Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans GO, the recent reboot of the DC Nation franchise, focuses mostly on comedy in the Titans lives at home, rather than vigilantism and crime fighting as a way to bring the superheroes to a whole new generation, and, most would say, a fairly younger audience. Paralleling the humour of other CN beloveds such as Adventure Time and Regular Show, the animation style takes big precedent in setting up jokes with characters’ dramatic facial expressions and physical comedy. The original cast reprised their roles from the previous series to much acclaim from fans as the voices of the five teenaged heroes – Raven, Starfire, Robin, Cyborg and Beast Boy.
The Titans Tower where our protagonists reside is literally a giant three-dimensional ‘T’ on an island hill just off-shore from the town they protect, Jump City.
A thin and comically zig-zagging road connects the tower’s modest piece of rock to the mainland, although it is rarely used aside from the Pizza delivery kid and Robin’s motorcycle – as he is the only Titan without powers and, therefore, cannot fly. The exterior of the giant ‘T’ in the sky is mostly glass, allowing enormous windows and extensive views of the city from almost every room within the tower.
The entrance to the Tower, paved by a brick walkway cutting through a vibrant green lawn the Titans enjoy athletically in the rare episodes when they leave their home, is completed by lawn flamingoes, a skateboard, garden gnome, doormat, and large potted plants on either side of the elevator doors. Skateboards and houseplants, in particular, are a major theme throughout the design details of the young heroes’ home, as you will see as we continue our little virtual tour.
The elevator goes up to the top half of the ‘T’, where it opens onto the living room and Titan control centre.
The interior of the elevator is decorated with stickers and the common pale blue colour palette with which the rest of the tower is painted. The stickers are usually, and sometimes mockingly, those of fellow DC Universe superheroes or villains, such as Bane, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn and The Green Lantern. The Titans also have an array of these stickers adorning their bedrooms.
The Titans’ living room is home to the enormous – so as to accommodate all five Titans – and much beloved couch, where most of the episode plot lines take place – whether Cyborg and Beast Boy are just vegging out, having a ‘Lazy Sunday’, Raven is watching her favourite show, Pretty Pretty Pegasus, or Robin is calling an emergency meeting (which is rarely ever a real emergency). The couch is flanked by the ubiquitous floor to ceiling windows and backed by a gallery wall containing the elevator and adjacent thermostat. The framed art around the tower usually features the titans alone or together, and is prevalent throughout every room. Note the flowering cactus to the right of the frame and batman pillow left of Cyborg.
The control centre, usually disguised as a rug, rises up from the floor when needed, and can access any room or facet of the house. Or penthouse, I guess I should say. It also acts as a supercomputer containing classified information and files of all the Teen Titans. Cyborg and Beast Boy regularly use it to order pizza.
A side view of the couch shows it to be curved, almost in a semi-circle, and, honestly, looking comfy as hell.
As for the Titans’ view from their perches on the sofa, they’ve got a flat screen TV that takes up most of the other wall, save for a shelving unit housing various consoles and CD collections. On either side of it are intercoms hooked up to the control centre. They always appear next to doors or entryways.
The door on the right, as evidenced, leads to the kitchen.
The doors in the tower all have descriptive symbols on them. For example, the kitchen door behind Robin here displays a spoon and fork. This is the first door leading off from the living room. Also, skateboard!
Beast Boy stands between the two rooms, holding a ball of yarn.
Upon moving through the automatic kitchen door, the view is of a continued glass wall, a sitting area, and a sticky note bedecked fridge with a bulletin board hung next to it. The round table and draw-up stools of the dining area suit the young Titans well.
Next to the refrigerator is the oven/stove and adjacent drawers. The details of the kitchen stools can be seen more clearly here to have a futuristic vibe, jelling well with the Titans’ techy, tricked out abode. However, it is homey, with a rug placed in front of the fridge and, once again, a cheery houseplant atop the table.
The interior of the fridge is typical of a teenage diet: corn dogs, whipped cream in a can, a box of cereal (?), bottle of soda, and several leftovers placed unwrapped on top of each other. Cyborg imbibes some apple juice straight from the shelf.
The view of the kitchen with our backs to the window shows a fair amount of storage in cupboards and drawers, as well as the trashcan (not surprisingly about to overflow) and a few more appliances: toaster, blender, dish rack, paper towel dispenser (crucial) and toaster oven. There’s also a fire extinguisher I’m sure sees plenty of use. The majority of posters in here feature pizza, but there is also a framed picture of Cyborg and Beast Boy hanging over the sink. The colour scheme jives with what we’ve seen so far of the tower; pale blue with pops of colour, often a pastel yellow and magenta. A bowl of fresh fruit sits atop the counter (from which planet, I wonder?).
Returning to the living room, we approach the door on the other side of the television.
This door bears a hazard descriptor, and is mainly used as a panic room when it is actually shown in episodes, such as ‘Tower of Power’ when Cyborg syncs himself to the supercomputer and goes a little mad, a la HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The space is mostly occupied by control switches and hazardous waste, as well as several machines of unknown origin or capability. The dark purple colouring sets it apart from the rest of the tower, aside from maybe Raven’s bedroom, although hers lacks the neon colours that make this space feel exactly as it should: radioactive and biohazardous.
In order to understand which side of the tower the rooms we’ve covered so far occupy, we turn to an unfortunate accident involving Robin and some dirty laundry.
In ‘Laundry Day’ when Raven took his clothes, Robin panicked, naked, and fled through an unmarked door (which has no real purpose in the tower besides as a gag). He was greeted by a steep fall to the grounds outside, as this door did not actually lead to anything.
This episode also gives us a great view of which sides of the ‘T’ bears which rooms.
That little speck of a stickman in the sky to the right of the tower is Robin, falling after panicking naked out of the living room and absentmindedly choosing the wrong door. This shows us that if the elevator rises up through the leg of the ‘T’, then the living room, kitchen, and hazard room are on the right side of the ‘T’ top.
Further evidence for this is shown in the episode ‘Dreams’.
As the Titans say goodnight to each other, one by one their bedroom lights flick off, telling which side of the tower the young heroes lay their heads.
In ‘Puppets, Whaaaaat’ Robin has a meltdown (as usual) and is seen storming off to his room. The gang watch this from the couch, where he turns left as he walks away. This means he either heads into the kitchen, or down the hallway next to the elevator. So we can assume the elusive space behind the elevator wall is actually where the main hallway is: the one that houses all of their bedrooms and bathroom.
Potted tree (magenta) and framed photograph of Robin (pastel yellow). The Tower’s height and position in the sky enable the glass walls to match the light blue colour scheme as well. Moving on.
Here is the view of the back of the elevator, which apparently opens on both sides – the living room or the main hallway. It is again framed by art of the Titans. The first door on our left is the bathroom. Its symbol seems to be a bird’s eye view of a toilet. The water spilling out from under the door and toilet paper haphazardly stacked is another nice touch to allude to the youth and carefree nature of the heroes. A dormitory feel is definitely incorporated throughout the design. On the right, just after the bathroom, is Raven’s room, characteristically marked with her visage on the door, a limp voodoo doll, and a stack of books on the floor.
Let’s start with the bathroom.
Very blue, this room, with a childish motif of wallpapered whales bannered across the top of the walls. This is a beautiful space, but still the epitome of communal bathrooms: One large, rounded mirror and shared products spread across the vanity counter. Also, only one sink: no his and hers, here. It appears there is a picture of Batman’s butler Alfred over the toilet. Perhaps to remind them to keep it clean? Perhaps. Stacks of books and magazines (or most likely comic books) surround the toilet. As with the kitchen, the trash can is about full. The lavender hand towels continue a colour trend we’ll notice more as we continue through the Tower.
The opposite view of the bathroom shows a built-in tub shower with – you guessed it! – a blue curtain. Raven hangs her robe on a hook next to the tub while she showers in the episode ‘Legs’. The Titans take advantage of that time to snatch it and circulate trying on the robe and all its powers of pessimism for themselves.
The first Teen Titan’s bedroom we’ll be examining is that of Raven. It is not disappointing, although a bit cute-ified from what of her room was shown in the previous, more grown up series.
Completely purple down to every detail, Raven’s room is the spitting image of her personality: an old-fashioned four poster bed (detailed with snakes), an ethereal skull print wallpaper, candlelight, chains, and what could possibly be a large demon action figure. A corner of her bedroom is dedicated to demonic and generally evil monster containment with glowing red eyes and bones or tentacles often sticking out. This shows her fearlessness, confidence,and control in her magical abilities – also Raven’s peace with her own half-demon nature. On the wall next to where she meditates appears to be a spell of containment or perhaps a portal from which she often fights and banishes demons.
The feeling of Raven’s room, since it is more dramatically different from the rest of the tower than the bedrooms of her fellow Titans, evokes a scene of the half-demon hero metamorphosizing the space immediately after moving into her new home, which would be fairly easy cue to her powers of telekinesis, but also evocative of her ability to create a world or space that is exactly what she wants.
Raven’s bed, complete with canopy, has posters collaged over it with various ghouls and skull or bat related characters. There’s also a spiderweb in the ceiling corner. Here she is trimming a bonsai tree, one of her many zen habits, along with meditation.
Raven sleeps by levitating under her purple skull blanket. Although Raven’s room is the only one entirely saturated by it, purple is also a common colour for details throughout the tower, ranging from a deep, almost blue-violet to a borderline fuschia.
Notice there is a poster to the right of the bed that stands out as Zatanna, a fellow DC comics hero and sorcerer who specializes in using real magic, just like Raven. The blue and yellow posters help to tie in Raven’s room with the rest of Titans Tower.
Further along the same wall her bed rests against, further away from the door, stands a bookcase and mirror. The wall adjacent is her part of the Tower windows, although she usually keeps them shuttered, preferring the solitude and the dark. Raven’s room also portrays her introverted personality well as it is not the least bit inviting to others: there is no seating, TV, or much light at all, for that matter.
Moving down the hall we can see the doors to the other Titans’ bedrooms.
Beast Boy’s room is on the wall beside the bathroom. His door also bears a caricature of his face and animalistic scratches next to the intercom.
The wall opposite the door is his portion of the floor to ceiling windows each room has. It is framed by light purple curtains (like the towels in the bathroom) that complement Beast Boy’s favourite colour – green. A TV (mostly for playing video games) sits in front of the glass wall. Beast Boy also has a closet with double doors and across from that a full length, leafy green mural to feed his love of nature, while a huge ball of similarly purple yarn waits in the corner to appease Beast Boy’s playful kitten form (in which he spends a lot of his time, playing and sleeping).
The other side of the room has a climbable scratching post and Beast Boy’s bed: a cardboard box, usually lined with blankets or straw, a stuffie and a pillow. The posters around BB’s room are taped up haphazardly, some bearing claw marks while others have bites taken out of them, and feature dogs more than any other animal – this reflects many of Beast Boy’s traits: loyal, a little dopey, and with a ‘best friend’ attitude. Nite Owl, a superhero from the popular graphic novel Watchmen, is shown prominently displayed next to the door. It’s the only cameo in Titans Tower to feature a hero outside of the DC universe.
And, of course, skateboard. Beast Boy’s littering habits must be the cause of all those boards lying around the house.
Beast Boy is notoriously messy, being a rather carefree and laid-back kind of slob, so his room is often shown knee deep in dirty clothes, vegetarian food leftovers, or random paperwork (very reminiscent of forsaken homework, in line with his age and slacker vibe).
Now, opposite Beast Boy’s room is the bedroom of the Titans’ leader, Robin.
The right side of Robin’s room (from our view facing the door) holds the leader’s computer, desk, and bookcase, as well as his closet, complete with identical and neatly organized uniforms. He has one proudly framed poster from his circus days of his family: The Flying Graysons.
On either side of his door are posters of villains (joker and Two-Face, to be exact) that have been used for bird-a-rang practice. This is a great detail to bring out Robin’s personality as fans of the show know him to be vengeful and, in the new series, somewhat unhinged – he often hears voices in his head, such as in ‘The Date’ when Robin’s infatuation with Starfire was jeopardized by Speedy, sidekick to The Flash. This drives him a little mad, eventually kidnapping and impersonating Speedy and revealing he has a narrator telling his story in a biased and heroic fashion. Robin also has a punching bag hanging in the corner, the same pale purple only slightly less common in the fluid details of the tower as the light yellow and blues, that bear the faces of Bane, Killer Croc, and Slade. This item is characteristic of his intense training regimen and obsession with improving his physical agility and strength. Sticky notes cover his desk area, representing his frantic, plotting and planning mindset. A Superman mobile hangs from the ceiling as it would in a child’s room.
On the left wall of Robin’s personal quarters we can see he also has a punching dummy disguised as a typical, cartoonish bank robber. The artwork across this wall commonly features Batman – his idol – or some variation of a bird. Robin takes great pride in himself, his team, and their heroic capabilities (probably because he feels the need to prove himself as a great leader and more than a sidekick) so there are numerous newspaper clippings, most likely coverage of their triumphs and good deeds, taped up as well. A stack of books on the floor sets him apart from the other Titans, aside from Raven, as liking to read. Note his face, like his friends’, is also the symbol marking his door.
Robin’s bed follows the same colour scheme as the rest of the tower in the exact same shades of blue, so it’s his bedside furniture that bring his personality into the space. The wood chest and night stand reflect a childish demeanor in the Boy Wonder: a trunk at the foot of his bed is reminiscent of a kid’s toy chest, stashed with valuables like comic books and baseball cards, while the table with it’s neatly arranged reading lamp and picture frame evoke late nights reading Hardy Boys (am I stretching, here? I really get this vibe). The whole ensemble reflects Robin’s boy scout like youthfulness – perhaps also as a side effect of being orphaned young and playing sidekick to a powerful hero.
The entire wall at the back of the room is glass – the largest in any of the Titans’ rooms, save for maybe Starfire. On closer inspection, an article above his bed appears to be of one of his victories as sidekick to Batman.
Out in the main hallway, moving along the same wall next to Robin’s room, is Starfire’s.
Starfire’s bedroom is painted a muted pink and plastered with posters of handsome men (including Superman) and cute animal stickers. Her stuffed animal collection is dressed up in the costumes of other superheroes and villains. She also has a disco ball and stars adorning her ceiling for a galactic,out-of-this-world touch. She is an alien, after all. The desk/vanity next to her bed is topped with mirrors and an assortment of perfumes, nail polish, and lipsticks. Her chair carries the same retro-futuristic motif as the stools seen in the kitchen. Note the plant (that also has an otherworldly feel) and Starfire’s cameo on the door.
The wall opposite the bed has her closet doors, decorated in more stickers of hearts, flowers and stars, as well as a dresser which the plant (and beloved pet Silkie) sits atop. The pinkish/purple theme of Starfire’s room plays off her purple costume and magenta hair.
Upon settling on Earth, Star adopted a stereotypical view of femininity in order to fit in, enjoying what she deems ‘earth girl’ rituals of pampering and the symbols (such as hearts) of mainstream femininity. Her bedroom design does well to reflect her personality this way, showing her dedication and fascination for learning Earth customs while the bright colours she surrounds herself with translate her upbeat and bubbly nature. However, Starfire has mentioned her confusion for planet Earth’s gender-biased culture more than once, like in the need-no-description episodes ‘Boys vs Girls’ and ‘Girls Night’.
The far wall of Star’s room is glass, curtained off by purple curtains of a more pink shade than those of Beast Boy’s. The teen-style magazines on the floor also support her hobby of studying menial Earth practices.
Next is Cyborg’s room, across from Starfire’s at the end of the hall.
The interior of Cyborg’s quarters are minimalistic, following his robotic nature of function over design. What posters he has are either diagrams or worn-looking drawings of himself, cyborg-zombies (what?) or cars, including the batmobile. Since Cyborg doesn’t really sleep, rather recharges and syncs his system, he rests on an upright platform all night while he backs up his memory, thus eliminating his need for a proper bed (similar to best bud Beast Boy sleeping in animal form in a box). A night light and various tools have a home on the wall, and there is also a tall built-in cabinet in the corner for tidy storage.
Next to the cabinet is a small window that remains shuttered, like Raven’s, running parallel to the window at the end of the main corridor.
Cyborg’s closet, a storage unit complete with a conveyor belt next to his ‘bed’, contains various styles of robotic bodies for his partially human head. A dark purple curtain hangs at the other end of the wall, where his largest window is uncovered.
Aside from sleeping at night, Cyborg doesn’t spend much time in his room: the majority of episodes that see him working on his own are when he is tinkering with his car or body modifications in the garage/workshop.
The Titans Tower garage that (presumably) houses the T-Car and the R-Cycle is most likely located on a floor beneath the entrance to the domicile, so you’d need to take the elevator a level down, and also functions as Cyborg’s workshop.
The symbol on the door to the garage is that of a gear. A poster of Doomsday Is hung over the intercom, and a shelving unit stands on the wall to the left.
The right side of the workshop is where Cyborg spends time doing the aforementioned tinkering and generally looking after the mechanics of the tower. A cardboard box next to the entrance full of spare parts is labelled with his name, hinting that he may have taken the space for his own retreat without it originally being meant for him. A couple more posters bear robotic beings as well as diagrams similar to those in Cyborg’s bedroom at the top of the ‘T’. Unlike his personal room, however, the garage has some magenta and violet accents in the toolboxes on the floor and several other pieces of machinery. This too alludes to the shared nature of the garage. Plenty of tools, rags and open drawers make the space appear well used. The pedestal behind Cyborg and Robin, close to the ground, is what Cy uses to prop up his car while working on it.
In this shot you can see the T-Car in all its glory as well as Cyborg in his element. There is a calendar on the wall, although there isn’t one anywhere else in the house, to symbolize the work environment he has built for himself down here.
A level above the garage, on the ground floor, is the laundry room.
The laundry room is decorated similarly to the bathroom with a basic ‘T’ Tower blue all around and an almost nautical theme: a fish mobile hangs from the ceiling as Aquaman looks on from a poster. The machines are decorated with stickers, including one of Robin’s birds, the Batman symbol, music notes, and some classic waves. The room seems to be stocked well with detergent, soap, and linens, and may possibly be the cleanest room in the entire tower (green goo notwithstanding, as this was a plot device in a titular episode), as the Titans seem to characteristically dislike this particular chore and avoid the laundry room entirely – its cleanliness a testament to their youth and lethargy. There is also a large bulletin board spanning the wall behind the machines, displaying what might be notices or flyers, once again, dormitory-style. The symbol on the door is of a clothes hanger.
The wall across from the machine bears a unique window, as it is not floor-to-ceiling as all the others previously, and looks out onto the island grounds. It has basic drawstring blinds, also unique to this room, as if the teens haven’t bothered much to customize it since they moved in.
With a clear colour palette working synchronously throughout the tower, the specific personalization of each Titan comes through full force to complete each room. By focusing this series on the Teen Titans’ home life, the design and execution of the iconic tower was brought to the forefront – to great avail. The communal, dorm-style living of the five teenagers is represented perfectly, and the personality of every hero manages to shine through and complement the others’.
Whether you’d prefer to see them out fighting crime or are happy to catch a few laughs with them on the couch, the new Teen Titans GO set design truly is something to appreciate.
*this post has now been updated and moved to andielollo.blogspot.com