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Throughout the Transformers multiverse are many Transformers who consider themselves family and refer to each other as such. The most common case is when two Transformers regard each other as siblings: "brothers" (e.g. G1 Sideswipe and Sunstreaker, or Robots In Disguise's Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus) or "sisters" (Roulette and Shadow Striker).
Given that Transformers are not organic life and do not reproduce sexually, the origin, distinction, and exact meaning of many of these terms is frequently unclear.
The Dreamwave More than Meets the Eye Guide provides a partial possible answer. According to the guide, when a spark naturally splits as it's being introduced to a protoform, it creates two robots who are "brothers", such as Sideswipe and Sunstreaker. When such a spark division is artificially induced, the less balanced and self-reliant pair created are referred to as "clones". (This definition of "brother" may or may not apply to RID Prime and Magnus, whose brotherhood was said to result from the special circumstance of having been created simultaneously by Alpha Trion).
However, the "Beast Era" widened the issue of reproduction with Rattrap referring to his "great-aunt" Arcee and in general the practice of Maximals and Predacons referring to the Autobots and Decepticons as their respective "ancestors", as well as themselves as being their "descendants", implying a direct genetic (for want of a better term) lineage. Various sources of debatable canonicity suggest that Optimus Primal is specifically descended from Optimus Prime, usually through the phrase "his ancestor Optimus Prime" (though the events of "Optimal Situation" seem to prove that all Maximals could reasonably consider Optimus Prime their ancestor). In the absence of sexual reproduction, the use and meaning of these genealogical references is difficult to explain. One possible explanation might be a situation such as when Airazor is brought to life. Her spark and protoform are heavily damaged, and Cheetor allows some of his parts to be used as replacements while Rhinox guides the procedure. To compare to humans, this is something like assisting with childbirth and donating blood or organs. It is unlikely that this happened enough to cause "descendants" as they are described, however.
Other family designations exist as well. Wheelie has "parents" who were lost in his crash on Quintessa, according to some background material. The Mini-Con Twirl very specifically calls Falcia her "mother" (which Falcia hates) and seems to treat Redline like a father, since the two's spark frame energies went into constructing her physical form. In the Armada cartoon, Side Swipe refers to Hot Shot as his brother after Hot Shot saves his life, indicating at least an understanding of the concept. The Unicron Trilogy universe has also used the term "cousin" for certain Transformers on occasion. The Victory manga from the Japanese Generation One era features Decepticon wives and children. Even the live-action movie features an Optimus and Megatron who are brothers, and it is mentioned in the related Nintendo DS game that Megatron "took the spark" of their father.
Generation One / Beast Era
- Sideswipe and Sunstreaker
- Sideswipe and Red Alert in Japanese toy bios
- Fastlane and Cloudraker
- Frenzy and Rumble
- Topspin and Twin Twist
- Blaster, Karmen and Toaster in Marvel UK continuity (according to the letter pages)
- Blaster and Bluster in IDW continuity
- Decibel and Legout
- Fortress Maximus and Grand Maximus in Japanese G1 continuity
- Leozack and Lyzack in the Victory Manga
- Pounce and Wingspan
- Sixliner and Sixtrain
- Roulette and Shadow Striker
- Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus in Dreamwave continuity
- Clamp Down and Deep Cover
- BWII Galvatron and Megastorm
- DJ, Motor Arm and Gimlet
Car Robots / Robots in Disguise
- Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus
- X-Brawn, Prowl and Side Burn
- Gas Skunk, Dark Scream and Slapper (Only in Japanese toy catalogs)
- Inferno and Rodimus
- Jetfire and Overcast
- Landmine and Landquake
- Shockblast and Six Shot
- Superion Maximus and his brother
- Signal Flare and Offshoot
- Hardtop and Swindle
- Undermine and Repugnus
Parents and children
- Stampy's parents are mentioned.
- Cohrada's father is mentioned.
- Longrack's father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-...well, a LOT of his ancestors are mentioned.
- Jetfire's father was, apparently, the very first wheel (he didn't transform but he did that with honor)
- ↑ In an advertisement for Pepsi Convoy that shows him in a refrigerator (along with Destron Pizza), a note attached to a nearby piece of tupperware reads:
- Dear Convoy
- Warm it before you eat
- Although the ad itself is for Pepsi Convoy, he is a separate character, and it can be assumed that the note was left for Convoy/Optimus Prime himself.
- ↑ Quickswitch's commercial
- ↑ They and several other Decepticons in the Victory manga have families for whom they fight.
- ↑ Lio Junior was created by the influence of pure energy upon Lio Convoy’s Energon Matrix.
- ↑ Most of the main Maximals in the Beast Wars Neo manga have families because they spring from whole races of rabbits, cobras, giraffes, etc. They were evolved into Transformers from actual organic animals in this story.
- ↑ Sideways calls out his mother when he's about to be blasted in "City".
- ↑ Rattrap said "What in the name of my great-aunt Arcee is going on!?" This is an in-joke referring to Susan Blu, who was not only voice director on Beast Wars, but the voice of Arcee in the Generation One cartoon series and Transmutate in the Beast Wars cartoon.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 See "Items of note" in Dawn of Future's Past