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YMMV for the 2015 animated show Transformers: Robots in Disguise:

  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Did Scowl really agree to not attack people? Scowl's appetite for destruction doesn't seem like something he could just stop, and he doesn't regard Humans, who he calls Screamers, too well. Yet when Grimlock shows up to arrest him, Scowl looks outraged and shouts that he held up his end of the bargain (Grimlock wouldn't arrest him, if he didn't attack humans), and only after that does he go on his rampage. Was Scowl truthful in his promise, and if he was would his love for violence just lead him back to wrecking stuff?
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    • Nightstrike has the ability to mess around with the signals that Bots can emit, and he lures the Autobots to his cave with five Decepticons symbols (his, Righty's, and three others). Did he generate these other signals through his powers, did the jamming metals in the mountain just split his and Righty's signals into five, or did he just find and kill three prisoners in his quest to eat?
    • Grimlock's fear of Kittens was speculated to have a darker undercurrent.
    "you know, when you think about it, it makes sense. What else has a bigger head to body ratio, big eyes, and sharp teeth in the TF universe? scraplets
    • Steeljaw invites tons of this, naturally. Even without the Draco in Leather Pants there's still a certain amount of theorizing in how sincere he is at building a Decepticon Utopia, and, to an extent, how sympathetic Steeljaw himself is. Many signs point up to his "just cause" being little more than an attempt to seize power for himself (especially with his You Have Failed Me attitude), but there are other moments. Notably when Megatronus attempts a show of force by having Clampdown tear an arm off, Steeljaw intervenes in-spite of the fact that Clampdown is his least-useful minion. In the comics he springs his old team from confinement, even after they abandoned him to Megatronus and in a quieter moment admits that he trusts them, but afterwards he attempts to dispose of his Vehicon minions just to act on his old grudge. During his Villainous Breakdown against Megatronus, his Motive Rant lends credence to the idea that he sees himself both as a savior to Decepticons and a power-hungry tyrant.
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    • Starscream's recounting of how he killed Skylynx and Darksteel. The flashback is told in a very obvious Unreliable Narrator, where Starscream tells a story of him bravely killing the pair, whilst the flashback shows him running away, triggering the base-defenses, and killing them by chance. However, seeing as this is Starscream who can go from buffoon to threat in under a minute, it could be possible that both versions are correct in that he ran away scared from them, but also purposefully lead them through a fortress that he was familiar with to kill them.
    • Steeljaw's brief absence from the battle between Bee Team and the Cybertronian High Council. Its possible he awaited for all the Cons to pay their full attention on Bee to strike or possible he underwent a Villainous BSoD learning that it was ultimately Decepticons that imprisoned him and others like him in the first place and his final actions were his way of severing ties with Decepticons forever.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: While Megatronus and the Pack all get fight scenes in the Season 1 finale, Fracture and his Minicons are taken out off screen by Optimus in a few seconds.
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    • Despite Optimus claiming Menasor was responsible for destroying an entire planetary system, he's fairly pathetic as combiners go and is defeated by Ultra Bee despite that being the first time Bumblebee's team have ever combined under combat conditions.
    • The Cybertronian High Council prove to be this as well, as their identities are revealed and the entire plot wrapped up within an episode of being introduced. Compared to the finale of the preceding series (where both sides geared up for what they all knew would be a final battle), the confrontation felt like it wasn't worth sticking to the end of the series.
    • Related to the above, the Council's combined form of Galvatronus is quickly defeated when the Token Good Teammate (who forms one of the arms) refuses to harm Ultra Bee. It's pretty clear that the only reason the Bee Team won that battle is because of the distraction caused to Galvatronus, and if the Council had actually been united in purpose Ultra Bee would've been destroyed.
  • Arc Fatigue: Sometime after Menasor was defeated, it was revealed that there were several mysterious benefactors who had set Steeljaw's pack free and were gunning for Bumblebee's team. It's not until the final two episodes of the Combiner Force season that it's revealed who these benefactors really are. And considering the show has gotten flack for doing a poor job of giving good character development for its main villains, with the obvious exception of Steeljaw of course, it naturally felt like the writers once again dropped the ball and dragged out a storyline for too long with almost no payoff or any good villain buildup until the series was as good as over.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • While it was confirmed quite early in the show's development that certain characters from Prime wouldn't show up until Season 2, there were complaints about the much more heavy use of Broad Strokes in regards to the previous series. The second season makes more explicit references to the Prime, and even brings Soundwave back for one episode.
    • Adam Beechan, the producer, eventually said that the Grimlock in this series is a separate individual from the WFC Grimlock.
  • Badass Decay: In Prime, Bumblebee came off as a much more competent and skilled warrior, pulling off pretty decent feats like getting the upper hand over Knight of Cerebus Decepticons like Airachnid and Shockwave, and even managing to kill warriors like Skyquake and Megatron himself. In Robots in Disguise, however, Bumblebee is more subject to the Strong as They Need to Be principle, getting beaten down or captured easily due to a combination of incompetence, overconfidence, and/or the needs of the plot for him to undergo The Worf Effect so that either the whole team or an individual teammate in need of a spotlight episode can take down the bad guy. While Bumblebee still has his moments(especially if it's his spotlight episode), he's still significantly less competent than he was in the previous series and if he's not the focus of an episode, it's almost guaranteed that the latest Monster of the Week Decepticon will pummel him to the point where it resembles child abuse.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Megatronus. He's either a badass, well designed, threatening Big Bad who ramps up the stakes for the season finale, or a bland Generic Doomsday Villain who wasn't foreshadowed enough. The fact that the supposedly canon Covenant of Primus fiction depicts Megatronus as a misunderstood and manipulated Anti-Hero who was tricked into killing Solus and has no real reason to desire revenge of any kind, while the cartoon shows him as little more than a revenge-driven murder machine doesn't help things either. It should be stressed however that the Aligned novels have mentioned that Megatronus/The Fallen has felled further into corruption.
    • Steeljaw being the Big Bad of this series. He has fans who enjoy him for his smooth talking voice and evidently having long-term plans, as well as technically being a new character (previous Steeljaw's in the franchise had little to nothing in common with this one beyond canine features), whilst others feel that with Megatron out of the picture, they could have easily had another, far more well known Deception step up and take charge and that for all his charisma, Steeljaw just isn't badass enough to be anywhere near as threatening as other Deceptions have been. Thankfully, for those who thought the latter, Soundwave (from Prime) has stepped up to join the Big-Bad Ensemble for Combiner Wars.
    • Windblade's also caused a divide, both in the changes to her personality and role in the story. While many are happy to see her make the jump to animation, some fans dislike the Adaptation Personality Change, and feel it makes the character less nuanced. Some dislike the changes to her backstory, while others would counter that her backstory would be far too complicated to actually fit into Aligned canon, much less this show. Then there's the Territorial Smurfette dynamic with Strongarm. Some find it annoying and cliche (especially since Windblade managed to avoid this trope back when she debut in the comic), feeling that it leads to some... dubious handling of gender politics, while others fear it could be the start of a love triangle between the two and Sideswipe. Still, other fans don't mind, seeing as the tension between the two is gone after the Windblade's first episode, and said fans like having another female Autobot on the main cast.
    • Drift— some are unhappy that he (a notable Base-Breaking Character in and of himself) has been getting a ton of exposure lately (first in the films, and now in RID), while others think his new samurai-themed design and Minicon partners are cool. Still others— mostly fans of More Than Meets the Eye— are upset that he's not exactly like his IDW design, seemingly taking more cues from the live-action movie version instead.
  • Broken Base:
    • The new art style being cel-shaded CGI with traditionally painted backgrounds rather than the full CGI of Prime has caused a divide. Some wish they would have kept Prime's animation style, and find the series far less visually impressive than its predecessor, which could truly achieve some spectacularly cinematic style visuals at times. For others, the style is colourful and vibrant and feel that by limiting the technical capacity needed to make a single episode, the series also allows for a much wider variety of character designs and settings than Prime did.
    • The tone of the show being Lighter and Softer than Prime as well. Some are OK with it, feeling that Prime became too dark and serious at times. Others of course, liked the more serious approach and feel that making things too different in tone could set up a Mood Whiplash between the two series.
    • The Dinobot character having been revealed to be Grimlock has brought forth a whole bunch of mixed feelings (certain fans hoped it would be an original character when revealed that a Dinobot would be in the series). Among them his redesign lacking his traditional colours, as well as a new very different face to any prior versions of Grimlock and his personality is also clearly more comical than the warrior seen in Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. And then it was revealed he was a former Decepticon who crashed on the prison ship, that without an in-story explanation brings forth a whole bunch of Continuity Snarls to the Aligned universe that not even Broad Strokes would be able to solve fully. On the other hand, his redesign still has the same basic shape as most other incarnations of Grimlock, Grimlock's personality being somewhat comical is not something that has never happened before in the franchise, fans were already coming up with theories to help his last Aligned appearance make sense with this one, and there are fans who simply love the audacity that in a series titled Robots In Disguise (with Bumblebee even making it verbally clear they need to have them), that Grimlock is part of the team with his Dinobot form completely exposed. However, producer Adam Beechen later clarified that this Grimlock isn't the same character as the FoC one.
    • The new animal-themed Decepticons are either visually interesting and quirky, or completely ridiculous even or perhaps especially by the standards of other Transformers with Beast forms. Bisk in particular. He has people who find him entertaining, whilst others have already started comparing him to Jar Jar Binks. And then there's Thunderhoof, who is either Crazy Awesome by virtue of being a robot with giant moose antlers that turns into a combine harvester, with said antlers turning into the vehicle's harvesting claw, or an utterly ridiculous disgrace with a name that sounds like a bad MLP OC.
    • Airazor and Slipstream being in the series as male characters, not helped by the general lack of female characters (Transformers: Prime also had very few female characters, but the use of Airazor and Slipstream as names for males seems to be the main cause of the brokenness—never mind that the characters in question are Minicons, glorified accessories who rarely have much in the way of personality, and are known for reusing names from more distinctive characters), nor likely Transformers: War for Cybertron (set in the same universe) featuring a version of the latter that was more true to her namesake.
    • The toyline being heavy in simplistic and gimmicky products. Some are okay with it seeing as the show is marketed to kids, and the toyline selling keeps the executives happy, while the older fans can go spend their money on the Generations line instead. Others wish there to be more standard Transformers models (here called Warrior class) mixed in with the younger aimed toys, as they provide more accurate and articulate models based on the shows characters.
    • The notion of Optimus Prime and Megatron not being The Hero and the Big Bad respectively. Some are OK with it feeling it a fresh idea for a series. Others miss having the two biggest figures of the franchise not having lead roles.
    • The series is surprisingly very light on continuity relating to past fiction. Some feel it's better this way, allowing them more flexibility in making an enjoyable show. Others feel, that as a sequel series to Prime, it doesn't feel enough like a sequel as a result.
    • Soundwave's new body in this series essentially mixes together aspects from both his previous body in Prime and the character's classic Generation One appearance, keeping the head design, tentacles and method of deploying Laserbeak from Prime, whilst giving him Generation One style body proportions and colours as well as that version's shoulder cannon, with a somewhat War For Cybertron-esque alternate mode. Fans are split on whether this design is a nice composite of Soundwave's different appearances, or between finding his design here an improvement or downgrade from Soundwave's Prime design due in no small part to the more notable G1 elements.
  • Complete Monster: Megatronus, once a member of the Thirteen Primes, was locked away for betraying his comrades and murdering Solus Prime. Still having influence outside of his prison, Megatronus causes the Decepticon prison transport ship, The Alchemor, to crash on Earth, unleashing dozens of Decepticons on the planet. Contacting Steeljaw, Megatronus manipulates him into releasing him from his prison, and uses his psychic powers to force one of Steeljaw's soldiers to begin amputating his own arm to convince Steeljaw to work faster. When unleashed from his prison, Megatronus betrays Steeljaw, tries to murder both him and the Autobots attempting to thwart him, and reveals he plans to use the power of Unicron and the Allspark to destroy both Earth and Cybertron in one fell swoop as revenge for his imprisonment. Perhaps once a good person, Megatronus shed any heroic traits and replaced them with pure sociopathy and blind hatred.
  • Contested Sequel: General consensus is that Robots in Disguise doesn't work as a sequel to Prime due to Mood Whiplash where the Darker and Edgier Prime suddenly receiving a sequel series that's much more light-hearted and comedy-based. Whether it's a good series or not on its own terms is another matter of debate.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Steeljaw. Maybe it's the voice, maybe it's the charisma, maybe it's the rhetoric. Whatever the reason, Steeljaw's got a lot of admirers who feel he's in the right in building a new Decepticon utopia. Some of the justifications borrow aspects from the IDW canon in which Beast-Transformers were considered inferior due to Fantastic Racism. The other Decepticons get this as well to different effects.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Some of the Decepticons gained a small following.
    • With his debut Fracture was praised as one of the more interesting new Decepticons with his cool appearance, high skill level, and minicons. Many positively comparing him to past Darkhorse bounty hunter Lockdown. It's especially notable because of all the Pack, Fracture's easily the least important falling out of the series post season 1.
    • Thunderhoof also quickly became popular for his voice, design, and crime boss occupation, which helped him stand out from some of the other 'Cons. His shippings with Steeljaw may have also helped.
  • Epileptic Trees: Grimlock being revealed as a former Decepticon in this series with a different personality and appearance to what he's had prior has made it so that a number of theories regarding this change have started to sprout up before any official reason has been revealed, including potential memory loss and forced rebranding.
    • The release of several official character profiles from Hasbro Studios has only further confused matters— Grimlock's profile seems to put paid to the whole "former Decepticon" thing by saying that he was unjustly imprisoned, but it also mentions that he was locked up "eons ago". Which brings into question just how much time has elapsed between Prime and this series, among other things.
  • Evil Is Cool:
    • Steeljaw, being a charismatic leader whose schemes drive the story arc. The fact that he isn't an infallible fighter gained him even more fans, as people liked to watch him scramble and improvise on the fly to try and draw some semblance of victory out of his defeats.
    • Fracture because of his tactics, cool gadgets, and effective fighting style, along with his Minicon partners.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Steeljaw, from Troy Baker cooing in one's ear with a voice sautéed in charm and dripping with charisma to his attractive wolf-like features which have picked up a bit of a Furry Fandom. Same with Thunderhoof, Fracture, and Chop Shop, all of who have garnered significant following in the fandom for their design and voice-acting.
  • Fanon: Wildbreak is Breakdown and Knock Out's son.
    • Lots of fan fics features Sunstreaker as Sideswipe's twin brother, just like in G1 Transformers fiction. (On the show itself, Sunstreaker only appears as part of a blink-and-you'll-miss-it Easter egg with seemingly no connection to Sideswipe.)
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Bumblebee/Grimlock and Strongarm/Sideswipe are definitely the most popular ones. Dragstrip/Wildbreak, Drift/Fracture and Drift/Shadow Raker also have a fanbase.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: It is heavily implied, if not outright confirmed in all but words, that the new High Council are a bunch of glory hounds who are desperate to ensure full blown war never happens again, as they happily demoted Bumblebee to beat cop, they are known to have a dislike for Autobots, especially Team Prime, and very likely are corrupt and imprison anyone as a Decepticon for minor acts. This essentially means that Megatron's original uprising and all the lives lost were for nothing, as the status quo returned, and this time more bitterly. It really isn't hard to feel sorry for Steeljaw or any of the inmates imprisoned, and for the Autobots as well. Then again, it's revealed that Council was usurped by Decepticons themselves.
    • During Starscream's monologue about how he escaped from the Predacons after the events of Predacons Rising, it's revealed that he led Darksteel and Skylynx into a trap inside the Decepticon citadel which ended up killing them. In Transformers Prime, Predaking's story revolved around how he was the only one of his kind and the Series Finale movie finally gave him some closure as he was united with Darksteel and Skylynx, thus giving him a Predacon people to rule over once more. In this series, however, assuming Starscream isn't an Unreliable Narrator and was telling the truth about Darksteel and Skylynx's deaths, then that means Predaking is once more the last of his kind and is no better off now than he was during the previous series.
      • Possibly not while the loss of those two would of course be a devastating loss, there was at least one predacon shown in Predacons Rising in a tube who was just about ready to be brought online. So there is still some hope for Predaking and his race after all.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • Here we learn Bumblebee loves cowboy movies. While this was never explored in Transformers: Prime, it's not difficult to imagine Bee sitting back in the Autobots old command center and watching old cowboy films with Raf.
    • On Ian James Corlett's page on Behind the Voice Actors, he wishes that he was in more Transformers shows after the Beast Wars franchise was done. Fast forward almost two decades later, he later voiced Shadow Raker for the show.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the third episode, Bumblebee tries to teach Sideswipe, Strongarm and Grimlock how to work together through trust exercises. Now try to imagine Team Prime practicing these very same exercises in its early days.
  • Ho Yay: Between Bumblebee and Grimlock in the first season. which starts in episode 3 Trust Exercises with Grimlock catching Bee in a Bridal Carry which seems fairly unnecessary for simply trust exercises.
    • It then happens again in episode 7 Collect Them All with what sounds almost like flirting between the two:
    Bumblebee: Grimlock, we need you!
    Grimlock: Say it again, slooower?
    Bumblebee: Just get over here!
    • Between Grimlock and Drift. There are many episodes involving their relationship with Grimmlock calling Drift his 'teamie', wanting to become his student and loves hugging him whenever he can. Drift also shows a softer side toward him.
    • Between Strongarm and Windblade. Windblade sounds flirty with her sometimes.
    • Between Drift and Fracture. In their introduction, they seem obsessed with each other.
    • Between Drift and Shadow Raker as well. Shadow Raker compares Drift's relationship with his Minicons the same way as his relationship with him in the past, and held him close in fear of losing him.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: Soundwave's redesign. His Prime design was met with the opposite trope from a section of the fandom who disliked how different it was from normal Soundwave designs. Now fans of the Prime design fell under this trope; disliking how much it was changed to be more G1-esque.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Steeljaw. In the first season he manages to create a competent threat using his small team and limited resources.
    • In season 2, he frees the Decepticons imprisoned in the scrapyard via using Scorponok as a distraction and take his place in Glowstrike's faction. He then manages to gain her trust, allowing him to obtain three Decepticon Hunters and usurp her.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Guilty As Charged: Nightra crossed it when she was about to eject Strongarm's friends out of Blastwave's ship.
    • Collateral Damage: Soundwave crossed it hard the moment he declares that he will summon Megatron, even if it means obliterating all life on Earth. This strongly angers Steeljaw (who wants to rule Earth, not destroy it), as well as the Autobots.
  • Narm: In "One of Our Mini-Cons Is Missing" the stolen human tank looks like it's about to run over Drift, and his minicons needs to save him! Except due to the tanks pretty generous ground clearance and Drift's position, it would probably just pass over him and he'd be unharmed.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Underbite crushing Denny's car, with him in it as his son watches.
    • While all the nightmares have some unsettling elements to them, Fixit's is creepiest with its disembodied muttering arms that put his stuttering verbal tic in a new perspective.
  • Nightmare Retardant: On some level, the writers want to portray Motormaster as being a fearsome Big Bad for the Combiner Force season, with the character being hidden in the shadows for some time and possessing a deep intimidating voice. Unfortunately any fear factor Motormaster could potentially have is dissolved the minute you see him talking about how he wants to control Earth's roads(as opposed to, you know, destroying the human race) and having his minions engage in petty road crimes like running people off the road and entering into human races to try to control said-roads. Considering how previous Big Bad villains like Steeljaw and Megatronus actually possessed more serious motives even by the standards of a more comedy-based TF series like wiping out humanity to create a Decepticon utopia or destroying the Earth altogether, Motormaster's schemes to control Earth's roads come off as laughably childish and borderline insulting to the viewers' intelligence in comparison.
    • The Stunticons' combined form Menasor doesn't come off much better. One might think Menasor means serious business for the Autobots at first glance but it soon becomes obvious that Menasor isn't really that much better at controlling his combined form than Team Bumblebee's combined form. The moment he gets his sword stuck in the ground and spends an extraordinary amount of time grunting and groaning just to pull it out comes off as just so groanworthy and unintentionally funny that it's hard to see Menasor as being a frightening or intimidating One-Winged Angel at all.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Some fans buy into Quillfire and Steeljaw's ideas about the Autobots being fascists, feeling the imprisoned Decepticons are discriminated against, and Fixit, being a Minicon, was pressed into being a prison guard For context . This was not helped by solicitations stating that Grimlock was in jail for his appearancenote . Helping this case, is that Megatron, the founder of the Deceptions, renounced the cause at the end of the previous series, and that thus far all Deceptions in the series seem to be mostly petty criminals and outcasts, rather than former combatants of the Great War, leading some to assume the new government of Cybertron merely slaps a Deception symbol on anyone who infractions their laws. The idea that the majority of them also have robot modes or alternate modes with Beast features also helps implicate some level of discrimination. This is basically confirmed at the end of Season 2 where its revealed that the new Council dislikes the Autobots, especially anyone who was part of Team Prime, and promptly demoted Bumblebee and further so in "Enemy of my Enemy", when the Council being revealed to be the Galavatronus 'Cons and furthermore to be disguised Decepticons.
    • Averted with Fixit. It kinda hard to label as being pressed into being a guard when you learn how DANGEROUS he really is as seen in The Trouble With Fixit. If anything, they made sure he was MORE then prepared for the job.
  • Seasonal Rot: While for the most part, Robots in Disguise is seen in a mildly positive manner, the final Combiner Force season seemed to just plateau as a series and the writers just didn't seem like they were really interested in learning from their past mistakes. Character growth for the Autobot team remained as stagnant as ever, with a lot of episodes following the typical formula of any given Autobot growing complacent or making stupid mistakes that get them beaten badly and somehow they miraculously pull through with a victory by the episode's end. The new batch of villains, the Stunticons, introduced for the first half of Combiner Force came off as such cheesy, lame Hanna-Barbera-esque villains that their motives of taking over Earth's roads came off as pure cringe. While the show tried to pick up in the second half of the season by reintroducing Steeljaw and introducing some mysterious High Council as the Greater Scope Villains, it felt too little too late because of the slow buildup and the fact that the writers took until the final two episodes of the series to introduce the actual villains, thus repeating their past mistakes and leaving almost no room for any interesting character development on behalf of the High Council villains. All in all, the final season seemed to signify a real rut for show. The good qualities of the show are not expanded upon and made any better, while the flaws and bad qualities of the show are ignored and not corrected by the writers in any meaningful way.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The series doesn't really break any ground with the usual Transformers conventions. Fan reception seems to fall into an: "Ehh, it's fine. But we've seen better," kind of mentality.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Cyberwarp's speech on why she saved Bee and his team and turned against the other Deception council members.
    Cyberwarp: We share a planet. There has to be a better way, to settle our differences...than destroying one another.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • In Season Two, we're introduced to a new batch of Decepticons who have their own island. Chief among them is Glowstrike. After several years of TF shows where spider-themed main female villains(ala Blackarachnia and Airachnid) have been reused, Robots in Disguise finally introduced a female Decepticon with another beast mode altogether and who appeared to actually be the leader of Decepticon Island. One would think a character like this would receive a fairly big role and a decent amount of character development. But what do they do with her? They turn her into a Satellite Character for Steeljaw to show just how big, bad, and treacherous Steeljaw really was. And if her minimal character development outside of being overshadowed by Steeljaw wasn't enough, the only real fight scene she had at the end once again saw her get upstaged and punked out by... Steeljaw yet again.
    • Starscream's bounty hunters don't get much more characterization beyond "Hired Guns of Starcream". One of them, Roughedge, is implied to have been a former Autobot, but nothing is brought up on this. Hell, the Insecticon bounty hunter doesn't even get a name.
    • Jazz is portrayed as a war veteran, Bumblebee's old comrade in arms and a highly competent special agent to boot. Of course he only appears once in the first season and only reappears toward the end of the series as part of Optimus Prime's "All-Stars" team.
    • Soundwave initially appears as he did in Prime, and is pretty much unstoppable until he is forced back into the Shadowzone. In the final season Combiner Force, he's played up as having a big scheme that involves stealing the Autobots' Decepticon Hunters (which gave Bumblebee, Sideswipe and Strongarm enough power to battle a living god like Megatronus). In his actual appearance, said scheme turns out to be a fancy transmitter and he's quickly defeated in the same episode he makes his return, showing almost none of the combat prowess that defined his character over his previous appearances. While Frank Welker being brought back to voice Soundwave was welcomed by the fanbase in general, the fact that he is considerably more talkative than he was in the past also rubbed several fans the wrong way, as they felt that his vow of silence was what previously made him such a menacing threat.
    • Starscream himself is completely forgotten during the Combiner Force portion of the series. It doesn't help that when he first reappeared he was portrayed as The Dreaded, but quickly became even more incompetent than he was at his worst in Prime.
    • Menasor is played up as a big threat (powerful enough to devastate an entire planetary system), but his appearance in the show certainly doesn't live up to it. Even compared to the original G1 Menasor, this Menasor can barely control himself and at one point spends an embarrassingly long time trying to pull his sword out of the ground after it gets stuck. He especially looks bad compared to the last time a combiner appeared in the Aligned Continuity; in the video games Fall of Cybertron and Rise of the Dark Spark the Combaticon combiner Bruticus massacres his way through hundreds of Autobots.
    • Aside from Bumblebee and Optimus, the only characters from Prime who make return appearances are Ratchet, Bulkhead, Starscream, and Soundwave. Some particularly glaring omissions:
      • Arcee's absence means we never see the original Team Prime reunited over the course of the show.
      • Megatron is often referenced over the course of the show, often by Decepticons who desire to see him return and lead them to victory, indicating they're unaware of, or refuse to recognize, the Heel–Face Turn he pulled at the end of Prime. Due to Megatron never appearing in person, we never see any Decepticons' reactions to what would presumably be a life-shattering revelation.
      • None of the human characters from Prime appear, meaning we never see how they've grown up, a reunion between Bumblebee and Raf, or the fate of Unit:E.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Many fans feel a post-war Cybertron in the aftermath of the events of Prime would have been ideal ground to explore, especially in the wake of Optimus Prime's Heroic Sacrifice, and especially since the IDW comics had also used a post-war Cybertron where Autobots and Decepticons were forced to coexist. Instead, we never get to see the true impact the war had on the planet, and Optimus Prime is brought Back from the Dead almost right away.
    • It would also have been refreshing to see the Autobots trying to deal with the Decepticons from a position different than that of an underdog, for a change, which wouldn't automatically guarantee that they'd get their way. When a corrupt Autobot High Council does enter the stage, they are revealed to be Decepticons, thus undermining the idea that Autobots can ever be portrayed as the villains.
    • It would also have been engaging to see how Megatron would deal with the fallout of his own tyranny. Would he try to keep the peace? Bully The Remnant into submission? How would loyal Decepticons such as Soundwave react to their leader's Heel–Face Turn?
  • Ugly Cute: Underbite. Sure he's a giant dog with an unending appetite but you just want to pick him up and snuggle him. Even TFWikiDotNet describes him as adorable.
    • Not to mention that his tail wags during the pilot after finding some junk in the scrapyard cute.
  • Uncanny Valley: Russell can look a bit off at times.

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