This article is about the Generation 1 Autobot ambulance. For the Universe Autobot emergency-response SUV, see Ratchet (TFU).

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Ratchet is an Autobot from the Generation 1 continuity family.

All aboard the party ambulance!

Ratchet is the Autobots' Chief Medical Officer. If something's broke, he can fix it. Ratchet is known for his irreverent bedside manner; he loves having a good time, and his party-loving nature has given him a dry wit. He attaches little importance to his job, though this does not detract from the quality of his work, and believes he is expendable. Optimus Prime has trouble convincing Ratchet that this is far from the truth.

Although he's a healer, Ratchet often finds himself on the front lines of combat and, on occasion, the last hope the Autobots have. These pressures are sometimes too much for him to handle, but Ratchet ultimately never gives up.

Spanish name: Mécano


Marvel Comics continuity

(Note: Events from the UK-only comic stories are in italics.)


This look didn't last long.

Shortly after the Transformers arrived on Earth, Sparkplug Witwicky suffered a heart attack, so Ratchet drove Sparkplug and his son Buster to the hospital. It was during this leave that Shockwave freed himself from his four million year sleep and completely wiped out the fuel-deprived Autobot forces with one blast. The Last Stand

Ratchet soon discovered, to his horror, that he was the last Autobot still functional on Earth, up against the entire Decepticon army. Covertly invading the Ark, he discovered that even the mighty Optimus Prime had fallen. However, Prime's head, though detached, still functioned, and the Autobot Commander told Ratchet that he must rise up to meet this challenge. Ratchet did not believe he could; he was not a warrior but a healer. Warrior School!


The more you know! ™

Still, Ratchet tried. Shockwave had returned in full strength and deposed the mighty Megatron. In his weakened state, Megatron could not hope to defeat Shockwave and reclaim his leadership, but Ratchet approached him with a possible solution. Ratchet knew how Shockwave had fallen 4 million years ago, and struck a deal -- if Ratchet could defeat Shockwave, Megatron would relinguish Decepticon control of the Ark and its wrecked Autobot inhabitants.

Ratchet journeyed to the Savage Land, where the Dinobots had fought Shockwave to a stalemate, leaving all dormant in a tarpit prison. He dug up the Dinobots and repaired them. Soon after, he met with Megatron on a snowy ski slope, and announced that he had fulfilled his half of the bargain. Shockwave was defeated. Megatron, of course, went back on his part of the deal and threatened to kill Ratchet. Ratchet declared that he knew all along Megatron would not hold his end of the bargain, admitted that he had not, in fact, defeated Shockwave. The Dinobots sprung up out of the snow surrounding Megatron, and fought him, but did not succeed. Megatron now stood alone, triumphant, mocking Ratchet and his lack of a warrior's edge. With nothing to lose, Ratchet charged Megatron, but he was ineffectual. However, the charge had loosened the ground on which Megatron stood, and the Decepticon leader fell off the cliffside and disappeared. Repeat Performance!

On their return trip to the Ark, Ratchet helped educate the Dinobots about human/Autobot relations by telling them the story of a recent battle with the Decepticons at a hydroelectric dam. When they arrived, Ratchet and the Dinobots found the Ark defended by Guardian, an Autobot combat drone which had been reprogrammed by Shockwave. Ratchet rescued the Dinobots from the powerful drone by remembering and exploiting one of its few weaknesses, an access port which could admit a fine laser. Ratchet then began the task of repairing the Autobots, placing priority on those whose command skills would be useful. This put him at odds with Dinobot leader Grimlock, who felt that the fallen Dinobot Swoop should be repaired first.

When Prowl devised a plan to use the Matrix to create an army of monstrous Autobot warriors, debate over the plan's ethics threatened to divide the Autobots. Ratchet remained neutral, and asked Optimus Prime to step in and provide guidance.

Ratchet and Wheeljack collaborated on a Transformer-sized robotic suit, to be used by Buster Witwicky in battle. Optimus Prime was unamused.


Such irony.

After the destruction of Optimus Prime, Ratchet was unable to repair him. Unable to deal with his failure, Ratchet wandered off on his own during Optimus' funeral. Ratchet decided that rather than moping, he should concern himself with the other damaged Autobots under his care, so he headed towards a junkyard to look for spare parts he could use. However, he was abducted in vehicle mode by the Mechanic and his accomplice Juan, when the two thieves were found by the police. Ratchet revealed himself when they arrived at the Mechanic's hideout, but the Mechanic froze Ratchet with his own surgical weapons and headed for the Ark, intent on finding technology that would ensure he would never be threatened by the police again. When he had unfrozen, Ratchet followed the human back to the Ark, but was defeated by his own surgical tools. But using pieces he took from the junkyard, he repaired Prowl, and the appearance of the police car frightened the Mechanic away. The Mechanic escaped with Ratchet's tools and the Power Booster Rod. Funeral for a Friend!

When an Underbase-powered Starscream decimated the Earthbound Autobot forces, Ratchet was left with the monumental task of repairing them. During a period of work-induced stress, he began to hallucinate visions of his patients attacking him and accusing him of being worthless. It was during this time that the Decepticon Sports Car Patrol, posing as Autobots, offered to help transport Ratchet to Cybertron, where he could have access to new medical technology that had been created during his 4 million-year absence on Earth. He and three of the Sports Car Patrol took the bodies of Grimlock, Jazz, and Goldbug with him, though Ratchet was curious why Blackjack stayed behind on the Ark. Ratchet's concerns were answered when, upon arrival on Cybertron, he saw the believed-to-be-deceased Megatron standing before him, who had orchestrated the entire scheme. Back from the Dead

Megatron brought Ratchet the remains of Starscream. He demanded Ratchet repair him while Blackjack held the Ark and its medical bay inhabitants hostage. Ratchet agreed, and he used Pretender technology to repair Starscream while secretly repairing Grimlock, Jazz, and Goldbug as well. After Pretender Starscream was sent to Earth, Megatron sought out Ratchet to kill him, but he had his own Pretenders ready. The Resurrection Gambit! Ratchet sprung Grimlock, Jazz, and Bumblebee (Ratchet preferred Bumblebee's original form) on Megatron, but Megatron and his Micromasters were too powerful for them. The Pretenders and Micromasters' battle wandered outside the Decepticon base, and Ratchet was left alone. Sacrificing his life, Ratchet warped the bombs Blackjack had put on the Ark into the Decepticon base in an attempt to kill both he and Megatron. Megatron tried to escape through the warp portal, but Ratchet tackled him, and the base exploded. Skin Deep

Megs ratch

Ratchet to the left, Megatron to the right -- stuck in the middle with you.

Optimus Prime was devastated by the loss of Ratchet. Yesterday's Heroes! He assigned the detective Nightbeat to investigate Ratchet's death, who hypothesized that Ratchet could possibly still be alive. There was an initial blast which could have knocked Ratchet into the portal and into Unspace, a netherworld between the warp portal's starting and ending points. A probe was sent to retrieve him, and it succeeded -- but it also brought back Megatron, who was fused with Ratchet as a single, monstrous being. Eye of the Storm The Ratchet/Megatron creature rampaged through the Ark, wounding several Autobots, but Optimus Prime would not let them harm it. This put Optimus Prime in an awkward position -- was the life of Ratchet worth the possible loss of his other troops? The creature fought his way into the engine rooms and began tearing stuf apart, and Prime's choice was made for him. The creature must be stopped. Prime fought Ratchet/Megatron to a standstill, and, alarmingly, the part that was Ratchet took control, and pulled Prime's gun to his own forehead, pleading for the Autobot Commander to put him out of his misery. In an unpopular decision, Optimus Prime ordered Fixit to separate Megatron and Ratchet, even if it meant saving Megatron. Bonded at a molecular level, neither could survive without the other, even when separated. The Price of Life!


Holy crap.

Separated by Fixit, they remained in stasis on the Ark until Grimlock and his Nucleon-revived Dinobots found the Ark abandoned during the Transformers' battle with Unicron. They filled the entire medical bay chambers with Nucleon, not aware that Megatron lay there in storage. {[storylink|The Void! (Marvel US comic)}} Shockwave and Starscream stole the Ark after Unicron was defeated, in an attempt to return to Earth and conquer it. Still Life! However, just as Megatron awoke, Starscream and Shockwave were interrupted by Galvatron II, who had snuck on board before launch. While Galvatron and Megatron teamed up on Shockwave, Starscream went to check on any other possible survivors in the medical bay. He found Ratchet, whose mind was still connected to Megatron's, and Starscream fought the confused Autobot easily. However, when Starscream mused that Ratchet was no fun to kill, Ratchet became enraged and defeated him in a berserker state. Determined to end what he had started, Ratchet blew up the Ark as it was approaching Earth's orbit, sending all three Decepticons and himself to a supposed death. A Savage Circle

(Note: In the Generation 2 comics, despite Megatron and Ratchet's inseparable mind-link, Megatron's return was without Ratchet, who is unmentioned outside of Optimus Prime's flashbacks.)

Animated continuity

Voice actor: Don Messick, Wally Burr (US), Masashi Ebara (Japan)


Ruh-roh. Rooby rooby roo!

Ratchet served as chief medical officer on the Ark before and after it crashed on Earth and stranded the Autobots and Decepticons there.[1] In addition to patching up his fellow warriors whenever someone (usually Megatron) had roughed them up a little, Ratchet was also in charge of helping whenever Wheeljack had another invention in the making. Working together, the two Autobots built and designed the Dinobots more or less from scratch - and did a pretty good job, considering they were working with substandard materials.[2] Ratchet was also responsible for saving Optimus Prime's life, performing a daring surgery on the Autobot leader while subjected to attacks by Laserbeak.[3] When Skyfire refused to assassinate the Autobots and was gunned down by Starscream, it was Ratchet who reconstructed the giant Decepticon scientist and gave him the chance to reform.[4]

Ratchet's greatest strength, unfortunately, also led to his downfall. While piloting a secret mission to Autobot City in order to gather a stockpile of energon, Ratchet and his allies were attacked by Megatron.[5] In the middle of the fighting, Ratchet was distracted when his comrade Ironhide was struck down. Lowering his guard, Ratchet himself was then shot repeatedly and left for dead on the floor of the shuttle as the Decepticons continued with their attack on Autobot City. Ratchet's corpse was recovered after the battle, and left to lie in state aboard a funeral satellite with all of the other Autobots who fell that day. Sadly, it was not Ratchet's fate to rest in peace: his body was destroyed along with the rest of the satellite when it was obliterated during an attack by Galvatron.[6]

Dreamwave comics continuity


The Cybertronic red cross is Pac-Man.

8.2 million years ago, Ratchet accompanied Optimus Prime, Prowl, and red Alert to the Sub-Orbital District of Iacon, which had been devastated after Megatron activated the planetary engines.[7] He found no life signs in the entire blast radius.

600 000 years later, Ratchet remained with the Prowl-led Autobots after Optimus Prime disappeared in a space bridge explosion. He repaired Skids after he was damaged in a battle with Trypticon.[8]

Ratchet was among the crew of the Ark when it crashed on Earth, and awoke in 1984 to battle the Decepticons. After years of fighting, Ratchet and the other Autobots took part in Operation Liberation in 1998, a joint human/Autobot operation that defeated and captured the Earth-bound Decepticons. However, the Ark II, which was meant to convey the Autobots, the captured Decepticons, and a number of humans back to Cybertron was sabotaged by General Robert Hallo, sending Ratchet and his comrades to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. Years later, Ratchet was recovered by the sinister Lazarus, who had recovered and reprogrammed a number of Transformers for his nefarious ends. However, when Megatron broke free of Lazarus' control, he hooked Ratchet and a number of other Autobots up to a device that generated a deadly 'metal virus'. Soon after, Optimus Prime detached Ratchet and the others from the doomsday device.


My crotch is my stomach.

Repaired by his comrades, Ratchet took part in a battle in the Canadian Arctic with the Decepticons over possession of a crashed spacecraft containing Scourge. As the Autobots overwhelmed their foes, Shockwave arrived on the planet and gave them an ultimatum; surrender and return to a newly-unified Cybertron, or be destroyed. The Autobots returned to the Ark, where Optimus Prime assigned Ratchet to a Jazz-led team that was to remain on Earth. After Shockwave's lieutenant Ultra Magnus took Prime and others back to Cybertron, Ratchet and Wheeljack remained at the Ark as Jazz, Brawn, and Windcharger attempted to locate Scourge and his ship.

When Starscream and a team of Decepticons arrived on Earth they attacked the Ark's inhabitants, wanting the starship for themselves. In the initial assault, the Autobots managed to take Soundwave, his cassettes, Thundercracker, and Skywarp prisoner, but eventually all the Autobots but Ratchet and Brawn were defeated by the mighty Bruticus. Expecting a supply ship from Cybertron later that day, Ratchet and Brawn slipped past the Ark's beserk defense systems in order to contact the ship and warn them. Unfortunately, Bruticus arrived soon after, and they were forced to destroy the Ark rather than let the Decepticons have access to Teletraan-1. Before the battle could escalate further, it was interrupted by the arrival of Sunstorm, a Seeker seemingly powered by supernatural forces. An uneasy truce was formed between the small group of Autobots and Decepticons, and Ratchet begrudgingly put his medic skills to work on Starscream.

Ratchet later aided in the construction of Autobot City.

Devil's Due G.I.Joe vs Transformers


Physician, arm thyself.

In an alternate timeline, a newly-formed human terrorist organization named Cobra uncovered the Ark buried in a dormant volcano. Finding two armies of giant transformable robots, they repurposed these aliens for their own use, rebuilding them so they could reconfigure into various Cobra-designed vehicles. Ratchet was reprogrammed and rebuilt into a Cobra HISS tank. Optimus Prime was able to break free from his reprogramming and awaken the other Transformers and, with the help of the human anti-terrorist task-force G.I.Joe, defeated Megatron and Cobra. An alliance between the Autobots and the United States government was formed.

A malfuction in Teletran-3 sent dozens of Transformers into various points in history, an act which, if unreversed, will result in a perpetual holocaust to be unleashed across Earth. To retrieve one Transformer and bring him home, a team of Cobra and G.I. Joe agents were sent 15 years into an apocalyptic future where Shockwave and his Decepticons rule. The remaining cyborged humans had formed a resistance which had only one lone Autobot warrior who stood between them and utter annihilation. The last Autobot alive, Ratchet had grown bitter and battlehardened after years of guerilla warfare, and demanded the team sent to bring him back to the present day help him complete one more mission. Ratchet, the Joes, and the Cobra agents were successful in freeing a factory nearby was manned by enslaved humans, but Ratchet refused to go home with them and abandon his calling. Barbeque returned Ratchet home against his wishes, and as Ratchet cursed the stupid little creature, the Shockwave of the present day shot Ratchet in the back, putting him out of commission.

Later, when Serpent O.R. takes Optimus Prime prisoner, Ratchet (still in his post-apocalyptic body) is part of Hot Rod's rescue team.

IDW Comics continuity


IDW's Ratchet, design and art by E.J. Su.


Ratchet's holo-matter avatar has no mouth and he must snark.

Ratchet is part of a detachment of Autobots that has operated covertly on Earth for at least four years, attempting to foil a Decepticon insurgency.[9] Although a loyal warrior, Ratchet's conscience got the better of him when he intercepted a Decepticon pulsewave ordering the elimination of a human being. Although too late to save that human, he encountered two more - Verity Carlo and Hunter O'Nion - who had stumbled upon the Decepticon plot[10]. Ratchet broke cover to save their lives, subjecting him to the wrath of Prowl, who threatened disciplinary action.[11]

Ratchet was seemingly alone in his convinctions, until Bumblebee agreed to help him and the humans investigate an abandoned Decepticon bunker in Nebraska. Blitzwing and Skywarp arrived while the humans were reconnoitering and began an aerial bombardment of the bunker, intending to destroy it. Bumblebee and Ratchet engaged the Decepticons in order to buy the humans time to escape the collapsing bunker[12].

The Autobots and humans were leaving the Decepticons to finish their work when an enraged Megatron burst from the buried ruins of the bunker. Thankfully for them, Megatron was more concerned with the treachery of Blitzwing and Skywarp, allowing Ratchet and the others to escape with their lives.[13] Unwilling to further risk their safety, Ratchet subsequently returned the humans to Ark-17, where they met the newly-arrived Optimus Prime.[14]

Timelines: Descent into Evil


Amazingly not dead.

Years after the Decepticon and Autobot Wars have ended, Ratchet and five other Autobots were sent to Ceti Alpha Seven to destroy General Deathsaurus' Insecticon clone lab and stop his planned Decepticon uprising. After a team of four (consisting of Fallback, Chromia, Flareup, and Ricochet) failed, Ratchet and Ironhide followed to help. After battling swarms of Virulent Clones and Buzzclaw, they finally met up with Deathsaurus himself. Ironhide stayed to fight the general, and Ratchet separated to find their fallen friends.

Ratchet managed to gather the fallen but was captured by Deathsaurus along with Ironhide. Both were restrained inside the lab, which was set to detonate. Before this happened, Ricochet snuck in and freed them, allowing them to gather the wounded and escape as the clone lab was destroyed.


Generation 1


Why's everything so dark in here?

  • Ratchet (1984/1990/2001)
Japanese ID number: 99
Ratchet was originally a Onebox Ambulance Type toy from Takara's Diaclone line before Hasbro brought Transformers to North America. The toy transformed from an ambulance to a robot and gun-station. A variant of the toy included red crosses on the top and sides of the vehicle. Ratchet and his retool/redeco buddy Ironhide, like all Diaclones, were designed to be piloted mecha, which is why he has a seat instead of a head. The Transformers version applied a face sticker to the back of the seat in lieu of a real sculpted noggin.
In 1990, he was issued again in Europe as part of the Classics line and in 2001, he was reissued in Japan as an e-Hobby exclusive, paired with Ironhide. It is worth noting that Ratchet was originally only available as a mail-away during the original Japanese run.

Flareup sucked out all his visual interest.


  • Autobot Ratchet & Flareup (2005)
One of two "souvenir" packages exclusive to BotCon 2005, Ratchet is a retooling of the Energon Autobot Tow-Line with a new head, transforming into a large utility van. In robot mode, his lower vehicle portion becomes a mobile battle/repair platform. The mold's standard "receiver dish" weapon was not produced; instead he came with a new "light bar" that pegged onto his roof in much the same manner. He could only be purchased along with Flareup.


A non-transformable PVC figurine of Ratchet was made for "Act 6" of Takara's Super Collection Figure line, a slight retooling of the Ironhide PVC with a new head and "gun"-hand (even though Ironhide's pelvis in animation was not the same as Ratchet's). He was placed in blind-packed boxes, and along with full-color versions, an all-pewter-finish version was made as well in equal numbers.

For the Hasbro Heroes of Cybertron version of SCF, Ratchet was cast entirely in clear-blue plastics then painted over completely, so a patch of unpainted plastic at the back of his head would emulate the light piping effect of previous toys. He was part of the fifth and final wave of Heroes of Cybertron, and came with the right leg to the "build-a-bot" large PVC of Metroplex.


  • Bob Budiansky has said that he named Ratchet after the less-friendly medic Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

External links


  1. More Than Meets the Eye, Part 1
  2. S.O.S. Dinobots
  3. Divide and Conquer
  4. Fire in the Sky
  5. The Transformers: The Movie (1986)
  6. Dark Awakening
  7. The War Within, Part 2
  8. The Dark Ages, Part 5, War Within Volume 2
  9. Infiltration #0-6
  10. Infiltration, Part 0
  11. Infiltration, Part 3
  12. Infiltration, Part 4
  13. Infiltration, Part 5
  14. Infiltration, Part 6
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