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Bee in the City

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Timelines > BotCon 2008 Script Reading
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Look to this day, graduates, as you meta-reference the world.

Two Transformers and a human are zapped to another dimension. Fourth-wall-breaking hijinks ensue!


Professor Sumdac tests a new space-warp teleportation device, the Bi-directional Unified Transit Terminal, in an attempt to transport the Autobots home. His BUTT malfunctions, sending Sari, Optimus and Bumblebee to the city of Axiom Nexus on an alternate version of Cybertron ruled by the TransTechs.

There, they are soon confronted by Officer Flareup, who notes that, by their very presence, they have violated the city's rules: no mechs named Prime or Megatron, no cosmic MacGuffins (in this case, the Key), and absolutely no soliciting, rules established to preserve this Cybertron's utter lack of war. She takes them in for "processing", which turns out to be seventeen soul-crushingly boring hours of standing in line and filling out paperwork (or the digital equivalent).

As they finally leave, they encounter the morally ambiguous scientist Shockwave, a Subcommander Third Rank from the Menacing and Foreboding Sciences Division of the Axiom Nexus Military Intelligence Branch. Enforcing his will with a cadre of utterly silent soldiers, he takes Optimus Prime and Sari into custody as potential threats to planetary security, but ignores Bumblebee, reasoning the plucky, yellow, kid-friendly character will be essentially ineffective without a spunky human sidekick. Flareup is dismayed, noting to an indignant Bumblebee that she expected his group to receive no more than a fine and a deportation home, not a military arrest.

At Shockwave's lab, he prepares to experiment on Sari and Prime in some fashion to determine the extent of their potential threat. In particular, he is concerned about the potential effects of the Key being present. After confiscating it, he begins examining Rescue Roy—er, Optimus, starting with a routine Matrix check.

Elsewhere in the city, Bumblebee and Flareup meet Beast Wars universe Megatron (or a version of him, at least), who is going by the alias "Joe" to avoid arrest and/or deportation himself. Learning about the Key, Megatron is all too eager to gain this MacGuffin and utilize its power for his own nefarious plans. Once he determines that the other two have no idea who or what he is, he asserts that as a "heroic Predacon", he will help them retrieve their friends and the Key.

Bumblebee comes up with an initial plan involving a trained chimp marching band (which "Joe" naturally hates), but it predictably fails. Megatron comes up with a plan that will actually work: pretending he and Bumblebee are illegal Primes (Bee-imus Prime and Joe Convoy) being transferred by Flareup.

Once they reach Shockwave's lab, Megatron has Flareup and 'Bee run a distraction so he can knock out the TransTech scientist. Once that is done, Megatron reveals his true name and ambitions. He snatches the Key and uses it to bring to life a variety of Shockwave's lab equipment. However, Bumblebee and Sari introduce the new robots to the concept of bureaucracy. Less than thrilled with all the paperwork their new lives will entail just to be part of society, the new robot army turn on Megatron and drag him away. Shockwave provides Prime, Bumblebee and Sari a way home, expediting their paperwork, and he and Flareup agree never to speak of the incident again.

Back home, Sari and her Autobot friends likewise agree never to speak of the incident again. Still, Prime finds the thoughts of a Cybertron without war so inspiring that he feels like bursting into song. Thankfully, the others shout him down first.


  • Written by: Greg Sepelak, Trent Troop
  • Directed by: Uh...
  • Original presentation: 9:45pm Saturday, April 26th, 2008.

Featured characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons/Predacons Humans/Others


Dr. Sumdac "Anyway I have brought you here to day to witness our newest invention: the Bi-directional Unified Transit Terminal."
Sari "The BU-, dad? You've really gotta work on your acronyms."
Bumblebee "So, what does your BUTT do?"
Dr. Sumdac "Truly amazing things I can tell you!"

—Dr. Sumdac's newest invention could give the FARTS a run for its money

Dr. Sumdac "You see, I am certain you are all eager to return to your home world of Cybertron."
Optimus "Not really, no."
Dr. Sumdac "Yet you are needed here, greatly. So we have devoted our resources to a matter transference device that puts a crack in space"
Bumblebee "Wow! Your BUTT can carry all of us home?"
Dr. Sumdac " I am almost totally certain it can"
Optimus "Well, this will certainly get to the bottom of our transportation problem"
Sari "What did I tell ya? My dad's no bum"
Dr. Sumdac "Oh Sari, you are always so cheeky."
Bumblebee "Ohhhh, it my turn for a pun! Uh..."
Optimus "Skip it Bumblebee, we're getting behind"

—More throwaway BUTT jokes. It never ends!!!!

Dr. Sumdac: "We're ready for a test run now. Here we go!"
Sari: "Hey! My key is acting weird again."
Dr. Sumdac: "Oh, my! This is not going to turn out well!"
All: "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh."

—Sari, Dr. Sumdac, Optimus Prime, and Bumblebee show us a fine example of dull surprise.

Optimus "Where are we?"
Bumblebee "I don't know,but look at all the heavy panel detail on these guys. HEY! Buddy! How do you walk without knees?

—Bumblebee and Optimus discuss the locals

Optimus "Okay, we're in a strange city full of strange robots. As long as we don't panic, there shouldn't be any problems at all. We'll just wait here until somebody notices we're not supposed to be here"
Sari "Is that really..."
Optimus "Trust me."
Flareup "You're not supposed to be here!"
Sari "Well whad'ya know"
Optimus "Oh, good. An authority figure. This can't possibly turn out bad for us."

—Optimus's strategy almost works...

"Hmm. No Megatrons, no Primes, no Cosmic MacGuffins, and no soliciting. By order of the Axiom Nexus....tourism board?!"

Bumblebee reads the sign of rules in Axiom Nexus, unlike Megs, Prime, and Sari!

Flareup "This is officer Flareup reporting in. Yeah, I got a bunch of queer looking ones down here. Think they're from the Malgus universal cluster. Uh, a prime, a kid-appeal yellow car type, and a human kid sidekick. Just a moment I'll ask. Hey short stuff! Are you a Hot Shot? Are you a Hot Shot or a Bumblebee?"
Bumblebee "Bumblebee. But Hot Shot does have a certain ring to it."

—Pre-production names get a come back!

Optimus Hold up! Where are we?
Sari: And who designs a robot with high heels?
Flareup: I don't know, but when I find him... augh! But to answer the other question, you're on Cybertron. An alternate reality Cybertron ruled by the highly advanced TransTechs.
Optimus "Alternate reality? You mean all this time I've had a choice

Flareup suffers from fashionable footwear and Optimus doesn't like his reality.

Narrator "17 hours later..."
Sari "This is the song that never ends..."
Optimus "Wow, that took longer than a Inuyasha story arc"
Bumblebee "Don't I know it! I read through my owners manual 3 times! After the first time, not so fun. I knew how it ended!"

—The gang on processing.

Shockwave "I am Shockwave, sub-commander, 3rd rank, military intelligence branch: menacing and fore boding sciences division. Designats Optimus Prime and Sari Sumdac you will come with me."
Optimus "Why should we go with you?"
Shockwave "Because of this cadre of heavily armed and utterly silent TransTech guards"
Bumblebee "Did- did he just say cadre? Is- is that a real word?"

— Yes, Bumblebee it, surprisingly, is

Narrator:"Meanwhile in the lab of the Morally-ambiguous TransTech Shockwave"
Sari:"Morally-ambiguous? He's got us chained to tables and is about to take us apart like a bad science experiment!"
Shockwave:"Begin proactive maintenance log: Subject A, adolescent human female, has regained consciousness and has demonstrated both an awareness of the narrator and an utter disregard for the fourth wall."

—Shockwave records his observations.

"Okay, so you've got some crazy no-Prime policy, I can roll with that. But why am I under arrest? I'm just a little girl. I'm no harm to anyone. Can you please just let me go, pleeeaaaase?"
"Child, the only way you could make me more suspicious is if you were wearing a yellow hard hat!"

—Despite Sari Sumdac's best efforts, Shockwave knows the deal with human companion characters.

"Items of cosmic significance like this AllSpark-powered key are contraband in Axiom Nexus, and I will not allow you to deus ex machina your way out of this."
"Deus ex machina(meaning-any artificial or improbable device resolving the difficulties of a plot.) isn't a verb."

—Morally-ambiguous Transtech Shockwave and imprisoned Animated Optimus argue proper grammar usage.

"I shall begin with you, as to avoid delving too deeply into any dark secrets of this girl's past that the audience might find too interesting."
"What? It's not like I'm some hyper-advanced, human-like robot my dad made or anything. That's silly."

Shockwave and Sari carefully avoid spoilers.

"Bumblebee, what are you doing?!"
"A contractually obligated gag."

Flareup is educated by Bumblebee on how BotCon works.

"We need help. BIG help! Maybe we can rig up a communicator and call in Grimlock. Or maybe con Lugnut into helping us out."
"Oh, please. What do I look like, Scott McNeil?"

Bumblebee's plan is shot down by Megatron. Maybe he should've tried asking Blitzwing instead?

"Halt! Where are you taking these two?"
"Prisoner transfer from cell block one one three eight"

—'Bee and Company try to play Han Solo

"What you talkin' 'bout Wheelie?"
"That's Bumblebee!"

Bumblebee is questioned by some of Shockwave's lab equipment brought to life after telling them about the paperwork they now need to fill out.

"This is why I hate MacGuffins!"

Shockwave takes a page from Captain Fanzone.

Other notes

Anastasia and Chris were the winners of the BotCon Idol voice acting contest held that weekend. Everyone played the parts of the newly created lab-equipment bots, with Marty Isenberg having their only line in English.

Continuity errors

  • Not really continuity, but Sari is mistakenly described as an "adolescent", which is a teenager. Hey, wait a minute.

Transformers references

  • Bumblebee ordering fast food is a reference to a longstanding BotCon voice actor panel tradition, which involves the attending actors performing their characters ordering at a drive-thru.
  • Bumblebee is identified by Flareup as "a kid-appeal yellow-car-type", narrowed down to either "a Bumblebee or a Hot Shot", also referencing early Animated plans for Hot Shot to be the kid-appeal character of the crew. Various characters later "mistake" him for Wheelie, Side Burn, and Cheetor.
  • While masquerading as a Prime, Megatron identifies himself as "Joe Convoy", playing on the Japanese name for Optimus and his ilk.
  • Bumblebee calls Shockwave "Shockblast", the "close enough" name used as a substitute for "Shockwave" for a time when Hasbro was unable to secure that trademark.
  • In a sort of anti-reference, Prime and Bumblebee's "let us never speak of it again" conclusion provides an in-story reason for why none of this extra-dimensional silliness will ever be mentioned on the actual Animated cartoon.

Real-world references

  • Professor Sumdac refers to Sari as "the joy and the laughter," a reference to actress Tara Strong's role as Bubbles in The Powerpuff Girls. Bubbles is proclaimed to be "the joy and the laughter" in that show's closing theme tune.
  • Prime remarks that waiting in line for 17 hours "took longer than an InuYasha story arc". David Kaye played a recurring role in that series as InuYasha's brother, Sesshomaru. (David also punctuated the gag with a little fist-pump.)
  • When Bumblebee places his fast-food order, the nearly incomprehensible drive-thru speaker replies "Sever your leg please, it's the greatest day." The line is a direct lift from a Homestar Runner cartoon featuring a randomly-appearing, nearly incomprehensible drive-thru speaker.
  • Bumblebee tries to get the maniacally laughing (and coughing) Megatron's attention with a "Yo, Joe?" This is, of course, a reference to the battle cry of G.I. Joe from the eponymous '80s cartoon series. Flareup follows up with "Wrong convention", referencing Fun Publications' role in running the annual G.I. Joe convention.
  • When Sari snatches Bumblebee's meal, Bumblebee laments "My manwich!", a line used by another of voice actor Bumper Robinson's characters, Dwight Conrad of Futurama.
  • With the Key in hand, Megatron claims he has "a big boost of confidence", a tag line from commercials Kaye narrated touting Enzyte, a non-prescription drug, male performance enhancement. In a similar vein (Ha-haaa! Vein!), he also refers to himself as "the Keymaster" (much to Flareup's disgust), a reference to the movie Ghostbusters.
  • One of the newly born lab robots, upon being told of the forms it will have to fill out, says "What you talkin' 'bout, Wheelie?", a reference to the catchphrase of a young Gary Coleman in Diff'rent Strokes.
  • During the epilogue, Prime adds to the list of Bumblebee's misnomers by calling him "T-Bob", the robot sidekick from the '80s cartoon series/Kenner toy line M.A.S.K..

Miscellaneous trivia

  • "Bi-directional Unified Transit Terminal"... mature as ever, eh, Sumdac?
  • A running gag in this is that certain words are asked if they even exist. Certain words such as roboticist, and cadre.
  • It is possible, were this considered canon, that this would have occurred (in the G1/Beast Era universe) right after Megatron was shot of the ship, i.e. between the episode "Nemesis, Part 2" and "The Reformatting". (Hey, maybe this is where his hatred of organics kicked in!)
  • It is, however, impossible to determine when this happened in the Transformers Animated continuity.

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