The original Transformers animated television series, which aired from September 1984 to November 1987, was based on Hasbro’s Transformers toy line. The original toy line later came to be known as Generation 1 after the franchise rebranded as Transformers: Generation 2 in 1992.
The comic book by Marvel Comics and The Transformers (TV series), told the story of two conflicting groups of sentient robots from the planet Cybertron; the Autobots and the Decepticons.The television series was very popular and was an effective means for selling Hasbro’s toy line. The success of the action films, directed by Michael Bay, rests significantly on the nostalgia of the cartoon series.
However, since the Transformers movies have received mixed and even negative reception, some fans have suggested that the flaws in the films stem from the pre-existing traditions of the original TV series. It can be argued that the creative shortcomings of the animated series were overlooked, seeing as the show targeted a very young audience. Despite this, the creators managed to incorporate some elements that probably wouldn’t have been aired today.
Here are the 15 Most Inappropriate Moments From The Transformers TV Series.
15. The Decepticons Get Tipsy On Energon
In the Transformers episode titled “Microbots,” Megatron and his Decepticons get drunk on energon fuel. The bizarre scene occurs after they recovered the Heart of Cybertron from the hulk of an old Decepticon spacecraft. The Decepticons used the Heart of Cybertron to upgrade their fire power and defeat the Autobots.
The Decepticons then celebrate their victory by drinking energon, the fuel of the Cybertronians. They indulge excessively and become intoxicated. Megatron even falls over and passes out while slurring something about “the good ol’ days.”
The Autobots then decide to attack, taking advantage of the weakened state of the Decepticons. Powerglide then drops miniaturized Autobots into Megatron’s body, where they successfully deactivate him.
14. Megatron Transforms Into A Pistol
In the original Transformers animated TV series, Megatron, the villainous leader of the Decepticons, is able to transform into different types of weapons — his favorite being a Walther P38 pistol.
In the episode “Countdown to Extinction,” Starscream causes Doctor Arkeville’s Exponential Generator to overload. To prevent the device from destroying Earth, Megatron transforms into a pistol and allows his arch enemy Optimus Prime to use him to launch the Exponential Generator into space.
13. Autobot Falls In Love With Mermaid, Transforms Into A Merman
During the episode “Sea Change” the Tlalakans, a race of merpeople, are fighting to free themselves from Deceptitran. The villain has enslaved them in order to produce energon. When the Tlalakan Merpeople rise up in revolt, Deceptitran transmits a distress signal to the Decepticons.
The Autobots intercept the signal and Seaspray, Perceptor, and Bumblebee, go to help the Tlalakans. Seaspray ends up falling in love with one of the Tlalakans, named Alana, while he and the Autobots help to fight the Decepticons. To facilitate their romance, Seaspray takes a dip in a magical pool, the Well of Transformation, and becomes a Merman.
However, after the Autobots have helped to defeat the Decepticons, the lovers agree that their relationship would work better if they both retain their original forms. Thankfully, the idea that you need to change your outer appearance to find love was rectified.
12. Teenage Girl Falls In Love With An Autobot Airplane
The bizarre subject of relationship between a biological being and a robot is explored once again in the Transformers episode “The Girl Who Loved Powerglide.”
Astoria Carlton-Ritz is the sole heir to her father’s vast fortunes. Powerglide meets Astoria when he is hired to act as a babysitter/bodyguard to the spoiled rich girl. Astoria is then kidnapped by the Decepticons, who are interested in a secret formula that her father gave her.
After Powerglide rescues her, she falls in love with the chunk of flying metal. The weirdness is compounded by Powerglide reciprocating the girl’s love. While it was something that kids probably wouldn’t have picked up on, it was a very strange choice to have the robot fall in love with an underage girl.
11. Autobot Consciousness Is Transferred Into Human Bodies
In the Transformers episode “Only Human,” a plot by Victor Drath to steal Newtronium is thwarted by Rodimus and Ultra Magnus. Frustrated, Drath hires a former super-terrorist, Old Snake, who uses his advanced technology to transfer the minds of multiple Autobots into human bodies.
The Autobots obviously prefer their robot bodies. They eventually regain their robot bodies, but only after they thwart an evil plan by Drath and Old Snake. The evil duo wanted to rig the original robot bodies with explosives and use them to blow up Autobot City.
When the Autobots recover their metal bodies from Drath and Old Snake, Perceptor helps them to transfer their robot minds back into their robot bodies. The idea of having your consciousness implanted in to a new host is really quite disturbing when you think about it.
10. Racial Stereotyping: The Republic Of Carbombya
In the Transformers episode titled “Thief in the Night,” the Autobots visit a country called Carbombya. The fictional country is clearly intended to parody dictatorships of certain Middle Eastern countries. Additionally, the personality and style of President Fakkadi of Carbombya was obviously inspired by the Libyan leader, Col. Muammar Ghadaffi.
The episode indulges in unabashed racial stereotyping despite the fact that the Transformers TV series targeted a young audience. For instance, a sign that leads to Carbombya states that the city has a population of 4,000 people and 10, 000 camels.
Fakkadi teams up with the Decepticons, who then double cross him. The Autobots come to Fakkadi’s rescue and make him promise to reform from his old ways. To add insult to injury, Fakkadi’s resulting answer has him swear on the grave of his mother’s camel.
9. Autobot Views A Robot Pin-Up Model
The opening scene of the Transformers episode “Starscream’s Ghost”, depicts Octane viewing an image of a robot pin-up girl on his computer monitor. This picture exclusively objectifies the female robot, undermining any characteristics or traits she might be capable of.
When Octane leaves the monitor, an explosion set off by Skuxxiod, Galvatron’s bumbling assassin, destroys Octane’s ship. Octane survives the explosion and is rescued by another ship that happened to be passing by.
Skuxxiod’s bumbling efforts to assassinate Octane do offer some comic relief, however, Galvatron is enraged when he learns that Octane is still alive. The episode gets even stranger, which begs the question as to why they even included the opening scene in the first place.
8. Decepticons Try To Take Over The World By Starting A Nightclub
The Decepticons start a nightclub called Dancitron in the Transformers episode titled “Auto-Bop.” Soundwave is the DJ and he uses music to hypnotize young patrons as part of his plan to take over the world.
The Autobots notice the strange effect of the music on the young patrons at the Dancitron nightclub. They investigate and discover that the nightclub is being run by the Decepticons. They soon discover that water from the sprinkler system helps to break the hypnosis induced by Soundwave’s music.
Blaster frees the dancers from hypnosis and confronts Soundwave and Starscream. The inclusion of a nightclub is a strange choice to include in a children’s show and the brainwashing is a pretty creepy concept.
7. Optimus Prime Performs Power Transfusion On A Female Autobot
In the episode titled “The Search For Alpha Trion,” the leader of an all-female Autobot team, Elita One, sends her team to break into Shockwave’s base and steal energon. Megatron captures Elita One and informs Optimus Prime, who once had a relationship with Elita.
Optimus tries to rescue Elita One, but Megatron captures him. Elita One manages to help Optimus escape, but she gets damaged in the process. Optimus then takes Elita to Alpha Trion’s base as he is the only who can save her. Alpha Trion tells Optimus Prime that the only way to save Elita One is to interface with her and conduct a power transfusion.
A weird scene then shows Optimus Prime interfacing with Elita and conducting the said power transfusion. Optimus proceeds to sigh and groan as he calls Elita One’s name, suggesting he is doing something pleasurable.
6. A Dead Robot’s Ghost Returns To Haunt The Living
In the Transformers episode “Starscream’s Ghost,” the titular Decepticon dies. However, Starscream returns to haunt his mates. While fleeing from the Decepticons, Octane encounters Starscream’s ghost. The two then hatch a plan to trap Galvatron, which involves Starscream’s ghost taking over Cyclonus’ body.
Starscream-Cyclonus then pretends to capture Octane and bring him to Galvatron. Starscream-Cyclonus and Octane then lead Galvatron into an ambush that was set up by several other Autobots.
Galvatron escapes the ambush and returns to his base to find Octane and Starscream-Cyclonus celebrating the success of their plan. When Starscream reveals he is residing inside Cyclonus’ body, Galvatron attacks him. Starscream then exits Cyclonus’ damaged body and Galvatron orders Scourge to repair it.
5. Robots Destroy Countryside While Fighting Over Golden Liquid
The Decepticons discover a lagoon that contains a mysterious golden liquid called electrum. However, the animators might have been indulging in a private joke, seeing as the golden pool looks suspiciously like urine. Regardless, the Decepticons take a dip in the pool and acquire a golden electrum coating that makes them invulnerable to enemy fire.
The Autobots also later discover the pool and take a dip in it as well. The two sides then engage in a fierce battle that destroys the entire countryside. The protective coating of the Decepticons wears off first and Megatron orders his Decepticons to retreat.
The closing scene depicts the Autobots celebrating their victory against the apocalyptic backdrop of a smoldering countryside. Beachcomber then addresses the inappropriateness of the celebration, as he laments the destruction of the natural environment.
4. A Robot Poses As God
The Transformers episode titled “The God Gambit”, tells the story of Jero, a priest who rules over a race native to Saturn’s moon Titan. Jero exploits the inhabitants by claiming he is the priest of a sky god. He then forces them to make offerings to said God.
An inhabitant named Talaria then leads a rebellion against Jero. As the rebels smash the statue of the sky god, Astrotrain, Starscream, and Thrust, are chasing Cosmos across the skies. Cosmos then crashes on Titan, just as Talaria is trying to convince the people that Jero’s sky god does not exist. Astrotrain, Starscream, and Thrust then land nearby.
The three Decepticons then learn about the struggle between Talaria and Jero. Astrotrain claims that he is the sky god and the people begin worshipping him. Thankfully, the Autobots arrive to correct the glaring case of mistaken identity.
3. High School Kid Creates Evil Robot That Saves The World
The plot of the Transformers episode “B.O.T” is chaotic, even by the standards of the Transformers TV series. When Brawl’s brain ends up in the hands of an average high school kid, things get really strange. The kid decides to use the brain to build a new robot for a school project. Once it is built, the resulting robot goes on a rampage.
Meanwhile, the evil Megatron discusses a crazy plan to blast the Moon out of orbit and then use a new device to control the tides. This will allow him to flood a canyon with water and generate a limitless supply of power.
However, despite being controlled by Brawl’s brain, the students are able to use their project to help the Autobots stop Megatron from knocking the moon out of its orbit. While this made for some undoubtedly cool scenes, the idea of controlling a robot against his will is pretty dark.
2. Transformers’ Crazy Physics
In the Transformers episode “Rebirth, Part 3,” Galvatron decides to activate the Plasma Energy Chamber. This would release energy to overload the sun and make it go supernova.
Spike eventually shuts down the chamber, but he is faced with the predicament of what to do to prevent the already released energy from destroying the sun. He finally decides to reverse the rocket engine that Galvtron installed on Cybertron and make it suck up the excess energy.
While his plan works in the Transformers’ universe, it amounts to crazy physics in the real world. It is the equivalent of trying to reverse the pollution emitted from a car by reversing the flow of the engine. This is just another example of how over the top the series was.
1. Transformers Pass Through A Stargate To Medieval England
In the episode of the Transformers titled “A Decepticon Raider In King Arthur’s Court,” the Autobots and the Decepticons wander into a Stargate and are transported back in time to Medieval England. Once there, they meet Sir Wigend du Blackthorne and Sir Aetheling the Red, Blackthorne’s enemy.
The Decepticons align with Blackthorne, while the Autobots battle against them on Aetheling’s side. The robots are constantly challenged by the problem of how to source energy in their technologically primitive environment and how to make gunpowder from bird droppings.
This depiction of the Middle Ages also contains magic and dragons. While the concept of the show is lighthearted, the fact that they travel to a real time period and depict it falsely makes it historically inaccurate.
Are there any other inappropriate moments that we missed from the original Transformers series?
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