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Otherwise known as the first live action Transformers film not be directed by Michael Bay, Bumblebee is set in 1987, 20 years before the first film. Suffering from amnesia, Bumblebee is hiding out in the small Californian town of Brighton Falls where he befriends Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld) only to run afoul of Sector Seven Agent Burns (John Cena) and learn that he's not the only Cybertronian on Earth.

While originally meant to be a Prequel to the first five films, the poor reception of The Last Knight turned Bumblebee into a soft Continuity Reboot (not that the word was ever mentioned) before Toy Fair 2019 confirmed it to be "a new storytelling universe." Free of the canon of the prior films, a sequel to Bumblebee, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is set for release in 2022.

Tropes used in Bumblebee include:
  • The Eighties: The film is set in 1987 and is jam-packed full of '80s nostalgia.
  • Adapted Out: Megatron does not appear in the film, nor is he even mentioned. Shockwave and Soundwave as co-leaders of the Decepticons. Where Megatron is is never addressed but a Deleted Scene showed him being frozen on Earth.
  • Advertised Extra: Blitzwing. He dies before the first act is over.
  • Alien Invasion: Shatter and Dropkick try to call in the Decepticon fleet in the finale. And as is shown, the military can't even handle three Cybertronians let alone an army's worth.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Any Cybertronian who arrives on Earth is instantly able to speak English with no clear explanation as to how. The previous films explained this via the internet but that's clearly not possible here.
  • Alpha Bitch: Tina. She's 100% Jerk with a Heart of Jerk.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Otis.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Bumblebee is a pretty casual guy... right up until someone threatens Charlie. And Primus help you if you actually hurt Charlie in front of him.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Dropkick's weapon turns its human victims into a colourless liquid.
  • Character Title
  • Color Motif: Yellow.
  • Composite Character:
    • Visually, Bumblebee is based off his counterparts from the Transformers Aligned Universe and IDW's first run of comics. In terms of personality, he's based more on his cartoon self's interactions with Spike and has his Animated self's excitability.
    • Charlie. She inherits Spike Witwicky's mechanical aptitude, and like him she learnt it from her father, but seems cast in the mould of IDW's Verity Carlo.
  • Cool Car: Shatter turns into a Plymouth Satellite, Dropkick turns into an AMC Javelin, and Bumblebee later adopts his 1977 Camaro alternate mode. Before that, he turns into quite possibly the coolest car, an original Volkswagen Beetle.
    • Pertaining to a non-Transformer vehicle, Charlie is trying to restore a C1 Corvette.
  • Cute Machines: Bumblebee.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Bumblebee during the attempted prank on Tina's house.
  • The Dreaded: Simply seeing a hologram of Optimus Prime is enough to have Shatter and Dropkick recoil in fear.
  • Earth Is the Center of the Universe: Optimus tells B-127 that if the Decepticons find Earth, then the Cybertronian race is doomed. Given that the film was originally conceived as a Prequel to the first film, this was likely alluding to the AllSpark.
  • The Empire: The Decepticons. It's not made clear if their empire extends beyond Cybertron but they're established as having the resources and capabilities to invade other planets.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Within ten seconds of meeting her, the audience knows what a Tomboy Charlie is.
  • ET Gave Us Wi Fi: Shatter and Dropkick create the internet (or at least DARPANet) so they can track B-127's signal.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Sector Seven can't compete with the Decepticons.
  • Exact Words: Shatter never lies to Sector Seven. The Decepticons are the ruling authority on Cybertron, by their standards, B-127 is a war criminal, and if he remains on Earth, the Great War is likely to follow. All she fails to do is mention which side is good and which one is evil.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Bumblebee is a frequent victim of this. Justified in that he has amnesia and can't remember anything.
  • Homeworld Evacuation: As per tradition, the Autobots flee Cybertron. What changes is that this time, it's due to the Decepticons straight up conquering the place.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Where did Ron learn to drive like that? Miami Vice.
  • Just a Machine: Agent Burns' opinion of the Cybertronians for most of the film. He damn near quotes this in the climax.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Dropkick.
  • La Résistance: The Autobots are frequently said to be the Autobot Resistance.
  • Lighter and Softer: Than the previous five films.
  • Made of Iron: Like all main human characters in Transformers, Charlie takes far more punishment than she should be able to.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: Bumblebee when left alone in Charlie's house.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The aesthetics of the Transformers seem inspired by Transformers: War for Cybertron. Shatter later refers to the Autobots' defeat as "the fall of Cybertron."
    • Brawn is downed by a shot to the shoulder as he was in Transformers: The Movie, though he survives this time. Optimus makes his Big Entrance just like in the movie. Bumblebee later plays "The Touch" to try and inspire Charlie.
    • Bumblebee and Charlie's first meeting has some overtones of Bumblebee and Buster's first meeting in the Marvel comic.
    • The film is set in 1987, the final year of the G1 cartoon. Cybertron is also rendered in a style reminiscent of the cartoon.
    • Shockwave's eye glows when he talks, like it did in the cartoon.
    • Bumblebee's backstory and his HUD takes some cues from Transformers: Cyberverse.
    • As in Prime, Cliffjumper is the Sacrificial Lamb.
    • When Charlie first enters Bumblebee's vehicle mode, the camera lingers on the Autobot insignia on the steering wheel as it did when Sam found Bumblebee.
    • In the final fight, Dropkick throws Bumblebee away only for the Autobot to transform and use the kinetic energy to tackle Dropkick, homaging Skywarp and Jazz's scene from the Season 1 intro of the G1 cartoon.
  • Obviously Evil: "They literally call themselves Decepticons!"
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: How did Optimus escape Decepticon captivity and get off Cybertron? Who knows? But it was no doubt very awesome.
  • Oh Crap:
    • B-127 and Optimus Prime when they see how many Decepticons are storming Iacon.
    • B-217 when he sees that the military jet is Bliztwing.
    • Charlie when she sees that the Beetle is full of bees.
    • Dropkick when hears Optimus Prime is on his way to Earth.
    • Sector Seven when they realize Bumblebee has been Willfully Weak this whole time.
    • Charlie when the dumpster she's hiding in is about to be struck by a missile.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Bumblebee's real name is B-127. Suffering from amnesia for most of the film, he can't recall it so Charlie gives him his name after she compares his damaged voice box to a bumblebee's buzzing.
  • Puny Earthlings: There isn't a single human weapon that can dish out any meaningful damage to a Cybertronian. Shatter and Dropkick dulled their power on account of Pragmatic Villainy and Bumblebee was either suffering from amnesia or Willfully Weak.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Many a previous Transformers story has featured the Decepticons allying themselves with a planet's local government to find the Autobots. As Burns points out, why would anyone want to ally with a group called the Decepticons?
    • Everyone grieves at their own pace. Just because Charlie's mom has moved on from her husband's death doesn't mean Charlie has.
    • It's not gonna do your relationship any favours if a) you spend the money that you were supposed to buy a house with on a superfluous muscle car and b) you tried to sleep with your girlfriend's sister!
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When Bumblebee goes on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Sector Seven, his optics turn red.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: In an inverse of their colour schemes, Dropkick and Shatter respectively.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Before he scans the Beetle, Bumblebee's scanning array passes over the Rustbucket.
    • B-127 is transmitting the Cheers theme song.
    • The message of Optimus bears some similarities to Leia's in A New Hope.
    • When shifting through Charlie's video collection, Bumblebee watches The Breakfast Club. He even copies Bender's fist pump.
    • Bumblebee's rampage has some shade of The Iron Giant.
  • Small Role, Big Impact:
    • Blitzwing doesn't even last five minutes but he triggers Bumblebee's amnesia and rips out his voice box.
    • Tina. Memo and Bumblebee convince Charlie to get revenge on her, leading to the police chase, leading to Charlie leaving Bumblebee at home to prevent the cops from tagging him, leading to Bumblebee exploring the house and sending off the energon surge...
  • Stalker with a Crush: Downplayed but present with Memo. He and Charlie don't properly meet until halfway through the film.
  • Take That:
    • Even Autobots do not appreciate being Rick-Rolled.
    • In a deleted scene, Memo says Bumblebee is a GoBot. Charlie scoffs at that.
  • Undying Loyalty: Not one Autobot will say where Optimus Prime is hiding.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • Optimus sent Bumblebee to Earth to establish it as a fall back base. When Shatter and Dropkick find that Optimus is coming to Earth, they plan an Alien Invasion, putting the human race in the line of fire.
    • When Charlie finds the stasis locked Bumblebee, she tries to start him, sending out his signal beacon to Cliffjumper allowing Shatter and Dropkick to hear it.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Shatter's cool persona is well... shattered when Charlie prevents the transmission to Cybertron.
  • Weak but Skilled: Bumblebee when compared to Dropkick. He's nowhere near as strong and durable but he's nimble and a Combat Pragmatist. Facing Shatter is a bit more challenging.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Charlie, Tina, and Memo. Unlike the prior films, this is not treated as fanservice but as a practical choice given the Californian climate.
  • You Are Number Six: Bumblebee's birth "name" is B-127.