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Teen Titans Go! Actors Talk About The ‘Irreverent’ Animated DC Show's Enduring Popularity Nearly 10 Years After Premiere

Teen Titans Go!'s versions of Beast Boy, Starfire, Robin, Raven and Cyborg
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Animation)

Greg Cipes, Scott Menville, Khary Payton, Tara Strong and Hynden Walch have been respectively voicing Beast Boy, Robin, Cyborg, Raven and Starfire for basically two decades, but they haven’t playing the same versions of those characters during that entire time. In 2013, Teen Titans Go! premiered on Cartoon Network, introducing a more comical version of the superhero team compared to the team featured in the original Teen Titans series that ran from 2003 to 2006. Teen Titans Go! is still running almost a decade later, so having had an opportunity to speak four of the five leading actors about their work on the DC movie Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse, I wanted to get their opinion on why the animated DC TV show remains popular after all this time. 

I first posed this question to Khary Payton, the voice of Cyborg not just in Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go!, but plenty of other DC projects. Describing Teen Titans Go! as “irreverent,” as you can read below, Payton highlighted how the show essentially serves as a mouthpiece for the viewers:

I think that Teen Titans Go! never misses a chance to say what everybody else is thinking. Like, there’s so many times you’re watching a show and you lean over to somebody and be like, ‘I bet this is why they did that.’ And then next thing you know, Beast Boy’s like, ‘This is why we did that!’ We’re not going to pretend or try to hide our intentions. We’re irreverent, we’re nostalgic, and at the end of the day, to me, Teen Titans Go! is these characters getting together and getting drunk and getting a little high and waking up the next morning and being like, ‘What in God’s name just happened?’ And that is the show in a nutshell. It’s like, you wake up, and we are essentially the characters from the old show just a little inebriated and waking up and being like, ‘That was crazy! Did that actually happen? So we’re gonna do this again next week? Absolutely!’

While you’ll never see the Teen Titans Go! versions of Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, Raven and Beast Boy getting drunk or high, Khary Payton’s comparing the show’s shenanigans to what one might recall the morning after a night of partying is strangely fitting. Meanwhile, Greg Cipes, who also voices a more complex version of Beast Boy on Young Justice, highlighted how well the actors and writers work together as the main reason Teen Titans Go! has been so successful:

I feel the fact that it’s on the page first, it’s so well written, and the animation team brings to life the stuff on the page, and the actors are so rooted in the characters, that it’s a win-win creation all the time no matter what we’re creating together because it’s so natural and organic for us to rock and roll together that whenever we make anything, it’s fresh. So that’s why I think again, we’re constantly collaborating as a superhero team with other superhero teams because we’re like the evergreen superhero team.

Next, Scott Menville, the voice of Robin, focused on both the relatability of Teen Titans Go!’s main characters and how innovative the stories are as examples of why the show remains popular:

Well I think like the original Teen Titans, if a fan doesn’t identify with all five of the the Titans, there’s at least one that the fan will be like, ‘Yeah, that’s my guy, or that’s my girl. I totally get her or him.’ And I think the surprises, there’s just constant surprises in the script. It’s really hard when a show’s been going for a long time to not get into a rut, but our writers keep changing things up. For our 200th episode, they’re like, ‘We’re gonna animate you voice actors and they’re gonna break the fourth wall and you Titans will meet the voice actors.’ And all of a sudden Scott, Tara, Greg, Khary and Hynden are in the episode. That’s just one example; our show continues to do things like that, which I think is really fun for people.

Scott Menville also said that with Teen Titans Go! airing in a world where people are wanting to post about “the best version of themselves” on social media, this series shows the main characters’ “flaws” and “worst personality traits” when they think no one’s watching. Finally, we come to Tara Strong, the voice of Raven in Teen Titans Go!. Strong started off by saying how fans were initially disappointed when they learned Teen Titans Go! was not a continuation of the original Teen Titans series, which colored their view on Go! rather than the content of the show itself. After noting how she and the other actors are still interested in returning to the original show, Strong said this:

But I think because they kept the same cast and we all really love each other, and suddenly these really scary moments are really silly and ridiculous and there’s a lot of fart jokes, you can’t not fall in love with the writing on that show and the animation and the fact that it’s sort of this serendipitous candy that everyone gets to chew on. So I’d be super happy if we got to do them both forever because Teen Titans Go! is really making people laugh, it’s bringing families together. I meet them at cons, and these kids who grew up watching the original Teen Titans who now watch Go! with their kids, and show their kids the original one, it’s like this big, never-ending infinity symbol for the Teen Titans.

With 356 episodes and four movies under its belt at the time of this writing (including the theatrically-released Teen Titans Go! to the Movies, which was critically well-received), Teen Titans Go! has had quite the run after almost 10 years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Those of you reading this who are fans of the series and concur with any or all of the above points should definitely check out Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse (starting with our exclusive clip), which marks the fourth time these two teams have crossed over. That being said, the Titans’ role in Mayhem in the Multiverse is pretty unorthodox compared to your average superhero crossover, but Khary Payton, Greg Cipes, Scott Menville and Tara Strong got a kick out of it.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Teen Titans Go! & DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem in the Multiverse can be purchased on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD now, and has also premiered on Cartoon Network. HBO Max subscribers can stream the movie starting on June 28.

Adam Holmes
Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.