The original Teen Titans series produced five seasons of sophisticated stories that transcended both its comic book source material and other animated series. Along the way, the show earned its place in the superhero cartoon pantheon. Before Teen Titans Season 6 began production, though, Cartoon Network canceled the show, shocking fans.
When the network announced a new show based around the characters, Teen Titans Go!, fans remained excited about seeing their favorite teenage super-team again. They grew disappointed, though, when they discovered it was a slapstick, all-ages show that traded nuanced relationships and intense action sequences for silly jokes and kid-centric plots.
Fans of Teen Titans haven't given up on Robin, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy, and Cyborg. More than a decade of discussions helped generate plenty of fan theories about what happened to the team and which factors led to the show's sudden cancellation. The 2018 feature-length Teen Titans Go! to the Movies added more fuel to these speculative fires with a post-credits scene hinting at a possible return of the original Teen Titans. While no one knows if this means Season 6 will arrive soon, it's as good a time as any to brush up on Teen Titans fan theories.
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The Series Finale Wasn't Meant To End The Show
One of the biggest mysteries for fans of Teen Titans was the series finale, "Things Change." The episode starts with the Titans noticing their city has changed, and many of their favorite stores have closed. Before they can dig deeper into the unceasing march of time, the gang must fight a seemingly unstoppable creature that can change its form into any material it touches. To complicate matters, Beast Boy notices former ally Terra among the citizens fleeing the fight, which comes as a shock since she turned into a statue at the end of the second season.
The rest of the Titans fight the creature, while Beast Boy tries to find Terra and remind her of her superhero past. Unable to make any headway with Terra, Beast Boy ends the episode by joining the Titans in their fight. It's a more meditative ending than people typically associate with children's programming, falling more in line with the finale of The Sopranos than anything else. This ambiguity led many fans to theorize a sixth season was planned to tie up the loose threads left dangling.
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Slade Didn't Want An Apprentice, He Wanted An Heir
Throughout the original series, the Titans tangled with the super-assassin Slade Wilson, AKA Deathstroke. In the first season, Robin tries infiltrating Deathstroke's network by becoming his apprentice. But Redditor /u/IronedSandwich doesn't think Wilson ever wanted a sidekick:
My theory is that Slade isn't looking for a new apprentice, but to continue the existence of Deathstroke. This fits all four: the "Final Exam" could be searching for a new apprentice (leading to his discovery of Robin as an apprentice), Robin was harassed as part of his training (which could make sense; what if Slade was trained harshly and without volition, too?), Robin was Slade's first choice for his cruel, collected personality, and Terra was chosen for her abilities and willingness. Jericho would have been neglected because becoming Slade is a cruel process Slade wouldn't want him to go through. Finally, he served Trigon: maybe he believed Trigon could extend his life supernaturally?
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The Series Finale Was Meant To Teach Fans About Change
While a subset of fans believes the show was never supposed to end with "Things Change," just as many people think the finale was meant to help the audience accept the show was ending and that nothing stays the same. Redditor /u/fullforce098 wrote:
The entire point of that episode was to leave the past behind. Terra wasn't a loose end, that episode was an epilogue. The idea was for fans to appreciate what they had and move on. Besides [Terra] was happy at the end of the episode and clearly did not want to go with Beast Boy, so it's kind of funny to me that fans keep bringing this up. They're essentially asking that the writers take this happy girl away from her peaceful life and force her back into being a superhero.
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The Monster In The Finale Symbolizes Cartoon Network
One theory posited by Redditor /u/Ginger_Shepherd states the giant, white and black creature the Titans fight in the series finale symbolizes Cartoon Network - the channel that eventually canceled the series. They wrote:
What's Cartoon Network's trademark colors? Black and white. My theory: depending [on] when the episode was produced, and when the pitch was rejected, the monster might symbolize change within Cartoon Network. The cast and crew aren't the only ones moving on.
It's possible the producers felt they were being prematurely canceled and decided to show no matter how hard the heroes fight, sometimes monolithic forces will still win.
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No One Can Agree On The Identity Of Red X
Robin originally creates Red X as an alter-ego to get closer to Slade, the Titans' main antagonist. After the Red X costume disappears, though, someone in the suit continues to pop up throughout the series - and their identity is never revealed. Fans have a lot of theories about who wears the mask, and each one sounds interesting.
Redditor /u/EmperorJoker notes that common assumptions don't make sense within the series lore:
Many believe Red X is Jason Todd, but this is simply not possible. The Jason Todd character is the second Robin, and he succeeds Dick Grayson who goes on to become Nightwing.
It's shown in an episode of Teen Titans where Starfire goes to the future that Robin becomes Nightwing meaning he is Dick Grayson. It should also be noted Red X often refers to Robin as "kid," meaning he's possibly older or even the same age as Robin. This means he cannot be Jason.
As for who I think Red X is I think he could be a Robin from another Earth. I believe this because they have the same voice actor and it makes sense Teen Titans would at some point have explored the Multiverse.
It's also entirely possible that Red X is the secret son of Catwoman and Batman, and him messing with Robin was his way of spiting Bruce for being an absent father. [This] makes sense if you consider Red X's character he's like a hybrid of Batman and Catwoman and shares traits of both characters. This would also have been a good way for Batman to be introduced if he were Red X's father.
However, whoever Red X was I do believe he was always intended to be an original character.
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'Teen Titans Go!' Is An Altered Version Of The 'Teen Titans' Universe
Another theory connecting Teen Titans with Teen Titans Go! comes from a character that appeared in the second season of the original series. According to Redditor /u/mbc2085, the fifth-dimensional being Larry (also known as Nosyarg Kcid) used his reality-bending powers to change the universe in which Teen Titans takes place.
In this new universe, the Teen Titans engage in slapstick escapades to entertain other fifth-dimensional beings like Larry. The post-credits scene in Teen Titans Go! to the Movies, meanwhile, shows the original Titans discovering a way to fix their world.