedome and Rewind. Chromedome is mopey and cynical, while Rewind is cheerful and idealistic.
  • Origins Episode: The Shadowplay story arc, which goes back to Pre-war Cybertron and shows the origins of some of the Lost Light's crewmembers as well as how their linked to eachother.
    • Issue 14 is this for Overlord, and Chromedome to a lesser degree. Issues 6 and 12 show a lot of backstory on Whirl and Rewind, respectively.
  • Out of Focus: The first few issues of season 2 slid the majority of the first season characters out of the spotlight so that some of the new arrivals (namely Megatron, Nightbeat, Nautica, Ravage, Getaway, and to a lesser extent Riptide) can get the lion's share of development. Which makes sense, since we've already had 25 issues or so with the first season cast, and they need to establish the new characters. It gets lampshaded by Swerve in issue 43, as he felt he was being sidelined and ignored by everyone else.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The Ammonites. Their war has lasted far longer than the Cybertronians', and they have developed more advanced technology. They are essentially the Decepticon's counterparts in their culture, and have infiltrated the Autobots on numerous levels to pirate their technology, all under their noses. The Autobots don't become aware of this until they come to Hedonia, and the little bots return in The Transformers: Dark Cybertron.
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: Word of God states that when this happens, it is pretty much for Rule of Cool.
  • Painting the Medium: When Nightbeat and Nautica open Brainstorm's briefcase in issue 32 it seemingly causes space and time to get all screwy; this is presented by having the panels on the page be placed in the wrong order, with the only background and dialogue hints showing the correct sequence. This is because it is the control unit for a time machine.
  • Pardon My Klingon: Surprisingly averted despite Transformers often employing such things. The characters use normal swear words like "damn" or "hell". Word of God says that he feels that this trope interrupts the flow of dialogue, hence the aversion.
  • Parody Sue: Thunderclash is deliberately made into a ridiculously over-the-top Mary Sue-esque character. He's overpowered, handsome, has practically no flaws, is smart and strong, is beloved by almost everyone, and has outrageous stories told about his amazingness (like how he saved orphans from an exploding sun or how he once carried the Matrix and it had to be surgically removed from him because it didn't want to leave his amazing body). Rodimus gets fed up with it pretty quick.
  • Pass Fail: When the topic of Constructed/Forged Cybertronians comes up, Brainstorm quickly says that he was forged, hastily adding that he supported rights for Constructed Cybertronians. However, when the Universal Killswitch is activated, Brainstorm is shown writhing in pain along with the other Constructed Cold Cybertronians.
  • Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: Not evil per say, but Firestar's Freudian Excuse basically amounts to this; she was a boisterous loner who doesn't do well with others in a society that pressures people to get amica or conjunx endura or be shunted off as failures. This caused her to pressure Nautica into an amica relationship that Nautica wasn't actually ready for, creating a bitter and backhanded relationship between the two.
  • People Farms: In issue 12 the crew discovers that Snap Trap and his followers have set up some on Temptoria. It involves a process called Pink Alchemy, through which organics are broken down with a bio-reactor to make energon. Thankfully the crew manages to shut it down a rescue the people in question.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Ultra Magnus and Cyclonus to a lesser extent.
  • Pet the Dog: Whirl gets one while explaining his life story to an enraged Fortress Maximus and his hostage Rung.
    Rung: You never told me any of that!
    Whirl: Well you never threatened to shoot a friend of mine!
    • Whirl gets another in Issue 12, where he undergoes a procedure to jumpstart Rewind's spark (after he's almost killed by a bomb), when there are no other donors possibly in penance for being the one to lock him and Cyclonus in a room with a bomb.
    • Cyclonus gets one in the Annual when he goes to Tailgate's Act of Affiliation (albeit secretly) despite having acted cold and uncaring towards Tailgate and everyone else for most of the series. He gets another when fighting in issue 12 and seeing Tailgate trying to disarm a bomb about to blow up. He calmly grabs Tailgate and flings him out of the blast radius, and when he and Rewind are locked in the room together, he steps in front of Rewind to take the blast. He also prevents Tailgate from being exposed as a fraud in issue 13, and proceeds to teach him a song in Primal Vernacular to cheer him up.
    • Brainstorm may be a Mad Scientist with a touch of Heroic Comedic Sociopath, but he does consider Chromedome his friend, and when Rewind dies, he tries to comfort Chromedome, and pleads with him not to erase the memories or Rewind, reminding him of all his previous loves whom Chromedome has forgotten. He also gives Chromedome Rewind's tape.
    • Soundwave and Tarn express concern over Ravage and Kaon respectively when the killswitch begins shutting them down.
    • Megatron gets one in issue #33 when he lies and tells Alternate!Rewind that onboard his version of the Lost Light, their Rewind and Chromedome are "inseparable" when Alt!Rewind asks about the two of them.
    • Whirl in issue #47 is revealed to be part of a conspiracy to get Megatron killed or imprisoned. He has second thoughts when Getaway's plan to do so will result in Tailgate's death. When Getaway and Atomizer erase his memory of the plan, he spends his last few seconds of consciousness projecting his holomatter avatar around the ship in a desperate attempt to alert Cyclonus.
  • Phony Veteran: Tailgate.
  • Planet Spaceship: Luna-1 is this, explaining how it's avoided being discovered by the multiple galactic expeditions performed in attempts to find it.
  • Pleasure Planet: Hedonia
  • Plot Detour:
    • Lampshaded. The crew keeps getting sidetracked from their quest by various events. Swerve notes that by the time of issue 13, the crew has made practically zero progress in their quest for the Knights Of Cybertron.
    • The Circle of Light get angry at them, and refuse to join the quest because of this.
    • Late in season two Minimus complains that thanks to being stuck in an alternate universe and without the map they are actually further away from their goal than when they first set out. How's that for progress?
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Swerve, definitely. Rung, Rewind, and Tailgate are also played as this at times.
  • Poisonous Friend:
    • Atomizer to Rodimus.
    • Getaway for Tailgate. He appears to be trying to drive a wedge between Tailgate and Cyclonus. It turns out it's much worse. He's grooming Tailgate so the little guy will be willing to go along with a plan to frame Megatron, which would result in Tailgate's demise, just to get Megs either killed or imprisoned. In fact, just Getaway in general. Since he'd been planning to get rid of Rodimus from day one, slowly going through the crew and marking those who wouldn't mutiny out, then shooting them with the Nudge Gun so they wouldn't remember.
  • Population Control: A Rare inverted example. Nova Prime sought to increase the birth rate as the hotspots (when the planet manifests life codes for sparks, thus "birthing" transformers) were shrinking. This was done both to prolong the species and make a large enough population to colonize other worlds so the Constructed Cold process was enacted with Tyrest using the Matrix to make new life.
  • Porn Stache: Ambus. Both Dominus and Minimus. Apparently, its a family trait.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: The finale of season 1 has the crew stop Tyrest, Star Saber, and Pharma and deactivate the Killswitch. It seems as though all the bad guys are dealt with... until the recalled Legislator army bursts in and swarms the away team, forcing the crew to find a way to take them down.
  • Posthumous Character: Killmaster, Sentinel Prime, Nominus Prime, Senator Proteus, and the Heavies. Dominus Ambus might be this too, but it's not quite clear yet. Then it turns out neither Killmaster, Sentinel or Dominus are dead.
  • Powered Armor: Ultra Magnus's whole body is actually a suit of armor surrounding his actual body. It's worn by anyone holding the "Ultra Magnus" identity in order to give the illusion that it's one nigh-immortal guy.
  • The Power of Hate: Whirl reveals that this is the reason he doesn't get his hands fixed; if he did so, he would lose his excuse to be just generally angry and crazy. And if he did that he would have time to think about all the things he's done in the war and he might go really angry and crazy.
  • Power Levels: While no actual statistics are given, the idea is invoked by Prowl, describing how certain Cybertronians-like Optimus, Megatron, Grimlock, Fortress Maximus "on a good day"-are naturally bigger, more powerful and resilient than most others of their kind. There's even an old adage about this peculiarity; "Sometimes Adaptus breaks the mold". Above even the aforementioned Transformers however, are the Decepticon Phase-Sixers like Sixshot and Overlord, and Prowl really wants to know why all the truly most powerful Cybertronians are all Decepticons and why there aren't more of them.
  • Power Trio: Rodimus formed one with himself, Ultra Magnus, and Drift, even referring to the three of them as "Rossum's Trinity". Magnus would always advise caution, Drift would advise Rodimus to trust his instincts, thus canceling each other out and letting Rodimus do what he'd intended to do from the start. Which makes things difficult for him when Magnus is fatally wounded by Overlord and Drift is exiled for his role in that and Rodimus is no longer able to fall back on that.
  • Praetorian Guard: Before the war, the Triorian guard were a large group of elite multi-terrain triple changers answering to the Senate, Blitzwing and Overcharge were members. Their name is even a play on the trope namer.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: The Scavengers decide to care for Grimlock and bring him back to Cybertron. Not because they give a crap about him, but because bringing someone like him back to Cybertron would earn them brownie points regardless of who won the war. If the Autobots won, they'd be happy to have one of their own back and would be willing to grant amnesty to the bots who helped him. If the Decepticons won, Megatron would be happy to have a prize like Grimlock and would be willing to reward the bots who brought him.
  • Precursors: The Knights Of Cybertron more or less fill this role. The plot begins as a search to find them and/or what happened to them. The only thing we know so far is that the crew "do not deserve to know" about them, according to Metroplex.
  • Pride: Star Saber's motivation. He's so Egocentrically Religious that he believes that everything he does, no matter how cruel, is sanctioned by Primus himself.
  • Properly Paranoid: Deconstructed with Red Alert. His paranoia helps him find out things that people dismiss, but it also severely hinders his effectiveness. Case in point, he believes that he's hearing voices in the basement. He checks it out, finding Overlord, but he doesn't tell anyone because he believes that they're out to get him.
    • He also thinks the Institute played some role against him. The Shadowplay arc shows that yeah, they've been messing with his head to get the investigation of Momus' death going, and that's only what we've seen.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: Cyclonus.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Whirl; when the team gets holomatter avatars based off their personalities, his is a little girl brandishing a pair of sub-machine guns.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    Crankcase: Who - the hell - went - and got themselves - on - the List?
  • Punished for Sympathy: Poor Shockwave...
  • Punny Name: Shock and Ore (try saying it with a British accent).
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Red Alert and Fort Max after season 1, since they stay behind on Luna-1.
    • Cosmos, Powerglide, Sunstreaker and Fizzle abandon the "Lost Light" at the end of Dark Cybertron, with Fizzle moving to Windblade, Cosmos moving to Robots in Disguise, and Powerglide to the Cybertronian portion of Robots in Disguise.
  • Rags to Riches: Implied with Senator Momus. He used to be a mining boss whose workers found something of particular value to the higher ups. The government agent sent to collect it told Momus that he was exempt of the connotations of his alt-mode and free to choose his own destiny in society. Momus would go onto becoming a Senator, and one of the few to hang out with the lower classes. He supported the Decepticon movement.
  • Ragtag Band of Misfits: Both the Lost Light crew and the Scavengers.
  • Rasputinian Death: Invoked by the DJD who deliberately draw out their victims deaths to make them more torturous and to make an example of them.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • The Scavenger arc features the scrappy underdogs vs the professional killers. It ends very badly. Chekhov's Skill, Big Damn Heroes, and Heroic Sacrifice are all subverted, and the underdogs get their skidplates handed to them. Flywheels gets killed, Misfire gets mauled, Krok gets maimed, Crankcase gets electrocuted, and Fulcrum injures himself after his failed Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Issue 28 features two really dark examples:
      • Even though he's done a Heel–Face Turn, Megatron still goes on trial for his actions and nobody hides the fact that they want him dead. As it turns out amongst the general public, taking a level in kindness doesn't make everyone not want to see you lynched.
      • Chromedome slips back into his depression and starts to spend all day sitting in his room listening to Rewind's farewell message, refusing to talk to his friends. Rewind's message, while important, wasn't able to cure his emotional problems as initially thought. This sort of thing is sadly common amongst sufferers of depression who don't receive genuine treatment or aid.
    • Issue 50 has Rodimus's childish behaviour come back to bite him in the ass, and hard, when everyone except the main cast has finally had it with his crap, and mutiny.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Atomizer. Before the war, he was an interior designer before turning into a deadly assassin.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: Starscream's testimony during Megatron's trial. The former seeker harshly denounces Megatron and his tenure as leader of the Decepticons arguing that Megatron's crimes were driven not by malice or cunning, but sheer incomptence. Megatron ultimately decides to nullify his trial because he refuses to let Starscream write his legacy.
  • Reconstruction: A lot of things that were deconstructed in Last Stand Of The Wreckers are either put back together here or reworked into new but recognizable forms. For example; where LSTOW raised the question of whether the Autobots were any better than the Decepticons, MTMTE has the Lost Light crew heroically and selflessly jumping down to Temptoria to save the innocent citizens of that world from a group of line-crossing Decepticons.
  • Recurring Extra: The "Decepticon agitator", who shows up a couple of times in flashbacks prior to the war.
  • Red Herring:
    • Shadowplay makes us believe, at one point, that the Senator that was constantly helping out Orion Pax was a young Ultra Magnus, turns out it was Shockwave.
    • Issue 16 seems to imply that not only Ultra Magnus has survived things that would have killed most other 'bots, but in the process made him the 'bot we know him as know, as it seemed every incident would make him shed part of his old personality, be it smiling, making quips, be more lax about autobot badges and such. Turns out that Ultra Magnus is a Legacy Character and every one of those scenes actually portrayed a death of a particular Ultra Magnus.
    • In Delphi, one of the Autobots is a double agent, and has released the Decepticons from captivity. Signs point to Ambulon, as a previous story had said that he had a paint job masking his history, and the chips indicate it was purple and also a Decepticon. While he was, it was really Pharma who released the prisoners and had killed several people.
    • On pre-war Cybertron, there is one seemingly uncorrupt senator whose name is never mentioned. He sports Vertical Mecha Fins, changes his colors quite often, with his final ones being red, blue and white. Many thought him to be Ultra Magnus. In reality it was Shockwave who had quite a few cosmetic changes.
      • Not only that but First Aid is seen at one point tinkering with a diagnostic drone like the one that was spying on Red Alert, making it seem as though he's the mysterious "Conspirator". And right after he's the one who declares that Red Alert attempted suicide. He's not the Conspirator and Red Alert did indeed attempt suicide.
  • Reformed, but Rejected:
    • Cyclonus. Just about everyone but Tailgate thinks the worse of him at any given time, to the point he's Easily Condemned for anything that goes wrong inside the Lost Light, even when he has nothing to do with it. This is lampshaded by Rodimus.
    • Megatron, unsurprisingly, gets it worse than Cyclonus.
  • Reimagining the Artifact: Even in continuities where the boundaries between the good guys and bad guys are more clear, the name "Decepticons" has stuck out as a rather glaring example of obvious villainy. MTMTE explains that the name "Decepticon" comes from the message they were trying to spread to the general population, "You are being decieved" [by the corrupt senate and ruling council of Cybertron], before they descended into ruthless violence.
  • Religious Bruiser:
    • Subverted with Flywheels; he's a Neoprimalist, can be seen praying before the fight, and is the largest of the Scavengers beside Grimlock, but he's also the only fatality that the Scavengers take in their hopelessly outclassed battle.
    • Played Straight with Drift who's spiritual side is played up for this series. When he fights Overlord he states that his faith and swords will protect him. Cyclonus is also shown to have a very strong spiritual side as well.
  • The Remnant: With the disbanding of the Decepticons by their leader, their forces are thoroughly shattered. Several just shrugged and moved on with their lives, while others tried for a resurgence of their once mighty empire. Tarn and the Justice Division seek out what might be the largest remnant, a band of Mercurial Decepticons 500 strong, and ally with them to bring forth a new order of Decepticons with their first act of business to hunt down the very one who disbanded the original regime, Megatron.
  • The Resenter:
    • Chromedome to Cyclonus. This is due to Chromedome being stationed at Kimia when Cyclonus led an attack on that base and killed several autobots, during the events of The Transformers (IDW). He gets over it around the end of season 1.
    • Trailbreaker towards Fortress Maximus.
    • Prowl has a bit of this with Rewind.
  • The Reveal:
    • The identity of the mysterious senator? SENATOR SHOCKWAVE. In a noticeable bit of Irony, In-Universe Tailgate also learned that Orion Pax was really... Optimus Prime.
    • In issue 14 we get this little shocker: The Conspirator was actually Drift the whole time. He and the Duobots were working for Prowl to learn how Phase Sixers were made and they needed Chromedome to perform mnemosurgery on him in order to find out. When Chromedome refused, they smuggled Overlord onto the Lost Light. Also, Drift has successfully manipulated Chromedome and Brainstorm into the scheme.
    • Issue 17 has Rodimus telling the story of the investigation of Luna-1 to an unseen listener. The end of the issue reveals that it LOOKS like Dominus Ambus, Rewind's missing old friend. The next issue reveals they're not - but they ARE Minimus Ambus - who, according to him, we know as Ultra Magnus.
    • Played for Laughs with the leader of the Diplomatic Corps. Getaway talks about their stealthy abi, their use of covert ops and questionable ethics for the greater good, dancing around the leader's identity. Rodimus flatly tells everyone that it's obviously Prowl.
    • A horrific version in issue 53: We find out where Dominus Ambus got to. He's Agent 113, or more accurately, he was, until he was discovered, lobotomised and turned into The Pet.
    • Lost Light issue 5: We learn Rung can make photonic crystals. The same kind used to make the Constructed Cold. Oh, and it turns out Anode has been hallucinating Lug since she woke up from the stasis pod, at the very least.
    • Lost Light issue 8: The gear symbol turns out to belong to the Knights of Cybertron.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Some of the major characters have never really been featured in any significant capacity before this comic. For example, Chromedome's only appearance beforehand was a single scene in the shuttle escaping from Kimia... scripted by Roberts.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: On the alternate Lost Light, it was Brainstorm-in reality a double agent for the Decepticons-who let the Decepticon Justice Division onboard and who also alerted them to Overlord's presence in the first place. None of which saved him from suffering the same gruesome fate as the rest of the crew when the DJD lost control thanks to their Nuke overdose and started slaughtering the crew.
  • Rewatch Bonus: The Architects' various horrific experiments make a lot more sense once you realize their boss is Scorponok, since engineering a better form of Cybertronian has always been his raison d'etre in the IDW 'verse, like with The Machination and its Headmasters from the bad old -ations days. It also goes a long way to explaining Grimlock's current condition.
  • Riddle for the Ages: In-Universe, Rung's alt mode is this. Part of issue 22 involves the crew trying to figure out what it is. Even Rung himself doesn't know. It's basically a big club. In one issue, Nightbeat's seen studying what Word of God confirms is Rung's alt-mode. Even Cybertron's greatest detective is stumped. Chillingly, several hints are given that it's actually got a dark secret attached to it, and that Rung has a good guess what that is. In issue 50, we see a pre-recorded "last will", where he says if anyone finds his body they should put it "beyond use". The opening arc of Lost Light starts exploring it further: The alternate Functionist Council claims it's a drill, but they're lying to cover up another truth, that Rung produces photonic crystals.
  • Ridiculously Human Robot: Zigzagged but largely averted. Transformers are explicitly said to be living robots and they have some traits similar to humans but they're also aliens and have a completely different biology. For example, they can cry but Word of God says it's actually their optical gauze (the microfilaments over their eyes), which overheats and causes ribbons of light when they get really emotional.
  • The Rival: Surprisingly, Rung has one, another psychiatrist called Froid. Or "had" at any rate. From the sound of it, Froid is long-gone, but Rung still blames him in part for why Rung gets so little recognition. Issue 34 suggests this was because Froid was perfectly willing to subject people to Shadowplay, something Rung objected to.
  • Robbing the Dead: the Scavengers do this, excluding Fulcrum who is too disturbed by the practice to do so.
  • Robot Religion: The Annual provides a new Transformers creation myth, instead of Primus, Unicron and The+ Thirteen. In this one, Primus split into 5 other beings (including himself) and together they formed The Guiding Hand. One of their members, Mortilus, attacked them, and thus each one of them became an essential part of the Cybertronians' life (transformation cog, brain module, the Matrix of Leadership and Vector Sigma). Since Mortilus (Anthropomorphic Personification of death) was defeated, they also became practically immortal.
    • Faith is explored by many characters. Drift is The Fundamentalist, and makes repeated allusions to his faith. Flywheels is a neoprimalist, though its implied he doesn't think Primus cares for him. Cyclonus mentions having prayed in the shadows of the Metrotitans back on Cybertron, and Swerve believes in Primus. Ratchet and Ore are both Atheists.
    • In the Shadowplay arc we see Pious Maximus, a large religious figure who opposes the government and preaches often. He later recanted his beliefs one day, and later could be seen as an institute victim.
  • Running Gag:
    • Everyone getting Rung's name wrong or forgetting about it.
    • Ultra Magnus stating he's not easily impressed, with someone else commenting they're not surprised.
    • Rodimus' constant use of "Till all are one". It actually becomes a plot point later on.
    • Chromedome not knowing how to make the "Pfft" sound. He eventually manages it.
  • Run the Gauntlet: Skids in Issue 18.

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