Teen Titans Go! Wiki
Teen Titans Go! Wiki

"Nostalgia is Not a Substitute for an Actual Story" is the nineteenth episode of the fifth season of Teen Titans Go!, and the two-hundredth-twenty-eighth overall episode of the series.


The Titans time travel back to the 1980s to determine whether or not it was the best decade ever.


We're back at it again...Cyborg talking about the 1980s! While watching the show Unusual Stuff that is playing on their TV, Cyborg starts to describe the animation style, and how it looks like it was made in the 1980s. Robin on the other hand, calls the show "terrible" and turns off the TV. Then he goes on to say that the 1980s wasn't "that great". This gets Cyborg all worked up, and him and Robin have an argument. Cyborg talks about the pros of the 1980s, while Robin talks about the cons of the 1980s. They settle this argument by Robin making a bet. Robin says that if Cyborg can buy an album, then Robin will take back what he said about the 1980s and admit that it is the best decade ever. Raven then says "Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos" and the spell is cast for the Titans to travel back into the 1980s.

After Raven finishes casting the spell, the Titans and Tower look awfully different. The style of the Titans' clothes and hairstyle look different, and so does the Tower. The Titans are checking each other out, as they have never seen the 1980s dress style like this before in person.

The Titans plan their trip to the mall shortly after, only to find out that phone service isn't available. Cyborg reminds them that bikes are the most iconic way of getting to one place to another. After the Titans hop on the bikes they start doing wheelies, and other bike tricks. Robin reminds Cyborg that him and the other Titans are going to the mall. Cyborg asks the "where is that mall?", and Raven attempts to go on her Communicator for directions. Unfortunately, once again, there are no cellphone signals in the 1980s. Cyborg then reminds the Titans that they've still got the map. After grabbing the map out, Cyborg is unable to unravel the map, so he gets frustrated and crumples the map and throws it away. Starfire questions, "How will we know which of the roads to take?" Cyborg responds with, "Where we're going, we don't need roads." The Titans take a shortcut through a downhill forest, and end up crashing into the mall. They get hurt in the process, but they have arrived at their destination.

The Titans start observing the mall and what it had to offer. While checking out the mall, these two girls are spotted next to the Titans. One of them says "I would, like, totally kill for that girl's hair." Starfire hears them, and since she doesn't understand the 1980s slang, she interrogates the two girls. Raven interrupts Starfire to explain that those girls wouldn't really 'kill for hair', so when Starfire finally understands, she returns the compliments to the girls, "I would gladly destroy your bloodline and take your lovely eyes for my own."

The Titans are still on the search for the record store, and Cyborg eventually finds it. The Titans are amazed of the store, and they see lots and lots of records everywhere. Beast Boy encourages Cyborg to find his album but Cyborg doesn't know how to due to not knowing how to search for records in the 1980s. Eventually, Cyborg finds his album by the looks of the album cover. Cyborg tells Robin that he completed his mission into getting his album in the 1980s and wants him to finally admit that the 1980s were the best, but Robin reminds him that the worst part of the 1980s are the Jerks. They are spotted behind the Titans. They interrogate the Titans and then they steal Cyborg's album. Cyborg gets back his album by tricking them into thinking something's at the shelf. He then tells the Titans to run.

The Titans hop on their bikes and start running away from the mall, as the '80s Jerks get on their own bikes and start chasing the Titans. The '80s Jerks chase the Titans throughout the neighborhood. Starfire and Raven are concerned that the '80s Jerks will catch up to the Titans soon. Cyborg says once again, "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads!" Robin recalls the last result of going down a downhill forest, but Cyborg insists that Robin and the other Titans follow him.

At the start of going downhill, it doesn't look so good. The Titans looks like they're going to crash into something again just like last time. Luckily, there is a huge mountain edge for the Titans to fly off of (E.T. reference!) The Titans glided off, whilst the '80s Jerks fell into a mud pit. While in the air, Beast Boy asks how they're flying in the air with bikes. Raven responds that they're superheroes, Robin says that he can't and he falls with the bike.

You should've believed you can fly, Robin.

The Titans enjoying themselves after their 80's adventure.

Back at the Tower, the Titans are seen to be chilling on the couch while playing some music through a disk (although, Robin has casts all over his body due to the fall.) He finally admits the 1980s was the best decade. The ending consists of the credits displaying like how it would be in the 1980s.



  • This episode is nominated for the Creative Arts Short Form Animated Emmy Award 2019. Other nominated episodes are "The Witness" (Love, Death & Robots), "Why is it Wet?" (Robot Chicken), "Plankton Paranoia" (SpongeBob SquarePants) and "Reunited" (Steven Universe).



  • Robin mentions the Cold War when he talking about the banes of the 80's.
  • The show, Unusual Stuff, that the Titans are watching at the beginning is an obvious reference to the Netflix series Stranger Things, an '80s-set Netflix web television series.
  • Starfire's '80s hairstyle is very similar to her hairstyle from the New Teen Titans comics (which debuted in the early '80s), created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez.
  • The title screen and the scene where the Titans are riding their bikes in the sky is a reference to the 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
  • The "'80s Jerks" blonde guy in the karate uniform has similar physical characteristics to Johnny Lawrence from the 1984 film The Karate Kid.
  • Near the beginning of the episode, Cyborg is seen dressed up as the boxer Apollo Creed in Rocky IV.
  • Cyborg's nerdy character is based on the character Steve Urkel from the '80s sitcom Family Matters.
  • When Cyborg talking about how great things the '80s have, you can see Beast Boy as ALF from the series of the same name.
  • Raven is depicted as a "Trashheap Kid" on a "Rotten Raven" card, a parody of a popular series of collectible trading cards called "Garbage Pail Kids". Interestingly, her actress, Tara Strong, once lent her voice to a short-lived animated GPK series back in the '80s.
  • The music in the beginning of the '80s part sounds almost exactly like "Sunglasses At Night" by Corey Hart.
  • The instrumental music used in the scene where the Titans ride their bicycles sounds very similar to that of the New Kids on the Block song "You Got It (The Right Stuff)".
  • The line repeated by Cyborg, "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads..." is from the 1985 Robert Zemeckis film Back to the Future, used by Doc Brown.
    • Cyborg's favorite '80s car is the DeLorean DMC-12 sports car, which is also from Back to the Future.
    • The scene in which the '80s jerk gang leader gets covered in mud, and starts yelling how much he hates it, is similar to the scene from Back to the Future, in which Biff Tannen gets manure all over himself, and does the same thing.
  • This episode ends with a closing logo card called "Fennimore Frog Productions" and the announcer (possibly Greg Cipes) says "Stay froggy stay, nice froggy", and it responded with a "ribbit" is a reference of a company named Ubu Productions.
  • The music and gameplay of the Album Hunters arcade game Robin plays is a reference to the Super Mario Bros. series of video games, and similar games made by Nintendo.
  • In the scene during Cyborg's, Beast Boy was depicted as the ALF, the protagonist from the TV series with the same name.
  • When Cyborg says "The 80s were the greatest decade in human history", four vehicles appear, these vehicles reference television series and movies that were famous in the1980s:-
  • Beast Boy mentions Juan Ponce de León, a Spanish explorer during the Renaissance's Age of Discovery.


  • Robin claimed that the internet was non-existent in the '80s, but the truth is the internet, along with the prototype of smartphones and numerous technologies, were invented at the end of the '80s.
  • It should be noted that in "Stockton, CA!", Jump City was founded in 2003, so the Titans pretty much won't be able to travel back to see what it looked like during the 80's.

Running Gags

  • Robin and Cyborg arguing about which decade is better.
  • The Titans having trouble riding their bikes.
  • Cyborg quoting the line "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads..." from the 1985 movie Back to the Future.
  • Raven forgetting that the Communicator can’t function/receive signal in the 80s.


The transcript for "Nostalgia is Not a Substitute for an Actual Story" can be found here.


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v - e - d Episode Guide

Season 1: April 23, 2013 - June 5, 2014
Legendary SandwichPie BrosDriver's EdDog HandDouble TroubleThe DateDude RelaxLaundry DayGhostboyLa Larva de AmorHey Pizza!GorillaGirl's Night OutYou're Fired!Super RobinTower PowerParasiteStarliarMeatball PartyStaff MeetingTerra-izedArtful DodgersBurger vs. BurritoMatchedColors of RavenThe Left LegBooksLazy SundayStarfire the TerriblePower MovesStaring at the FutureNo PowerSidekickCaged TigerSecond ChristmasNose MouthLegsBreakfast CheeseWafflesBe MineOppositesBirdsBrain FoodIn and OutLittle BuddiesMissingUncle JokesMás y MenosDreamsGrandma VoiceReal MagicPuppets, Whaaaaat?

Season 2: June 12, 2014 - July 30, 2015
Mr ButtMan PersonPiratesMoney GrandmaI See YouBrianNatureSalty CodgersKnowledgeSlumber PartyLove MonstersBaby HandsCaramel ApplesSandwich ThiefFriendshipVegetablesThe MaskSerious BusinessHalloweenBoys vs GirlsBody AdventureRoad TripThanksgivingThe Best RobinMouth HoleHot GarbageRobin BackwardsCrazy DaySmile BonesReal Boy AdventuresHose WaterLet's Get SeriousTamaranian VacationRocks and WaterMultiple Trick PonyTruth, Justice and What?Two Bumble Bees and a WaspOil DrumsVideo Game ReferencesCool SchoolKicking a Ball and Pretending to Be HurtHead FruitYearbook MadnessBeast ManOperation Tin ManNeanCampfire StoriesAnd the Award for Sound Design Goes to RobThe HIVE FiveThe Return of SladeMore of the SameSome of Their Parts

Season 3: July 31, 2015 - October 13, 2016
Cat's FancyLeg DayDignity of TeethCroissantSpice GameI'm the SauceHey You, Don't Forget about Me in Your MemoryAccept the Next Proposition You HearThe Fourth Wall40%, 40%, 20%Grube's FairytalesA FarceScary Figure DanceAnimals, It's Just a Word!BBBDAY!Black FridayTwo ParterThe True Meaning of ChristmasSquash & StretchGarage SaleSecret GardenThe Cruel Giggling GhoulHow 'Bout Some EffortPyramid SchemeBeast Boy's St. Patrick's Day Luck, and It's BadThe Teen Titans Go Easter Holiday ClassicBatman v Teen Titans: Dark InjusticeBottle EpisodeFinally a LessonArms Race with LegsObinrayWally TRad Dudes with Bad TudesOperation Dude RescueHistory LessonThe Art of NinjutsuThink About Your FutureTTG v PPGCoconut Cream PiePure ProteinOpen Door PolicyCrazy Desire IslandThe Titans ShowBooty ScootyWho's Laughing NowOregon TrailSnuggle TimeOh Yeah!Riding the DragonThe OverbiteThe Cape

Season 4: October 20, 2016 - June 25, 2018
Shrimps and Prime RibHalloween v ChristmasBooby Trap HouseFish WaterTV KnightTeen Titans Save ChristmasBBSFBDAY!The StreakThe Inner Beauty of a CactusMovie NightBBRAEPermanent RecordTitan Saving TimeThe Gold StandardMaster DetectiveEaster CreepsHand ZombieEmployee of the Month: ReduxThe AvogodoOranginsJinxedBrain PercentagesBL4Z3Hot Salad WaterI Saw You DanceThe Story in Your EyesPlaying Hard to GetThe Night Begins to ShineLicationLabor DayClassic TitansOnes and ZeroesCareer DayTV Knight 2Justice League's Next Top Talent Idol StarThe AcademyCostume ContestThrone of BonesDemon PromThanksgettingThe Self-Indulgent 200th Episode Spectacular!BBCYFSHIPBDAYBeast GirlFlashbackBro-PocalypseMo' Money Mo' ProblemsTV Knight 3

Season 5: June 25, 2018 - April 4, 2020
The Scoop!Chicken in the CradleKaboomsTower RenovationMy Name is JoseThe Power of ShrimpsMonster SquadReal OranginsQuantum FunThe FightThe GrooverJustice League's Next Top Talent Idol Star: Second Greatest Team EditionHow's this for a Special? SpaaaaceBBRBDAYSlapping Butts and Celebrating for No ReasonNostalgia is Not a Substitute for an Actual StoryBusiness Ethics Wink WinkGenie PresidentTall Titan TalesI Used to Be a PeoplesThe Metric System vs FreedomThe ChaffThem Soviet BoysLittle ElvisBooty EggsTV Knight 4Lil' DimplesDon't Be an IcarusStockton, CA!What's Opera TitansForest PiratesThe BergeracSnot and TearsCampfire!What We Learned at CampCommunicate OpenlyRoyal JellyStrength of a Grown ManHad to Be ThereGirls Night InThe Great DisasterThe Viewers Decide

Season 6: October 4, 2019 - present
Butt AtomsTV Knight 5Witches BrewThat's What's Up!Crab ShenanigansBrobotsBrain FlipBeast Boy on a ShelfChristmas CrusadersWe're Off to Get AwardsBat ScoutsWalk AwayRecord BookMagic ManTitans Go CasualRain on Your Wedding DayEgg HuntJustice League's Next Top Talent Idol Star: Justice League EditionMission to Find the Lost StemsDrumsGuitarBassYou're The One

Top of the Titans: April 27, 2018 - July 20, 2018
Raddest SongsBest Love SongsBeast Boy & Cyborg SongsDance PartyBest Rivals