The concept of Bumblebee being mute was directly taken from Transformers (2007). It is in stark contrast with his loudmouth portrayal from Transformers: Animated (2007), where it would be unusual for him to be silent.
As in most Transformers shows, the robots noticeably change size when they transform; this is especially apparent in Arcee's case, who turns from a nearly human-sized motorbike into a circa 15 feet tall robot. The issue hasn't been addressed in the cartoon, but it doesn't count as an error, because mass shifting is a very common means of taking artistic license with the characters.
Starscream's torso resembles the head of his live-action counterpart. The two red spots on his sides represent the eyes, his upper chest is similar to the helmet design, his yellow midsection looks like the latter's complex mouth mechanism, while his crotch piece has a similarity to the lower jaw. According to his designer, this is, however, a coincidence.
Airachnid is a sadistic trophy hunter who wants to capture and kill Jack for blowing up her spaceship, and to add him to her collection of alien species. However in the more jovial Japanese dub of the show, she instead wants to keep the teenager as part of her harem of boys, and her teasing of him is much more "romantic" in nature. She is less of a vengeful sadist and more of a creepy stalker in Japan.
As soon as José López was announced as the character designer for the series, some fans were quick to inform him to brace for a difficult relationship with the Transformers fans, since they are notoriously aggressive and hard to please, especially when it comes to visual representations of their favorite characters.
Arcee seems to have variations to her CGI animation model that inconsistently vary between episodes. She has her regular appearance, as well as an alternate color scheme, where pink stripes decorate some of her otherwise entirely blue bits, most noticeably her breast-plates. It is unknown what the reason for this is.
The creators of the show expressed their love towards Transformers: Animated (2007), and brought over a couple of its traits. The character of Bulkhead, who first appeared in Animated, is a regular in this series.
According to the character designers, the Transformers of this show don't feature noses because they are robots, hence wouldn't need to breathe. On the flip-side, some have remarked that this, along with their strange, lipless mouths make them look rather uncanny. To make up for their alien look, some of them were given big, pronounced eyebrows, so that they can express emotion better.
The appearance of a handful of characters was based on how their live-action counterparts looked in the Transformers movies directed by Michael Bay, yet stylistic elements from Transformers: Animated (2007) are also apparent.
The producers discussed the idea of incorporating the classic Transformers theme song into the show's intro theme, but decided against it, claiming that they are aiming for a more "epic" and "cinematic" feel with the series. They instead opted for an orchestral version of the "More Than Meets The Eye" tune, sans vocals.
The Insecticons mostly communicate in bestial growls or cries, and rarely ever speak. In the Japanese dub, however, they constantly chatter in a comedic, buzzing tone, even if their mouth is closed. In fact, they are voiced by the Japanese voice actor of Waspinator from Beast Wars: Transformers (1996) and Transformers: Animated (2007).
During an on-line chat with a Transformers fan, Neil Kaplan, who voiced the Autobot commander Optimus Prime in Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2000), revealed that he would be like to have at least a cameo role in the series as the voice of someone.
The Decepticon troopers were originally referred to as Eradicons in promotional material. However later the show's creators re-branded them as Vehicons. "Vehicon" is actually not a new term: the enemy drones from Beast Machines: Transformers (1999) were the first bearers of the name. Another similarity, besides the name, is that the new troopers also come in a variety of forms, such as ground-based and flying vehicles. But they are different in that the new Vehicons are individuals, rather than mindless drones lead by a small group of living Vehicon generals.
This is the second time in Transformers history for Megatron to have a Cybertronian jet mode, and a fusion cannon and sword as weapons. He was also a Cybertronian jet in the first live action Transformers movie, but had a different alternate mode in the sequel and had a gun arm with a sword. Megatron also was a Cybertronian jet at first along with a fusion cannon and a twin swords in Transformers Animated.
At one time Fowler refers to a squadron he is leading as Sky Strikers. The Sky Striker was the primary jet used by the GI Joe forces during the first season of the 1980's cartoon series. Both franchises are owned by Hasbro.
When choosing a new alt form in Beast Hunters, Fowler tells Optimus Prime that the vehicle is from their MASK division. MASK was another popular toy line put out by Hasbro in the 1980's that ran alongside TF.
Miko was made a Japanese exchange student because the writers originally wanted to produce an episode in which she, along with her Autobot partner Bulkhead, travel back to Japan. As this episode idea was scrapped, the importance of her being of Japanese origin never comes up in the finished series, only for one short scene where she briefly talks to Jack about her life in Japan. The fact that she would have to go back to Japan once the school-year's over isn't touched upon, despite her eagerness to stay with her newfound friends being a very important part of the story.
A handful of episodes got censored upon syndication and when airing in different countries. Some of the more graphic shots (for example of the robots "bleeding" Energon) and a few bits of questionable dialog have been removed.
There have been countless arguments among the fans about the cartoon's relationship to the popular video game Transformers: War for Cybertron (2010). Initially, the video game would have been a prequel to the original Generation 1 story, but these plans were changed. So Hasbro stated that the cartoon is the true sequel to the video game, then it was said that it is actually a continuation of the Transformers novel 'Exodus', which was loosely based on the aforementioned game, and (according to its description) details the "true" events that happened on the planet Cybertron. However it is clear that there are many continuity errors between these two media (and the novel also contradicted itself several times), which leads to some people believing that Hasbro merely tried to shoehorn the cartoon's continuity into that of the novel. It seems plausible that the two stories are in fact connected, merely represent two separate "branches" within the same universe.
Originally imagined as spanning three seasons, the creators' original story plans were all used up by the half-point of the second season. In interviews, they have expressed their surprise that they had managed to, in their words, "burn through" all their ideas so quickly. Hence the sudden shift from shorter stories and standalone episodes to multi-episode storylines in the second half of season 2, as the writers quickly made up more story material for the remainder of the series.
The transformations are fast and instantaneous due to Hasbro's requests. The writers were specifically asked not to include any "half-transformations", for example a robot arm coming out of the side of a car or a robot's feet turning into wheels.
One of the reasons for ending the cartoon was that its budget had gone out of hand: the later episodes cost around $1.6 million to produce. The other reasons were the toys selling poorly and the series' home channel (the now defunct Hub) being unavailable in most places.
Originally, the third season would have been completely different. The second season was to conclude with the planet Cybertron being re-inhabited by the Transformers, including Maximals (animal-based Transformers first seen in Beast Wars: Transformers (1996)). The third season would have introduced the pirate Thundertron (who was actually released as a toy) and would have had a "wild west" feel. All of these plans were scrapped when a different team took over production.
The character Cosmos was meant to appear in the show, and take on the form of a flying saucer by scanning a B-movie set. This idea was also proposed for the canceled fourth season of Transformers: Animated (2007).
According to the backstory, the Decepticon's ship is actually the giant dinosaur-like robot Trypticon locked into the form of a ship. This was meant to be given a reference in the show, but the writers forgot to include it.
Hasbro envisioned a long-lasting multimedia franchise based on the so-called Aligned continuity family, incorporating multiple Transformers-related productions that would have all taken place in the same universe. Despite their plans, the studios in charge of creating the cartoons disagreed with Hasbro on many points, which was evident in the handling of this show, as it turned out much different than Hasbro intended. Due to various internal conflicts, the original plans for future Transformers cartoons were dropped and Hasbro's production bible (called the "Binder of Revelation"), which cost $250 000 to create, was simply disregarded. Much of this supposed background info comes from Rik Alvarez, a former Hasbro employee who was infamously frustrated by the handling of the property, and has been criticized for putting out this knowledge in (what some see as) an unprofessional fashion at a convention. Some also questioned the info's reliability.
The production team that took over the series in its third season argued with Hasbro over various details, such as the plot, characterization, and the appearance of various characters. As well, the toy designers were disappointed that the season didn't feature the Transformers figures they have developed for the toy-line.
As of 2017, the series' final episode, "Deadlock", which has previously been aired with drastic censorship, is banned by Cartoon Network's European broadcasters, along with a multitude of episodes from the channel's other shows. The episode in question contained graphic violence and two main characters being killed - however both were resurrected later on, one of them in the same episode. The episode's Hungarian dubbed version also contained profanity (Starscream saying "Fuck your logic!" to Shockwave), though it is uncertain whether this had an effect on the ban.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
One aspect of the series that has continuously been stressed by its creators is that if they kill a character, then it stays dead. To make a point, Cliffjumper, who has been promoted as a seemingly major character by early marketing material, is killed off in the first few minutes of the very first episode, then brought back as a zombie and killed again. However, this "rule" was in fact broken several times by the end of the series: Bumblebee, Optimus Prime and Megatron are all clearly shown being killed at points, yet are brought back to life shortly afterwards.
Makeshift was originally supposed to survive his introductory episode, but the creators felt that his special power, namely ability to take on the shape of other robots, would have given him too much of an edge over the other characters. As such, he first appears and dies within the same episode.
Optimus Prime was originally meant to kill Predaking in the final episode, sort of symbolizing the classical image of the knight defeating the dragon. The idea was abandoned when the writers realized that the show won't be over and will instead be followed by the movie Transformers Prime Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising (2013).
When the show was still in production, the creators would often tease the fans with various bits of planned storylines during convention appearances and in interviews. These included a supposedly chilling story-arc for Starscream, a flashback story with Bumblebee, the appearance of a combiner group of Transformers, a character who would have a similar story and personality to Dinobot from Beast Wars: Transformers (1996) and Seaspray appearing as a vengeance-fueled Batman-type supporting character. None of these really materialized, and it is unclear whether these ideas were even actually considered during the series's writing or if they were simply made up by the creators to tease the fans and create hype.
Introducing the concept of the Beast Hunters was a last-minute addition to the show's third season, under the orders of the Hasbro toy company. The writers originally intended to keep focusing on the story that they had already planned ahead, but as Hasbro insisted on promoting their new Beast Hunters toy products, the season had to be drastically rewritten under a very short time. This is the reason why, at the end of the season, the Beast Hunter concept is abruptly pushed aside in favor of the originally planned series ending. Some of the dangling plot-threads were then wrapped up in the Transformers Prime Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising (2013) movie.
This is the first animated Transformers medium in half a decade to depict the evil Unicron as an existing force, and also the very first time that it is shown being one with Earth, rather than a separate entity.