"Employee of the Month" is the forty-fourth episode in the Teen Titans series and the fifth episode of the fourth season.
A UFO comes to a farm and attempts to snatch a cow when suddenly the Teen Titans burst out of their disguises and try to take it down. The UFO gets as far as the city center, where it mysteriously vanishes, leaving the Titans with no clue about its intentions. In addition, a new fast food joint named Mega Meaty Meat has opened up in the neighborhood, which doesn't suit Beast Boy at all because of his vegetarian disposition.
Besides, Beast Boy has to deal with a much more urgent problem: Since he has to rely solely on his own muscle power during high-speed pursuits (just like he had to in the UFO chase), he tires rapidly, so he wants to get motorized. His special object of desire is a moped, a Tidwell 3000, which he would like to adopt as the B-Ped. However, Robin refuses to spend any funds on buying one and Cyborg can't spare time to build one, so Beast Boy follows Raven's advice to get a job and finance it by himself.
However, even the simplest jobs he tries (literally) blow up in Beast Boy's face, and in his desperation, he somehow finds his way into Mega Meaty Meat and its manager Bob, who is looking for hired help. At first abhorred by the prospect of having to handle meat products, Beast Boy is quickly swayed to stay and work in the place when Bob presents him with the prospective award for the Employee of the Month, namely Beast Boy's dream machine. The odd thing is that Beast Boy remains the only employee at the place, and Bob keeps a dark secret hidden in the back of his evermore popular restaurant...
The UFO returns shortly, and this time the Titans (sans Beast Boy) manage to bring it down. But the UFO gives them even a harder nut to crack, since its sole occupant is an Earth cow - which is used as the UFO's power supply! But before the Titans have time to think up a plausible theory, a whole horde of UFOs appears and attacks them.Back at Mega Meaty Meat, Beast Boy is faced with a flood of hungry customers and a shortage of foodstuffs to serve them, so he goes into the back to get assistance. But once inside, he discovers that the restaurant is both a facade and the place of origin of the UFOs: an alien conqueror made of living tofu, aka The Source, and his creations, the Bobs, are trying to catch as many cows as they can to provide power for their technology and blow up the Earth upon completion of the operation, just out of spite. Determined not to let that happen, Beast Boy fights his way through a horde of Bobs, kidnaps the Source and takes it back to Titans Tower to find out how to stop its insidious scheme. When the Source remains uncooperative, Beast Boy resorts to the most drastic means he can think of to make it talk - by covering it with sauce and threatening to eat it for lunch! With the information the Source has given him on their weakness, which just turns out to be water, Beast Boy is able to single-handedly defeat the Newfu's plan, restore the cows and prevent the destruction of the Earth, by pressing a big button on the machine that shuts it down for good. But unfortunately, his shining hour goes without credit for him: the over-stressed B-Ped collapses into a scrap pile, and while explaining the rather bizarre circumstances to the others, it's discovered that Cyborg, in his ravenous appetite and to the horror of his friends, has inadvertently consumed the only key witness!
- The creators and crew of the series admitted on the fourth season's DVD that somehow their creative thinking just went overboard for this episode. Reasons provided by individual staff members include "Maybe we were tired" and "Tofu must have done something to Rob Hoegee in the past."
- Beast Boy uses Van Wyk BBQ Sauce - a reference to series storyboard artist, Adam Van Wyk. Likewise, the Tidwell-3000 owes its existence and name to storyboard artist Scooter Tidwell.
- The magazine Beast Boy is reading is called "Hot Ride".
- At the beginning of the episode, when Beast Boy is disguised as a pig, he is not green, like all his other transformations. Given that he was in a mud pit with the other pigs, though, it's possible that he simply coated himself in mud to hide his green skin.
- Even Starfire shows a lack of enthusiasm for Beast Boy's love for a moped. In fact, she appears to be somewhat disturbed when Beast Boy says he's in love with "merely a land vehicle".
- Running gag: Bob always addresses Beast Boy by other names (a total of 11 names).
- In the episode "Nevermore", Cyborg hated tofu when Beast Boy cooked it as replacement for eggs. But in this episode, he ate Newfu at the end. This could be due to the fact that the Source was covered in BBQ sauce and tasted like meat (being able to fool dozens of customers into thinking Mega Meaty Meat burgers were meat and not tofu, or rather, Newfu.)
- Robin's new yellow glass visor helmet and bird like cape is a reference to the old "Gatchaman" anime.
- The Source shares the same personality and mannerisms to Zim from Nickelodeon's Invader ZIM. However, they are not voiced by the same actor.
- The opening of the Source's protective chamber is a spoof of the emergence of the cryogenic chamber in Akira.
- Beast Boy's face while working as a clown looks like Chiro (super-hero mode) from Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!, who is also voiced by Greg Cipes. The young girl asking for Beast Boy to make a balloon-animal monkey and walking away before Beast Boy turns into a monkey is another reference to the show. Also, Ciro Nieli, who is the creator of Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! and the 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, has worked on Teen Titans.
- The background music that plays when Beast Boy rides his moped sounds similar to "Don't Fear the Reaper" by Blue Öyster Cult.
- Bob's Line "I like you, Danny" is a parody of Caddyshack.
- The Scooter Beast Boy rides, as well as the scarf, helmet, and goggles he wears while riding, are a nod to the Japanese anime FLCL (Fooly Cooly) where the female protagonist Haruko Haruhara rides the same type of Moped and wears the same scarf, helmet, and goggles.
- The blonde haired girl with the red track suit jacket could be a possible reference to Hiyori Sarugaki, a Visored from Bleach.
- As Beast Boy rides the moped out of Mega Meaty Meat, the restaurant sign on the doors was not seen.
- Beast Boy threatened to have The Source for lunch, despite the scene showing nighttime.
In popular culture
- This episode is (so far) the only episode to have been remade in the new series Teen Titans Go!, titled Employee of the Month: Redux.
- The main plot elements of this episode were replicated in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012 CGI series episode "Pizza Face", with Greg Cipes reprising his role as the main protagonist in that episode.
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