When (the original, G1) Optimus Prime transformed into robot mode, this trailer just seemed to disappear. When he went back into truck mode, there was his trailer again!

I'm guessing this was to help the animation and story telling. But what was the in-universe explanation? Where did it go?

This question is applicable to both the comic and the cartoon continuities.

  • 1
    just guessing, but maybe the trailer was holographic?
    – Xantec
    Commented Jul 23, 2011 at 13:42
  • 3
    @Xantec It cannot because of the Roller which is stored within the trailer and that is not an hologram for sure.
    – DavRob60
    Commented Jul 23, 2011 at 14:29
  • 6
    Has anyone considered the possibility that Optimus has dozens, possibly hundreds of identical trailers hidden around the American Northwest, and he just calls in the closest one whenever he transforms? Commented Jan 18, 2012 at 14:56
  • 9
    The trailer opens up into a gun turret which fires small plastic missiles at Optimus Prime's enemies! Or at least, mine does...
    – Nick
    Commented Aug 30, 2012 at 10:50
  • 1
    @maguirenumber6: that could happen. After all, The Doctor met Death's Head who has featured in multiple Transformer stories. Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 15:04

6 Answers 6


There is no in universe explanation form the cartoon continuities. For the comics, it look like there is one.

Form the Transformers Wiki, Note section of the Trailer article

When Optimus Prime transforms into robot mode, his trailer usually disappears, only to reattach itself to Prime whenever he goes into vehicle mode. Many fan theories about this disappearance have arisen over the years, with the most popular being that Prime stores the trailer in subspace. IDW comics gives a nod to this, by having the trailer arrive at Prime's location using the orbital jump.

  • Whenever "The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe" dealt with unexplained mass shifting, it always referred to "an unknown, possibly extradimensional source." I find this to be a useful "explanation" when dealing with Transformers G1 cartoons as well. Commented Jan 18, 2012 at 14:54
  • 1
    Makes me think of Ultraviolet
    – eidylon
    Commented May 17, 2012 at 20:05
  • I always thought it was just some sort of holographic projection, but with mass (like the Star Trek holodecks). Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 18:05

The General consensus is that it just goes over there, i.e. just out of camera shot. Funnily this is subverted in the original Marvel Comics four issue run, where Prime's trailer just sits there clearly visible not doing anything while the action takes place around it.

The second bullet point on this tfwiki page says:

During the entire battle at the Witwicky's house, Optimus Prime's trailer sits parked, frequently in view. This is in stark contrast to the more fantastical cartoon, where it would just roll off-screen and vanish.


There is now an official answer, the:

Subspace Storage Pocket

Greg Sepelak and Trent Troop used this phrase in two of their stories for the official Transformers Collectors' Club comic. Hence this phrase is now canon.

The subspace storage pocket is used by multiple transformers, eg for weapons storage, gestalt parts and mass changes.

Source; this rather awesome video1:

1 The whole YouTube channel is great.


Another theory produced by a Transformers fan is that the trailer is created each time by the creation matrix.

To quote from the end of the video:

I think the matrix gives Optimus Prime and Rodimus Prime the ability to manifest a trailer whenever they transform into a truck.

Personally I'm not convinced that the creation matrix has the ability to manifest real world objects; I think its purpose is to impart life to Transformers. But I like the theory and the fact that the fan has, rightly, also taken Rodimus Prime into account.

  • I'm unsure if this should be an answer or a comment. Thoughts? Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 12:25
  • 1
    Kind of borderline quality since it doesn't spell out any evidence, but it's an answer. The Autobot's melancholy when they think Roller has been destroyed in one episode leads me to believe that he's not being detroyed/re-created, though.
    – phantom42
    Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 13:13
  • @phantom42: thanks, my thoughts exactly. Commented Oct 11, 2015 at 15:03
  • 1
    This answer is the only one with evidence. In the cartoon, it materializes from somewhere, full stop.
    – Mazura
    Commented Feb 24, 2016 at 6:07

Optimus Prime has people to take care of these things

Here we see his loyal subordinate Huffer towing his trailer:

enter image description here

  • Huffer also comes into play in the G1 Transformers UK comic #39, 'Prime Time', but I can't find a picture of that. Commented May 13, 2017 at 9:33

Theory 1: inside every transformer is the ability to shrink--but not enlarge--themselves and any of their components in robot or disguise mode (This would also explain why Sky Fire and Astro Train can fit groups of transformers who shouldn't fit inside them--and why Megatron and Sound Wave transform into things much smaller than their robot modes.).

Theory 2: Optimus stores his trailer in another dimension and can bring it to this dimension at will--either because any transformer can or because the matrix allows him.

Theory 3: like the Allspark in the first Michael Bay film, Transformers can fold themselves and different components over into very small objects; in Optimus's case, he would store the condensed trailer in his body.

Theory 4: like Mirage, Optimus's trailer can turn invisible and follows Optimus around everywhere while he's in robot mode.

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