How Fall Out Boy Ended Up In Cartoon Network's Teen Titans Go

"Teen Titans Go!" is a bit of a controversial cartoon among fans, as it is a much more comedic, kid-friendly version of the 2003 "Teen Titans" cartoon (which was darker and more anime-inspired). Some fans see "Teen Titans Go!" as representative of the uber-commercialization of art, a cash-grab of a show with none of the heart of the original. Of course, to think that would be to ignore one of the most subversive, hilarious, and most of all, bizarre superhero animated shows to date. 

Then there's the movie, which gave us some of the best moments in a DC film (like Robin enthusiastically pushing Thomas and Martha Wayne into Crime Alley so Batman can exist), but also the TV show itself which stands alongside "Regular Show" and "Flapjack" as often breaking Cartoon Network's "no weird" rule. There are episodes where Robin teaches the Titans about equity, pyramid schemes, and even the IRS. At its best, the show is like a kids' version of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," with its horrible characters and hilarious shenanigans.

No wonder the show has so many guest stars, like Zack Snyder, LeBron James, Weird Al Yankovic and also Fall Out Boy. When it came to Fall Out Boy, star Tara Strong once told CBR the guest role happened by accident. Strong was on a plane, and Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz was sitting behind her, talking about "Teen Titans Go!" when Strong introduced herself as the voice of Raven.

"He freaks out when he knows who I am," said Strong, who the band then invited to see them at a concert. "They're all big fans of 'Teen Titans Go!,' and they're talking about how cool it'd be to be on the show. We introduce them to the producers, and they're like, 'Let's make that happen.'"

Fall Out Boy saved the Titans from a magical dragon

By the time Fall Out Boy made it to "Teen Titans Go!" they joined one of the greatest runs of the show, the special four-part episode hilariously titled "The Day the Night Stopped Beginning to Shine and Became Dark Even Though it Was the Day."

Long story short, the special is inspired by a viral song first introduced in a 2014 episode, which later became Cyborg's all-time favorite song and biggest obsession — "The Night Begins to Shine." The song, which reached the Billboard rock charts in 2017, isn't actually written by a rock band, but was part of a production music library (which puts out generic music for use in movies, TV, and commercials). Written as an '80s style song, there's no denying "The Night Begins to Shine" is catchy as all hell, thanks to the power of its three writers. According to the lore of the show, 40% was written by drummer Carl Burnett, another 40% came from guitarist Franklin Enea, and lastly keyboardist William J. Regan gave us the last "sweet, sweet" 20% of the song. The fake band's name that appeared on the Billboard charts, B.E.R., is taken from the first letter of each musician's last name. 

For the four-episode special, the producers brought in some big players — CeeLo Green, Fall Out Boy, and even Puffy AmiYumi (composers of the original show's theme song) to do covers of "The Night Begins to Shine." The episode finds Cyborg whisked away to a post-apocalyptic fantasy world ruled by a dragon. In order to save him, the rest of the Titans recruit Green and Fall Out Boy to sing the song, which is magical and turns the rock band into a Voltron-like transforming robot. It rules.