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- Adaptation Displacement: After the cancellation of the cartoon series, the Movie, which was widely available on home video, became most people's introduction to the Transformers universe.
- Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The Junkions' dance with the Autobots on a Junk planet, to the tune of "Weird Al" Yankovic's 'Dare to Be Stupid' is probably a borderline case of this. The only thing keeping it from being such is Ultra Magnus being rebuilt during the scene.
- Canon Dis Continuity: Many examples, most are due to deleted/missing scenes. For example, Optimus Prime's rifle mysteriously disappears just before he finds Megatron. Transformers who die in the movie can sometimes be seen in later crowd shots (such as Thundercracker and Skywarp at Starscream's coronation) and the supposed-to-be-dead Shrapnel even gets a line when he shows up on planet Junkion.
- Critical Dissonance: Big-time. Before Revenge of the Fallen came out, this was the prime example of Critical Dissonance in the Transformers franchise, although this actually took some time. Note, however, that the movie is less popular with newer Transformers fans.
- Cult Classic: Very much so.
- Ear Worm: "YOU GOT THE TOUCH! YOU GOT THE POWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!" See the Crowning Music of Awesome trope page.
- First Installment Wins: When it comes to theatrical films for the franchise, many consider that this movie is miles better than the Michael Bay-directed live-action films.
- Follow the Leader: This was the leader of the Hasbro films of The Eighties as the criticisms and mediocre box office draw led to changes being made to the G.I. Joe and My Little Pony films. In both cases, the changes made in response were considered to be a bad idea.
- It Was His Sled: Hot Rod becomes Rodimus Prime. The giant planet Unicron has a robot mode!
- Most Annoying Sound: Anything said by Blur and Wheelie.
- The Scrappy: Wheelie (because he speaks in rhymes) and Hot Rod (his actions - unintentionally - got Optimus killed).
- Seinfeld Is Unfunny:
- Transformers The Movie was the first Western animated feature film to rely on ideas from anime and comics (and yeah, Star Wars) to set up an elaborate Space Opera with a backstory and continuity tie-ins to resulting episodes of the series. After it came out, all the other Saturday Morning TV series copied the idea. With the rise in popularity of anime and elaborately plotted multiverse continuities in every franchise (Transformers or otherwise), it's considered no big deal now.
TwoThree words: Digimon The Movie (at least the three-part dub). The Merchandise-Driven nature, type of soundtrack used (for the time), backstory and continuity expansion all seem to draw from TFTM - they even share the same animation studio and Animesque style (although Digimon is actually Japanese anime).
- So Bad It's Good: No one will claim that it's a pinnacle of high-quality cinema, but the movie is filled to the brim with Rule of Cool, from the giant robot fights set to '80s hair metal music to the surprise inclusion of Orson Welles and Leonard Nimoy as two of the movie's Badass villains. This is what helps hold it dear to many fans' hearts, along with the mandatory nostalgia.
- What Do You Mean It's for Kids?: As noted under Darker and Edgier, this film surprised a lot of parents (and children) who expected the same lighthearted tone as the TV series, only to see hordes of Autobots die in the first ten minutes.
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