There are examples of Decepticons like Jetfire and Wheelie who turned and changed sides to the Autobots. Jetfire in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is quoted:

It's a choice. It's an intensely personal decision. So much negativity... Who wants to live a life filled with hate?

But has there been instances of Autobots who have changed sides and remained Decepticons?

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    Rattrap briefly joined Megatron during transformers.wikia.com/wiki/The_Agenda,_Part_2 but it was a ruse, so I don't think that counts. – Mufasa Aug 9 '14 at 14:56
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    In the G1 cartoon the Constructicons were originally Autobots but Megatron reprogrammed them to be Decepticons. – J Doe Dec 13 '16 at 23:41

There are three Autobots who became Decepticons that I can think of:

  1. Wheeljack from the Armada continuity

    Wheeljack was once an Autobot in the same military unit as Hot Shot, looking up to his peer due to his own inexperience in battle, and they considered each other good friends. However, that friendship was broken one day when Wheeljack was trapped under rubble in the middle of an intense fire. Hot Shot could not lift the wreckage alone, and left to get some help, promising to return, but he never did. An arrogant Autobot officer forbade Hot Shot from returning, claiming the fire was too intense and they couldn't risk more lives.

    Meanwhile, Wheeljack saw a figure approaching through the flames, thinking that at last, Hot Shot had returned. But it was Megatron who saved him that day, and in return, Wheeljack became a Decepticon.

    Wheeljack hence left his large scarred Autobot symbol (ironically looking like it had been crossed out) on his robot chest/car bonnet and put a new, smaller, Decepticon symbol underneath. This is also shown clearly on the toy:

    Wheeljack (Armada) toy

    See also the Transformers wikia page.

  2. The Fallen

    The character called The Fallen has occurred in multiple Transformers universes. He is typically described as one of the thirteen original Primes who then went on to become the founder of the Decepticons.

    For example, in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the Fallen is described as:

    ... the first Decepticon and the true founder and leader of the Decepticons (as Megatron accepts the Fallen as his master), and all future Decepticons would wear an insignia which is similar to the Fallen's face.

    See also tfwiki.1

  3. And from Transformers: Dark of the Moon (spoilers)

    Sentinel Prime

    Once he arrived back at their base, Sentinel ... betrays the Autobots, kills Ironhide, transports the pillars to Washington D.C. and rendezvous with Megatron. After teleporting hundreds of Decepticons to Earth, he has a confrontation with Optimus, but spares him, in the hope that he would recognize the moral of what he was doing. He demands the exile of the Autobots, who are apparently destroyed while leaving the planet in their space ship. Sentinel usurps Megatron and assumes command of the Decepticons to oversee the final phase of the plan in Chicago.


    Strictly speaking, Sentinel Prime did not actually join the Decepticons (including getting the purple badge) but he did ally himself with them and even assumed command of them (see above quote).

  4. And an honorary mention should go to this character from Beast Wars/Beast Machines (spoilers for Beast Machines)2

    Tankor (Vehicon) was revealed to be Rhinox (Maximal). Though he was initially reprogrammed by Megatron to be a Vehicon, Tankor somewhat embraced it for a while (after regaining his Rhinox memories). Finally, he expressed remorse for his actions thereby reverting, in his spark, to a Maximal.

1 Credit and thanks to Jared for this suggestion.

2 With thanks to phantom42 for this suggestion.

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    Sorry, but that Wheeljack bio sounds far more interesting than anything they came up with in any of the live action movies for any of the Autobots. I want to see that movie!! – Monty129 Jul 31 '14 at 11:27
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    @Monty129: there was only one movie. Bah-weep-graaaaagnah wheep ni ni bong! – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Jul 31 '14 at 11:35
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    Not at all. You've got a good answer here. – phantom42 Jul 31 '14 at 12:47
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    @Monty129 - Yeah that's my main (if not only) gripe with Bay's TFs. Zero characterization. – System Down Jul 31 '14 at 19:10
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    I suppose also the Fallen should be in that list, considering he was a prime and betrayed the other primes also. I forgot about him :o) – Jared Aug 3 '14 at 21:44

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