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The Autobots learn that being robots in disguise is more complicated than they thought.

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Detailed synopsis

At sea, Bud is riding aboard one of two Autobots who have taken on colorful submarine altmodes. He declares this to be totally awesome, until a ship from the real Navy shows up, and the crew apparently mistakes the Autobots for foreign missile subs. They threaten to fire. The Autobots dive to escape the danger (much more energetically than a real sub could), and the captain of the ship decides to pretend the whole thing never happened.

In a suburban parking lot, Coby is attempting to teach an assortment of sports car Autobots how to behave like real Earth cars, including parallel parking. They have an unfortunate tendency to show off. A bunch of spectators start admiring the cars, and Coby begins extemporizing about how he designed them. A police officer then points out that the cars aren't street legal. Coby quickly declares that they're really voice-activated remote-controlled cars. A quick demonstration of the cars' remarkable abilities (e.g., dancing) befuddles the officer, and Coby escapes in one of the cars.

Deep in the desert, an old man driving a truck stops at a red traffic light. He comments to himself that there's no conceivable need for a light here, and a disembodied voice tells him to not even think about running the light. It then turns green, and the same voice tells him he can go. Well and truly freaked, he speeds away. Lori comes out from behind a rock, and advises Signal Lancer that traffic lights don't usually talk.

Later, back at the Autobots' base, Jetfire admonishes the kids that they need to pick the Autobots' altmodes a little more carefully, since they don't want to call attention to themselves. The kids begin to squabble among themselves over who screwed up worst.

In the command center, Optimus, Scattorshot, and Hot Shot are teleconferencing with Red Alert on Cybertron, who is about to initiate an attempt to collapse the universe-devouring black hole in on itself, thus ending the threat to Cybertron. Jetfire enters, and complains to Hot Shot about how the kids aren't much help. Hot Shot tells him to give them a chance.

The attempt to collapse the black hole fails. Vector Prime enters, and states that the only real solution is to find the Cyber Planet Keys. The Autobots are skeptical, but after some discussion they decide to make that their priority.

Jetfire meets with the kids again, and discovers that they're now buckling down and discussing the practical aspects of hiding the Autobots on Earth. He's reassured.

In the command center, Scattorshot picks up some Air Force transmissions regarding an unidentified bogey. Scattorshot identifies it as the Decepticon Thundercracker. Two Air Force planes try to shoot Thundercracker down, and he starts playing with them. Jetfire, Vector Prime, and Optimus Prime head out to save them. Jetfire swoops in to protect the planes, shielding them from 'Cracker's missiles with his body. For a moment, he appears to be destroyed, but then he emerges from the explosion, and instinctively summons his Cyber Key. His powered-up attack easily disposes of Thundercracker's next salvo, and Vector Prime opens a dimension gate to send the Air Force planes to safety. (Over the Bermuda Triangle, apparently.) Thundercracker flees, pursued by Jetfire. Optimus calls out for him to stop, but is suddenly confronted by Megatron and Starscream. Jetfire and Thundercracker duel (with Jetfire getting the better of it) until Scattorshot shoots the Decepticon down.

Meanwhile, Optimus tries to deck Megatron, but falls down. The Decepticons just stand there looking smug, as Optimus and Vector Prime demand the return of the Planet Map. Megatron refuses. Optimus tosses Starscream aside, switches to Super Mode, gets tagged by 'Scream, summons his Cyber Key, and knocks Starscream down with a double cannon blast. Megatron still refuses to surrender the map. He and Optimus trade a few punches, but when Autobot reinforcements arrive, Megatron declares it's time to leave. He brags about having already located the first Cyber Planet Key, then warps away with Starscream.

One of the Air Force pilots reports in to his superior officer about their strange encounter with giant robots. The officer doesn't seem particularly surprised, and seems to know about Transformers. He tells the pilot that everything about his encounter is classified.

Back at the Autobot base, Coby is setting the refugees up with sensible, inconspicuous altmodes, Bud is providing them with templates for holographic drivers, and Lori is teaching them the traffic laws. Jetfire comments that this may work out after all.

And, deep in space, Megatron stares down at Velocitron, location of the first Cyber Planet Key . . .


Written by:  ???
Original airdate: September 2005???

Featured Characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons Humans
  • Two unnamed submarine Autobots (2, 3)
  • Assorted generic sports car Autobots (6)
  • Assorted refugees (25)
  • Navy personnel (4)
  • Parking lot spectators (7)
  • Police officer (8)
  • Air Force personnel (19)


"But . . . I never got a chance to ask him where I could get one of those."

—The friendly neighborhood police officer, after Coby makes his getaway in one of those supercool cars.

"I'm supposed to do this all day long?"
"Either that, or go home and get sucked into a black hole."
"That's a good point."

Signal Lancer and Lori discuss the upside of being a traffic light.

"That's way better than a square dance for cars in a parking lot!"
"Ha! Shows what you know! They were break-dancing!"

Coby and Lori

"Unidentified flying object? Is it an Autobot or a Decepticon? Can you tell who it is?"
"Just a second . . . good guy, bad guy, good guy, bad guy . . . Bad guy! It's Thundercracker!"

Jetfire and Scattorshot

"You're a stone-cold fool, Jetfire."
"Coming from you, that's a compliment."
"Tell you what. Here's another little something coming from me!"
Launches missiles.

Thundercracker and Jetfire

"You're nothing better than a common thief."
"Soon enough I'll be ruler of the Universe! I care not what vermin like you think of me."

Optimus Prime and Megatron

Creepy superior officer: If you tell anyone, the only flying you'll do . . . is at an amusement park. Got it?
Air Force pilot: Yes sir. But, what was that thing anyway?
Creepy superior officer: It's classified. Top secret.
Air Force pilot: Yes sir. I know. But, what was that thing anyway?
Creepy superior officer: It was nothing at all, pilot, understand?
Air Force pilot: Yes sir! I do.

—Ow, ow, Energon flashback! Ow!

"I'm going to teach you guys all the traffic laws. We're going to start with traffic lights, okay? So, what do you do when you see this color?"
Green light.
"You go!"
"And this color?"
Red light.
"You go less!"
"Very funny. Come on . . . "

Lori and assorted unnamed Autobots


Pain count

  • "Cyber Key Power!": 2
  • "Super mode!": 1

Animation and/or technical glitches

  • At 7:14, Jetfire's yellow cheek-vent is visibly clipping into his dark green collar.
  • At 17:11 and 17:18, Optimus's ear-fins clip into his backpack. Those dramatic poses are nothing but trouble.
  • In the traffic laws tutorial, Lori's "green" traffic light sure looks blue.

Continuity errors

  • One of the Air Force pilots asks how Thundercracker got behind them, when he's clearly still in front of them.
  • Vector Prime says that Jetfire's Cyber Key came without him needing to call it forth, before the key actually arrives.


  • Let's face it. The scene in the parking lot is terribly silly on many levels.
  • At least one of the parking lot cars looks like Blurr, but if one thing about Blurr is certain, is that he's not on Earth at this point.
  • While it's quixotic to expect the physics of the universe-devouring black hole to make much sense, it may be worth pointing out that making a black hole "collapse in on itself" is redundant.
  • It's understandable that the Navy might react precipitously to a couple of unidentified missile subs in US waters, but the Air Force pilots apparently fire on Thundercracker without warning of any sort.
  • The two Air Force jets are very similar in model to Thundercracker himself, but in a basic gray color scheme. However, the model of fighter jet is of Russian make, while the pilots are American.
  • When Optimus charges Megatron, then spins and falls down, it's really unclear why he fell.
  • Did Megatron come to Earth just to brag about possessing the Map and finding the first Key? Why?
  • A blocking issue: At 18:20, part of Optimus's face is hidden by the fire engine light bar on his shoulder. It looks very odd, and a slightly different angle would have solved the problem.
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