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  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • Jack, saying that you care about Arcee because she was "your first" can be taken several ways you hopefully did not intend. Not helped at all when Jack's mother comments that Arcee "isn't the kind of girl I imagined him ditching me for".
    • D.N.G.S., specifically, how it's pronounced[1], prompting the Youtube comment "Silas really wants Fowler's Dingus".
      • To clarify, "dingus" can refer to either an idiot (the most likely intended joke) or a man's privates (what many older fans think of).
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Breakdown dies an incredibly disturbing death at the hands of Airachnid. With how sympathetic the character is, it's very uncomfortable.
    • To add insult to injury, his body was used to make Silas a Mobile Suit Human.
    • Earlier in the series, Skyquake. It's best summed up when Optimus sadly laments that Skyquake might not have died such a brutal death had he been able to let his Undying Loyalty to Megatron go.
  • And the Fandom Rejoiced:
    • Peter Cullen is back as Optimus Prime, and Frank Welker returns as Megatron.[2]
    • To a lesser extent, fans still hurt by the premature death of Transformers Animated were happy to hear Bulkhead's back.
    • Also, Bumblebee and Cliffjumper not sharing the same mold for the first time since the original series.
    • And Dwayne Johnson voicing Cliffjumper has caused a great number of fans to jump in excitement.
    • Arcee's badassitude in the prequel comic pleased female fans, especially after the fembots' treatment or victimization by the Smurfette Principle in previous TF installments. Or lack thereof.
    • Way before Peter, Frank, and Dwayne? Jeffrey Combs as Ratchet.
    • And then, of course, you have the toys. Even non-fans of the series like Rob Bricken think they look great.
    • Oh, and perennial Transformers cast member David Kaye has also been announced to voice a character. Autobot or Decepticon, he's sure to be AWESOME.
      • His role has been revealed in "Toxicity": the Insecticon Hardshell.
    • The Insecticons make their return in season 2 in a wonderful usage of Adaptational Badass.
    • The return of Nemesis Prime.
    • Wheeljack is back!
    • At the end of Shockwave's induction into the Transformers Hall of Fame, there was a brief clip of him in Transformers Prime, alongside Arcee and Starscream. The fandom exploded with delight.
    • They exploded again after seeing the preview for "Triage"- Wheeljack and Soundwave locked in battle. So we basically have two of the biggest TF badasses of all time in an epic battle.
  • Award Snub: After receiving SIX Emmy Nominations, it lost three of them to The Penguins of Madagascar and one to Fanboy and Chum Chum.
  • Awesome Music: Most of the soundtrack, but special mention goes to the theme and "We Have Returned".
  • Base Breaker:
    • As of recently, Airachnid may have fallen into this category. While there is a consensus that she is scary and that Gina Torres does a good performance, fans are split as to whether or not she is too much of an expy of Blackarachnia/Lockdown/Tarantulas, particularly when she charms an Insecticon, or controls it. To say nothing of her killing Breakdown or other potential Moral Event Horizon moments...
    • Wheeljack has a lot of fans, but there are some fans of the traditional crackpot engineer portrayal who are disappointed by this series' version of him.
    • June Darby. Some view her as utterly amazing and flawless while other think she's a My Beloved Smother and doesn't add anything to the story beside some unnecessary drama and causes too much focus to be placed on the human characters.
      • Even the other humans. While they're better written than their predecessors, some feel that they still draw too much attention away from the 'bots.
    • Smokescreen is a very divisive character. You either love him for being a likeable Parody Sue and deconstructing The Chosen One trope in Season 3 or you hate him for being annoying and naive while stealing focus from Jack.
      • Among his own fans, his two paint schemes are in question over which was better. The general consensus seems to be that his first one was.
  • Broken Base:
    • The opening theme. A strong, awesome beginning, or boring?
    • Season 3? A good follow up to the Omega Lock arc and the staff doing their best with their slashed budget and time or a rushed mess?
  • Complete Monster:
    • Starscream shows some shades of this, though at least he's a decent enough guy to spare Arcee's life the same way she spared his.
    • Megatron is like this in the present, but wasn't always this way.
    • And Airachnid, who is definitely one of the most evil fembots in TF history. Unlike many before her, Airachnid has no redeeming characteristics or funny quirks. She's just as bad as than Megatron!
    • Also Silas, judging by how he was willing to vivisect Breakdown. And now he's going to team up with Airachnid...
      • Thankfully, the alliance is only a one episode thing. But in that time, they kidnap Jack's mom as bait for him and Arcee, force Jack to find her within a time limit or she dies, and then Airachnid reminds Jack of her Exact Words so she can kill them both anyway. Meanwhile, Silas attempts to cut Arcee open while she's still alive, while also claiming the lives of innocent humans mean nothing to him. So yeah, these two definitely qualify for this trope.
    • Unicron too. Unsurprising since he's literally Made of Evil.
  • Contested Sequel: Among the Fan Dumb, it's (of course) a contested sequel to G1. Among the more reasonable parts of the fandom (and TFA's own Fan Dumb), it's viewed as this to Transformers Animated. Though overall, it's regarded as a very good and mature Transformers show.
  • Continuity Lock Out: While not necessarily excessive, the show is rather continuity-heavy. This one is particularly noteworthy an example. Following that episode, this trope really starts to show.
  • Creator's Pet: Miko is loved by Polygon Pictures, the people who animate the show, and hated by a significant portion of the fandom.
  • Crossover Ship: Mainly relating to Friendly Fandoms.
  • Die for Our Ship: As discussed slightly in Relationship Writing Fumble, some fans are adamant in Jack/Arcee being the OTP of Transformers: Prime and will turn Sierra into an irredeemable bitch in their stories.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Megatron, Starscream, and Knock Out.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Arcee, who's popular for being an example of a very badass Action Girl that isn't defined by being a girl and is allowed to stand on her own merits.
    • And Bulkhead, for fans of TFA.
    • CAN YOU SMELL-A WHAT CLIFFJUMPER IS COOKING?!?! Even though he died, being voiced by The Rock is bound to make you popular.
    • Knock Out and Breakdown are becoming darkhorses because they actually SURVIVED their debut episode!
    • Ratchet is also pretty popular, for reasons similar to his TFA counterpart. Also, he's a Mad Scientist. Voiced by Jeffrey Combs. Hoo-ah.
    • Among the 'Cons, Soundwave and, of course, Starscream are rather popular.
    • Do we even need to mention Wheeljack? For one thing, he dual wields katanas, and is practically made of awesome.
    • In a rather surprising twist considering the franchise's previous issues on the subject, the human characters are generally well-received by fans, much due to being well-written, not overshadowing the 'bots and having well-developed and likable personalities. To be specific, Jack, Raf and Agent Fowler are particularly loved by the fanbase. Jack is a down-to-Earth, sarcastic teen who many younger viewers can easily relate to. He isn't obnoxious, has a brain that he uses quite often, and has had his own fair share of crowning moments. Raf is the cute one, as well as a braniac and partial Otaku Surrogate for more tech-minded viewers. His more childlike behavior coupled with some shades of maturity and brotherly relationship with Bumblebee has made for him being a rather enamouring character for fans. And last but not least, there's Fowler, a no-nonsense, rough-and-tumble, nitty-gritty badass of a character who can easily hold his own in a fight against a 'Con, even going so far to taunt one to their face, despite the fact that he could die at the enemy's smallest whim. He doesn't take shit from anybody, and knows when people are bullshitting him. While he does indeed have his own sillier moments, most of the time he's a force to be reckoned with on the human's side.
    • "Steve", the Vehicon that Starscream slaps in "Sick Mind".
      • We've literally reached a point where any Vehicon who does something noteworthy will be said to have been "Steve".
      • And look what happened.
  • Fan Dumb: YMMV of course but some fans took June's coy comment about wearing heels for Optimus entirely the wrong way and wrote June as either having a crush on him, being secretly Cybertronian herself or having some deep connection to a previous Cybertronian arrival on Earth. Seriously.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Jack Darby/Arcee is, by far and away, the most popular ship this show spawned. It's not universally beloved but those that defend it are very passionate about it.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
  • Foe Yay: Nothing needs to be said about Megatron and Optimus.
    • Bulkhead and Breakdown. Bulkhead even rescues Breakdown in one episode so they could have a rematch of their earlier fight. And Breakdown hesitates to fight after being rescued.
    • In "Tunnel Vision", Knock Out compliments Arcee on her "lovely features".
    • Airachnid's interactions with those she deems her "prey" have some creepy, creepy undertones. Her habit of stroking their cheeks with her razor-sharp claws before she gets to work does not help.
  • Friendly Fandoms: A decent amount. It helps that Transformers is one of those things that crosses over well with most franchises.
    • With My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic since both shows were the flagships of the Hub network. This has died down a bit since Prime ended (not in a negative way, they're just not associated as much anymore) but the two shows did much to bridge the gap between Transformers and My Little Pony.
    • With Star Wars: The Clone Wars given that both shows are animated by the same company (Polygon Pictures). Why this even launched the mildly popular Crossover Ship of Jack/Ahsoka.
    • With Ben 10 given that Prime aired at roughly the same time as Ben 10: Ultimate Alien and both brought a sense of dark maturity to what were viewed as generally goofy Saturday morning franchises. It spawned a brief surge of "Jack finds the Omnitrix" fanfics but like MLP above, it lost much of its fire when both shows wrapped up.
    • With The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Both shows reimagined a largely Dork Age franchise and brought new takes on classic lore and are considered superior to their successors.
    • With Percy Jackson & the Olympians for some reason. Possibly due to the crack theory that Jack is a demigod son of Primus.
    • With Trollhunters. Take Jack, Miko, and Raf and then compare them to Jim, Claire, and Toby.
    • To lesser degrees, it's also pretty friendly with Mass Effect, Doctor Who, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Growing the Beard: The first season was pretty experimental in what kind of stories they were going to tell. Some felt the 5 part mini-series opener was fantastic, others disliked it for being derivative of past Transformers stories. Nearly every episode will switch back and forth from horror undertones ("Scrapheap," "Predatory") to human-centric drama ("Convoy," "Speed Metal," "Crisscross") to MacGuffin chases ("Deus Ex Machina," "Metal Attraction"). Fans would pick and choose which style or which episode they liked the most, with no real consensus. The first episode that everyone agreed on that was fantastic was "One Shall Fall" and the following "One Shall Rise" three-parter, which delves into the overall mythology and doesn't pull any punches with some shocking plot developments.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In Animated, Ratchet had a spotlight episode on his past, which involved a friend called Arcee and their little debacle involving Lockdown, a person who essentially murders Transformers and steals their body parts as trophies. In this series, it's Arcee's time to have war flashbacks, with a villain that largely has the same kinks, except while Ratchet had the mercy of having his friend survive, albeit with no memory, Arcee's lost two of her friends, her best friend Tailgate being murdered right in front of her.
  • Hell Is That Noise: The Scraplets. Which make a noise like a dentist's electric drill when they're hungry.
    • The cry of the Insecticons...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In The Fairly Odd Parents, Timmy's dad was obsessed with a cool red car in "Engine Blocked". Now, he's voicing a Transformer who becomes one.
    • Don't forget that he wanted to beat his neighbor up with "Mighty Fighting Robot Action!"
  • Ho Yay: With one line, Arcee added a new layer to Bulkhead and Wheeljack's relationship.

  "So, who's the boyfriend?"

  • Holy Shit Quotient: The "One Shall Fall/Rise" season 1 finale practically embodies this.
  • I Knew It!: Dark Energon's connection with Unicron. Also the idea of it being far more dangerous than simply corrupting/destroying systems.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: They've hinted that Bulkhead may die so many times (only for him to recover) that parts of the fandom have this reaction, even citing it as something of a Running Gag. And while he comes close to dying in Season 2, he's up and about again in no time.
  • Memetic Badass:
  • Memetic Molester: Airachnid's obsession with Jack seems to border on this. She did refer to him as "my Jack", in a rather creepy tone on voice. And that's not even taking into account her attitude towards Arcee.
  • Memetic Mutation: After the panel at Botcon, "rightfully huge" has become a term used to describe the series by fans who are hyped up for it.
  • Mondegreen: In The Hub's "Summer fun" promo commercial, some mishear Megatron's line "Are you ready for the hot nights?" as "Are you ready for the hot nuts?"
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Megatron and Starscream both establish just what kind of Decepticons they are in Darkness Rising using the same person: Cliffjumper, first with Starscream killing him, and then Megatron raises him as a zombie and is pleased with the results. Airachnid crossed it millennia ago when she tortured Arcee and murdered Tailgate. Silas crosses it when he works with Airachnid to kidnap June Darby, and then shows he's willing to let Airachnid kill her and Jack, dismissing them as collateral damage.
    • Even if one were to let go of Cliffjumper being resurrected as a berserk zombie, Megatron crosses it in episode 23 when he nearly kills Raf with Dark Energon. He didn't know Raf was with Bee at the time, but when his surprise shows, it's clearly not a display of guilt. This prompted Optimus to finally try and kill Megatron.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Soundwave. The guy is a voiceless, faceless being, which, alone, is creepy enough... But Starscream and the other Decepticons are terrified of him, due to the fact he's always got the ship under subtle surveillance, and it's not always the ship he's on, as he's a Scout, meaning he spies on much more than just his own subordinates.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble: Jack and Arcee. They're supposed to come across as Like Brother and Sister. Needless to say, all the Accidental Innuendo and Jack's She Is Not My Girlfriend moments really do not help.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
  • Rescued From the Scrappy Heap: Not a specific character, but a type of character: THE HUMANS DON'T SUCK. In fact, as Silas proved in "Convoy", humans can be as formidable (and as dangerous) as any Cybertronian. The only one who really divides the fandom is Miko. On one hand, she shows a serious lack of survival instinct and willingness to jump into trouble. On the other hand, well, she really does have the natural reaction all fanboys (and girls) would have to giant, sentient transforming robots. The fact that she seems to be getting a little better in the survival instincts department (however slowly) as the series goes on could improve her status among the fans.
  • Ruined FOREVER
    • Among fans of the show, Hasbro's initial announcement was that the preview wave toys would be released in June. However, the joy turned to rage when retailers demanded Hasbro delay the toys to December, more than a full YEAR after the show premiered. Why? Because they wanted toys from Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Ironically, the same exact thing happened to Prime's preceding toyline, Transformers Animated.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Miko, mostly due to her lack of survival instinct. After the 5 part miniseries they toned down her obnoxious behavior and to some viewers that has redeemed her to a certain extent. Of course they haven't completely changed her character (though there are hints towards Character Development) and that makes her a Base Breaker.
    • Unlike the usual case for Transformers however, Jack and Raf have avoided this status due to being convincing Audience Surrogates (mostly in Jack's case) and Escapist Characters, which is really the point of human companions in this series anyway. To be honest, this aversion sort of applies to the human race as a whole.
    • June Darby is this to some, ironically for the exact opposite reasons of Miko. While June advocates caution, she has such a love for restraint that she gets in the way of things getting done, her Mama Bear tendencies can border on Skewed Priorities in the face of the larger issues of the Autobot/Decepticon war (namely the Decepticons winning and conquering Earth) and being a Jerkass/My Beloved Smother. It's hard not find a scene where her expression can be described as "angry." Notably the first time she decides to come the Autobot base Miko, who's just had lesson about how dangerous war is, decides to risk potentially dying just to get some time away from June.
    • These two need some explanation to properly understand. The majority of Season 1 focused on Jack Darby and Arcee which many misread for intentional Ship Tease between the two then the "Orion Pax" saga came along and made Jack "an honorary Prime" via the Key to Vector Sigma. These two combined has led to countless fanfictions (still published long after Prime has ended) where Jack is given some manner of superpowers (or even turns out to be a Cybertronian), is made the main protagonist and shipped with Arcee which has led to Jack's biggest fans hating (to varied extents) these two:
      • Sierra. The interest she expressed in Jack in the series is pretty mild and can be read either as romance or not with the one episode truly centered around her being the only one that's skippable without any consequences to the Myth Arc and the writers themselves losing interest in her pretty quickly. But since she's Jack's Implied Love Interest, she's reviled by Jack/Arcee shippers and written as a sex crazed Alpha Bitch in many fanfictions.
      • Smokescreen. His initial character arc is him being a Parody Sue to many fans' OC characters in Prime fanfiction (which is its own can of worms) due to him being a young, Elite Guard warrior who was favoured by Alpha Trion but he later on seems to becomes Optimus' new protege and is chosen by the Matrix of Leadership to become the next Prime should Optimus perish. Jack fans were not happy about this at all as not only had Jack become Out of Focus in Season 2, they'd been viewing Jack as the next Prime and Smokescreen had seemingly come to steal Jack's thunder. Despite the fact that only a Cybertronian can carry the Matrix of Leadership.
        • By the same token, a lot of them revile June/Fowler as they view June as some feminist goddess who raised a morally perfect child on her own and should be shipped with Optimus, Primus or no one at all as she's Too Good for This Sinful Earth.
    • Bumblebee as for most of the series, he's just an Expy of the movie Bumblebee who seemingly exists only to boost sales rather than a unique character in his own right.
  • Seasonal Rot: Season 3. Slashed budget, an awkward Status Quo Is God moment, and the final battle of the season has the same stakes as Season 2.
  • Take That Scrappy: This exchange from "Orion Pax, Part 1"

 Miko: "Whoa, that's a pretty good idea!"

Arcee: "Oh, well, if Miko thinks it's a good idea..."

  • Tainted by the Preview: Due to being somewhat bitter over the premature cancellation of Transformers Animated and given how reminiscent it is to the live action movies a lot of fans either couldn't get into the preview footage or actively hated it, despite plenty of fan pleasing moments such as Cullen and Welker.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Due to Anyone Can Die, Breakdown, Cliffjumper, Skyquake, and Dreadwing.
    • Makeshift due to how Badass his powers were. The writers even acknowledge this was a mistake on their part.
    • When the Nemesis gains sentience, Trypticon does not transform into robot mode nor is he name-dropped.
    • Primus. Didn't he feel that Unicron marching on him was a good reason to start getting involved?
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The Orion Pax arc, to some.
    • Many feel Bulkhead's recovery was too fast.
    • Partly justified due to how expensive the show was to animate, but the idea of Megatron cyberforming Earth was surprisingly well-received and could have been a great way to bring in new Transformers.
    • Season 3 going right back to Status Quo Is God in episode 4. To be fair though, this was a Red Herring and things quickly began to change in episode 7.
  • Too Cool to Live:
    • Cliffjumper. Incredibly badass? More one-liners in a five-minute appearance than most of the other cast? Voiced by the biggest (non-voice actor) star on the show? Yeah, not going to make it. Sorry, CJ.
    • Skyquake, too!
    • Makeshift.
  • Ugly Cute: Scraplets!
  • Unfortunate Implications: At 2011's Botcon, one of the speakers fielded a question as to whether or not Knock Out was gay. Their answer started out playful, noting Knock Out is a knockout, that the Nemesis has a strict "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Then they said that on the day Knock Out was born, there was a "glitch" in the Allspark. Yikes.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • The kids in "Regeneration." When Jack calls Ratchet, he mentions that they've been waiting at school for someone to pick them up. Not so bad on its own but he also mentions that they've been sitting there for an hour. We're supposed to be angry at Ratchet for not ensuring their safety and allowing the Decepticons to use them as pawns but why they didn't try and walk home or simply call one of their parents for a ride is never made clear.
    • Optimus destroying the Omega Lock in "Darkest Hour." While yes, he saved the human race from death by Hostile Terraforming, he, as Starscream says, condemned his own planet to rot and cyberforming Earth might have very well poisoned Unicron.
  • Villain Decay: Starscream has suffered from this big time, notably after Megatron returns. During "Darkness Rising", he was a terror-inducing badass; by the end of the first season, he's a simpering coward who can barely stand up to the Autobots.
    • To be fair, nothing is going his way, to the point he's making errors in judgment. He also gave Arcee a hell of a beatdown in "Partners" and his return in Orion Pax seems to have made further progress on reverting this, then in Triangulation, he reverts it fully by being the victor, now possessing the Apex Armor. Averted completely in "Inside Job." When it comes to Starscream, you had better Beware the Silly Ones.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Face it, this series may have stylized character designs, and it might not be Industrial Light and Magic, but is it gorgeous to look at and thankfully averts most of the faults that most CG TV shows have (helped by the fact that the company hired for the series also did the CGI in The Sky Crawlers).
    • Season 2 has been getting even better in terms of its backgrounds. While the backgrounds in Season 1 were still good, the Nemesis is given even more detail and there are new settings such as dockyards, prairies and even Manhattan at one point.
  • What Do You Mean It's for Kids?: Even if it is strictly robot violence, most of the stuff they have here would have gotten a TV-14 rating if it were live-action. Special mention goes to Episode 23, in which not only is the youngest member of the cast critically injured, but Optimus gives Megatron a brutal beatdown.
  • The Woobie:
    • Case in point, Raf. First showcased around episode 4, after encountering a rather harrowing battle between the Autobots and Decepticons. While similar cartoons would have kids act like Miko, Raf acts very much like how a normal kid would have in that situation: scared, confused, and withdrawn. And that's not even getting into his treatment later in the season...
    • Bumblebee has his Woobie moments as well, particularly in "Operation Bumblebee". Fans were calling for Silas's blood after only viewing the teasers.
    • Iron Woobie: Arcee.
    • Optimus had a brief moment during "Operation Bumblebee, Part 1" where Megatron taunts him for helping the Decepticon cause when Megatron had earlier taken advantage of Optimus's amnesia to find the locations of potential weapons scattered around Earth. His guilty expression as Megatron thanks him is enough to tug at the heartstrings.
    • Jerkass Woobie: Breakdown, arguably. While he was a tad boisterous and still quite violent, he is a Benevolent Boss, Anti-Villain, Reasonable Authority Figure and more or less the Token Good Teammate to the Cons. His death at the hands of Airachnid did nothing but solidify this opinion.
    • To certain extent, Starscream of all people. His relationship with Megatron is fairly abusive and much of his fears are actually pretty justified. For instance, when Megatron is trapped in a collapsed mine, he rightly realizes that Megatron would simply blame him for the matter, no matter what would happen. It may very well be that a lot of his behavior is simply based off a combination of "What would Megatron do?" and survival.
  • WTH? Casting Agency: In the Hungarian dub, Cliffjumper got to be voiced by an actor famous for his high-pitched, shrill voice (think of a pre-voice break Terrorsaur). When dubbing comedic roles, he performs fine, but a match for The Rock he is not. Ratchet also sounds positively young.
    • The Japanese dub of Starscream. The voice for Starscream works for an insane, crazy person. The only problem is that while Starscream is a psycho, he's not totally insane.

Notes

  1. "dingus"
  2. And for those who didn't like Megatron's G1 voice, Welker has a new, menacing voice for the character that some consider to be the best Megatron voice of all time.
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