Transformers Animated

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Megatron: "It appears you and I are destined to battle aboard this ship once more, Autobot."
Optimus Prime: "Bring it on, Decepticon."

Debuting in December 2007 with a three-episode-long "pilot movie", Animated, despite being an Alternate Continuity, was created to ride the popularity of the 2007 Transformers film and, as a result, borrows several aspects of the film. Despite severe fan reactions to the character designs and animation style, the show's story and scripting (and a healthy respect to the saga as a whole) have won over many converts in short order.

A group of maintenance Autobots (Optimus Prime, Ratchet, Bulkhead, Prowl and Bumblebee) discover the coveted Transformer artifact called "The AllSpark" and, in escaping pursuit from the Decepticons, land on Earth in Detroit. Waking up in The Future, they befriend Sari Sumdac, 7-year-old daughter of Professor Isaac Sumdac, and work to maintain friendly relations with the public. However, the Decepticons aren't far behind.

One of the things that separate this show from its predecessors is the animation style, which is fluid, simplistic and very organic-looking. While some are still unhappy with the look, the simple style makes animation easier and gave some really stylistic action scenes; you can become accustomed to it surprisingly quickly.

Another distinction is the way the Decepticons are used. They are big and powerful enemies, and the protagonists are maintenance workers (In fact, most of their weapons are re-purposed tools); even one 'Con requires the entire small Autobot team to work together just to contain him. Most of the time, Megatron is planning some sort of gambit to avoid detection while still furthering his plans. He is dangerous, but the Decepticons as a whole are a scattered group; Megatron doesn't want to deal with the entire Autobot Elite Guard before he's ready.

To maintain the Decepticons as serious enemies, humans comprise the bulk of the Autobots' enemies for the first two seasons. Some are joke villains who are only petty thieves, but others are legitimate threats to the Autobots. Other unique features of the show are that the Transformers are very well-known among the community, and there is a noticeable lack of Hero Insurance. The humans are unhappy with the collateral damage, and the Autobots maintain their good graces by repairing the city. (After all, they are construction workers.)

The show lasted three seasons and although somewhat cut short on production plans (they were hoping for a fourth season) the last episode was written to serve as a respectable Grand Finale, concluding the overall Myth Arc. Transformers Prime was announced almost immediately following this show, which has unfortunately lead to an Internet Backdraft rumor that "Prime killed Animated." In some sense, this is backed up by Hasbro's decision to compete with Cartoon Network, Animated's broadcaster, by partnering with Discovery Communications to launch The Hub, the home of Prime.

However, the series recently got a brief revival/continuation via the Official Fanclub and its Timelines imprint, with an exclusive toyset designed by the series' art director and a comic penned by the series' main writer, and said writer has expressed a desire to continue Season 4 via comics if any publisher is willing. Here's to hoping...

See also the character page.


Tropes used in Transformers Animated include:
  • Abandoned Mine: the Decepticons set up a hidden base in one. It also features prominently in the episode "Nature Calls".
  • Abandoned Warehouse - Detroit has quite a few of these due to robots replacing human workers.
    • And being, well, Detroit. They reference the auto industry, with some easy extrapolations to the demise thereof, in the first episode.
  • The Ace - Afterburn, in the Titan Magazine adaptation. Borders on Canon Sue who, in two consecutive issues, leaves Optimus and Bumblebee holding the Idiot Ball, respectively. Turns out he is a sparkless drone Decepticon spy, whom Megatron quickly disposes of.
  • Actor Allusion - Sentinel Prime is a walking Shout-Out to The Tick (animation), including his blue coloration, giant chin, and occasional lines like "Energon-y goodness". His character was actually designed after actor Townsend Coleman was cast.
    • Wreck-Gar (voiced by "Weird Al" Yankovic) declares "I dare to be stupid!" in one episode, and pulls out an accordion in another.
  • Adaptational Badass: Waspinator. Good lord, Waspinator. In Beast Wars he was pretty much the biggest Butt Monkey in the history of Transformers ("Why universe hate Waspinator?"). In this series, as Wasp he was one of the Autobot Academy's most promising candidates (despite being an overall Jerkass), before spending years in imprisonment drove him paranoid and crazy. When Blackarachnia transformed him into Waspinator, he reached Nightmare Fuel levels of sinister. ("Waspinator has plans...")
  • Adaptational Villainy: Animated Waspinator is much scarier and more villainous than the Chew Toy Waspinator in Beast Wars, who spent a lot of his time being blasted to bits by other robots.
  • Adorably Precocious Child - Cosmos is one of the smartest characters spoken about in the Almanac, and yet he is one of the most adorable characters in the entire roster.
  • Adorkable: Most of the Autobots have their moments, such as Bulkhead, Blurr, and Wreck-GAR.
  • An Aesop - Most episodes.
  • Aesop Amnesia - Happens frequently. Bumblebee and Sentinel Prime in particular are poster boys for this trope.
  • Affably Evil: Megatron
  • An Aft Kicking Christmas - 'Human Error'
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot - Megatron developed Soundwave to evolve with uses of Sari's key into a new body, but Soundwave unexpectedly became sentient unto himself (though still useful to Megatron's plans). And then there's stuff like Professor Sumdac's malfunctioning police robots, and the nanobots in the pilot, and...
    • One must wonder how Sumdac stays in business if 3/4 of his machines go haywire. On the other hand, owning the patents on the fundamental building blocks of the robot technology that forms the backbone of modern society probably helps.
    • Subverted somewhat with Wreck-Gar, who is pretty much a very impressionable child with ADD.
  • Air Vent Passageway - Used by Optimus, complete with Shout-Out to Die Hard.
  • Airplane Arms - Briefly by Optimus in "Where Is Thy Sting."
  • Alien Arts Are Appreciated - Bulkhead winds up with a museum show in one episode, although his "masterpiece" was an accident.
  • Aliens in Cardiff - Megatron's head and hand land in Paw Paw, Michigan, though they end up in Detroit.
  • Aliens Speaking English
  • Aliens Steal Cable - Quite literally: Sari (half-alien herself) and Bumblebee use the Key to pirate Master Disaster's illegal street races.
  • All There in the Manual - The Starscream clones are only ever referred to by their personalities (or gender), but their toys are named after the G1 Seekers: Coward Starscream = "Skywarp," Sycophant Starscream = "Sunstorm," Egomaniac Starscream = "Thundercracker". This is because if they gave them proper names in the credits, they would have had to pay Tom Kenny for four more characters. And while he didn't get a toy until long after these three, the Liar Starscream's name was given as "Ramjet" in the Allspark Almanac.
    • In an almost literal example, toyless Female Starscream's official name "Slipstream" was created just for The AllSpark Almanac.
    • Actually The Allspark Almanac probably counts a lot for this trope, revealing intense amounts of detail (and Shout Outs about the show, the setting and the characters).
    • The Allspark Almanac II is even better, with lots of hints of what happened after the series, more detail about life on Cybertron (including how protoforms are developed), and more behind-the-scenes information about the show itself.
  • Almighty Janitor - Eventually taken to near absurd lengths with the main crew. Despite being a lowly maintenance crew, they have A cadet who was on track for the Elite Guard, a vet from the Great War who is bonded to the Autobot's greatest weapon (which happens to be their ship), the most skilled spacebridge engineer in the Autobot ranks, and one of the most skilled Cyberninjas around). Really, everyone but Bumblebee is considered near top of their field, and this is before they Took a Level in Badass
  • Almost Kiss - Blackarachnia and Optimus Prime. However, most of the time she does it, she's trying to distract him.
  • Aloof Ally - The Dinobots and the main team of Autobots have a relationship that is adversarial at best.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version used a different opening/ending theme than the American version.
  • Amoral Attorney: Implied by Meltdown, whose mutant shark monster used to be his lawyer. The bat monster was his accountant, somewhat relatedly.
    • Both are Mythology Gag's to the original series: Being sentenced to death-by-Sharkticon was the only outcome of a Quintesson trial in Transformers: The Movie, and in the G1 comic books, Ratbat was, essentially, the Decepticons' accountant.
      • Their designs are throwbacks, too, this time to the G1 Pretender Monsters, originally robots that could don mass-shifting organic shells to pass as (or, in the Monsters' case, terrorize) ordinary people.
  • And I Must Scream - Swindle's fate at the end of S.U.V.ironically to be cut into pieces and sold off. ("Five Servos of Doom" reveals that Swindle is Not Quite Dead, and he gets freed in "Decepticon Air".)
    • Blurr on the other hand...
  • And This Is For - In "Survival of the Fittest", Prowl and Captain Fanzone fight Meltdown's mutated minions while trying to save Sari from his experiments. Fanzone throws one particularly impressive punch with a yell of "And that's for Sari!"
  • Androcles' Lion - Grimlock, complete with thorn in his foot for those who might miss the connection.
  • Animal Mecha - The Dinobots, as usual. Soundwave's pets combine this with Instrument of Murder, and then there's Steeljaw and Zaur on Cybertron. Blackarachnia and Waspinator fall into the "actually-part-organic" category.
  • Animesque - From the same folk who worked on Teen Titans, Ben 10 and Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!. And of course, the overseas Mook, Studio 4°C and The Answer Studio are Japanese-based animation houses...
  • Anyone Can Die - Starts in the beginning of the third season with Blurr, sort of and never looks back.
  • Arc Welding - Ratchet's two old friends from the Great War — Arcee and Omega Supreme — are revealed to be closely connected, plotwise, in the third season.
  • The Archer - Rodimus, no relation to Hawkeye.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking - Mixmaster cannot defeat Thundercracker! He is not worthy! He is inferior! And his joke stinks!
  • Ascended Extra - While he's got less appearances than in the original series, Shockwave manages to do much more notable things in this series.
  • Ascended Meme - The portrayal of the Autobot Elite Guard as arrogant and corrupt, and the Decepticons as fighting for their freedom.
    • That would make sense....if Megatron was clearly only fighting for power and to sate his own eog, every single Decepticon shown is a psychotic, sadistic killing machine, and even with all the morally ambiguous things Ultra Magnus did, he's still LEAGUES above Megatron.
    • The Fan Nickname 'Punch of Kill Everything' made it into the canon comics (though sadly not the show itself), and shows up in Transformers: War for Cybertron to boot (as both a Leader-class killstreak reward and a Soldier-class melee upgrade).
  • Asteroids Monster - Rock Lords (or at least the animalistic space-born ones) can form smaller versions of themselves if shattered.
  • Attack Pattern Alpha - 'Omega Formation' is used against Blitzwing in 'Sari, No-One's Home'. It doesn't end well.
  • Autobots Rock Out - Done absolutely literally in "Human Error". And it was AWESOME!!!
  • Awesome Backpack: Wreck-Gar's, which was inspired by Harpo Marx.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses - With bonus Strange Bedfellows: Megatron and Optimus Prime. "Well, you're the last bot I'd expect to come to my rescue." When Optimus says he isn't, Megatron then grabs Optimus and uses him as a shield.
  • Badass Grandpa - Ratchet.
  • Badass Normal - Captain Fanzone
  • Bag of Holding - Swindle's "personal storage dimension" and Wreck-Gar's backpack, which contains (quite literally) everything and the kitchen sink. The former has a justification, the latter runs on Rule of Funny.
  • Band of Brothers - And one sister
  • Bash Brothers - The most literal version is Prowl and Fanzone in "Survival of the Fittest," but the trope is frequently used as, on the whole, one Decepticon is more dangerous than three Autobots.
  • Bastard Understudy - Starscream comes close to this several times (most notably in the pilot)
  • Batman Gambit - Optimus manages to pull one off in "Decepticon Air," in a near-perfect Homage to Superman II.
  • Battle Butler - Lugnut's near-religious fanatical devotion to Megatron.
  • Bedsheet Ghost - Bulkhead has to use a fumigation tent.
  • Berserk Button - Starscream, true to type, likes to plan out monologues and speeches. Don't interrupt him when he gives them, 'kay?
    • "You interrupted my SPEEEEECH!!"
  • BFG - Owned by Megatron, Swindle, and Shockwave.
  • Big Bad - Megatron. He doesn't get his short-lived Evil Plans thwarted every week anymore, nooo...
    • Big Bad Ensemble: While Megatron was the overall Big Bad of the series, the writers wanted to minimize his appearance to further emphasize the threat he posed. In addition to Megatron and the Decepticons loyal to him, we had rogue Decepticons like Starscream, Lockdown, Blackarachnia and Swindle, or semi-affiliated ones like Soundwave, running around causing problems, and various human enemies. Among the humans, Meltdown and Porter C. Powell were chief among the Autobots human antagonists.
  • Big Brother Instinct: All of the Autobots towards Sari.
  • Big No - Bulkhead, when he wakes up and finds his body stolen.
  • Bio Augmentation - The aim of Prometheus Black's company, Biotech Unbound, before things went downhill for him.
  • Biological Mashup - Meltdown's human experiments ended up bizarre, monstrous Mythology Gags of G1 Pretenders.
  • Bizarrchitecture - Sumdac Tower is shaped like a giant spark plug, and thus is narrower at the bottom than it is near the top.
  • Black and Gray Morality: This series is less black-and-white than some of the others - while the Decepticons are unquestionably the bad guys, the Autobots aren't exactly noble, flawless heroes. The best example is the Autobot leadership, which is flawed and includes at least one power-grabbing xenophobe. The Decepticons are "freedom fighters" in some twisted sense, which might have made them "gray" rather than "black" if it weren't clear that they have no respect for anyone's plight but their own.
  • Non Sequitur Episode: The Bee in the City script reading. Filled with Fourth Wall breaking fun, and various Shout Outs to not other Transformers continuities, and even lampshades the trope by agreeing never to speak of the incident again.
  • Blofeld Ploy - Played with in the first season finale. Megatron mentions how appropriate it is to have Starscream with him as he takes his revenge on the one responsible for his 50 years as a head. He then aims at Optimus, only to turn around and slag Starscream, who actually was responsible for it but didn't think Megatron knew.
  • Blow You Away - Jetstorm and vehicle-mode Safeguard. Optimus whips up a tornado with the Magnus Hammer.
  • Boot Camp Episode - In a Flashback Episode, Bumblebee and Bulkhead go through basic training.
  • Born in the Wrong Century - Captain Fanzone, no doubt. The man (somehow) has a rotary dial cell phone, of a size that marks it as outdated by today's standards, among other things.
    • Fanzone's Catch Phrase when getting befuddled by anything more complex than that? "This is why I hate machines.
  • Bounty Hunter - Lockdown.
  • Brain Bleach - Optimus looks to be in dire need of some after Sari explains where little organics come from.
  • Break the Cutie - Sari in Season 2. First her dad goes missing, then her dad's company gets taken out of her control by Porter C. Powell who reveals with the subtlety of a brick that she doesn't exist in any form of legal documentation. If it weren't for the Autobots helping her cope over all of this, Sari could very easily have snapped upon the revelation that she was part Cybertronian instead of taking a level in badass.
  • Break the Haughty - Sentinel's ordeal in Return of the Headmaster. It doesn't stick.
  • Bring It
  • Broken Hero - Optimus Prime, of all people.
  • Buffy-Speak - Oddly, two of the smartest (in terms of technology) cast members: see Shaped Like Itself.
  • Butt Monkey - According to supplementary material, Beachcomber.
    • Tutor Bot, as well.
  • Can Not Tell a Lie - Inverted by Ramjet, the Liar Starscream, who literally always says the opposite of the truth, Opposite Day-style.
  • Canon Immigrant - Oil Slick was never intended to be in the show (in fact, he was originally just a sketch someone made in their free time), and was kept to the toyline and the comics. He's since been introduced in the cartoon in a brief but memorable scene. Roughly the same deal with Soundwave's guitar creatures.
    • Inverted with Prowl's samurai armor sidecar; it was created for the show but Hasbro liked the design so much they made a toy version, and Prowl eventually got the armor permanently.
    • Played more straight with Lugnut, Lockdown, and Slipstream. Slipstream's a character in Transformers: War for Cybertron (albeit for multiplayer only); Lockdown got a toy for the Revenge of the Fallen, then was repurposed and used as the basis for a G1 version of the character; and Lugnut appeared in two G1-based comics, one of which took place during the original movie (and, as the TFWiki points out, probably freaked out when Starscream threw Megatron out of Astrotrain).
  • Caped Mecha - Lockdown's space poncho and Alpha Trion's traditional cape. Red Alert's design makes her look like she's wearing a labcoat, but at least that's clearly a part of her altmode.
  • Cardboard Prison - Played straight and averted. The first time Meltdown escapes, he apparently does so without the Detroit Police even hearing about it. The second time, however, he's stuck in a specially-designed cell not even he can melt through and it takes the Dinobots (following Blackarachnia's orders) to get him out. The lower-grade supervillains like the Angry Archer seem to have an easier time of it: Fanzone even points this out in the Almanac.
    • The Decepticons seem to escape with frightening frequency on the ELITE GUARD ship
  • Cassandra Truth - Bulkhead tries to warn Sari about Soundwave, but she's just not listening.
  • Cat Scare - Sentinel receives one in "Return of the Headmaster".
  • Catch Phrase - Captain Fanzone, "This is why I hate machines" (with a couple of variants).
    • How could one not mention "Transform and Roll Out"? Or the even cooler evil variant, "Transform and Rise Up"?
  • Chewing the Scenery - "You interrupted MY SPEEEEEEEEEEECH!"
  • Christmas Episode - "Human Error"
  • Chronically Crashed Car: Captain Fanzone's car.
  • Cloudcuckoolander - Wreck-Gar and Random Blitzwing. To quote the latter after being sent flying:

Mayday! Mayday! Let's all dance around the maypole!

  • Co-Dragons - Lugnut and Shockwave. When they finally meet, it takes them about ten minutes to start fighting over which of them is the most loyal to Megatron.
    • Thanks partly to Starscream manipulating the (rather dense) Lugnut...and because Megatron wanted Lugnut to be at his most loyal.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience - The Autobots are bright, primary colors (sans Bulkhead and Prowl) while the Decepticons are muted or secondary colors like gray, purple and green. Dead Cybertronians become a distinct darkish grey, in homage to G1 Optimus Prime's death in The Movie.
  • Combat Stilettos - Stiletto, a comic-only human supervillain, uses experimental Sumdac weapons in her heels (she's also a kickboxer). Blackarachnia, for some reason, only gained high-heels after becoming part-organic. Sari sort-of lampshades this in Bee in the City by asking who designs a robot with high heels: Flareup doesn't know either, but when she finds him...
  • Combining Mecha - Any Transformer becomes this against their will when the Headmaster gets his hands on them.
    • Also, in the comics and Season 3, Jetfire and Jetstorm, who merge symmetrical docking-style into Safeguard.
  • Comic Book Adaptation - Three: One is simply a somewhat-fail-y retelling of episodes through screen captures, one is an original series of stories published by Titan Magazines and only available in the U.K. (There's also one Animated story in the main Transformers Comic written by Simon Furman), and one is a (most definitely Canon) series called The Arrival, written by the show's head writer, Marty Isenberg, which both tells new stories and what various characters were doing between appearances on the show.
  • Composite Character - The show's version of Blackarachnia is a composite of Blackarachnia from Beast Wars and and Transformers Generation 1's Elita One. Not to mention her design features certain elements of all of her appearances throughout Beast Wars/Beast Machines.
  • Concept Art Gallery - Both Almanacs
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu - The Autobots barely hold off Starscream early on, but are much more effective against the squadron of clones. (The Autobot arsenal now includes stasis cuffs...)
  • Convection, Schmonvection - Sari uses boiling water to kill the space barnacles possessing Bumblebee and Prowl, but isn't scalded by the steam. Maybe her skin is tougher than a normal human's.
  • Convenient Color Change: When Mixmaster and Scrapper change their allegiance to the Decepticons, their optics go from blue to red, as Autobots have blue eyes while Decepticons have red ones.
  • Conveyor Belt of Doom - When Megatron takes over the factory equipment in 'Home Is Where the Spark Is', he uses the manipulator arms to pin Bulkhead down on one of these and send him towards a crusher.
  • Cool Car - Par for the course with Transformers, but special mentions go to Lockdown, a combination of a few classic muscle cars, and Blurr, whose vehicle mode is reminiscent of the Mach 5.
  • Cool Chair - Professor Sumdac used Megatron's hand as a chair in his lab. Its owner was less than happy.
  • Cool Shades - or rather, optic sensors: Prowl, Soundwave, Jazz, and Grimlock (the first two's even look a bit like Kamina's). Meltdown's shades, however, are actual sunglasses, and are pretty funky.
    • Don't be fooled; Prowl might have Kamina's shades, but he's really Volfogg.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive - Porter C. Powell, and to a lesser extent, Prometheus Black/Meltdown.
  • Cranial Processing Unit: These Transformers' mind seems entirely located in their heads. As seen with the headmaster episodes.
  • Creator Cameo: In "Human Error, Part 1," one of customers at the burger place is Marty Isenberg.
  • Creator Provincialism - Isaac Sumdac grew up in the same place as Derrick Wyatt.
  • Credits Pushback - YTV did this to the second season finale's stinger, making it hard to hear Megatron and Starscream bickering in space. Fans were unamused.
  • Creepy Monotone - Soundwave. Perceptor is actually performed by a voice synthesizer. Megatron and Shockwave come close, being more implacable then monotone.
  • Cruel Mercy - Optimus didn't spare Megatron because he was feeling kind...
  • Crystal Dragon Jesus - Word of God states that there is a Church of Primus on Cybertron. Not much is known about the church, though Animated Vector Prime's design brings to mind the uniform of the Pope. Word of God states that it's of the Church of Happyology flavor.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right - In "Return of The Headmaster", when Sari wonders why there is no record of her, Bulkhead suggests that "Maybe she came here in some kind of egg, and crashed on Professor Sumdac's doorstep," He's not so far from the truth.
  • Curb Stomp Battle - The main Autobots are a maintenance crew, only a handful of whom have proper combat training and only one of whom has actual experience. The Decepticons are massive, powerful war machines. Do the math.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul - Perceptor may already be a robot, but according to Word of God, he deleted his own personality and capacity for emotion in order to store more information in his processor.
  • Damsel in Distress - Arcee is metaphorically Stuffed Into the Fridge multiple times.
    • Also, Elita-1.
    • Also, as Blackarachnia she keeps having to be saved from her own attempts at evil schemes. Even the one exception to this rule was retroactively made one (after Megatron Rising, it was the Dinobots who pulled her to the island.) That's three female 'bots (for the price of two) who were quite Badass in previous incarnations whose roles have been reduced to "helpless victim who is either saved, or not saved as part of a male 'bot's backstory." You really expect the 2008 series to be more progressive than the 80s/90s ones... but in the writers' favor, there is Sari.
  • Dark Action Girl - Slipstream, the Female Starscream, as treacherous as her progenitor and her fellow trope examples. Blackarachnia sometimes fills this role as well, though she's more often a Femme Fatale.
  • Darker and Edgier - Third season. Family-Unfriendly Violence, Family-Unfriendly Death, and Child Soldiers, oh my!
  • Dark-Skinned Redhead - Sari
  • Dating Catwoman - Optimus and Blackarachnia/Elita-1
  • Dead Line News - A reporter is covering the Robot War that Soundwave started when his camera starts attacking him. Then we see a News-Bot covering the news a few days later...
    • He survived, and is shown covering the garbage disputes in Season 2.
  • Death Montage - a now immortal Starscream gets one showing him attempting, and failing, to overthrow Megatron.
  • Decontamination Chamber - Sentinel uses one to pick on the team in 'The Elite Guard'.
  • Deflector Shields - Sumdac Tower has an emergency force-field that can cover the entire building - pretty impressive, considering it's one of the few inventions that probably didn't have its roots in Megatron. The Elite Guard ship also has one, and Swindle has a personal version that he purchased from the Vok.
  • Deserted Island - North Sister Island, a volcanic island that somehow exists in the middle of Lake Erie. Then it becomes "Dinobot Island" and gets more and more crowded.
  • Destructive Saviour - Bulkhead. So very, very much.
  • Development Gag - Team Rodimus is three-fifths scrapped ideas (see What Could Have Been). Sari's scooter / jetpack is based on a transforming trike she had in a dropped version of the opening sequence.
  • Die Hard on an X - "Decepticon Air", complete with Prime doing the "exploding elevator" trick from Die Hard and making snarky comments while doing an Air Vent Passageway escape.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons - The Dinobots, as ever, although Professor Sumdac didn't actually have this in mind while designing them. Megatron added the flame breath because he planned on using one of them as a new body and the others as attack drones.
  • Dirty Coward - Coward Starscream, even more so than Starscream himself, though the clone lacks even the courage to betray people to ensure his own safety.
  • Disco Dan - Meltdown. Not only does he cling to outmoded ideals about human superiority over all machines, he also once speechified about how Prof. Sumdac isn't worthy to "lick the mud off my platform shoes, booga-looga-looga-looz!"
  • Distinctive Appearances - Nearly every robot in the series can be identified by their shadow. Especially Blackarachnia.
    • Nearly any. Many Cybertronians share a mold with either Bumblebee or Ratchet, the former moreso.
  • Distracted by the Sexy - Blackarachnia pulls this on Bulkhead and Bumblebee during her first appearance on Earth (They'd never seen a female Transformer before) and does it quite often to Optimus Prime (who kinda used to be her ex) afterwards.
  • Do I Really Sound Like That?? - Sari's impression of Optimus Prime is spot-on.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength - Bulkhead
  • Don't Call Me "Sir"! - Ratchet works for a living.
  • Double Aesop - 'Velocity'.
  • The Dragon - Starscream at first, and later Lugnut.
    • By the series finale, the latter is literally fighting Shockwave for this position.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty - Sentinel Prime Minor in a flashback.
  • Drives Like Crazy - Sentinel, although it's more to do with his contempt for human traffic laws (he also can't figure out how to drive in the rain). All of the "Automen" in Human Error, where they have to actually work their vehicle modes from the inside instead of just thinking about it.
  • Drop the Hammer - Ultra Magnus and Sari. Shockwave, briefly.
    • And now Optimus himself.
  • Dub Name Change: In the Japanese version, Bulkhead's name is changed to Ironhide so the main group of Autobots will all correspond to the main group of Transformers Film Series Autobots. Consequentially, Ironhide's name will have to be changed; currently they're mulling over "Armorhide".
    • And note that Takara-Tomy's marketing director claims that the Japanese dub is going to make Bulkhead/Ironhide be the exact same character as Movie Ironhide... though this doesn't jibe with the show's depiction of him so far.
  • Dumb Muscle - The Dinobots, especially the toddler-like Grimlock. Of course, Swoop and Snarl can't seem to muster up the processor power to speak, either. Lugnut, Scrapper, Mixmaster, and Blackout are also standouts, while Bulkhead is a Genius Ditz, though his lack of general intelligence is played up considerably in the Japanese dub. Omega Supreme was specifically programmed to be Dumb Muscle, so that he wouldn't question his lot in life as a Robot Of Mass Destruction. Blitzwing's Hothead personality leans toward this, as well.
  • Easy Amnesia - Averted, for the most part, with Arcee. After she loses her memory it stays lost for a very, very long time, and it takes quite a while to retrieve them properly in the finale. There was also a scrapped Season 4 idea with this as its main plot point, this time with Cosmos being amnesic instead of Arcee. According to the Allspark Almanac 2, "Hilarity Ensues".
  • The Easy Way or the Hard Way - Optimus to Lockdown (when he thought Lockdown was just a crazy human in a muscle car).
  • Eat the Bomb - Snarl swallows a missile in the Dinobots' debut episode, and isn't even fazed.
  • Eats Babies - Megatron is such a nightmarish, legendary figure to the Autobots that he's said to eat their protoforms for breakfast. He doesn't, although he doesn't mind using them to build WMDs.
    • According to some fans, Omega Supreme feeds on protoforms. He was built by Wheeljack...
  • Efficient Displacement - Bulkhead and Blitzwing in different episodes.
  • Enemy Mine - Although they're technically both Autobots, Optimus and Grimlock's fateful team-up played out like this.
  • Engrish - The closed captioning for one episode dubbed Shockwave as "Chugway"
  • Epic Flail - Bulkhead.
    • Don't forget Swoop! His even bursts into flames!
  • Everyone Knows Cybertronian Optical Code - Used in "Decepticon Air" when Optimus's Autobot symbol flashes while "telling" Jazz his plan.
    • [[[Justified Trope]] here, since Optimus is an Elite Guard washout and Jazz is an actual member of the Elite Guard.
  • Evil Costume Switch - Shockwave changing his color scheme to his "true" Decepticon colors can be treated as such.
  • Evil Counterpart: Oil Slick and Lockdown for Prowl.
  • Evil Gloating - Starscream loves this. Interrupt him at your peril. Naturally, his clone Thundercracker, the Egomaniac, loves it even more.
  • Executive Meddling/Network to the Rescue: Twice. The network wanted a human sidekick. The second time, humans got put Out of Focus in season three.
  • Expy - Very common, this being Transformers. Most recently, Beast Wars character Rattrap got one in the form of Rattletrap (a combination of the original's Western (Rattrap) and Japanese (Rattle) names). Not exactly a flattering portrayal.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There - The mutant space barnacles make eyes appear all over their victims.
  • Face Palm
  • Fake Static - Bumblebee in "Megatron Rising" and Prowl in "A Fistful of Energon".
  • Fallen Hero - Blackarachnia
  • Family-Unfriendly Death - In the season three premiere, Blurr is crushed into a cube. One hopes for a Disney Death, somehow.
    • Considering his spark was still glowing in the close-up models of the cube...
    • In a Transformers Timelines comic published after the series, Blurr attends an event, still smushed up.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • "Teen Titans", by the TF-fans who belive the series is Ruined FOREVER (as usual), since it was designed by the same team who worked on the aforementioned series.
    • Since, in this continuity, Autobots are largely incapable of flying, the Animated version of Powerglide actually seems to transform into a ground-based alternate mode, prompting some to name him as "Powerdrive" instead.
  • Fantastic Racism: Aplenty.
    • Meltdown and his henchman don't like machines. Captain Fanzone likes to say he hates machines, but this is really in the context of being old-fashioned and irritable (and a Walking Techbane). He's on good terms with the Autobots, even if they keep messing up his city.
    • Sentinel Prime really doesn't like organics. This is actually endemic to the entire Cybertronian population (Optimus' crew, for whatever reason, are far more tolerant even at the start), but Sentinel goes above and beyond. He actually tells Blackarachnia, his old friend Elita-1 turned techno-organic, that she was better off dead before trying to kill her. How bad is this? Even Blackarachnia herself has less hatred for her organic half than Sentinel does, and she spends the entire series trying to purge it. Second-in-command of the Autobot Elite Guard, everybody!
      • Fanzone actually uses this against the Cybertronians when he ends up on Cyberton in one episode. Being a human and all, he's basically a walking bioterrorism weapon.
  • Fascists' Bed Time - One of Sentinel's first acts as Magnus is to institute a curfew. What this means for robots who don't exactly 'sleep' is unclear, although they do take 'stasis naps'.
  • Fastball Special - Optimus does this with Sentinel Prime to get the latter into melee range of Lugnut. They were in space at the time.
    • Bulkhead tosses Prowl and Bumblebee on more than one occasion. See also the Not Quite Flight example below.
  • Fauxtivational Poster - Prowl has one in his room.
  • Femme Fatale - Blackarachnia
  • Five-Bad Band - The main Decepticons, although there is significant shifting of positions because of plot, betrayal or otherwise being separated.
  • Five-Man Band - Somewhat iffy:
  • Foe Yay - the ending of "A Fistful of Energon"
  • Foreshadowing - At the end of the first season, Sari tries interacting with the Allspark and all it shows is a holographic DNA helix surrounding a spark. No explanation is given until the end of the second season but the fans quickly latched onto that as confirmation of some Wild Mass Guessing.
  • Forgotten Superweapon - Omega Supreme
  • Four-Fingered Hands - Strika, Scrapper, Grimlock, Oil Slick and Waspinator - although the last one isn't meant to be anything close to human.
  • Freudian Trio - The Elite Guard. Ultra Magnus: Superego, Jazz: Ego, Sentinel Prime: Id. Blitzwing arguably forms his own trio, with the calm face being Superego, the angry face being Id, and the crazy face being Ego [by combining the others' traits at random].
    • The Dinobots could count, never being seen separately outside of Human Error, Part II.
  • Friend to All Living Things - Prowl.
    • Ironic considering he's the only Autobot who successfully kills another character on screen (Starscream in "Endgame Part 2"), although Jazz helped.
  • Friendly Enemy: Bulkhead and the Constructicons (other than Dirt Boss) get along famously, and Bulkhead knows that Mixmaster and Scrapper are simply misguided, not evil.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare - Wasp(inator)
  • Fun with Acronyms - The "Fully Automated Rapid Transit System". Hilariously, Word of God swears this was an accident. Bee in the city's "Bi-directional Unified Transit Terminal", on the other hand...

Sari: "The B-U...Dad, you really need to work on your acronyms."

  • Funny Schizophrenia: Blitzwing. Icy, Hothead, and Random.
  • Furry Confusion: Or 'the robots are sentient? non-sentient?' confusion: Tutor Bot, News Bot.
  • The Future - The exact date isn't known, but it's apparently the 22nd century or near to it.
  • Gale Force Sound: Used, briefly, in the rock battle between Optimus Prime and Soundwave, in "Human Error, Part 2".
  • Genius Bruiser: Bulkhead, Strika and Megatron.
  • Genius Ditz - Bulkhead is revealed to be the most qualified space bridge technician in the galaxy.
  • Gentle Giant - Bulkhead
  • George Takei - The voice of Master Yoketron.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar - Most of the Nanosec/Slomo interaction in "S.U.V.: Society of Ultimate Villainy."
    • See also Unusual Euphemism: "Skidplates", "Oil Stain", "Bumper", "Slag"... oh, and is the Constructicons' obsession with "oil" fooling anybody?
    • Now add in the Constructicons' "strip club" at the beginning of "Three's a Crowd"...
    • "Don't just stand there with your pistons in your servos!" For those who don't know, "servos" are hands.
    • "Get your head out of your exhaust port!"
    • Sentinel Prime once refers to Optimus and the Autobots as "You Glitches". It's a Double Entendre when you think about it.
    • The Constructicons also give us this beauty: "What the front-end loader was that?" This was going to be "forklift", but that DIDN'T get past the radar.
    • Sari apparently tells Optimus where babies come from.
    • "Are you out of your motherboarding mind?!"
  • Giggling Villain - Professor Princess, and Random Blitzwing, though his is more insane laughter than actual giggling.
  • Girlish Pigtails - Sari, of course. After her upgrade, they get smaller but don't vanish entirely. Appropriate, since she's still pretty immature.
  • Glass Cannon: Soundwave has The Power of Rock, but since he's made out of Earth metals without the Unobtainium that Cybertronians have, he can be easily broken apart by a single attack. Retreat!
  • Go Out with a Smile: Prowl, ironically.
  • Godzilla Threshold: After Sari goes through a fit of Explosive Overclocking, Ratchet manages to bypass the out-of-control circuits...until Megatron returns to Earth having commandeered Omega Supreme. Cue an Oh Crap from the whole team:

Ratchet: ...there's nothing more I can do for her now!
Optimus Prime: I know, but I may need you to UN-do something.
Prowl: You're not actually suggesting we unleash an uncontrollable Sari on Omega Supreme are you?

  • Good Guy Bar: Maccadam's Old Oil House (which first appeared in the comics) is mentioned in season three. It used to be a Truce Zone back before the Decepticons were exiled, and was reportedly the one place not even Megatron himself would bomb during the war. Sentinel has it closed down for being a "subversive gathering place".
  • Good Is Not Nice: Well, let's see; we've got Wasp being thrown in the Stockades with one piece of questionable evidence, Swindle left paralyzed and our heroes do nothing about it, Sentinel wanting to kill Blackarachnia once he discovers who she really is, and then there's Omega Supreme's entire backstory... The Autobots can almost be as ruthless as the 'Cons at times.
  • Gotta Catch Them All - In the beginning of the second season, after the All-Spark shattered, the Transformers start gathering the pieces; each one having strange powers over machinery. Shades of Inuyasha!
  • Grand Theft Me - Headmaster.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Thrust, the only Starscream clone to neither appear in the show nor have a toy, embodies Starscream's jealousy.
  • Grenade Hot Potato - Megatron does this to Starscream during the Death Montage.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body - Spittor (the Decepticon frog-bot) in "TransWarped" grabs Red Alert with his tongue-tentacle things and spits her at the other Autobots.
    • Optimus beats up Headmaster-Sentinel with his own arm, a year before the movie! Optimus did the same thing to Starscream. He later forces Laserbeak into his altmode and clobbers Soundwave with him in Human Error part 2.
  • Grudging Thank You - Sentinel to Optimus after their run-in with the Headmaster.

That must have hurt.
More than you know.

  • Grumpy Bear - Ratchet
  • Grumpy Old Man - Ratchet and Captain Fanzone. Naturally, they are forced to team up in "This Is Why I Hate Machines".
  • Hair-Trigger Temper - The third Constructicon, Dirt Boss. To the point of also being The Napoleon.
  • Half Arc Season
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Sari.
  • Hammerspace - Wreck-Gar's trash bin can both produce random objects and make things put in it seemingly disappear. Similarly, Swindle has an in-universe justification: a private transwarp frequency to his personal storage dimension...located in his torso.
    • Post-upgrade Sari uses this for an actual hammer
  • Has Two Mommies - In season two Sari effectively gains 5 robot daddies. Well, 3 daddies and 2 older brothers... Well, Bumblebee comes to think of himself and Bulkhead as the cool parent, while the others are collectively the strict one. Except for Ratchet, who's more the Cranky Robot Grandpa.
  • Have You Told Anyone Else?: Blurr hadn't, and shortly thereafter he was compacted into a cube.
  • He Knows Too Much: Blurr was able to piece together that Wasp could not have been the traitor in the Autobot camp, as his voice did not match that of Shockwave, who was hiding under an Autobot alias. He reported this to his boss, Longarm (head of Autobot Intelligence) and told him that a simple voice scan through the data archives could determine the identity of the traitor. Unfortunately for him, he also knew too little, as Longarm was the only 'Bot he had spoken to about this... and Longarm was Shockwave's alias. Shockwave then killed him to silence him.
  • Heel Face Revolving Door - Wreck-Gar, if Funny Schizophrenia counts.
  • Hello, Nurse!: Pretty much Bulkhead's (silent) reaction when he first meets Blackarachnia.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity - Bulkhead occasionally in Season 1, all the Autobots in Season 2.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: Bumblebee and Sari can often be found playing videogames, holographic Twister or flying toy planes. "Nature Calls" starts out as a camping trip.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Optimus Prime died in the third episode - less than sixty minutes into the series. He was brought back from the dead less than two minutes later - a new personal record. Then Omega Supreme died in the second season finale... but he's Not Quite Dead.
    • Prowl as well, in the third (and most likely final) finale.
  • Hollywood Law - Powell uses his connections and resources to get Masterson free so he could hire him, despite Masterson threatening to blow up an entire state on live television.
  • Homage - several designs are nods to other Humongous Mecha and even other Transformers series:
    • Starscream's vehicle mode is similar to the YF-19 Alpha One from Macross Plus and Macross 7 (he even looks like the GERWALK mode for a second during his Transformation Sequence).
    • Soundwave and Prowl's Cool Shades are a nod to the ABC Warriors of 2000 AD Comics. Bulkhead's overall design, particularly his head, recalls Mongrol from the came comic.
    • Tutor Bot looks quite a bit like Lord Canti of FLCL.
    • The police drones used by the city look like the ED-209 from RoboCop (which is also set in a futuristic Detroit), and Sumdac even makes a reference to it having similar problems with identification.
    • Blurr's vehicle mode looks like the Mach 5. The toy version even has a hidden sawblade that springs out front. On a different note, he also has wheels inspired by Cheetor from the canceled Transtech line. Appropriately, his toy will soon be retooled into an actual Trans Tech Cheetor toy.
    • Jetfire and Jetstorm, who combine to form Safeguard, bear a marked resemblance in design and combination-style to Hyoryu and Enryu/Choryujin from GaoGaiGar.
    • Mainframe is such an homage to the original G1 character that, like the original (an altmodeless Action Master), he never transforms. Word of God is that he does have an altmode, but it's an immobile supercomputer.
    • Spittor's vehicle mode was designed as an homage to Don Figueroa's version of the original Spittor's altmode before the Beast Wars.
    • The Starscream clones are all based on other jets in previous Transformers series and a sly joke towards the repaint/resell methods of Transformer toys; The original Sycophant's color scheme almost exactly matches that of Starscream in The Unicron Trilogy.
    • Headmaster is not a Gurren Lagann reference, no matter what some people tell you. Dirt Boss, however...
      • Dirt Boss also has mind-controlling devices he fires into other Transformers' heads, just like the G1 Insecticon Bombshell.
    • During "Decepticon Air", Sari's hands splits apart into many smaller robotic fingers to operate a keyboard quickly, very much like is done by various computer operating cyborgs in Ghost in the Shell. Also, her "palm blast" hands in Transwarped bear a remarkable resemblance to the design of Iron Man's repulsors that was used in the movie.
      • In the same episode, Sunstorm and Ramjet get headpieces that cause them to resemble their G1 counterparts much more closely. According to the Allspark Almanac 2, Dirge and Thrust get coneheads of their own to complete the homage. Of course, Thundercracker, Skywarp, and Starscream don't get boxheads, but whatever.
    • Sari's first upgrade in TransWarped is another homage to Gurren Lagann, namely the way her arms and legs suddenly expand is almost identical to the way the Gurren's do when it combines with Lagann.
    • Optimus Prime and Prowl are dead ringers for Hammerstein and Joe Pineapples from ABC Warriors. Blitzwing rather resembles Blackblood.
    • Ultra Magnus' toy received a redeco to become Roadbuster Ultra Magnus, an homage to G1's Roadbuster, who had a nearly identical vehicle mode to Animated Magnus.
  • Honest John - Swindle doesn't even bother with a fake name, he's just that honest.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Issac Sumdac thought that Megatron was an Autobot. To be fair, that part wasn't entirely unreasonable since he had no real knowledge of the Decepticons beyond witnessing Starscream battle the Autobots. However, when Megatron starts putting flamethrowers into the Dinobots (who are running amok when this info is made aware) and begs Sumdac not to tell his "Autobot friends", it's baffling that he wouldn't find that even a little suspicious.
  • Hostage for Macguffin
  • Hulk Speak - Grimlock
  • Humans Are White - It does a better job of averting this than previous entries.
  • Hypocritical Humour - Wreck-Gar complaining that Sari can't make up her mind in "Human Error".
  • I Have a Family - The Professor in "Three's a Crowd", when he thinks Bulkhead has turned into a Pointy-Haired Boss (Bulky was just pretending so Dirt Boss wouldn't really go after him).
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight - in "Transwarped, Part III," Ratchet to Omega when Starscream's controlling him.
    • Also twice in "Human Error". Done by Sari first to her father and later to the Autobots.
  • I Lied - Megatron to Professor Sumdac when the latter finally learns the truth.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Bumblebee uses this against Blitzwing in "Megatron Rising", angering him enough to switch from Icy to Hothead in midair - meaning he transforms from plane to tank and falls out of the sky. "Oh slag! NOT AGAI-"
  • I Surrender, Suckers: When Ramjet tells you he's completely disarmed and helpless, he isn't. Sentinel, who'd never met him, didn't pick up on it, but Prowl did.
  • I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder - Ratchet is a medi-bot, not a field commander.
  • Incoming
  • Incredibly Obvious Bomb - How Starscream nearly kills Megatron in the premiere. He tries to do this again during the famous Death Montage, but Megatron catches it and throws it back at him.
  • Ineffectual Loner - Prowl keeps trying to be antisocial and self-reliant, but is inevitably beaten down by the power of Aesop.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain - The Society of Ultimate Villainy, for the most part.
  • Inhumanable Alien Rights - Powell uses this to get Masterson off the hook for attacking Optimus and Sentinel. Fanzone and the Autobots turn this back on him a few episodes later.
  • Initiation Ceremony - Mixmaster and Scrapper get the 'painful' version when they officially join the Decepticons: Megatron literally brands both of them.
  • Insignia Rip Off Ritual - After Shockwave frames Wasp, Sentinel removes his Autobot insignia as Cliffjumper is taking him away.
  • Instrument of Murder - Soundwave has an electric guitar that turned into his attack bird Laserbeak. He also has Ratbat, who turns into a keytar.
  • Intro Dump - The first scene featuring the main Decepticons.
  • Is It Always Like This? - Newcomer Jazz, on being attacked by a mass-produced robot army.
  • Is That a Threat?
  • Island Base - There's one hidden on Dinobot Island: Meltdown moves into it after his first jailbreak, and Blackarachnia finds it during season 2. According to the Almanac, it's an abandoned government facility.
  • It Has Been an Honour - In the first season finale, Optimus tells the team he can't think of anyone he'd rather have by his side as they're about to go into battle. Bumblebee, however, notes he wouldn't mind having the Elite Guard there too.
  • JAM Project - Provided the OP for the Japanese dub. And it is glorious
  • Jaw Drop - Bulkhead does this twice, and it literally falls off the second time.
  • Jerkass - Sentinel Prime. Ultra Magnus really is a terrible judge of character.
  • Jet Pack - Bumblebee's turbo-boosters (when he's in the air), Prowl's jump jets (especially with the samurai armour), Sari's transforming scooter and Optimus' wing-pack from the finale.
  • Jive Turkey - Jazz. "Traffic lights. Solid."
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind - Prowl interfaces with Omega Supreme to free him from Megatron's control.
  • Keep-Away - Five Autobots trying to keep an angry Starscream from the Allspark. Lampshaded by Sari.
  • Kid Appeal Character- Bumblebee (duh) and Sari.
    • In "Bee in the City", Bumblebee is mistaken for several other "kid appeal" types across various other Transformers canons; Wheelie, Side Burn, Hot Shot, and Cheetor.
  • Killed Off for Real Yoketron, Starscream, Prowl
    • Most likely Blurr as well. And before anyone brings up the idea that they were gonna have his spark still beating inside the cube, that was from a piece of UNUSED concept art. And even if he was still alive then, chances are Cliffjumper unknowingly throwing his cubed form in the incinerator finished the job. Plus, the show is over, so he ain't coming back in this series anyway.
      • That wasn't unused concept art, it was just more detailed control art. The spark was supposed to be visible within the episode itself.
  • Knight of Cerebus - The show has quite a few, actually, the first was Lockdown, who has his roots with Ratchet, and showed an emotional depth and seriousness that made most people grow to the series, Megatron, who basically threw out all the stops by murdering Starscream the moment he's right next to him, and Shockwave, who outright murdered Blurr, not to mention his generally no nonsense attitude.
    • We forgot Wasp, whose insanity, unlike in Beast Wars, isn't played for laughs.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice - Many of the Transformers, but especially Sentinel Prime, who's an Actor Allusion to The Tick (animation).
  • Large and In Charge - Megatron, Ultra Magnus
  • Large Ham - Starscream
    • Sentinel Prime transforms into a flexing musclepose.
    • Slightly more subtle, but head!Megatron's magnificent one-liners ("I blame myself", "I suspect it was an inside job", etc.) surely qualify.
  • Laughably Evil - Blitzwing.
  • Lean and Mean - Starscream, Oil Slick
  • Leet Lingo - The Headmaster, often straying into Totally Radical. "Total OWNAGE, n00b!"
    • Professor Sumdac has since tried to adopt this as his personal catchphrase. Thankfully, he failed.
    • There's something resembling a lampshading here in a dialogue between Headmaster and Optimus Prime:

Headmaster: I am so leet!
Optimus Prime: Yeah? Well, I have no idea what that means!

  • Left Hanging - Sari's backstory is easily the biggest unresolved issue, although there are a few others (see What Happened to the Mouse?).
  • Legion of Doom - The Society of Ultimate Villainy, which is comprised of the most fail-tastic human adversaries plus Swindle, who lives up to his name rather well.
  • The Lifestream - The Well of All Sparks.
  • Line-of-Sight Name - Scrapper, and attempted several times by Wreck-Gar.
  • Little No - Optimus utters one in "Endgame" when he discovers Prowl is dead.
  • Long Runners - In-universe, the Ninja Gladiator series of video games is over 100 years old. The first game apparently came out in the NES era and evidently its popularity has been extremely long-lived.
  • Losing Your Head - As inflicted by the Headmaster on Bulkhead, Sentinel Prime and Starscream. Not to mention Season 1 Megatron, and Waspinator, left in multiple pieces.
  • Lotus Eater Machine - The Autobots end up in one of these thanks to Soundwave in "Human Error".
  • Lzherusskie - Jetstorm, Jetfire, Strika.
  • Macross Missile Massacre - Blitzwing can pull these off in a pinch. Lugnut can pull off a similar move with a payload of bombs.
  • Mad Scientist - Meltdown, the Headmaster, Oil Slick, and now Blackarachnia.
    • Ratchet seems to view Perceptor, Wheeljack, Mainframe, and Highbrow as this, with a "My God, what have you done?!" type reaction to every little thing they do. Although given how they created Omega Supreme to live the life he did, Ratchet might have a point.
      • And if /co/'s Wild Mass Guessing is right, Omega Supreme runs on protoforms (Wheeljack did make him after all).
  • Magic Skirt - Sari's dress. And thank god, because she's eight.
    • Which starts glitching along with everything else when she starts overloading.
  • Magnetic Plot Device - The AllSpark and Sari's key.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout - Starscream eventually develops an eerily appropriate sonic scream ability from the Allspark fragment in his head. It's never really explained how he does this, and it's never even brought up again after "TransWarped".
  • Manipulative Bastard - Megatron
  • Master Character Heroes -
    • Optimus: Apollo: The Businessman
    • Ratchet: Poseidon: The Artist
    • Bulkhead: Ares: The Protector
    • Bumblebee: Hermes: The Fool
    • Prowl: Hades: The Recluse
  • Meaningful Echo - "You can trust this face, can't you?" in the pilot. Ratchet and Omega Supreme get their own in the season three premiere - "We do what we must, even if, sometimes, it doesn't make sense."
  • The Medic - Ratchet and Red Alert. The instant healing properties of Sari's key often displaced Ratchet's skills and put her in this role.
  • Medium Awareness - Slightly played with in the Japanese dub. For a crossover version, Bumblebee jokingly thinks about calling for Rescue Fire when the Autobots are responding to a building fire, and Bulkhead responds that that's a different show in part 3 of "Transform and Roll Out" (considering that Rescue Fire aired in the same timeslot before Animated's debut). Later in that same part, when Optimus was contemplating on getting the AllSpark to safety, Starscream attacks the Bots while yelling that the show's not over yet (truthfully, he could be referring that they weren't victorious yet).
  • Mega Manning - Blackarachnia and her previous form, Elita-1.
  • Merchandise-Driven - Eventually; somewhat averted when the series first debuted, as the toyline was actually delayed several months due to Hasbro wanting to continue pushing merch from the live-action movie. The toy line would catch up, though, and one store-exclusive redeco even got featured late in the third season.
  • Minion Shipping - Lugnut and Strika are married.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment - The Substitute Autobots
  • Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher - Arcee in the finale, due to Shockwave's hacking.
  • Missing Mom - Averted. While Sari initially appears to have one of these, it's eventually revealed that she's actually a robot-human hybrid who was created when Isacc Sumdac's DNA was combined with a protoform, thus no female was involved in her "birth".
  • Mistaken Identity - In the second-last episode, Slipstream spots Starscream flying over Detroit, and heads over to shoot him down; when she sees it's Optimus wearing a jet pack built from one of Starscream's old bodies, she flies away while expressing her surprise about flying Autobots.
  • The Mole - "Longarm" a.k.a. Shockwave
  • Mook Face Turn - The Dinobots, once Meltdown couldn't hurt them.
  • Moral Dissonance - Fanzone laughing off sending Swindle to his death in "S.U.V." though he does get better; Bulkhead's unprovoked attack on who he believes to be Wasp in "Where Is Thy Sting?"
  • More Teeth Than the Osmond Family - Sky-Byte only appears as a headshot in the AII, and doesn't even get a bio, but slag does he have teeth. It's an even bigger shift than Waspinator.
  • Motor City
  • Motor Mouth - Blurr, to the nth degree. Notably, this is played differently from his G1 counterpart, who rambled irrelevancies and reiterated himself in a redundant manner; Here, he talks a blue streak at 600 mph.
  • My Nayme Is - Played with at episode 1's "next episode" segment in the Japanese dub. Bumblebee complains that "Optimus Prime" is long and hard to remember, and so opts for other names that are all rejected by Optimus: Convoy (traditionally used in Japanese TF series for almost any "Prime"), Opti (sounds more fitting for a cute dog), Opra (plain weird), and Pupu (from "Oputimasu Puraimu", and it's hard not to laugh at it). Bumblebee actually gets Optimus into responding to "Pupu", much to Prime's dismay. It soon degenerates into a "Pupu!" "Optimus Prime!" argument past the sponsor cards.
  • Nanomachines - Experimental 'microbots' going haywire indirectly wake up the Autobots during the pilot. Powell has them repurposed to consume garbage in season 2, but the first sample is exposed to Allspark radiation and starts consuming everything: luckily, they can't swim.
  • The Napoleon - Dirt Boss
  • Naughty Tentacles - Spittor's tongue-tentacles in his alt form move to his crotch in his robot mode. Given that his first victim is the female Autobot Red Alert, this brings this trope forcibly to mind. The Almanac writers took note and named them Legion Tentacles in a nod to Kiss Players.
    • The second part of the pilot has an enormous monster with tentacles grabbing a seven-year-old girl. It's not perverted in context (thank God), but it's surprising that there weren't more Kiss Players jokes at the time.
  • Neck Lift - Blackarachnia to Optimus (after borrowing Bulkhead's strength), Starscream to Bumblebee and Megatron to both Constructicons.
  • Neutral No Longer - Happens not just once, but twice because of the Autobots. To be fair, Ratchet apologizes to Wreck-Gar about the first time and convinces him to switch back to being a hero.
  • Never My Fault - Sentinel blaming Optimus for Elita-1's "death".
  • Never Say "Die" - 'Slag' or 'take offline' are generally used instead, with the occasional exception - Bumblebee quotes Rattrap in the premiere ("We're all gonna die, aren't we?") and when Optimus tells Ratchet he has to use his EMP on an overloading Sari, he flat-out says "It could kill her!" Sari herself later mentions that Soundwave "tried to kill me".
  • Never Trust An Opening - The opening to the Japanese dub of Animated suggests that IronArmorhide and Arcee have bigger roles than they actually do in the series. And the humans seen throughout the series? Nowhere in the Opening... not even the Sumdacs.
    • It also has the Autobots and Decepticons battling each other in various locations across the world, which they did do in G1, but not in Animated. It also shows Arcee and Blackarachnia fighting each other, when they never even meet in the show. And then there's that weird, shadowy, robot... guy... thing, wearing a cape at the beginning of the intro. Who the hell is that?!
    • Not to mention that Lockdown is featured as part of the main group of Decepticons (Even in the ending) despite being technically unaffiliated while Lugnut, on the other hand, only appears briefly.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Sari's key does exactly... whatever is needed this episode. From repairing offline bots, to unspecified upgrades, to controlling any machine, to tracing pay-per-view signals, to removing All Spark fragments from speeding trains.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero - Bumblebee really screws up in "Autoboot Camp".
    • A similar instance would be Sari reactivating Megatron
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain - Megatron probably would have beaten the Autobots and gotten the Allspark... had Starscream not placed an explosive on his back
  • Ninja - Prowl, Jazz, Master Yoketron, supposedly Oil Slick and (formerly) Lockdown.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot - Besides being robot ninjas, Jazz is also a Soul Brotha, and Prowl and Bumblebee were once turned into zombies. Lockdown has a huge claw for a right hand, making him the "pirate" to Prowl's "ninja", as well as a Bounty Hunter with a skull for a head and an undertaker's tux. To say nothing of the Dinobots, who are Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • Let's not forget that Prowl decided to become the complete opposite of a ninja by getting a Samurai-armor upgrade in "A Fistful of Energon"...which later returns in "Five Servos of Doom" and seems to be a permanent upgrade.
    • It's later revealed that Lockdown was once a ninja pupil himself and an Autobot; Word of God is that no Decepticon ever trained under Yoketron. And Oil Slick is a ninja chemist.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: as noted on the Transformers Wiki, Wheeljack to Jamie Hyneman, although Word of God said it was a coincidence.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Optimus and Bumblebee would've made it to the Elite Guard if they didn't bother to help their fellow Autobots (Bumblebee for accepting the blame on Bulkhead's behalf for knocking a tower onto Sentinel, and Optimus for taking the heat for Sentinel's idea to go to the restricted planet). Isaac Sumdac spends season two as a prisoner due to helping that poor disembodied robot head in his lab.
  • No Gravity for You: In the pilot, Optimus temporarily disables the ship's artificial gravity while fighting Megatron, giving him and the team slightly better odds.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Due to the "no Autobots fly but Jetfire and Jetstorm" rule, several background Autobots like Sky Garry and Powerglide, both of which get Hand Waved; Sky Garry directs air traffic and Powerglide flew spaceships in the Great War.
  • Noodle Incident - The 'unfortunate incident' involving a police drone and Captain Fanzone's wife (given the way it's mentioned, it probably wasn't anything too awful).
  • The Noseless: Technically speaking, it seems like none of the robots have actual noses, but rather have a nose-like structure that is formed by their helmets. When Bumblebee's is taken by Wasp, at the end of Where Is Thy Sting?, his full face is shown, with no other facial features outside of his mouth and optics.
  • Not Good with People: Prowl.
  • Not Important to This Episode Camp - For the Prowl/Lockdown episode "A Fistful of Energon," Bumblebee and Sari apparently jaunted off to "Five Banners Roller Coaster Kingdom."
  • Not Quite Flight - The Autobots are mostly confined to the ground, but Prowl has his Jet Pack and Optimus is surprisingly effective with his grappling hooks when fighting airborne opponents. The most creative example, though, is the multi-stage rocket in "Nanosec" where Bulkhead fires his wrecking ball to launch the duo of Prowl and Bumblebee, Prowl giving Bumblebee a boost with his jump-jets, and Bumblebee using his turbo boosters to get even higher than that, into the upper atmosphere. Who needs jet engines anyway?
  • Not So Different - Speaking of Lockdown and Prowl...
  • Not So Harmless: When most people heard that Waspinator was going to be in season 3 most fans though he was going to be comic-relief like his Beast Wars counterpart, not an ex-Jerkass who's been mentally broken past repair, a hulking monster twice the size of Prime, and a completely insane Implacable Man (as, like in Beast Wars, blowing him up just annoys him).
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Season 3.
  • Odd Couple - Optimus and Grimlock. Prowl and Bumblebee/Bulkhead. Ratchet and Captain Fanzone.
  • Officer O'Hara - Wreck-Gar meets one of these while trying to work out who he is.
  • Official Couple - Lugnut and Strika. Yeah.
  • Oh Crap: The look of pure abject horror on Optimus Prime's face when the restored Megatron (whom he'd thought dead since the first episode) bursts out of Sumdac Tower is priceless. This is a 'bot who understands exactly how completely and utterly screwed he is.
    • The Elite Guard get big one when, after insisting for the entire episode that there are no Decepticons on Earth, they face off with Starscream, who is more than willing to show the lot of them a taste of what Optimus has been up against.
      • Ultra Magnus has a pretty good one. After telling the Autobots to stand back, he presumably intended to deal with the situation. As soon as he turns around, Starscream has recovered and is pointing his weapons right in Magnus's face. * blast!*
    • The Decepticons get their own when the Autobot ship transforms into a revived Omega Supreme.
      • And again in "Transwarped" (the season 3 premiere):

Starscream: Omega Supreme?!?! ...We're slagged.

  • Opposite Gender Clone - Slipstream, to the letter.
  • Organ Theft - Lockdown indulges in the robot equivalent.
  • The Other Darrin - In season three, Omega Supreme is voiced by Phil LaMarr instead of Kevin Michael Richardson.
  • Out of Focus - Captain Fanzone went from a major character in Season 1 to a rarely appearing recurring character by Season 3. Humans in general were pretty much written out of season 3, in an attempt to make the show less about them and more about the titular giant robots.
  • Parental Bonus - Shout Outs to Airplane!!, Die Hard, Star Trek, Peanuts and so, so many more...
  • People Puppets - Anyone controlled by a Headmaster unit or Dirt Boss's Headmaster-derived drill bit.
  • Percussive Maintenance - Blackout repairs the space bridge he broke after stomping on the ground near it by... stomping on the ground near it again, implied to be an ability of his (that is, causing electronics to fail and being able to reactivate them, hence the name).
  • Personal Gain Hurts
  • Pet the Dog - Sentinel offering Optimus a spot in the Elite Guard in "Decepticon Air". Although it doesn't last long before he's kicking again.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse - Both Brawn and Dirt Boss.
  • Playing Against Type - David Kaye as Optimus Prime, as he has played both evil warriors and lancer/rival duos.
  • Playing with Fire - One-third of Blitzwing (and occasionally another third), and as of the third season, Hot Shot and Jetfire (duh).
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up - TransWarped: Sari in Season 3, courtesy of the AllSpark Key. Before she was about 8, now she looks about 16.
  • Portal Network - The space bridges
  • Power Incontinence - TransWarped: Sari after the AllSpark Key starts to overload her
  • Praetorian Guard - The Elite Guard again.
  • President Evil: According to the second Allspark Almanac, Cobra Commander is a former president of the United States - his face was even added to Mount Rushmore!
  • Pride Before a Fall - "Return of the Headmaster" is all about this for Sentinel.
  • Promise Me You Won't X - When Sentinel calls Optimus after his run-in with the Headmaster, he makes him promise not to laugh. Of course, when Optimus sees what's happened...
  • Psycho for Hire - Lockdown.
  • Put on a Bus: The plan for Season 4 was for Sari and Bulkhead to take up permanent residence on Cybertron, becoming at best recurring guest characters. Bulkhead would have been replaced on Earth by Ironhide.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad - Team Chaar, appearing in one scene set on the other side of the galaxy which wasn't even very plot-relevant.
    • Also the SUV, although they were only a group for one episode.
  • Raised by Robots: Sari spends most of the second season living and being brought up by the Autobots in their warehouse.
  • Random Teleportation: Going through a space-bridge with no target co-ordinates can send you just about anywhere, and holding onto a plasmadynamic thruster while someone else is transwarping can send you hurtling around space like a pinball. The Autobots exploit this by attaching one to Omega while he's under Megatron's control, sending him transwarping randomly through space for most of the season.
  • The Rat - Rattletrap.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech - Bulkhead delivers one to Wasp in "Where Is Thy Sting".
  • Reasonable Authority Figure - Fanzone and Ultra Magnus
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning - All the Decepticons. In fact, when the Constructicons became Decepticons, their eyes turned red. Blackarachnia's, too.
    • ...and Sari's eyes changed from red to blue with her transformation, so there you go.
  • Red Herring Mole - Wasp is the Ur Example in this show, and suffered for it the most. But every one that wasn't Bumblebee, Bulkhead and Sentinel in the flashback was a suspect. An error in an online game on Cartoon Network's website made Ironhide a Deception. Cliffjumper (the red Autobot) was supposed to be the traitor but Hasbro nixed the idea. Turns out the mole was Longarm Prime.
  • Red Shirt Reporter - Newsbot
  • Reference Overdosed - The Almanacs, again, if not the show itself.
  • Relocating the Explosion
  • Remake Cameo - The Witwicky family, and all those crowd shots on Cybertron during the second half of season three.
  • The Remnant - The Decepticons.
  • Rescue Romance - Both Subtext-y robot romances, Optimus/Blackarachnia and Ratchet/Arcee, make heavy use of the males saving and failing to save the helpless females.
  • Resistance Is Futile - Delivered by Soundwave in 'Human Error'
  • The Reveal - Sari is a robot.
  • Robo-Family - Jetfire and Jetstorm refer to each other as brothers due to being 'born' from a mitotic spark.
  • Robot Dog - Sparkplug
  • Robot War - Soundwave keeps trying to start one, and it's just not happening.
  • Rogues Gallery - Of mostly humans, allowing the Decepticons to stay that much more threatening by their lack of overuse.
  • Rollerblade Good - Optimus and Bumblebee have wheels on their feet which they can use this way. Sari has actual rollerblades, and later gets laser-skates with her upgrade.
  • The Sadistic Choice - Starscream does this in the pilot. And, you know, what Bumblebee did to Nanosec.
  • Sapient Ship - Though most of the cast qualifies as Sapient (Inorganic) Vehicles, it turns out Omega Supreme, war hero and savior apparent, was their ship. For whatever reason, his offline body was used for Space Bridge repair (almost certainly because of his friend Ratchet; Sentinel Prime was under the impression that Omega had been dismantled after the war), and they later brought him back on-line.
    • According to the second Almanac, the Elite Guard's ship "Steelhaven" is actually Sigma Supreme, the only other intact Omega Sentinel, given the same treatment.
  • Sassy Secretary - Or rather, a robot programmed to sound and act like one.
  • Say My Name - Megatron's reaction when he finds out it was Starscream who set him up the bomb in the premiere.
    • Megatron never remembers Optimus' name, so in the Grand Finale, the Autobot leader does this for himself:

"My name is OPTIMUS PRIME!"

      • This plays Book Ends with the battle with Starscream in the series premiere, where Optimus says the same thing to Starscream.
  • Scary Dogmatic Aliens - The writers took the worker's revolution aspect of the Autobots from the original series & played it to its logical conclusion.
  • Science Marches On: Black Arachnia speaks these exact words to justify her Predacon research.
    • Also, in a more real-world context; there's the updated forms of the Dinobots. The G1 Dinobots were already somewhat inaccurate even during the 80s, with different body proportions to the animals they were based on. By today's standards they are hideously inaccurate, with their stances and movements being made to reflect the idea that Dinosaurs used to be thought as slow and dumb. The Animated Dinobots are much, much closer in general accuracy to their respective animals in virtually every way. Body proportions, stances, range of movement, everything.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl - Bumblebee, "Along Came A Spider".
    • SENTINEL PRIME. Supposedly, they even got a woman to voice the scream.
    • Grandus, one of the biggest transformers in the entire series. Although admittedly he appears to be in full on wimp mode all the time.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here - Jazz, having enough of Sentinel's attitude, follows Ratchet to Earth to join Optimus' crew in "This Is Why I Hate Machines."
  • Screw Yourself - Okay, he never gets that far, this being a kid's show, but there was definitely something suggestive about the way Starscream asked Slipstream what part of him she represented. She wasn't interested.
  • Screwed by the Network
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism - Starscream uses clones as a form of Trojan horse...twice.
  • Send in the Clones - Starscream is able to create clones of himself, each of which embodies part of his personality. One is a coward, one is an egomaniac, one is a pathological liar, one's a suck-up...and one is a girl.

Starscream: So, which part of me do you come from?
Slipstream: Don't ask!

  • Sesquipedalian Smith - Prometheus Black
  • Shaggy Dog Story - "Decepticon Air."
  • Shaped Like Itself: Bulkhead is as gentle as a...really gentle thing (and then there's the page quote Professor Sumdac gave us for Technological Pacifist).
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Shockwave does this to Bumblebee and Bulkhead, asking if they're really willing to take down their old friend Longarm. They totally fall for it. Psych.
    • Maybe because he forgot to change his colors back?
  • Shell Shocked Senior - Ratchet, notably in his flashback episode "The Thrill of the Hunt". Further elaborated on in his Sequel Flashback in TransWarped.
  • She's a Man In Japan - Flareup and Strika were gender-flipped in the Latin American dub of the third season. Slipstream is more ambiguous, but she has the same VA as Starscream in Italian, and a very grave voice in Latin American.
  • Shockwave Clap - Bulkhead can cause this just by clapping, as seen in the "Mime Time" short.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns - Masterson is the only human supervillain to appear in season 3. Not even Meltdown, who was still alive and actually a threat, is heard from again.
  • Short Run in Peru - Somewhat annoyingly to American viewers, Canada's YTV aired this show a week ahead of Cartoon Network after it was dropped for one week in favor of the Ben 10 Alien Force premiere. Not to mention that, annoying everyone else in the world, a Dubai children's network aired almost all of season 2 over a month early, leading to Wild Mass Guessing and outright misinformation based on screenshots with no English translations.
  • Show Accuracy, Toy Accuracy: For all its worth, Animated has some of the most accuracy between the show and the toys of any continuity, in that the toys are highly accurate in Alt Mode, Robot Mode, and have extremely accurate transformations, all while maintaining the series' unique art style.
  • Shrug of God - Derrick Wyatt himself prefers not think about what Slipstream represents. He's also keeping mum about how Sari's protoform ended up in Isaac's lab - he feels that something like that should only be told in future TFA fiction. Fingers crossed...
  • Shy Finger-Twiddling - By Bulkhead, of all bots.
    • Bumblebee in "Nature Calls", after Prowl asks him where he found room for so much stuff in his car mode.
  • Silent Bob - Mayor Edsel. His eyebrow is apparently expressive.
  • Silent Partner - Snarl and Swoop, with Grimlock doing the talking.
    • Also, Wheeljack for Perceptor.
  • Skunk Stripe - Isaac Sumdac
  • Smug Snake - Porter C. Powell, he talks a big game but he is also willing to throw an 8 year old out onto the streets. The only thing keeping the Autobots from squishing him is their own morality, and he is consciously aware of that. Grimlock's morality, on the other hand...
  • Social Services Does Not Exist - Despite her father being a famous businessman, no-one notices that Sari doesn't legally exist until Powell does some digging. Afterwards, no-one seems to mind her living with the Autobots - of course, it'd be one brave social worker who tried to stand up to five protective transforming mechas.
  • Something Else Also Rises: Blackarachnia caressing Swoop's face causes him to lift his flail and swing it around energetically.
    • Doing the same to Grimlock causes flames to erupt from his neck/collar.
  • Soul Brotha: Jazz.
  • Southern-Fried Private: Bulkhead went to boot camp straight from the energon farm, and Hot Shot and Ironhide both have distinct Southern accents.
  • Space Does Not Work That Way - Jetstorm can still create windstorms... in space. Solar wind, perhaps?
  • Space Is Noisy: A stasis-cuffed Starscream actually calls attention to this in "A Fistful of Energon": "You call this a fight? I'll rust before someone wins, and I'm in a vacuum!"
  • Space X - Transformers already had space bridges, but now we have space barnacles and Lockdown's Space Poncho (at least, that's what the Allspark Almanac calls it).
  • Spinning Paper: Three in the course of a night during 'Three's A Crowd'. Either it's just a gag, or the Autobots spent a long time trying to get Lugnut out of that crater.
  • Split Personality - Blitzwing has three, and...
    • Personality Powers - ...a different power for each, as well as different vehicle modes.
    • Technically, he has two powers and two alt-forms; one of his personalities alternates between both interchangeably.
  • Spoiler Opening: The Japanese opening, while very pretty, spoils most of the major subplots of Season 2.
  • The Starscream - Starscream is dealt with as a traitor deserves—the next time Megatron sees him after Starscream blows him up in the pilot, Megs blows him up. When that fails, he blows him up again. The only reason Starscream lived to see Season Two is because he got an AllSpark fragment that made him unkillable.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero - Nanosec (Nino Sexton) and Headmaster (Henry Masterson). Also Angry Archer (A. A. Archer) and Professor Princess (Penny Princess, Ph.D.).
    • And comics-only villains Stiletto (Stella Healy) and Crossroads (Roland Cross).
    • While this isn't technically canon, Slo-Mo's design was based on TFA team member Samantha Lomow.
  • The Stoic - Prowl
  • Stoners Are Funny - Beachcomber is revealed in the second Almanac to indulge in many Cybertronian drugs. He is also portrayed by many fans to be very nice and occasionally forgets what he's talking about, resulting in many an odd conversation.
  • Straw Man Has a Point - The villain Meltdown's anti-robot crusade was due to robots taking manufacturing and service jobs from humans, in a city with the highest unemployment rates in the country.
  • Stuffed Into a Locker - Wasp and Ironhide do this to Bumblebee in 'Autoboot Camp'...after removing his legs and putting them where he couldn't get to them even if he was outside.
  • Super Mode/Powered Armor - An upgraded Sari gets it in "TransWarped".
    • While not powered per se, Prowl later permanently retains a duplicate of his one-shot samurai armor upgrades.
    • The new Allspark Almanac Volume 2 reveals that Optimus would've gotten an upgrade had there been a season 4.[1]
  • Sword Over Head - Optimus's finishing blow against Megatron in "Endgame". But with a hammer.
  • Synthetic Voice Actor - Perceptor has one of these, and it sounds a lot like Stephen Hawking's.
  • Take My Hand - Bumblebee to Sari in the pilot.
  • Take Our Word for It - What did Sari tell Optimus about where babies come from?
  • Taking the Bullet - Bumblebee does this at least twice: he takes a blast from Starscream for Sari and a dose of Meltdown's acid for Bulkhead.
  • The Talk - 'How is it you're able to make these new, smaller organics?'
    • Spun into a Brick Joke at the beginning of season 3, where Sari's "birth" is revealed.
  • Talking to Himself - Due in part to budget, Animated gets a lot of mileage out of its actors.
    • Pushed to its logical end with the Starscream clones. Despite having color schemes clearly inspired by older characters that had their own names, they'll probably never be referred to as anything but Starscream clones on the show. That's because if they're all Starscream clones, then they all count as the same character; if they were different characters, they'd have to pay Tom Kenny extra to voice them all and they're only allowed to have one VA voice so many characters in a single episode.
    • They've done several episodes where two characters go out on their own and argue the entire way, and often even had the same voice actor, with both Prime/Grimlock and Prowl/Fanzone.
    • This was lampshaded during the Botcon 2008 script reading, where Bumblebee suggests to a thinly disguised Beast Wars Megatron (as voiced by David Kaye) that they call Grimlock or Lugnut (both voiced by David Kaye) for help. Megatron responds "Oh, please. What do I look like, Scott McNeil?"
    • There's even one where Animated!Optimus is talking about golf with BW!Megatron, the latter declaring with a chuckle that Autobots suck at golf.
  • Team Pet - Sari, for the first two seasons. She gets an upgrade (and we do mean upgrade) to Sixth Ranger in season 3.
  • Tearful Smile - Sari after Optimus's revival.
  • Technological Pacifist - Professor Sumdac
  • Technopath Post-Upgrade Sari in Season 3
  • Ted Baxter - Egomaniac Starscream/Thundercracker, whose name is appropriate since the original Thundercracker had a bit of an air superiority complex himself.
  • That Liar Lies - Endgame, part 1: While Megatron facepalms at Lugnut and Shockwave's squabbling, you can just hear Shockwave yelling 'Liar, lying liar!' Seriously.
  • Theme Tune Cameo - Bumblebee's horn plays it in 'The Thrill of the Hunt', Ratchet whistles it in one of the DVD shorts, and Sari hums it in 'Sari, No-One's Home'.
  • Theme Twin Naming - Jetfire and Jetstorm. Also, while they're not technically twins, Wasp and Bumblebee share a chassis model.
  • There Should Be a Law - Played for laughs: Ratchet finds the idea of us selling spare parts on the open market disturbing. Of course, from his perspective, it must be like seeing internal organs on display in a shop window (and his experience with Lockdown doesn't help).

Ratchet: "It's primitive...it's barbaric...there ought to be a law against it!"
Optimus Prime: "...It's just an auto parts supply store, Ratchet."

Starscream: [to Megatron] "THIS! IS! ALL!!! YOUR!!! FAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUULT!!!!!"
Prowl [to Lockdown, much more quietly] "Give. Me. Yoketron's. Helmet."

  • Those Two Guys - Blitzwing and Lugnut, Bumblebee and Bulkhead, and, particularly, Mixmaster and Scrapper.
    • Can't forget Jetfire and Jetstorm.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill - Optimus Prime refuses to kill Megatron with the Magnus Hammer
  • Throw It In - Blitzwing's German accent was a last-minute improvisation by Bumper Robinson while auditioning for the role, no doubt based on the character's name. When he got the part, Blitzwing was hastily redesigned to compliment the accent.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock - How Optimus survives his first fight with Megatron.
  • Token Mini-Moe - Sari. Somewhat less in season 3.
    • Does Professor Princess count?
  • Tomato in the Mirror - Sari.
  • Tonight Someone Dies - Sort of. The DVD Commentary for a second season episode has one person asking if anyone really dies, and another one responds that no one does until season three... And in the last episode of the series, Starscream and Prowl are both killed off. Can't say they aren't honest.
  • Too Fast to Stop - Bumblebee's first go with the turbo-boosters results in this.
  • Took a Level in Badass - Prowl has gone through a specific character arc for him to complete his "cyber-ninja" training. Optimus Prime has had to dig in his heels in order to properly face off against Megatron. Bumblebee received a literal upgrade to his previously worthless stingers (which nicely explained how they were so powerful in flashback).
  • Took a Level in Jerkass - Resident Jerkass Sentinel Prime actually used to be somewhat of a nicer guy. Of course that was before Elita-1 was thought to have been killed when Optimus failed to save her. But then just as we can sympathize with his attitude (almost), he takes an even bigger one by telling Blackarachnia/Elita-1 that it would have been better if she had died, rather than turn into a techno-organic.
  • Toyless Toyline Character - Quite a few, both human and robot.
  • Trainstopping - 'Mission Accomplished'. On top of it being out of control, Starscream had planted an unstable Allspark fragment on it.
  • Truly Single Parent - Isaac Sumdac, since Sari is seemingly an Opposite Gender Clone by way of a Cybertronian protoform.
  • Tuckerization - The Angry Archer (named after and resembling Hasbro designer Aaron Archer), Slo-Mo (named after and resembling Hasbro executive Samantha Lomow), Yoketron (named after Hideaki Yoke, a designer for the Diaclone and Microman toylines the original Transformers series was based off of)
  • TV Head Robot: Tutor Bot
  • Twinkle Smile - Starscream, although it only shows up in his full Transformation Sequence.
  • Twitchy Eye - Occasionally, Megatron gets tired of Lugnut's fawning.
  • Universal Universe Time: Par for the course with Transformers, Cybertronions always refer to lengths of time as cycles. Solar Cycle for a day, Mega Cycle for a month (year?), etc.
  • Unknown Rival: Unlike most Transformers continuities, Megatron barely knows who Optimus is. Prime finally angers Megatron enough to say his name in "Endgame, Part II."
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll - Sentinel
  • Unusual Euphemism - Par for the Transformers course. "What a glitch-head!" "Slag yeah."
    • "It's a no-processor-er!"
    • And "exhaust port."
  • Verbal Tic - Wreck-Gar starts nearly every sentence with "I am Wreck-Gar!" after he obtains his name.
    • Getting there in the Japanese dub. Bumblebee with "Ikimasu~!" ("Here I go!", "Let's go!", or almost any variations), Bulkhead Ironhide's "Dosukoi!" (spoken by sumo wrestlers), "De aru!" for Prowl (literally, "to be" in formal speech) and Hey! and Man! for the angry face of an American accented Blitzwing.
  • Villain Exit Stage Left - The main Decepticons do this less often than in previous shows, but Lockdown and Soundwave still manage it, with the result being that they're both still on the loose by the end.
  • Villain with Good Publicity - Porter C. Powell, again. Soundwave's attempted conquest of the world is forgotten quickly enough for Powell to sell toys of him, although he spent most of it controlling machines from underground.
  • Villainous Breakdown - Megatron starts to lose it just a little bit in the season 3 finale. "Then destroy the Autobots. Destroy the city. DESTROY ANYTHING THAT'S NOT ME!"
  • Villainous Glutton - Though not fat, Starscream's toy-only clone Dirge is the living representation of the former's greed, and as such is an accomplished glutton who always wants more of everything, energon goodies included. Spittor can also digest his victims if he chooses - and Oil Slick claims that once you get past the slobbering freak and his weird tentacles, you discover a much more disgusting creature on the inside.
  • The Virus - Space barnacles, once they've been...altered(either by Megatron's body or Allspark energy).
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting - Aside from the eponymous Transforming Mecha, Decepticon spy Shockwave (not to be confused with Soundwave) has Autobot and Decepticon variations of his robot and vehicle forms.
    • Also Colossus Rhodes, who's rather Bane-ish.
  • Voodoo Shark - Defied by the creators, who don't plan on giving the Allspark a concrete origin for fear it would be one of these. Wyatt is happy to share his thoughts on Cybertron's origins on Formspring, but he's keeping it vague.
  • The Walls Are Closing In: In the first episode of the third season, Blurr falls victim to this. Sadly, he is transformed into a cube.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye-Blurr. Poor Blurr. He cameoed in "Velocity", was formally introduced in the Season 2 finale "A Bridge Too Close" and was compacted into a cube in the Season 3 opener "Transwarped".
  • Weak but Skilled: Contrary to tradition, the Autobots in this series are almost all smaller and weaker than their Decepticon counterparts. Most of the main cast of this series are armed with tools intended for non-combat purposes instead of weapons. As such defeating even one Decepticon requires a great deal of teamwork and tactical thinking.
  • Wham! Episode - A Bridge Too Close and Transwarped.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?? - At the end of "Human Error," Optimus and Soundwave have a guitar duel, done completely serious.
  • What Happened to the Mouse? - The fate of quite a few secondary characters, most of them villains. Slipstream, for instance, isn't seen or mentioned for most of season three, then appears briefly in the penultimate episode when Optimus tests out his jetpack...and then flies off again.
    • Although to their credit, the writers are using the Allspark Almanacs to explain what happened to characters after their last appearance or in between appearances.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Several times, but the most surprising example is Sentinel calling Optimus out for not telling him about Blackarachnia. "'Cause I wouldn't wanna be, I don't know, PREPARED FOR THIS OR ANYTHING!"
  • What Were You Thinking?: Professor Sumdac when Bulkhead actually makes Megatron's space bridge work. "This coming from the guy who rebuilt Megatron."
  • Where It All Began - Season 1 finale. Also happens in the Season 3 premire (in the exact same place, no less) and provides the page quote.
  • Where's the Fun In That?:

Ratchet: "Why didn't you just use the EMP?"
Prowl: "Where's the fun in that?"

  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough...? - This happens to Bumblebee at least twice in season one, and again in season three - not to mention Sentinel in 'This is Why I Hate Machines'.
  • Whole-Plot Reference - Season 2 finale "A Bridge Too Close", very nearly at least, to The Bridge on the River Kwai (!). The Decepticons capture Bulkhead, when they discover that despite appearances, he's the preeminent space bridge expert in the galaxy, and press-gang him into building them a space bridge back to Cybertron. He does so out of spite for those who doubted his expertise on the subject, many of whom were his own allies. The ending differs in that nobody dies, permanently at least; the Decepticons are prevented from using the space bridge to take Cybertron.
  • Why Are You Looking At Me Like That?
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes? - Elita-1's "death" left Optimus with a phobia of spiders and Seintel of anything organic. Cybertronians in general are wary of organics in this continuity (due to a bad past experience, according to Word of God), but Sentinel is that much worse about it.
    • Whilst he isn't exactly afraid of them (he just doesn't like them), Fanzone makes a pretty direct homage to the Trope Namer when the Elite Guard arrive on Earth:

Fanzone: Robots. Why did it have to be robots?

  • With Due Respect - 'But Sentinel-' 'Is a glitch-head. All due respect.'
  • With Friends Like These... - Sentinel.
  • Word of God: Several things, most notably the possibility of Blurr not being dead, and Slipstream's name.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Blackarachnia and Soundwave. The former drops Sari off a building to distract Optimus and later threatens to kill her if she doesn't give up the Allspark's location. The latter blasts her with Laserbeak and brainwashes her own family into attacking her. Megatron, of all Bots, simply brushes her out of his way when she stands in front of all the Allspark. He most likely thought she was just beneath him.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Megatron pulls one of these off in "Endgame, Part 1," with his own minions.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe - The Angry Archer.
  • Yes-Man - Sunstorm and his predecessor #2716057; It's unclear whether they're at all sincere in their constant praise, or if they're just working an angle and trying to butter everyone up.
    • This is a Starscream clone we're talking about. Of course he's working an angle and trying to butter everyone up.
    • Lugnut, however, plays it straight in the mold of Inferno.
  • You Can Run but You Can't Hide - Bumblebee went for the flipped-around version against Lockdown. Of course, he was biting off a lot more than he could chew.
  • You Do NOT Want to Know: Slipstream's (i.e. the female Starscream clone) response to Starscream about which part of his personality she represents is "Don't ask".
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness - In "Endgame, Part 1," Megatron says this to Starscream before blasting him to smithereens.
  • You Look Like You've Seen a Ghost - Starscream to Megatron in season 2, after his resurrection but before he figured out it was an Allspark chunk keeping him online. "Well maybe you HAVE!"
  • You Monster! - Scrapper to Sari after she uses the factory equipment to pummel him and Mixmaster.
  • You Shall Not Pass - In the first season finale, with Megatron rising with a new body and the Decepticons closing in on the Allspark, Optimus tells his crew that this is where they stand and fight. This results in Bulkhead tackling the bruiser Lugnut in the air.
  • You Talk Too Much - Bulkhead to Lugnut in Megatron Rising.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame - Prowl and clone #2716057.
  • You're Not My Father - Sari to Isaac after her Robotic Reveal. He actually is her biological father (sort of), but by the time she learns this she's already accepted him again.
  • Yuppie Couple - The Witwicky family, interestingly enough.
  1. See it here.