Tow-Line Goes Haywire is the eleventh episode of Robots in Disguise. It first aired in the United States on September 20, 2001 on Fox Kids.
Side Burn, up to his usual antics, seduceing a red sports car, but his attempts to woo are arrested by Tow-Line, who punishes the Autobot for parking in a No Parking Zone. The tow-truck drags Side Burn to Prowl, who introduces the truck as the newest Autobot soldier. Inside the Autobot base, Prowl inducts Tow-Line into the police's traffic patrol. (Illegal parking is apparently a high priority for the Autobots.) Tow-Line starts working immediately, and takes his job with extreme dedication. Eventually, Tow-Line's mania goes out of control, and he begins to impound misplaced tricycles and wedding vehicles. After Prowl explains the limits of Tow-Line's jurisdiction, Sky-Byte and Gas Skunk notice the new Autobot and begin a sinister plot. The Predacon trio wait inside of a mis-parked truck, and when Tow Line inevitably comes to tow the truck away, the three Predacons ambush the rookie, bring Tow-Line to Sky-Byte and begin the process of brainwashing the truck into a loyal Predacon. Slapper tries to hypnotize Tow-Line using a dangling pendant (to no success and affecting himself instead). Gas Skunk tries using a metronome, first testing on Slapper, which was successful only for the two to get a bonk from Sky-Byte. Eventually, Dark Scream loads a brainwashing program into the captive via disc drive. Tow-Line, unbalanced and his old conciousness gone, is released to enforce his own rules on the Autobots. A misguided Tow-Line first steals a bewildered X-Brawn away from an indignant Kelly. On the road, X-Brawn uses his own grappling apparatus to try to stop Tow-Line's deluded quest, but merely harms Tow-Line's memory banks. Even more confused than before, Tow-Line brings X-Brawn to a power plant and deposits the Autobot into a holding box. Tow-Line's next victim is Side Burn, who is deposited into the same box. Next, Tow-Line captures Rapid Run and carries the large train through the city to the deposit box. Prowl and Koji see the capture and give chase, but lose their target in rush hour traffic. But at least now the other Autobots know that something is afoot. Once they meet up, Prowl and Prime confront Tow-Line in part of a staged intervention to help him deal with his towing addiction. Tow-Line makes it clear that he's gone a bit wonko when he accuses Prime of being the Autobots' "evil mastermind." Sky-Byte and the Predacons arrive to help their "friend", but Prime quickly blasts away the goons. Taking Tow-Line home for diagnostics, Prime notices the disc placed inside of Tow-Line by Dark Scream. With his mind restored, Tow-Line brings the two Autobots to rescue the others he stored at the power plant. The Autobots find their allies, and Tow-Line apologizes for the kidnapping. Megatron and all the Predacons show up again, but are defeated almost as quickly as they were earlier. Tow-Line goes back to apologize, and Optimus explains that compassion and understanding are important values to uphold (even if it means arresting Prowl during the epilogue).
In the episode
English dub changes
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Writer: Matthew V. Lewis
"No parking means no parking!"
- —Tow-Line, all the time
"There's nothing I can do. You knew the law, you broke the law, and now the law is towing you away."
- —Tow-Line to his first
"Okay, so I'm not allowed to tow away bicycles, wedding cars, ambulances, broken-down buses, funeral escorts, parade floats, campaigning senators or mailmen named Moe. Is that all?"
"Uh, no mailmen, period. (muttered) Oh, boy."
- —Tow-Line gets very detailed instructions from a long-suffering Prowl.
"First he towed away a couple of kids' bikes, then he completely messed up a honeymoon. It's almost as if he's already working for us."
- —Gas Skunk doesn't have very high standards for the Predacons.
"Can I have the harbor? I love those little boats."
- —Gas Skunk doesn't have very high standards for real estate either.
Sky-Byte: If all goes as planned, that fool Tow-Line will bring the Autobots to us. And when he delivers them, they'll be totally helpless.
Slapper: Hey, this is even better than having a pizza delivered!
Gas Skunk: I wonder if we get the guarantee. I want 'em all here in thirty minutes or less.
- — Evidently, robotic toads and smelly skunks like pizza. Oooookay...
- Tow-Line isn't the first Autobot to have his memory messed with "Bumblebee (G1)"
- Although the Predacon plots that Tow-Line accuses the Autobots of doing are typical of the plots the Predacons usually go through, they don't specifically match foiled schemes that have happened in the series thus far. But it's entirely possible there have been off-screen adventures that just have happened to be too mundane to be made into episodes.