Even Robots Have Nightmares is the fifteenth episode of Transformers: Robots in Disguise season 1.
Denny and the Autobots are captured by a Decepticon who can bring their worst fears to life.
During the night at the scrapyard, Russell Clay was setting a dish of milk down for a stray cat. Denny is heading out with Bumblebee and Fixit to look for energon while Russell is intending to watch Invasion of the Zombie Vampire Swamp Creatures with the rest of the team, claiming he doesn't get scared. As the trio heads off, Denny mopes that he feels like he's missing Russell's childhood, but all three of them are unaware that Chop Shop's missing Mini-Con component Righty is heading into the scrapyard. Righty jumps the fence and locates the stasis pod containing the rest of Chop Shop, only to be attacked by an unseen assailant.
Russell watches the film with Sideswipe, Grimlock and Strongarm who are surprised by his lack of fear, and as he goes to get more popcorn, decide to attempt to scare him. Sideswipe's improvised zombie costume fails, as does a ruse with Strongarm pretending to be hacked up and Grimlock in costume as an axe murderer Decepticon. Bumblebee, Denny and Fixit return with a trailer-load of energon which they unload. Afterwards Fixit picks up some Decepticon signals in a nearby cave system, but they quickly disappear. Figuring it might be Steeljaw, the Autobots head there. Leaving Fixit and Russell outside, the others head inside and split up to search, taking luminescent paint to mark their way. Denny quickly gets lost and loses his walkie-talkie.
While the Autobots start trading banter over the comms, a bat-like shape suddenly attacks Sideswipe. Outside the caves, Sideswipe's signal disappears off Fixit's monitoring device. Grimlock is attacked next, and as Fixit and Russell watch, his signal disappears, followed by Strongarm's. As Bumblebee is attacked, Fixit realizes the whole team has been taken out, though Russell is sure Denny's OK. Denny is still lost. The bat appears out of the mouth of the cave, allowing Fixit to identify it as Nightstrike, a vampiric Decepticon with a fear-inducing scream. Nightstrike swoops down and grabs Fixit, taking back into the cave and incidentally picking up Denny who had finally found his way out.
Russell grimly heads into the cave to find everyone, though he's momentarily frightened by the shadow of a mouse. Deeper in the cave, the stricken Autobots are having fearful hallucinations. Bumblebee is berated by a disappointed Optimus Prime, Strongarm is on the wrong side of the law, Sideswipe is stuck in traffic, Fixit is on the scrap heap, and Grimlock is being menaced by a kitten. Denny, meanwhile, is conscious but stuck in one of the same partial cocoons as the others. Help isn't far away, as Russell stumbles on the captured team just as Nightstrike returns. As Nightstrike feeds on Strongarm, Denny points out he's a human and doesn't have any energon to feed on, but Nightstrike is disinterested in releasing him. He manages to bluff Nightstrike into leaving by claiming that there's help on the way, giving Russell time to break him out of the cocoon with a rock. Russell starts on freeing Bumblebee, but Nightstrike returns to find them working. While Russell draws Nightstrike off, Denny continues trying to free the Bots. Bumblebee, now conscious, is able to free Righty using his Decepticon Hunter, and asks the Decepticon to help against Nightstrike. Though Righty heads for the door, when he spies a can of paint, he flings it at Nightstrike, temporarily blinding the Decepticon long enough for Denny to take cover. Now free enough to act, Bumblebee manages to deck Nightstrike, and the other Autobots are soon released as well. The Autobots turn off their audio receptors, making Nightstrike's cry ineffectual, and Grimlock soon has the Decepticon pinned to the ground.
Back at the scrapyard, Nightstrike is placed safely into a stasis pod and Russell admits he was terrified. Grimlock claims not be terrified of anything, but the sight of the stray cat sends him screaming into the night.
"He's growing up so fast! I feel like I missed the... 'little kid' part of his life."
"Just remember, scientifically, statistically, and genetically, he will always be your son."
- —Denny and Fixit have a moment
"Did you hear something out there?"
"Who can tell? The human on screen has been screaming for ten minutes straight. Doesn't she ever stop to breathe?"
- —Strongarm and Sideswipe wait for the victim to die so they can hear the creeping darkness
"OK team! Gas it up and blow it out! …Honestly it sounded better in my head."
- —Bumblebee makes a fart joke while trying to nail a catchphrase. Why can't he just go with the usual?
Grimlock: I don't like small dark places!
Sideswipe: You mean like the inside of Strongarm's head?
Strongarm: Why don't you bring your head over this way and I'll-
Bumblebee: Keep all your heads on the mission, please.
- —Typical Team Bee conversation
"I'm disappointed in you, Bee. I chose you to lead this mission, and look what you allowed to happen. [indicates to a burning city] You were not ready for command. You are not capable of leading."
- —The Optimus Prime of Bumblebee's nightmares
- Chop Shop's arm component, which had escaped custody back in "More than Meets the Eye", reappears and tries to free the rest of Chop Shop.
- Added to the prisoner manifest are the silhouettes of Fracture —who wasn't originally a prisoner of the Alchemor but known to have joined Steeljaw's Pack in episode 14— and Octopunch, who won't debut for another two episodes.
- The cops who arrest Strongarm in her nightmare have the same models as the museum guards from "Pilot (Part 1)".
- In stasis: Hammerstrike, Bisk, 4/5ths of Chop Shop, Terrashock, Filch, Minitron, Springload, Ped, Quillfire, "that one with all the eyes", Malodor and the Skunkticons, Nightstrike
- Known at large: Steeljaw, 1/5th of Chop Shop, Thunderhoof, Underbite, Clampdown
- Released: Grimlock
- Countless others all missing, presumed at large
- The costume that Grimlock dons in an attempt to spook Russell bears many similarities to the slasher movie villain Leatherface, in particular the apron and stitched-together mask.