Few brands are as iconic as Transformers.
Since the original toys first debuted all the way back in 1984, the Robots In Disguise have not only succeeded in uniting generations of fans, but also presenting the world with one of the most well-known rivalries within the field of popular culture.
For as iconic as the Transformers are, few are as well known as Optimus Prime and Megatron. For close to forty years now, this dynamic duo of discord have clashed time and again – with both the brave Optimus and ruthless Megatron tasting the sweetness of victory and the bitterness of defeat along the way.
That said, the pair have not always been enemies and I see a single question popping up repeatedly around the internet,
Are Optimus Prime and Megatron Brothers?
No. Optimus Prime and Megatron are not brothers. However, several times throughout the franchise’s history, Optimus Prime and Megatron have both used the term brother in regard to their relationship, and with good reason as we will see.
What exactly is the relationship between Optimus Prime and Megatron? Well, that’s what we are here to find out! Let’s take a look…
Millions Of Years Ago…
Depending on which version of franchise lore you prefer to follow, the early history of the Transformers tells us that their home planet of Cybertron was once ruled by a superior alien race known as the Quintessons. These vile creatures not only build the Robots In Disguise but also look to sell them throughout the galaxy for both labor and entertainment purposes.
Eventually, the Transformers rise up and defeat their heartless creators. Afterward, at least for a time, they all live in harmony and work together to make Cybertron a bustling utopia of peace and prosperity. However, this future was not to be.
Megatronus Prime, a former Autobot leader, betrayed his brothers out of an eagerness for power and allied himself with the planet eater known as Unicron. The pair were soon defeated and the above events would result in the creation of the Decepticons.
From Friends To Foes
As time went on, the Autobot rulers on Cybertron sadly succumbed to corruption.
Megatron, an anonymous gladiator, wished to fix the situation.
As such, he would lead a rebellion against these corrupt leaders. Serving amongst the ranks of Megatron’s rebellion at this time was a young Transformer named Orion Pax.
Yes, that Orion Pax!
He idolized Megatron and wished to make his commander proud. At least for a time.
After Megatron succeeded in his rise to power, Orion Pax was shocked to discover that his former leader and ally was not at all what he had once seemed to be.
Ruling over his followers with an iron fist, and crushing those who dare to oppose him, Megatron’s vision for the future of the planet no longer sat well with Orion Pax.
The young Transformer, who eventually becomes the heroic Optimus Prime, would thus leave his brother in arms behind to lead the Autobots in their fight against the Decepticons.
The rest, as they say, is history.
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
As can be seen, while both Optimus Prime and Megatron do have a shared history together, they are not related to one another in any way. Yes, they once fought side by side during the early days of Cybertron, but that is as far as the relationship went.
A relationship that was long over by the time the Transformers arrived on earth.
That said, many have wondered if perhaps the pair were brothers.
This is due to the fact that each has referred to the other as such on more than one occasion throughout the brand’s history. Be it in animation, the pages of a comic book, or even in the live-action film series, both Optimus Prime and Megatron have used the term ‘brother’ when in conversation with one another.
Why? Why does Optimus Prime call Megatron ‘brother’?
And, why has Megatron returned the favor on occasion?
Does this mean that the brave Autobot commander and the cynical Decepticon leader are somehow related? No. It does not.
We Were Brothers Once!
To put things simply, Optimus Prime and Megatron are not literal brothers.
Yes, both characters do have a shared history together. During the rebellion on Cybertron, they fought oppression side by side as brothers in arms. Holding fast to their hopes for a society free of corruption, the pair worked together in an effort to turn this shared dream into reality.
As such, one might say that both Optimus Prime and Megatron were brothers in a symbolic sense. And this is reflected in the level of respect that they have for one another. This is despite the fact that they have remained enemies in nearly every incarnation of Transformers lore since the early 1980s.
The Bottom Line On The Relationship Between Optimus Prime & Megatron
So, to wrap things up here, you will encounter exchanges between both Optimus Prime and Megatron where one refers to the other as his brother. It’s in the movie. It’s in the cartoon. It’s in the comics. Yet, this does not mean that the two rivals share a familial bond in the same way that two literal brothers would.
Rather, the term is used in reference to their time fighting alongside each other as allies during the rebellion against a corrupt government on Cybertron.
Transform And Roll Out!