When there’s trouble, we definitely know who to call! Teen Titans took the world by storm and quickly became an incredibly popular cartoon series. The show had everything: great humor, intense situations, fun character interactions, incredible fight sequences, and hilarious animation. It was definitely a show that everyone could enjoy for many different reasons.
Teen Titans was one of those shows that I would watch after school, and I loved them. I loved the hilarious situations, and I loved how the show could go dark when they wanted to. It was silly while still taking its audience seriously, and I appreciated that. It did what many cartoons struggled with in becoming a show that kids would enjoy, but was still smart enough for older kids and adults to like as well.
Teen Titans was also a great blend of American and Japanese animation, combining the best of the two and making something rather special. One moment could show Robin doing an awesome spin kick to take out his enemies, and the next moment could see Beast Boy and Cyborg with enlarged heads and exaggerated features, ranting about something. It was both strange and hilarious and it worked.
Teen Titans comes with a rich history of the characters, the show, the animation, and more. With a show like this, there are quite a few interesting facts to learn. So here are 20 surprising things about Teen Titans you likely didn’t know. Think we missed some? Let us know!
Note: I’ll mostly be talking about the animated series that ran from 2003 to 2006, though I’ll talk about the comics a bit too.
20 Red X Is Who?
Remember Red X? The alter ego that Robin used to try to stop Slade? Later, someone stole the suit Robin used and started going by the same name. He definitely gave the Titans a run for their money and proved to be quite the wise-cracking semi-villain. In the end, the Titans never actually catch him, and we also never find out just who the new Red X is. But fans have theories.
One popular theory is that Red X is actually Jason Todd. It could make sense. He’s matched with Robin on fighting abilities, and he’s certainly sarcastic enough to be Jason. The problem with this theory is that Red X looks to be older than Robin, or at least around the same age as him. But canonically, Jason Todd is younger than Dick Grayson. But that doesn’t mean the show couldn’t mess around with the timeline a bit.
19 They Did What To The Show?
Fans are still bitter about the fact that Teen Titans was supposed to go on for at least one more season. Even the final season was supposed to be a bit longer than it was. But unfortunately, the fifth season was reduced and the show was canceled after that.
Why was it canceled? There’s no one answer really. There are a few theories fans have. One is that the female fanbase got too big, which wasn’t appealing for the segregated gender marketing that many companies do for shows like these (which is completely messed up and needs to die, just saying). There’s also the theory that Cartoon Network dropped Teen Titans to focus on its other shows. But we did get a movie that sort of served as a season finale. And Teen Titans Go! came about later, but has received mixed reviews from fans (AKA lot of fans hate it).
18 Bridging The Generation Gap?
Kid Flash was a Titan who got brought about a little late in the game, but he still left quite the impression on fans. He was a great combination of funny without being annoying, fairly competent, and surprisingly charming. The fact that he annoyed his captors while fighting them was pretty entertaining too.
But did you know Michael Rosenbaum, the guy who voiced Kid Flash, also voiced the Flash in the Justice League animated series and Justice League Unlimited? This has led to the theory that the Kid Flash in Teen Titans is also the Flash in the Justice League series. It does make sense since the alter ego of that particular Flash is Wally West, who canonically was Kid Flash before he took on the mantle of Flash. Timeline wise, this wouldn’t make any sense, but has that stopped any theorist before?
17 This Lovely Lady Made History
I think it’s safe to say we all loved Bumblebee the minute she showed up in Teen Titans. Not many can quite get under Cyborg’s skin and leave him speechless like Bumblebee can. And she’s a pretty awesome superhero, eventually becoming the leader of the Titans East. But did you know that Bumblebee has some historical significance too?
Bumblebee, also known as Karen Beecher, was actually DC comics’ first African American female superhero. She first appeared in Teen Titans #45 back in 1976. I personally think it was a great move to include her in the Teen Titans animated series. She’s really an awesome character and her strong personality works (and clashes) well with the other Titans. She’s a born leader, so it’s a great move to have her in charge of the Titans East. Go Bumblebee!
16 Which Robin Is He?
We all know that Robin from Teen Titans used to work with Batman in Gotham. But do we know which Robin he is? While the consensus is that this particular Robin is Dick Grayson, or the first Robin, there’s also the fact that this Robin is still a little different.
The creators have said that in creating this version of Robin, they actually took elements from many different Robins, particularly Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, and Stephanie Brown. While he seems to have the origin and acrobatic abilities of Dick Grayson, Robin also has Jason’s ruthlessness, Tim’s talent for detective work, and Stephanie’s reckless behavior. I do like that they’ve taken interesting elements from previous Robins and rolled it all up into one character for the show. It does make him a bit more complex and pretty interesting.
15 What Do These Two Villains Have In Common?
Brother Blood was definitely one of the more competent villains in Teen Titans, and often posed a real threat to our heroes. His knowledge of technology and his aptitude for mind control made him pretty intimidating. Combine that with his weird obsession with Cyborg, and you’ve got a fantastically creepy villain. But did you ever think his voice sounded familiar?
If you did, you likely have seen Kim Possible. The truth is that Brother Blood from Teen Titans and the villainous Drakken from Kim Possible share the same voice actor: John DiMaggio. This guy has done a lot of voice work for various shows and movies. I didn’t pick up the connection between Drakken and Brother Blood at first, but when Brother Blood started shouting, everything clicked. (Seriously, I’d recognize that yell anywhere.)
14 These Guys (And Girls) Got Around
If you think the voices of our main characters sound familiar, there’s a good reason for that. The voice actors behind these characters have done a lot of characters in cartoons over the years. These actors are seriously talented!
Raven is voiced by Tara Strong, who has done many roles, including Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Bubbles from Powerpuff Girls. Beast Boy is voiced by Greg Cipes, who has also voiced Keven from Ben 10: Alien Force, Caleb from W. I. T. C. H., and Mikey from Nickelodeon’s TMNT. Robin’s voice, Scott Menville has voiced many minor characters in several cartoons such as Avatar: The Last Airbender and Codename Kids Next Door. And finally, Kary Phayton, the voice behind Cyborg, also voiced Aqualad from Young Justice and has done a bunch of roles in video games.
13 It’s All Thanks To This Anime
Ever wonder why the animation style for Teen Titans seems pretty different from your usual cartoons? Though, if you’re a fan of Japanese anime, you’ll recognize this style. Teen Titans draws from Japanese animation, such as exaggerated animation for comedic effect, but there’s one show in particular that heavily influenced Teen Titans. And it’s one that may surprise you.
Apparently, the anime series Fooly Cooly (also known as FLCL and Furi Kuri) was the biggest inspiration for Teen Titan’s design and animation style. Although the series was rather short, Fooly Cooly became very popular, and critics called it hilarious and visually superb. Many shows have taken inspiration from this show, including Avatar: The Last Airbender. Who would’ve thought one anime series would have later inspired other popular cartoons?
12 These Guys Look (And Sound) Very Familiar
We know that Teen Titans has quite a few fun references to other shows and movies, but did you know Teen Titans got referenced too? One particular moment happens in the Justice League animated series, in the episode “Wild Cards.”
This episode has Joker terrorizing Las Vegas with bombs (of course) and introducing the Royal Flush Gang, a group of super-powered kids that he broke out of some government lab. You may notice that these kids sound familiar. Well, the people who voiced the Teen Titans also voiced these baddies. It’s a subtle little reference that I’m sure the voice actors had a blast doing. So, does that mean these guys are like the anti-Teen Titans? I would love to see a spin-off series of that! Make it happen DC!
11 Singing Your Heart Out
The theme song for Teen Titans has become pretty iconic. It’s got this great secret agent feel combined with some fun instrumentals. That beginning with the organ-like sound always gave me chills. It’s almost impossible for me to hear this theme song and not sing along.
But do we know the people behind the theme song? Andy Sturmer, who wrote the Teen Titans theme, has also written the themes for Ben 10, The Batman, and Transformers Animated. The theme song was sung by the Japanese pop duo Puffy AmiYumi. That may also explain why the theme song was also in Japanese. So, we have these talented people to thank for a very fun, epic, and just awesome theme song that we can all sing along to.
10 This House Looks Familiar...
Remember Killer Moth? He was definitely one of the more interesting villains that the Titans had to face. What also made him stand out was his surprising devotion to his daughter, Kitten. Admittedly, the girl was a spoiled rotten brat, but you have to admire the guy for focusing on his family as well as his villainy.
But there’s a rather fun fact regarding Killer Moth’s house. Apparently, the home is an exact replica of the house from the TV series The Brady Bunch. It even has the same décor. Considering Killer Moth is a bit of a family man, this little tidbit actually makes sense. It’s both hilarious and interesting to have a guy who dresses up as a giant moth live in such a normal house. It’s a great way to subvert expectations of villains.
9 All Kinds Of Source Material
Teen Titans has been around for quite some time, definitely long before the animated series came about. In fact, this group of superhero sidekicks first appeared in 1964. Since then, there has been a fair amount of different iterations of Teen Titans, particularly in comics. So which ones did the animated series take inspiration from?
Well, the series actually took elements from several different versions of Teen Titans, but the version it relied on the most were the comics done in the 80s by Perez and Wolfman. Many of the story arcs seen in the show were actually taken directly from these comics. The creators of the animated series were really nervous about Perez’s and Wolfman’s reaction to the show. But when the comic creators watched it, they loved it!
8 She's Too Cool For A Civilian Name
Throughout the series, the Teen Titans all generally go by their superhero names, and they remain in their hero alter-egos pretty much 24/7. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t have civilian names. Cyborg’s real name is Victor Stone, Starfire’s name is Koriand’r, Robin’s name is Dick Grayson, and Beast Boy’s name is Garfield Logan.
Raven seems to be the exception to this trend of alter egos since she’s the only one who just goes by Raven. This does make some sense since she’s from another dimension where things like civilian names probably weren’t a big consideration. She wasn’t really regarded as even human for a while, so I’m surprised she had a name in the first place. It would be interesting if she had to go incognito. I wonder what name she would choose.
7 A Psychopathic Connection
I think half the time, we didn’t know whether to laugh at or be rather creeped out by Mad Mod. This British supervillain was obsessed with making everyone else in his image of a perfect British citizen. At one point, he even tried to take over America and make it like Great Britain. But did you know that Mad Mod took inspiration from a rather famous movie?
The brainwashing technique Mad Mod uses in “Detention” is very similar to the brainwashing used on the psychopathic Alex in the movie A Clockwork Orange. What gets even crazier is that Malcom McDowell, who played Alex, also voiced Mad Mod in Teen Titans. I find it kind of funny that the creators of this kids’ show managed to sneak in a reference to an incredibly violent and disturbing movie.
6 She Was Supposed To Be Around More
Ah, who doesn’t simultaneously love and hate Terra? Her whole arc was rather tragic, both for her and the Teen Titans who befriended her. She was a pretty likable character, and her struggles to control her abilities were interesting and relatable. Plus, her romance with Beast Boy was pretty cute. It made her betrayal that much more heart-breaking.
But did you know that Terra was going to show up more during season 2? The idea the creators had was that they wanted her to be integrated more into the team, making the audience more familiar with her as a Titan. That would make the betrayal all the more cutting. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen due to time constraints. I do wish they had been able to have her show up more. It definitely would’ve made things more interesting.
5 Hey, I Know These Guys!
We know that Teen Titans took a lot of elements and style from Japanese anime, but did you know it has some actual anime references? One, in particular, can be seen in the Teen Titans movie, Trouble in Tokyo. Here, anime fans can find a rather awesome reference to the movie Akira.
There’s a moment when the Titans first find themselves in Tokyo where you can see some characters from Akira. At one point, it shows a crowd of Tokyo residents watching a sumo wrestling match being shown on a giant screen in downtown Tokyo. In this scene, three of the spectators are shown to be Kaneda, Yamagata, and Kai from Akira (seen from the back). It’s a pretty fun Easter egg that you could easily miss if you’re not familiar with Akira.
4 This Relationship Is Rather Domestic
One of the more entertaining, yet sweet elements of Teen Titans was watching the interactions between Raven and Beast Boy. The two heroes are about as opposite as you can get, and that’s what made them so entertaining to watch. Raven’s dry, sarcastic wit worked surprisingly well with Beast Boy’s random and silly antics. And yet, you can tell the two heroes care about each other. Apparently, this was done on purpose from the beginning.
The writer David Slack said that he wrote Beast Boy’s and Raven’s relationship to be that of a married couple. He had the two constantly bickering and getting on each other’s nerves, but would also fight for each other at the drop of a hat. He liked this idea of two people that are so loyal to each other, yet antagonize each other often simply because their personalities are so different. Well, there may be hope for BBRae fans yet!
3 Don’t You Forget About Me
A lot went into the creation of Teen Titans and a lot of different shows and movies provided various inspiration. From anime to comics, Teen Titans has been influenced by many. One movie you may not guess was actually The Breakfast Club.
The story editor, David Slack, talked about how he saw Teen Titans as a superhero version of The Breakfast Club, and it does make sense. You’ve got Cyborg as the jock, Robin as the bad boy, Starfire as the princess, Raven as the goth, and Beast Boy as the nerd. And just like it’s talked about at the end of The Breakfast Club, the Teen Titans are more than just their stereotypes. They’re real people with real struggles. Their different quirks and personalities are what make the show that much more entertaining and intriguing.
2 They Weren’t The First
The Teen Titans have been around since their first appearance in 1964, and they brought a new meaning to the next generation of superheroes. The idea that our main superheroes’ sidekicks could hold themselves on their own was an interesting element that quickly took off. But did you know that the Teen Titans were not the first group of superhero sidekicks?
That title goes to a group of superheroes written by Marvel called the Young Allies. This group got its start back in 1941 as a group of teenagers led by Bucky Barnes, Captain America’s sidekick. They were originally called the Sentinels of Liberty but were later renamed as the Young Allies. Eventually, The Human Torch’s sidekick Toro joins them as well. It’s kind of interesting to see how even in the early days of superhero comics, sidekicks having their own adventures were a thing.
1 We Don’t Talk About Him
Throughout the series, the Teen Titans looked to Robin as their leader, and for a pretty good reason. He was a great strategist, he was good at organizing all the different Titans groups, and he was fearless in both giving orders and taking on villains himself. But he had to have learned all of this from somewhere, right? You know who I’m talking about.
Well, despite the fact that the show references Gotham itself multiple times, it never once mentions Batman’s name. There are a few visual references to him, but no one ever actually says the word “Batman.” The reason for this could be copyright issues, but I also think Robin probably doesn’t like to talk about him. In this show, he seems to not be on the best terms with the Dark Knight, so it would make sense that he doesn’t ever really mention him.