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  • And You Thought It Would Fail: The idea of a Transformers film focusing solely on Bumblebee, a character many had begun to see as a Creator's Pet, coming out only a year after Transformers: The Last Knight was critically lambasted, a financial failure, and seemingly killed the film series, which was suffering of Sequelitis ever since Revenge of the Fallen. While the movie has a promising director by the name of Travis Knight, who directed Kubo and the Two Strings, the writer has only written two other movies, Shut In and Unforgettable (2017), both of which were poorly received. However, this began to fade out when more and more info about the movie started to come out, and by the time of release people were outright optimistic. In the end, the film not only received mostly positive reviews, but it also has a much better score than The Transformers: The Movie, the movie that established most of the cinematic Transformers lore. As a result, after years of people hoping for the franchise to end, many are now clamoring for more Transformers movies along the lines of Bumblebee.
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    • The character designs are less cluttered, have more definition, and resemble their G1 appearances more closely, but still keep the movie aesthetic. Specifically the designs are overall more solid and colourful, with recurring franchise characters bearing more traditional designs and looking less cluttered, but they still keep the level of mechanical detailing, fluid transformation schemes and more "alien" aesthetic to the Transformers that the 2007 film first established.
    • Many consider Michael Bay's lack of involvementnote  with the film to be this, coupled with the fact that he's been replaced by Travis Knight.
    • Having a female protagonist and a female screenwriter was a relief considering the past films' sexist reputation. In the film itself, Charlie is treated as a three-dimensional character instead of eye-candy, and never subjected to Male Gaze, and what little sexual fanservice the film has is incredibly minor.
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    • The first trailer has solidified people's interest in this movie, based on how it junks many of the problems fans had with earlier installments when Bay was in charge:
      • The trailer overall eschews explosions, sexual fanservice, and cheap humor, three of the biggest complaints fans and critics had about the series. Instead, it highlights Charlie and Bee's relationship along with the more classic character designs.
      • The transformation sequences and action scenes flow much better and are easier to follow, in contrast to the visual Bay-os of previous movies.
      • Bee is only about twelve feet tall in the first trailer, which much more believably matches the mass of a Volkswagen beetle-sized robot and addresses the franchise's omnipresent problems with scale being all out of whack and the robots' sizes being inconsistent.note 
      • Similarly, Blitzwing's design greatly resembles a classic Seeker, with a reasonably shaped torso and with well-balanced proportions. To compensate for the mass, rather than follow Starscream's previous awkward design (that is to say make him as tall as he is wide with spindly limbs so that the mass of the jet would have somewhere to go at his chosen size), they just make him a giant compared to Bumblebee, which makes him genuinely terrifying.
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    • Charlie and Bee have a genuine, developing friendship, and the movie actually focuses on this. Sam mostly treated Bumblebee as something between a pet or a bodyguard, and what friendship moments they had were few and far between across three films (the first actually skipping past any kind of bonding to them being thrust into the quest for the Allspark). Due to the more relaxed nature of the plot of Bumblebee, they have more time spent just being friends, allowing a greater degree of characterization.
    • The film only has three Decepticons in major roles and the bad guys actually get some characterization and personality beyond the blandly evil genericons of every previous film. The Deceptions in general are depicted in a threatening manner, with even Optimus Prime having an Oh, Crap! moment when Soundwave, Shockwave and Starscream show up on the battlefield in the prologue, whereas the previous films seemed to gradually lower how threatening the Decepticons are perceived over time.
    • While the film has a PG-13 rating like the other films, it's only for violence. The sexual humor and general raunchiness of the original series isn't present. Charlie remains sensibly dressed for the entire film, and the skin she shows is in the typical 80s clothes that teens wore then; the only particularly sexualised characters in the movie are also completely Out of Focus and greatly toned down.
    • Many fans had become upset with the Bay films for turning Transformers into fodder for human soldiers, making it difficult to see the Decepticons as a legitimate threat to Earth and causing them to get overshadowed by the humans. In this movie, the only time the military ever gets the upper hand on a Transformer is when Bumblebee doesn't really want to hurt them and so doesn't fight back. The moment he stops holding back, it's a Curb-Stomp Battle. By extension this shows how much of a threat the Decepticons will be if they get to Earth, especially since Bumblebee is one of the physically weakest Transformers.
    • One semi-frequent complaint about the original Transformers movies was that Sam was a weak Vanilla Protagonist whose main role was being The Chosen One, while Mikaela's skillset, backstory, and arc would have made her a much more interesting main character. Charlie completely forgoes the 'special' backstory so she and Bumblebee have a more organic friendship, and though not exactly re-hashing Mikaela, Charlie is a mechanic like her, similarly taught by her father, and goes through an arc of overcoming her anxieties relating to her troubled family life and the loss of her father. In general, as far as human characters go, Charlie is generally considered a large step up from the past.
    • In general, human characters tend to be The Scrappy in a lot of Transformers fiction (both the prior movies and many of the cartoons), due to either being the Spotlight-Stealing Squad or being useless. While humans do outnumber the robots in the movie, they're generally only in a supporting capacity (meaning that compared to the vast majority of the human cast, Bumblebee, Shatter, and Dropkick both get far more focus and personality), with the only human characters receiving any real focus being Charlie and Burns, both of whom have received a great deal of praise. Charlie's close friendship with Bee, her useful skillset as a mechanic and her genuinely likeable personality have made her one of the most popular human companions in the entire franchise and reaffirms why Autobots work with humans. Meanwhile, Burns's badassery, entertaining Large Ham disposition and his Hero Antagonist role earned him a great deal of respect, as he manages to be effective in battle without overshadowing the Transformers or being useless.
    • When the film was close to release and some time after, there were fan debates on if the movie was a prequel to the Michael Bay-directed Transformers movies, as it was initially developed as, or a complete reboot, as many wished it to be. Fortunately putting an end to the debates, Hasbro confirmed the movie was in fact the start of a new storytelling universe, something that, after much back and fourth, producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura later confirmed, making it the start of a reboot for the franchise.
  • Awesome Music: Hailee Steinfeld's "Back to Life", written specifically for the movie.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The "Bee Vision: The Transformers robots of Cybertron" Special Feature reveals that the other Cybertronians had possessed additional alt modes (Spider for Arcee, A boat for Shockwave), which turns out that it was directly plagiarized from their Wikipedia pages.
  • Broken Base: The change from being an action-focused franchise to a character-driven story. The film overall has very little action, with the first ten minutes being the only real action sequence until the climax unfolds, outside of a brief flashback to Cybertron and a Car Chase with a single patrol car. For some, it made the film too boring and lacked the non-stop action that the franchise was known for, but for others, it allowed the movie to flesh out the characters of Charlie and Bumblebee as well as their friendship, so that we actually care when they're in danger. To the films' credit, it never advertised itself as being action-heavy compared to the previous entries, with the trailers and most advertisements focusing on the funny, charming, character building side.
  • Cliché Storm: So far the biggest complaint from viewers is (like Christina Hodson's prior films) that the plot is rather predictable and has been done before, particularly in films like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and The Iron Giant. This is considered a case of Tropes Are Not Bad, though; many feel that even though the plot is predictable, it is coherent, straightforward, and understandable, with characters that the audience can get invested in, whereas the past films' plots were incredibly off-the-rails and impossible to follow with characters that were either unlikable, uninteresting, or just there for fanservice. As well as this, many of these chlichés help to give the movie an 80s feel, fitting with its setting and the films' status as a love letter to the Transformers' original era.
  • Complete Monster: Shatter and Dropkick are a pair of Decepticons out to hunt down and kill Optimus Prime. Introduced torturing and murdering the Autobot Cliffjumper, the two arrive on Earth where Dropkick kills a human simply for fun. Directed to the human authorities, the two claim to be peacekeepers hunting down a criminal to give them access to humanity's satellites. After capturing and torturing Bumblebee, the two murder a doctor who was helping them, revealing their intent to bring their forces down on Earth and kill every human being, not stopping until the planet is a cinder. A vicious pair of Brains and Brawn, Shatter and Dropkick embody the worst of the Decepticons.
  • Creator Worship: Greatly contrasting the fandom reaction to Michael Bay, the fanbase adores director Travis Knight due to having directed the beloved Kubo and the Two Strings and his Ascended Fanboy Truer to the Text approach being what many feel made the film so strong, and pretty much everyone wants to see him return to shepherd future movies. Hailee Steinfeld also gets this due to her performance as Charlie leading to her being considered one of the best human characters in the franchise's history.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Ron giving Charlie a self-help book encouraging her to smile more as a birthday present, before trying to cheer her up by reading from it. Keep in mind that Charlie's still reeling over the death of her father and none of her family seem to pick up on it; combined with the incredibly awkward atmosphere, it becomes hilarious once you're done feeling bad for Charlie. Helping matters is the book's name, Smile for a Change, which reads like a Stealth Insult, but coming from Ron, he reads it as Sincerity Mode.
    • Dropkick in general. His dislike of Earth, but primarily humans, is pretty much played for laughs, even when he's killing a random civilian (admittedly a jackass one), and his dialogue drips with Comedic Sociopathy.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Prior to release, some fans believed that, with Hasbro's plans for a Shared Universe on the horizon and the cancellation of the sequel to The Last Knight, the movie was going to be a complete Continuity Reboot of the Transformers Film Series.note . This was helped by the shots of Cybertron and other Transformers taking on a more cartoon-inspired aesthetic, and continued up until release. In the end, the film maintains enough Broad Strokes that one could see it as either a complete reboot that merely makes nods to the other films, or as a prequel that just takes creative liberties and loose continuity, which is hardly new for Transformers.
    • As the film was confirmed as "new storytelling universe", it has become quite likely that after The Last Knight becoming financial failure, the film got reworked from the original draft which was more heavily tied to Bay films (suggested by how the film’s original opening was Bumblebee escaping human army on Earth and the movie's offical prequel comic establishing his long history on the planet and rivalry with Blitzwing, who was an actual tank-jet Triple Changer instead of a Seeker) to make it work as either prequel, though with discontinuities, or it's own fresh start for a movie series depending on it’s box office performance.
  • Evil Is Cool: Shatter and Dropkick, the main villains, have already picked up a following for their designs striking a good balance between the G1 and Bay designs. Their increased screen-time allowed them to show off their dynamic, playing a villainous buddy-cop duo each with their own quirks and personalities, making them stand out compared to past generically evil Decepticon fodder. Their fight with Bumblebee in the climax is undeniably one of the highlights of the film, portraying a David vs. Goliath battle, especially with Dropkick.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Between fans of the Michael Bay directed films and fans of this movie. A large part of it comes down to the fact that the Bay films had a huge fandom unconnected to the larger Transformers fandom (who in general hate those movies), while Bumblebee has been largely accepted by the latter due to being Truer to the Text rather than follow the Bay films' direction. Combined with a big Genre Shift (going from Alien Invasion Disaster Movie films to A Boy and His X Coming of Age) and change in tone, the film does not cater to the same audience as the prior movies did. A few comment sections and audience reviews tend to feature a lot of back-and-fourth between the two groups, with Bumblebee being decried by the former for not following the previous films' style.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Despite Word of God wanting to avoid the term 'reboot', there are many who prefer to believe this movie is the new canon and all preceding installments in another timeline, citing the film's various Continuity Snarls (which, granted, is nothing new in the Bay films). It's a case where many would see this trope as a positive; there's no reason for one to need the other films to enjoy Bumblebee on its own, and any subsequent sequels are likely to continue from this point rather than revisit the Bay era.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Though not exactly one everyone is comfortable with, Charlie/Bumblebee has a much more vocal support movement than Charlie/Memo, despite the latter being the closest to a canon couple. It doesn't help that Memo seems to only exist to discourage people thinking of Charlie and Bumblebee as romantic.
  • Girl-Show Ghetto: Played With. Some negative viewers have complained about the film being too 'girly' or 'feminist', because the human companion is a young woman and the much of the story is from her perspective, along with being a less-actiony, more character focused story. This seems to be a major Vocal Minority however as the film is otherwise unanimously well-liked and Charlie herself is fairly popular with all genders of viewer. However, financially-speaking, the movie did perform less than the past entries, but this likely had more to do with following after the Box Office Bomb Transformers: The Last Knight effectively killing interest in the movie; a number of viewers who watched the movie once it was out on home release have commented on being surprised at how enjoyable it was, having not bothered to watch it because of the past films. Essentially, its 'girly' focus isn't the reason why it made less money, but rather it was people not being aware of this.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • This marks the second film where an Autobot responds with "never" in regards to giving up Optimus Prime's location and pays for it with their life. For this film it was Cliffjumper, formerly it was Ratchet.
    • This also marks the second film where a Decepticon tells a human; "Thank you for your hospilality." Whereas formerly it was the rather jovial Nitro Zeus and his words sounded sincere, here those words come from the sociopathic Shatter and are a Kick the Dog moment prior to executing said human.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The release of Cloud Starscream is a redeco of Generations Doubledealer, a retool of Blitzwing. Guess which of the 'Cons in this movie possessed the Starscream-ish head & Blitzwing's name?
    • A redeco of the Mechtech Bumblebee toy with red eyes (due to molded clear red plastic) is totally canon now.
    • Ravage's redesign has no tail, which becomes rather ironic when you remember that Bumblebee killed him in Revenge of the Fallen by ripping his tail out with his spine.
    • The self-help book about learning to smile more ends up being eerily similar to an exchange in the next big female-fronted blockbuster, Captain Marvel (2019).
  • Hype Backlash: To a minor extent, some of the more infamous 'Geewuners' fandom and the Bayformers fandom have had a far less-positive reaction to the film, likely in-part because of how beloved it became among critics and audiences. The film's Genre Shift, change in tone and audience catering, leads to some of the latter complaining that it was Pandering to the Base for the older fans, while some of the former complain that it didn't Pander enough.
  • Hypocritical Fandom: On the receiving end of some of this from the above-mentioned Bayformers fanbase and the Fandom Rivalry that's cropped up thanks to Bumblebee's more positive reception and Continuity Reboot status. While some arguments can be had for Bumblebee having less action and robots and the tone shift from being action-focused to character-focused, there's an odd tendency for some to accuse the film of focusing too much on Charlie's storyline, which is almost hilarious considering how infamous the Bayformers movies were for the humans' Spotlight-Stealing Squad statusnote .
  • Inferred Holocaust: For the first time averted in a Transformers film. While there's plenty of deaths during the action, the only ones actually killed are trained combatants, and the only civilian deaths are an Asshole Victim Dropkick kills for fun and Dr Powell. No cities or populated areas are blown up callously and the heroes manage to limit the scope the Decepticons' rampage stretches.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!:
    • A number of fans have complained that, while most of the other characters are redesigned to be very true to their original cartoon designs, Bumblebee himself looks too similar to the version in the Bay movies, with some saying that they should have kept his blocky body-type and horns on his head from the G1 design. The decision at the end for him to scan a Camaro is similarly not particularly well-liked. While this was likely done to keep continuity with the other movies, when the film was recut to be a Continuity Reboot, some feel this should have been cut too in order to let Bumblebee keep his classic form instead of the Camaro. Others have argued that they should have compromised by having Bumblebee resemble his G1 design during the Cybertron scenes and then change to the design he has in this film once he scanned an Earth alternate mode.
    • On the other end of the spectrum, some fans who liked the unique takes on character designs from the previous films complained about the designs of this film hewing too closely to the original cartoon. That said, very few of them have an issue with the less cluttered and more colorful aesthetic.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Even among those not interested in the premise, the more G1-accurate character designs have people excited. The opening ten minutes which showcases this the most has been cited by many as one of the main reasons to see the film, even if the rest of the film is very different.
  • Love to Hate:
    • Shatter and Dropkick are two of the most evil Decepticons we've seen, being utter sadists who'll stop at nothing to find Prime, and willing to kill entire planets to do so. However, they're also a villainous Buddy-Cop duo who, while both sadistic, have completely different styles to their sadism (Shatter being a talker who enjoys playing mind games and twisting the knife by adding insult to injury, while Dropkick is a brute who likes to cause as much physical damage and pain as he can), and have some entertaining scenes together that its hard to not find them engaging. Adding to things is how, instead of just attacking the Earth, they come up with the brilliant scheme of convincing Sector 7 that they're the good guys in the war, making them stand out considerably as surprisingly tactful and resourceful.
    • To a considerably lesser extent, Tina the bullying Alpha Bitch who delights in tormenting Charlie. She only appears for about eight minutes in total, but her scenes greatly help to make the audience feel bad for Charlie, and their comeuppance is one of the most entertaining moments in the movie and a major Heartwarming Moment between Charlie, Bee, and Memo, something the film couldn't have had without her.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Poor Cliffjumper. The fan-base has taken to making many jokes about how Hasbro loves killing him off early in crude and disturbing ways.
    • To some extent, Memo is often teased by the fandom, often due to being "rejected/friendzoned" by Charlie. The fact that Jorge Lendeborg Jr.'s character in Spider-Man: Homecoming is also rejected by a woman in his one scene seems to be brought up a lot. Generally his character is well-liked, at least.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The epic Cybertron battle sequence at the start has fans demanding a full-on movie taking place on Cybertron, "with as little human action as possible". A plethora of fan-made videos have shown up on YouTube that modify the battle of Cybertron such as by inserting G1 music, recreating it in Transformers: War for Cybertron or Minecraft visual design, recreating it with action-figures and shooting a homemade video of it or simply updating the quality.
    • The first trailer quickly got stuck with the jokingly affectionate moniker "The Shape of Metal/Gasoline/Energon", thanks to sharing the theme of a (platonic, in this case) love story between a human female and a male non-human, not to mention a shot of Charlie embracing Bee underwater that looks very similar to a scene to Del Toro's film. Comparisons to The Iron Giant are also popular, even having a scenes in their climaxes that are almost identical. It also helps that all three films' take place in the same Cold War setting.
    • Charlie bonding with Bumblebee by gently placing her hand on his face has drawn jokes of calling the film "How to Train Your Autobot".
    • Shatter and Dropkick, the two main Decepticons, are oftenly jokingly compared to Team Rocket's Jessie and James from Pokémon.
    • It didn't take long for everyone, including TFWiki.net, to get in on making joking comparisons to Bee Movie. Some fans even humorously hoped it would open with Optimus Prime narrating "According to all known laws of aviation..."
    • "The Queen of Wakanda is a Decepticon!"Explanation 
    • "Bumblebee, sweet boy", a memorable quote from the Netflix documentary show The Toys That Made Us, was quickly associated with the trailer's Lighter and Softer take on the movies' Bee.
    • The seeker character featured here was widely assumed to be Starscream, only for Word of God to say that he’s actually supposed to be Blitzwing. Cue jokes about Travis Knight not being able to tell the difference between Starscream and Blitzwing, or Starscream toys being referred to as Blitzwing toys.
    • Naturally, John Cena's reputation as the invisible man has fans questioning why he doesn't appear in any of the trailers.
    • "It's basically the plot of The Little Mermaid but with robots"Explanation 
    • There's the discourse debating on whether Ravage is a cat or a dog, as in the original G1 series, he's referred to as a "panther" but has a rather canine head, and true to inspiration, the Ravage appearing in this movie looks a lot more like a dog.
    • Comparing this new entry positively, directed by Travis Knight, to the previous ones directed by Michael Bay has the phrase 'it's like Knight and Bay.'
    • Cliffjumper's Cruel and Unusual Death at the hands of Shatter and Dropkick had lead many to joke that Hasbro really has it out for Cliff, as this is the second time he's been killed early off.
    • "Did you think you could hide?!"
    • "Because of you, our franchise has a future." and other similar snowclones.
    • "Thank you for giving me my _____ back." Explanation 
    • "With all due respect, are you out of your damn mind?!" Explanation 
  • Misblamed: The G1 Seeker seen in the trailers being revealed to be Blitzwing instead of Starscream got disappointed people criticizing Travis Knight for pointless character namedrop. While it can be also be stated that showcasing his character design was mostly for marketing, it was understandably impossible for Knight to reveal the reasoning for different character name without outright spoiling his death.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Soundwave's trademark synthetic voice, much to the delight of anyone who found his Doctor Claw voice from previous films too silly to be scary.
    • Also, the occasional usage of the original transformation sound as opposed to the general clinking, mechanical sound from the previous movies (though the latter is still used for most of them).
    • Stan Bush's The Touch getting air time, given how beloved and iconic that song is with the fandom.
  • Moe: Both Charlie and Bumblebee result in this reaction. Bumblebee is this always but the film plays it up due to his memory loss making him scared and vulnerable, but as ever upbeat and curious. Charlie meanwhile at first downplays it because she's still grieving for her father, but its quickly apparent she can match Bumblebee's upbeated nature and behind the angst is a quirky and Adorkable young woman, which makes the bad things she deals with all the more upsetting.
  • Narm Charm:
    • The trailer's use of the Bobby Bolivia quote from the first film as an emotional Call-Forward comes across as rather chortle-worthy, since Bolivia said it disingenuously as a means of trying to hock what he saw as a piece-of-crap car on a gullible teenager. But for many, the use of the line works anyway, helped in no small part by the fact that Bolivia was played by the late Bernie Mac.
    • The G1-esque designs of the Cybertron battle in the opening may look a little less realistic and more cartoonish than the rest of the series, but to the fans of the 80s cartoon, it's what they've been wanting from this franchise for years.
    • Bumblebee's attempt to use "The Touch" to encourage Charlie. It's as cheesy as it is hilarious.
    • As Bumblebee and Charlie part ways, we see her in his side mirror, with the text "objects in mirror are closer than they appear" clearly in focus. Heavyhanded and corny for sure, but also a moment for feels and tears.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Bumblebee's Roaring Rampage of Revenge, in which he methodically mows down a load of Sector Seven goons with the only thing visible being his hellish red eyes.
    • After Bumblebee refuses to rat out his friends, claiming he’ll never talk, Blitzwing sadistically insists they make it official. He then proceeds to transform his hand into a spiked blade reminiscent of Robocop’s data spike, and plunges it into Bee’s voicebox, before ripping it out completely. It gets even worse when you realize Blitzwing basically just ripped out part of Bee’s throat.
    • Cliffjumper's Cruel and Unusual Death, via being sliced in half right down the middle! And this is AFTER he's been tortured extensively to the point of losing his right arm!
    • Dropkick's weaponry includes a cannon that causes humans to pop like bubbles, leaving behind nothing but a puddle of slime!
  • No Yay: For some, the implications that the film is a Robo Ship romance. Largely because Bee spends much of the film partially brain-damaged (not to mention just very alien to human customs) and thus makes the idea of him being romanced uncomfortable, that Charlie is only just 18 so its kind of creepy for a robot that's thousands of years old to romance, and because, in the film itself, their relationship is such a strong case of Platonic Life-Partners some just don't want to see it 'corrupted' by becoming a romance. And that's before you get into how some feel Squick towards the idea of Transformer/human romances in general.
  • Older Than They Think: People have used the newer, more classic Transformer character designs in the film as confirmation for the film being a Continuity Reboot, which was eventually confirmed to be the case. However, Transformers continuities having different character designs between installments is nothing new in the franchise, even including examples that are drastically different without accounting for a change in art style. In the film series alone, Megatron had a drastically different body by the fifth film, to what he started with. So whilst the film's status as a prequel or reboot was uncertain prior to the confirmation of it's status, the character designs aren't necessarily the deciding factor.
    • Conversely, after the film was confirmed as a reboot, then that means it has kept several elements from the Michael Bay films; notably Bumblebee's overall face/head and aspects of his body design have carried over from those films as well as him becoming a Camaro at the end. Sector Seven has also carried over. This also isn't anything new to the franchise, as Transformers reusing character designs and story aspects for new continuities with minor alterations (sometimes none) is also something that often happens. Notably the IDW comics made a habit of incorporating and repurposing many aspects of Transformers lore to fit that continuity whilst outwardly leaving them identical to past incarnations (examples including their version of the Thirteen Primes being identical in appearance to those from the Transformers Aligned Universe).
    • Though some expressed confusion on if the film is a reboot or a prequel prior to its reboot status becoming official (which really just seemed to be dependant on if they liked the prior films or not), the Broad Strokes approach to different instalments within the same 'continuity-bubble' is pretty par-the-course for Transformers. Even ignoring the Michael Bay movies having loose continuity themselves that would introduce conflicting ideas each instalment, but the G1 cartoon and the G1 Marvel comics had considerable differences, as did the Unicron Trilogy (particularly Cybertron), and more recently and infamously, the Transformers Aligned Universe.
    • Though the film was well-regarded by the larger Transformers fandom, some of the more extreme die-hard G1 and anti-human fans decried that the film used the A Boy and His X trope again. As with before, Transformers working with humans is pretty much the franchise's most reoccurring plot point, and in particular the way the film portrayed it is pretty much identical to many of the early comics. This similarly applied to fans of the Bay films who decried the film having more Slice of Life-type elements with much of the film just being Charlie and Bumblebee bonding rather than having any action; a lot of the older comics and cartoons featured stories where little Autobot-Decepticon fighting happened until the end, with the story instead focusing on an Autobot befriending a human.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Optimus Prime has roughly four collective minutes of screen time, but whether he's thrashing Decepticons, performing iconic poses, or showing up with a Freight-liner alternate mode and telling Bumblebee he's saved the Autobot cause, he makes those four minutes count.
    • Soundwave and Shockwave as well, featuring the voice of Epic Voice Guy using their original voices!
    • Ravage too, managing to knock down Optimus and disarm him, and only getting knocked off with little damage after Optimus punches him right in the face!
    • Blitzwing appears for about four minutes at the start of the movie, but he makes the most of them,
    • Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker, despite not getting any lines, prove themselves as a legitimate threat by blowing up the tower that the Autobots are using as an escape pod launcher.
  • Pandering to the Base: With the more G1-esque designs and general 80's feel, the film seems determined to cater to the geewunners who complained about the previous films diverging from G1 (which is relatively common in the franchise). This is generally seen as a good example of pandering, as even many non-G1 Transformers fans had felt that the previous movies lacked several iconic aspects people expected from the characters and their particular reinvention of the franchise had fallen out of favor with the general public, so this new approach breathed some much needed life into the series.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Charlie + Bumblebee = Charbee.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: As noted at the top of the page, prior to the movie Bumblebee was beginning to be seen as a Creator's Pet by Transformers fans due to the heavy presence he's given in prior movies and Transformers media that's drawing inspiration from such. However, as the film avoided too much merchandise, and focused on Bumblebee's genuinely endearing qualities and his role as the human protector, not to mention portrayed him as The Woobie as he goes through an extremely vulnerable point in his life, its safe to say Bumblebee regained fan adoration.
  • Robo Ship: Given the extremely prevalent dynamic between Charlie and Bumblebee, this was inevitable. Comparisons to The Shape of Water are especially abundant.
  • Scapegoat Creator: Producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, who was already disliked for having been something of a silent partner in the previous movies regarding their controversial elements, is widely disliked by fans for his general reluctance to give up the Bayformers links, up to and including trying to come up with theories on how the film could still work as a prequel despite the many Continuity Snarl aspects. Combined with his answers in interviews making it seem like he has no idea what's actually going on, and his claims that the sequel would have 'more Bayhem' and that The Last Knight would be continued on lead to many decrying the potential future. Fortunately he quickly clarified that they are in fact rebooting the franchise and both Bumblebee and its sequel will be part of that, but his frequent Flip-Flop of God has generally just earned him ire for his apparent ineptitude with the franchise.
  • The Scrappy: Charlie's Mom Sally seems to have become this, though to a much lesser extent compared to Sam's parents from the previous movies. Some viewers really don't like how insensitive Charlie's family is to her grief and depression, but Sally in particular gets far more hate for how she scolds Charlie for bringing a car home without telling her, takes said car out herself without telling Charlie, then later berates her for 'moping around' all the time and takes Agent Burns' side over her own daughter's.
  • Signature Scene: The prologue scene on Cybertron, for being a love letter to G1; the streamlined and colorful designs that harken to G1, the classic voices of Soundwave and Shockwave, the Seeker trio led by Starscream that transform into tetrajets, and cameos from the likes of Brawn, Arcee, and Wheeljack. A common refrain among fans is that the prologue alone is better than the five prior films, and it's what everyone remembers from Bumblebee.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: Ever since its teaser poster and what the producers said, Bumblebee has been considered as a sort of a Live-Action Adaptation of The Iron Giant. And some critics reprised the idea when it came out.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: The Transformers film series has been a critical whipping boy since the beginning, with no entry ever achieving a "Fresh" rating. Sequelitis only exacerbated the problem, culminating in the the abysmally received The Last Knight. You might think the franchise was finally circling the drain at this point, but then Bumblebee comes out and receives nearly universal approval. Who would have expected that? In short, on Rotten Tomatoes, it went from 16% (The Last Knight) to 92%.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • A good number of fans are disappointed with Blitzwing's immediate demise, given that he was the one who inflicted a permanent handicap onto Bumblebee. Some have pointed out that it would have been interesting to have had him become a long-term antagonist and perhaps even work with Shatter and Dropkick, while becoming Bumblebee's nemesis with a personal grudge. Interestingly, the prequel comic book actually did set up this sort of story with Bumblebee and Blitzwing having been enemies for a decade, battling each other around the globe. This plot-line apparently meant to connect to earlier draft of the film.
    • Charlie’s younger brother Otis seems quite nonchalant about losing his father at a considerably young age, even though we don’t know the exact time frame between their father’s death and the film’s plot. Though this could be justified them being Daddy's Girl and Momma's Boy respectively, it could’ve been another interesting thing to explore in the film. While they get Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other moments at the end of the film, Otis was pretty much a rather one-note Annoying Younger Sibling to that point. One of the trailers did include a bit somber looking shot of Charlie driving Bee with Otis, so the siblings probably had some screen-time cut from the film, since the finished film was already nearly two hours long.
    • While the Cybertron scenes were short, fans have expressed some disappointment that Shockwave and Soundwave only get two lines each.
    • Cliffjumper, who earned fans for standing up to Shatter and Dropkick, is killed off almost as quickly as he is introduced. Again. To add more insult to injury, the "Bee Vision: The Transformers robots of Cybertron" Special Feature reveals that he could have scanned a Porsche 924 or a Suzuki Swift.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Nobody was expecting Blitzwing to appear in this movie, especially since pretty much everyone assumed the featured Seeker would be Starscream.
    • Not a lot of people were expecting Soundwave, Shockwave, or Ravage to make appearances either.
    • When it comes to human characters; a young Seymour Simmons made an appearance, much to the shock of the fandom who believes that the movie is going to be a full-blown reboot. Considering the fact that they eventually turned out to be right.
  • Unnecessary Makeover: There has been mixed reaction to Bumblebee scanning a Camaro at the end of the film, as the Volkswagen Beetle mode that he gave up is the alternate mode of original Bumblebee while the Camaro is usually associated with the divisive interpretation of Bumblebee from the previous live-action films, and arguably doesn't really fit Bumblebee's Badass Adorable persona as well as a VW Beetle does.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Par the course for the Transformers films, but even more so by applying the complex and detailed aesthetics of Michael Bay's transformation effects to G1-inspired designs in a similar fashion to the High Moon video games.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Blitzwing's final moments reeks of this trope. After a brief skirmish with bumblebee, he successfully incapacitates him and moves in to execute the Autobot. Rather than simply execute him from a distance, he lifts him up in order to deliver a short death sentence speech, giving Bumblebee enough time to recover and fight back, willing Blitzwing.
    • Sector 7 makes a plan to help the Decepticons track down B-127, and then destroy all of them afterwards. However, after they have caught the Autobot, they let the two Cons interrogate him, while only having Dr. Powell to accompany them, with absolutely no surveillance or armed forces anywhere near to watch over the alien robots they’ve deemed greatly dangerous. As result, Shatter and Dropkick find out about Optimus’ plan to bring Autobots to Earth, prompting them to call an armada to wipe the planet out, Powell getting killed soon after, and the Cons almost going through with their plan to contact Cybertron and dooming Earth.
  • Win Back the Crowd: With the franchise in serious danger after the financial and critical disaster of The Last Knight, this film achieved renewed interest and nearly universal critical approval, possibly breathing new life into the franchise.

Alternative Title(s): Transformers Universe Bumblebee

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