|Common TMNT promotional artwork.|
August 16, 2014
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (1987)
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
(Syndication, CBS, USA, December 28, 1987-Novemer 2, 1996)
Murakami Wolf Swenson, IDDH (both until 1992), Fred Wolf Films (1992-96), Mirage Studios, Surge Licensing
Cam Clarke – Leonardo, Rocksteady, Mung, HiTech (season 10)
Townsend Coleman – Michelangelo, Krang (season 3), Burne Thompson (season 3), Splinter (season 5), Screwloose, Rhazar, Usagi Yojimbo, Attila the Frog, Walt, Shredder (season 7)
Barry Gordon – Donatello, Bebop
Greg Berg – Donatello (season 3), Bebop (season 3)
Rob Paulsen – Raphael (seasons 1-9), Zenter, Wingnut, Tokka, Zach the Fifth Turtle, HiTech (season 9)
Thom Pinto – Raphael (season 3)
Hal Rayle – Raphael (season 7)
Michael Gough – Raphael (season 10)
Peter Renaday – Splinter, General Traag, Leatherhead (season 7)
Renae Jacobs – April O’Neil
Pat Fraley – Casey Jones, Krang, Baxter Stockman, Slash, Ray, Napoleon Bonafrog, Burne Thompson, Zak, Vernon Fenwick (season 1)
James Avery – Shredder (seasons 1-7)
Jim Cummings – Shredder (seasons 5 & 7), various
Bill Martin – Shredder (seasons 8-10)
Keith Tuttle – Rocksteady (season 3)
Tony Jay – Lord Dregg (seasons 9-10)
Bumper Robinson – Carter (seasons 9-10)
For a brief history of the Turtles, check out the post here.
Turtle power! To celebrate the Turtles' 30th anniversary and the release of the new movie, we present the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series.
When licensing agent Mark Freedman got ahold of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, he convinced them that their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic could have extreme merchandising potential outside of the comic pages. Eastman and Laird were on board, and the concept was presented to Playmates Toys in 1987 to create an action figure line centered around the Turtles after Dark Horse Miniatures produced a set of 15 mmlead figurines the year before. However, while the small California-based company was looking to expand into action figures, it was hesitant to take on such an unknown property. Comics were still at that time regarded as a niche market and had not yet achieved mainstream recognition, especially independent publishers.
Deciding an animated series would best sell the toys, Jerry Sachs of the advertising agency Sachs-Finley brought in the animators of Murakami-Wolf-Swenson led by Fred Wolf to meet and discuss concepts and ideas with Playmates’ marketing team: Karl Aaronian, VP of sales Richard Sallis and VP of the company Bill Carlson. Aaronian recruited several designers and writer John C. Schulte and together they began transforming the dark and gritty Turtles comic into a lighter, more kid-friendly animated mini-series designed to sell toys. It was during these meetings that the various catchphrases synonymous with the show were born, including “Heroes in a Half Shell,” “Turtle Power!” and the use of surfing slang “Cowabunga!”
David Wise and Patti Howeth wrote the mini-series that would become the first five episodes of the series. To make the show more kid-friendly, the grim and gritty tonality of the original comics was toned down considerably and a greater emphasis placed on jokes and sight gags. The Turtles became fun-loving fighters and goofed around as much as they were serious in their duties. They were also given a fondness for pizza, eating it for almost every meal and often with unusual combinations of toppings.
But those were not to be the only changes. In the comics, the Turtles were virtually indistinguishable due to the pages being in black and white, their all wearing red masks on the covers, and the fact their personalities didn’t have any noticeable differences. The only way to tell them all apart was when they were holding their signature weapons. Since the show was to be geared towards kids, the Turtles’ designs were softened to be more friendly-looking, especially with the inclusion of the ability to see their eyes through their masks, and given lighter personalities and defining character traits within the group dynamic. To further differentiate them from each other, the Turtles were all given belt buckles with their initials and different colored masks and accessories: Leonardo (Cam Clarke), the more-serious leader, was given blue; Donatello (Barry Gordon mostly, Greg Berg for several episodes), the genius inventor responsible for their devices and vehicles, was given purple; Michelangelo (Townsend Coleman), the skateboarding party dude, was given orange; hot-headed Raphael (Rob Paulsen initially, Thom Pinto for two episodes, Hal Rayle for the sideseason, Michael Gough for the final season) was left with the original red from the comics. Each maintained their signature weapons from the comics, however in season 4 Michelangelo was given a grappling hook instead of his nunchucks over the growing concerns about the weapons and ninjas around the world. Although the action figures would follow these changes, they would also make a few of their own. The Turtles’ sculpts were rendered closer to the style of the comic and each were given a different shade of green for their skin color in order to make them more toyetic and not leave parents feeling like they were buying the same figure multiple times.
Hamato Yoshi and Splinter became the same person. Yoshi (Peter Renaday with Coleman doing several episodes in season 5), a member of the Foot Clan, had fled Japan when fellow clansman Oroku Saki (aka Shredder, played primarily by James Avery and Bill Martin, with stints by Dorian Harewood, Jim Cummings and Townsend Coleman) disgraced him in front of their master and took to living in the New York sewers amongst the rats. There, he had found four lost pet turtles and took to caring for them. The mutagenic ooze (or Mutagen) was loosed on the sewer by Saki, who had taken over the American branch of the Foot as the Shredder, in an effort to kill Yoshi; instead mutating him into a rat and the pet turtles he had found lost in the sewer into teenaged humanoids. Yoshi, calling himself Splinter, adopted the Turtles as his own sons, named them after his favorite Renaissance painters and trained them to fight.
Further differentiating itself from the comics, the series featured Shredder as the Turtles’ primary antagonist, whereas he was killed early on in the comics. He utilized an army of robotic Foot Soldier ninjas, allowing the Turtles to cut loose in fights without being labelled as too violent for children. Created specifically for the series was Shredder’s primary ally, Krang (Pat Fraley mostly, Coleman for several episodes). Krang was a banished warlord from Dimension X whose design was inspired by the race of aliens from the comics called the Ultroms, which resemble brains with faces and tentacles. Krang controlled an army of rock soldiers lead by General Traag (Renaday). Krang’s primary mode of transportation and defense was a humanoid robotic suit which he controlled from the stomach area. Krang provided Shredder with various inventions and technology the he needed, as well as his primary base: the Technodrome—a large spherical mobile base (which spent most of the series either underpowered or stranded somewhere).
Deciding to pit mutant against mutant, Shredder used the mutagenic ooze to transform two dimwitted street thugs into Bebop (a warthog, played mostly by Gordon with Berg doing several episodes and the sideseason) and Rocksteady (a rhino played by Clarke). Exclusive to the cartoon, Bebop and Rocksteady were designed by Eastman and Laird while negotiating the action figure deal; however it was Wise who fleshed the characters out when Wolf asked for more mutants to be in the series.
April O’Neil (Renae Jacobs) followed the Turtles from the comics, becoming their primary friend and confidant. However, unlike the comics, April was depicted as a reporter for Channel 6 News to provide the Turtles the resources they would need for research and tips on Foot attacks around the city. April encountered the Turtles while investigating hi-tech equipment thefts and falling victim to a street gang, whom they rescued her from. April’s design was also altered, having her depicted with short, straight red hair and always wearing a yellow jumpsuit with white boots. The rest of the Channel 6 family included Burne Thompson (Fraley mostly, Coleman for an episode), April’s gruff boss who assigned her crappy stories and believed the Turtles were a menace April should expose (ala Spider-Man’s J. Jonah Jameson), Vernon Fenwick (Fraley in season 1, Renaday after), an unscrupulous colleague always trying to steal April’s scoops, and Irma Langinstein (Jennifer Darling), the klutzy receptionist and April’s best friend.
It took three airings of the mini-series to find an audience. But once it did, it was quickly greenlit for production to begin as an ongoing animated series. Originally debuting in Saturday morning syndication in 1988, it soon expanded to weekday afternoons in most markets the following September when its success was evident. The show’s recognizable theme was composed by Dennis C. Brown with lyrics written and spoken by future prominent producer Chuck Lorre. Many episode titles were parodies of various pop-culture references.
As a result of the series, the toys (remember the toys?) by Playmates flew off the shelves. The Turtles became a marketing machine, adorning clothing, household items, cereals, snacks, and other toys besides action figures. Video games based on the cartoon were released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, arcades, Nintendo Gameboy, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis and on handhelds throughout the early 90s, primarily by Konami.
Their popularity grew to the point that in March of 1990 the Turtles received their very first live-action movie, which also cemented the trend of each adaptation of the franchise presenting a slightly different take of the origin story. Directed by Steve Barron on a screenplay by Todd W. Langen and Bobby Herbeck, the movie was heavily inspired by the animated series while incorporating the elements of the plot from the first dozen issues of the original comics. It utilized the light-hearted tonality, the colored masks and letter belts and April’s (Judith Hoag) occupation as a reporter and how she first met the Turtles. However, this version restored Splinter (Kevin Clash) to his original role as Hamato Yoshi’s pet rat. The movie was live-action, utilizing suits and animatronics created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop for all the mutant roles. It also re-established Casey Jones (Elias Koteas in the film, Fraley in the cartoon) as an ally and friend to the Turtles as he was in the comics, unlike in the series where Casey, who had debuted in season 3 before the movie’s release, was a crazed hardcore vigilante who never took his mask off. Casey also only appeared in five episodes throughout the entire run.
During the fourth season, the show was simultaneously aired in weekday syndication and as an hour-long double episode block on CBS Saturday mornings with a slightly altered opening sequence and did away with the episode title cards. Bridging the two episodes were “Turtle Tips,” a brief segment that served as a Public Service Announcement about various issues. 20 sequences were produced, in addition to other PSA’s the Turtles were featured in outside of the show. The intended first CBS episode, “The Dimension X Story,” was shown out of sequence with the other episodes as the situation it set up for the Technodrome was mentioned before the episode ever aired. The season 5 episode “Planet of the Turtleoids” was originally aired as an hour-long primetime special in August of 1991 before being broken up into two episodes on Saturday that October.
Season 7 was split into two parts. Thirteen episodes produced before season 4 were never shown. These episodes, known as the “Vacation in Europe” sideseason, follows the Turtles on an European vacation where they battle Shredder’s schemes on an international level. Chronologically, the episodes took place between the first and second episodes of the 4th season, but were aired as part of USA Network’s Cartoon Express block in 1993 alongside season 7. Interestingly enough, though, it was only in America where that happened. For the international broadcasts, the sideseason aired as part of season 4. The most notable thing about the vacation episodes were the number of voice substitutions in the cast. Cummings and Coleman would both portray Shredder in all but two episodes where Avery performed, while Rayle would do Raphael for the entire sideseason. Gordon would reassume his roles from Berg halfway through the episodes. During the regular season on CBS, Avery would leave the Shredder role five episodes in, with Coleman assuming it for the remainder until the role was recast. It was also at this time that Wolf broke off from his partners and established Fred Wolf Films, which produced the series for the remainder of its run.
Season 8 saw some major changes come to the show. The series was retooled to be more action-oriented and darker to bring it closer to the original comics. Following the two sequels to the movie, 1991’s Secret of the Ooze and 1993’s Turtles in Time, the character animation was changed to better resemble the characters’ appearances in those movies, and the sky had taken on a predominantly red shade as opposed to the light blue thus far. A new theme song was recorded and played over an introduction that incorporated brief shots from the first movie. By the end of the season, Shredder and Krang were cast off to Dimension X and removed as the regular series villains. Season 9 introduced Lord Dregg (Tony Jay) as the new recurring villain who attempted a smear campaign against the Turtles to turn the public at large against them. Wise left the series before the 10th and final season, which saw the Turtles finally victorious over their foes. The last three seasons all ran for a reduced 8-episode season. Although the Turtles’ popularity had begun to wane, CBS’ decision to cancel the series came due to their desire to purge their current Saturday morning line-up as well as remove any programming that didn’t adhere to the FCC’s educational requirements for animated programs. And, no matter how much producers cleaned up the show, especially in relation to the source material, parent groups often made the program a target.
In a rare move for voice recording, the cast recorded episodes together in order to better play off each other and develop a real sense of comradery. Despite Eastman and Laird’s desires that the series would be closer to the comic’s darker roots, most of the voice actors had children and wanted them to be able to enjoy the show. So, the tone of their performance was often kept silly and jovial. Even though their interpretations may not have fit the perceptions of everyone involved, it worked enough to make Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles become one of the most popular cartoons at the time. At ten seasons over nine years, it was the longest-running cartoon at the time (soon surpassed by The Simpsons), and is still currently the longest-running cartoon based on an American independent comic. While the primary cast did stay with the series for most of its run, as noted before some of the actors were substituted in various episodes; either by other cast members or by entirely different actors. Only Clarke, Townsend and Jacobs voiced their primary characters throughout the series.
International broadcasts in the United Kingdom led to the show being renamed Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles due to then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the controversy surrounding ninjas at the time. The intro was edited to remove all traces of the word and any shot of Michelangelo using his nunchucks. These UK edits were also featured in several other European countries such as Ireland, Belgium, Germany and Poland, amongst others. Certain phrases also had to be cut out or changed, due to particular words having different meanings in different countries.
During the run of the series, Archie Comics had acquired the rights to produce comics based on it. In 1988, after adapting the original mini-series in the three-issue series Heroes in a Half Shell, Archie launched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures which initially adapted the second season's episodes for four issues before delving into original stories set within the animated universe. Primarily written by Stephen Murphy, the book introduced new exclusive characters, eventually pushing most of the recurring animated ones to the sidelines, and dealt with social, environmental and animal rights issues. It also added layers of depth to established characters beyond what the series would do. As a result, many came to view the comics as more serious than the cartoon with deeper storytelling. The series ran for 72 issues with several annuals, specials and mini-series spin-offs.
The original action figures ran until 1997, featuring the vast majority of the characters from the program as well as the vehicles and weapons. The Turtles, April and their primary villains received several variations over the course of the line, such as sports heroes, soldiers and even an unlikely franchise team-up with the Turtles in Star Trek uniforms (Playmates also had the license to produce Star Trek figures). Playmates also did two series featuring designs inspired by the movies. Interestingly, it wouldn’t be until the 1992 series of figures that Playmates would release a series of Turtles that more closely resembled their animated counterparts. Playmates would continue to produce figures based on the various Turtles media in the following years. For the 25th anniversary in 2009, Playmates re-released several of the figures was with the Party Wagon and packaged them with DVDs containing an episode of the cartoon.
After the cancellation of the cartoon, Fox brought the Turtles back in a live-action attempt the following year called Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation which introduced the much-hated fifth female turtle Venus de Milo. Cancelled after only one season, the Turtles would remain in creative limbo until Fox made a second attempt in 2003 with a new animated series. The next time the 1987 Turtles would be seen was in the 25th Anniversary television movie Turtles Forever, produced by 4Kids Entertainment, which teamed them up with the 2003 Turtles and the original comic book Turtles against their various foes. Nickelodeon’s 2012 Turtles series makes several references to the 1987 show. Not only is Rob Paulsen part of the cast (as Donatello rather than Raphael), but they use a midi of the 1987 theme song as the ringtone for their T-phones (shell-shaped phones invented by Donatello). For the 30th anniversary, the hour-long episode “Wormquake” in 2014 featured a brief cameo by the 1987 Turtles voiced by their original actors.
“Turtle Tracks” (12/28/87) – April discovers a rash of thefts are committed by members of the Foot Clan and the existence of the Turtles before she’s kidnapped by Shredder.
“Enter the Shredder” (12/29/87) – Shredder and Krang create Bebop and Rocksteady as their henchmen while the Foot kidnaps Splinter.
“A Thing About Rats” (12/30/87) – Shredder employs Baxter Stockman’s Mousers to track down Splinter.
“Hot Rodding Teenagers” (12/31/87) – The Turtles befriend the Neutrinos from Dimension X and help them beat back Krang’s stone warriors and their weather device.
“Shredder & Splintered” (1/1/88) – Shredder lures in the Turtles by threatening to revert Splinter to human, putting them in conflict with Krang’s new robot body.
“Return of the Shredder” (10/1/88) – Shredder returns from Dimension X but is denied his resources by Krang until he proves himself worthy of them again.
“The Incredible Shrinking Turtles” (10/8/88) – The Turtles search out fragments of the eye of Sarnoth, but Shredder steals the one they find and uses it to shrink them.
“The Mean Machines” (10/22/88) – While the Turtles deal with machines trying to destroy them, Shredder uses the Sarnoth fragment to power a computer to open a portal to Dimension X.
“It Came From Beneath the Sewers” (10/15/88) – Shredder uses the Sarnoth fragment to create a mutant plant monster to attack the Turtles.
“Curse of the Evil Eye” (10/29/88) – Shredder completes the eye of Sarnoth and attaches it to his helmet, but ends up losing his helmet before he can use his new power.
“The Case of the Killer Pizzas” (11/5/88) – Stockman rigs a contest to ensure the Turtles get pizza with deadly meatball-like eggs on them, but the pizzas end up going to someone else.
“Invasion of the Punk Frogs in Swampland” (11/19/88) – Krang accidentally creates four mutant frogs that Shredder befriends and sets against the Turtles.
“Baxter Stockman the Fly” (11/12/88) – Shredder retrieves Bebop and Rocksteady as Stockman is turned into a fly.
“Master Splinter No More” (11/26/88) – While Shredder plots to reopen the portal to Dimension X Donatello devises a cure to make Splinter human again.
“New York’s Shiniest” (12/3/88) – Robot cop Rex-1 joins the Turtles in defeating Shredder and his army of robot cops.
“Teenagers from Dimension X” (12/10/88) – The Neutrinos return to Earth to warn the Turtles of Shredder’s latest plot while Shredder tries to get a hand on their dimension-crossing ship.
“The Catwoman from Channel Six” (12/17/88) – April is accidentally turned into a cat-woman, forcing the Turtles to befriend Irma in order to help her.
“Return of the Technodrome” (12/17/88) – Splinter takes a vacation while the Turtles attempt to stop the Technodrome from returning to Earth.
“Beneath These Streets” (10/19/89) – Splinter is hurt during a confrontation with Shredder.
“Turtles on Trial” (10/20/89) – A TV personality portrays the Turtles as menaces to society, but the Turtles are more focused on defeating Krang and his new weapon.
“Attack of the 50-Foot Irma” (10/23/89) – Irma is turned into a giant, and her natural klutziness makes her a danger to the city.
“The Maltese Hamster” (10/24/89) – Gangsters swipe all the antiques in town and most of the Turtles, leaving Donatello and April to stop them.
“Sky Turtles” (10/25/89) – The Turtles are hit by Shredder’s anti-gravity device.
“The Old Switcheroo” (10/26/89) – A device accidentally activated during battle switches Splinter and Shredder’s minds.
“Burne’s Blues” (10/27/89) – Someone is destroying all the air conditioners and stealing Freon during a heatwave while Burne and Vernon go hunting for the Turtles.
“Zach the Fifth Turtle” (10/30/89) – 13-year-old Zach wants to help the Turtles, but all his attempts end up backfiring.
“Enter the Rat King” (10/31/89) – Rat King uses his powers over rodents to take control of Splinter to destroy the Turtles.
“Turtles at the Earth’s Core” (11/1/89) – The Turtles stumble upon a world where dinosaurs still exist and where Bebop and Rocksteady try to steal the crystal that sustains it.
“April’s Fool a.k.a. April Foolish” (11/2/89) – April is mistaken for a princess at a masquerade ball that Shredder crashes to steal the Lydium 90 needed to power the Technodrome.
“Attack of Big MACC” (11/3/89) – A robot warrior from the future comes to the past and befriends the turtles, but Shredder and Krang are looking to recruit him.
“The Ninja Sword of Nowhere” (11/6/89) – Shredder acquires a ninja sword made of an alien metal that can cut through dimensions.
“20,000 Leagues Under the City” (11/7/89) – Shredder and Krang flood the city to flush out the Turtles.
“Take Me to Your Leader” (11/8/89) – Leonardo doubts his leadership and takes time off from the team while Krang and Shredder threaten to plunge Earth into another Ice Age.
“Four Musketurtles” (11/9/89) – A head injury causes Leonardo to believe the Turtles are Musketeers in 17th Century France.
“Turtles, Turtles, Everywhere” (11/10/89) – Shredder reprograms the city’s new garbage collecting super computer to collect the Turtles and it collects every turtle in the city.
“Cowabunga Shredhead” (11/13/89) – A computer malfunction leaves Shredder believing he’s Michelangelo.
“Invasion of the Turtle Snatchers” (11/14/89) – Aliens abduct Donatello and Rocksteady.
“Camera Bugged” (11/15/89) – April and Shredder both come into possession of an alien camera that does more than take pictures.
“Green with Jealousy” (11/16/89) – Shredder targets a naval submarine for its power while a love potion makes Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael fall for Irma.
“Return of the Fly” (11/17/89) – Shredder wants to siphon water from an underground reservoir as Baxter Stockman returns for revenge.
“Outlaw Hero – Casey Jones” (11/20/89) – To stop Krang and Shredder from controlling all the city’s machines the Turtles must team-up with sports-themed vigilante Casey Jones.
“Mutagen Monster” (11/21/89) – A train accident spills mutagen on nearby cattle, creating an angry super bull.
“Corporate Raiders from Dimension X” (11/22/89) – Casey and the Turtles investigate a rash of corporate thefts.
“Pizza by the Shred” (11/23/89) – Michelangelo gets a job as a pizza delivery boy and his boss ends up being Shredder.
“Super Bebop & Mighty Rocksteady” (11/24/89) – Shredder and Krang use hi-tech versions of Bebop and Rocksteady to keep the Turtles busy while they install a mesmerizer at Channel 6.
“Beware the Lotus” (11/27/89) – Krang hires a deadly ninja warrior to beat the Turtles and she’s more than a match for Leonardo.
“Blast from the Past” (11/28/89) – The Turtles try to restore Splinter’s memory.
“Leatherhead Terror of the Swamp” (11/29/89) – Mutant alligator Leatherhead terrorizes the Punk Frogs and teams up with Shredder to take on the Turtles.
“Michelangelo’s Birthday” (11/30/89) – Shredder and Krang discover an anti-mutagen while the Turtles seem to forget Michelangelo’s birthday.
“Usagi Yojimbo” (12/1/89) – A rabbit ronin warrior from another dimension ends up stranded on Earth as Shredder plans to use a dragon egg against the city.
“Case of the Hot Kimono” (12/4/89) – April’s aunt Agatha Marbles uses her legendary detective skills to help the Turtles find kimonos being stolen around the city.
“Usagi Come Home” (12/5/89) – Shredder trucks Usagi into attacking the Turtles.
“The Making of Metalhead” (12/6/89) – The Turtles can’t take a sick day when Shredder and Krang release their robotic turtle Metalhead to take down the Turtles.
“Leatherhead Meets the Rat King” (12/7/89) – Leatherhead and Rat King both have their own plans for revenge, which puts them at odds with each other.
“The Turtle Terminator” (12/8/89) – Irma is captured and replaced by a robot, but its programming proves faulty when it tries to blast whoever says the word “turtle.”
“The Great Boldini” (12/11/89) – The Turtles are framed for the jewel theft perpetrated by magician Boldini.
“The Missing Map” (12/12/89) – Zach’s brother Walt steals a pouch that has a map to the Turtles’ lair.
“The Gang’s All Here” (12/13/89) – Wanting to know what it’s like to be human, Michelangelo eats Bebop and Rocksteady’s anti-mutagen cookies and is changed into one.
“The Grybyx” (12/14/89) – Kala’s pet Grybyx escapes from Dimension X and causes trouble the Turtles.
“Mister Ogg Goes to Town” (12/15/89) – An alien comedian from Dimension Z escapes to Earth and begins wreaking havoc.
“Shredderville” (12/18/89) – The Turtles end up an alternate world where they never existed, allowing Shredder to rule the city.
“Bye, Bye, Fly” (12/19/89) – Baxter uses an alien spacecraft as part of his latest revenge plot.
“The Big Rip Off” (12/20/89) – The Turtles are distracted at Fort Charles while Bebop and Rocksteady steal fuel cells from the space research center.
“The Big Break In” (12/21/89) – The Turtles must stop the now-running Technodrome.
“The Big Blow Out” (12/22/89) – Shredder and Krang steal all of the city’s electricity to open a portal to Dimension X and send Earth through.
“The Dimension X Story” (9/8/90) – Stuck in Dimension X, Shredder uses the teleporter to bring the Turtles to him and enact his plan to destroy them.
“Donatello’s Degree” (9/8/90) – Irma stands in for Donatello to receive his degree from Sopho University as Donatello discovers a plot by Prof. Sopho to destroy the Earth.
“Plan 6 From outer Space” (9/10/90) – Bebop and Rocksteady are sent to Earth to capture the Channel 6 building for equipment for the Technodrome.
“Turtles of the Jungle” (9/11/90) – A professor’s ray gun causes plants to go wild and turns his pet ape into a giant.
“Michelangelo Toys Around” (9/12/90) – At the Toy Fair, Michelangelo discovers a sinister plot to take over a toy company.
“Peking Turtle” (9/13/90) – Shredder steals a device held by a Jade Dragon that sets a reanimated Terracotta Army after the Turtles.
“Shredder’s Mom” (9/14/90) – Shredder holds the world hostage with a heatwave while Krang frees Shredder’s mother from a retirement community.
“Son of Return of the Fly” (9/15/90) – Baxter and an A.I. return and capture the Turtles and Shredder.
“Four Turtles and a Baby” (9/17/90) – Neutrinos Zenter and Gizzla send their infant Tribble to the Turtles to watch when General Tragg attack the capital.
“Turtlemaniac” (9/18/90) – Monroe Q. Flem wants all the Turtles memorabilia he can get, including April and the ACTUAL Turtles.
“Rondo in New York” (9/19/90) – Michelangelo ends up disappointed by his movie star idol while Shredder and Krang steal something that can bring inanimate objects to life.
“Planet of the Turtles” (9/20/90) – The salvation for Earth lies in another dimension where turtles dominate.
“Name That Toon” (9/21/90) – A computer from the Technodrome ends up on Earth disguised as an electronic keyboard.
“Raphael Knocks ‘em Dead” (9/22/90) – Mobster Pinky McFingers kidnaps Raphael from a local comedy club.
“Bebop and Rocksteady Conquer the Universe” (9/22/90) – Bebop and Rocksteady steal a machine that can make anyone scared of anything.
“Raphael Meets his Match” (9/22/90) – Raphael wins a place at a party that ends up crashed by pirates and he gets help from lizard-woman Mona Lisa in stopping them.
“Menace Maestro, Please” (9/24/90) – Irma’s boyfriend Howie buys an old opera house with the plan to turn it into a nightclub.
“Super Hero for a Day” (9/25/90) – Shredder tricks retired hero Gadget Man into attacking the Turtles.
“Slash—the Evil Turtle from Dimension X” (9/29/90) – Bebop mutates his pet turtle so he can do the housework, but Slash runs away and is conned into framing the Turtles.
“Leonardo Lightens Up” (9/29/90) – Raphael and Michelangelo hit Leonardo with a personality-altering ray.
“Were-Rats from Channel 6” (10/13/90) – Rat King discovers a lost canister of mutagen and uses it on Irma and Vernon so they will do his bidding and raid food warehouses.
“Funny, They Shrunk Michelangelo” (10/13/90) – Michelangelo accidentally shrinks himself, April and Vernon while entertaining himself with Donatello’s inventions.
“The Big Zipp Attack” (10/20/90) – An alien, Zipp, comes to Earth and causes trouble for the Turtles.
“Donatello Makes Time” (10/20/90) – A deranged professor steals Donatello’s time-freezing device to conquer the world.
“Farewell Lotus Blossom” (10/27/90) – Lotus is drawn to an artifact the Turtles have that contains an angry spirit.
“Rebel Without a Fin” (10/27/90) – Dr. Polidorus wants to mutate all humanity into aquatic beings and his creation, Ray, kidnaps April for Polidorus to turn into his mate.
“Rhino-Man” (11/3/90) – Bebop and Rocksteady dress up as superheroes to steal a diamond for Krang while the Turtles try to free hypnotized slaves from J. Gordon HungerDunger.
“Michelangelo Meets Bugman” (11/3/90) – Michelangelo meets his favorite comic book hero Bugman and helps him take on the Electrozapper.
“Poor Little Rich Turtle” (11/10/90) – Shredder and Krang want the formula for a super fuel a young rich girl knows and the Turtles must protect her.
“What’s Michelangelo Good For?” (11/10/90) – An evil scientist captures the Turtles and Michelangelo has to save them.
“The Big Cufflink Caper!” (11/10/90) – Shredder is the head of a ring of cufflink thefts.
“Leonardo Versus Tempestra” (11/17/90) – Tempestra is freed from an arcade game and it’s up to Leonardo to stop her.
“Splinter Vanishes” (11/24/90) – Splinter disappears and leaves a note causing the Turtles to split, allowing Leatherhead and Rat King to capture them.
“Raphael Drives ‘Em Wild” (11/24/90) – A transmogrifier device causes Raphael and a cabbie to swap bodies.
“Beyond the Donatello Nebula” (12/1/90) – Donatello meets Algernon, a lizard alien, who helps the Turtles rescue April from Hiram Grelch.
“Big Bug Blunder” (12/1/90) – A mutagen experiment leads to a swarm of giant insects invading New York.
“The Foot Soldiers Are Revolting” (12/8/90) – When a Footbot’s intellect is increased, it leads the other Foot in a rebellion against Shredder and Krang.
“Unidentified Flying Leonardo” (12/8/90) – Helping April investigate a monster report, Leonardo is mistaken for an alien by the townspeople and ends up being hunted.
“The Turtles and The Hare” (3/28/91) – The Tutles befriend Hokum Hare in a fairy tale dimension while attempting to stop Shredder’s latest scheme.
“Once Upon a Time Machine” (3/29/91) – Thanks to a time-traveling train, past and future Turtles team-up to stop Shredder’s plan for New York in 2036.
“Planet of the Turtleoids” (8/31/91) – The Turtles, Groundchuck and Dirtbag are taken to Shellri-La by Kerma to help defend the planet from two-headed dragon Herman the Horrible. When they’re returned home, the Turtles have to stop the Technodrome Mark II and Chrome Dome.
“My Brother, the Bad Guy” (9/21/91) – Lt. Kazou Saki comes from Japan to arrest his brother, Shredder, while Donatello causes the Technodrome to end up in the Arctic.
“Michelangelo Meets Mondo Gecko” (9/21/91) – Strange dreams cause Michelangelo to seek out Mondo Gecko, who was mutated by the same mutagen as the Turtles.
“Enter: Mutagen Man” (9/28/91) – A delivery boy falls into Krang’s unstable mutagen and is able to transform into anyone.
“Donatello’s Badd Time” (9/28/91) – The Turtle Van ends up stolen by a family of hillbillies known as the Badd Family.
“Michelangelo Meets Bugman Again” (10/5/91) – Only Bugman can save the city from a termite infestation, but he refuses to.
“Muckman Messes Up” (10/5/91) – Muckman, a mutated garbage man, is tricked into working with Shredder upon the discovery that his slime can weaken the Turtles.
“Napoleon Bonafrog: Colossus of the Swamps” (10/12/91) – Shredder tests Krang’s Muta-Shooter, mutating Napoleon Bonafrog.
“Raphael Versus the Volcano” (10/12/91) – Donatello’s invention backfires, causing Raphael to think he’s about to die and wanting to go out a hero by single-handedly saving the world.
“Landlord of the Flies” (10/19/91) – Baxter tries to conquer New York to prove his worth to Shredder and Krang and be made human again.
“Donatello’s Duplicate” (10/19/91) – Donatello clones himself to help with his chores, but the clone turns and joins the Rat King.
“The Ice Creature Cometh” (11/2/91) – Bebop and Rocksteady create a giant ice creature that Shredder uses to freeze the city.
“Leonardo Cuts Loose” (11/2/91) – Leonardo hesitantly asks Casey Jones for help rescuing the Turtles from a muscular former nerd.
“Pirate Radio” (11/9/91) – Shredder uses a hypnotic microphone and speaker through a radio station to send the citizens into an alternate dimension created by Krang.
“Raphael, Turtle of a Thousand Faces” (11/9/91) – Raphael’s mastery of disguise lands him in trouble when he’s mistaken for mobster Mad Dog McMutt.
“Leonardo, the Renaissance Turtle” (11/16/91) – Dr. Mindbender creates a law-enforcement robot that begins to arrest people no matter how severe the crime.
“Zach and the Alien Invaders” (11/23/91) – Zach is put into military camp because of his false alien reports, but ends up discovering two real aliens brainwashing the cadets there.
“Welcome Back Polarisoids” (11/30/91) – Frip returns to Earth for a vacation only to have his camera stolen by Krang again.
“Michelangelo, the Sacred Turtle” (12/7/91) – Michelangelo is mistaken for Amun Turt-El while visiting an Egyptian exhibit.
“Rock Around the Block” (9/12/92) – Krang brings General Traag to Earth to distract the Turtles while he attempts to free the Technodrome from its arctic prison.
“Krangenstein Lives!” (9/19/92) – While Michelangelo becomes a video game addict, Krang’s robot body goes out of control thanks to Bebop and Rocksteady.
“Super Irma” (9/26/92) – Irma gains magnetic powers and decides to try and stop Krang, but they wear off causing her to need rescuing by the Turtles.
“Adventures in Turtle-Sitting” (10/3/92) – Michelangelo uses Donatello’s Food Revivafier and accidentally turns the other Turtles into 5-year-olds.
“Sword of Yurikawa” (10/10/92) – A ninja steals his master’s former sword in order to test the Turtles.
“Return of the Turtleoid” (10/17/92) – A destroyer hunts down Kerma when a glitch in its sensors causes it to mistake Kerma for space-pirate Nerma.
“Shreeka’s Revenge” (10/24/92) – Galactic outlaw Shreeka wants the ring Krang stole from her, but it’s currently in April’s possession.
“Too Hot to Handle” (10/31/92) – Prof. Sopho causes the Earth to move closer to the sun and Vernon’s genius nephew, Foster, helps the Turtles save the world.
“Nightmare in the Lair” (11/7/92) – Donatello’s latest invention traps Michelangelo and Leonardo in a nightmare world.
“Phantom of the Sewers” (11/14/92) – A man with dried paint on his face is helped by the Turtles to stop a bank robbery.
“Donatello Trashes Slash” (11/21/92) – Donatello encounters Slash who has suddenly become very smart.
“Leonardo is Missing” (11/28/92) – The Turtles search for their missing brother while Splinter trains.
“Snakes Alive!” (12/5/92) – A scientist accidentally turns himself into a snake and attempt to turn the city into a swamp.
“Polly Wanna Pizza” (12/12/92) – Michelangelo buys a parrot that actually belongs to a criminal looking to acquire a stolen gem.
“Mr. Nice Guy” (12/19/92) – Donatello’s personality alterator is stolen by Prof. Von Shrink and used to make police too nice to stop his robots from stealing.
“Sleuth on the Loose” (12/26/92) – Agatha Marbles helps the Turtles stop Prof. Von Volt from creating a doomsday device.
Vacation in Europe Sideseason:
“Tower of Power” (9/13/93) – The Turtles win a free European vacation and head to Paris, where Shredder plans to steal metal from the Eiffel Tower for the Technodrome.
“Rust Never Sleeps” (9/14/93) – Krang plans to rust famous landmarks and monuments unless world leaders use their power reserves to bring the Technodrome back.
“A Real Snow Job” (9/14/93) – Krang plans to flood low villages in the Austrian Alps by melting the Alpine glaciers.
“Venice on the Half-Shell” (9/15/93) – Shredder and Krang plan to flood Venice to hold its treasures ransom while the Turtles and April try to enjoy the Mardi Gras festival.
“Artless” (9/15/93) – Alien art thieves steal priceless artwork from the museums of Florence.
“Ring of Fire” (9/16/93) – The Turtles attend the running of the bulls in Portugal where Shredder plans to use a heat ray magnifier to burn the city to ashes.
“The Irish Jig Is Up” (9/16/93) – The Turtles head to Dublin as Shredder, Rocksteady and Bebop us a Rainbow TransCharmer to turn all the cute animals into ferocious beasts.
“Shredder’s New Sword” (9/17/93) – The Turtles must help Merlin reclaim Excalibur from Shredder before Medieval Times merges with the modern world.
“The Lost Queen of Atlantis” (9/17/93) – April buys an amulet in Greece that slowly turns her into the Queen of Atlantis, and whose power Shredder wants.
“Turtles on the Orient Express” (9/20/93) – Shredder plans to use Krang’s new device to send the Orient Express into the world’s largest oil field.
“April Gets in Dutch” (9/20/93) – Shredder wants the Duchess Diamond in Amsterdam for Krang’s Laser Dimension Blade, but so do two bumbling thieves.
“Northern Lights Out” (9/21/93) – April covers the Alternative Energy Convention in Norway while the Turtles track down modern Viking Erik the Red Eye and scientific notes he stole.
“Elementary, My Dear Turtle” (9/21/93) – An atomic clock sends the Turtles back to 1890 where they team up with Sherlock Holmes to reclaim the clock from Prof. Moriarty.
“Night of the Dark Turtle” (9/18/93) – Donatello is hit by a laser beam and becomes the costumed superhero the Dark Turtle while dinosaur-like aliens called Triceratons invade Earth.
“The Starchild” (9/25/93) – The Turtles have to figure out how to get Quirx back to his planet before his pursuers destroy Earth.
“The Legend of Koji” (10/2/93) – Shredder travels back to 1583 Japan to stop Splinter’s ancestor, preventing Splinter’s birth and the Turtles’ mutations.
“Convicts from Dimension X” (10/9/83) – Donatello accidentally brings two convicts from Dimension X to Earth and sends Irma and Vernon to take their places.
“White Belt, Black Heart” (10/16/93) – Splinter’s sensei visits New York as his son leads the Black Heart Gang in terrorizing the city.
“Night of the Rogues” (10/23/93) – Shredder assembles some of the Turtles’ foes into a team to defeat them once and for all.
“Attack of the Neutrinos” (10/30/93) – The Neutrinos help the Turtles keep an invention out of Krang’s tentacles.
“Escape from the Planet of the Turtleoids” (11/6/93) – Kerma comes to the Turtles to help program the city’s new defense robots while Groundchuck and Dirtbag cause trouble.
“Revenge of the Fly” (11/13/93) – Baxter and the A.I. return and steal Shredder’s Retro-Mutagen ray gun and creates an army of insects out of people.
“Atlantis Awakens” (11/20/93) – The Turtles help a mermaid reclaim his throne from Shredder and Bebop.
“Dirk Savage: Mutant Hunter!” (11/27/93) – Dirk Savage is conned into rounding up the city’s mutants in order to make them part of a mutant slug’s army.
“Invasion of the Krangazoids” (12/4/93) – Krang clones himself six times to defeat the Turtles, but the clones think for themselves and set about their own plans.
“Combat Land” (12/11/93) – The Turtles are invited to try out a new theme park, but the park’s robots’ attacks are very real.
“Shredder Triumphant” (12/18/93) – Shredder and Krang free the Technodrome and send the Turtles to Dimension X where they’re enslaved.
“Get Shredder!” (9/17/94) – Krang’s former weapons engineer Drakus kidnaps Krang, and Shredder, believing the Turtles have him, holds the Channel 6 building hostage for his return.
“Wrath of the Rat King” (9/24/94) – Shredder forms an alliance with the Rat King, Krang attempts to retrieve the Technodrome, and the Turtles wonder if they’re really helping people.
“State of Shock” (10/1/94) – The Turtles are blamed for the thefts of electronic equipment from power plants actually stolen by Megavolt and his ninjas.
“Cry H.A.V.O.C.!” (10/8/94) – A group of mutants called HAVOC surfaces and the Turtles try to determine if they’re really as good as they seem.
“H.A.V.O.C. in the Streets!” (10/15/94) – HAVOC plans to build a sky platform to retrieve a lost Flux Transformer from a military base and creates a new mutant called Synapse.
“Enter: Krakus” (10/22/94) – The Turtles deal with an enforcer named Krakus while HAVOC continues their quest for the Flux Transformer.
“Cyber-Turtles” (10/29/94) – Kang and Shredder take down a passing starfighter in order to steal the powerful Fire Star crystalline fragment to merge Earth with Dimension X.
“Turtle Trek” (11/5/94) – The Turtles rescue and befriend Gargon from Dimension X who helps the Turtles track down Shredder and Krang and stop them from accessing the dimension.
“The Unknown Ninja” (9/16/95) – Carter tracks down the Turtles and requests to train under Splinter while the Turtles try to stop Lord Dregg’s plan for world conquest.
“Dregg of the Earth” (9/23/95) – Carter causes Dregg’s Techno gang to escape with a Proton Accelerator.
“The Wrath of Medusa” (9/30/95) – Dregg hires bounty hunter Medusa to capture the Turtles while Carter realizes he does more harm than good in helping the Turtles.
“The New Mutation” (10/7/95) – While the Techno Gang steals a highly explosive fuel, the Turtles are arrested by military police at Hyper Dyne Labs.
“The Showdown” (10/14/95) – Dregg uses a Hypno Transmitter to hypnotize the populace through their TVs while trying to replicate the mutagen to make his army invincible.
“Split-Second” (10/21/95) – Chronos appears and throws the city into chaos by causing all the clocks to malfunction.
“Carter, the Enforcer” (10/28/95) – Dregg promotes a shield that will protect the Earth from invasion and also builds an android replica of Carter.
“Doomquest” (11/4/95) – April finally manages to expose Dregg’s true intentions to the world while the Turtles realize their unstable mutations are getting worse.
“The Return of Dregg” (9/14/96) – The Turtles hope to use the Vortex Crystal fragments to stabilize their mutations while Dregg wants to use them to create another crystal.
“The Beginning of the End” (9/21/96) – Mung steals plutonium to create a ray to turn Leonardo into a radioactive killer.
“The Power of Three” (9/28/96) – Carter finally cures the Turtles while Dregg teleports Shredder and Krang from Dimension X for information about the Turtles and Earth’s weaponry.
“A Turtle in Time” (10/5/96) – Dregg holds the planet hostage and Carter is forced to call on Landor and Merrick to bring the Turtles’ past selves to the present to stop him.
“Turtles to the Second Power” (10/12/96) – The past Turtles only have 3 hours to return home, but that’s made difficult as Dregg’s invasion fleet begins their attack on the planet.
“Mobster from Dimension X” (10/19/96) – The GlobFather steals the Protein Computer for Dregg in order to hack into all of Earth’s telecommunication systems and military computers.
“The Day the Earth Disappeared” (10/26/96) – Dregg creates a portal large enough to swallow the planet, and Leonardo, Donatello and Splinter are pulled in while trying to stop him.
“Divide and Conquer” (11/2/96) – The Turtles have to retrieve Krang’s body from Dimension X to defeat Dregg and his new stolen super powers.