"Clowning Around" (Falsely titled "The Return of Slade") is the 50th episode of the second season of Teen Titans Go!, and the 102nd overall episode of the series.
Beast Boy and Cyborg insist on hiring a clown for a Titans party, even though Robin tells them that clowns are for little kids. When the clown fails to live up to their memories, Cyborg and Beast Boy decide to give the clown some cool updates.
PlotIt starts with the Titans all hanging out on the couch while Raven watches Pretty Pretty Pegasus with awe in her eyes, just for Robin to bust through the wall breaking the TV announcing to his team there is a crime alert. Cyborg isn't alarmed any, and tells Robin to call the police, with Starfire backing him up reminding him the number is "the 9-1-1" in that order. Robin falls through the hole in the wall telling them they all don't understand, and in a dramatic voice he reveals it's Slade. The Titans all gasp at this, with Raven muttering Slade's name in shock. Robin confirms that is right, repeating Slade's once more in drama, with a Slade's mask appearing right next to him as he say the name. The mask and Robin look at each other awkwardly before the mask drops down off the screen. Back to focusing on his team, Robin explains their greatest villain has returned to settle the score. Beast Boy in a low voice asks if they are ready for this, for Robin to admit he doesn't know, and adding they have no choice and proclaims his catchphrase of "Titans Go!".
Three episodes and a made-for-TV movie later, all five of the Titans emerge from the Tower's elevator all in tattered clothing with Cyborg saying in excitement he can't believe what happened. Robin holds up a Slade's mask and declares in celebration that Slade the menace has been vanquished once and for all, slamming the mask on the floor. Party lights and confetti come out from nowhere and all the Titans glorify in their victory. Raven goes on to comment that it wasn't just the fight that was amazing, and that so many compelling story lines came together in the end resolving in such a satisfying way. Starfire next to her adds that there was a perfect balance of the action and drama, along with light moments of comedy. Robin steps towards them also adding that he also got that kiss touching Starfire on her cheek a little, causing her to blush and giggle. Beast Boy comments that its too bad no one will ever get to see any of it, and Cyborg corrects him saying it's a good thing, that it was too epic. Robin thinks they all deserve a party after saving the world, to everyone's excitement and enjoyment. Robin asserts that they'll have food, dancing, and any type of entertainment they want. Cyborg and Beast Boy jump in joy and at the same time vocalize they want a clown. Raven asks "what" to them, and Cyborg with Beast Boy repeat "a clown" the same way they did the first time. Starfire who is curious, asks what a clown is, and Robin tells her what one is by holding a picture of a clown to her, causing Starfire to scream in shock. Starfire flies up in the air holding herself in the fetal position asking what clowns do in fear. Raven answers her question saying they entertain small children. Starfire grips Robin by the shirt banging him against the door asking who would let such a creature near a child. Beast Boy interjects that Starfire is wrong and that clowns are the coolest. Cyborg adds that they've loved clowns since they were kids, and they both go on to vocalize clown music. Beast Boy remarks when he hears that music, he knows it means good times, or the ice cream truck. Beast Boy also comments that they haven't seen a clown in years, and Raven approaches them both telling them that clowns are for little kids and they are too old. Cyborg sarcastically replies "oh yeah?" to Raven, asking her how season 6 of Pretty Pretty Pegasus is, ending in Raven getting giddy explaining what's happening within the series. Raven catches herself, and clears her throat and in her deadpan voice, says "that's different". Robin sighs asking if he really is going to hire a clown, while Starfire emerges from the couch cushions begging them not to do it. Cyborg and Beast Boy ignore her plead and excitedly mutter the word "a clown!" again. Robin who is indifferent, says a clown it is, and picks up his communicator to call in for one. Later, the party is set up in the Titan's living room, with music playing, and a banner across the room stating Slade was defeated. Robin solemnly walks up to his friends telling everyone the clown is here. Just then a clown pops up from behind Robin giggling causing Starfire to scream outloud and hide in a nearby plant pot. Meanwhile, Cyborg and Beast Boy are laughing excitedly watching the clown do some tricks, and with each one he does, Cyborg and Beast Boy are losing hope and are not impressed at all by him. Finally, Beast Boy says this clown is horrible. Cyborg agrees, and questions why is he doing lame kiddy stuff, and goes on to "boo" at him with Beast Boy. Raven scolds them both, telling them she told them they were too old for clowns. Beast Boy denies this saying its the clown, and how they don't remember his act this way. Robin enters the conversation and asserts them this is a classic clown act, showing them the shoes, the nose, and make up on the clown. Cyborg refuses to believe this and remarks this clown is for kids. Raven is struggling to keep her cool, and between her teeth grunts that clowns are for kids. Cyborg and Beast Boy go on to say when they were younger that clowns were cooler, and they had depth and meaning. Beast Boy brushes off the clown in the middle of the conversation calling him garbage, visibly hurting the clown's feelings. Cyborg perks up with an idea and expressed that maybe they can fix him, making him as cool as he use to be. Robin utters that clowns were never cool, and how they're letting nostalgia cloud their memory. Raven pipes in with a firm voice, getting in front of Cyborg and Beast Boy's faces telling them that kids entertainment is not to be messed with, how they are sacred. Raven worries that altering this clown could have disastrous consequences. Beast Boy shrugs off Raven's warning and he and Cyborg grab the clown and leave to make him cooler.
Somewhere in the tower, in a dark room, Beast Boy and Cyborg are talking amongst themselves how the clown tied up against a table looks like a clown. Cyborg says that they will dress him up as they remember him, with Beast Boy admitting they he doesn't remember what he looked like, other than he was cool. Cyborg announces then let's make him cool, with Beast Boy finishing his sentence "with science!". Beast Boy pulls out a clipboard and waiver asking the clown to sign it so they can do anything to his mind, body and spiritual being, while Cyborg presses on his fake flower on his chest causing ink to fall out signing his name on the waiver. The two then laugh maniacally dressed up as mad scientists. Cyborg and Beast Boy then proceed to come up with developments and plans on how to make the clown cooler, testing a serum on a spider that causes it to transform into something pretty and nice looking, ending in a failure. They mix new serums together making a new formula and they try it on the spider transforming it into a humanoid thug looking creature, making the formula a success. They take Honk the clown, and put him into a large container of the formula dunking him in there.
The next morning in the Titans living room, Robin is coaching Starfire to get out under the couch because the clown was gone, with Starfire refusing. Beast Boy gets their attention walking in with Cyborg who announces that they made their clown cool again, pulling back the cloth that was covering Honk and revealing a totally different and more intimidating version of clown before. Robin, Raven, and Starfire look on at this new clown, with Starfire breaking out in screaming, breaking through the ceiling and hiding under a rock out in the Titan's lake. Back inside, Robin approaches the clown and tells Beast Boy and Cyborg that he doesn't look very funny to him. Cyborg utters "oh yeah?" to Robin, and Beast Boy tells Honk to do his act, consisting of him growling in Robin's face, picking him up and beating him around punching him in the face, all while Cyborg and Beast Boy laugh on. Beast Boy tells Raven who is next to him that he told her clowns were funny. Raven floats next to Honk beating up on Robin saying that this is wrong. Raven looks at Honk giving Robin a pounding and admits that it's a little funny but still wrong. Raven continues to tell both Cyborg and Beast Boy that they took something that was meant for kids and turned it inappropriate, just so they would enjoy something they've outgrown. Beast Boy replies that they just made him like they remember, with Cyborg adding on that they were going to release him so he can spread joy to all the kids in the world. Raven curtly chides that clown is not for children, and she's worried what kind of influence of something like that clown will have on children's entertainment. Cyborg teases Raven if she's worried that it will make it better, opening up a compartment in his chest giving Beast Boy a toy that looks like a water gun, and walks up to Honk and gives him the water gun and for him to get out of here to make kids happy. Honk takes the gun and busts through the window laughing maniacally while flying off.
Following, Raven is in her bedroom who is thrilled to watch the next episode of Pretty Pretty Pegasus opening up her laptop/DVD player to watch the new episode, only for it to show a hardened version of Pretty Pretty Pegasus that is completely unlike the original show, causing Raven to gasp questioning what happened since it was suppose to be a kids show. Just then, Honk's face appears on the screen where he is laughing and then it cuts off. Raven comes to understand that its the clowns doing. Honk the clown is flying about in Jump City, before he lands before "Lil Alfred's Toy Cave", laughing like a maniac and pumping his water gun, approaching the door and blowing it up to get inside. He shoots his green ooze out of his water gun at a shelf of toys and they transform into scary versions of themselves coming to life and chasing nearby children. Watching the kids in fear causes Honk to chuckle and shoot towards a stuffed bear making it become real and scaring more children. Honk continues to laugh and shoot towards anything child friendly, transforming it into scary things. His activity is being feed into Titan's Tower monitor, where the Titans minus Starfire are all watching what he's doing. Robin is disgusted by the actions, and tells his friends that if that clown has his way, all children's entertainment will be tainted. Cyborg apologetically that he and Beast Boy lost sight of what made clowns cool in the first place, as being age appropriate entertainment. Beast Boy joins in with his statement declaring that they can't hold onto their childhood forever and how things change. Robin nods his head in agreement with them, and Raven tells them its time to grow up. Cyborg who is in battle mode, asks if they are going in "guns blazing", only for Raven to decline and explain that the only way to stop him is to remind him who he truly is. The four Titans take off in their airplane towards the toy store, and are deployed by a missile that drops them in the middle of the store. Out of it pops a small clown car that peaks the curiosity of Honk who looks on at it. The car door opens, and out comes all four of the Titans who are dressed in ridiculous clown uniforms. The lights go out, and a spotlight focuses in on Robin who is juggling and tosses his objects in the air and they all fall and hit on the head several times, making Honk to giggle at him. Robin tries to pick up his dropped objects right before Beast Boy enters the spotlight and kicks Robin from behind, giving more cackles from Honk. Beast Boy is riding a clown bike and falls over and hits Cyborg earning more laughter points from Honk, and finally Raven was slamming pies in her own face causing Honk to fall over in snickers. Robin notes that its working and says now is time for the big finish, with them all doing silly things together, along with Honk laughing more and more and randomly stops and looks on at them with an evil glare, shocking the Titans. Honk thanks the Titans for laugh, and charges his water gun, while Robin scolds Raven that this was a horrible plan. Cyborg in terror says that children's entertainment is doomed, while Honk gets closer to them all and is suddenly hit in the face by Starfire who knocks him out cold. Starfire in a low voice remarks that she will never trust the clowns.
- Beast Boy
- Honk (debut)
- Pretty Pretty Pegasus
- Generic Jump City Children
- Little Girl (cameo)
- Slade (mentioned)
- Despite the episode's title, Slade does not appear in this episode at all. Rather, Slade "helps" begin the plot of the episode. In any case, this is the first episode to have the title state a lie.
- The Clown is actually representative of the Teen Titans Go! series. Robin and Raven realize it's meant for children, while Beast Boy and Cyborg complain that it's not as good as they remember it being when they were kids. This situation is a reference to the fan controversy surrounding the difference between the original Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go!
- This is the fifth episode to be leaked before its official airdate. It's also the second episode to be leaked on demand, the first being the previous episode.
- This episode reveals that Robin and Starfire hadlve kissed. Her giggling reflection from this moment indicates either she enjoyed it or she is now fully aware of Robin's affections for her. In either case, Robin now seems more open toward her, as well as more concerned for her welfare.
- When Robin names a few options for a type of entertainment for their party, he makes impressions of Punk Rocket and Mumbo Jumbo.
- This episode shows that Starfire has coulrophobia, or an extreme fear of clowns.
- The "updated" clown Cyborg and Beast Boy create references the Joker in the video game Batman: Arkham Asylum when he is invigorated by the Titan serum. The method to which he becomes so also references the Joker's origins.
- Robin's reaction toward the "updated" clown may indicate he is all too familiar with demented clowns like the Joker.
- Honk's evil laugh is similar to Dr. Light.
- This is the lowest rated episode of Teen Titans Go! and is considered to be one of the "worst" episodes by some fans of the 2003 series.
- Lil' Alfred's Toy Cave returns from "Hey Pizza!"
- The sock puppet television show returns from "Staff Meeting", "Money Grandma", and "Sandwich Thief".
- Music from the episode "Multiple Trick Pony" is reused.
- According to Robin, Starfire kisses Robin after defeating Slade. However, it was off-screen. This is the third time Starfire has done so, the first and second time being in "Be Mine" and "Mouth Hole".
- The scene saying that the battle against Slade was three episodes and a made-for-TV-movie, along with the Titans saying it had drama, action, humor and Robin and Starfire kissing, may have been a reference to the 2003 original series, and the 2006 television film Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo.
- When Cyborg and Beast Boy are coming to terms that clowns are meant for children, Beast Boy mentions how "things change". This could be a reference to the 2003 original series episode "Things Change", where Beast Boy went through a similar situation of letting something go.
- The music that Beast Boy and Cyborg are singing while describing clowns is an actual piece of music called "Entrance of the Gladiators" and is known to be associated with circuses and circus music.
- Cyborg and Beast Boy wearing lab coats and purple gloves is a reference to Dexter's Laboratory.
- After the Titans return to the living room after "defeating Slade", their clothes are all tattered and worn. When the camera pans to Robin, all of them are suddenly back to normal as if nothing had happened.
- At the start of the episode, Robin punches and destroys the television. But during the course of the episode, the television appears to be fixed again.
- Starfire being horrified by the sight of any clown.
- Cyborg and Beast Boy saying "A CLOWN!".
- Showing Slade's mask after someone mentions him before the fight.
- Raven watching Pretty Pretty Pegasus.
The transcript for "The Return of Slade" can be found here.
|The image gallery for The Return of Slade may be viewed here.|