Why are the Transformers' robot forms so "humanoid"?

I understand why their vehicle modes are cars and airplanes: Transformers (or at least, Teletraan I) can scan any vehicle, and then transform into that form. And in the first episode of the Transformers G1 cartoons, I noticed that Bumble's vehicle mode was that of a spaceship... he only transformed into a car after he came to Earth, and Teletraan I scanned for suitable vehicles.

But why are the Transformers' robot forms so humanoid, even if they lived on Cybertron millions of years ago... when Australopithecus had only just begun to walk?

  • 1
    They might have seen other humanoid species...
    – user931
    Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 4:30
  • 5
    Not specific to Transformers. You can replace "transformers" with any aliens from any SF story and still have a valid question.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 8:11
  • Because anthropomorphic characters are easier to relate to, and writers are lazy. I suspect strongly that any in-universe explanation will be retrodicted.
    – Fake Name
    Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 10:40
  • Because it's a show designed to sell plastic toys to hyperactive children.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 16:12

3 Answers 3


In the Gen 1 cartoon continuity, The Quintessons created the Transformers. So, the real question is: why did the Quintessons choose a "humanoid" form?

But there's a problem there.

What are we calling "humanoid"? The fact that they have a body shape that has roughly the same anatomical structure as humans?

We never learn just how long ago the Transformers were created in the Gen 1 Cartoon Continuity, but we know from the episode War Dawn, that the beginning of the war between Autobots and Decepticons was roughly nine million years ago - long before Australopithecus or humans evolved on Earth, but not primates in general.

So, let's look at a couple other characters who share similar body shapes.

During the Gen 1 cartoon, we meet characters like Bosch, Lord Gyconi, and Aron. In all of these cases, we have aliens which share similar body shapes as humans, but are much more advanced technologically (at the very least, they all have interstellar travel). It is safe to assume that they evolved long before humans did.

But how much earlier? Let's keep looking at some more characters..

Like Unicron...


And Unicron's creator, Primacron.


In the Gen 1 cartoon continuity, Primacron created Unicron "at the dawn of the galaxy." Again, we never learn exactly how old the galaxy is in the Gen 1 Cartoon continuity, but it's safe to say that it's a lot older than when life even began on Earth.

So, really, Transformers don't have humanoid robot forms at all - it's actually the exact opposite. Humans have Transformeroid bodies.


Personally I believe that the Transformers is much older, From information on FOC, at the time when the Earth had Pangea. A great continent that existed over 299.million years ago, that's when the Ark and Nemesis crashed. They're older then what G1 puts out, that just increases the factor on how cool the Transformers are.

  • This is true in the Aligned continuity, but the question is pretty clearly referencing the G1 cartoon continuity.
    – phantom42
    Commented Jan 24, 2016 at 16:16
  • Thanks for the comment - I think this needs to be posted as a comment rather than an answer. Commented May 13, 2017 at 10:24

Unless the Quintessons had a time window (like they did in one episode) and saw humans in the future, thinking "wow that's a great idea, we'll design our robots after them!" or something like that. Because in a later episode they build one, but act like they've sort have done it before. Now about the aliens, maybe the Quintessons left it and they saw them as well and cloned their own. OR... it's the other way around.Humans were influenced by aliens and other races. Transformers and humans look alike. Just a suggestion...

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