Transformers: Robots in Disguise Episode Guide
Episode 7: Sideburn's Obsession
Original U.S. air date: September 15, 2001
Written by: Richard Epcar
While chasing yet another red sports car, Side Burn is led into an abandoned warehouse and ambushed by the Predacons. The sports car was in fact a disguised Megatron in his racer mode, and he sends the other Autobots a message telling them where Side Burn is and that Optimus Prime should come for him alone. Optimus agrees, and orders Side Burn's brothers X-Brawn and Prowl to remain behind. However, Optimus is easily captured and Megatron refuses to let Side Burn go according to their agreement.
Reluctant to let Optimus walk into a trap, Prowl and X-Brawn have T-AI contact the Spychangers and proceed to disguise themselves as ugly junk cars. Driving themselves to where Optimus was told to go, they watch the captured Autobots get beaten by the Predacons until everyone is in place. Prowl, X-Brawn and the Spychangers reveal themselves, and after freeing Optimus and Side Burn the Predacons are defeated and sent running.
After the last two episodes hinted at the true nature of Megatron's presense on Earth and his capture of Dr. Onishi, this one gets back to good old-fashioned "Predacons get rid of the Autobots" action without any larger plot action.
Side Burn's name is spelled "Sideburn" as often as not in the television cartoon, but the toy uses two words instead of one, so that's considered official. His irrational obsession with red sports cars is never explained in this episode like you'd expect; he makes up a story to fool Slapper, but that's as close as we get. Even more bizarre is how he keeps trying to ask the cars out on dates, even though he knows full well that they're not Transformers, or even marginally sentient. It's just an excuse for the writers to have some jokes at his expense, really, and a unique one at that.
A "Vehicon drone" (from Beast Machines) was mentioned in this episode as a passing joke by Slapper, but the comment cements Robots in Disguise in the Beast Wars/Machines universe pretty well. If that's so, explaining how Megatron survived the last episode of that series has yet to be accomplished. On the whole, though, it's generally agreed that "Robots in Disguise" is a completely separate universe from the other Transformers series, and any references like this are just thrown in as a wink and nod to long-time fans.