In 1992, ''VideoGame/{{Battletoads}}'' was a hot game and the ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|1987}}'' cartoon was still going strong. Given the similarity between the two properties, it stood to reason that a good AnimatedAdaptation could give the games better PopculturalOsmosis.

Someone must have thought so, because a ''Battletoads'' cartoon series, produced by Creator/DiCEntertainment, was launched.

The pilot was shown on Thanksgiving 1992. It is a prequel to the game, but does not provide the same backstory as the one published in ''Nintendo Power''. It appeared to be based on a very, ''very'' obscure comic adaptation printed in some other gaming magazines at the time, rather than the game itself. In this origin story, Morgan Ziegler, Dave Shar, and George Pie are, rather than computer technicians, three teenage losers from Oxnard, California who are squirted with SuperSerum by Professor T. Bird and turned into the Battletoads. Tasked with defending the Princess from the Dark Queen, they receive the "ancient names of honor": Zitz, Rash and Pimple.

It was directed by Kent Butterworth and written by David Wise, who were both major figures in the development of the original ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|1987}}'' animated series (Butterworth was a senior animator on almost every episode; Wise was the head writer for the majority of its run, and [[NamesTheSame not to be confused in this context]] with the David Wise who wrote the music for the ''VideoGame/{{Battletoads}}'' games). A natural expectation would be these guys would make a decent ''TMNT''-alike show.

The pilot bombed spectacularly. The aborted series is a textbook example of a StillbornFranchise: a niche work being rammed into another medium, adaptation changes alienating the existing fans, critical panning, and a failure to capture a new mainstream audience. No further episodes were broadcast, and it likely destroyed any chance of a good ''Battletoads'' series ever being made, and it is now often compared to the Bubsy pilot.

For many years it was nearly forgotten (though it was released on VHS in 1994), buried in the wasteland alongside hundreds of other failed TV pilots, until rediscovered by the Internet. See it in its 30 minutes of glory [[ here]]. An {{MST}}-style version by WebVideo/{{Retsupurae}}'s Diabetus is [[ here]]. WebVideo/TheAnnotatedSeries has also covered it.

!!Tropes appearing in the ''Battletoads'' cartoon:

* {{Acrofatic}}: George is by far the largest of the main trio but is actually able to move pretty quickly around a basketball court and even manages to jump high enough to do a slam dunk. (Though ends up going through the hoop himself in the process.)
* AdaptationalModesty: The Dark Queen is slightly more modest in design, though still startlingly underdressed by Saturday Morning cartoon standards.
* AlienAmongUs: Subverted, T. Bird walks around openly and doesn't seem to be at all afraid of being seen. Played somewhat straight with Angelica, who tries to work like a normal human.
* AnalogyBackfire: "Life is one big basketball game!" Um...what?
* AscendedExtra: Princess Angelica gets lines and some personality, which is more than she ever got in the games.
* ByThePowerOfGrayskull: "Let's get warty!"
*** "Let's get ''[[{{Mondegreen}} horny!]]''"
** Also "Let's get normal!" to return to human form.
* {{Catchphrase}}: "'Toads rule!"
** George/Pimple saying "Cosmic" in various {{Crunchtastic}} ways ("Cosmerific," for example) and Dave/Rash's "[[PerfectlyCromulentWord Psychotronic]]!"
* CreatorProvincialism: Oxnard, California "sounds so mysterious"?
* DeanBitterman: The Principal, who for some reason has it in for the main three and threatens to suspend them if they keep hanging out together.
* DeadpanSnarker: Morgan/Zitz. After he and the others reveal their form as the Battletoads to their school and the principal orders for the police to be called:
--> '''Zitz''': [[DudeWheresMyRespect standing ovation?]]
* DemotedToExtra: Boss enemies from the games like Big Blag and General Vermin appear in the show, but only as no-dialogue background characters.
* DinerBrawl: The first FightScene.
* EpicFail: Morgan/Zitz making a computer monitor explode just by pressing a few keys and Princess Angelica making a jelly doughnut explode by gently pinching it. Though the latter might have been an animation error.
** Princess Angelica's Doughnut incident may also be a minor case of [[GettingCrapPasttheRadar Getting Crap Past the Radar]].
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Princess Angelica
* FictionalVideoGame: Any resemblance between "Galaxy Wars" and any RealLife arcade game is coincidental.
* FlyingCar: Introduced with a ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' ShoutOut: "Where we're going, we don't need tires!"
* FrogMen: The eponymous heroes.
* HowDoIShotWeb: In the course of their first fight Rash activates a Smash Hit attack by accident. As soon as the professor tells them to "think with your hands" to do so in the future, [[InstantExpert they pretty much master it right away]].
* InsignificantLittleBluePlanet: According to T-Bird, Earth is "so backward and insignificant that the Dark Queen never dared to conquer it."
* LimitedAnimation: To the point where characters walk by moving their cels.
* MacGuffin: Princess Angelica's amulet.
* SequelHook: "The Beginning..." Doubly ironic, as the franchise itself went dormant after this pilot and the arcade game.
* SuperSerum: The genetic essence of the ancient Battletoads.
* ThemeNaming: Morgan ''Zi''egler becomes Zitz, George ''Pi''e becomes Pimple, and Dave ''Shar'' becomes [[SdrawkcabAlias Rash]].
* ThisLoserIsYou: The three Battletoads start out as "the biggest losers in the history of Waldo P. Oxnard Junior High."
* TitleThemeTune: A surf pop song announcing that "here we come" and that "we're the Battletoads!"
* TookALevelInDumbass: The Battletoads are decidedly dumber here than in the games.
* TotallyRadical: The characters non-ironically use catchphrases like "psychotronic" and "cosmerific".
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: The cashier at the Stop N' Scarf doesn't look up from his newspaper/magazine once during the DinerBrawl.
* VillainTeleportation: Including teleporting through the spigot of a frozen drink dispenser as a visual gag.
* YeahShot: At the end.