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"Rescue Bots! Roll to the Rescue!"

Transformers: Rescue Bots is a series in the Transformers franchise, targeted towards younger children than it's comparatives: Transformers: Prime and Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2015). Two episodes first aired as a sneak preview in December of 2011, with the series premiering properly in 2012.

Set in the "Aligned continuity", the series focuses on Heatwave, Chase, Blades, and Boulder, the last surviving group of "Rescue Bots", who come to Earth in response to Optimus Prime's message to Autobots scattered across the universe. However, rather than roll out for battle, Optimus has a different task in mind for them: acting as ambassadors to humanity and working as "Rescue Bots" once again. They are instructed to masquerade as advanced machinery and work with the Burns, a family of first-responders who live and work in the town of Griffin Rock, a technologically advanced town that's on the cutting edge of scientific advancement.


With Chase partnered with police chief Charlie Burns, Heatwave with fireman Kade, Blades with helicopter pilot Dani, and Boulder with engineer Graham, the humans, save for Charlie, are initially unaware of their new vehicles' true identity as alien robots. That is, until the youngest member of the family, Cody, deduces the truth and befriends the alien machines. Soon enough, the secret becomes known to the whole family, and together, they work to save the people of Griffin Rock from all manner of natural disasters and science gone awry.

As it's targeted towards a (slightly) younger demographic, Rescue Bots is considerably Lighter and Softer than other Transformers media, focusing on telling more lighthearted stories about rescue operations and teamwork, rather than on the war with the Decepticons, as most Transformers series do. However, the series does take some Broad Strokes from current Transformers media, particularly that of its sister series, Transformers: Prime, and even has characters from Prime and its sequel series Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2015) cross over once or twice (plus vice versa on one occasion). Rescue Bots also uses an animation style similar to that of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and has a fairly impressive voice cast, including Steve Blum, Maurice LaMarche, and LeVar Burton. Peter Cullen makes frequent guest appearances as Optimus Prime.


This being a Transformers series, Rescue Bots has an accompanying toy line (which predates the show). Just as the animated series is targeted towards (slightly) younger viewers than previous Transformers series, so too are the toys, featuring simplistic transformations and playsets as well as tie-in stories packaged with the toys themselves.

A Sequel Series, Transformers: Rescue Bots Academy, debuted in 2019.

Now has a Recap Page.

Transformers Rescue Bots contains examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: The 'Bots alternate modes in season two will sometimes shift over to rather obvious CGI models. Season 3's since extended this flip-flopping nature to the bot forms as well.
  • Ace Pilot:
    • Dani, naturally. Her being partnered with Blades, who is both afraid of heights and, until coming to Earth, had wheels, causes about as much frustration as you might expect.
    • The Rescue Bots comic states that Chase is the pilot for their spaceship, and a very talented one.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Blades develops a slight bitof it after getting his absurdly useful scoop claw in the third episode.
  • Acrophobic Bird: Blades isn't a fan of heights. So of course, he gets all the avian alt. modes starting with a helicopter.
  • Actor Allusion: In "New Normal", Mayor Luskey remarks "This is why I hate nature", which is an apparent play on Carmine Fanzone's catch phrase of "This is why I hate machines" from Transformers Animated. Both Luskey and Fanzone were voiced by Jeff Bennett.
  • Adapted Out: The original toyline and its associated storybooks that were released shortly before the television series was developed originally gave Blades, Chase and Boulder the respective human partners Sawyer Storm, Jack Tracker (aka Billy Blastoff and Hunter) and Walker Cleveland as well as a Team Pet consisting of a Dalmatian named Sparkplug. The animated series replaces the human partners with Dani Burns, Chief Charlie Burns and Graham Burns, while Sparkplug was left out entirely.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Frankie Greene is rather intelligent and mature for a preteen girl.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Vigil, the new supercomputer for Griffin Rock, becomes overprotective and takes over the town.
    • Subverted with the Elma hologram in "The More Things Stay the Same"; turns out Frankie's baby sister's scan was uploaded into her personality subroutines by mistake.
  • Alien Arts Are Appreciated: Boulder falls in love with Earth and its culture from the moment he sets foot on it. And Blades never stops watching television.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Kade sees Cody's attempts at trying to join the family on their assignments to be this, while Cody sees him as a milder Big Brother Bully that's trying to keep him out. Nevertheless, they do care about each other, as shown in "Under Pressure."
  • Arc Symbol: The Rescue Bots insignia. This becomes a major plot point during a GroundBridge arc as Quickshadow posing as an unidentified sports car has this symbol, but wasn't visible due to mud that Heatwave eventually washed off.
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: "Land Before Prime" features a group of dinosaurs - a Tyrannosaurus, a Triceratops, a Stegosaurus, a Brachiosaurus, and a pterosaur (okay, yeah, we know) - attacking the team as a unit. Why the herbivores would be cool so close to their alpha predator is unknown.
    • A full grown Brachiosaurus is so large and powerful, if they hadn't been seperated by centuries of time, a Tyrannosaurus would be wise to avoid this herbivore for fear of being crushed by stomping. Consequently, an adult Brachiosaur would have no fear of predators.
  • Art Shift: The series goes from being animated in Toon Boom in the first season to Adobe Flash in the second. This is due to a change in studios from Atomic Cartoons to Vision Animation. DHX Media, a Flash studio, animates the third season and onward.
  • The Atoner: Even centuries after her death, Dani's infamous pirate ancestor genuinely felt sorry for robbing a charity fund, making sure that if any of her descendants or anyone else finds what she stole, it would be given to charity as intended for her husband's sake.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Trex, the rampaging dinosaur robot from the first episode, is immediately drawn to bright or flashing lights.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Energon can be adapted as an emergency source of power in almost any electronics. Unprocessed energon works the same, but used in its raw state is the equivalent of using a bomb to power your house. In its stable state, it's a lot safer to use and is on par with nuclear power, but usage is still dangerous in a different sense such as when it's being leeched from a Cybertronian.
  • Bad Present: Cody, Frankie, and the Bots visit one in "Bot to the Future." Dr. Morocco has taken over Griffin Rock and rules with an iron fist, with the intention of eventually taking over the world; Chief Burns is a museum janitor; Kade, Dani, and Graham are auto mechanics; Cody doesn't exist; and Doc Greene doesn't live in Griffin Rock (at best - where he is is never made clear).
  • Badass Family: The entire Burns family, as befitting of a team of emergency rescue workers. Even the youngest, Cody, who isn't even an adult, is willing to put his life on the line.
  • Badass Mustache:
    • Chief Burns is rocking one, as befitting a policeman.
    • The aged Cody in "One For the Ages" has one as well.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Blurr is presumed dead when he flies incredibly close to a falling satellite to compensate for the Sigma's underpowered laser cannon so he can destroy it. The Rescue Bots believe that he died in the explosion until Blurr asks them how to turn off a cloaking device that turned on by accident.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • The Energon Eater pulls this off with an already-abandoned ship and a supply of energon, as it re-powers the ship to send a distress call to nearby ships to lure them in.
      • The Rescue Bots pull one off in the same episode prior to their visit to Earth: In order to escape the Energon Eater, everyone puts themselves and the ship in stasis, programming the ship to respond and head towards any major Cybertronian signals such as ones transmitted by a Prime, fully aware that they'll be absent from an annual spot-check and be sent a signal which would lead them back to Cybertron. This almost works, as the ship instead responds to Optimus Prime's signal to land on Earth.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: When the Rescue Bots get to fight the Morbot.
  • Beauty Contest: Miss Griffin Rock. The beauty portions aren't shown on-screen, in favor of the calculus test. Mayor Luskey's wife was a previous winner.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • Discussed, Chase admits that his worst nightmare is a world where no one breaks the law, as it would render him useless.
    • He repeats this verbatim much later in the series when Heatwave gets his wish of being able to perform rescues without acting like a robot but still regretting it.
  • Big Badass Rig:
    • Optimus naturally has this for his vehicle mode. He even puts it to good use in combat!
    • The Mobile HQ created by the Moropolis!Burnses also counts.
  • Big Brother Instinct: In "Under Pressure", the threat of Cody being in danger is what finally gets Kade to be serious and willing trust Heatwave.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee burst through the floor when Dr. Morocco is about to dismantle them to see how they work and save the day (though only that specific day).
  • Big Good: Optimus Prime, who initially only appears in the series occasionally as a guiding force for the Rescue Bots team. When he actually steps into action, things are serious.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The second season finale, in which Dr. Morroco is arrested, the Rescue Bots take a while to recover their memories, and Madeline Pynch is still a fugitive.
  • Black and Nerdy: Francine shows herself to be this trope when she's more interested in a dinosaur exhibit than the flashier giant robots. Her father, being a scientist, also fits into this trope.
  • Black Bead Eyes: All the human characters.
    • Subverted on an episode when a civilian is surprised at a robo-landscaper heading towards him.
  • Blob Monster: Squilsh, a blob/slime monster created from a synthesised electric substance from Mars.
  • Blood Knight: Heatwave is depicted as a family-friendly version of this as he is frequently shows attacking a training dummy in the bunker and jumps at any chance to fight something.
  • Book-Ends: The series premiere ends with a photo of the Burns family being taken, only with the older siblings shocked and Cody giving a thumbs up. The same thing happens in the Grand Finale, this time with the entire cast and new Bots.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: All Rescue Bots by Dr. Morroco in "Double Villainy".
  • Broad Strokes: The series opens with the Rescue Bots' ship picking up a message sent to the stars by Optimus Prime, beckoning them to planet Earth. This is essentially similar to one sent by Optimus at the end of the Five-Episode Pilot of Transformers: Prime (itself inspired by yet another instance in the first live-action movie). Furthermore, references to a "fallen Cybertron" and Heatwave expecting to "roll out" with other Autobots hint that other aspects of the "Aligned continuity" are present in this universe as well.
  • Broken Pedestal: Zig-zagged in "A Brush with Danger". Kade was a huge fan of Maven Danger until he got to meet him in person, who in reality is an Entitled Bastard and a Jerkass. This doesn't stop Kade from being excited about the prospect of appearing in Maven Danger's newest movie or from asking for his autograph at the end of the episode.
  • Call-Back: The season 4 premiere "New Normal" begins the way the first episode "Family of Heroes" begin, including Chief Burns pulling over Cody as he's riding his bicycle.
  • Calvinball: Rescue Ball, which involves getting a ball into a net by any means necessary.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Rescue Bots, roll to the rescue!" Said by Heatwave before moving out to the scene of an emergency.
    • Cody Burns often says "Noble!" when he thinks that something is cool.
    • Heatwave almost has a Catch Facial Tic; he grits his teeth and growls.
  • Casting Gag: Alex Kingston; an actress who is well-known for her role as River Song, voices Quickshadow, who is disgusted at the suggestion of being one.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The two-part Season 1 finale definitely fits this trope. Instead of the show's usual routine of a search-and-rescue mission Once per Episode, the finale is more of a "Sci-Fi/Action/Thriller" episode. See Knight of Cerebus for details.
  • Cheerful Child: Cody and Frankie.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Several appear in the series. One example is a toy rocket and the EMP zone. Frankie uses them to destroy Vigil by tricking him into possessing the rocket and flying it in the EMP zone.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Several revealed traits in Buddy System come into play such as Hayley's expert-level knowledge in botany after identifying a species of flowers that snakes have an aversion to.
  • Cliffhanger Copout: Many of the cold opens lead to this.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The Rescue Bots are all colored in a lighter shade before scanning their eventual alternate modes, presumably so kids can tell them apart.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • After Cody (now transformed into an adult) saves Hayley's life during a rescue, Hayley attempts to ask him out on a date. Still thinking like a child, Cody hasn't yet learned the language of flirting.
    Hayley: Can I take you to lunch?
    Cody: I don't need anyone to take me! I can drive!
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Inverted with the Morbots. The first Morbot looked tough and could perform numerous tasks faster than the Rescue Bots. However when it actually came to a showdown, the four of them easily tore it apart. When they show up in Bot to the Future, there's much more of them, and they're taken down as easily as usual for numerous mooks but here they can use their numbers and working cannons to get more hits in than the original singular Morbot.
  • Contemporary Caveman: "Did You See What I Thaw?" has the Rescue Bots and the Burns family thaw out and befriend a frozen caveman wearing an Energon shard around his neck, who is dubbed "Ira".
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • Huxley Prescott takes command of a SETI base in Alien Invasion of Griffin Rock, while at the same time, picks up audio from a movie Cody was streaming via satellite, which out of context, sounds like a conversation between two aliens discussing a covert invasion.
    • After Cody and Dani witness Blurr making a surprise appearance at a mainland race, they find out that the others heard half the story via radio.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • "Family of Heroes" has Optimus Prime telling the Rescue Bots that their home planet of Cybertron is dead, which of course happened when Megatron decided it would be a good idea to infect the Core with Dark Energon. The Rescue Bots were apparently unaware of this. Chase also expressed that they were "ready to join the battle", almost certainly referring to the war with the Decepticons.
    • "The Reign of Morocco" has the titular Doctor speaking to a client via earpiece. Said client is interested in highly advanced technology and is apparently building an army, making it highly likely Morocco was dealing with MECH.
    • Bumblebee, of course, "speaks" just like he does in Transformers: Prime, when he shows up for "Bumblebee to the Rescue". And of course, just like in Prime, the other 'Bots can understand his beeps, but everyone else is out of luck (though Cody, like Raf, manages to figure out the gist of it). The same episode also has Optimus saying that he "consulted [their] medic", aka Ratchet. He also refers to "those wishing to do us harm", most likely meaning the Decepticons.
    • In "It's a Bot Time," when confronted by several Morbots, Bumblebee initially assumes the Morbots are Decepticons, judging by Heatwave's response to him.
      • Sideswipe makes the same misconception with Blurr in a later episode.
  • Convection Shmonvection: "Under Pressure" is rife with this, what with being an episode dealing with molten lava everywhere. The most Egregious case is when Heatwave and Kade are trapped in a tunnel filling with the stuff, but suffer neither heat injury nor scalding when a full trough of water cools the lava and subsequently creates a bunch of steam.
  • Cool Airship: Dr. Morocco travels around in one.
  • Cool Boat:
    • The Derby Ava and Heatwave's fireboat form picked up from a wrecked one underwater.
    • The S.S Phantom Voyager as well.
  • Cool Car:
    • Chase, the police car of the team. He's later joined by Blurr and Quickshadow in the later seasons.
    • Sideswipe and Bumblebee also put in appearances in this series.
  • Cool Ship: The Sigma, the Rescue Bots' spaceship which was used prior their Earth landing and is still used for space missions.
  • Cool Shades: Heatwave, Blades, and Chase can all flip down a visor, presumably in order to protect their optics while doing rescue work. The visors also go along with their disguise of being only advanced machines, not sentient beings.
  • Cool Train: The Griffin Rock Express is a hovering train designed to travel between the mainland and the island. It gets destroyed in its debut episode, but plans were being made to rebuild it.
  • Crossover: Some of the later episodes feature guest appearances by 'Bots from Prime, as well as Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2015) due to the Time Skip. One of the Rescue Bots would in turn put in a guest appearance on Robots in Disguise as well.
  • Crush Filter: Played with, and Played for Laughs. In "Bugs in the System", the B-plot is Graham being too shy and awkward to talk to the new scientist he has a crush on. Kade's idea of helping results in pretty much making Graham a copy of himself. So when Graham sees the girl he likes, all the Crush Filter normal events fall into effect ... except the whole thing is out of focus because Graham doesn't have his glasses.
  • Da Chief: Charlie Burns, natch.
  • Dead All Along: Captain Ambrose realises this happened to his fiancee decades ago when he was convinced that he was waiting for hours. Thankfully, he manages to get back to his own time.
  • Deflector Shields: One was used in "Rescue Boy". It works well at first, but then malfunctions trying to protect Cody from anything (creating Shock and Awe attacks). Luckily the Rescue Bots are able to get it off with specialized gloves made to go through the shield.
  • Determinator: Cody is described as tenacious, which eventually leads to the discovery of the Midgard and Professor Baranova, and managing to convince her to come back to Griffin Rock.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Blades reveals that nearly every Cybertronian fairy-tale story ends with the entire cast getting eaten by a giant space-monster.
  • Didn't See That Coming: This is shown to be Quickshadow's flaw in her MO, as a botched operation was caused mainly due to her only carefully planning the transport of deadly chemicals under the scenario that they would get to Doc Greene's lab without fail, rather than also accounting for a backup plan if something did go wrong. Luckily, Chase prepared for this.
  • Distaff Counterpart:
    • The so-called Rescue Girl in "The Griffin Rock Express", named after the now-retired Rescue Boy persona adopted by Cody.
    • Professor Baranova to Doc Greene, while the former isn't a Ditzy Genius. They eventually get married.
  • Ditzy Genius:
    • Doctor Greene, who is generally absent-minded and does things like trying to speed up computation time by hanging upside the middle of a city-wide disaster. He also doesn't quite seem to grasp that the "best left forgotten" section of Griffin Rock's scientific archives is called that for a reason. Heck, one event doesn't even sink in until Chief Burns tells him that Professor Baranova accepted his marriage proposal!
      • To be fair, some of his inventions were sabotaged by Dr Morocco before his debut.
    • Boulder as well. It took him quite some time to process that a lion wasn't the best choice for a Team Pet. Also, using sonic waves to find Heatwave in a collapsing tunnel.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: High Tide's methods of training the team at ocean rescues are very much in line with this trope. He eventually admits that his style could use some work.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: The trope is referenced in the episode "One for the Ages", when Myles finds himself and his brother/partner-in-crime Evan caught by Chase and sarcastically asks if there isn't a robot donut shop around.
  • E = MC Hammer: Averted with the calculus equation on the chalkboard in "Deep Trouble".
  • Egg Sitting: Cody cares for Dr. Greene's Robo-baby, which ends up having to be saved by the Bots.
  • Egopolis: An alternate timeline version of Doctor Morocco names the entire island of Griffin Rock after himself once he takes complete control.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: By season three, both Boulder and Optimus and after them, Heatwave, Chase and Blades gain a dinosaur mode.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It's a show about transforming robots rescuing people.
  • Expy:
    • The Rescue Bots team has a similar purpose and theme to the Protectobots from Generation 1, with all of them (save Boulder) turning into the same kind of emergency vehicles. In practice, they also resemble archetypal characters from the broader Transformers mythos:
      • Heatwave shares an alternate mode with Hot Spot, the Protectobots' leader. He's also cut from the same cloth as Optimus Prime himself, with similar design elements. Optimus also turned into a fire truck in several Transformers series, for the record. His hotheadedness, however, is more reminiscent of Generation 1 Hot Rod.
      • He's also similar to "Rescue Roy", a character from an earlier Transformers toy line that was also targeted towards younger children.
      • Chase is evocative of Prowl and shares his Robots in Disguise incarnation's fondness for adhering to and enforcing the rules.
      • Blades shares a name and alternate mode with Generation 1 Blades, but his fear of heights while also being a flier is more reminiscent of Silverbolt, leader of the Aerialbots.
      • Finally, Boulder is clearly based on Bulkhead, right down to his colors, similar design, and being a Gentle Giant who loves Earth and is all-around smarter than he looks.
      • His robot mode design (treads for arms, front for legs) is also similar to Scavenger's.
    • Doctor Greene is a human example, based heavily on Doc Brown from the Back to the Future franchise.
  • Eye Colour Change: Boulder's eyes turn from orange to blue when he's doing rescue work or pretending to be a man-made machine (the same sorts of situations the other bots use their Cool Shades for).

  • Failsafe Failure: A lot of the emergencies on Griffin Rock could have been avoided if one person just stopped and planned a failsafe system.
  • Famous Ancestor:
  • Fictional Sport: Rescue Ball, a ball-and-net game without any ball-handing rules.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: This is more or less Optimus Prime's response when the team contacts him about the difficulties they're having bonding with their human partners.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Formally Named Pet: Recurring character Mrs. Neederlander has a cat named "Mister Pettypaws".
  • Foreshadowing:
  • One episode shows Heatwave expressing relief over doing a sea-based mission since "the ocean doesn't catch fire". It does, courtesy of a collapsing oil rig and an ignited oil spill.
  • Usually, the appearance of a Maven Danger movie means that Quickshadow is going to be involved in the episode.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • Vigil's villain status possibly wouldn't have been caused if Mayor Luskley let Doc Greene lower Vigil's safety protocols during installation.
      • The former is also directly responsible for various events, such as concerning Frankie's 'Sky Forest', had he not grown very impatient and used experimental growth formula from the BLFS,note  The Sky Forest would've been likely a permanent structure in Griffin Rock.
  • Fountain of Youth:
    • Doctor Thaddeus Morocco seems to have invented (aka stolen) a machine that keeps him in the prime of his youth when he should be an old man, as seen in "Bot to the Future". However, the machine is not without flaws, such as only being able to rejuvenate Morocco for short periods of time, and he needs a Verne device to use it.
    • Doc Greene indirectly uses a device capable of forming this in the form of a gadget intended to preserve food. It performs an inversion on Cody by turning him into an adult due to having one part of the whole machine which promoted age, and the youth part later used on Kade by Evan and Myles due to having the other part.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: The robots; the humans have the normal amount of fingers.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: In Switcheroo.
  • Freudian Trio It sometimes depends on the scenario for who fits certain roles, but generally:
    • It's a rather fitting parallel with the Rescue Bots:
    • Their partners, however, mix things up slightly.
      • The McCoy: Kade or Danni
      • The Spock: Graham
      • The Kirk: Charlie or Cody (it should be noted that Cody is Chase's partner in the toy lore)
  • Fun with Acronyms:In "A Virtual Disaster", CAT: Character Assist Technology.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Frankie's Sky Tower causes havoc in its debut episode thanks to experimental growth formula inputted into the water mains by Mayor Luskley out of impatience.
  • Gentle Giant: Boulder, as shown by his immediate preference for saving the "natural beauty" around a burning building during the events of the first episode.
  • Genre Savvy: Blades' experience from television-watching pops up in various situations, such as splitting up in a large building isn't a very good idea to the awareness of the Red Shirt trope.
  • Giant Food: After the Bots stop a giant rampaging blob of pizza dough in "Pizza Pi Party", Blades gets an idea from a TV show he watched and the townsfolk make a giant pizza out of it. Too bad Dani ends up ruining it. Kade takes a slice home despite the flavor.
  • Giant Robot Hands Save Lives: Heatwave once saved an old lady from a deadly fall, only to be bitterly disappointed, mainly by her complete lack of gratitude.
  • Going Down with the Ship:
    • One citizen has a horrible habit of doing this.
    • A non-lethal variant occurs with Captain Ambrose, who remained on the S.S Phantom Voyager after a lightning strike rendered it simply immobile and caused everyone to evacuate, leaving him to await the towing lines to rescue him. Historically, the towing lines did arrive, only to find out it disappeared.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong:
    • In the people of Griffin Rock's defense, who knew that putting a fake-but-functioning volcano in the middle of a populated island would lead to a natural disaster? No one could have predicted it. No one at all.
    • The Griffin Rock Safety Board was created in place of the Burnses after they were suspended from rescue duties due to being related to a pirate. This eventually spiralled into chaos as the board were heavily inexperienced in said duties and were often unable to respond to any emergency or cause even more damage. It got so bad to the point where Milo (member of the board and fully aware of it) spearheaded a revolution to end the board itself and bring back the Burnses.
  • Grand Finale: The two-part episode "Upgrades"/"Transformations" serves as the definitive conclusion of this series, with the Rescue Bots and the Burns family finally defeating the Morocco Virus and the Rescue Bots all going their separate ways: Chase stays in Griffin Rock, Boulder and Graham Burns move to the northwest to start an Autobot/human community, Blades and Dani Burns relocate to China to help Quickshadow and High Tide with their training and Heatwave and Kade make it their duty to hire new recruits. In spite of this, Chief Charlie Burns makes everyone promise to always come visit for Sunday dinner.
  • Grumpy Bear: Heatwave is notably the grumpiest of the Rescue Bots in one of the more lighthearted Transformers shows.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Mrs. Neederlander as a female version.
  • Halloween Episode: "Ghost in the Machine", which has Griffin Rock celebrating a similar holiday called Earlyween. Twin criminals Evan and Myles scheme to expose the existence of the Rescue Bots to the entire world by uploading a recording of Quickshadow to the Internet. The denizens of Griffin Rock thwart the brothers' plan by creating another video that convinces everyone that the alien robots are fake, inspired by Cody Burns having listened to a pastiche of The War of the Worlds radio drama while he was at school.
  • Harmless Freezing: In "Did You See What I Thaw?" a frozen caveman is thawed out with no ill effects. It's explained that the piece of energon he wears as a necklace helped keep him alive.
  • Heel–Face Brainwashing: Jules Verne does this to Dr. Morocco, reverting him to before his Face–Heel Turn. The latter now lives in Future Paris.
  • Hidden Depths: Turns out Hayley has a degree in Botany and Mrs. Neederlander is a Snake Charmer.
  • Hilarity Ensues: After Quickshadow finds out that Maven Danger is making a visit to the island, she quickly tries to leave due to her vehicle mode. Unfortunately, Maven spots her and is forced to stay for the remainder of the episode.
  • Holding the Floor: Part of Cody and Quickshadow's plan to recover stolen energon involves Dani flying in a carrier jet to not only carry the energon and the Pynch Cells containing them, but to also distract Madeleine Pynch. The trope comes into play after an unexpected event left Chief Burns and Heatwave inside the compound after the team lost control of the security system.
  • Holodeck Malfunction: The season two episode "A Virtual Disaster" deals with Blades and Cody playing a virtual reality game but becoming trapped in the holodeck-like VR chambers when an electrical storm messes with the system. Simulated fire becomes "real", and they must Win to Exit.
  • Humanity Ensues: A temporary and less-supernatural version occurs in Camp Cody when Blades is faced with the dilemma of not being able to get ranked up in Lad Pioneers on the mainland due to being a bot. Graham finds a solution using the technology from the Mainland Training Centre's hologram projector, creating a portable one that gives Blades a human disguise while at the mainland camp. However, Blades has to stay away from human-sized objects such as chairs or sleeping in houses due to his original bot form.
  • Humongous Mecha: High Tide's ship can transform into a colossal "mega-bot mode".
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: Heatwave, Blades, and Boulder for almost all of one episode, courtesy of a Shrink Ray.
    • Blurr invoked this in the Mainland Training Centre so the bots can use a miniature race track he installed.
  • Indy Ploy: Quickshadow notes that the Burnses are masters at this in "Plus One". She even lampshades this earlier in the same episode while observing one of their rescues.
    Quickshadow: Is there any sort of overall plan? It all seems a bit higgledy-piggledy to me.
  • Intangible Man: A mysterious superhero shows up during the construction of The Griffin Rock Express, using a device allowing them to phase through objects and using it in rescue situations. It turns out the superhero is actually Frankie, who borrowed a commissioned invention from her father to cover for the Rescue Bots without their permission.
  • Mythology Gag: This being a Transformers series, the show is already accumulating quite a few of these.
    • Heatwave's alternate mode is very similar to that of Optimus Prime's in Transformers Cybertron and Robots in Disguise.
    • The first episode features malfunctioning, rampaging robot dinosaurs, in a story that is similar to the plot of the Transformers Animated episode that introduced the Dinobots.
    • And, as noted above, the first episode features the Rescue Bots picking up a message from Optimus Prime calling them to Earth, much like the ones spoken in Transformers: Prime and in the first movie.
    • The Rescue Bots are first shown in "blank", featureless forms prior to scanning alternate modes, similar to the "Protoforms" from the movie and Beast Wars series.
    • One episode involves a "dinobot". However, this type of dinobot is just a pet, with "dinobot" simply being the nickname for it.
    • The Rescue Bots have screens inside their vehicle modes that display their faces, like in Transformers: Robots in Disguise.
    • The Morocco virus' toy form closely resembles Morocco's Playskool action figure.
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: Bumblebee. Until a future episode features him with a fixed voicebox.
    • Evan is also this.
  • It Can Think: The Energon Eater in "Unfinished Business" turns out to have been faking distress calls to lure Cybertronians over so it can consume their energon.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Kade initially refuses to to call Heatwave "he", treating him as just a simple machine.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Mrs Neederlander after The Reveal she is the one from "Rider of Midwinter" who shares bread with all citizens. Lampshaded by Heatwave:
    Heatwave: Mrs. Neederlander had a heart of gold?
    • Mayor Luskley develops this when it comes to protecting Griffin Rock and its citizens.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Doctor Thaddeus Morocco. At first, he is a pretentious Mad Scientist who wants to replace Doc Greene and fails. Then, in the Season 1 finale alone, he has become a child-killing, power-mad, Evil Overlord who turns Griffin Rock (a.k.a. Moropolis) into a dystopian town. In fact, it gets so bad that Optimus and Bumblebee has to step in and help stop the madness!
  • Lampshade Hanging: In "The Alien Invasion of Griffin Rock", while the Rescue Bots worry about the alien invasion, Heatwave points out they themselves are, in fact, aliens.
    Heatwave: Just to remind you, we're aliens.
    • In "The Attack of Humungado":
    Danny: How can a monster from a movie be in Griffin Rock?
    Chief Burns: Is there any other place that could happen?
    • Cody wonders why none of the tech sent to the Island of Misfit Tech were switched off before being sent there.
  • Last of His Kind:
    • The titular heroes are the sole surviving squad of "Rescue Bots" left active, a fact which surprises even Optimus.
    • A Flobster from Flobsters on Parade who survived the festival's key event can be seen in subsequent episodes on a leash, acting as a pet.
  • Late to the Punchline: In "Flobsters on Parade", Blades doesn't get the joke behind Cody calling the flying lobsters "flobsters" until the very end of the episode.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Griffin Rock has an entire area in The Hall of Inspiration for this where dangerous tech is stored called the "Best Left-Forgotten Shelf". In some cases, they would send larger and far-more dangerous tech like a malfunctioning ScrapMaster prototype to The Island of Misfit Tech.
    • Doc Greene does state that this can be subverted with tags attached to all items sent there in case anyone changes their mind.
  • Lighter and Softer: For starters, the show doesn't feature Decepticons aside from the group being mentioned occasionally. The series is especially notable in depicting this trope in that Word of God places the series within the Transformers Aligned Universe, meaning it allegedly shares some form of continuity with Transformers: Prime and the High Moon Studios games, entries in the franchise known for being somewhat Darker and Edgier than traditional fare.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • Several antagonists such as Madeleine Pynch and Evan & Myles miss the public reveal that The Rescue Bots are aliens due to either laying low or imprisoned at the time.
    • This was initially Graham's problem with Boulder, who the former refused to tell the latter what he was thinking when formulating plans.
  • Look Behind You: In "All Spark Day", Doc Greene distracts his toddler daughter CeCe after she's grown gigantic by telling her that Isaac Newton is behind her.
  • Masquerade: The Rescue Bots have to hide their true selves and pass as advanced machinery. This being Transformers, it lasts all of one episode in regards to the Burns family. Heatwave isn't happy about this fact at first, especially in regards to being bossed around by Kade. That's right, they're Robots in Disguise... as robots. Somewhat justified, as fully sentient robots able to think for themselves without human guidance might cause a panic. If one of the Rescue Bots goes evil (not malfunctioning), it could tarnish the reputations of the Rescue Bots, the Burnses, and possibly the Autobots by extension.

    "The Alien Invasion of Griffin Rock" might have a handwave: In case the humans can't be with the Rescue Bots, the Bots have a programmed AI first directive of saving lives even without their drivers. If their cover gets blown to pieces in the process, it isn't as important as those lives saved. However, at the end of Season 3, Optimus gives the team permission to end this and in the Season 4 premiere, they do years later.
  • Mecha Expansion Pack: At the start of the second season, Boulder and Doc Greene use Cybertronian tech to create Energize Tools. They consist of a grappling claw, an axe, a shield, a hook ,a drill, a fire/water cannon and according to the toys, a disk saw for Optimus Prime and a jackhammer for Bumblebee.
  • Merchandise-Driven: This is Transformers we're talking, about after all.
  • Missing Mom: The Burns family's mother isn't mentioned and does not appear to be around, and the first episode shows Charlie doing the cooking for the family. Frankie's mom is never seen, either.
  • Missing the Good Stuff: In "Deep Trouble", the one time Dani, Graham and Kade chose to blow off the annual fishing trip it ended up not being boring.
  • Mook Lieutenant: The Red Morbot in Bot to the Future. He's painted to stand out from the rest, often leads the other Morbots in combat, and ferries Dr. Morocco when needed.
  • Moving Buildings: The futuristic Mainland Training Centre was designed to transform from and to an old bunker. Likely as a failsafe if the external hologram falters.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Dani has her moments of this, especially in a wetsuit.
  • Mugging the Monster: A race of aliens called the Velgrox stumble upon Earth thanks to Frankie's transmission and decide to use Griffin Rock as a base for world domination. They then find out that their most dangerous enemies; the Cybertronians live on the island which is enough to cause the faction to leave and surrender. It's likely that they left without knowing about the Autobots and Deceptions on the mainland.
  • Musical Episode: "I Have Heard the Robots Singing", the first of such in the history of Transformers.
    • As a bonus, the title song even features a 'bouncing ball' and subtitles!
  • The Music Meister: A device rather than a character, the Tone-O-Tuner from "I Have Heard the Robots Singing" inadvertently causes all of Griffin Rock to break out in song.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Myles and Evan often steal Doc Greene's inventions just to commit petty theft.
    • Pretty much most scientific advancements are used for mundane purposes, al-a Eureka.
  • Name's the Same: In-Universe and Played for Laughs: After Huxley reports over the news that transformers (electrical equipment) are down all over the East Coast, Blades confuses them for the Cybertronian variety.
  • Never My Fault:
    • Blurr develops this frequently.
    • Mayor Luskley in "Pirates Ahoy" after he sets fire to the stand on Founders Day.
  • Never Say "Die": Taken to silly extremes in "The Haunting of Griffin Rock", comparing dead people to time-travelers instead of simply calling them dead. Also appears in the third season finale two-parter, "Now and Then" and "Today and Forever"; it would be hard to not understand that the Rescue Bots are going to die when they use their own energon to power the forcefield generators, but everyone trails off or uses euphemisms instead of actually saying the word.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: In "The Last of Morocco", when Jules Verne suggests taking Morocco back with him to the past, Graham brings up the fact that there would be two Moroccos in the past, so then Verne decides to take Morocco to the future instead to avoid this.
  • No Antagonist: Because of the series focus on emergency rescues, the Decepticons don't show up. It's sorta-kinda implied the other Autobots are busy keeping them from destroying the world off-screen, however. Later averted with the introduction of Doctor Morocco, a human scientist who ends up being directly behind some of the emergencies the team responds to. Other human antagonists are introduced after him.
  • No Equal-Opportunity Time Travel: Averted. Frankie (who is black) and Cody end up in 1939, but no one comments on Frankie's race or gender. Besides being due to Rescue Bots being a children's show, this probably has something to do with the facts that 1) the only people who actually meet them are the scientists who are more concerned with the robots that came through their time-travel machine, and 2) Cody and Frankie are children. However, many of the town's top scientists of that era seem to be non-white. Griffin Rock was as far ahead socially from the rest of the country as it was technologically.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Chief Burns during the Flobster parade: "At least it wasn't livestock this time."
    • The historical conflict between Cybertron and the Velgrox. When a Velgrox invasion group arrives in Griffin Rock with the intent of conquering the planet and consuming the population, when they meet the Rescue Bots, they immediately surrender, cede planetary ownership rights to the Cybertronians and retreat without ever fighting. Whatever the Cybertronians did to the Vetrox to make them so afraid that they can defeat them just by publicly introducing themselves must have been a monumental victory.
  • No-Sell: The Rescue Bots are immune to the gremlin's electricity-sapping ability due to running on Energon.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: Servo gets this treatment when spending a whole episode protecting the Luskley's pet dog from harm as well as performing rescues. The damage caused by him was either by the aforementioned pet or collateral damage sustained from the rescues.
  • Old Faithful: In the episode "Rules And Regulations", we are introduced to a super-hot geyser called "Old Parker" that goes off every forty-five minutes. This geyser is located in the middle of an EMP dead zone that disables technology (including Autobots), which leaves three of the Bots frozen on top of the geyser when they try to find Cody after a misheard communication.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: After Evan and Myles carjack Chase, the entire team is initially convinced that he's pulled a legitimate Face–Heel Turn after he insults them and tries to plow them over. Boulder then realises that he insulted them in his robot voice, meaning that he's secretly up to something.
  • Pick Your Human Half:
    • Cody teaches the Rescue Bots to do this with a old sci-fi flick.
    • It's later implied that this is a last-resort plan used by Autobots in case of the sudden presence of a human, such as High Tide claiming to be an automated vessel after rescuing Woodrow Burns, and Sideswipe does this rather-poorly after the Burnses show up.
  • Politicians Kiss Babies: In "Mayor May Not", one scene shows Chase shaking the hands of people eager to vote for him and he asks if they have any babies they'd like kissed.
  • Poor Communication Kills: A phone call from Cody puts the Rescue Bots on high-alert after mistaking it for a help request during a bear attack. In reality, Cody only called on par Blades' request and mentioned a foiled bear attack, but the call was corrupted due to poor signal.
  • Power Copying: Reactaline is described as a special mineral with a mix of different metals. After Doc Greene and Chief Burns find a large sample while finding a diamond for an engagement ring meant for Professor Baranova, further tests by Doc and Frankie reveal that it's so conductive, that it automatically radiates an absorbed energy source for a short while and when magnetised, only resonates with other forms of reactaline.
  • Real After All: The Lady of Griffin Rock in "The Haunting of Griffin Rock" is implied at the end of the episode to be a real ghost. Foreshadowed by the fact that she is blue, unlike the holograms.
  • Reality Ensues: As much as a super-brain Doc Greene is, he admits to Frankie at one point that even he can't perfect a self-driving car. Given him admitting this and the time of the episode's airing, no one else could at the time.
  • Recap By Audit:
  • Repeat After Me: When Mr. Alper makes Chase take his mayoral oath in "Mayor May Not", Chase misinterprets "state your name" as an instruction to repeat the phrase instead of saying his own name.
  • Removed Achilles' Heel: Doc Greene creates a new gas similar to helium called "floatium", which only floats a set distance from the ground and lasts a lot longer than helium. This was likely created in response to a prior accident involving a helium-filled parade balloon which nearly killed him had if not the Rescue Bots intervened.
  • Robo Speak: Cody tries to help the Rescue Bots adjust to their role of pretending to be "ordinary" robots by instructing them in how to do this (along with robot "walking"), using an old 1950's sci-flick.
  • Robot Buddy: Dither.
  • Rules of the Internet: Blades repeats Rule 21's terms verbatim after being told that Chase and Boulder caught an Energon Eater.
  • Running Gag: The fact that Quickshadow scanned a internationally famous Cool Car comes back to bite her in two episodes.
  • Scienceville: Griffin Rock, an island filled with inventors who are constantly trying out their creations.
  • Scout-Out: The Lad Pioneers.
  • Secret Keeper: Charlie at first, Cody later, and eventually, the entire Burns family by the end of episode one. Frankie and Doc Greene can now be added to the list. Though the town does learn the truth in Season 4, they also swear to keep the outside world from knowing the truth.
  • Sequelitis: In-Universe: After Kade manages to secure another copy of the film Humungado on film reel, he was allowed to have the sequels for free. The projectionist jokingly states that was what they were worth.
  • Series Continuity Error: In Prof. Baranova's first appearance, Frankie was a Shipper on Deck for Baranova and her father, but in "Quarry vs. Quarry" it's implied she's uncomfortable with someone replacing her mother.
    • This can easily be explained as Frankie simply changing her mind about it as Baranova and her dad got closer.
  • Ship Tease: Quickshadow in "Ghost in the Machine" jokingly states that she showed up in case Heatwave "missed her".
  • Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: After the reveal of Quickshadow, Chase doubts her authority after a search in the Rescue Bots database returns no results. It turns out that she is in the database, it's just that she has several codenames and her real name is kept secret.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Griffin Rock is rather similar to Eureka, Oregon, don't you think?
    • Doc's car in episode 3 looks a lot like a certain modified DeLorean. That's only one reference. The rest are:
    • In "The Alien Invasion of Griffin Rock," one of the panicking citizens' phone calls causes a character to retort that her husband Edgar is not a giant cockroach from Mars. Edgar, the villain in the first Men in Black film, was a giant cockroach alien.
      • In the same episode, a character runs down a street claiming, "They're everywhere, they're everywhere," from Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
      • Blades references ET.
      • The episode also references Alien and Predator.
      • If you want to get even more obscure, the whole town panicking over an "alleged broadcast" of an alien invasion is a reference to the genuine hysteria that resulted from the 1938 radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds.
      • There's also references to The Blob (1958).
    • The episode title "Four Bots and a Baby" seems like a pretty clear reference to the film Three Men and a Baby.
    • The cross-eyed lion in one episode is a reference to Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion.
    • Deputy Barney is a reference to Barney Fife.
    • The fully charged Rescue Boy resembles a Super Saiyan.
    • Cody finds his dad's old go-kart, named the Rolling Thunder.
    • Video game references in "Virtual Disaster" include Mario and Fire jump, a sword in a rock, and when the game is broken, C.A.T. saying the infamous phrase All your base are belong to us. For non-video game references, C.A.T. itself is both an homage to the Cheshire Cat and a Godzilla-like monster.
      Not to mention...
    Blades: I used to like video games... then I took an arrow to the knee.
    • In "Bots and Robbers" Chase reads a Dick Tracy Comic, and when Chase goes undercover and helps the twin robbers Blades says:
      Chase is the victim of grand theft Autobot.
      • A double-reference is that "Grand Theft Auto" is an actual police term related to stolen vehicles.
    • The scene in which Frankie is trapped in a phone booth by flying lobsters in "Flobsters on Parade" seems to be inspired by a similar scene in The Birds. Only in the movie, it was birds, not flobsters.
    • In "No Place Like Dome", Frankie's toy rocket smashes in a lunar globe with eyes, a nod to "A Trip to the Moon".
    • At the end of a video Quickshadow shows Evan & Myles, the subsequent UI is near-identical to the one used on YouTube when a video ends on mobile versions at the time.
    • Blades compares the plan to bring Griffin Rock back to Maine to a movie he saw about a house floating with balloons and featured talking dogs.
    • The Maven Danger series is a very obvious reference to James Bond.
    • In "Ghost in the Machine", a hacked Quickshadow manages to do a turbo boost jump.
    • The episode title "To Infinity ... and Back".
  • Shrink Ray: The Minimizer.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: In "The Last of Morocco" when Morocco tries to justify his actions to his old friend Jules Verne.
    Dr. Morocco: I made my choices, as did you. We simply took different paths.
    Jules Verne: No, mon ami, there was only one path, and you left it.
  • Sigil Spam: Doctor Thaddeus Morocco has his own personal logo. If it shows up, there's usually trouble.
  • Smarter Than You Look: In "Buddy System" Frankie dreads being teamed up with Hayley because she assumes she's just a Dumb Blonde and they'll have nothing to talk about, but it turns out Hayley has expert-level knowledge of botany. Later episodes show she's a teacher.
    • Mrs. Luskey, a former winner of the Miss Griffin Rock contest, which has a speed calculus round.
  • The Smurfette Principle:
    • Dani is the only girl in the Burns family, and thus the only female member of the main heroes.
    • Season 4 introduces a female Autobot named Quickshadow, who remains the only female Cybertronian character seen in the series.
  • The So-Called Coward: Blades may not be the bravest Autobot, but when Cody is in danger in "Under Pressure", he's ready to fly through a cloud of volcanic ash in order to get the water to save him.
  • Spanner in the Works: Cody and Quickshadow's plan in Cody's 11 went awry after Priscilla Pynch decided to have a movie night at the compound and removed the USB allowing the team to access the security system.
  • Spiritual Successor: The show is one to the earlier Transformers: Go-Bots series, as well as the Mattel Rescue Heroes toy-line. The notable difference in this case, however, is that Rescue Bots is (more or less) firmly set in the Transformers mythos.
  • Spoiler Opening: The second episode (which is the first to show the full Opening Credits) has a Cold Open which ends with a cliffhanger; the resolution is part of the opening credits montage.
  • Stealth Pun: "The Alien Invasion of Griffin Rock" features movie night for the Rescue Bots. What does Chase want to watch? "I vote for an action film. Preferably with high-speed pursuits." Meaning he enjoys chase scenes.
  • Stuck in Their Shadow: In-Universe, it's discovered in the very first episode that Cody thinks he's stuck in the shadow of his older siblings. Everyone else's behavior towards him doesn't help, like the townspeople often forgetting he's even a member of the Burns family.
  • Suddenly Speaking: Bumblebee is capable of speech in the fourth season, tying the show to Transformers: Robots in Disguise to Blades surprise.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: Graham initially believes that Boulder wouldn't want have anything to do with his "primitive" culture and knowledge, but is very, very wrong.
  • Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: Some technology tested on Griffin Rock teeters between extravagant but useful to outright dangerous. For example, Doc Greene is seen using a laser sickle to prune a hedge. This seems cool enough until we later learn in the same episode that it was an invention by an unknown third party that was sent to The Island of Misfit Tech for doing a horrible job as a nose hair trimmer.
  • Supporting Leader: Optimus Prime. See Big Good above.
  • Take That!: Possibly on the live-action movies in "Rescue Boy".
    Blades: Explosions as entertainment. I'll never understand you humans.
  • "Test Your Strength" Game: In "Cody's 11", Heatwave goes to a carnival and keeps ringing the bell with one finger, earning lots of stuffed toys for all the happy kids of Griffin Rock - and an exasperated look from the carnival worker.
  • This Billboard Needs Some Salt: "All Spark Day" has a scene where the gigantic CeCe attempts to eat a giant donut sign, only to spit out the bite she's taken in disgust and exclaim "Naughty donut!"
  • Those Magnificent Flying Machines: Cody is seen greeting a neighbor who uses a helicopter backpack to get to work in the first episode. It's revealed in a later episode that he uses this due to not being able to afford a car, with Chief Burns suggesting giving him some money to purchase one to cut down on accidents.
  • Timeline Altering Macguffin: Dither, in "Bot to the Future". Doctor Morocco uses him to cause a technological revolution and take over Griffin Rock in the future.
  • Time Machine: Doc Greene finds one in "It's a Bot Time." It was built in 1939, but couldn't be powered until the present day, with nuclear power (or energon, as the Bots find out).
    • Turns out that Doctor Morocco also built a functional, smaller one and had it shipped on the S.S Phantom Voyager, but couldn't get to use it since a lightning strike accidentally set it off and caused the ship to appear every 10 years per hour until Graham inserts some energon to stabilise it.
      • Another one in the form of a pocket watch was unintentionally used by Cody, yet again built by Morocco.
  • Time Skip: Season 4 shows an older Cody and Frankie, alongside Quickshadow, a female Autobot, and the Greenes having a new baby, CeCe. The series also now takes place concurrently with Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2015), as Bumblebee is depicted as having his voice restored and Sideswipe showing up.
  • Time-Travel Episode: The season 1 finale, "It's a Bot Time" and "Bot to the Future".
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: In a meta-sense. Michael Bell Bell had expressed interest in returning to the Transformers franchise, auditioning to reprise his roles from the original cartoon as Prowl and Swoop for Transformers Animated (Prowl went to Jeff Bennett and Swoop was The Speechless, instead) and auditioning for Ratchet and William Fowler for Rescue Bots's sister series, Transformers: Prime (whom instead went to Jeffrey Combs and Ernie Hudson respectively), before being cast as High Tide here.
  • Toyless Toyline Character:
    • We haven't seen a Dani figure yet. Or Frankie, for that matter.
    • Inverted and Subverted with Blades' Plane alt mode. Obviously, Blades exists in show, but he has yet to gain the plane/jet alt mode that he has in the toyline. Chase and Boulder similarly get alternate modes in the toyline that they never had in the show.
  • Transformation Sequence: The first western-produced Transformers media to use these on a regular basis.
  • Truncated Theme Tune: In an odd first-run example, the first episode of the series had just a Title Card and a snippet of theme music. Subsequent episodes have the full Theme Tune and opening animation.
    • Played straight thereafter: The season one Theme Tune has a verse about Cody guiding the bots and one last refrain of the "Roll to the Rescue!" chorus. It is removed from most of the episodes after season 1.
  • Tsundere: In the second episode, neither Kade or Heatwave are willing to admit they're friends now, even after standing together when their lives were on the line; "It's not like we're friends" is even said verbatim.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Dani is almost identical to her great-great-great grandmother Bertha. This resemblance is what connects the Burnses to Bertha and gets them suspended because she was a pirate.
  • Underwater Base: We get this in "The Griffin Rock Triangle" as the Midgard.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: While the Rescue Bots aren't combat class, they're still quite strong.
    • The Rescue Bots do predate the militarization of Cybertron, but it's unclear just how much fighting they were involved in as part of their job. Aside from dangerous wildlife native to Cybertron, at least one of the Rescue Bots was a cop back on their world, and the place did have criminals.
  • Unusual Euphemism: From "A Virtual Disaster":
    Blades: (after an arrow flies by) AAAAHHHHH!!! WHAT IN THE ALLSPARK?!?
    • Sideswipe uses the term "scrap" a lot during his debut episode.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: In "Family of Heroes", Frankie didn't seem to care about the Rescue Bots, partially justified since Griffin Rock has numerous robots already. She's more interested in the new robot dinosaurs exhibit in the museum. Though she became curious about them when they seemed a little too smart in "The Alien Invasion of Griffin Rock".note  Eventually she discovers the truth about them.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Doctor Thaddeus Morocco. He's practically the closest we will get to Megatron, due to him bent on world conquest by leading an army of robots.
  • Voices Are Mental: Averted in the episode "Switcheroo". The ones with their minds swapped keep the voices original to the bodies, yet the mannerisms of the new minds inhabiting them. In fact, the idea for entire episode was created thanks to the cast imitating each others' characters for fun.
  • Walk, Don't Swim: On the occasions the Rescue Bots have been seen to perform aquatic rescues, they've consistently been portrayed as too heavy to swim, thus being forced to walk or drive along the ocean floor. Heatwave eventually averts this after Optimus give him the ability to store a third form, and gets an idea when he spots a wrecked but functional fireboat underwater.
  • West Coast Team: Optimus assigns Rescue Force Sigma-17 to Griffin Rock rather than the mainland to act as ambassadors to the humans.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?:
    • This is Kade's initial reaction to the Autobots, considering them mere machines and being frustrated about how he has to do things like ask his ride to "roll down the window" for him.
    • Heatwave himself flips this in "The Vigilant Town", insisting that the new town computer, Vigil, is "an it, not a he".
    • "Flobsters On Parade" ends with the titular creatures being grounded and quickly devoured by the townspeople. Since they're prone to displaying some very human facial expressions, this is troubling.
  • Whip It Good: Heatwave is shown in "Bot To The Future" using his fire hose as a whip. (When it lands in a Morbot cannon, he uses a Kill It with Water to flood the Morbot inside.)
  • Whole Plot Reference: Half of "All Spark Day" is a reference to Honey, I Blew Up the Kid.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Blades is deathly afraid of heights. Considering he turns into a helicopter, this poses problems for him and his human partner, Dani.
  • Wolverine Publicity:
    • Optimus Prime has his own playset in the toy-line, while he isn't (currently) a main character in the show.
      • He makes considerably more appearances in Season 2 and especially Season 3.
    • Bumblebee likewise has a big presence in the toy-line, despite appearing less often each season: three episodes in Season One, just one in Season Two, and not even mentioned in Season Three.
  • The World Is Not Ready: The reason why the Rescue Bots have to be "robots in disguise". However, the usual Transformers trappings are played with in that they get to pose as advanced machinery and not hide their robot modes. This is all part of a gradual plan to get humanity used to their presence.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: A time machine invented by Doctor Morocco accidentally activated by lightning causes the S.S Phantom to skip a timespan of 10 years while its inhabitants experience an hour before it sets off again. This is shown when the Rescue Bots team (except Chief Burns) reappear in the future and are rescued by an elderly Doc Greene and Chief Burns, as well as Frankie as a young adult.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: The VR chambers, after a lighting strike at the Hall of Inspiration in "A Virtual Disaster".
  • Win to Exit: The VR chamber above.


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