Part 1: A flashback reveals how Robin formed the Teen Titans.
Part 2: A flashback reveals how Robin changed from mild-mannered sidekick to quick-tempered leader.
A dope rap beat plays as Robin rolls into the Tower living room, alarmed. This time, he's shocked by how much mercury plagues their tuna fish. Despite his dismay, the Titans continue as usual; cat-form Beast Boy scratches up the couch, Raven is summoning the demonic, and Starfire and Cyborg are drawing on the window overlook. Outraged, Robin commands them all to knock it off, so Starfire starts by shooting a laser through the glass to get rid of the permanent ink. Flexing his muscles with wrath, Robin gives them all a hard slap with his fish. Beast Boy yells at him for the abusive treatment, so tries to cool down. It's not really his fault- they all just bring out the worst in him. However, the Titans see this as a positive, remembering how Robin was before they formed the team. And with that, Beast Boy induces them all into a flashback...
Back in the old days, when Jump City was rampant with villains, a hero from Gotham came to put an end to the crime: Batma- or, wait- Robin, the Boy Wonder! Dressed in a ridiculous Silver Age costume and speaking with a happy-go-lucky tone, Robin was a lot more...different. After rappelling down a building (and seeing his former partners), Robin reached the ground just in time to be squashed back into the wall by Mammoth. Next, he turned to Plasmus, who only left him stomped into the floor, and Mr. Freeze, well, froze him. After several failed attempts at heroism, Robin ended up in a garbage bin, disheartened. He realized that the only way to bring peace to the city was by forming a superhero team... the Teen Titans!
Beginning his quest at Banes Gym, Robin spotted a super-fast boy playing some super-fast ping pong, Kid Flash. While he was asking the hero to join his team, Kid Flash managed to stop a robbery in Canada. Impressed by his quickness, Robin offered him a flyer to join, although he assured Kid Flash that he's a shoo-in for sure. Skipping along to find more recruits, a regular guy with a football asked for a flyer. When Robin learned that the teenager, Victor, wasn't a superhero, he politely declined; the team was for supers only.
Out on the ocean, Robin spied a hero named Aqualad amazingly riding a squid. Robin handed him a flyer, but was unfortunately distracted and ran into a bell tower. Popping out of the water in SCUBA gear, Victor again asked for a tryout, but Robin merely swam away. Later, deep in the wilderness, Robin paid a visit to Speedy, a gifted archer. After giving him a flyer, one of Speedy's stray arrows stabbed Robin. The marksman left the scene of the crime just as Victor showed up again. Injured and not really wanting to deal with him, Robin used his Batclaw to make a fast exit. Next up on his recruitment list was Bumblebee. Crashing in on her dance party, Robin offered her an audition for the team. Once again, Victor arrived, begging for a flyer, but Robin could only smile and wave him off. At the moment, he was busy with a bunch of bees trying to kill him.
Meanwhile, chaos ravaged through Jump City Park as Raven, daughter of the demon Trigon, tore the area to shreds with dark magic. Figuring that her powers could be used for good, Robin approached her. Each time he tried to get her attention, however, Raven threw something at him. When he angrily commanded her to stop, Robin instantly regretted losing his cool and instead asked her nicely to join the team. Tired of destroying the world for her dad, Raven picked up a flyer. Gamboling away, Robin ran into Victor again, only to again deny him a tryout.For his next possible teammate, Robin staked out a building and found a beautiful alien candidate, Starfire. Gazing at her point blank with binoculars, Robin saw her innocently pick up a cat- and then swallow it. Alarmed, Robin yelled at her to cease eating the cat. After he apologized for his outburst, Starfire began explaining that some TV alien friend told her that cats are an Earth delicacy. So, Robin had to berate her as she tried eating cat again. Finally, he instilled in Starfire that cats are sweet and "not to eat." After handing her a flyer, Victor popped out of a nearby window, begging for a flyer. But he'd just be a waste of Robin's time.
Nearby, Lexcorp Savings and Loan had just been robbed by a couple of thugs. But luckily, a huge green rhino horned them to the ground: Beast Boy! Wowed by the shape shifter, Robin offered him a spot on the team. Beast Boy was wondering if there'd be lunch at tryouts, so Robin showed him the flyer where it EXPLICITLY said no lunch. After Beast Boy gave a few specifications about his vegan diet, Robin burst into fury, screaming that there was no lunch. Once he calmed down though, Robin bid farewell to Beast Boy and ran into an unwelcomed Victor again. After seven rejections, Robin finally submitted and slapped a flyer in his face. It had been a stressful day for Robin, so he had to apologize for losing his mind again. With Victor finally appeased, Robin pranced off, ready to start the team tryouts.
Gathered under the near-finished Titans Tower, Robin welcomed all the applicants to the Teen Titans Try Outs (with a special greeting to Kid Flash). To make it to the finals, they would need speed, skill, combat efficiency, and most importantly team work. Right as Robin was about to kick off trials, Beast Boy started wondering where all the food was. After Victor, Starfire, and Raven joined in on his "lunch chant", Robin freaked out for the sixth time that day. Kid Flash pointed out that a leader shouldn't lose his mind, so Robin had to apologize. No sooner than he did that, he again erupted in fury at Starfire for trying to eat a cat again. Eager to get this over with, Robin started the tests...
First up is the speed trial. Kid Flash, obviously proficient in this area, managed to race around the world in a mere second. Victor didn't fair so well, however, only travelling a few feet before vomiting... Shortly after, the combat test followed. Robin ordered Raven to attack a sandbag dummy, but she figured Robin would make an even better target. After being smashed into pulp by Raven's huge demonic fist, Robin had no choice but to fail her in the category.
The group of heroes met in the Titans Tower living room for the final test: teamwork, gauged by building a Justice League puzzle. The 8 of them were split up into two groups; Robin's prodigies on the right, and all of the failures on the left. Once the competition started, Kid Flash's squad immediately set to work at a brisk pace. Meanwhile, the other group wasn't working together so well- Raven started face slamming Beast Boy for ruining her puzzle pieces, and Starfire, thinking they were practicing combat again, started eyebeaming the Tower into oblivion. Robin's muscled started bulging, and his teeth started grinding... he screeched at the top of his lungs for the four fools to stop. When Victor showed a poorly taped-together puzzle to him and asked if he made the team, Robin, not able to cool it this time, banged all four of their heads with a table. He regretted ever asking them to tryout and promptly shoved them to the elevator. After giving Victor a nice kick for good measure, Robin finally collected himself like a good boy.
Turning to the remaining Titan candidates, Robin was happy to see that his favorites had made it through to the end. However, that smile left his face once Kid Flash held a vote to boot him off the team. Apparently, Robin had lost his temper way too much to qualify as a leader, and now he was being escorted out of the Tower by the new leader, Kid Flash. And just like that, the Teen Titans, the dream team he had put together, was no longer his.
To be continued...
Unusually low in spirits, Starfire roamed the streets of Jump City, homeless, friendless, and hungry. The sound of fighting cats grabbed the attention of her rumbling stomach, but she tried to resist the temptation. However, some random voice, her TV alien friend, pushed her to her breaking point. Heading off to a dumpster to devour the cats, she instead found a disgraced Robin fighting over a used napkin with a cat. Starfire wondered what he was doing here, so Robin filled her in on the mutiny of the Teen Titans. Trying to make the best of it, a trash bag fell on him from a demonic portal. Apparently, Raven's dad kicked her out of the house for not oppressing the universe, so now she had to live on the filthy streets, too. Once Robin explained his demise to her, the other two failures, Victor and Beast Boy, showed up looking for some trash to eat/make camp in.
After having to recount his downfall for the third time, Robin descended into rage again, flexing his muscles and ass and even letting go a "gee willikers." According to him, it was THEIR fault that he was booted off the team, always making him go crazy and what not. Raven chimed in that at least he wasn't a pussy when he lost it, and Beast Boy even hypothesized that Robin wouldn't have been rejected if he was always crazy. Expanding on his idea, the shapeshifing hero had a proposal: since all of them were rejects, so why didn't they form their own team of rejects? The idea of an underdog team was exciting to Victor, Starfire, and Raven, but Robin declined the invitation; they brought out the worst in him. Beast Boy clapped back that the regular Robin let Kid Flash and the others take over the Titans Tower. Pumped up, Victor claimed that the five of them could take it all back. Robin wasn't so sure about the conquest, though...
With the help of Raven's portal, the band of incompetents managed to infiltrate the still-under-construction Tower. While Raven tried to instill bravery in a nervous Robin, Kid Flash spotted them. The new leader had no time for these fools' shenanigans (Speedy had just clogged the toilet with wet wipes). Angered at the nerve of Kid Flash, the four loyal Titans urged Robin to fight back against this injustice. Robin, still a wimp at heart, tried to back down, but the challenge is put forward: Titans v. Titans, whichever team won got the Tower, and whichever team lost hit the road. Kid Flash more than willingly accepted the stakes and bid the "losers" farewell. Robin was down in the dumps (figuratively this time)... how could they beat these thugs when the four were creamed in tryouts and he was an incompetent leader? Not willing to give up on their new commander, the Titans set out to make him the most competent leader there ever was.
Heading to the bathroom for Robin's transformation (where Raven was disappointed with the wet wipe-clogged toilet), the team heard Kid Flash trying to barge in. Beast Boy ordered him to do the Pee Pee Dance, because they had work to do. First off was Robin's ridiculous outfit. With the help of Raven's magic, they substituted his speedo for pants, his elf shoes with metal-toed boots, and lengthened his cape to cover his butt. Even after settling on a sick spiky hairstyle, Robin was unsure about the new look. Outside, Speedy, still needing to pee, claimed that a new appearance would never change his leadership skills, and Robin believed him. Victor and Raven added insult to injury, and once Beast Boy brought up his failure to stop the toilet from clogging, the fire in Robin blazed again... only this time, the team admired his rage, his commanding voice. Having finally accepted the fury within him, Robin declared that all five of them were the TRUE Teen Titans, not them, and they would retake their promised land by any means necessary. With the allegiance of his team instilled, Robin ordered the Titans to GO!
Assembled on the grass fields of Titans Island, the two teams faced each other, ready for a war. Kid Flash laid down the rules, directly derived from they tryouts earlier that week. Apart from stealing Robin's ideas, Kid Flash expanded on them. For the combat portion of the test, he introduced a high tech bot with extreme armor and the ability to fight back. The robot immediately backfired for elite team, however, slapping Kid Flash away and blasting the others. Not envying their fate, Robin and tiger Beast Boy charged the machine while Raven and Starfire offered cover fire. The valiant assault was shot down, though, leaving Victor as the only defender. Convinced he's about to die, Robin has to encourage him, reminding him that he always had the heart of a true superhero within him even though he lacked any skill whatsoever. Believing in himself now, Victor courageously charged into the rumble, only to be completely slaughtered. The Titans watched (and heard) as every bone is his body was snapped. It was only a few seconds before his remains were tossed back, hideously mangled. To avoid disqualification, the Titans took a quick trip to the hospital...
2 hours later...It was a long, boring wait Kid Flash's team, but the Titans finally returned—and with them was Victor, now in a super-sleek robotic suit, stronger than ever. He was no longer Victor, but Cyborg. BOOYAH! Kid Flash started to complain about cheating or whatever, but Robin just blew a whistle in his face; the death match contest was back in business. As the combat dummy slowly and intimidatingly approached Cyborg, the high-tech hero simply gave a smile and smoked him with a mega cannon. Kid Flash's team could only look on in amazement at his power.
Next challenge was the puzzle portion. Kid Flash handed a perplexing prism to Beast Boy, who immediately detonated the gadget in his face. Robin managed to save him from blindness by splashing him with water, but the test was failed regardless.
For the tiebreaker, Robin would have to face Kid Flash in a race around the world. When the breakneck fast hero mocked Robin's confidence, Robin merely smacked him away and deemed him "Kid Trash." The Titans cheered on their leader as the two heroes posted up on the starting line. Once they were set, Cyborg fired his revolver attachment to start the race. Watching Kid Flash dart ahead, Robin dragged behind. He didn't expect to win, and he didn't have to! While Kid Flash was on the other side of the world, Robin ordered the Titans the Tower. It was theirs for the taking! Quickly racing to the Tower, the team nailed the elevator shut—but they were too late. Kid Flash was already waiting for them in the living room. However, although his plan had failed, the new Robin wasn't a pushover. With one long, drawn out 棒 staff swing, he caught Kid Flash in the knee, sending him to the floor in excruciating pain. Robin ordered the Titans toss out the "trash" out the window. The banished team now had nowhere to go but the East Coast...
Finally Beast Boy's flashback ends. Robin laments his transformation from the calm and collected Boy Wonder to a crazed maniac, but the Titans thank him for his insanity. His worst brings out their best. Robin, reverting back to his old sidekick voice, sheepishly says "golly" in embarrassment. The four Titans mock their leader, and Robin's commands to stop are completely ignored.
- Trigon (cameo)
- Cinderblock (cameo)
- Plasmus (cameo)
- Monsieur Mallah (cameo)
- Commissioner Gordon (cameo)
- Mr. Freeze (cameo)
- Black Cat (cameo)
- Justice League (cameo as puzzle)
- This is the seventh half-hour special of the series. The previous ones were "Two Parter", "Operation Dude Rescue", "The Streak", "BBRAE", "Justice League's Next Top Talent Idol Star" and "The Self-Indulgent 200th Episode Spectacular!".
- This episode marks Speedy's first speaking appearance since his debut in "The Date".
- Even though three more episodes of the fourth season premiered after, this episode was the last to be produced in the season, which means it is basically the season finale.
- At the end of the episode, the Octopus is seen with a hat and suitcase putting up a sign that reads, "ROCK FOR RENT," before it leaves the rock in front of the Titans Tower. This means that this is indeed the end of the season and that another animal will replace the octopus in the next one.
- A sneak peek of part 2 from this episode was shown BEFORE Cartoon Network announced this episode.
- As Kid Flash hobbles away at the end of the flashback, he suggests that he, Aqualad, Speedy, and Bumblebee should form their team on the East Coast, referring to the Titans East team.
- As of this episode, all members of the Titans East have been seen in the Titans Tower in Teen Titans Go!.
- Cyborg's "Fleshy Guy" persona from "Real Boy Adventures" is seen again for the second time in the series.
- In the opening, Starfire and Cyborg are together engaged in juvenile shenanigans, much like in past episodes such as "Hose Water", "Shrimps and Prime Rib", and "Booby Trap House".
- This isn't the first episode where Starfire was shown to have an appetite for cats. In "The True Meaning of Christmas", Starfire cuddled a gingerbread cat before eating it.
- ALF and his cat-eating tendencies was first mentioned in "Oil Drums" by Robin.
- Kid Flash does the Pee Pee Dance while waiting for his turn in the bathroom.
- Robin once again breaks Kid Flash's leg, like in "Multiple Trick Pony" and "The Streak".
- One of the couples from "BBRAE" are seen at the beginning of the first part of this episode.
- The Justice League image on the puzzle is the same image used on a poster seen in "Justice League's Next Top Talent Idol Star", except it has a different background color.
- The little black cat first seen in "The HIVE Five" makes a cameo in this episode, which marks it her third appearance in the fourth season and her fifth overall series appearance.
- Starfire repeatedly mentions that she was inspired to eat earth felines because of the advice from a "wise-cracking TV alien-friend". She is likely referring to ALF, the cat-eating alien from the 1980s sitcom of the same name.
- Among Starfire's doodles of cats is one dressed like Catwoman.
- One of the bad guys who kicks Robin's butt at the start of the flashback is Mr. Freeze.
- Other Batman villains are referenced in the episode, such as Bane, whose masked face can be seen on a gym. Also, Harley Quinn, the Joker, the Riddler, Catwoman, and Professor Pyg left graffiti at the City Park. And Robin's training dummy appears to be modeled after the Scarecrow.
- Robin's puzzle is a 100 piece jigsaw puzzle of the Justice League.
- Batman and Commissioner Gordon do a wall climb in a similar fashion to the late Adam West version of Batman.
- Robin's rant about kingfish containing mercury could be a reference to the song "Mercury" by Phish.
- When Robin says "Teamwork makes the dream work" might be a reference to RM's quote.
- Even though Victor Stone is a trained athlete, he tired himself out after running a few feet during speed trials.
- Robin wears his classic Robin uniform in this episode which resembles the Silver Age Robin that made an appearance in "The Best Robin" which disregards the continuity from it.
- Cyborg's origin story in this episode contradicts the telling of his origin story in previous episodes. Rather than receiving the robot parts from his father, the Titans take an injured Victor Stone to the hospital to get emergency treatment from doctors.
- The Titans making Robin lose his cool in the flashback, causing him to lose his temper.
- Robin grinding his teeth, becoming muscular and his hair blowing upwards when losing his temper.
- Starfire trying to eat cats.
- Victor Stone following Robin, but Robin refusing to give Victor Stone a flyer since he's not a superhero.
The transcript for "Flashback" can be found here.
|The image gallery for Flashback may be viewed here.|