Maybe it’s our ongoing obsession with sex robots, maybe it’s our natural inclination to see penises absolutely everywhere or maybe it’s Peter Cullen’s commanding-yet-soothing voice as Optimus Prime. Whatever the reason, dick-centric Transformers GIFs are seemingly everywhere online. Some are legit clips from the cartoon taken out-of-context; others are altered via Photoshop by enterprising shitposters. Either way, it’s hard to tell which are real, which are fake and where they came from. Until, that is, now…
Robot Name: Soundwave
Equipment Check: Soundwave was one of the coolest and most popular characters from the original Transformers cartoon, which becomes all the more impressive when you remember that he just turned into a stupid tape deck. As for the GIF, Soundwave was using this button to alert his fellow Decepticons to the fact that the Autobots were escaping, so it’s a real, fairly innocent clip taken out-of-context. Still, Soundwave’s “play” button being located right on his crotch can’t be a complete coincidence, can it?
Robot Name: Hound
Equipment Check: In the second episode of the original Transformers cartoon, the Autobot Hound is trapped underwater when Spike (the male character above) jumps in to save him. The cartoon then cuts to Hound reviving Spike seconds later. The out-of-context clip has been an online joke for years — both the subject of numerous caption contests and a heartwarming video set to Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Feeling.”
Robot Name: Warpath
Equipment Check: Long before the racist robots in Michael Bay’s Transformers 2, original characters like Jazz and Warpath were modeled after Black stereotypes. While Jazz’s “hip” dialogue could get pretty cringe-y, he at least was voiced by a Black actor (none other than the late, great Scatman Crothers). As for Warpath, he was played by a white guy doing a voice that sounded like a coked-up Bill Cosby.
The Warpath dick GIF comes from a scene in the old cartoon, but with a slight alteration: Thanks to some online jokester, his cannon shoots straight out of his dick region, not his chest like in the original. Which, of course, doesn’t quite make it canon (you know, while we’re on the topic of cannons).
Robot Name: Crane Robo
Equipment Check: Probably the most famous Transformers dick GIF isn’t from Transformers at all. Instead, it’s from a 1986 Japanese anime known as Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos. But while this image is altered, it’s less altered than you’d think — in the anime, that crane really is placed straight in the robot’s crotch. Whoever made the GIF just added the bouncy dick-flex motion.
Despite his obvious assets, Crane Robo was a minor character in the anime, appearing for only a few seconds. More disappointingly, he had a boring-as-fuck name. In a just universe, he would have switched names with the Transformers character Erector, who is another transforming crane, but whose robot form is sadly bonerless.
Robot Name: Optimus Prime
Equipment Check: If you thought this was from Family Guy, you’re close. It’s actually a clip from Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy, a 2008 YouTube series that was basically what Family Guy would be if it was only the cutaway gags. Optimus Prime fucking a woman before crushing her to death is pretty typical MacFarlane material, but for me, the best thing to come from this clip is a YouTube video that mislabels Optimus as Megatron. Predictably, the video has dozens of angry comments like, “That’s Optimus Prime, noob.”
Robot Name: Megatron
Equipment Check: Like “Now where’s that access panel?,” this is also from Episode Two of the old cartoon. It may look like Megatron is jerking off, but he isn’t (I checked). Megatron was just happy because his evil plan to get more energon was going exactly as devised (this was the plot to literally every episode of the cartoon).
Robot Name: Rodimus Prime
Equipment Check: In the originally maligned, but now celebrated Transformers: The Movie, Optimus Prime is killed and a new robot named Rodimus Prime takes his place as leader of the Autobots. Despite the fact that it took hundreds of people to make the movie — not to mention, a whole team of decision-makers at Hasbro — no one seemed to notice how phallic that name sounded. Thank god they didn’t, because 35 years later, Transformers has more dick jokes associated with it than any other nostalgia property.
Robot Name: Zetar (with Optimus Prime looking on admiringly)
Equipment Check: All this GIF did was remind me of the time I had kidney stones. Zetar is a drilling vehicle that transforms into a goofy-looking robot with a drill for a head. Whoever made this just stuck his head to his crotch instead. Frankly, it’s quite an improvement.