Yesterday marked the 33rd anniversary of the 1986 animated adventure The Transformers: The Movie hitting cinemas in the USA. Since then, it’s become regarded by many as one of the greatest cinematic masterpieces ever produced. Granted, those people are all diehard Transformers fans, but still.
The film features some amazing dialogue too, with zingers galore in its surprisingly sparse 84-minute runtime, so to celebrate the anniversary we’ve ranked our top 50 favourite quotable moments! Be warned, not all of your favourites could make it (and they don’t), and of course there will be MAJOR SPOILERS ahead!
#50. “It isn’t even dented! Oh sh*t, what’re we going to do now?”
Straight in there with the one and only naughty word in the script. It’s not a great line but it is a notorious one.
#49. “I’ll rip out your optics!”
As threats go it’s memorable and pretty graphic!
#48. “Every time I look into a monitor, Prime, my circuits sizzle”
Ironhide: Every time I look into a monitor, Prime, my circuits sizzle. When are we gonna start busting Decepti-chops?
Poor Ironhide. A warrior reduced to desk duty. You can feel the struggle is real.
Quintesson: Guilty or innocent?
Quintesson Judge: Innocent.
Quintesson: Feed them to the Sharkticons.
This tells you everything you need to know about the Quintessa judicial system.
#46. “No you’d better stay close to me“
Arcee: Stay close to me, Daniel.
Hot Rod: And you’d better stay close to me.
Arcee: [saves Hot Rod] No, you’d better stay close to me.
Back in your box, Hot Rod!
#45. “Me Grimlock need new strategy!”
Grimlock: Me Grimlock kick butt! [attacks Unicron unsuccessfully] Me Grimlock need new strategy!
A rare moment of reflection for the Dinobot leader!
#44. “Wrong. They’re our way in!”
Kup: The Insecticons are in our way.
Hot Rod: Wrong. They’re our way in!
I remember watching the film on VHS in a school classroom at lunch, and this moment getting one of the biggest cheers!
#43. “Excuse me!“
Slag attempts to be uncharacteristically polite.
#42. “Me Grimlock loves Kup’s war stories“
Kup: This reminds me of the battle on Alpha 9, the petro-rabbits were – Grimlock, get your noodle outta my face!
Grimlock: Me, Grimlock, love Kup’s war stories.
Kup: You’re living one, now. Engage the boosters for Cybertron’s sake!
Grimlock: Tell Grimlock about petro-rabbits again.
Kup: I’ll give you petro-rabbits!
Ah Grimlock, never change!
#41. “Unicron, my master… with this, I shall make you my slave”
Never doubt Galvatron’s ambition.
#40. “So where does that leave us? Nowhere, that’s where!”
Blurr: We got Decepticons at the gates! Decepticons in the air! Decepticons inside the walls! Decepticons, Decepticons, Decepticons! If we beat them off the walls they’re still in the air, if we shoot them out of the air they’re still at the gates! So where does that leave us? Nowhere, that’s where!
Let’s all be honest, it took us a few attempts to memorise this one.
#39. “Bah weep gragnah weep nini bong!”
Kup: Don’t act hostile, I’ll use the universal greeting.
Hot Rod: Universal greeting?
Kup: Watch, I’ll have them eating out of my hands. Bah weep gragnah weep nini bong!
Hot Rod: Bah weep gragnah weep nini bong?
Allicon: Bah weep gragnah weep nini bong!
Kup: See, the universal greeting works every time.
60% of the time, it works every time.
#38. “If you’re gonna ride, Danno, ride in style!”
Back in 1986 we all wanted to drive this car.
#37. “Then you probably didn’t understand the situation”
Arcee: I was afraid you’d be trapped outside the city.
Hot Rod: Hey, I wasn’t worried for a microsecond.
Arcee: Then you probably didn’t understand the situation.
I really feel for Arcee.
#36. “First we crack the shell, then we crack the nuts inside!“
These tiny little punks are surprisingly threatening!
#35. “In other words, Perceptor…?”
Perceptor: Ultra Magnus, a cursory evaluation of Decepticon capability indicates a distinct tactical deficiency!
Ultra Magnus: In other words, Perceptor…?
Springer: We’re outnumbered!
The 1986 film has a wonderful way of telling you all you need to know about some characters with just one line of dialogue.
#34. “I thought you were made of sterner stuff!”
Optimus Prime: You, who are without mercy, now plead for it? I thought you were made of sterner stuff!
OPTIMUS! HE’S GOING FOR THE GUN! OPTIMUSSS!
#33. “Beryllium baloney!”
Slag: Me Slag say you full of beryllium baloney!
Grimlock: Me Grimlock say you full of cesium salami.
Slag: Beryllium baloney!
You could give me 84 minutes of Dino-dialogue and I’d be happy, quite honestly.
#32. “Turbo-revvin’ young punk! I’ll straighten you out yet!”
#31. “Eliminate even the toughest stains!”
Wreck-Gar: Yes friends, act now! Destroy Unicron! Kill the Grand Poobah! Eliminate even the toughest stains!
It was tough to whittle down the best Junkion dialogue, but I honestly think it’s this. A war chant for the ages!
#30. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
Hot Rod: Doesn’t this remind you of anything, Kup?
Kup: Nope, I’ve never seen anything like this before.
I love this line for just how well Kup’s speechlessness encapsulates his awe at the sight of Unicron.
#29. “No, the point is you are a fool!”
Megatron: You have nothing to fear. I have already crushed Optimus Prime with my bare hands!
Unicron: You exaggerate.
Megatron: The point is he’s dead! And the Matrix died with him!
Megatron: No, the point is you are a fool!
Unicron is nothing if not candid.
#28. “How do you feel, mighty Megatron?”
He’s been waiting millions of years for this, you just know it.
#27. “I can’t deal with that now!”
One of the most quoted lines, without a doubt!
#26. “Soundwave superior, Constructicons inferior”
Soundwave: Soundwave: superior, Constructicons: inferior.
Scavenger: Who are you calling inferior?
Hook: Nobody would follow an uncharismatic bore like you!
Frenzy: Hey! Nobody calls Soundwave uncrassimatic!
And you know what? He is superior, too.
#25. “Not today, Galvatron!“
Galvatron: Come out Autobot. We all must die sometime.
Hot Rod: Not today, Galvatron!
This remains one of the lines I slip into conversation with unsuspecting family members or co-workers the most, I swear.
#24. “Proceed… on your way to oblivion“
Unicron: You belong to me… now.
Megatron: I belong to nobody!
Unicron: Perhaps, I misjudged you. Proceed… on your way to oblivion.
Megatron pushes the boundaries of his negotiation just a little too far…
#23. “No way, two can play!“
Perceptor: Run Blaster, save yourself!
Blaster: No way, two can play! Sic ’em!
Another crowd-pleasing moment guaranteed to get a cheer on a group watch!
#22. “For a time, I considered sparing your wretched little planet, Cybertron”
Unicron: For a time, I considered sparing your wretched little planet, Cybertron. But now, you shall witness… its DISMEMBERMENT!
This bit utterly blew my mind as a kid.
#21. “More than you imagine, Optimus Prime”
Optimus Prime: [on recording] Now all we need is a little energon and a lot of luck.
Megatron: More than you imagine, Optimus Prime.
The menace! The tone! That smirk!
#20. “I knew you had potential, lad”
Rodimus Prime: Autobots, transform and roll out!
Kup: I knew you had potential, lad.
You can legit feel the pride.
#19. “What’s shaking? Other than this fortress?”
Blaster: Hey, Perceptor, what’s shaking? Other than this fortress?
Perceptor: Blaster, Ultra Magnus sent orders to contact Optimus Prime on Moon Base One!
Blaster: All right! Cover your receptors, Perceptor!
I have no idea why this scene is such a standout moment, but it really is.
#18. “We can give them one humongous repair bill!”
Hot Rod: We can’t hold out forever, Kup, but we can give them one humongous repair bill.
This line + the soundtrack = *chef’s kiss*.
#17. “It’s a pity you Autobots die so easily…”
Galvatron: First Prime, then Ultra Magnus, and now you. It’s a pity you Autobots die so easily, or I might have a sense of satisfaction… now!
It’s the pause before the “…now!” that really gets me with this one.
#16. “I have nothing but contempt for this court!”
Quintesson: Silence or you’ll be held in contempt of this court.
Hot Rod: I have nothing but contempt for this court!
#15. “Experience, lad. You should learn to appreciate it”
Kup: Reminds me of the Nitith slave mines on Galganas 7.
Hot Rod: Every place reminds you of some place else.
Kup: Experience, lad. You should learn to appreciate it.
Hot Rod: A lot of good it’s done us so far.
I love how this dialogue finishes on the wide shot of the “court room” as shown above, making Hot Rod’s final line even more punchy because of the obvious dire straits.
#14. “Unlike some of my other warriors, you never fail me”
Shockwave: Laserbeak returns, Megatron.
Megatron: Welcome, Laserbeak! Unlike some of my other warriors, you never fail me.
Oooh, the shade! And Starscream’s wounded face!
#13. “Not bad for an old timer“
Hot Rod: Heh, not bad for an old timer.
Kup: Old Timer? That’s something you’ll never be, if you don’t get back to the city.
Save it, Kup!
#12. “Your bargaining posture is highly dubious”
Megatron: Why should I, what’s in it for me?
Unicron: Your bargaining posture is highly dubious.
True story – everyone who watches this film will quote this line of dialogue in conversation at some point in their lives. Everyone.
#11. “Wanna bet?”
Starscream: Oh, how it pains me to do this!
Megatron: Wait! I still function!
Starscream: Wanna bet?
This is finally his moment, and he’s gonna turn that smirk up to eleven.
#10. “Now, light our darkest hour…”
My boi! He done good!
#9. “You underestimate me, Galvatron”
One of the most understated lines of dialogue in cinema history, I think, when you consider what comes next.
#8. “Such heroic nonsense”
Brutal. Absolutely BRUTAL.
#7. “Until that day… till all are one”
Optimus Prime: Do not grieve. Soon I shall be one with the Matrix.
Hot Rod: Prime.
Optimus Prime: Ultra Magnus, it is to you, old friend, I shall pass the Matrix of Leadership as it was passed to me.
Ultra Magnus: But Prime, I’m… I’m just a soldier. I… I’m not worthy.
Optimus Prime: Nor was I. But one day, an Autobot shall rise from our ranks, and use the power of the Matrix to light our darkest hour. Until that day… till all are one.
Optimus’ final lines of dialogue are immense, and really quite emotional. No-one who saw this as a child in the ’80s made it through unscathed.
#6. “I’ve got better things to do tonight than die”
This is not just a great line of Transformers dialogue – it’s pure action flick quip goodness!
#5. “Nobody summons Megatron!”
Unicron: I have summoned you here for a purpose.
Megatron: Nobody summons Megatron!
Unicron: Then it pleases me to be the first.
Unicron is so snarky.
#4. “I would have waited an eternity for this. It’s over, Prime”
#3. “Megatron must be stopped… no matter the cost”
We didn’t know what was about to happen… but he did.
#2. “Coronation, Starscream? This is bad comedy”
Starscream: Who disrupts my coronation?
Galvatron: Coronation, Starscream? This is bad comedy.
Starscream: Megatron? Is that you?
Galvatron: Here’s a hint!
This scene might actually be my favourite in the whole film. Where Megatron tolerated, Galvatron does NOT.
#1. “One shall stand, one shall fall…”
Optimus Prime: One shall stand, one shall fall.
Megatron: Why throw away your life so recklessly?
Optimus Prime: That’s a question you should ask yourself, Megatron.
Megatron: I’ll crush you with my bare hands!
Oh come on, was it ever going to be anything else? There’s a reason this dialogue is paraphrased in so much other Transformers media!
So, that’s our list! Do you agree with our choices and our ranking? Let us know if not and of course feel free to suggest your own!