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[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/TurtlesForever http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TV_Tropes_Pic.PNG]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:'''"[[LargeHam BEHOLD!]]''' [[WhamLine A multiverse of accursed]] [[TitleDrop Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!]]"]]
->'''''"Man, I LOVE being a Turtle!!!"'''''

The Heroes in the Half-Shell. The Green Dudes with Attitudes. '''[[CatchPhrase COWABUNGA, DUDES!!!]]'''

Indie comic book turned multimedia empire, starring the eponymous Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles.

''Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'' (or TMNT) began as a comic book by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, who formed the idea from a napkin drawing one of them made while eating at a pizzeria. The first story began as a tale in the vein of Creator/FrankMiller's ''ComicBook/{{Daredevil}}'', with the four titular ninja battling the Shredder to avenge the murder of Master Splinter's master, Hamato Yoshi. After a fierce battle, they successfully kill him. A surprise hit (often attributed to the unique name), the series continued with applying a FantasyKitchenSink motif: with time travel, robots, and aliens introduced within the first ten issues. Despite their inauspicious beginnings, the series became so popular that an action figure deal was struck, and an animated series was created to accompany the toyline. The show became one of the most popular animated series of all time, which in turn led to movies and every type of merchandise under the sun, turning TMNT into one of the biggest {{cash cow franchise}}s of the mid-eighties/early nineties.

The major incarnations of the franchise are as follows:

[[index]]
* '''[[ComicBook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesMirage The Mirage Comics]]''' (1984-1993, 2001-2010): Stories featuring the original incarnation of the turtles. These are notable for its semi-real time storytelling (stories written after 2001 featured the turtles in their thirties); its lack of a consistent RoguesGallery; and alternating between "throw-everything-at-the-wall-to-see-what-sticks" and "heavily focused" approaches to storytelling. This incarnation comprises Volumes 1, 2, and 4 of the ''Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'' comic book, two volumes of ''Tales of the TMNT'', and a multitude of one-shots and mini-series.
* '''[[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1987 The first cartoon]]''' (1987-1996), with Fred Wolf at the helm: Resemblances to its source material are mostly superficial. The first cartoon featuring the turtles proved even more popular than the comics (and it definitely remains the most well-known TMNT incarnation among the general public), thanks to the [[AdaptationDistillation distillation]][=/=]{{flanderization}} of the four turtles to easily identifiable character types; the addition of villains Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady; the promotion of the Shredder from one-shot baddie to ArchEnemy; gleeful breaking of the fourth wall; the addition of food addiction (pizza) and a catch phrase ("Cowabunga," although there were others), and a general comedic bent. The series ended in 1996, after ten seasons, 194 episodes, and one retool which attempted to make the series more dramatic.
* '''''ComicBook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesAdventures''''' (1988/1989-1995/1996): Midway through its run, the original cartoon spawned its own comic book, published by Franchise/ArchieComics. While it initially limited itself to adapting some of the cartoon stories, it eventually evolved into something as different from the cartoon as the cartoon was from the original comic book. This incarnation of the turtles is generally regarded favorably, with a notable contingent of fans clamoring for inclusion of its characters into future incarnations.
* '''[[Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles The original movie trilogy]]''': Debuting in 1990, the first movie combined events from the comic book with the cartoon's humor. It went on to be extremely popular, breaking records for an independent film and even though reviews weren't glowing, praise was given to Creator/JimHenson's Creature Shop for the costumes. The resulting two sequels cost more and made less, started to fall into self-parody and ended the series.
[[/index]]
* '''Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Legend of the Supermutants''' (1996). An {{Anime}}. It is a two-episode OVA which adapts (very freely) the Turtles into Japanese anime format, although they're mainly [[MerchandiseDriven thinly-veiled ads]] for Takara's Japanese version of the ''Turtles'' toyline. Among the changes made, the turtles have the power to transform into ''"Super Turtles"'' for about three minutes (during which they look really manly), have an animal-themed armor each (like in ''SaintSeiya'') and can fuse together to form the ''"Saint Turtle"''. Besides that, the bad guys also have transforming powers, and Shredder turns into a Dragon. For further info, visit [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles:_Legend_of_the_Supermutants Wikipedia]] or just see [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGMfb60lc14&feature=related this video]].
[[index]]
* '''[[ComicBook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesMirage TMNT Vol. 3]]''' (1996-1999): Published by Image Comics, this series was the official continuation of the Mirage continuity, until it was [[CanonDiscontinuity subsequently ignored by Peter Laird]] upon the publication of Volume 4. Mostly remembered for mutilating three out of the four turtles, and for a plot featuring a three-way struggle for leadership of the Foot involving Raphael, who had taken on the Shredder identity after finding his armor; Pimiko, the original Shredder's daughter; and Lady Shredder, a ninja of unknown origin dressed in the familiar armor.
* '''''Series/NinjaTurtlesTheNextMutation''''' (1997-1998): A live-action Saturday morning show by Creator/SabanEntertainment (guys behind ''Franchise/PowerRangers''), aired on FoxKids in 1998 shortly after the animated series ended. It lasted only one season before going belly-up. The new series added a new character, Venus de Milo, a female turtle with knowledge of the art of Shinobi (and playing the foil to the scientifically-minded Donatello). Many fans were [[FanonDiscontinuity antagonistic]] to the series, and Peter Laird was even [[BerserkButton more]] antagonistic to Venus.
* '''[[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 The second cartoon]]''' (2003-2009): Mirage teamed up with [[FourKidsEntertainment 4Kids]] in order to produce this new cartoon, this time making sure it had a closer resemblance to the comic book it was based on. Nicknamed TMNT 2k3, the series featured faithful adaptations of most of the comic book's stories, contained major [[{{Arc}} story arcs]], and straightened up the original patchwork narrative and made it more coherent. Surprisingly for a show produced by someone with 4Kids' pedigree, it has avoided several of the tropes associated with Saturday Morning cartoons, such as ThouShaltNotKill and StatusQuoIsGod. It ended in 2009, after six years, seven seasons, and two retools.
** '''WesternAnimation/TurtlesForever''', an animated movie crossing over this incarnation of the Turtles with that of the first cartoon, and acting as a celebration of the franchise's 25th anniversary. It also serves as a GrandFinale for both the '03 cartoon and the franchise's pre-Nickelodeon era.
* '''''WesternAnimation/{{TMNT}}''''' (2007): More than a decade after the original movies, the Turtles returned to the big screen with the 2007 release of the fully-CGI ''TMNT''. Made as a [[BroadStrokes tenuous continuation]] of the original movies, it received respectable reviews for the animation and character storylines, but was criticized for the main plot mysticism, some blurry character motivations (Leonardo in particular), and the [[OutOfFocus marginalization of half of the turtles]].
* '''[[ComicBook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesIDW The IDW Comics]]''' (2011-): The first new incarnation of the Turtles following the purchase by Nickelodeon and published by Creator/IDWPublishing, it features elements from all previous incarnations before it, as well as heavily revised origins for the familiar characters.
* '''[[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012 The third cartoon]]''' (2012-): A CG animated series that currently airs on Creator/{{Nickelodeon}}. The most {{Animesque}} take yet, full of MangaEffects and other Japanese visual humor. It's somewhat YoungerAndHipper - the Turtles act more like adolescents and several human characters have been aged down - but it still has dark moments.
* '''''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2014''''': Another reboot of the TMNT film franchise, with Creator/MichaelBay's Platinum Dunes serving as the production company. Where the previous live-action films used people in animatronic suits to portray the Turtles, this one uses CGI motion-capture.
[[/index]]
* '''Video Games''': By Creator/{{Konami}} (1989-2004), Creator/{{Ubisoft}} (2007-2009) and Creator/{{Activision}} (2013-). Notable entries include:
** ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' (1989). An infamously [[NintendoHard difficult]] {{NES}} {{platformer}}
** ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesTheArcadeGame'' (1989). A classic arcade BeatEmUp.
** ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesTurtlesInTime'' (1991). A classic arcade BeatEmUp.
** ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesTheManhattanProject'' (1992). A second BeatEmUp, exclusive to the NES.
** ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesTournamentFighters'' (1993-1994). Three different fighting games sharing the name.
** ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesSmashUp'' (2009). Another fighting game, which combined elements from several different incarnations.
** ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesOutOfTheShadows'' (2013). A new game in the style of [[RunningGag a classic arcade Beat 'Em Up]], set in a self-contained continuity.
** ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2013'' (2013). Another game based on the 2012 series, but aimed at a slightly younger demographic than OOS.
[[/index]]

'''Other media franchises''': There are also other media franchises of the series, including [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teenage_Mutant_Ninja_Turtles_food_tie-ins food tie-ins]] (Ninja Turtles cereal, Chef Boyardee TMNT pasta, Ninja Turtles cookies, etc.); a ''Coming Out of Their Shells'' concert tour that first premiered at the Radio City Music Hall (with Donatello on keyboards, Leonardo on bass guitar, Raphael on drums and sax, and Michelangelo on guitar, as the story had a feel similar to ''[[Film/BillAndTed Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure]]'', with its theme of [[ThePowerOfRock the power of rock n' roll]] literally defeating the enemy, in the form of the Shredder (who only rapped about how he hates music), trying to eliminate all music); and a stage show at [[Ride/DisneyThemeParks the Disney-MGM studios theme park in Orlando, Florida]] from 1990 to 1996. There was also a [[TabletopGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesAndOtherStrangeness role playing game book]] released in 1985 to 2000 based off the original Mirage comics, and a [[Pinball/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles pinball machine]] made by Creator/DataEast in 1991.

TMNT remains a pop-culture phenomenon, although [[http://news.toonzone.net/articles/31520/nick-acquires-rights-for-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-new-tv-series-and-movie the property has been sold to Nickelodeon.]] A new CGI cartoon was released in 2012 and there will be the aforementioned Creator/MichaelBay produced movie. A new Eastman-helmed TMNT comic series has started in August 2011.

----
!!The ''Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'' franchise has the following tropes:

%%* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: Frequently played straight and averted.
* AccessoryWearingCartoonAnimal: The turtles walk around in everyday life clothes-less except for their ninja masks, belts, and generally some form of padding/supportive bandages on their joints/hands and feet.
%%* ActionGirl:
%%** April O'Neil (depending on the incarnation).
%%** Karai.
%%** Ninjara in the Archie series.
* AdaptationDistillation: The 4Kids series and the fourth movie. The first movie successfully blends the original comics and cartoon into a coherent whole.
* AdaptationPersonalityChange: The characters are reinterpreted in every retelling, especially Michelangelo and Raphael. They typically fit the same archetype, but express it in different ways.
** All were extremely flanderized in the 1987 series, except for Leonardo who was only mildly flanderized. Donatello went from being intellectual to being a GadgeteerGenius, Michelangelo went from being mostly laidback to being a surfer dude obsessed with pizza, but most egregiously, Raphael went from being dark and violent to being snarky and constantly breaking the fourth wall.
** Michelangelo: Mirage Comics - laidback, 1987 Cartoon - surfer dude, Film Series - jokester, 2003 Cartoon - prankster.
** Raphael: Mirage Comics - violent, 1987 Cartoon - wise cracker, Film - brooding, 2003 Cartoon gruff.
* AdaptationSpeciesChange:
** Shredder was changed to a Utrom (alien brain in a robot suit) in the 2003 series.
** Splinter is always depicted as a mutant rat, but sometimes (like in the cartoon), he started as a human. Other times (like in the 1990s film), he started as a pet rat.
* AerithAndBob: When the turtles are addressed by their nicknames, Leo, Don/Donnie, and Mikey/Mike are all fairly common, and then you have Raphael's nickname, Raph.
%%* AlienAmongUs: The Utroms, initially.
%%* AliensAndMonsters
* AliensSpeakingEnglish: Played straight and averted in the same page of the original series.
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: Several times, across incarnations more faithful to the original comic books, the attack on April's shop being the quintessential example.
* AlternateCompanyEquivalent: The Justice Force and its members, to varying degrees.
* AlternateContinuity: ''TurtlesForever'' revealed all TMNT media exist in its own universe. The 2012 cartoon followed this up by having the Turtles seeing the 1987 animation as an alternate universe!
%%* AlternateUniverse
* AnimalNemesis: The feud between Oroku Nagi and Hamato Yoshi is taken up by Nagi's brother and Yoshi's pet rat, and the Turtles themselves when they mutate.
* AnimalSuperheroes: And one example who got many follow-ups.
* AnotherDimension: A whole lot of them, most notably Dimension X in two continuities.
* TheAnticipator: Master Splinter usually plays this role in the show, as he is very wise and skilled. And a ninja, of course.
* ArtInitiatesLife: [[JackKirby Kirby's]] crystal allowed him to do this.
* TheArtifact: As the series became more kid-friendly it became fairly impossible to show Leonardo and Raphael slicing and dicing their non-robotic foes, as that would be bloody and gruesome. However, their weapons of katanas and sais are so iconic to them that they could never get rid of them. Thus more often than not, and particularly in the movies (which feature no robots) they'll just be seen fighting with their bare hands - their more effective weapons strapped to them untouched.
** ReimaginingTheArtifact: Which might be the reason why few of the foes (Foot Clan Ninjas e.g) were turned robotic midway in the [[TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1987 animated series]] just to compensate for the lack thereof.
** The [[ArtifactTitle title itself]] became this as the Turtles continued to age in the comics well into their thirties.
%%* AscendedExtra: The Shredder; the Purple Dragons.
* AvengingTheVillain: The basis of the Foot's vendetta against the turtles, after The Shredder's death in the comic books. In the 4Kids cartoon, this becomes Karai's motivation during the fourth season, after The Shredder (here her adoptive father) is exiled to an icy asteroid.
** Also the Shredder's motivation in the original comics. Oroku Nagi obviously wasn't a very nice guy to be [[IfICantHaveYou beating Tang Shen]] for choosing Hamato Yoshi over him, but Yoshi was [[DisproportionateRetribution probably going overboard by slaying Nagi in return]]. Oroku Saki's goal was to avenge his brother's death.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Renaissance Artists and Japanese names and Irish names and Athletes and Violent Verbs and Notorious Conquerors, oh my! Wait; I think I missed some!
* BadassBookworm: Donatello, the one who builds machines.
* BadassPacifist: Donatello is known as the least violent of the four turtles and would rather use his intellect to solve conflict than his fighting skills. However, he is VERY competent in his fighting when it is needed.
* {{Badbutt}}: Nearly as iconic to the heroes as TotallyRadical is their application of UnusualEuphemism, at least in the 1987 series. "What the Shell" is one of the most uttered phrases in the 2003 series; at least as often as "Cowabunga" in the 1987 series.
* BeautyToBeast: April when turned into a fish mutant.
* BeneathTheEarth: The Turtles have lived in sewers and on subway platforms from time to time.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Let's just say that you would want to stay on the good side of Michelangelo & Donatello.
* BigApplesauce: New York is the primary location for all incarnations.
* BigBad: Although the different incarnations may have their own individual Big Bads, The Shredder is the most traditional and consistent foe the turtles come across.
** Ironically, he was a VillainOfTheWeek in the original comic.
* BigBrotherInstinct: The turtles all fall under this trope at one time or another, in all the various incarnations. It has also applied to Casey and April.
* BladeBelowTheShoulder: [[CaptainObvious The Shredder]]
* BodyguardingABadass: Shredder's Elite Guard.
* CanonForeigner: Krang, Bebop, Rocksteady, Venus de Milo, Tatsu, Tokka, Rahzar and many more.
* CanonImmigrant:
** '''Archie Comics to Mirage''': Cudley the Cowlick
** '''4Kids Cartoon to Mirage''': Foot Mystics, The Battle Nexus, Hun and Bishop,Shredder's armor.
** '''First Film to Mirage''': Charles Pennington
** '''Any of them to IDW Comics''': If they've made a significant impact on any version of the Turtles, odds are they're in it.
* {{Catchphrase}}:
** '''Fred Wolf series:''' "Cowabunga!" "Turtle power!"
** '''Films:''' "God, I ''love'' being a ''turtle!!''
** '''4Kids series:''' "It's ninja time!" (''Fast Forward'' only) "Goongala!" (Casey) "None of you will leave here alive!" (The Shredder), "Oh, crud." (Hun).
** '''Nickelodeon series:''' "Booyakasha!" (Mikey)
* {{Cephalothorax}}: Krang, after being stripped of his body when he was banished from Dimension X. Shredder designed and built a humanoid exo-suit for him when they teamed up.
* CharacterSelectForcing: A few video games, be it due to combat (the original NintendoHard game, where Donatello was the only one with a decent range) or abilities (the Game Boy Advance version of ''Battle Nexus'' had some [[PlotCoupon crystals]] accessible only by certain turtles).
* CityOfAdventure: New York City, as well as Northampton, MA in the Mirage comics and 4Kids 'toon.
* ColorCodedCharacters: Since the original comic was in black and white, there wasn't much of this to begin with as each turtle was identified by their WeaponOfChoice. Even the special colored issues had the bandana masks they wear all red. The original cartoon gave the turtles different color bandannas (which have since been used in every successive incarnation) and the action figures, different skin colors (ignored until the 2003 cartoon).
** The Archie comic series {{Lampshade}}d this with a TruthInTelevision flashback story about the pre-teenaged Turtles all wearing red headbands and Splinter having difficulty telling them apart until they decide on color coding their masks a la DonaldDuck's nephews. This crosses into OnlySixFaces.
** The newspaper strip, as it was also in black and white, took a page from the 1987 cartoon and the turtles here have their initials on their belts instead.
* CompetitiveBalance: In terms of the video games:
** JackOfAllStats: Leonardo
** FragileSpeedster: Raphael
** MightyGlacier: Donatello
** FightingClown: Michelangelo
* ConservationOfNinjutsu: [[SubvertedTrope SUBVERTED of all things!]] In the First Movie and the 4Kids series, The Foot have got alot of mileage out of [[ZergRush sending wave after wave of]] {{Mooks}} after the Turtles (Raphael in the 1990 movie, and Leonardo in the Comics and 4Kids series) and [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown whooping their asses.]]
* ConspicuousTrenchcoat: The turtles' way of staying hidden. On the other hand this ''IS'' New York, where nobody looks at anybody else, so, fair enough.
* CosmicKeystone: [[spoiler: The dimension of the original Mirage Comics for the Multiverse]] in "Turtles Forever".
* {{Crossover}}:
** Most important is Miyamoto Usagi of ''ComicBook/UsagiYojimbo'', who has appeared in the Mirage comics, the Fred Wolf cartoon and the 4Kids cartoon; the Turtles have also made the occasional appearance in the ''Usagi Yojimbo'' comic books.
** And ''WesternAnimation/TurtlesForever'', a crossover between the 4Kids and Fred Wolf shows. [[spoiler: Did we mention the Mirage comics?]]
** ''CartoonAllStarsToTheRescue'' features 1987 Mikey among [[MassiveMultiplayerCrossover many other toons]].
** ''The Next Mutation'' guest starred in the ''Series/PowerRangersInSpace'' episode "Shell Shocked".[[note]]Retroactively, this did get ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' to beat its father ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' to the punch at an IntercontinuityCrossover with an eleven-year gap. For the record, the ''Sentai'' crosover was ''Series/KamenRiderDecade''/''Series/SamuraiSentaiShinkenger''... and ''Shinkenger'' is as just as well loved as ''In Space'', like ''Decade'' is as hotly contested as ''The Next Mutation'' (albeit for different reasons).[[/note]]
** The VideoGame/RavingRabbids[[note]]Back when they were still part of -- and outright hijacked -- the ''Franchise/{{Rayman}}'' series[[/note]] in the ''Smash-Up'' video game. They immediately became new [[TheScrappy Scrappies]] for the TMNT fandom.
** There was a crossover with ''Planet Racers'', another comic created by Peter Laird, in an episode of the 2003 series.
** Because the brainchild of ''WildWestCowboysOfMooMesa'' did some of the issues of the original comic series, Cowlorado Kid, Moo Montana and Dakota Dude appeared in some of the ''Tales of the TMNT'' issues and made non-speaking roles in an episode in the 2003 cartoon.
** Due to IDW owning the rights for TMNT comics as of 2011, the Turtles have also become recurring characters in IDW's yearly {{Massive Multiplayer|Crossover}} {{Cross Through}}s, having appeared in 2012's ''Infestation 2'' against [[Creator/HPLovecraft the Cthulhu Mythos]] and in 2014's ''Series/TheXFiles: Conspiracy''. No, the Turtles don't get to meet Mulder and Scully (though Mulder does get a one-panel cameo), but they do tangle up with Mulder's buddies Series/TheLoneGunmen and the vampires from the ''X-Files'' episode "[[Recap/TheXFilesS05E12BadBlood Bad Blood]]."
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Michelangelo, in every incarnation, is the usually the goofball/slacker/fun-loving guy of the group, but when it comes down to having an actual fight....you don't really wanna be on the receiving end.
* CutLexLuthorACheck: Repeatedly subverted by Baxter Stockman. In the Mirage comics, after making a large legitimate fortune with his Mouser robots, he then proceeds to use them to commit terrorism for kicks. In the 1980s cartoon, he tried using them legitimately but was rejected by every pest control company in town. In the 4Kids cartoon, he makes a huge legitimate fortune with them, and then starts using them to rob banks simply because he's a greedy bastard.
* CycleOfRevenge: One of the most important themes in the original Mirage books.
* DamselInDistress: April O'Neil always, though taken UpToEleven in the first cartoon where the turtles [[RuleOfFunny can recognize her by her]] [[BoundAndGagged "mmphing"]].
* DeadpanSnarker: Being teenagers, all four of them usually do it at some point, but Raphael is the one that's known for it the most. Master Splinter also has his dry humor moments.
* DistaffCounterpart: Venus de Milo, who fit in as an ActionGirl and TheChick in ''Next Mutation'' since it didn't even feature April as a character.
* DistinctiveAppearances: The original comics run had the turtles effectively defined by their WeaponOfChoice and nothing else, being they were in black and white. Even early color issues had them all with red bandannas, only after a few years did they get their distinctive colors. Various incarnations continue to play with tricks to make them stand out from each other: ''Series/NinjaTurtlesTheNextMutation'' played with the styling of the belts and bandannas (with Michelangelo having frayed edges and Donatello having a full cap), ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003'' gave them all slightly different green skin pigments and ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012'' did some more subtle things like Donatello's chipped tooth.
* DittoAliens: The Utroms; Triceratons.
* DivergentCharacterEvolution: In Issue #1, the turtles were barely distinguishable from each other, each with a similar personality, though Leonardo and Raphael show a few hints of some, but the turtles were defined by the fact they're a parody of FrankMiller style writing. Later installments started adding personality to all four of the turtles, with the adaptations adding colored bandanas to help recognize them without their weapons. The new show takes it even further by giving the Turtles their own body-types, allowing you to distinguish them from each other ''without'' the weapons ''or'' bandanas.
* DualWielding: Three of the four turtles use their weapons in pairs, with Donny being the odd man out. Though since his weapon is a bo staff, it's justified (although his original action figure did come with a pair of bo).
* ElaborateUndergroundBase: The turtles' lair is usually one of these.
%%* EmeraldPower
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: TMNT just wouldn't be the same if this trope were non-existent.
* EveryJapaneseSwordIsAKatana: Occurs with every ninja-to in the series.
** Except for Leo's swords in the 4Kids cartoon (even though everyone still calls them katana), or the 2007 CGI movie, one might point out...
*** In the live-action movies Leo is obviously wielding ninjato.
*** The RPG makes a point of defining Leo's swords as a daisho, a set of katana and wakizashi.
* EvilPowerVacuum: Occurs after the Shredder is defeated at the end of the ''Return to New York'' arc in the Mirage comic books and in the second cartoon.
* ExposedExtraterrestrials: In all of their incarnations, the turtles are seldom seen wearing anything besides their bandanas and weapons, unless it's part of a disguise.
* ExpositoryThemeTune: "Splinter taught them to be ninja teens!" "He's a radical rat!"
%%* FacelessGoons: The Foot Clan.
* FantasyKitchenSink: Prevalent through all incarnations of the series, to varying degrees. There's also quite a bit of overlap between the disparate fantastic elements.
* FightingWithChucks: Michaelangelo uses chucks as his primary weapon.
* FishPeople: Mona Lisa from the original series' "Raphael Meets His Match"; the fish people from "Sons of the Silent Age".
* ForHalloweenIAmGoingAsMyself: The turtles are wont to do this.
* ForTheEvulz: In the original comics, April asks Baxter Stockman why he is using his Mousers to hold the city for ransom when he has already made a vast fortune with them. He answers that ''it's fun!''
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: In most incarnations, the turtles can be classified in the following manner:
** Leonardo is [[color:black:Melancholic]].
** Raphael is [[color:yellow:Choleric]].
** Donatello is [[color:green:Phlegmatic]].
** Michelangelo is [[color:red:Sanguine]].
* TheFuture: Plays a significant part in several incarnations, particularly in the Mirage and Archie comics, which had several stories starring future versions of the turtles, and the second cartoon, whose setting for the entire sixth season was the year 2105.
%%* GenericanEmpire: The Federation.
* GenreSavvy: All four of the turtles on occasion, depending on the situation. Michelangelo with his vast knowledge of pop culture usually is the one to reference how something they're dealing with is similar to a movie, tv show, or video game he knows about.
* GeniusBruiser: Leatherhead in the 2k3 incarnation.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: In the episode "Fallen Angel" in the 4kids series, Leo (in disguise) asks Raphael "What is the deal with humans and clothes?" Raph's response? "You ever see a human in his skivies? Trust me, It's not a pretty sight." So what does Raphael do with his free time?
* GoodRepublicEvilEmpire: Averted all to hell in the 4Kids series. Both TheFederation (humanoids) and [[PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny The Republic]] (Triceratons) are pretty nasty.
* GovernmentAgencyOfFiction: D.A.R.P.A. in the Mirage comic books and its animated counterpart, the Earth Protection Force.
* GrandFinale: ''WesternAnimation/TurtlesForever''.
* HaveYouComeToGloat: Happened in the comic. The turtles were being held prison by a crazed whaler who was essentally a Japanese [[MobyDick Captain Ahab]]. When his first mate visits them in the brig, they start cursing at him and one of them shouts, "Come to gloat?" Subverted in that the whaler has actually come down to free them.
* HeroWithBadPublicity: In the 80's cartoon, the turtles were once framed for a crime they didn't commit and nobody believes them, not even April and they have to prove themselves innocent.
** Whenever the 2003 turtles are seen by humans, said humans usually end up running away screaming, notable occasions are when Raph returned a lady's purse only to be told to stay away from her and Mikey's failed attempts at being a hero as he's either given no thanks or mistaken for the perpetrator. In Season 4, Bishop creates a fake alien invasion to trick the President into thinking his organization doesn't deserve to lose all their funding, and afterwards, a news report depicts the turtles as malicious aliens.
** In the 2007 movie, Nightwatcher [[spoiler: AKA Raph]] was either feared or despised for fighting crime and when Leo discovers his secret identity, he gets called out for risking the safety of his keeping his family's existence a secret.
* HighlyVisibleNinja: The turtles, of course. There are other ninjas present too (some of the Shredder's minions for an example) who stand out from the crowd.
* HonorBeforeReason: A trait seen in most incarnations of Leonardo. It goes both ways though- either he is commended or, if something goes horribly wrong, grievously injured.
** Also Karai, whose loyalty to the Shredder conflicts with her strong sense of honorable behavior.
* HotReporter: April O'Neil.
* HumanAliens: A large part of the Federation, including most of its army.
* IfICantHaveYou: The reason why Oroku Nagi beats on Tang Shen in the original comics, and why Oroku Saki and Yukio Mashimi kill her in the movie and the 4Kids cartoon, respectively.
%%* InterdimensionalTravelDevice
* InstantAwesomeJustAddNinja:
--> "Hey, are you interested in a cartoon /comic/ movie/ toyline about '''Teenage Mutant Turtles'''?"
--> "No way!"
--> "What if they were '''ninjas'''?"
--> "SOLD!"
* IrislessEyeMaskOfMystery: They originally had Irisless eyemasks to simulate GlowingEyesOfDoom, without actually making their eyes glow. When they gave the turtles visible irises? They looked cute instead, regardless of how menacing they make their faces look. The only other media to retain this look from the comics was the [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 2003 cartoon]] (although the [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012 2012 show]] uses them whenever [[LetsGetDangerous things get serious]]).
* LegacyCharacter: Several people have taken on the Shredder's mantle after besides Oroku Saki, with Karai being the most popular one.
%%* LicensedGame: So very many.
* LicensedPinballTable: Released by Creator/DataEast in 1991, and based on the first cartoon and movie. [[Pinball/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles Click here for details.]]
%%* LiveActionAdaptation
* LighterAndSofter: Fans of either cartoon series who then read the original comic book rarely expect its ''much'' darker tone, and may be shocked that the turtles actually kill people.
** And often ''heartbroken'' by the issue where [[spoiler: Master Splinter dies]]. Hell, even many fans who started with the comics find it a TearJerker.
* LongRunners: 29 years [as of 2013] and still going strong.
* LostInImitation: The turtles' tails and red bandannas.
* LoveTriangle: Hamato Yoshi, Tang Shen, and Oroku Nagi (or, alternatively, Oroku Saki or Yukio Mashimi, depending on the incarnation) form one of these. Also, Stainless Steve Steel, Dr. Dome, and Battling Bernice.
** The 2012 series is clearly building up to one between Donnie, April, and Casey.
%%* {{Masquerade}}
* MechaMooks: Several, most notably The Foot Soldiers in the first animated series.
* MediumAwareness: A regular feature of the first cartoon.
%%* TheMerch
%%* EnvironmentSpecificActionFigure
* MerchandiseDriven: ''TMNT'' didn't start this way, but it moved in this direction once the toy line became hugely successful. Ironically, it was originally intended as a slightly DarkerAndEdgier ''parody'' of merchandise-driven cartoon series and comics. Then the creators realized it was becoming one, and just rolled with it, and now the series has become the archetype for such franchises. It's even had a parody or two.
* MistakenForAliens: Occurs to the turtles a lot, once the existence of aliens is actually made known to the general population.
* MobileSuitHuman: The alien Utroms used robotic exoskeletons to hide among humans while stranded on Earth. Also used by the Kraang in the 2012 cartoon.
* MonochromaticEyes: Several incarnations of the turtles--but only when they wear their masks.
* {{Mooks}}: Of all stripes, the most common and consistent being the Foot Ninja.
* MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate: Dr. Dome, Dr. Malignus.
* TheMultiverse: Turtles Forever, a crossover between the 80s and 2k3 series, introduces the idea that ''all'' incarnations of the franchise exist in different dimensions. Destroy the core, that being the Mirage universe, and all will cease to exist.
* {{Nanomachines}}: Used by Baxter Stockman in the Mirage comics during a murder attempt on April, and by the turtles in order to foil said attempt. Also used in the 4Kids animated series to form Nano, a sentient nanomachine colony.
* NewYorkSubway: A maze of subway tunnels and storm sewers make up the turtles lair and the labyrinth of entrances and exits.
* NinjaBrat: The turtles are this in any flashback to their childhoods.
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: Do we really need to explain this one? Besides the obvious, there are also robot ninjas.
%%* NonLethalWarfare: Depending on the incarnation.
* NonMammalMammaries: Venus de Milo has these.
* NoTranshumanismAllowed: The 4Kids series has a cyborg and an infomorph, but only villains are non-organic, for the most part. Honeycutt, an [[BrainUploading uploaded man]], is a subversion.
** In the 2010 series, it's hard to find a good guy ''other'' than the turtles and Splinter who has become a mutant, or a bad guy who stays human long.
%%* OfficialCosplayGear
%%* {{Old Superhero}}es: The original Justice Force.
%%* OppositesAttract: April and Casey.
%%* PapaWolf: Splinter.
* PopularSayingBut: Wise man say: Forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for late pizza.
* PortalPool: The main method used to enter the Battle Nexus.
* PosthumousCharacter: Hamato Yoshi, Tang Shen, Oroku Nagi/Yukio Mashimi, and Professor Obligado.
* PoweredArmor: The future versions of the turtles wore these for an arc in the Archie comic; the same armor also showed up in an episode of the Fred Wolf 'toon. Also, villains Baxter Stockman and Darius Dun have worn these on occasion.
* PowerUpgradingDeformation: The usual effects of the Ooze are to make creatures smarter or tougher but also uglier {{Half Human Hybrid}}s.
* PragmaticAdaptation: The original movie and 4Kids cartoon.
* TheProfessor: Tons: Donatello (when he's not a TeenGenius), Professor Honeycutt, Leatherhead, Glurin, Professor Obligado, Dr. Chaplin... Ironically, the one guy actually called "The Professor", from the 4Kids cartoon, isn't an example.
* RaceLift: Baxter Stockman in the Fred Wolf cartoon and one-shot villain Skonk in the 4Kids cartoon, who were both changed from African Americans to Caucasians.
** April was AmbiguouslyBrown in the comic, but in the cartoon and most subsequent adaptations has become [[FacialProfiling a stereotypically Irish-looking woman with pale skin and red hair]].
* RedOniBlueOni: Raphael and Leonardo. Heck, even their headbands' colors match.
** Also, Michelangelo and Donatello, though to a lesser extent.
* RelationshipUpgrade: Occurs with April and Casey at several points in each incarnation.
* RockMonster: The Rock Warriors from Dimension X.
%%* RoofHopping
%%* RooftopConfrontation
* RubberMan: Joey Lastic of the Justice Force.
* SecretPublicIdentity: Ananda of the Justice Force; her mother, Battling Bernice; "Stainless" Steve Steel, and Joey Lastic.
* SewerGator: Leatherhead in all incarnations is an alligator who ended up in the city sewers and was exposed to the same mutagen as the turtles, resulting in him growing into LizardFolk and becoming sapient.
* ShoutOut: Their origin story in the original comics suggests the radioactive waste that mutated them is the same stuff that gave Daredevil his powers.
--> '''Splinter:''' At the last moment a young man leaped at the blind man and knocked him out of the truck's way ... a metal canister bounced out of the back of the truck and struck the young man near his eyes ... the strange canister bounced ... striking and smashing a glass jar which held four small turtles ... you four as infants!!!
%%* SiblingTeam
* SixthRanger: Usually April and/or Casey act as the brothers' fifth teammate; the Nick cartoon even subtly hangs a lampshade on April by having her wear a #5 sports jersey. In ''Next Mutation'', it was Venus de Milo.
* SlimeSnailsAndMutantTails: All the radioactive waste, mutant friends and foes, ooze etc.
* StealthHiBye: These guys could give Batman a run for his money at this.
* StockNinjaWeaponry: Frequently used by the turtles.
%%* StoryArc
* SuperStrength: Although it's never really touched upon except in a few instances, all four of the turtles are obviously stronger than most humans. Though when they start battling other mutants, technology and aliens it starts to not matter as much.
%%* TagalongReporter: April O'Neil.
%%* TheSyndicate: The Foot Clan.
* TeenageMutantSamuraiWombats: Possibly the TropeCodifier.
* TeleportersAndTransporters: The Utroms' Transmat and Honeycutt's Teleportal. Cudley the Cowlick can do this naturally.
* ThemeNaming: All the turtles are named after Italian Renaissance artists. Bebop and Rocksteady are musical references. The Mutant Frogs are named after great warlords, and more.
* ThemeTuneRollCall: The one from the Fred Wolf series is the [[EarWorm best-known]], but the fourth season of the 4Kids series also has one.
%%* TheyDo: Casey and April.
%%* TheyWouldCutYouUp
* ThirdOptionAdaptation: Splinter defeating Shredder in TheMovie.
* ThisIsGonnaSuck: The phrase used, most often by Raphael and Hun, is "Ah, crud."
%%* ThoseTwoBadGuys: Bebop and Rocksteady.
* ThouShaltNotKill: Used or averted, depending on the incarnation. The Fred Wolf animated series and its spin-off comic book use it; the original comic book, movies, and 4Kids animated series generally don't.
* TimePolice: Renet and Lord Simultaneous, who form part of a larger, if unseen, organization.
* TitleThemeTune: All of the western cartoon themes.
* TotallyRadical: They live in [[BigApplesauce New York City]], but sound like a bunch of {{surfer|Dude}}s from [[AmericanAccents Southern California]]. (''Especially'' Michelangelo, and sometimes--depending on the continuity--excepting Raphael.)
*** It's ''usually'' only Mikey. Raph has a Brooklyn accent in the films too, and even in the Fred Wolf cartoon series Mikey was the only one to sound like a surfer dude, though they all used "Cowabunga."
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Pizza, at least in the Fred Wolf cartoon and movies.
** Though not necessarily true in the 4Kids animated series, it's been alluded to several times. Especially related to Mikey.
*** Outside of the Fred Wolf 'toon and movies, every turtle actually has their own favorite food. Leo's is sushi (or some other appropriately Japanese food), Raphael's is cereal, Donatello's is hamburger, and Mikey's is, naturally, pizza. This just doesn't reach TrademarkFavoriteFood levels and is usually barely mentioned, though in the GBA classic beat 'em up style TMNT movie game, each Turtle is healed by their favorite foods.
**** The fourth film gives Splinter one: Cake.
* TrueCompanions: The turtles + Casey and April form this unit, most notably in the movies and 4Kids cartoon.
%%* TurtlePower: TropeNamer.
* UncannyFamilyResemblance: Ananda to Battling Bernice (daughter/mother)
* VagueAge:
** Occurs with several of the characters throughout incarnations, due to a lack of specific dates or starting ages. [[CaptainObvious The mutant ninja turtles are nearly always teenagers.]] Nearly all fans seem to agree (based on the average confirmed starting ages per post-comic continuity, if given any) that the four are fifteen, and gain a half-year per season or age in real-time (week-for-week).
** The Mirage comics were notable in averting it. The Turtles started out as fifteen ([[WiseBeyondTheirYears but acted much older]]) and continued to age pretty much in real time until the present day where they're currently in their 40's and Splinter has since died of old age.
%%* VitriolicBestBuds: Casey and Raph tend towards this in most continuities.
* VideoGameAdaptation: Several games were made for TMNT starting with the NES / Famicom game and ending with the latest Arcade game dated 2009!
* VolleyingInsults: Done playfully between Casey and Raph in the Mirage comics, in a scene which was later adapted for the first movie and 4Kids cartoon.
** The first movie even turned it into a game with actual rules. Each insult had to start with the next letter of the alphabet from the previous one.
* WebComics: Online fan comic/manga "MNT Gaiden"
* {{Weirdness Magnet}}s: Aliens, demons, robots, ninjas, Atlanteans, monsters, corporate executives, crazy people, members of near-extinct races and species, spirits, ghosts, psychics, alive machines, time traveling miscreants, [[AIIsACrapshoot evil AI]], gangs, anthropomorphic animals, and many, many mutants.
* WidgetSeries: Seriously, the only reason this franchise makes any sense is because we're so used to it.
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