"The Quest" is the forty-first episode in the Teen Titans series and the second episode of Season 4.
After encountering a thief with expert fighting moves, Robin decides to improve on his martial art skills by seeking out a legendary trainer: The True Master. He travels to Asia, where he meets an old woman who helps guide him, but first Robin must go through many trials before he is ready to meet the True Master. However, unknown to Robin, he is being followed by a mysterious figure. Meanwhile, back at Titans Tower, the rest of the team find a unique way to fill the gap left by Robin's departure.
One night, Robin surprises a thieving martial artist named Katarou in Jump City's Chinatown stealing a golden staff. Unexpectedly, the thief gains the upper hand on Robin, and upon Robin's question where he learned to fight like that, Katarou replies, "If you want to be the best, you have to seek the True Master", before he escapes.
The next day in his room, Robin begins to pack a few belongings as the other Titans arrive in to comfort him over his defeat. They soon notice Robin packing and begin to believe he is quitting the team, over what happened. However, Robin reveals to them that his fight with Katarou has showed him that he still has a lot to learn about martial arts. Cyborg offers to help, but Robin declines the offer stating to have already trained with the best. Starfire then asks if he is going to seek out the True Master and Robin confirms having been riled by his defeat and his apparent lack of combat skill, Robin reveals he has decided to travel to Asia and seek out the True Master, of whom little is known beyond legends.
Upon arriving in the village at the foot of the mountain where the Master is known to reside, he meets an old peasant woman who prepares him for his journey and shows him the beginning of the path. However, Robin has to show humility and so has to leave his weapons and costume behind; but little does he know that he has a stealthy pursuer...
Robin struggles his way up the mountain, fighting his way past a talking bear, a snake and a monkey, all of them guardians set up to test his skill and determination. He also meets the old woman time and again, who seems to have no problem whatsoever in getting past the obstacles and who keeps scolding him for his impatience. In the end, Robin reaches the mountain top, but before he can enter the abode of the True Master, he is intercepted by Katarou. In fact, Katarou had only implied that he had been trained by the Master: He had attempted to reach him before but failed, so he had Robin bypass the tests in his stead so that he may follow in his wake and claim the apprenticeship for himself. Using the golden staff and Robin's equipment, he casts him back and proceeds to the abode.
Tired and angry, Robin lies on the ground until the old woman bids him to rise, rekindling his determination by reminding him on his achievements in his journey. He engages Katarou in combat and, using his experiences from his tests, defeats him. But as Katarou desperately attacks Robin from behind, he is stopped by the old woman - who is in fact the True Master in person.
Having surreptitiously followed Robin's progress, she angrily denounces Katarou as a lowly thief, cheater, and denies him any more chance of ever training under her. When Katarou tries to plea to her, the Master tells her guardians the Bear and Monkey to take him off her mountain. Upon Robin's questions, the Master slyly and good-naturedly admonishes Robin's seriousness and obsession one last time. In gratitude for her aid, Robin grants her the golden staff, and they begin training.
Meanwhile, back at Titans Tower, Starfire is shown to be missing Robin dearly, when she passes by his room, she notices a figure. Believing that Robin has returned, Starfire is overjoyed, but her happiness soon disappears as Starfire discovers "Robin" to actually be Beast Boy, dressed as him and messing with his weapons. Starfire tells Beast Boy that it is wrong for him to be in Robin's room and messing with his equipment, but Beast Boy starts to convince Starfire to dress as Robin as well.
Soon, Starfire is hooked as now both her and Beast Boy are dressed as Robin and still in his room. However, they are soon confronted by Cyborg, who appears to be mad at them for going through Robin's belongings. Instead, Cyborg is actually unhappy that they did not invite him to join in and now Beast Boy, Starfire and Cyborg are dressed as Robin. Later, they are in the garage, playing around with Robin's R-Cycle and keep referring to each other as Robin. Raven then enters the room and admits this to be disturbing, but the others begin to convince her to join them, asking if she has ever wondered what it was like to actually be Robin.
A few days later, it revealed that all of the Titans are now fully dressed as Robin, including Silkie. They continue to enjoy themselves, even ordering pizza. Raven then admits to everyone that the mask makes her feel cool. However, unaware to Raven, everyone is shocked as Robin has returned from training and is standing behind her. Raven soon notices and backs away, as everyone prepares for Robin to be furious with them. However, instead at being mad at the Titans for fooling around with his stuff and going through his belongings, Robin enjoys some pizza and admits to them: "You know, Robins, the mask makes me feel cool, too." Shocked beyond words, they all faint.
- Silkie made a cameo in this episode dressed up as Robin.
- This is the only episode where Robin is shown barefoot.
- Due to their body structures, Robin's uniform does not perfectly fit on most of the Titans:
- Beast Boy's hangs loosely because he is shorter than Robin.
- Starfire's gets stretched, resulting in having a halter top because she is taller than Robin.
- Cyborg's seems to be ripping apart since he is much bigger than Robin, even using two utility belts to keep his pants on.
- Raven's tends to fit her fine, because she is the closest to Robin's height and build.
- It is interesting to note that the "R" on Robin's shirt also fits Raven's name as well.
- Starfire, Beast Boy and Cyborg call Robin's costume his uniform instead of "costume" in the series.
- Starfire's flashbacks of Robin while he is away are from (in order) the episodes "Sisters", "Date with Destiny", and "Betrothed", which also happen to be the episodes that focus on Robin and Starfire's relationship.
- In the "Date with Destiny" flashback, it shows Robin and Starfire dancing, but in the actual episode, it does not show it. It just says that they have a dance.
- Starfire uses the puppet Starfire from "Switched" to act out Robin talking to her, while she was dressed as Robin.
- This would not be the only time Raven would wear Robin’s costume, as in the Teen Titans Go! issue Power Failure, when Raven ends up with Robin’s powers, she wears his costume once again. Funnily enough, both times are in some way a result of Katarou's actions. Additionally in said issue she wears shorts instead of the pants Robin usually wears, making it highly reminiscent of Robin’s classic design from the comics.
- The "Robin calling Robin" part may be a spoof of the Monty Python "Bruces" sketch.
- The monkey guardian has a red Chinese character for "wood" (木) on his chest and another on his back.
- Robin mentions he trained with the best, a possible reference to Batman.
- Beast Boy, dressed up as Robin, popping through a paper-covered hoop, is a spoof on Robin the Boy Wonder's first comic appearance on the cover of Detective Comics issue #38 (1940).
- In addition, it also says "the sensational character find of 1965," a reference to Beast Boy's first appearance in The Doom Patrol #99 (Nov. 1965).
- After Robin leaves his bedroom while the four Titans watch him leave and Cyborg says, "That guy takes himself way too seriously", his left ear is human instead of metal.
- When Beast Boy was riding on the R-Cycle pretending to be Robin and catching criminals, and as Cyborg was making engine noises, his left ear is human instead of metal.
- Also, the circuitry on the top right side of his head is not the same color as his skin.
- While Cyborg was going to take a turn on the R-Cycle, his red glowing eye (while wearing one of Robin's masks) was white and it turned back to normal for a quick second.
- At the end of the episode, there is what appears to be a pepperoni pizza on the table. Starfire asks Beast Boy if he wants another piece of the cheese pizza, and Beast Boy takes the slice even though he is a vegetarian.
- It is possible that Beast Boy is simply role-playing with the other Titans and would not actually eat the pizza.
- The pizza shown towards the end of the episode was cut into 10 slices, however in the subsequent shots it was changed to 8 slices.
- After Robin defeats the monkey, he is shown walking away, but he is not walking on the poles.
Katarou: NO!! (He has recovered the staff he stole to set this chain of events rolling, and he gets ready to cave Robin's skull in with it.) The True Master must train me! (As the weapon whistles toward its mark, Chu-hui's cane swings up to block it. Pan to her, on the receiving end of one totally bewildered stare, then pull back to frame all three. Katarou, equally confounded, just stands there while she uses her staff to strip his away and catch it in her free hand. She then gets in his face.) [Animation goof: When the camera pulls back, her cane has shifted to rest over Katarou's staff, rather than below it as would be needed to block the overhead lash.]
Chu-hui: You did not make it up the mountain on your own skills! (She nudges Robin's belt free and chucks it and the stolen staff back to him.) You tried before on your own, but could not make it! You are a thief and a cheater! The True Master will not train you! Not now, not ever! (She walks o.c.)
Chu-hui: (from o.c.) Take him off my mountain! (Out of nowhere, the GOTR and GOTT slide up and escort him forcibly away. Now Chu-hui, the True Master, as evidenced from those five words, approaches Robin with a thoroughly satisfied smile.)
Robin: (bows and holds his staff out to her) Consider this a gift for showing me the way. (She takes it.) You're the True Master, but, why didn't you tell me?
Chu-hui: (walking toward the temple) You never asked.
Robin: So why was it so important that I get to the top before sunset?
Chu-hui: It is much easier to see the path when it's not dark.
Robin: All this time, I thought there was some deep meaning to everything you were saying. (His own staff is tossed to him; cut to her, holding the one Katarou stole rather than her own.)
Chu-hui: Ah, young warrior. You take things much too seriously. (Pull back; they face off.) Robin: (bowing) I am ready to train with you, True Master. (He takes his stance.)
Chu-hui: I believe you are.
Click here to view the gallery.
Click here to view the episode transcript.