Some people scoff at the idea of the Transformers movies making any sense. After all, they are mindless action movies based on an ancient cartoon whose explicit purpose was to sell toys to children. Nonetheless, both the older Transformers cartoons and comics as well as the newer, live-action iterations of the alien robots have built up a legion of fans who keep making these movies into bona fide international hits, even though you’d need to have a PhD from Cybertron to figure out what’s going on.
Because they just keep coming, you might think that these movies would start making more sense. However, each movie seems a little crazier than the last, and there are more plot holes in each one than you can shake an AllSpark at. Sometimes, characters inexplicably return from death with no explanation, while other times, we are expected to believe that cavemen vs. a giant robot is actually a really fair fight.
Ultimately, what fans really want is for these movies to transform into something with a coherent plot and believable characters. Since that will never happen, though, all we can do is sit back and laugh at the plot holes, which is why we’ve brought you the 15 Biggest Plot Holes In Transformers.
15. AllSpark is low-key evil?
One of the most mysterious objects in the Transformers mythology is that of the AllSpark. It is supposed to be the object that brought the Transformers to life in the first place, and in the first movie, we see its ability to bring random bits of Earth technology (such as soda machines) to life. However, if this new life is any indication, then all robotic life is inherently evil!
Allegedly, the AllSpark simply brings mechanical life into existence, and it is up to this new life to make its own decisions to be good or evil. That is how we end up with Autobots on one side and Decepticons on the other. However, every single object that we see it bring to life in the first movie immediately proceeds to attack any human being it is close to. This would make it seem like the AllSpark is actually evil (or, more disturbingly, that robotic life is inherently evil), though this is not supported by any other Transformers movies.
14. Weird affectations
In the first movie, Bumblebee’s robotic vocal chords are damaged, so he is forced to use a radio to communicate with everyone. This effectively gives him an excuse for integrating human speech and songs into all of his conversations. However, the other robots have no excuse, so what’s with all the affectations?
Over the course of these movies, we see robots affecting cringe-worthy and offensive human traits. These include beards, cigars, gold teeth, and painfully offensive ethnic stereotypes.
Again, it makes no sense for the robots to do this: they already had voices and accents before they landed on Earth, and there is no real incentive to change their accents, as the multi-story robots aren’t in any danger of blending into the population! Perhaps being around robots constantly putting on human affectations is what causes Optimus Prime to start killing his buddies in Last Knight.
13. Speedy humans
This plot hole is admittedly low-hanging fruit, but let’s face it: “low-hanging fruit” is a perfect description for all of these movies. Starting with the first film, Michael Bay has prominently featured human protagonists such as young Sam Witwicky and the older Cade Yaeger. Inevitably, these human characters will have to run from Decepticons, sometimes while carrying precious cargo such as the AllSpark. The question, then, is: why the hell do any of them survive?
To start with, the Decepticons chasing Sam and the other humans are very fast when they are on land. This is understandable considering that they have really long legs made of advanced alien technology. If that is not enough, though, these Decepticons are able to change into things like cars and even jets!
The realistic conclusion of any robot vs. human chase scene is that the human would be squished. If that happened, though, then most of the Transformers-related Shia LeBeouf memes we’ve enjoyed would only be dreams instead of reality.
12. Sam the Unemployed
There were a lot of things hard to swallow about the third Transformers movie, including its weird conspiracy theory subplot about alien spacecraft prompting the original human moon landing. However, there was something much more down-to-earth in this movie that, in its own way, made even less sense: why is Sam Witwicky having trouble finding a job?
A large part of what passes for a plot in this movie is that Sam is having trouble getting a job, and he eventually gets a gig as a mail boy. However, he is someone who has literally and publicly saved the Earth on multiple occasions by working alongside advanced alien lifeforms. He has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition for these accomplishments. We are supposed to believe that this guy is having trouble getting a job?
It seems like he could easily get a job as a consultant to the government or military, or possibly work with any organization dedicated to researching the Transformers. Or, as the character openly wishes for, work helping out the Autobots on their secret missions, a position for which he is overly qualified for!
11. Cybertronian Psycho
There is a schism in the Transformers fan community between those who like Michael Bay’s live-action universe and those who prefer the cartoon and comic book universes. A large part of this schism comes from how Michael Bay portrays Optimus Prime. In fact, the live-action Prime often comes across as a stone-cold sociopath!
At times, the live-action Optimus Prime resembles his cartoon counterpart, spouting lines such as “freedom is the right of all sentient beings” and striving for peace for the various robots and humans. At other times, though, he executes captured prisoners– this is something we see near the beginning of Revenge of the Fallen when he executes a captured Demolisher, and in the next movie, he kills Megatron and Sentinel Prime. Megatron is literally begging for peace between their factions when Prime kills him, and the other foe, Sentinel Prime, is far too injured to ever fight back.
10. Flying Prime
One of the more striking visual elements at the end of Age of Extinction was Optimus Prime dramatically flying into outer space, which is where his story picks up in Last Knight. However, this moment led to a lot of confused screaming at movie theater screens and TVs as viewers wondered, “why didn’t you fly before?”
Think about it: flying is an objectively better mode of transportation than walking or driving. This is probably why the complex character of Starscream has such an ego about him. However, Prime waits until after the major fighting is done to suddenly show that he can fly. This would have been useful in countless fights and chase scenes in this movie and previous movies.
Once again, we get an Optimus Prime that is either an idiot or a psycho. Despite allegedly fighting to save humanity from extinction, he is going to deliberately handicap himself in all battles in order to maximize his dramatic departure later in the movie!
9. Megatron Motivations
One of the weirdest reveals of the first Transformers movie was that the main villain, Megatron, had been on Earth for quite some time and was actually frozen in the Arctic before being discovered by humans and later hidden by humanity. Megatron was pursuing the mysterious AllSpark when he crashed on Earth. There is just one problem: the movie never explains what he was planning to do once he got it!
Let’s say that Megatron landed on Earth and retrieved the AllSpark without becoming frozen in the Arctic. What does he do next? We are later told he has a plan for Earth’s technology– as Sam says, Megatron “wants to use the Cube to transform human technology to take over the universe.” However, when Megatron crashes, there is no real technology to take over, and once there is, things like transformed soda machines don’t seem like a galactic threat.
In other Transformers media, Megatron wants to terraform (or technically cyberform) the Earth, but in this movie, he brought no technology to help him do it. He also seemingly has no way off the planet. This is the guy who will conquer the universe? Maybe he should start with a plan!
8. The Sun is a Transformer
The Transformers movies require a fair amount of suspending your disbelief. After all, they are movies about robots that turn into cars, trucks, and planes and can live anywhere in the galaxy, but keep deciding to punch each other’s faces on Earth. Those fights are not enough to affect the Earth’s rotation, but it seems like Michael Bay doesn’t know that!
In the first live-action Transformers movie, we get our first real look at a Decepticon when it lands at a military base, transforms, and begins wreaking havoc. The scene itself is appropriately action-packed and scary, but it also has a fairly big problem: when we first see the Decepticon in helicopter mode, the sun is starting to set, and he is said to be “five miles out.”
When he lands and the action commences, it is suddenly pitch black outside. Either that robot is the slowest helicopter in the world or the filmmakers’ minds were scrambled by one too many onscreen explosions.
7. Sector 7 shutdown
One of the most powerful groups revealed in the first Transformers movie was Sector 7. They were the kind of organization that Fox Mulder would have totally geeked out over: a shadowy secret branch of government that has guarded over Megatron and kept the Transformers secret from the world while researching Cybertronian technology. However, Megatron ends up being freed and causing chaos, and at the end of the movie, Sector 7 is shut down… a move that makes no sense whatsoever.
It’s easy to feel a sense of justice when Sector 7 is shut down, especially because we see them kidnap our protagonists and even torture Bumblebee. However, it is utterly unbelievable that after the first major alien attack on Earth, the government would shut down the one organization that has been studying these aliens for the better part of a century.
This organization has spent years and years developing weapons and containment strategies for space robots, but when space robots finally attack, the American government inexplicably decides it no longer needs its space robot experts.
6. Canny Cavemen
In good sequel fashion, the second Transformers movie, Revenge of the Fallen, dropped some surprises on its viewers. One of the big surprises was that humanity had encountered a Transformer long before Megatron crash-landed into the Arctic. Specifically, a being known as The Fallen landed on Earth 19,000 years ago and made an effort to wipe out humanity. However, the cavemen managed to defeat him, which is why he doesn’t surface as a bad guy until millennia later.
However, that doesn’t make sense at all. We see in the first Transformers movie that a single Decepticon is able to destroy an entire modern military base that is filled with highly-trained soldiers, guns, explosives, and so on. In that movie, it’s not until they learn about the need to use incendiary rounds and team up with the Autobots that the humans have a chance. However, the Fallen was apparently taken out by primitive cavemen? To be fair, that idea is only as silly as the rest of the movie.
5. Weird resurrection
Once again, some of these plot holes are more straightforward than others, and it doesn’t get more straightforward than returning from the dead! Certain robots get resurrected via weird narrative conceits, such as Megatron’s resurrection in Age of Extinction and Prime’s many returns from his many deaths. However, there are two Transformers that died in the first movie and were suddenly alive again in Revenge of the Fallen.
The Transformers in question are Bonecrusher and Blackout, both of whom are Decepticons. Bonecrusher gets his head popped off by Optimus Prime in the first movie, whereas Blackout was dramatically killed by missiles that the humans fired from their F-22s. Nonetheless, each of these robots pops up again, whole and well, in the sequel movie with no explanation at all.
Some fans have tried to explain these as separate Decepticons who simply copied the same forms as the original robots, and the toys these movies came from had a rich history of giving a barely different paint job to an old toy and calling it something different. However, the far likelier explanation is that Bay and his FX team pay as much attention to the individual robots as the explosion-dizzied members of the audience.
4. Incredible edibles
If you were only allowed to pick one thing as the most annoying aspect of the live-action Transformers movies, it would probably be that they focus on the boring and terrible humans rather than the cool robots. This was the case with Sam Witwicky for the first three movies, and the second film decided to give his onscreen parents a beefier role, resulting in a weird plot about his mother getting high off of a pot brownie. Not only is this sub-plot stupid, but it seems like it should never have happened.
There are several reasons it should have been impossible. One is just how high she got— she is manically gibbering, full of insane energy, and even tackling strangers in a stinger to the movie. To put it mildly, it seems like there was something other than weed in the brownie!
And speaking of the brownie, she says she got it at a college bake sale. This means that a college organization was risking getting shut down and its students expelled for selling pot brownies. To make it worse, they conveniently put pot leaf stickers on the bags the brownies were in. Overall, it seems like the only person that knows much about how weed is sold are the scriptwriters!
3. Media blackout
Longtime fans of the X-Files eventually got used to yelling in disbelief at Agent Scully. Year after year, she remained skeptical about whether the paranormal was real despite seeing aliens, UFOs, being abducted, and so on. And one of the weirdest plot holes hiding in Dark of the Moon is a fact that almost the entire human race is made of Scullys, as no one knows about the Transformers!
Part of what makes the Decepticon attack on Chicago so surprising to the humans of that movie is that most of them were seemingly unaware of the existence of the Transformers. The military tries to keep this secrecy intact by only deploying the Autobots on certain clandestine missions. However, the glaring problem with this is that the Transformers and Decepitcons had a very public fight in the first movie in the heart of “Mission City” with hundreds of witnesses.
What Dark of the Moon proposes is that alien robots could land on Earth and have a major fight in the middle of a metropolitan area and, in the span of just a few years, everyone has forgotten that this ever happened.
2. The Sentinel Prime Confusion
If you make enough war movies, the theme of “the enemy is us” becomes kind of inevitable. That rule even applies to alien robot war movies, too, so one of the big reveals of Dark of the Moon was that the bad guy was actually a Prime like Optimus. He once craved peace, but by the time we see him, he is determined to kill humanity so that the Transformers can thrive once again.
His motivations make sense in a mustache-twirling, supervillainous way. However, his very presence contradicts what we know from the previous movies. For instance, he is a Prime… but Sam Witwicky actually speaks to the previous Primes through a trippy dream vision in Revenge of the Fallen (one of many things that makes no sense in these movies), and they make no mention of Sentinel Prime.
You might reasonably say that they were preoccupied at the time, but the bad guy of that movie, The Fallen, seems to have no knowledge of Sentinel Prime either. Considering he wants to kill Optimus Prime because he is the last Prime, it’s weird to find out one movie later that this is not the case.
1. Terraform, interrupted
Just when you were getting used to the idea of alien robots messing around with cavemen, the Age of Extinction movie throws a curveball at us by showing yet another alien robot group (the mysterious “Creators”) that terraformed the Earth in the time of the dinosaurs. The purpose of such terraforming was ostensibly to make the planet more habitable for robotic life. However, the very idea of this brings up several related plot holes.
One is the idea that Earth, as we know it, is unchanged after the terraforming process. If the Earth were to try to fully terraform, for instance, the original planet would be unrecognizable and anything that lived there before would no longer be able to do so.
The second weird plot hole related to this is that if the Creators of the Transformers made Earth habitable to them millions of years ago, then why have they spent all this time fighting on Cybertron when some (or all) of them could have tried to settle on Earth? Ultimately, this is another twist in the Transformers mythology that makes less sense the more you think about it!
Which Transformers plot hole bugs you the most? Let us know in the comments!