A team of animated superheroes in post-apocalyptic outfits in 'Teen Titans Go.'

Let’s Celebrate One of the Best Songs Ever Featured on Television

When I look at you...

On October 21, 2015, the Teen Titans Go! episode “40%, 40%, 20%” aired for the first time. Did the creators of the show know that they were dropping one of the best songs ever used in television?

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They probably did because you cannot listen to “The Night Begins To Shine” and not think it is a rocking song. Although the song had been briefly heard and mentioned in other episodes, this was the first time we heard it in its entirety. It was a moment that changed history.

In the episode, Cyborg reveals that the song—and not his robot pieces—is what gives him strength. It’s that powerful of a jam. 40 percent of the song was written by drummer Carl Burnett. Another 40 came from Franklin Enea, the guitarist. Keyboardist William J. Regan gave us the last “sweet sweet” 20 percent. The name of the band is taken from the first letter in each musician’s last name: B.E.R.

A power ballad for the ages

“The Night Begins To Shine” also has the power to transport people to another dimension. While singing the song, the Teen Titans are whisked away to a post-apocalyptic fantasy world with dragons and robots. Like the song’s vibe, it is very ’80s rock. The Titans get a cool makeover to fit into the new world. It’s actually my favorite design for the characters. After the initial episode, Teen Titans Go! would revisit this world in their The Night Begins To Shine 2 special in 2020. That adventure featured CeeLo Green and Fallout Boy, who contributed a little something to the epic song. At one point, HBO was planning a spinoff series in which the Titans go on adventures in this reality.

In 2017, “The Night Begins To Shine” made it onto the Billboard and iTunes charts because of its popularity online. The writers of this musical masterpiece never intended for the song to blow up the way it did. As part of his job, Carl Burnett was asked to create a song with an ’80s vibe to it. After the recording, it lived in the Warner Bros. music library. It sat there until Teen Titans Go! director and producer Peter Michail found it. The song was just intended as a throwaway background piece, but people loved it so it came back as a central part of the story.

So make sure to take a minute this weekend, crank up the volume on your speakers or headphones, and let “The Night Begins To Shine” take you away.

(featured image: Cartoon Network)

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D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.