The Autobots find themselves outnumbered when facing an Insecticon Clone Army and look to find a robotic insecticide to destroy them. However, their problems are just going to get bigger when spores from alien plants on Cosmos begin to grow rapidly...
- Japanese title: "Operation: Survival"
The Decepticons have turned the Insecticons' cloning ability to new heights, to be an unstoppable force that will devour Earth's food resources and convert it into Energon. Like a horde of mechanical locusts, they will devour Earth's crops and cause the human race to starve to death. The Autobots make an attempt to stop the Insecticons, but they are too many in number, and are forced to retreat. At the Autobot base, the Autobots explain what happened to Optimus Prime, when Bumblebee, Spike Witwicky, and Cosmos contact Prime, saying that they found some robotic insecticide on Floron Three. As they leave, however, something grabs hold of Cosmos, and he is barely able to escape.
Returing to the Decepticon base, the Insecticons convert the food they've eaten into Energon, but only get one Energon cube each. Megatron claims that this is because of the costly energy conversion process, but in another room, the Decepticons are busily converting massive amounts of energy into Energon. Megatron muses that the Insecticons would be deadly if they weren't so stupid.
On his reapproach to Earth, Cosmos discovers that spores from whatever attacked him are growing across his hull, and he is losing control of his systems. Bumblebee and Spike manage to abandon ship before Cosmos crashes, and go to get help. Arriving back at the base, Bumblebee discovers that spores are attached to his body, but Ratchet manages to get them off. Prime attempts to contact Cosmos, only to discover that the valley he crashed in has been overtaken by the plant-like machines. As the Autobot leader leads a rescue mission, Laserbeak learns of the insecticide, and reports it to Soundwave. Megatron takes a team to retrieve it before the Autobots can...and in case he might need the insecticide himself.
At the base, Perceptor and Prowl discover that the spores are Morphobots, a plant-like species that the Transformers believed was extinct. They contact Prime, warning him that the Morphobots are particularly fond of robotic lifeforms. Elsewhere, Thrust is overseeing the Insecticons, when Megatron orders him to warn the Insecticons to stay away from the valley. The Insecticons suspect that Megatron is hiding something, and attack Thrust, after which they take the entire clone army to the valley.
At the valley, the Decepticons arrive first, only to discover the Morphobots. Starscream fires first, only to have the blast from his null-ray deflected right back at him. Before Megatron can
choke a bitch properly admonish Starscream, Soundwave detects the Autobots. Megatron decides to let Prime do the work of getting the insecticide for him. Warpath fires a blast, but gets nowhere; Ironhide's liquid nitrogen only freezes them momentarily. Blaster begins broadcasting, which causes the Morphobots to recoil. Bumblebee, Ironhide, Hoist, and Blaster take Cosmos out of the field.
Once they're out, Megatron and the Decepticons attack, destroying the insecticide. However, the Morphobots also attack the Decepticons. As things get bad, the Insecticons arrive. Megatron believes the noble creatures are coming to save them. Obviously his logic circuits fail to tell him just how many things are wrong with his idea. Believing them to be food, the Insecticon clones fly straight into the field, and the Morphobots consume all the clones. The original Insecticons manage to escape, and the Decepticons follow.
At their base, the Autobots have loaded the Morphobots into a shuttle, intended to take them to a world with a large robotic insect population. However, Perceptor requests that a second shuttle be prepared as soon as possible, as the Morphobots he has been studying have become a little too friendly for his tastes.
Original airdate: November 5, 1985
Production number: 700-44
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
[Megatron hands each of the Insecticons a pathetically tiny energon cube]
Shrapnel: "This is all?! (all?)"
Megatron: "Oh, I'm afraid so, Shrapnel. The transfer process is costly, and uses a great deal of energy."
Kickback: "Thanks for nothing, Megatron!"
Bombshell: "Big deal..."
Shrapnel: "Big spender. (spender)"
[Megatron leaves and enters a transfer room filled to bursting with energon cubes]
Megatron: "Muahah. If the Insecticons had brains, they'd be dangerous!"
- -- Megatron reflects on the Insecticons' gullibility.
"Hmm. Very interesting."
"What is it?"
"Hmm? What is what?"
- -- Perceptor and Prowl, a typical conversation with a scientist.
"Who says plants aren't intelligent? The Morphobots are repelled by your music."
- -- Optimus Prime, being a little ungrateful to Blaster, who is repelling the Morphobots
"Just don't stand there with your cockpits open, you fools!"
- -- Megatron, being dragged along the ground by a Morphobot.
"The Insecticons! Those noble creatures have come to save us, despite the danger to their own lives."
- -- Megatron, seriously overestimating his allies.
"Our friend Megatron is in trouble."
"If I wasn't so hungry, I'd stop to help him out. HAHAHAHAHAH!"
- -- Kickback and Bombshell both showing how an 'ally' should act.
"You didn't tell us they'd bite back!"
- -- Kickback, realizing that plants do bite back.
"I don't believe it! Those plants just ate the Insecticon army!"
"But those three ingrates got away."
"I think we better get out of here!"
- -- Starscream and Megatron which ends up with a retreat.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- In one shot, there is a RED Decepticon insignia on Shrapnel's head.
- If the Morphobots can't be harmed by explosives and laser fire, and they can hogtie Megatron in a matter of seconds and sling him around like a bag of bolts, how did the Autobots manage to round them up and put them inside the rocket ship?
- In A Plague of Insecticons, Kickback declares that there is no spray capable of stopping the Insecticons. And yet, robotic insecticide...
- After Blaster finishes with the Morphobots, Optimus claims he has just gone platinum, an honor in the world of music when making records.
- This episode marks one of several instances of Soundwave laughing. He laughs along with Megatron when Starscream fires at the Morphobots.
- In outer space, Cosmos' flying saucer mode is giant enough to hold Bumblebee and Spike with plenty of room to spare, but by the time he is rescued he is not much bigger than Bumblebee's alt mode. Maybe the pressure of being under the Morphobots shrank him?
- When Laserbeak returns to Soundwave, the hatch doesn't close automatically; Soundwave uses his left hand to close his chest manually.
- Blaster repulses the Morphobots with an instrumental version of the song Cold Slither played in the G.I. Joe episode of the same name.
- Blaster transforms into a half way form between his cassette player form and his robot mode.
- Okay, seriously... robotic insecticide?