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     Beast Wars 
  • There's a few in Beast Wars.
    • "Dark Designs": After Megatron forcibly converts Rhinox into a Predacon, the Maximals break into their base to rescue him and in the ensuing battle, successfully take down the Predacons. Optimus orders Dinobot to grab Rhinox and for the Maximals to excape. Dinobot protests, pointing out that this is the Maximals' chance to take command of the base.
      You'd expect: Optimus to fully consider this. During the converted Rhinox's coup, most of the Predacons were incapacitated, and those that weren't had been just taken out by his troops, who themselves are at minimal damage. (Optimus himself had just sliced of Megatron's arm, Skorponok was beaten by Dinobot, and Waspinator shot down by Cheetor).
      Instead: He still orders a retreat.
      Result: The Predacons are eventually able to recover and continue the war.
    • "Call of the Wild": Megatron has stolen a component of the Maximal's base. This causes them to be forced to remain in beast mode, and eventually their instincts taking over, making them easy prey for the Predacons.
      You'd expect: For Megatron to simply destroy the component after he's stolen it. He has no apparent use for it, and keeping it around would only cause the Maximals to at some point, attempt a retaliation to reclaim it. Plus, destroying it would simply put more pressure on the Maximals, as they have no way of replicating it. Additionally, if he did have a use for it, Megatron to immediately integrate it into the Predacon base so that it wasn't easily reclaimable, or to hide it away where only he would know where to find it.
      Instead: Instead he keeps it out in the open within the base, with only a single booby trap.
      Result: Airazor breaks into the base, easily disables said booby trap, (while remarking about how predictable it is, and reclaims it for the Maximals. And speaking of Airazor...
    • In the same episode, Airazor has just successfully infiltrated the Predacon base in order to recover the aforementioned, Maximal component.
      You'd expect: That in addition to her objective, Airazor to also completely trash the place to detriment the Predacons. She doesn't have to blow it up entirely, (as a prior episode shows that an underground energon deposit would run a chance of destroying the Maximal base as well), but she could still destroy their repair chambers, computer systems, or perhaps even steal the Cybertronian golden disk, etc. She's also not pressed for time either, as the entire Predacon force is out enacting a scheme, (which she knows her teammate Tigatron is circumventing).
      Instead: She leaves the base intact.
      Result: The Predacons essentially are able to return to an intact base and resume the war.
    • "Changing of the Guard": Depth Charge has just completely incapacitated Rampage, and is about to either kill him or cut out his spark. Silverbolt however, interferes to ask Depth Charge to aid the Maximals in their current operation.
      You'd expect: Silverbolt to leave Depth Charge be. Rampage is currently THE most powerful Predacon under Megatron's command, (Possibly stronger than Megatron himself). Taking him out of the picture completely would be a an absolute advantage to the heroes. Added to this, Rampage landed on Quickstrike when he was knocked out, so nothing's stopping Depth Charge or Silverbolt from finishing him too.
      Instead; Silverbolt, and then Rattrap, argue with Depth Charge, allowing Rampage and Quickstrike to sneak away. This also costs the two Maximals valuable time to complete their mission.
      Result: Depth Charge later considers Silverbolt's words, and does go to help... only to unintentionally cause the Maximals to lose the current mission. The Predacons gain the Maximal's technology, and retain Rampage and Quickstrike.
    • "Nemesis Part 1: Depth Charge has found the underwater, dormant, Nemesis war ship. This situation is so desperate that he's willingly put aside his vendetta against rampage in order to stop Megatron from activating it. Ironically, however, Rampage still shows up to fight him.
      You'd expect: For Depth Charge to completely ignore Rampage, break away from the fight, and focus on infiltrating the Nemesis. Considering that his alternate modes are easily faster and more versatile than Rampage, Depth Charge could easily pull this off.
      Instead: he lets Rampage goad him into a fight, which eventually results in his and the Predacon's deaths.
      Result: Megatron launches the Nemesis with no interruption.
    • "Nemesis Part 2": Pressed into a corner with the Nemesis hovering above, Optimus flies up to infiltrate the Nemesis before it can recharge its power and destroy the Ark.
      You'd expect: For Optimus to bring backup with him. He doesn't know how many Predacons that Megatron currently has with him. Admittedly, the other Maximals are trying to reactivate the Ark for another line of defense, but out of them, only Rhinox and Blackarachnia are savvy enough to reverse engineer the technology to do so. Therefore he could still take Rattrap, Cheetor, and Silverbolt.
      Instead: Optimus goes in alone, with our any backup, or even any extra guns or weapons to give himself an edge.
      Result: Optimus gets his ass kicked by Megatron. He and the other Maximals only luck out thanks to Dinobot 2's last minute Heel–Face Turn.
    • Also from "Nemesis Part 2": The Maximals have won the Beast Wars, captured Megatron, and are about to head home on their Autobot shuttle.
      You'd expect: The Maximals to dismantle Megatron, (Since, as Waspinator proves, the transformer can live on as just a head), or place him in stasis lock, and also keep him in full view of the other Maximals inside the shuttle. Megatron has proven time and time again to be an extremely cunning opportunist and strategist.
      Instead: They tie him, in one piece, TO THE OUTSIDE OF THE SHUTTLE, out of view of the Maximals.
      Result: During the trip home, he eventually breaks free. Cue Beast Machines.
     The Transformers 
  • In "More Than Meets The Eye, Part 3", Mirage has snuck aboard the Decepticons' ship, while invisible. Megatron and Starscream are fighting a duel over the leadership of the Decepticons.
    You'd Expect: Mirage would take advantage of the distraction and his own invisibility to pick off the Decepticons one-by-one, take over their ship, pick up the rest of the Autobots, and return to Cybertron.
    Instead: He becomes visible, forcing a fight and crashing the ship. Sure, he survives, but so do the Decepticons.
    In All Fairness: He can't fire his weapons while invisible, as far as anyone knows.
  • In "Heavy Metal War", Optimus Prime and Megatron agree to one-on-one combat - the losing side has to leave Earth. Every single Autobot tells Optimus this is a bad idea because Megatron can't be trusted to fight fairly. They're right, as Megatron uses Applied Phlebotinum to transfer the special abilities of the other Decepticons into himself. Guess who wins the battle?
    You'd Think: Optimus would notice with his own optics that Megatron suddenly has powers he's never used before and call Megatron out on the deal, at least until he was sure about it.
    Instead: Until footage from Teletraan-1 shows him exactly how Megatron pulled his deception off, Optimus simply accepts his defeat and prepares to pack the Autobots off to parts unknown...with every Autobot protesting that Megatron obviously cheated. "Honor Before Reason"? "Lawful Stupid"? Take your pick. Optimus is an idiot, regardless. It also arguably blows up in Megatron's face since after the cheating is revealed Optimus Prime and his Autobots come back with a vengeance, breaking up a fight between the Dinobots and the Constructicons in Devastator mode and then blasting the ever loving crap out of the Decepticons and knocking them into a pool of lava since they can't fight back due to not having their own natural abilities at the moment, with Prime then blasting the crap out of Megatron and knocking him into the lava pool with them. Too bad you can't keep a good Decepticon down...
  • In the movie, Unicron is a massive planet eating monstrosity, who can only be destroyed by the "Matrix of leadership". Galvatron brings it to him, and plans on using it against Unicron, but can't get to work.
    You'd Think: Unicron wouldn't take his chances and destroy the Matrix right away.
    Instead: He eats Galvatron with the Matrix. In doing so Hot Rod, once inside Unicron, eventually takes it from Galvatron, and uses it on Unicron.
  • All the goddamn time, Megatron transforms into a gun that has to be fired by someone else.
    You'd Expect: Him to go into the hands of someone loyal, like Soundwave or Skywarp, or just you know, don't transform in the first place and use his own Arm Cannon.
    Instead: he jumps into the hands of the guy who has a trope about betraying things named after him and Starscream gets to hold the boss he longs to overthrow in his hand and point and shoot him. It's only because Starscream is even more of an idiot that this doesn't backfire.
  • In A Prime Problem Megatron builds a fake Optimus Prime to infiltrate the Autobots and bring them down from the inside after seemingly neutralizing the real Optimus Prime. Various problems ensue (such as the fake Prime not knowing some of the basic day to day aspects of the Autobots routine or who certain Autobots are, mistaking Ironhide for Bumblebee and what not) before the real Prime shows up and confronts his evil twin and the Autobots have to figure out which Prime is the real one, since the fake is so well built that even Teletran-1 can't tell them apart.
    You'd expect: That the Autobots would easily solve the problem by just sitting the two Primes down and asking questions that only the real Prime would know the answers to, or that the real Prime would just assert himself by using his knowledge of all things Autobot related to discredit the fake Prime.
    Instead: The Autobots make the two Primes compete in absurd contests of shooting and racing as if these will somehow show which Prime is the real one. Megatron then tries to make his clone look good by rigging it so his fake Prime kills a fake Starscream, which somehow convinces the Autobots that fake Prime is the real Prime even though the real Prime had never heartlessly killed any opponent like that before, no matter how evil or just plain annoying, and almost follow the fake Prime into a dangerous area that could kill them all against the protests of the real Prime and only stop short when another Autobot warns them that it's dangerous and informs that Spike is in danger, which the fake Prime dismisses as not important, at which point the Autobots finally realize that fake Prime is a fake because the real Prime would save Spike even if it meant losing out on a valuable energy source. Also reflects badly on Megatron because you would think after all those centuries of war that Megs would know the real Prime better than that.
    * In War Dawn, the Aerialbots have doubts about their loyalties, wondering if the Decepticons are truly evil. They arrange a meeting with Starscream, who plays along with it.
    You'd expect: That Megatron, already griping about how his faction is losing their advantage in the skies to them, would seize the opportunity to deceive them into joining the Decepticons, or at least use his trap to blow them up into scrap metal since they were helpless.
    Instead: He goes through a convoluted plan to send them back in time, and by doing so, ends up creating his greatest enemy, Optimus Prime (who himself would go on to create the Aerialbots.)
    Also: You'd think that with a time machine at his disposal, that he'd put it to more practical use, such as sending a squadron with advanced weaponry from his era to assist his past self.
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     Transformers Animated 
  • In Transformers Animated, the Constructicons have recently had their memories erased after drinking a tainted batch of oil provided by Bulkhead. While their basic, generally helpful and friendly personalities are intact, they have no recollection of any of their previous dealings with either the Autobots or the Decepticons.
    You'd expect: That Bulkhead would attempt to explain, slowly and calmly, that the Autobots are good and the Decepticons are evil. This would allow him to maintain his friendship with the Constructicons and gain powerful allies for his team.
    Instead: Bulkhead, still furious from the Constructicons' betrayal, threatens them with his giant wrecking ball weapon and generally throws a temper tantrum. This frightens the Constructicons off, which eventually leads to them falling back in with Megatron and becoming true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool Decepticons. That's what happens when you are voiced by Patrick Star...
    • In a later episode, the "You'd Expect" is exactly what he does after he tracks them down again, and for a while, it actually works. Unfortunately this is confounded by a) Dirt Boss and b) the fact that at their core, the Constructicons seem to have a tendency to follow orders no matter who's giving them or what they were doing before.
    • Another episode, "Decepticon Air" has Sentinel Prime, on the way back to Cybertron, bringing out the captured Decepticons from their cells to interrogate them. Then he is called to the bridge to speak with the High Council.
      You'd expect: That Sentinel Prime makes sure that the Decepticons were back in their cells before leaving them alone, realizing how dangerous they are and how stasis cuffs aren't always a sure thing. In addition, earlier in the series, Starscream was on the very same ship and in the cuffs and he somehow escaped.
      Instead: He completely leaves them unattended, not even bothering to make sure that they were back in their cells. Thus when Swindle, who was previously Mode Locked, is revived thanks to the lightning from an Ion storm they traveled to, he frees the other Decepticons and thus proceeds to take over the ship.
    • Adding more to Sentinel's stupidity is his decision on how to deal with Omega Supreme when he transwarped on Cybertron.
      You'd expect: Sentinel to try to gain control of Omega as it would give the Autobots a massive advantage over the Decepticons. Plus all the brownie points he can get out of it.
      Instead: He orders the Fortress Maximus to fire on Omega Supreme. While ignoring Ratchets warning, that Omegas transwarp energy, plus the blast from the WMG could destroy a huge chunk of Cybertron.
    • A rather brutal example: in "Predacons Rising", Sentinel discovers that Blackarachnia was once his old friend, Elita-1.
      You'd expect: Since Elita-1's disappearance is arguably the main reason Sentinel is such a Jerkass today, he'd soften up due this revelation and try to help her overcome her condition.
      Instead: Since Sentinel has a fear of organics and Blackarachnia is part organic, he's actually willing to kill her...simply for existing.
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