An introdump (also known as name-dropping, name-checking, forced introduction, or "really awkward self-exposition") is a scene in which new characters are introduced, and the dialog goes out of its way to give each character's name. It is particularly prevalent in certain portions of Transformers fiction.
Sometimes the characters give their own names (referring to themselves in the third person). On other occasions, the characters will work each other's names into the dialog. The classic G1 Marvel Comic was particularly guilty of this, not least because they introduced on the order of 200 characters across only 84 issues (counting Headmasters). In that comic, it was usually signified by the writing of each new character's name in bold typeface.
Because most Transformers fiction exists to sell toys, it seems likely that Hasbro required the writers of the comic to make sure every new character was explicitly named, so the readers could then go out and ask the toy store employee for 'em by name.
Though the G1 comics were particularly notorious for it, introdumps pop up across the whole spectrum of Transformers fiction. In egregious examples, the characters also describe their "selling points" (weapons, etc.)
Here are five examples, from most graceful to least:
- Here, the Decepticons bicker, giving their names and at least one important fact per character:
- Lugnut: Megatron is wise! Megatron is bold! Megatron will return the Decepticons to Cybertron and...
- Blackarachnia: ...and wipe our homeland clean of the stench of Autobot tyranny, blah-dee blah blah blah! Did you memorize that speech, Lugnut? Or is it just hardwired into that thick, one-track processor of yours?
- Icy Blitzwing: As usual, Blackarachnia, your demeanor is as unpleasant as that accursed organic mode of yours.
- Blackarachnia: Blow it out your actuator, three-face.
- Hothead Blitzwing: De name is Blitzving, insect!
- The Autobot's names were introduced by Optimus Prime, presenting them to Sam and Mikaela.
- The Decepticon's names were introduced after Starscream ordered them to mobilize. Then each Decepticon reported himself (minus Frenzy and Megatron). Megatron said his own name twice, first when he came online in Hoover Dam, second, probably in form of battle cry, in Mission City.
The Maximals introduce themselves. — 350 KB
- In the sound clip at right, from the first episode of Beast Wars, the writers at least have the justification that the characters are adopting new names at that moment.
- Why the Maximals actually needed new names is unknown. Perhaps it was simply part of their culture to adapt new names to fit new transformation modes, or it was just a cynical marketing ploy on behalf of Hasbro. We may never know.
"Hi, my name is Rad, and I'd like to tell you about the Transformers." At the beginning of half the episodes, no less.
Marvel Comics G1
- At right, the Stunticons introduce themselves in "Heavy Traffic!". Bonus points for Drag Strip, who goes the extra mile by indicating his personality, too.
- A particularly heavy example, from the first issue of the US comic. (Note Rumble's ironic comment of "Can the speeches.")
The Autobots introduced themselves and each other in the pilot movie Transform and Roll Out. On Earth, only Bumblebee and Bulkhead were shown to introduce themselves to Sari Sumdac.