In Pilot (Part 1), Russell's mother was in Copenhagen, which left Russell to visit his father outside of Crown City. Russell first arrived at his dad's scrapyard and was greeted by him. Their conversation was cut short when a sudden "Earthquake" started. Denny Clay was preparing Russell breakfast as they were watching the news about some meteor crashing on Earth. Russell agreed to investigate while his dad finished making a deal in his scrapyard. When Russell was out walking in some abandoned quarry, he encountered Sideswipe. The encounter scared the daylights out of them both and they both were caught up with Underbite. Sideswipe helped Russell escape from Underbite and they both managed to escape unharmed. On the way, they met up with Bumblebee and Strongarm. Bumblebee was not surprised to see Sideswipe blowing his cover to Russell and Strongarm immediately started to gently poke Russell's face. As the team managed to get back to Fixit, Russell was ordered by Bumblebee to hide behind one of the stasis pods with Fixit. Suddenly, Grimlock busted his head through his stasis pod that Russell and Fixit were hiding behind. After a short battle with Underbite, the team figured out the Decepticon and discovered he was going to the scrapyard where Russell stated his dad was.
In Pilot (Part 2), Russell was able to warn his dad about the danger and showed him Underbite chasing Bumblebee and Strongarm through the scrapyard. Sideswipe was left to look after Russell when the Autobots and Denny Clay went after Underbite. Russell thought of using his dad's metal beaver statues as bait to lure Underbite away from Crown City. The Autobots followed as Sideswipe and Russell lead Underbite to the quarry. In the end, Underbite was defeated by Optimus Prime, who saved Denny Clay from being crushed by Underbite. Russell hugged his dad when he came out of the crushed truck. As the team begins to squabble, Denny Clay places his hand on Russell's shoulder.
In Trust Exercises, Sideswipe brought Russell along to rescue Strongarm from Steeljaw. During their search for Strongarm, Russell gave Sideswipe some advice on respect since Sideswipe felt like a scrap with the way Strongarm treats him. Russell helped disguise Sideswipe in a plan for Russell to unlock Strongarm from her chains while Sideswipe distracted Steeljaw by acting like another Decepticon. However, Steeljaw heard Russell unlock the lock on Strongarm's chains and found Russell. He called Russell strange, which Russell commented back to Steeljaw before leaving the scene for a moment. Russell and Sideswipe were successful in rescuing Strongarm from Steeljaw and they returned to the scrapyard. After Strongarm prevented Sideswipe from falling by catching him, Russell stated that their previous discussion was just taken.
In More than Meets the Eye, Russell was bored of being in the scrapyard and was soon convinced to play in a nearby football field by Denny, who suits Russell with a helmet that belonged to Bronko Kowalski. Russell befriended with some of the kids at the football field who were named Butch and Hank, who Butch informed to Russell that Hank's real name is Henrietta before being nudged into his side with the football by Hank. When the kids began their game, Russell was confused and ended up face down eating grass, which made him leave in frustration. Back at the scrapyard, Hank had followed Russell to drop of the helmet he had left at the football field and invited Russell to take part in practice the next day. When Hank visited the scrapyard for the second time, she gave Russell some pep talk and she was also impressed by the dinosaur statue that was behind him. Grimlock told Russell that he immediately took a liking to Hank. Grimlock also gave Russell some advice and as Russell kicks his helmet in frustration, they both watched as the helmet went sailing over a nearby building. The Autobots watched from a discrete distance as Russell successfully scored for his team. Russell and Hank cheered, which Hank asked Russell if he was any good in basketball.
In W.W.O.D.?, when Denny needed to pretend to be an archaeologist so they could get the Autobots into the museum, Russell insisted on going too, and adopted the identity "McPlank". Once they got in, he immediately ran off and encountered Terrashock, but Sideswipe helped Russell escape from the museum. Later, Russell and Denny helped Bumblebee after his cover was nearly discovered by the Decepticon. When Optimus appeared and disappeared through Bumblebee's vision, Russell gave Bumblebee some advice about what Optimus meant by "Bumblebee was not like him". Russell then went to help the Autobots capture the Decepticon while maintaining their cover by using Strongarm's speaker to convince a few people about a "stunt" at a rally. The team headed off into the sunset with Terrashock in Strongarm's trailer.
In As the Kospego Commands!, Bumblebee instructed Denny and Russell not to sell a generator to some weirdos who said they were working for the Kospego as they were building a space bridge that could potentially destroy Earth.
In Collect 'Em All, when Larry LaRue turned up wanting to put Denny's scrapyard on television, Russell thought it was a good idea. Not so much when Larry later sneaked back in and Russell had to try to prevent him discovering Fixit and Grimlock. Denny was agreed to Larry's deal of selling him some stuff for Larry's memory cards on his camera. Denny realized what was important to him, which meant Russell stood out the most.
In True Colors, when Grimlock suddenly turned on his teammates, Russell figured that the Dinobot was being controlled when Grimlock resisted to hit him. He and Fixit determined it was the Decepticon Minitron and were able to warn the other Autobots. When Grimlock was proven innocent, he happily hugged Sideswipe and Russell for believing in him, even though Russell had little trouble breathing.
In Rumble in the Jungle, Russell found himself having to try to mediate between his father and Fixit when the pair fought over who was fixing what in the scrapyard. Russell, Sideswipe and Grimlock eventually managed to get them to work together by sabotaging a piece of Cybertronian technology with a kazoo. When it worked, the trio fist bumped in their success.
In Can You Dig It?, Russell was saved by the Autobots from falling in a hole that Ped was creating in his chaos. Later at night, Russell helped guard the Autobots' energon supply, and also provided a diversion during a later attempt to trap Ped.
In Adventures in Bumblebee-Sitting!, after Bumblebee was regressed to immaturity, Russell figured that babysitting the Autobot leader would be easy. He and Sideswipe were left to keep Bee occupied, which they eventually failed in doing so when they went to do different things at the same time.
In Hunting Season, Denny forbade Russell from going on any more missions. Later, Russell met with Jetstorm and Slipstream, who told about their master, his expectations and referred to Russell as "commander". When Fracture kidnapped Denny and the other Autobots in an attempt to capture Bumblebee, Russell and Fixit tried unsuccessfully to bluff the Decepticon into thinking there were a fleet of warships on their way but Fracture's Mini-Cons held them against their wills. However, Drift's Mini-Cons saved them all when they hijacked Fracture's ship, which led to Fracture's defeat, though he managed to escape the scrapyard with his Mini-Cons. Denny later reversed his decision and said Russell could go on missions again.
In Even Robots Have Nightmares, Russell proved impossible for the Autobots to scare. When the Autobots and Denny were all captured by the Decepticon Nightstrike, Russell bravely went into the cave after them and managed to mount a rescue. He saved them all by distracting the Decepticon a few times, which eventually led Nightstrike to be defeated. Back at the scrapyard, Russell was thanked by his Autobot allies and his father, though he admits he was afraid.
In One of Our Mini-Cons Is Missing, Russell was playing football with his friends. Butch had thrown Russell the football way above Russell's normal height, which Butch scolded Russell for missing to catch it. Hank told Russell to stand up against it, which Russell ended up doing to Butch. Butch, seeing that Hank was there to back up Russell, stated it could have been a mistake and promised the next throw will be perfect. Russell thanked Hank, though Hank said to "pay it forward". At the scrapyard, Russell tells Grimlock that he has to find someone to help. After Jetstorm returned to Earth claiming he wanted to be Russell's student, Russell stuck up for the Mini-Con against Drift as they tracked down Springload and Quillfire. Russell also attempted to disguise as "General McPlank" but was pulled away from the view by Denny. Russell helped patched things up with Drift and Jetstorm. Russell welcomed Drift and his Mini-Cons to the scrapyard when they decided to stay on Earth.
In Deep Trouble, Russell had to help clean up after Fixit accidentally flooded the scrapyard. He even mentioned that they should have "seaweed salad for dinner tonight." Russell told Denny that Fixit deeply regrets his mistake as they were draining out the water in the scrapyard.
In The Champ, Russell was nearly hurt in an incident that Grimlock inadvertently caused. However, Russell helped his dad and Grimlock enter the giant robot fights in the Rumbledome so they could capture Groundpounder. It worked and Fixit managed to get Denny out of his jammed door from the back of Grimlock. When the rest of the team arrived and the Decepticons were captured, Russell presented Grimlock and Fixit the winners trophy.
In The Trouble with Fixit, Russell and the others briefly found themselves on the run from Fixit after Denny accidentally reactivated the Mini-Con's guard program. During the whole mess, Russell tried to make Denny not feel guilty about resetting Fixit, the scrapyard's defense security was aiming at the team and Chop Shop managed to escape from his stasis pod, which caused even more of a mess for the Autobots. Russell attempted to get to Fixit by telling the Mini-Con of Chop Shop's attempt to escape. While it seemed to not work, Chop Shop actually appeared and Fixit began to chase the Decepticon through the scrapyard. In the end, Russell was there to witness Fixit revert to his normal self, which for Fixit was his normal state.
In Lockout, Russell attempted with little success to teach the Autobots about football. After the Steeljaw and his pack of Decepticons managed to take over the scrapyard, Russell and his dad worked using the scrapyard's resources. Though Denny was recaptured by Clampdown, Russell managed to get to the Autobots. When the Autobots secured the scrapyard, Russell reunited with his father and the Autobots secured the Decepticon prisoners from leaving their stasis pods while they chased Steeljaw's pack from the scrapyard. Denny points that while they appear to be who they are, they have also moved beyond what they had appeared to risk it all to save their planet.
In Similarly Different, as he was irked by his father's snoring keeping him up all night, Russell decided he needed somewhere of his own to sleep. However, when Denny insisted on fixing up an RV, Russell soon realized he was going to be stuck with "Denny Style". The RV ended up a wreck, so the pair instead fixed up another vehicle and then celebrated with some disco.
In Ghosts and Impostors, Russell and Denny returned to the scrapyard soaking wet after a disastrous camping trip, though it appeared that Russell was entertained when Denny brought out the "water proof tent". They went inside to dry off from their trip.
In Battlegrounds, Part 1, while the Autobots went to rescue Sideswipe and Strongarm from the Decepticons, Denny and Russell kept themselves busy organizing the scrapyard's sock of bicycles. Following a visit by Hank, who gave Russell a Bronco Kowalski trading card, Russell inadvertently let Fracture into the base when Fracture's Mini-Cons disguised himself to look like Hank. Fixit shot at the ground near Fracture's Mini-Con, which allowed Russell to escape. Fixit, Russell, and Denny made a run to gather weapons to fight the Decepticons. However the trio were saved by the timely arrival of Optimus Prime, whom Russell recognized from a while back. Russell managed to convince Optimus to take him and Denny to the battleground near Crown City so that they can cover for the Autobots with the human authorities.
In Battlegrounds, Part 2, Russell and Denny tried to convince a police officer, who turned out to be an idealist for making movies, that they were filmmakers and that their props were going chaotic. After some time of trying to convince the officer to evacuate the area, he was convinced when a blast from the battle shot his hat. When the battle reached its end, Russell and Denny informed Bumblebee and his new team that emergency crews were coming. They headed back to the scrapyard where Strongarm and Windblade complimented Russell, Fixit and Denny for capturing Fracture. When Russell asked if the Autobots were going back to Cybertron, they all decided to remain on Earth.
In Overloaded, Part 1, Russell helped out by buffing Grimlock and witnessed Micronus take Optimus Prime's power away. After the GroundBridge exploded, Grimlock returned the favor by drenching him with water while putting out the fire. He and his dad had to run for cover when Overload attacked the scrapyard.
In Overloaded, Part 2, Russell paused while cleaning up to throw a piece of trash at Fixit's head to break the Mini-Con out of a vocal skip.
In Metal Meltdown, Russell found a display case to store some of his souvenirs from the Autobots fights in. During a mission to capture Saberhorn, the Autobots enlisted Denny and Russell to get them inside the steel mill that use to be Steeljaw's hideout. Russell and Denny dressed as guards and lied to two real guards as they were there to "change shifts". However, after observing from the security room they were in, Russell's determination to get a trophy from the battle with Saberhorn led him to be taken captive by the Decepticon and almost resulted in Bumblebee getting melted down. He was saved and they returned to the scrapyard where despite not getting a new souvenir for his trophy case, he placed the shirt that he wore as a disguise which had a torn in it from the battle in the trophy case. Later, Fixit informs them about Saberhorn being placed on the Alchemor.
In Brainpower, Russell helped Fixit provide Grimlock with a study guide to improve the Dinobot's intelligence, but when it all went wrong and gave Grimlock super-genius but a limited life span, he had to help Fixit come up with a solution and then help Grimlock try to help capture Simacore.
In Misdirection, Russell dressed up as a magician and demonstrated an illusion to the Autobots and Denny with a coin. Later, Russell, Denny and Fixit were captured in a subsonic force field when Steeljaw managed to infiltrate the scrapyard and freed some of the Decepticon prisoners. However the trio witnessed Strongarm fight Steeljaw and they were soon rescued by her from being crushed in the force field.
In Bumblebee's Night Off, Russell reluctantly accompanied Bumblebee along on a stakeout at a Rear Axle concert. Russell goes inside the stadium to get his father a T-shirt and soons stumbled on Bisk and his Mini-Cons who were attempting to steal a sound board. Russell knocks over a few things twice and manages to escape from being crushed by Bisk. He went back to find Bumblebee which he mistook some cars for Bee's car mode. When he found Bumblebee, he informed him about Bisk. With the team in traffic, they staged a plan to go after Bisk which Russell provided a story for some security guards. While being in the crowd at the concert, which some of the crowd made a mess on Russell's T-shirt that he was wearing for his father, Russell witnessed as Bumblebee was fighting Bisk. Bumblebee was able to capture Bisk and smuggle him along with his Mini-Cons out of the venue. Back at the scrapyard, Russell gives Denny the T-shirt and he was thrilled that it came "pre-distressed" with some stains on it. Russell shows the pictures of him and Bumblebee with Rear Axle.
In Portals, when Soundwave escaped the shadowzone, Russell took part in a plan that helped Denny and Fixit fight the Decepticon, mainly by acting as distraction while Bumblebee was trapped in the shadowzone. While the first attempt failed, the second attempt worked as Russell was able to get the component that Soundwave needed which allowed Fixit to bring Bumblebee out of the shadowzone. Soundwave was thrown back in the shadowzone and Bumblebee complimented his team, but they all stated they were just following his plans.
In Decepticon Island (Part 1), when they obtained a lead regarding the colony of Decepticons, the Autobots headed to the harbor to try and infiltrate the Decepticon base. Denny and Russell stayed on shore with Fixit, at the ready should the Autobots call on them for help.
In Decepticon Island (Part 2), while the two humans were preparing disguises in case anyone turned up, Fixit left them to try and free the Mini-Con slaves in the base. The Autobots wound up being victorious and the Decepticon crisis finally came to an end. Though many Autobots decided to head back to Cybertron, Bumblebee, Grimlock, Strongarm, Sideswipe, Drift, Jetstorm, and Slipstream were not among them; instead this team decided to stay behind to set up a permanent base of operations on Earth. Before speeding off, Bumblebee assured his human friends that the junkyard would always be another home to them.
Season 2 1/2
In Strongarm's Big Score, when Strongarm wanted to take Fixit with her on a mission, Denny and Russell volunteered to operate the command center. It was a disaster, culminating in them accidentally bridging the team to the scrapyard instead of Mount St. Hilary.
As revealed in Mini-Con Madness, Fixit later gave them training so they'd be able to work the command center.
In Mighty Big Trouble, Denny and Russell were present when the Autobots returned from Egypt with a high energy pulse generator. As Sideswipe struggled to find a way to apologize to the three Mini-Cons, Russell suggested flowers and a poem, though the results left a lot to be desired. Russell and his dad had to take cover when the scrapyard was invaded by hostile Mini-Cons, and then a group of Decepticons arrived and abducted Fixit, Jetstorm and Slipstream. It turned out the Decepticons were working for Starscream, who used the captured Mini-Cons as leverage to take Bumblebee prisoner.
In Mini-Con Madness, Russell and Denny helped fill in Optimus once he arrived, and worked the command center while the rest of the team went in search of Starscream.
Season 3: Combiner Force
In King of the Hill (Part 1), Russell was confident going into the championship football game that he could kick any field goal, but it turned out the opposing team had a really tall kid who was able to block his kicks.
In King of the Hill (Part 2), he feigned an ankle injury, but after a pep talk from his father, he came up with a way to kick a goal over the tall kid.
In Defrosted, after lending his handheld game to Fixit, Russell found it extremely difficult to get the game back. While the other Autobots were on a mission, Russell watched Fixit attempt to cheat at the game, and eventually had to operate the GroundBridge himself to bring the team back.
Russell, for the most part, appears to be more responsible and caring for his father and Autobot friends. He seems to have a level of maturity for his age - sometimes even more so than his father. Though he has his childish moments, he is incredibly brave as he would not hesitate.
The scrapyard was not his ideal place to be as Russell was quite lonely and bored because there were no kids his age to play with. His father had suggested him to play football. At first, Russell seemed to dislike playing football since he had rough start but was able to get over the whole ordeal after a pep talk from Hank and managed to score a point for his team. With this he was able to get new friends in his neighborhood and a new outlook.
Like his dad, Russell loves to get in character with any disguise he uses. Although he is not as convincing as his dad, Russell still loves throwing on disguises and playing the part to cover for the Autobots.
In Season 2, Russell seems to neglect nearly being in danger in Metal Meltdown as he tried to get a souvenir from the battle for his trophy case. Though he remains to be there for his Autobot allies and his father.
- One could say Russell is similar to Jack Darby, only younger than him.