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    The Series as a whole 
  • Acceptable Targets: Skids and Mudflap are intended to mock wiggers. Unfortunately, their nature as green and orange robot cars meant that people misinterpreted them as mocking black people.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Prime has acquired psychotic tendencies since the first movie. After an apparent long lull in the war, he's suddenly thrust into a situation where his arch-nemesis is dead and he fights almost constantly for two years. This explains his fondness for brutal fight moves, the lack of an even perfunctory offer to a defeated enemy to surrender after said enemy indicates he might know something of a much greater threat, his casual discarding of the parts of a fallen ally, and the change in the "Prime" line's main theme theme music to a minor key.
    • As far as the "discarding Jetfire's parts" point goes, if you pay attention to the fight, a lot of those parts get damaged if not destroyed; discarding them may have simply been a point of expediency.
      • In ''Dark of the Moon', Optimus has detachable wings, but it's unclear if he recovered Jetfire's parts, repaired them, and kept them for future use, or if it's a completely new harness that's part of his trailer.
    • And now for the Big Bad of Dark of the Moon. Is Sentinel Prime a Well-Intentioned Extremist who goes too far but has still good intentions at heart? Or is he just an old bastard with a god complex, so hungry with power to give no value to friendship or loyalty, and who back in the days of the war on Cybertron, defected to the winning side only to hold his high position?
    • Starscream. We all know his one defining characteristic, but the films don't show that side of him. Any mention of his backstabbing nature is given in the novels and comics, and Starscream takes a more traditional role of The Dragon in the movies. So in Revenge of the Fallen, when Starscream takes over as leader of the Decepticons, it seems less like his desire to prove himself a better leader than Megatron and more like he was taking a vacant seat that desperately needed filling.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Optimus Prime has occasionally been criticized by certain viewers and fans for not showing as much emotion as expected when some of his closest friends (like Jazz) are killed in battle. Although, Optimus has been fighting in a war that has lasted more than 10,000 years, that destroyed their planet and has cost countless many friends, allies and innocents. Optimus even makes a point in the sequel that whole generations of their species had been lost because of the war.
    • As far as Jazz's death is concerned Optimus did show a degree of sorrow when he was handed his friends' body, it's just that the movie didn't dwell on it particularly long.
      • Specifically, he states outright that they have lost a good and cherished friend, but then moves on to how they've made new allies on Earth. It's basically your choice whether you view that as "glossing over" Jazz's death, or simply trying to look at the positive side of the situation and the future.
    • And in the third movie, this seems to have been taken into account as Optimus shows a good bit more emotion. This include being extremely sorrowful when he's forced to kill his mentor turned traitor, Sentinel Prime.
    • Averted in Age of Extinction: having his former allies turn on him and start hunting down and killing Autobots is enough for him to lose his faith in humanity.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The decision to cancel the sixth planned film and reboot the franchise (without Michael Bay directing) can be seen as this due to the declining quality of the films. On the other hand, the now final film ends on a cliffhanger and there will be no ending for the franchise.
    • Bumblebee is clearly trying to be one, with the change of director, a lighter tone and more G1-accurate character designs. See it's own page for details. Critically, it has paid off big time.
    • Throughout all the films there has been a certain dissonance between the toys that are released versus the characters that have time in the films, either those with smaller roles get the large toys or vice versa or otherwise not looking much like the way the character actually appears on screen. The Studio Series line released in 2018 became an enormous hit for introducing new, more accurate molds of popular characters from the films but also with an attention to relative robot mode sizes. This includes a larger Leader class version of Blackoutnote , larger Voyager class version of Bonecrushernote , what is considered the only genuinely good version of Grimlock note  and, eventually, eight separate Constructicons that will form Devastatornote .
  • Award Snub: The CGI (see Doing It for the Art below) of the first film lost to The Golden Compass at the Oscars.
    • ROTF wasn't even nominated for visual effects at the Oscars, possibly as a result of the film's negative buzz.
    • Transformers: Dark of the Moon also lost Visual Effects to a lesser effects-wide production, Hugo.
  • Badass Decay: Megatron in ROTF and DOTM. He has his moments in both, but the second movie portrays him as less of a threat and by the third movie Megatron's a shadow of his former self. This is pointed out in-universe and justified due to the fact he's still severely wounded from the final battle of ROTF. AoE brings him back as Galvatron, who averts this trope.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
  • Bile Fascination: Many of the films are punching bags among critics and many fans of the source material are pretty vocal about their disdain for them. It's not hard to want to find out why.
  • Broken Base:
    • The movie aesthetic for the Transformers. The CGI makes the characters highly detailed, the Decepticons are often designed with very deliberately non-human characteristics, and there's a very "gritty" look with the bots all being comprised of sharp visceral metallic designs. Is this a good aesthetic?
      • Fans of the films say yes: the Bayverse look has become extremely distinct and give the movies an iconic visual design much like how the various Transformers franchises all have their own looks. Others just find the designs ugly and extremely hard to follow and describe it as: "one indistinct scrap-pile punching another."
      • Casual movie goers are often divided between it being a great display of CGI bringing these alien looking bots to life or bad case of Real Is Brown with too many indistinguishable CG characters.
      • Of course there's also the argument over whether its just another case of the Transformers fans complaining about change or if that argument itself is just being used to deflect any and all criticism of the visuals.
    • The Transformers' look changing for the 4th film from the visceral insectoid design to a much more human looking one. Some are happy with the change and feel it makes the bots more expressive and relatable. Others feel the "alien" look has been stripped away and the realistic faces fall into the Uncanny Valley, or feel that the designs don't look like they can transform anymore. Then there's the groups that like or hate both designs.
  • Complete Monster: See here.
  • Creator's Pet: Bumblebee was accused of becoming this as the film series went on. At first, fans put up with him for being a Kid-Appeal Character but his popularity dropped through overexposure. It went to the point that later Transformers series, such as Transformers Animated, were retooled to include him, just to capitalize on his appearance on the movies. Once Bumblebee was announced, many fans felt that this trope was going too far, but this died down once the film came out and earned him back his popularity.
  • Critical Backlash: There are a lot of conversations about the movies online that can be summed up as "one side condemns the movies as terrible movies and bastardizations of the franchise while the other side says that people are being overly-harsh and that the movies can be enjoyed for what they are". Some people have questioned if some of the more intense vitriolic really has to do with the merits of the films themselves as much as it has to do with how they differ from the original cartoon, but that's best not discussed here.
  • Critical Dissonance: The first four movies, but especially three out of the four sequels. Fans in general received ROTF more warmly than critics, as indicated by audience polls and IMDb rating versus its Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic score. DOTM, meanwhile, received mixed reviews from critics but very positive word-of-mouth from audiences.
  • Ending Fatigue: The second movie is 2 1/2 hours long so, odds are, you'd probably be waiting for the credits right in the middle of the film's climactic battle. The third movie falls victim to this too. Age of Extinction is just under three hours, making it the longest in the series. Again, this is one complaint about it.
  • Ethnic Scrappy:
    • The infamous Skids and Mudflap. They are supposed to be parodies of wiggers, but given how they are green and orange robot cars, you would be forgiven for thinking that they were just racist caricatures of black people.
    • Drift is this as well, given his very stereotypical Asian appearance.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: According to this analysis, Revenge of the Fallen is an Egyptian myth with giant robots.
  • Evil Is Cool: The Decepticons, particularly Megatron (pre-injuries). Lampshaded in DOTM when Epps remarks "Why do the Decepticons always get the good shit?"
    • There was also unaligned bounty hunter Lockdown from ‘’Age of Extinction.’’
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Transformers: Generation 1. While G1 fans have many complaints about the film franchise (many of which are justified), the sheer vitriol with which they bash the movies (which can dip into fans of the cartoon accusing the films of having no fandom) and overglorify the series they grew up withnote  has prompted a lot of Critical Backlash from fans of the movies.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • As far as some fans of the first film are concerned, Transformers 2-5 never happened.
    • Some fans of the series who didn't like the change in direction after the fourth film like to believe that Dark of the Moon was the final film due to its Grand Finale feel. The fact that the sixth film will not be made, and therefore the Story Arc set up by the fourth film will be Left Hanging, helps somewhat.
    • Even before the confirmation that Bumblebee was a reboot, fans had already agreed to consider it a part of a separate universe from Bay's films due to various inconsistencies that made it hard to place into the timeline and people seeing it as a good place to start a new direction for the series.
  • Faux Symbolism: The thirteen Primes, one of whom did a Face–Heel Turn, and who are heavily associated with a character who has heavy Messiah connections. Hmm...
    • The very first transformer-on-transformer fight in the film series alludes to the history of their alternate modes, with bumblebee being a Chevrolet Camaro and Barricade a Ford Mustang. In the 60s The Chevrolet Camaro was introduced by GM in 1964 to compete with the Ford Mustang from two years earlier. Unlike the movie, the Camaro lost.
  • Fetish Retardant: Alice's reveal. Some people might be into it, but terrifying.
  • First Installment Wins: It is universally agreed that, while not flawless, the first of Michael Bay's Transformers movies is definitely the best of the bunch. Note that this only applies to Bay's Transformers films, as Bumblebee, directed by Travis Knight, is considered to be an improvement over them.
  • Gateway Series: Many people outside the US began to spark some interest on the franchise since the 2007 film's release.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: While the film series is still heavily-criticized by many American fans, the franchise is still very successful in Asian countries like Malaysia. No, seriously. One of the reviews for Dark of the Moon even claimed that he would watch the movie 10 times.
    • China deserves a special mention. The films tend to have their strongest holdings there, and Age of Extinction is currently the highest grossing movie ever there.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Try watching Megan Fox in Jennifer's Body while keeping in mind Alice's real nature.
    • Anthony Anderson's cousin seems to think Dance Dance Revolution can detect you doing 'The Matrix'... or did his hacker connections get him the world's first Kinect?
    • One of the many TF fansites ran a regular poster-girl-of-the-week section, declaring them to be Spike's past girlfriends before Carly. Now that Megan Fox's been replaced with a Carly Expy...
    • That girl who mistakes Ironhide for the Tooth Fairy actually has two different My Little Ponies. Their colors correspond to Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie Pie.
  • HSQ: Aside from the usual robots and explosions, DOTM gives us Sentinel Prime's betrayal. Closely followed by Carly's boss's reveal as The Quisling. Followed by the Autobots getting kicked off Earth. Followed by the Decepticons killing the Autobots in their spacecraft before they even break atmo. And then it really kicks into gear, with the Decepticon invasion of Chicago, followed by a climax that lasts the better part of an hour.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • Ask around and for every person happy that the film series is getting rebooted, there is someone who is pissed that the cliffhanger from the end of The Last Knight is going to be left unresolved. Especially if they were interested in seeing Unicron.
    • Fans of Beast Wars got a nasty kick in the pants once the reveal of the potential Beast Wars movie was undecided. To add further fuel to the fire, Lorenzo di Bonaventura asked “How many people knows Beast Wars?” while explaining about how he was skeptical of the familiarity of the series among the general public, which ignited a major outrage to the show's fandom.
  • It's Not Supposed to Win Oscars: Defenders use this as a defense for the series in general.
  • Iron Woobie: Optimus friggin' Prime. Many characters have their Woobie moments, but the series goes above and beyond the call of duty to make his life a living hell. Over the course of five movies, he goes against some terrifying villains (both Cybertronian and human), saves the world and ultimately gets nothing to show for it. He has been significantly injured, captured temporarily killed and brainwashed and even lost dear friends. And yet, the guy still has the strength to soldier on. Respect.
  • It's the Same, So It Sucks: The first movie was generally well received by critics and fans alike. A common major complaint about each of the sequels however is that they basically repeat the first film from the plot-points to the character types. It's gotten Strictly Formula to the point where when watched simultaneously, they sync. This is why DOTM is considered to be slighly better than the other sequels; it actually surprised people with Sentinel Prime's betrayal.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Megatron in DOTM may have been designed to invoke this effect, being portrayed as a dying old man of sorts, with moments where he finally gets to see his dream come true as Cybertron is being prepared to be rebuilt.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Many people who went to the movie watched it solely to see giant robots beat the crap out of each other... and for Megan Fox.
    • In fact, this trope is one of the main reasons the second film in particular attracts so much hatred- people who are Just Here For Giant Transforming Robots get stuck with Developing Doomed Characters instead. How hard can it be to make a film called Transformers actually focus on the Transformers?
    • Consequently, this is why the fourth film, despite its similarly terrible reviews, is more widely defended - the main Autobots now get roughly equal screentime and focus to the human castnote , have much more developed personalities and quirks, and interact with each other and with the humans the way humans would.
    • Linkin Park fans only want to hear the song featured in each movie.
    • For many fans of traditional Transformers fiction, seeing Peter Cullen (and for later films Frank Welker) put their heart and soul into the performances of their characters is the highlight of the films.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: In DOTM, all of the Autobots (including both Optimus Prime and Bumblebee) are apparently killed as their ship takes off. They have no chance to defend themselves, their "deaths" accomplish nothing, and although there was a moment of drama it clearly wasn't played up to the degree you'd expect from the simultaneous deaths of so many important characters. We all knew they'd be back by the end of the film.
  • Memetic Psychopath: Some fans who consider Optimus Prime to be overly brutal who don't give him the Ron the Death Eater treatment tend to instead have a jolly good time portraying him as a face-stealing maniac (like actually keep the faces in a collection instead of simply targeting the head for a quick kill) who gets into Bloody Hilarious antics.
  • Mis-blamed:
    • Shia LaBeouf and Ehren Kruger have gotten a bit of it, but for the most part the quality of the films is attributed just to Michael Bay. Many outright refuse to accept that anyone else had a major part in making these films other than Bay (at least in a negative way). When one says the writers did a bad job, the haters will insist Bay must have come in and changed the scriptnote , with no proof other than "directors could change the script if they wanted".
    • Skids and Mudflap have been seen as racist caricatures of black people. The intent was for them to be parodies of "wiggers", non-black people who act in what they consider a "black" or "gangsta" manner. The difference between the caricature and the idiot is usually the actual ethnicity of the person acting stupidly. Since the two are robots, a lot of people assumed they were intended to be the former.
      • Even though the fact that they're robots actually qualifies them as the latter - like actual wiggers, (riggers?) they imitate the rappers they see on TV because they think they're cool or badass. Other material (Word of God and tie-in comic books) indicate that Skids and Mudflap are both Child Soldiers and sustained some sort of processor damage before coming to Earth - the fact that their comic incarnation lack the slang and goofy mannerisms they have in the movie supports the claim that it was improvised by the actors.
      • Reno Wilson was surprised to find out that he, himself, should be offended by the character he played. As a result, he's now a understandably disappointed that the twins didn't turn out the way he and Tom Kenny had expected.
  • Moral Event Horizon: In the Dark of the Moon Foundation prequel comics, Shockwave crosses it at least once an issue. He starts issue 2 off by killing Chromia, finishes off issue 3 by killing Jolt, Knock Out, Dune Runner, Longarm, Salvage, and Galloway and then in issue 4 he kills Elita-1, then mocks Optimus about it. He didn't think the last part through.
    • The Fallen choosing to wipe out a populated star system because he wanted to probably lands him pretty far on the other side of this.
    • "Is your daddy home?"
    • Sentinel Prime has several possible ones. Killing Ironhide is a strong contender for this, but he appears to truly cross the point of no return by setting up a trap to kill all the Autobots, proving any loyalty he had towards Optimus is dead.
    • Towards the end of DOTM, Gould, after repeatedly claiming his position as The Quisling is just "business" note , tells the Decepticons that they should just kill the Autobots instead of making them prisoners. He specifically says it's personal now, and has no objections when Soundwave muses "No prisoners. Only trophies."
  • Narm: Here.
  • Nausea Fuel: The little interrogation thingy that Scalpel shoves down Sam's throat.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Michael Bay has yet to live down some of the more unpopular aspects of the films, mainly the portrayal of certain classic characters and aspects that people feel are out of place in a franchise that creates most of its fiction to sell toys to children. If people bring up his name when referring to adaptations of kid-friendly franchises, they are usually making fun of him.
    • The human characters' amount of screentime. While the films are certainly a Human-Focused Adaptation, with the way people talk about them you would think that the Cybertronians were background elements.
    • Many detractors seem to remember the more low-brow jokes more than anything else about the films. Expect to see mentions of Bumblebee peeing on Agent Simmons or Devastator's wrecking balls when someone is criticizing them.
    • Fans act like Optimus steals the face of every Decepticon he fights. While he does aim for the head often (to get a quick kill), he's only ever stolen The Fallen's face. Not that we're complaining.
  • Nightmare Fuel: DOTM has the invasion of Chicago. For years, some of the more vocal human hating fans have been demanding humans be slaughtered en mass by the Decepticons. They get their wish...and it's horrifying. People running for the lives being reduced to skeletons and whole sections of Chicago reduced to flames. And it's heavily implied that a lot of what the Decepticons were doing was for fun, and had no real significance to securing Chicago.
  • No Problem with Licensed Games: While the film series on the whole has a massively Broken Base, the games have been met with praise even from some detractors of the film franchise.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • This is not the first time that a Transformers franchise to have vulgar and/or sexual humor, as Kiss Players possessed the genre back in 2006.
    • It's common to see fans of the original Generation 1 cartoon criticizing certain aspects for being too different. Transformers installments that make enormous changes from Generation One have been around before, and some of the aspects of the films actually originate from later works in the franchise (such as Megatron turning into a jet or Optimus Prime being a long-nose truck). In a broader sense, most post-G1 works can be seen as reinventions of the franchise, and the live-action films are no different in that regard. Of course, some aspects that are kept consistent in other works in the franchise are different in Bay's films...
  • Padding: This is unfortunately common for the sake of getting the films over the two-hour mark. Special note goes to ROTF, where there are a massive number of shots of military personnel barking orders and planes taking off. Then there's the torturously long series of slow-motion escapes from explosions as Sam tries to make it to Optimus. There's also the college scenes. In roughly the first hour, the only relevant bits involving Sam are his Allspark-triggered freakouts, and the only purpose for his new roommate Leo is to bring Agent Simmons back in the story. Somehow this gets bloated into at least a half hour of Sam and family preparing for college life, Sam and Mikaela having relationship issues (which is the whole reason for Alice the Pretender being in the story), and Leo vainly struggling to impress Sam, and none of this matters at all.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Anything could be a Transformer. That car, that toaster, that cell phone, that policeman in his car, the hot chick who can't keep her hands off you...
    • Reedman (The combined form of Ravage's nanobots) is a razor-thin 'Con who killed a man by jumping through his torso and bisecting him. Given the right lighting conditions and viewing angle, he's basically invisble.
    • At the end of the sequel Soundwave is still there, hooked into a military satellite... what if he gets bored?
      • Not helped at all by his toy bio which states that Soundwave can pretty much destroy civilization if he wanted to, due to all the satellites he's hacked.
    • The paranoia factor isn't played up nearly as much as it should be in such a scenario, but then, Transformers is an action movie, not a horror film.
      • Until Laserbeak, who milks this for all the Nightmare Fuel it's worth and uses it to ruthlessly murder his targets in all sorts of horrible, terrifying ways.
      • Carly is kidnapped by the Decepticons. Do they blast their way into her home? Snatch her away in public? No, she gets into her car which then transforms to reveal itself as a Decepticon, right in front of Sam.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Carly is becoming this for Mikaela, with critics claiming that her actress is an even worse actress than Megan Fox.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Agent Simmons was not well liked in the first movie, largely due to being a Smug Snake and Obstructive Bureaucrat. In Revenge of the Fallen he becomes a helpful and heroic (if still crazy) character who manages to get things done. He gets even better in the third movie, where he jumps completely into Crazy Awesome.
    • Wheelie was better received than in the second movie because A) no leg humping and B) he actually helps in the climactic battle. Along with his partner, the even more quirky Brains, they manage to liven up the mood without being too obnoxious.
    • Sam also earned the respect of some when he Took a Level in Badass and killed Starscream.
    • Galloway was an annoying Obstructive Bureaucrat in the movies, but under John Barber's pen he was an annoying Obstructive Bureaucrat, who actively believed in protecting national security, and sought to protect earth. Eventually he comes around to the Autobots, and even tries helping them (though he's better at handling the numbers and keeping the press off, not helping in the field). It helps that he's developed a more nice even at times Adorkable personality, and it can actually make one sad when he's killed.
    • Megatron was badass in the first movie, slightly less badass in the second, and a complete joke in the third movie. The fourth movie brought him back as Galvatron, who combined Megatron's scheming nature in DOTM with his badassery in the first movie, despite largely being Saved for the Sequel.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Some fans who were rubbed the wrong way by Optimus Prime's increased brutality compared to other versions of the character tend to forgot about some of his kinder moments and his heroic motives and paint him as a murderous psychopath with a Lack of Empathy if not a borderline villain. The worst of this is in Age of Extinction, where Optimus gives up on humanity because of all the crap he's gone through and kills a human (not like anything of value was lost). While he does focus most of his hostility towards the ones responsible for the deaths of his friends and he eventually get over it, the idea of Optimus even contemplating killing a human was enough to scar many fans and no later events could undo the damage that had been done.
    • The Autobots in general are given this by fans who like to cling onto some of their more morally-gray actions (most commonly their tendency to execute Decepticons on the spot rather than take them as prisoners) while forgetting about the reasons for why (killing Decepticons because they've already proven themselves capable of rendering an entire planet uninhabitable and the Autobots not wanting to repeat that with Earth) or many of their distinctly heroic actions.
  • Rooting for the Empire: By the fifth film, a number of fans admit to wanting the Decepticons or other villains to just kill off humanity already because humanity's repeated mistrust and even murder of the Autobots despite them having saved them four times over by that point makes one wonder exactly why they deserve the Autobots' protection. And then of course, there's also the people who just think that the Decepticons are cool.
  • Scapegoat Creator:
    • If there is something that people don't like about the films, then chances are it's apparently Michael Bay's fault. There's a reason many people call the films "The Bayverse". Even if other factors might exist (Executive Meddling, characters having different alternate modes because Technology Marches On or companies not wanting to see their cars turn into giant robots and blow stuff up, the writer's strike that occurred during ROTF's production or just the work of the film's writers in general), you are far less likely to hear about them and more likely to hear people assume it is Bay's fault somehow. It doesn't help that there have been some questionable rumors spread about him, like Gossip Evolution saying that he hates the 1986 animated movie (the only confirmed part is that he doesn't like its portrayal of the Dinobots.) and the entire franchise. When Bumblebee came out as a Truer to the Text adaption that avoided almost every complaint about Bay's films, fans cited Bay's decreased involvement as the reason behind the film's increased quality.
    • In light of the fandom's desire to reboot the film series, Lorenzo di Bonaventura has gotten a lot of scorn for his inconsistent stance on the future of the film series. That's all that should be said about that.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Sam (Shia LeBeouf seems to naturally play Scrappies). In his defense, the fandom usually reacts this way to any human main.
      • The main reason people cite for Sam being this is that he practically does nothing in the film. He provides the MacGuffin, sets up the groan-inducing humor, and acts the rest of the film like a whiny, cowardly, stupid eight-year-old. Other than continuity, there is actually very little reason why he should be in the film. (She might get a lot of flak, but Megan Fox on her own would probably make a better lead.)
      • This is toned down in the sequels however, especially DOTM, where he acts more mature, takes responsibility and actually does something (like killing Starscream).
    • The sequel introduces Skids and Mudflap for basically the same reason. Bay described them as being "goofy and stupid but still heroic." Yeah, they're mostly just stupid. But at least they can fight, if their Colossus Climb is any indication.
      • Bay has stated that they were removed from Dark of the Moon, and is offering a 25,000$ reward to anyone who can catch even a small glimpse of them in the final cut. (Strange, given that they are visible in a couple of wide group shots.)
    • Also from the second film: Sam's mom and Wheelie. Combined, these two and the Twins make up two-thirds of the groaner humor and three fourths of the padding in ROTF, though the latter was Rescued from the Scrappy Heap (see above).
      • And yet, Wheelie was still less annoying than the version in the 1986 animated movie.
      • Sam's mom was probably a Scrappy since the first movie. Every moment with her in all three films is an excuse to say something humorous that you don't expect a mom to say, and it comes off as painfully unfunny.
    • And Leo. Some audiences erupted with applause when Agent Simmons tasered him.
    • It's early to say but it's a good bet that Bruce Brazosnote  and Jerry Wang will contend the title of DOTM's most hated characters. At least Scrappies do not get too much screen time this round.
    • Devastator gets this treatment too from quite a few fans, due to his ugly design, his overall disappointment as a villain (he literally does nothing other than free up the Sun Harvester), his absolutely terrible action figure, and (worst of all) the gag involving his wrecking-ball "testicles".
      • Though it's worth noting that he was intended to have a larger role in the climax, until trying to animate it caused a computer to MELT!
    • Starscream. Many fans consider him the worst and weakest Starscream due to his embarrassing defeat to Sam. Compare to the other universes, where he tricks Unicron, aka the Transformers equivalent of the devil, to challenging God himself.
      • Megatron gets a similar treatment, mostly in DOTM where he is indeed the worst and weakest Megatron in any universe - he doesn't fight at all, is upstaged by Sentinel Prime, and is killed by Optimus in a matter of seconds.
    • The Fallen from the second movie, for upstaging Megatron as the Big Bad, being a Flat Character without much personality with a nonsensical agenda, and at the end being unceremoniously killed by Optimus in seconds without putting up much of a fight. Also, despite being a Transformer, he apparently does not have an Alt Mode.
  • Sequelitis: The first film in the Michael Bay-directed batch was received fairly well as a fun Summer Blockbuster. None of the sequels were. Although in the cases of DOTM & AOE, it's hard to tell how well-received they would have been received without the backlash associated with the franchise since ROTF.
    • With how many of the popular robot characters die in DOTM ( Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave, Laserbeak, Ironhide, and the much-hyped Shockwave among others), you wouldn't be faulted for thinking that it would be the last movie in the franchise. AOE went the opposite direction of ROTF and DOTM by severely trimming down the number of famous Autobots and Decepticons, which while refreshing, still seems like an excuse to make more movies based around a new cast of characters.
    • TLK took this to extreme levels, with continuity errors not just with the previous films, but within itself, and even more unlikeable characters. Even those who stand by the previous four films admit they hated this installment.
    • The Soft Reboot Bumblebee stopped the trend, being the most well received Transformers movie ever by a large margin.
  • Snark Bait: The Michael Bay directed movies, especially Revenge of the Fallen, are often used as a negative stereotype and baseline for overly Americanized and commercialized live-action franchise adaptations for the Lowest Common Denominator, with incredible visuals being used to poorly compensate for poor storytelling and characterization.
  • Special Effects Failure: Face it, the final fight between Optimus and The Fallen in ROTF looks unfinished. Though that's the least of the movie's problems.
    • The first movie's not immune either, with some CG elements not matching up with the live action ones.
    • The practical effects in the movies teend to be among the weaker links. Such as the Frenzy puppet in the first film. As well as both, the unpainted Ratchet head and the KSI drone in the fourth.
    • In the third film, there are CG heads of Richard Nixon and JFK at the beginning... Let's just say the results are unsatisfactory.
    • In the fourth movie, while the effects for the most part are well done, the transforming Rainbow Dash doll is clearly a CG object, as evidenced by the movement of the doll being out of sync with the scientist holding it. Galvatron slicing a car in half is also suspect, as are most of the KSI-made robot transformations.
      • The fourth movie's effects are a large step down compared the the previous three, not limited to just the above examples.
  • Squick: Imagine an entire room filled with rotting Decepticon fetuses, covered in hideous slimy green goop. Now, imagine seeing that in IMAX format!
    • Also, Bumblebee's defeat of Ravage.
    • Let's not forget Sam being pinned down, whilst a small Decepticon enters and exits his head!
    • For some unknown reason, Ex-Sector 7 agent Simmons seems to prefer wearing a thong.
  • Strawman Has a Point:
    • The Obstructive Bureaucrat in the second film is angry that the Autobots won't share their weapons' technology. Optimus says that it's because of the human race's capacity for war, forgetting that there is a war going on. The Autobots allow the humans to fight but don't give them Cybertronian weapons, making the humans useless and risking their lives.
    • In Dark of the Moon, Sentinel Prime rants that on Earth, the transformers are seen as mere machines. While most of the main characters treat the Autobots as equals, the track record with the government in the previous films help Sentinel's case. They've dissected Megatron while he was conscious, were about to do the same to Bumblebee, the Autobots were threatened to be deported and later all of Earth's governments do deport them to save their sorry hides from the Decepticons. And that's not even going into the events of Age of Extinction.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: While the first movie is generally considered the best overall movie in the franchise, each sequel has minor changes that better align itself with the general elements of the Transformers mythology and stories. ROTF, despite being considered the worst in the series, expanded the robot roster and has larger and more complex action scenes. DOTM has a more involving story where the robots themselves have a say in what is happening. AOE gives some extended Action Film Quiet Drama Scenes to the robots themselves, letting them be actual characters instead of just awesome special effects, and also gets rid of a lot of the Vulgar Humor from previous installments.
    • After years of Sequelitis and The Last Knight's failure, Bumblebee ended the trend by becoming not just the highest rated film in the series, but the highest rated Transformers film period.
  • Tear Jerker: Optimus Prime's death in Revenge of the Fallen.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • It is very common to see fans of the original Generation One cartoon complaining about pretty much every way the films differ from the original installment. Granted, while the franchise has had installments that make huge changes from Generation One before, some aspects that other installments keep consistent are different in these films, making even some non-G1 fans complain.
    • TRUKK NOT MUNKY in full force, or rather, GUN NOT JET.
      • Megatron's tank form has been better received, if anything because it is the more acceptable non-gun form and he has the traditional cannon arm. And, in the film, can still fly.
      • Even though this is Megatron's 2nd or 3rd time as a plane (and his 3rd as a tank).
    • Also, the designs. If people aren't criticizing them for looking so different from previous versions of the characters, then they are criticizing them for looking too cluttered (unfavorable comparisons to walking trash piles are common) or dipping into the Uncanny Valley.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Mikaela Banes. She surprisingly has more characterization than just being the Designated Love Interest, holds her own fairly well against smaller Decepticons, and is overall an intriguing character. Then the second movie tosses most of that aside to focus on her relationship with Sam (and gratuitous Fanservice), and then she barely even gets a mention in the third.
    • Some feel that Warpath's absence from character rosters was a missed opportunity, given his love for action and explosions.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The serious story about the military battling hostile robots, as seen in the opening scene of the first film, takes a backseat to the main story of A Boy and His X, with only some sporadic moments throughout the films.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously:
    • Whether the movie in question is good or bad, Peter Cullen's performance as Optimus Prime is clearly the best. His sincere love for the character makes him stand out as the only actor in the series with motivations other than a paycheck.
    • Paramount themselves are taking a Merchandise-Driven movie series based on a Hasbro toy line a lot more seriously than they have any right to, if the writers they've hired as part of the Transformers Cinematic Universe initiative are of any indication. They've hired writers whose credits include The Walking Dead, The Avengers, Iron Man, Ant-Man, Daredevil (2015), Fringe, Black Hawk Down, and The Blacklist.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: A lot of the Padding is due to this. The hackers from the first film stand out.
  • Ugly Cute:
  • Uncanny Valley: Many of the Cybertronian facial designs feature strange alien features mixed with the features of human faces, all while being made up of lots of separate metal parts. The results are odd to say the least. It does seem to be intentional on the Decepticons' part as they are often given the more outlandish designs. The fourth film onward discarding the alien aspects in favor of distinctly human-like faces either makes this better or worse.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Mikaela, especially after leaving Sam. If you really look at the script, she struggles to be taken seriously as a person, but since the film is viewed from Sam's perspective she's only seen as an object and a trophy. In Dark of the Moon, the robots called her "mean", though she likely left because Sam simply didn't care.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Bay knows how to film cars and taught everything he knew to the CGI animators. With only mild exceptions every shot of the robots look like they somehow animated these things live on the set with actual car parts.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Yes, works from the Transformers franchise are generally aimed at children (although some works stretch the line kind of thin), but Michael Bay's has stated that he intends on having the films appeal to teenagers and adults, hence all of the violence and swearing. Reportedly, Simon Furman (writer of the original Transformers comic) said that although he isn't a fan of the films, he believes that they are great for "the intended audience" of young kids. That's kind of worrying.
  • The Woobie: Toyline-only jet Breakaway, thanks mostly to his robot mode's face (which looks sort of forlorn) and some help from at least one image board's toy board.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Hugo Weaving as the voice of Megatron. Drew criticism in general for Celebrity Voice Actor, but then fans found out that Frank Welker (the original Megatron himself) wanted the role and was turned down. Once again, this is the Transformers fandom, so this trope was soon in full force.
    • And subverted when Welker voiced Megatron in the first two video games and animated prequel. At that point, all believed that he wouldn't have been a very good choice. Although Welker recently started voicing the extremely similar, still very demonic and menacing Megatron of Transformers Prime and did a damn good job of it (as well as using the same voice for the Universal Studios ride, albiet electronically deepened), people don't seem to care much for him as movie Megs anymore as hype for the movie series in general has died down. Then Welker played Galvatron in AOE and in doing so played Megatron in the films at last.
    • Another example does not rest with a casted actor, but a casted location. In Revenge of the Fallen, the Autobots are based out of Diego Garcia. Diego Garcia is a U.S./British Military Base in the British Indian Ocean Territory. It's also the former home for a group of indigenous peoples who were rather underhandedly evicted from their home and have been petitioning both the U.S and Britain to get it back for years. This is lampshaded to hell and back by the TF Wiki.

    The 2007 Movie 
  • Author's Saving Throw: In response to heavy backlash to leaked photos of Megatron's head design, his head was tweaked for the final film.
  • First Installment Wins: It is universally agreed that, while not flawless, the first of Michael Bay's Transformers movies is definitely the best of the ones he made.
  • Franchise Original Sin:
    • The main character, Sam Witwicky, was never a particularly well-liked character, but his use in the first film is generally seen as the only one where he was tolerable. While he had a lot of This Loser Is You traits, this was counterbalanced by the fact that he had some attempt at a character arc and even a few sincere moments that implied those traits were a passing thing. Later films not only kept those traits, but seemingly had him get worse, and gave him nowhere near as much as a clear arc in favor of him being a Pinball Protagonist, putting his increasingly wretched personality in the spotlight.
    • Optimus Prime in the first film was involved in a few surprisingly brutal action scenes, including driving a sword through Bonecrusher's head, but these moments were fairly brief and mostly counterbalanced by his many thoughtful speeches that gave the impression that he wasn't just a killer. By the second film, though, said speeches are a lot rarer and seemingly every fight Prime gets in has at least one person having their head ripped apart, and the series didn't exactly improve in that respect from there, to the point that Prime has become the biggest Memetic Psychopath in the franchise.
    • The Transformers film series has gained a reputation as Lowest Common Denominator blockbuster for its shallow characters, gratuitous fanservice, and recycled story. However, while the first installment had these problems, audiences and critics were able to ignore them since the film did offer spectacle on an unseen scale that successfully masked most complaints. However, as the series progressed, the film's creators did nothing to improve the film's reputation and the spectacle proved less effective when newer films, most notably the Marvel Cinematic Universe, offered similar types of bombastic action while also providing better writing and characterization.
    • The films have been criticized for its needlessly sexualized portrayal of women most notably through Bay's use of the Male Gaze. However, although the female sexualization started with the first film's female lead Mikaela, most audiences were more forgiving since she is an actual character. As noted by Lindsay Ellis, Mikaela was written sympathetically with actual character depth as a Wrench Wench trying to atone for her criminal history, while also contributing to the plot by helping destroy several of the Decepticons. In contrast, the other female characters are depicted as eye candy for male viewers yet have none of Mikaela's charisma or Hidden Depths. Tessa from Age of Extinction is particularly hated by fans for being a whiny, bratty teen who doesn't actually contribute to the plot.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: That bit of Self-Deprecation where Megatron flicks away Michael Bay himself (after calling him "disgusting") is a lot less funny after the sequels turned Bay into a notorious Scapegoat Creator. Although it could be Hilarious in Hindsight if you are into dark comedy.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: When Sam's dog Mojo pees on Ironhide in the first film he worries about rusting. Cut to two films later in DOTM, this is what happens to him as he dies after being shot by Sentinel Prime.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Memetic Loser: Let's just say that Jazz's reputation has been torn into two pieces.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Bonecrusher hates everything. (Taken from his toy biography.)
    • Optimus Prime: GIVE ME YOUR FACE.
    • SHUT UP, GRANDMA!
      • DRINK YOUR PRUNE JUICE!
  • Padding: The movie is already lengthy with three major plots - the race for the Allspark, Sam's coming of age, and soldiers fighting alien robots - which all come together in a climactic battle bursting at the seams with awesome. Then there's the aforementioned "signal decoding" subplot, which starts off totally inconsequential, then fizzles out altogether with shreds of exposition that the viewers already learned forty minutes earlier.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: The movie was fairly well-liked at the time, mostly for its decent plot and Rule of Cool thanks to large-scale special effects bringing realistic transforming robots to the big screen. Over time, the movie has fallen out of favor due to the series' poor reputation caused by severe sequelitis (most infamously with Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), as well as other action blockbusters such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe having equally extravagant visual effects as well as much better acting, plotlines and characterization.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The movie has a barely positive 57% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with a comparatively coherent plot contained in a more manageable running time while benefiting from impressive special effects and set pieces. Some people considered it the only watchable movie in the series until the Soft Reboot Bumblebee came along.
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