[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/crew%5B1%5D.gif]]
[[caption-width-right:350:You forgot the [[TradeMarkFavoriteFood pizza]].]]

-->''"[[TitleThemeTune Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!]]''\\
''[[EarWorm Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!]]''\\
''[[TheEighties Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!]]''\\
''[[TurtlePower Heroes in a half-shell--turtle power!]]"''

The first animated series starring the Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles, and the one responsible for the worldwide turtles phenomenon. [[LongRunners It lasted from 1987 to 1996]].

The story goes something like this: Hamato Yoshi and Oroku Saki were members of the Foot Clan. Out of jealousy, Saki compromises Yoshi's position in the clan and forces him into exile. Escaping to the New York sewers, Yoshi eventually makes pets of rats living there, as well as four baby turtles which happened to fall inside.

One day, Yoshi finds the turtles immersed in pink-colored ooze, which he gets all over himself while trying to clean it off. Soon, he finds the turtles growing to humanoid size, and himself turning into a humanoid rat; the ooze, which had been spilled by Saki in order to kill Yoshi, was a mutagen that would grant an organism traits from the previous organism it had come into physical contact with. Yoshi decides to raise the turtles, name them, and train them in the martial arts.

Eventually, the turtles rescue April O'Neil, a reporter covering a crime wave seemingly committed by ninjas. With her help, they discover that Oroku Saki, now calling himself the Shredder, had taken control of the Foot Clan, and had allied himself with exiled warlord Krang in order to conquer the world. The turtles, naturally, vow to stop him, and obtain a way to restore Hamato Yoshi--now named Splinter "[[BrickBreak for obvious reasons]]"--to his human form.

Unlike the [[Comicbook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesMirage comic book that inspired it]], the tone of the cartoon was for the most part more akin to a sitcom than an action series. The turtles were more liable to crack wise than act like the ninjas they supposedly were. The main villain group shared a sitcom dynamic, with VillainDecay setting in almost immediately. Many episodes were StrictlyFormula, using whatever stock plots the producers had handy.

After seven seasons, the series was {{retool}}ed in an attempt to make them more serious. The palette was darker, the Shredder and company were eventually PutOnABus and were replaced by the alien Lord Dregg and his posse, and the tone became less humorous. Reactions to the "red sky" seasons remain mixed; while some appreciate the shift, others believe it took away from the series' strengths. This new direction lasted for three 8-episode seasons, until the series' end in 1996.

Despite--or perhaps because of--the numerous changes made to the source material, the series became wildly popular, providing the thrust behind a massive toy line, inspiring the TeenageMutantSamuraiWombats cartoon subgenre, and even getting a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQAQohS0On4&feature=related two-part OVA]] in Japan. The series continues to influence the franchise today, with every later incarnation of the turtles maintaining at least part of the tone of the series, as well as multiple nods to it.

Thirteen years after its end, the series received a brief revival in ''TurtlesForever'', a crossover between this incarnation of the Turtles and their counterparts from [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 the 2003 series]].

See also: Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles (franchise page), the [[Characters/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles franchise character sheet]], and the page for ''ComicBook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesAdventures'', the comic book based on the animated series.

!!This incarnation of the Ninja Turtles includes examples of:
* AbortedArc: Season 8 set up several possibly new enemies and allies for the Turtles -- all of whom were promptly forgotten about in the following season in favor of Dregg and Carter.
** It also ended with the implication that members of H.A.V.O.C. were still on the loose and that April would do something important in the far future, things that were never brought up again in Seasons 9 and 10.
** Although Mona Lisa appeared in just one episode, it was implied her storyline was just beginning.
* AbsoluteCleavage: Subverted: Although April's jumpsuit was occasionally left open enough for this trope depending on the artist, her cleavage was usually left undrawn whenever this happened, as seen in her [[http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y1/Perez85/AprilCharacterModel.jpg character]] [[http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y1/Perez85/April.png model]][[note]] The first one is from the original cartoon and the second is its ''TurtlesForever'' reproduction[[/note]]. Fan artists, on the other hand...
* TheAce: Leonardo is a strange mix of this and TheGenericGuy.
** Also April's Aunt Agatha Marbles.
* ActionGirl: Lotus Blossom.
** April also had her moments of this.
** Also Mona Lisa.
** And Irma, at times.
* AdaptationalVillainy: Leatherhead, who was an ally in other continuities (though it was common for him to start off as having a misunderstanding with the Turtles). Also Wingnut and Screwloose, who originated as allies in the Archie Comics series TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesAdventures, but here appeared as one-shot villains in the episode ''Zach and the Alien Invaders''.
* {{Adorkable}}: Irma.
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter[=/=]AlwaysSecondBest: Shredder to Splinter.
** Also Vernon to April.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Vernon Fenwick and Krang.
** Subverted with Vernon in "Donatello's Degree" where he gets hurt and asks April for some mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, then smiles and puckers up with his eyes closed when she agrees with him, [[{{Squick}} and grabs a fish from the nearby lake to place on Vernon's mouth.]]
* AmbiguousGender: Zee.
* AmbiguouslyJewish: Irma Langinstein.
** Vernon Fenwick, which might lead to UnfortunateImplications.
* AmbiguouslyHuman: The Rat King.
* AndIMustScream[=/=]FateWorseThanDeath: Synapse in the Red Sky episode ''H.A.V.O.C. In The Streets''. Donatello defeats the electric mutant created by Titanus by [[spoiler: sending him through a ham radio, leaving him permanently trapped on the radio airwaves forever.]]
** Implied to be Baxter's final fate in ''Revenge of The Fly!''. [[JerkassWoobie Poor guy...]]
* AnimationBump: More times than possibly any cartoon in the 80's and 90's. The animation style could go from being horrible to decent, sometimes ''in a single episode.'' The first two seasons each kept with a single animation studio (Toei for Season 1, and A-1 Productions for Season 2), but the seasons grew much longer starting with Season 3, resulting in animation being farmed out to several different studios [[note]]WangFilmProductions, PacificRimAnimation, Creator/LukFilm, Creator/KyungKang, Island Animation, Varga Studios and Creator/HanhoHeungUp, with an occasional episode by Toei, none of them credited[[/note]]. This continued until the "Red Sky" era, where the seasons got cut down to eight episodes each and a single studio (this time DaiWon Animation[[note]]and Creator/MorningSun for season nine[[/note]]) became sufficient to handle all the show's animation again.
** On top of that, a number of Season 3 episodes and the entire first half of Season 4 was farmed out to Murakami-Wolf-Swenson's studio in Ireland. Some of the episodes turned out okay, but most of these outsourced episodes were among the worst-animated in the show's run. Likewise, the "Vacation in Europe" episodes were farmed out to French studio IDDH on a smaller budget than usual, and suffer particularly for it.
* ADayInTheLimelight: There were a few of these in the series. ''Bebop and Rocksteady Conquer The Universe'' is one of the best examples which is also a CrowningMomentOfFunny.
** Irma too, in episodes like ''Turtle Terminator'', ''Attack of The 50 Foot Irma'', and ''Super Irma''.
* {{Adorkable}}: A lot of characters, but Donatello, Baxter, Mikey, and Irma have the most moments.
* AffablyEvil[=/=]FauxAffablyEvil: Shredder, DependingOnTheWriter.
* AliensSpeakingEnglish: Raphael lampshades this ''perfectly'' in the episode "Usagi Yojimbo" when they meet the titular character.
-->'''Raphael''':"Not only is he from feudal Japan, but also from another dimension. [[LampshadeHanging So, of course, he speaks English.]]"
** Pretty much all Dimension X aliens spoke ''flawless'' English. Some even had ''accents'' to boot!
* AlternativeForeignThemeSong: The Japanese version had [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSJs_lqBUys three]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhIRBgEoOb0 different]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvxqFdFIN8E endings]].
* AltoVillainess: Shreeka.
* AlwaysNeedWhatYouGaveUp: the episode with the giant squid.
** Also the episode ''Case Of The Killer Pizzas''.
* AmazonChaser: Leonardo, who is completely taken by Lotus Blossom after she defeats him in a duel.
* AmbiguouslyBrown: Shredder, DependingOnTheArtist.
* AnimeHair: The Neutrinos take this to ridiculous extremes.
* {{Animesque}}: The first season had a very obvious anime influence -- unusually though, it was for reasons of practicality rather than artistic preferences. The show's original character designer, Ira Turek came up with a load of character designs which were butt ugly and nearly impossible to animate well, resulting in him being fired. He was replaced at the last minute by [[WesternAnimation/AeonFlux Peter Chung]], who redesigned the primary characters to have a more Anime-inspired look in order to ensure that the ToeiAnimation team would be able to work with them. The following seasons largely ditched the animesque character designs.
* AnimalThemedSuperbeing: The Rat King falls under the ''Animal Alias'' type since he has no actual rat powers. Interestingly, most of the characters in this show fall under BeastMan or AnimalSuperhero despite the vast number of AnimalMotifs.
** There was also Bug-Man who only showed up in one episode. He was an insect-themed superhero who curiously [[TheIncredibleHulk turned into a powerful superhuman when angered.]] In the episode, he had become a pacifist but since Michelangel needed his help, he tried his best to make him angry so he would turn into his super-powered form.
* {{Animorphism}}: A lot, both temporary and permanent.
* AnotherDimension: Several, most notably Dimension X.
* AntiHero: The Dark Turtle, the one-episode SecretIdentity of [[spoiler:Donatello]].
* ApologizesALot: [[CuteClumsyGirl Irma]] in ''The Turtle Terminator''
* ArsonMurderAndAdmiration: Mostly between Shredder and Krang.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: In ''New York's Shiniest'', Rex-1 saves April from being arrested by security guards. And these are the charges he recites:
-->'''Rex-1:''' ''(holding the guards)'' You are charged for disturbing the peace...
-->'''Fat guard:''' Put us down, you hunk of tin!
-->'''Rex-1:''' ...resisting arrest...
-->'''Thin guard:''' You ain't never gettin' away with this!
-->'''Rex-1:''' ...and using a double negative. ''(throws them on the wall)''
** This was also used during the end of the episode ''The Maltese Hamster''.
--> '''Donatello (narrative)''': Big Louie was arrested for robbery, racketeering, and pulling those little tags off of mattresses.
* ArtEvolution: For the ''Red Sky'' seasons.
** Seasons 6 and 7 also have surprisingly improved animation.
* ArtisticLicenseEngineering: In ''The Big Zipp Attack'', Shredder and co. try to steal the top of a metal spike from the roof of a building. If the spike's top is removed, the entire building will fall over, as the construction of the building is somehow completely dependent on the top of the spike staying in place (even though the spike itself more or less resembles an antenna mast sticking out of a flat rooftop).
* ArtisticLicensePhysics: Mona Lisa explains to Raphael that she was a college student that was going for her '''physics''' major, but in the flashback she is clearly using a '''chemistry''' set.
** [[FridgeBrilliance Chemistry was probably one of her electives]].
* AscendedExtra: The Shredder was killed in the ''first issue'' of the original comic. (Although he came back a few times, including in the form of a [[ThreateningShark giant, mutant shark]].) Here, he collaborates with Krang as the longtime BigBad of the series.
* AsYouKnow: Spoofed in the episode ''Super Rocksteady and Mighty Bebop'':
-->'''Shredder:''' Only mutants are immune to the Mesmerizer's beam; humans like myself can't be near it when they set it off!
-->'''Krang:''' You don't have to explain it to me; I invented it, remember?
-->'''Shredder:''' I wasn't explaining it to you... ''(points at the camera)'' I was explaining it to ''[[NoFourthWall them]].''
** And again in season 5's ''Enter Mutagen Man:''
-->'''Krang:''' We must have that mutagen ready before the rocket takes off this afternoon!"
-->'''Shredder:''' I know, I know, you don't have to tell me!
-->'''Krang:''' I'M NOT! (looks at camera) ''I'm telling the audience''.
* {{Atlantis}}: Plays a part in the episodes "The Lost Queen of Atlantis" and "Atlantis Awakes".
* AttackOfThe50FootWhatever: ''Attack of the 50-Foot Irma''.
** Also, Krang's robotic body was able to grow into this until the Ninja Turtles broke the microchip that enabled it to.
** In "Turtles Of The Jungle", a scientist accidentally enlarges a monkey, then enlarges Don to stop him.
** "Big Bug Blunder" had several giant bugs, created somewhat by accident by Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady (What I mean is it was their intention to make an army of giant ants, but instead Bebop and Rocksteady wasted most of Krang's chemical on only a couple of insects), which included an ant, a praying mantis, a wasp, and a fly. Cue giant monster fight.
* AwesomeButImpractical: The Technodrome. Virtually unstoppable on occasion, but virtually ''unstartable'' the rest of the time, as its heavy fuel requirements and tendency to get stuck in various remote locations make it hard to manage.
* BackUpTwin: Barney Stockman would probably be this if he appeared more than once.
* BadBoss: Shredder easily counts for this.
* BadFuture: Inverted in ''Once Upon A Time Machine'', where the future is bright, clean and peaceful, because the Turtles did away with Shredder, Krang and their forces. Even the former members of the same gang as Bebop and Rocksteady took to living a life without crime. That is, until Bebop and Rocksteady get their former gang into the future, where there seems no law enforcement (or need thereof). The turtles, though, see themselves as not having aged well at all.
* BadGuyBar: The Secret Hideout in "Farewell, Lotus Blossom".
* {{Badass}}: The turtles all fall under this.
* BadassAdorable: The Grybyx.
* BadassLongcoat: The turtles' trench coats. Also Rat King gets one in the eighth season.
* BadassPacifist: Macc, the robot from the future.
** Donatello also.
* BaldOfAwesome: The turtles of course.
* BalefulPolymorph: Baxter Stockman, after his transformation. Splinter to a lesser extent, though by the end of the second season he's come to fully accept his new self.
** Inverted by Rocksteady and Bebop. In the first episode of Season 4, Shredder uses a device to temporarily de-mutate them so that they can infiltrate Channel 6, and the two are disgusted at the sight of their original forms. In ''Landlord of the Flies'', though, [[NegativeContinuity the two want to help Baxter Stockman because he was promised to be returned to normal if he defeated the turtles, and they figured that Krang would do the same for them]].
* BareYourMidriff: Casey Jones, a rare male example. It doesn't make him any less intimidating though.
* BaseOnWheels: The Technodrome.
* BellyDancer: April and Irma are dressed like this in the episode ''Shredderville''
* BeneathTheEarth: The Technodrome in Season 1 and 3.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Kala's pet Grybyx is usually a sweet and docile creature, until you feed it the wrong kind of food.
** Also Irma, considering that she was able to defeat the Rat King after he paid more attention to April than her.
*** Heck, Irma ''easily'' dropped four {{Zerg Rush}}ing Foot Soldiers (on board the freaking '''''Technodrome''''', no less) in ''Super Irma.'' When properly motivated, she [[TookALevelInBadass takes a level in badass]].
** There's also [[spoiler: Donatello]] when he becomes the Dark Turtle.
* BigBad: [[BigBadDuumvirate Shredder and Krang]] for most of the series, and later Lord Dregg.
* BigBadDuumvirate: Krang and Shredder.
* BigBrotherBully: Shredder to his little brother Kazuo Saki.
** Also Walt to Zach initially.
* {{Bishonen}}: Would you believe the Shredder? Without his mask, he's rather feminine.
** He appears out of costume in one episode wearing a [[RealMenWearPink pink shirt]].
*** [[MrFanservice He also has a surprisingly large female fanbase]].
** "Saki" is a feminine name, lit. "blossom".
* BigEater: Michaelangelo.
** The others had their moments as well.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Buffy Shellhammer, initially.
* BlackBestFriend: Technically Bebop is this to Rocksteady, despite their mutations.
** Dr. Jane Goodfellow acts as this for Michaelangelo in the episode "What's Michaelangelo Good For".
** Also Marik to Landor.
* BlondGuysAreEvil: Baxter Stockman
* BodyguardCrush: Rex-1 for April.
* BodySwap: ''The Old Switcheroo'', with Splinter and Shredder.
** Subverted in "Cowabunga Shredhead" with Shredder believing himself to be Michaelangelo. The entire episode is a SugarWiki/{{Funny Moment|s}}.
** Also ''Raphael Drives Them Wild'', with Raphael and Oscar the cab driver.
* BondVillainStupidity: The Shredder proves himself more than a match for the turtles in armed combat, yet on many occasions when confronted he 'escapes', often with the words "another time turtles!" Why another time? Why not now!?
** [[FridgeBrilliance How else do you think they made so many seasons?]]
* {{Bowdlerise}}: Over in the UK, Ireland and Germany, "ninja" has until more recently been a banned word, so the series (as well as the franchise as a whole) would be known as ''Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles''. Also, all scenes where Mikey wields his signature nunchuks were cut as much as possible due to the weapon being illegal in real-life. By the later seasons, the series would see Mikey using a grappling-hook weapon instead just to get around these kind of problems.
** Although, the first few seasons of ''Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'' were eventually released uncensored on DVD in the UK.
* BrainyBrunette: April O' Neil, Irma, and Mona Lisa.
** Though April O' Neil is more of a redhead.
** Buffy Shellhammer and Foster Fenwick also.
* BrattyHalfPint: Buffy Shellhammer and Foster Fenwick, at first.
** Also the Polarisoid Kids and the Starchild, initially.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Full stop.
* BreakoutCharacter: Mikey became a ''hit'' with kids.
* BrokenAesop: The episode "Zach And The Alien Invaders". See IdiotPlot.
* ButtMonkey: Baxter Stockman. Unlike the original comic villain, who was his own entity, here Baxter is a shaky ally of Shredder, who eventually swears vengeance against both him and the turtles after they make his life a living hell. This status even carried over to his counterpart in the 2003 show; albeit in DarkerAndEdgier form.
** Bebop and Rocksteady can ''never'' catch a break.
** Not to mention Vernon. If anything bad happens to someone at Channel 6, you can bet he'll be the first person on the receiving end. But he usually deserves it anyway.
* ByTheBookCop: Shredder's brother, Kazuo.
* CameraAbuse: In the intro, Raphael throws a pizza directly at the camera, with mushrooms and pepperoni sticking to the lens as the rest of it falls away.
* CampStraight: Vernon. He's extremely wimpy and effeminate but he develops a crush on Irma in ''Super Irma''.
* CanonForeigner: A ton, Krang, Bebop, Rocksteady, and the Channel 6 crew being the most notable.
* CanonImmigrant:
** Antrax and Scumbug in ''Night of the Rogues''. They are originally from the Archie Comics TMNT Adventures.
** Tokka and Rahzar from the second live-action film appeared in the episode ''Dirk Savage: Mutant Hunter''.
* TheCaseOf: The series had episodes titled "The Case of the Missing Pizza" and "Case of the Hot Kimono".
* CassandraTruth: Donatello in "Too Hot to Handle".
* CatchPhrase: Several, with "Cowabunga" being far and away the most recognizable.
** "Turtle Power!"
** Donatello's catch phrase was "That was my favorite bo".
** Leonardo's catch phrase was "We've got to do something".
** Burne Thompson's was "Go go go go go go".
** Leatherhead's was "I guarantee", bordering on VerbalTic.
* CerebusSyndrome: The last three seasons are a mild example.
* CharacterDevelopment: This is done extremely well with LonelyRichKid Buffy Shellhammer, who goes from a BitchInSheepsClothing to a DefrostingIceQueen and then to a JerkassWoobie all in the course of one half-an-hour episode.
** Also done well with Irma, who went from a generic boy-crazy ditz to an {{Adorkable}} GenkiGirl with a HiddenBadass side.
* CharacterizationMarchesOn: Vernon acts completely different in the first season.
* ChickMagnet: All the turtles fared pretty well in this department.
* ChildProdigy: The Starchild.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Happened quite frequently. Nearly every episode would introduce a new ally of the turtles or a villain who swears revenge after being defeated, only to never be seen again. Many of the characters from the LighterAndSofter earlier seasons(The Punk Frogs, The Neutrinos, and Mondo Gecko, etc.) were nowhere to be seen in the DarkerAndEdgier Red Sky seasons.
* CityOfAdventure: New York City.
* CityOfWeirdos: Giant humanoid turtles fighting an army of mooks, flying around town in a giant blimp, and regularly appearing on the local television news doesn't warrant much comment or outrage from the locals.
* ClearMyName: This happened in several instances.
* ColorCodedCharacters: In the Mirage comics, the Turtles all wore red bandanas (not that it mattered much in a black-and-white comic), leaving their distinct weapons as usually the best way to tell them apart. Obviously, this series didn't go that way - giving Leonardo blue, Donatello purple and Michaelangelo orange, while Raphael kept red. All succeeding adaptations have maintained this approach.
* CommLinks: The turtles communicators.
* CompositeCharacter: In the original comics, Hamato Yoshi was murdered and his pet rat became mutated into Splinter. In this version, Yoshi himself is mutated into a rat-man. A rather poignant episode {{lampshaded}} the fact that Splinter was pretty lonely because of this, since he couldn't interact with other humans anymore.
** He was mostly a quiet man after all.
* ConspicuousTrenchcoat: The turtles' outfit of choice whenever outside the sewers.
* ConvectionSchmonvection: Lava arguably made more appearances than the teens from Dimension X in this show, but one particularly blatant incident occurs in an episode where a rock soldier accidentally knocks a special welding material into lava, turning ''the lava'' into an unknown yellow goo. Shredder inspects this substance by '''STICKING HIS HAND INTO IT AND PULLING SOME OUT'''. Hilariously, while he's standing right next to a red-hot puddle of lava, he does complain about the heat, but apparently the goo is cool to the touch. Suspension of disbelief aside, who sticks their bare hand into mysterious gelatinous substances like tha... oh. right. Splinter.
* CoolAirship: The Turtle Blimp.
* CoolBigSis: April was somewhat like this to the turtles considering she is older than them at 28.
* CoolCar: The Turtle Van.
** Also the Neutrinos' cars, the Star Cruisers.
* CoolOldGuy: Master Splinter.
* CoolOldLady: April's Aunt Agatha.
** Also Shredder's mom, for being able to put him in his place on numerous occasions.
* CoolPlane: The Turtle Blimp.
* CorrespondenceCourse: Donatello used one to further his education beyond super genius, only to run into problems with getting the degree itself: he has to pick it up in person, and the university mistook him for "Miss Dona Tello". It turns out the owner of the university was looking for a mate as part of a GeniusBreedingAct, which is why he wanted "Dona" to appear in person.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: This show had a few. Shredder was one briefly.
* CuteBruiser: April and Irma had their moments of this.
** Also Mona Lisa.
* CuteButCacophonic: Buffy Shellhammer.
* CuteClumsyGirl: Irma, to an amazing degree.
* CutTheJuice: Second variety; April stops one menace of the week this way.
** Another time, she stops a generator from overloading by pulling the power plug. She stops a GENERATOR by UNPLUGGING it.
* DaEditor: Burne Thompson, April's boss.
* DamnItFeelsGoodToBeAGangster: Too many examples to list.
* DamselInDistress: April O'Neil, to the point where Shredder once lampshades this by admitting that, [[GenreSavvy when he can't come up with a decent plan, he just defaults to kidnapping her]].
* [[DamselOutOfDistress Damsels out of Distress]]: April and Irma, DependingOnTheWriter, could fall into this.
** Also Mona Lisa.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The Red Sky Episodes.
* DatingCatwoman: Leonardo and Lotus Blossom, and Raphael and Mona Lisa.
* DeadpanSnarker: Raphael, to the point where he should be the picture for the trope.
** Also Shredder and Krang, usually with each other.
** Splinter. Fans tend to agree that he has some of the best lines in the show.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Buffy Shellhammer, who ends up being a cross between LonelyRichKid and JerkassWoobie.
** Also Lotus Blossom.
* DemotedToExtra: After Carter showed up, April was relegated to sitting in her apartment and researching stuff on the internet for all of Season 9 and the first few episodes of Season 10. Fortunately, she started taking a more active role in the final few episodes once Carter was [[PutOnABus written out]].
* DelusionsOfDoghood: It's heavily implied (if not outright stated) that the Rat King actually believes himself to be a rat.
* DependingOnTheWriter: Every single character is subject to change. Poor Leonardo go hit by this the hardest and never seemed able to keep a consistent personality.
** Shredder also got hit with this pretty bad considering his level of competence and maturity shifted with practically every writer. This made it so he either [[CurbStompBattle completely overpowered the turtles without breaking a sweat]] ("The Incredible Shrinking Turtles") or was on the opposite side of the spectrum [[HumiliationConga and was completely defeated without even putting up a decent fight.]] ("The Case Of The Killer Pizzas")
** Exactly how well known the Turtles are among the public varies somewhat. Some episodes will have civilians recognizing them on sight, others will have people having no clue who or what they are.
* DesperatelyCravesAffection: Irma, so very much.
* [[spoiler: [[KilledOffForReal Destroyed For Real: The Channel 6 building by Shredder in the first episode of season eight.]]]]
* TheDogBitesBack: The episode ''Bebop and Rocksteady Conquer The Universe'' features this.
** Baxter Stockman also had his own taste of this trope in a few of his appearances.
* DoubleEntendre: In the opening theme no less, ''Donatello does Machines.''
** Also this: http://failblog.org/2009/09/10/tnmt-win/
** In "Green With Jealousy", Rocksteady eats a slice of pizza with Shredder and Krang's love potion, figuring it would have no effect on him, only for him to fall madly in love with April when they encounter her at the submarine base.
-->'''Rocksteady:''' Come to me, my precious!
-->'''April:''' No way, horn head!
** In one episode, when Irma is helping the turtles on an undercover assignment, she is told to stand and wait for someone to pick her up (meaning wait for her ride). She scornfully replies that she isn't "hat kind of girl".
* TheDragon: Rocksteady and Bebop were Co-Dragons to The Shredder. Baxter Stockman was Shredder's Dragon for the first half of the second season.
** In the Red Sky seasons, Hi-Tech was Lord Dregg's Dragon in Season 9. He was later replaced by Mung in Season 10.
* DragonInChief: The Shredder sometimes falls into this starting in season 2(though he's still the BigBad, while Krang is a BiggerBad), though the relationship between him and Krang is basically a BigBadDuumvirate since the plan seems to be for both of them to rule the world.
* DrillTank: The Technodrome's transport modules.
* DumbMuscle: Bebop and Rocksteady.
** Also Slash and Leatherhead.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: A relatively mild case -- the show's tone and overall storyline remained pretty much intact from the first few episodes until the "Red Sky" era. The big differences were in the way the first season was animated, with a much more obvious anime/manga influence, but also being prone to moments of sloppiness and OffModel characters. Raphael was also more similar to his comic counterpart initially, to the point where he threatened to ''kill Baxter Stockman'' if he wouldn't tell the turtles where Shredder was.
** In his 1st few appearances, Krang was undisputed NightmareFuel. His later character design was a lot more cartoony, but still a bit creepy.
* EnfanteTerrible: Shredder, as shown in the clips of his life from "Shredderville".
* EpisodeTitleCard: For the first 3 and a half seasons.
* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: The episode "Shredder's Mom" proves that even Shredder himself is not immune to this trope.
** Another episode had Bebop mention that he wanted to visit his mother, [[TearJerker but it is implied he can't because his mutation scares her.]]
* EverybodyLaughsEnding: Too many times to count.
* EveryoneLovesBlondes: Michaelangelo for Kala.
** Also Zack for Caitlin.
*** [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial SHE'S NOT MY]] [[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend GIRLFRIEND!]]
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Princess Mallory proves this.
** Also Baby Princess Tribble.
* EvilCounterpart: Mondo Gecko to Michaelangelo, [[spoiler: at least until his HeelFaceTurn.]]
** Also Shredder to Splinter.
* EvilKnockoff: Metal Head, a robotic turtle.
** Also Slash, an evil mutant turtle.
** And Lex-1, Shredder's clone of Rex-1.
* EvilRedhead: Barney Stockman.
* EvilTwin: The Doku plant used to poison April is the evil twin to the identical looking Gazai plant used to cure April.
** Also Donatello's duplicate, and the duplicates of the other turtles that he creates.
** And The Turtle Terminator when it impersonates Irma.
* ExpositoryThemeTune
* {{Expy}}: Mr. Ogg, an alien with mannerisms and a laugh similar to Creator/PeeWeeHerman.
* FaceHeelTurn: Shortly before the entire Channel 6 staff was PutOnABus, Vernon Fenwick ends up siding with Burne Thompson, and agreeing that the Turtles are a menace to society, and all because they didn't save the Channel 6 building from Shredder's explosive device in time.
* FalseReassurance: This exchange from Shredderville, when the Turtles encounter the unmutated Bebop and Rocksteady.
-->'''Human Rocksteady''': Turtles, huh? We like turtles.
-->'''Michelangelo''': That's a relief.
-->'''Human Bebop''': Yeah. [[PreAssKickingOneLiner We like you for lunch!]]
* FatalFlaw / {{Foreshadowing}}: The Turtles' BadFuture selves in "Once Upon A Time Machine" turn out to be everything Splinter warned them against earlier on. Specifically, Donatello turning blind from reading in poor light, Raphael's inability to work from excessively watching television, and Michelangelo's [[BigEater eating disorder]].
* FatBastard: Titanus from H.A.V.O.C. is this.
* FeatheredFiend: Raptor from H.A.V.O.C. is this.
* FollowTheLeader: The art style in the "Red Sky" era bore more than a little resemblance to the then hugely popular ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''.
* ForHalloweenIAmGoingAsMyself: At the beginning of ''Super Irma'', the Turtles don't know what they should wear to the Channel 6 Halloween party. Splinter suggests that they go as themselves, and they do.
* FieryRedhead: April O' Neil.
* FishPeople: Mona Lisa from ''Raphael Meets His Match''. She's a former human mutated into a half-fish, half-reptile MixAndMatchCritter.
** Also Alim "Merdude" Coelacanth from the episode ''Atlantis Awakes''
** The episode "Rebel Without a Fin" has Ray, a mutant manta ray, and April gets turned into a fish woman.
* FiveEpisodePilot
* {{Flanderization}}: Bebop and Rocksteady weren't exactly smart in the first season, but were portrayed as serious threats to the turtles. Later seasons toned up their stupidity to ridiculous degrees, and made them even more incompetent.
** EVERYBODY on the show as time went on.
* FiveManBand: The Turtles including their allies
** TheLeader: Leonardo
** TheLancer [=/=] TheBigGuy: Raphael
** TheSmartGuy: Donatello
** TheChick: Michaelangelo & April O'Neil
** {{Mentor|s}}: Splinter
** SixthRanger: Zach & Casey Jones (only a few episodes)
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: To quote the theme song: Leonardo leads (melancholic); Donatello does machines (phlegmatic); Raphael is cool, but crude (choleric); Michaelangelo is a party dude (sanguine).
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Michaelangelo, who has had several pets in the past, including his pigeon Pete and his parrot Ditto.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: Baxter Stockman
** Also Alpha-1
* TheGenericGuy: Leonardo when compared to his siblings. Some episodes tried to give him quirks of his own but sadly none of them stuck.
** This was actually deliberate, as Leonardo is described by the voice actors as "the setup guy", who allows the other characters to follow through with a great line.
* GeniusBruiser: Donatello.
** Also Wally Airhead.
* GenkiGirl: Irma, when she becomes [[MemeticMutation Super Irma!]]
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Many examples:
** When the Turtles point at something, they use their middle finger (it doesn't help that they only have three fingers on each hand).
** In one episode, Shredder said, "Let me give you a hand... or better yet, a finger!"
** When April is taken hostage alongside the Turtles in one episode and is asked on any last words, she says, "I can think of a few, but they're not appropriate for television."
** The end of the first act of "The Lost Queen Of Atlantis" has a freeze frame of Shredder taking a magic amulet off of April while she's being restrained, which from the angle of the shot looks like he's [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar grabbing April's breast]] [[EvilLaugh and maniacally laughing]] at the same time.
** Raphael once said "Come on, chipheads!" "Chipheads" sounds oddly like "shitheads".
** As the group confronts Krang's body in one episode, Raph says, "Hurry up! We can't hold this bucking bag of bolts much longer!"
** Leatherhead called the turtles "possum pussies" at one point. No, really.
** Rocksteady once called Irma a "floozy". Sure, Irma may be a desperate and clingy girl, [[BeAWhoreToGetYourMan but she's certainly not a hoe or anything]].
* GirlOfTheWeek: Mona Lisa. It seemed that she was being set up as Raphael's {{Love Interest|s}}, but she only appeared once.
* GooGooGodlike: The Neutrino Princess baby Tribble.
* GrandFinale: ''Divide and Conquer'', though it was left open-ended in case more episodes were ordered.
* GreatGazoo: Mr. Ogg from ''Mr. Ogg Goes To Town''.
* GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe: Medusa in ''The Wrath of Medusa''.
* GutturalGrowler: Casey Jones, with a slight Eastwood accent. [[TheUnReveal He never takes off his hockey mask in this incarnation]].
* HeelFaceTurn: Mondo Gecko.
** Muckman and Joe Eyeball.
** Lotus Blossom.
* HelloNurse: Dr. Jane Goodfellow
** April acts as this whenever the Turtles or Splinter are sick or injured.
* HeroesWantRedheads: The turtles prove this every time they save April.
** [[HeroesWantRedheads Villains Want Redheads]]: Both Shredder and Rat King have flirted with April (and Irma, who is a BrainyBrunette) on numerous occasions.
* [[HeroWithBadPublicity Heroes with Bad Publicity]]: Burne Thompson would invariably paint the turtles as a menace, regardless of the evidence.
** It was even a plot point of the Red Sky era.
** After Burne got PutOnABus, Lord Dregg uses this for his own advantage.
* HeroicSacrifice: Splinter destroys the Retro-Mutagen Ray to save the turtles from Shredder, which was the only way to return to being human again.
** [[spoiler: Landor and Marik pull one of these in their first appearance to save the turtles.]]
** Subverted with [[spoiler: Krakus, when he willingly allows himself to be mutated to save April, but is unaware that his mutation is actually temporary, and reverts back to normal after he saves her.]]
* HighlyVisibleNinja: The turtles, who can frequently be seeing putting around on a blimp. With a giant "Turtles" on it.
** Not to mention the Turtle Van, which was customized with armored plates resembling turtle shells and laser turrets on the roof.
*** The Turtles themselves weren't quite that astute at not letting people see them, they were known by the general public (it probably didn't help that April kept filming them though). Even Shredder, a proclaimed "ninja master", wore outlandish Samurai armor and would often broadcast threats with as much publicity as Dr. Doom.
* {{Hot God}}dess: [[spoiler: April wearing a magical amulet]] in the episode "The Lost Queen Of Atlantis".
* HotScoop: April O'Neil.
* HotScientist: Mona Lisa before her mutation.
* HotWitch: Tempestra and Shreeka.
* HourOfPower: The turtles' super forms in the Japanese OVA.
* HumanityEnsues: Temporarily occurs to Michelangelo in the episode ''The Gang's All Here''.
* HurricaneOfPuns: The episode "Mutagen Monster", where the mere presence of a mutated bull leads the episode to be full of cow puns. Raphael even says the Wendy's slogan "Where's the Beef?" in the same voice as in the commercial.
* HypocriticalHumor: In the first episode, The Shredder, upon seeing the Turtles, says to himself that the Turtles must not discover his Technodrome. He then proceeds to loudly announce "All Foot Soldiers return to the Technodrome". And yes, the Turtles manage to hear the announcement.
* IconicOutfit: April's yellow jumpsuit.
** The turtles' masks and Shredder's outfit.
** Krang's android body, due to how freaking ''weird'' it looks.
** Bebop and Rocksteady's regalia are also rather unusual and likely to stand out.
* IdenticalStranger: Princess Mallory, to April, in the episode ''April's Fool''.
* IdiotBall: As the plot required.
* IKnowMaddenKombat: Casey Jones attacked villains with various sports equipment like baseball bats and hockey sticks. [[spoiler: In season eight, he gets a sword and faces off against Shredder, [[FridgeBrilliance which could be a fencing reference.]]]]
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: No matter how much ammo the bad guys use, they almost never hit their targets.
* ImpossiblyCoolClothes: The Neutrinos.
* IncredibleShrinkingMan: Twice: once in ''The Incredible Shrinking Turtles'' and again in ''Funny, They Shrunk Michelangelo''.
* InnocentProdigy: Baby Tribble and The Starchild.
* InstantAwesomeJustAddMecha: The episode ''Cyber Turtles'' featured this.
* InsufferableGenius: Krang.
** Also Foster Fenwick.
** And Donatello's duplicate.
* InsultBackfire:
-->'''Shredder''': Krang, you are insufferably cruel.
-->'''Krang''': Thank you.
* InterspeciesRomance: On several occasions.
* IronicEchoCut: In ''Donatello's Degree'', when the other turtles can't locate Don, we get one of these combined with a [[BreakingTheFourthWall Fourth Wall break]]:
-->'''Mike''': If I know ''that'' dude, he's probably hanging out at the library.
-->[[GilliganCut (Cut to Donatello hanging out of a university window in a completely different town)]]
-->'''Don''': Actually, Michelangelo's right. I ''am'' hanging out at the library.
* {{Irony}}: Macc, a friendly and peace loving robot from the future is built with some of the most destructive weapons around.
* JerkassGenie: Mr. Ogg fits this to a tee.
* JustEatGilligan: Krang and Shredder would have ''much'' less trouble taking over the world if they'd just get rid of Bebop and Rocksteady. Or stop trying to get the Technodrome to work.
* JustIgnoreIt: Once, and only once in "Rock Around The Block", the turtles stopped the Technodrome by doing nothing.
* KidAppealCharacter: Zack is this so bad it's not even funny.
** Also Michaelangelo.
* KillerRabbit: Usagi Yojimbo is a literally variation to the Foot Soldiers.
* KnightOfCerebus: Lord Dregg is said to be more serious than the Shredder and his incompetent goons.
** H.A.V.O.C. was this in Season Eight.
* LargeHam: Shredder, Krang, and many of the villains.
* LeeroyJenkins: Shredder.
** Also Michaelangelo.
* LikesOlderWomen: Michaelangelo has been shown to have a little bit of a crush on April, despite only being a teenager and she's nearly thirty, though this is completely justified considering [[HotScoop her appearance.]]
** Also Donatello shows the same signs as Michaelangelo towards April which are once again justified, but this is inverted with Irma who seems to have a slight crush on him at times.
** Raphael for Mona Lisa, considering that he's still somewhere in his mid teens, and she's a college student who's probably in her late teens.
** Leonardo for Lotus Blossom also applies.
* LighterAndFluffier: Especially in comparison to the original comics, but also the first season compared to most of the ones that followed, and in turn those seasons compared to the "Red Sky" seasons.
** Having said that, the series was ''still'' criticized for being DarkerAndEdgier compared to most other animated shows at the time. Considering the restrictions the creators had to work under, it's actually a small miracle that the series didn't end up a total bastardization of the original comics.
*** PeterLaird said in an [[http://thedailycrosshatch.com/2009/02/09/interview-peter-laird/ interview]] that, faced with the reality of needing to water down his creation for a younger audience, he largely let the show's staff do it for him. This may have been a wise choice on his part, as had he tried to do a more comic-acurate version in the face of the rigid censorship of TheEighties, it quite possibly ''would'' have come off as a total bastardization of the comics. As it was, it came off as an extremely loose adaptation but very entertaining when taken as its own entity.
** Raph and Shredder also fall under this trope, with Raph being far less hot-headed (and more sarcastic) and Shredder being more ineffectual and comedic (although still skilled at martial arts and a potential threat).
* TheLoad: Vernon Fenwick.
* {{Lolicon}}: A mild example. In ''Poor Little Rich Turtle'' Michaelangelo (who's at least 15-16) has a very large crush on Buffy, who's 11 or 12 at most.
** Not quite. At the beginning of the episode, April explicitly states that Buffy Shellhammer is 15. Doesn't explain why [[OlderThanTheyLook she looks, sounds, and acts like a child]], though.
*** This is actually explained with a combination of HugeGuyTinyGirl, ACupAngst, and [[RichBitch Buffy's initial immaturity.]]
* LongRunners: With nine years, ten seasons, and almost two hundred episodes to its name, this was the ''Series/{{Gunsmoke}}'' of Saturday morning cartoons. It was ''the'' longest running cartoon until ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' came along.
* LonelyRichKid: Buffy Shellhammer from ''Poor Little Rich Turtle''.
* LovableNerd: Donatello and Irma.
* MadScientist: Baxter Stockman.
** Also Professor Sofo.
* MarriedToTheJob: April O'Neil
** Also Lotus Blossom.
* MasochistsMeal: Most of Michaelangelo's choices of pizza topping combos ([[NauseaFuel tuna fish, peanut butter and grape jelly, anyone?]])--and yes, it was {{lampshaded}}. {{Cinemassacre}} later made some of the show's various [[http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/05/12/gross-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-pizzas-recreated-eaten-video/ gross-out combinations]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4ybJ4-SAQY and sampled them.]]
* MasqueradeBall: In ''April's Fool''.
* MayDecemberRomance:
** A lot, but [[DatingCatwoman Leonardo and Lotus Blossom]] is probably the best example of this.
** A squickier example is the canonically fifty-year-old Burne and his girlfriend Tiffany, who looks ''nineteen''.
* MeaningfulEcho: In the first episode of the ''Red Sky'' series, Shedder and his minions are pinned down by police as they try to retrive a device they need. Shredder hurls a trashcan which he says are filled with explosives at the cops, causing them to scatter. After they make their escape, Bebop and Rocksteady compliment him on his bluff. The trashcan explodes in the back ground, with Shredder stating, "I never bluff." Much later, Shredder has taken the Channel 6 building hostage, and has to threatened to blow it up if the Turtles don't meet him in a certain amount of time. When they get there, they see that the building is still standing, causing them to assume he was bluffing. What does Shredder have to say? "I '''never''' bluff." What follows is easily the most dramatic moment in the series.
* MeaningfulName: Many characters had these.
* MeaninglessVillainVictory: In "April Fool" Shredder manages to get away with a rare isotope. Unfortunately for the bad guys, the isotope is unstable under high atmospheric pressures (especially those deep within the Earth), and the sample explodes after the Shredder returns to the Technodrome parked many miles beneath the Earth's surface.
* MechaMooks: Krang's Foot Soldiers.
* MediumAwareness: A regular feature of the series.
* {{Meganekko}}: Irma.
* MightyGlacier: Rex-1.
* MonsterOfTheWeek: More common in the earlier seasons, the turtles would often fight a new one-shot villain that either has a connection with Shredder and Krang or is working of their own accord. Alien warlords, other mutants, criminal gangs, evil robots, mad scientists. Name it, and chances are the turtles have faced them at least once.
* MoralDissonance: [[AlasPoorVillain Poor]] [[AndIMustScream Baxter Stockman]].
* MoralGuardians: The British censors. "Teenage Mutant ''Ninja'' Turtles?! No, no; far too violent. Let's call them Teenage Mutant ''Hero'' Turtles! Much better!"
** [[FridgeLogic They said that the word "ninja" was too violent, so they switched the words "those ninja teens" to "those fighting teens", because apparently they think that the word "ninja" is more violent than the word "fighting". Yeah, let that one soak in for a while.]]
** Even better: Michelangeo's nunchuku are taboo in the opening. Every scene of him swinging his weapons is cut or replaced with other footage. Even a closeup of his hand holding a nunchaku is gone. Oh, but Leonardo cutting the screen in two? No problem!
*** Maybe they thought nunchakus are dangerous even if they're home-made and hand-made, unlike the sharper hand weapons?
*** Fighting can be heroic, ninjas are just assassins and nunchucks were outlawed at the time due to gang use and the ease of which they could be made and used in schools whereas swords (which also have heroic connotations unlike nunchucks) and sais weren't.
** What did their theme song sound like?
*** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMrCSYagLqc This]].
** The best bit is that everyone in Britain called and calls them the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles anyway.
* MotiveDecay: This is explicitly pointed out with Dregg. At first he's just trying to take over the world. By the last episode, the turtles have thwarted his schemes so much that he's driven purely by the desire to kill them. Even his right-hand henchman calls him crazy to his face.
* MysteriousPast: We know ''absolutely nothing'' about the Rat King's backstory.
** Krang too. What little we know of him actually seems to contradict itself.
* NanoMachines: Lord Dregg's "micro-bots".
* TheNapoleon: Krang.
** Splinter also.
* NapoleonDelusion: A Napoleon wannabe is in the insane asylum with Baxter Stockman in the episode "Return of the Shredder," voiced by PeterCullen.
* NerdsAreSexy: Irma Langenstein.
* NeverSayDie: ''Technically'' played straight initially although averted later on starting with the second season considering that characters and monsters (mostly the latter) actually die pretty often.
** Often played with, as a RunningGag often features the turtles getting cornered by the MonsterOfTheWeek and one of them would often say they've run into a dead end. Another turtle would then ask "[[LampshadeHanging Did you have to use the "D" word?]]"
** Although the show has no problems with the word "kill".
* {{Ninja}}: This one's a given.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: A Morton Downey Jr. type talk show host in "Turtles on Trial".
* NoFourthWall: The Turtles and Shredder quite often stop to address the audience.
* NonLethalWarfare
* NonMammalMammaries: [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] with Mona Lisa because she ''was'' human before her mutation.
* NothingIsTheSameAnymore: The Red Sky episodes.
* NumberTwoForBrains: Bebop and Rocksteady. Note they fall under ''both'' TheDragon and DumbMuscle.
* OffModel: The show fell victim to this quite a bit, especially in later seasons. ''The Grybyx'' is a good example, and ''Mister Ogg Goes To Town'' in its entirety qualifies for this.
** The ''Vacation in Europe'' episodes are probably the worst for this, as they were animated by a European studio with a much smaller budget than the rest of the series.
* OlderThanTheyLook: Zack the TagalongKid claims he's "almost fourteen". He looks ''eight''.
** He acts like a little kid in his later appearances, so it's possible he might just be lying.
** Also April who's 28 years old, considering that she looks like she just hit her twenties, but is almost thirty.
** Buffy Shellhammer who's 15 looks like she just hit puberty, but apparently she's around the same age as Michaelangelo.
* OrientExpress: ''Turtles on the OrientExpress''
* OutOfOrder: Episodes 3 and 4 were shown the other way around on VHS, so kids who didn't see them when they first aired on TV (stations didn't re-air the earliest episodes often) would often wind up confused about who this [[BuffySpeak Baxter Stockman fellow]] was.
** Also, a lot of the episodes on DVD are out of order too.
** More than that, several episodes, (especially in season 4 and the vacation arc) don't make sense in their original airing order, and even have some continuity errors. "Tower of Power", the premier of the vacation arc, shows the Turtles leaving for Europe, and foiling one of Shredder's plans in Paris, but its the *next* episode "Rust Never Sleeps" that shows Shredder actually learning of the Turtles trip to Europe. In another example, "The Dimension X Story" which aired 3/4ths of the way through season 4, has the characters surprised that Shredder has found a way to return to Earth, even though its been happening all season. It also shows the turtles' dimensional portal blowing up, an event that was mentioned specifically in the episode that aired *before* it.
** The Episode "Leonardo is Missing" which aired 3/4ths of the way through season 6, is obviously a displaced season 5 episode, as the technodrome is still stuck in the arctic, rather than being at the bottom of the sea.
* ParentheticalSwearing: After [[spoiler: Shredder destroys the Channel 6 building, with the turtles thinking their friends were still inside]] Leonardo's line "You miserable maggot!" is said with so much bile and restrained fury that one can easily hear him say "You lousy son of a bitch!"
* [[PigMan Warthog Man]]: Bebop.
* PinkMeansFeminine: Princess Mallory in "April Fool" has a pink dress.
* PityTheKidnapper: In "Turtle Terminator", Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady all learn that kidnapping Irma is really ''not'' a good idea.
* PluckyGirl: April.
* PoweredArmor: The turtles don these in the episode ''Cyber Turtles''.
* PragmaticAdaptation: Admittedly, it's one of the most loose of all the Turtles adaptations, but, it does a pretty good job of telling a completely different story.
* PrincessesPreferPink: Princess Mallory in "April Fool".
* PurpleIsPowerful: The Starchild.
* PutOnABus: The Technodrome villains and the Channel 6 crew (except April), once the retool occurred.
** Though Shredder and Krang would [[TheBusCameBack return]] for a three episode special in the tenth and last season.
** Casey Jones was put on a bus as well, until the eighth season.
** This was common for many of the show's guest characters. Some characters that were put on a bus [[LongBusTrip never came back]].
* PuttingAHandOverHisMouth: Happens to April sometimes when she gets captured. Sometimes the turtles do it to April or Irma, as well.
* ThePsychoRangers: The Punk Frogs are a notable subversion, as they are tricked into believing that the turtles are the bad guys.
* PsychopathicManchild: Bebop and Rocksteady were shown to spend a lot of their downtime playing video games, reading comic books, and watching cartoons. Bebop even was shown to still believe in the Tooth Fairy when [[SarcasmBlind he heard Shredder sarcastically say "No, it's the Tooth Fairy"]] in response to Rocksteady asking him [[CaptainObvious if he was The Shredder]].
* RaceLift: Baxter Stockman, from African American to Caucasian (and vaguely European), because the writers didn't think that having the only black person in the cast be a villain would sit too well with audiences.
** Another reason in Baxter's case is that the writers feared that Shredder constantly abusing his black assistant would be seen as racist.
** Although many people forget that Bebop was African American before his mutation.
* RealMenWearPink: Vernon. And surprisingly (or [[LaughablyEvil not so surprisingly]]), Shredder in one episode.
** Splinter's kimono looks like pink, or is it some light purple?
*** DependingOnTheArtist
* [[RedHeadedHero Red-Headed Heroine]]: April O'Neil.
* RedEyesTakeWarning: The Dark Turtle.
** Also Baxter Stockman.
** Also Lord Dregg, who naturally has red glowing eyes.
** Also the Rat King in the Red Sky episodes. Earlier, he was morally ambiguous, helping both the Turtles and their friends, as well as Shredder and his associates. Once his eyes began to glow red, he was totally evil.
* RedSkyTakeWarning: While there's no explanation for the skies turning red, things took a turn for the worse once they did- for the Turtles and their city. Either way, it's a warning for the viewers- the show wasn't as much fun since the change.
* RememberTheNewGuy: Antrax and Scumbug in ''Night of the Rogues''.
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent: The main turtles, having sufficient TurtlePower, are depicted with minimal reptilian features. Other characters, like Slash and Leatherhead, may have more pronounced reptilian traits (scales, spikes, claws).
* {{Retcon}}: The third season finale showed the Technodrome being destroyed as a result of an inadvertent attack by Krang's allies, and then crashing at high-speed into a huge battlestation. The fourth season premiere changed this to the Technodrome being badly damaged in the attack and then having a relatively soft landing on an asteroid.
* {{Retool}}: The ''Red Sky'' seasons.
* RhinoRampage: Rocksteady.
* RichBitch: Buffy Shellhammer, until she [[TookALevelInKindness takes a level in kindness.]]
* RightHandHottie: Haypax Legomina to Alim [[spoiler: after he becomes king.]]
* TheRival: Vernon for April, DependingOnTheWriter.
* RoboticReveal: "Did you just say 'clang'?"
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Baby Princess Tribble, who inadvertently helps the turtles defeat Shredder once.
** Princess Mallory also counts.
** Also Alim.
** The Rat King has his moments of this.
* RushmoreRefacement: In one episode, Raphael theorized this was why Shredder and Krang went to Mt. Rushmore. He was wrong.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: Buffy Shellhammer, at first.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveSupernaturalPowers: Mr. Ogg.
* SchmuckBait: In the episode ''Shredder's Mom'', Shredder's mom was able to trick the turtles into walking right into the Technodrome's trash compactor by taping a paper sign that said "This way to computer room" on the door.
* SealedEvilInACan: Tempestra from ''Leonardo vs. Tempestra'', who was imprisoned in an arcade video game and released when [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Leonardo made it to the final level]].
* SecondEpisodeIntroduction: Krang.
* SecondSuperIdentity: After an accident, Donatello becomes Dark Turtle.
* ServileSnarker: Bebop and Rocksteady had their moments of this.
* SexySecretary: Irma Langenstein.
* SheCleansUpNicely: April, in the episode ''April's Fool''.
** Of course, April is ''always'' hot no matter what. It was just nice to see her in something other than a yellow jumpsuit for a change.
** Irma also has her moments of this.
* ShipTease: Donatello and Irma get some of this.
* ShooOutTheClowns: Burne, Vernon, and Irma were PutOnABus sometime in the Red Sky seasons, but not before Burne blamed the destruction of the Channel 6 headquarters on the Turtles, and used Channel 6's airwaves for a virulent [[HeroWithBadPublicity anti-Turtle media blitz]].
* ShooOutTheNewGuy: Howie (a songwriter and a potential boyfriend for Irma) appeared in two straight episodes and was never heard from again.
* ShoutOut: As a LongRunner, even once a season would add up.
** To ''Series/LeaveItToBeaver'', in an episode that had Beaver and Wally Cleaver reimagined as ''mobsters''. No, seriously.
** Also the monsters in the episode ''The Case Of The Killer Pizzas'' look a lot like another famous [[Franchise/{{Alien}} movie monster.]]
** The episode ''Night Of The Dark Turtle'' is an obvious parody of ''Franchise/{{Batman}}''.
** Rex-1 from the episode ''New York's Shiniest'' is pretty much a redesigned Franchise/{{Robocop}}.
** One episode had Krang stealing a military robot that looks like ED-209.
** Irma Langenstein doesn't look like Jeanette of The Chipettes by accident... half a season of ''WesternAnimation/AlvinAndTheChipmunks'' was animated by Murakami-Wolf-Swenson (the other half was animated by Creator/DiCEntertainment), then Irma was introduced on TMNT the following season.
** ''Many'' references to monster movies, which the Turtles are always seen tuning in to on TV. Heck, some of the episode titles even sound like the names of B-movies. Examples of such titles:
*** "[[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever Attack of the 50-Foot Irma]]"
*** "Phantom of the Sewers", actually a reference to ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera''.
*** "The Beginning of the End", also the name of a 1957 B-movie about a giant grasshopper.
*** "Return of the Fly", which itself was also the name of the sequel to the original ''Film/TheFly'' film released in 1959. The last two episodes are references to the films InNameOnly, however.
*** "Son of Return of The Fly II"
*** "The Incredible Shrinking Turtles"
*** "It Came From Beneath the Sewers"
*** "Curse of the Evil Eye"
*** "Invasion of the Punk Frogs"
*** "Teenagers From Dimension X"
*** "The Catwoman From Channel Six"
*** "Plan Six From Outer Space"
*** "Were-Rats From Channel 6", which also makes a ShoutOut to the Gypsy fortune teller Maleva from ''[[Film/TheWolfMan1941 The Wolf Man]]'' (1941).
** The Turtles have a poster of a three-headed dragon throughout the series, which [[http://cinemassacre.com/2011/05/03/tmnt-cartoon-series-review-part-2-of-3/ seems to be]] King Ghidorah from the ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' series.
** The episode "Nightmare in the Lair" is a reference to the ''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet'' franchise with a Freddy Krueger-type character named Creepy Eddie.
** From the episode "The Big Break-In", a war machine resembling the Martian spaceships in ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' (the 1953 film).
** Beyond the title of the episode being [[Film/InvasionOfTheBodySnatchers a movie reference]], "Invasion of the Turtle Snatchers" has aliens named [[KlaatuBaradaNikto Klaatu, Barada and Nikto]], all references to ''[[Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill1951 The Day the Earth Stood Still]]'' (1951). Nikto's toy capable of destroying the world looks just like the monolith in ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey''.
** The episode "Rondo in New York" is a tribute to the UniversalHorror monsters and also has an {{Expy}} of Franchise/{{Rambo}} that is named Rondo. Krang and Shredder use a substance to bring Rondo, originally just a movie character, into the real world (alongside all the other movie characters).
** At the end of one episode, Leonardo says "There's no place like home", as a reference to ''Film/TheWizardOfOz''. The movie is referenced in another episode where a hologram of Donatello says like the Wicked Witch of the West, "I'm melting! I'm melting!"
** In an episode where the Punk Frogs confront Leatherhead, one says, "Who you gonna call? [[Film/{{Ghostbusters}} Gatorbusters]]?
** ''Film/TheTerminator'' is referenced in one episode when the turtles see a version of TheAhnold saying in a thick Austrian accent, "I'll be back!"
** One episode has a turtle talking about "[[Film/BackToTheFuture jamming the flux capacitor]]".
** In one episode, Michelangelo says like [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Bart Simpson]], "Don't have a cow, man." Raph reminds Mikey this is the "wrong show".
** Another episode has the Franchise/{{Transf|ormers}}armers, which are robots that turn into farm machinery.
** The show is just ''full'' of references to ''Franchise/StarWars'' and ''Franchise/StarTrek''.
** When the Turtles are seen playing video games, sometimes the sound effects are taken from the ill-fated {{Atari 2600}} version of ''VideoGame/Pac-Man''.
** From "Turtles on Trial", Bebop and Rocksteady are seen watching ''The Slurps'', a thinly disguised parody of ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs''.
** The Polarisoid's camera, which captures the target and traps it inside, is a parody of the Polaroid camera, which takes a photograph and prints it instantly.
* SiblingYinYang: The villainous Shredder's younger brother Kazuo Saki is actually a cop fighting for justice.
** Also the turtles amongst themselves.
* SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan: This basically sums up Irma in a nutshell.
* SinisterSchnoz: Granitor, the gray Rock Soldier from the episode ''Hot-Rodding Teenagers from Dimension X''.
* SnowMeansCold: In ''Take Me to Your Leader,'' Shredder and Krang use a Solar Siphon to drain the sun's energy and make the Earth cold. The turtles discover something's amiss when it starts snowing in July.
* SoapWithinAShow: Krang is shown to have a specific fondness for a soap opera of the "Oh John! Oh Marsha!" variety. In fact, that's pretty much all the show seems to be.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: Hamato Yoshi. Originally, he was killed. In this series, he was instead turned into a rat-like mutant.
* StandardFemaleGrabArea: Constantly used on April.
** Also on Irma every so often.
* TheStarscream: Baxter Stockman was briefly this to Shredder in "Curse of the Evil Eye", the conclusion of the Eye of Sarnath arc.
* StayInTheKitchen: In "The Turtle Terminator", after Shredder has Bebop and Rocksteady kidnap Irma, what do they do with her? Well, first, they have the Turtle Terminator assume her form... ''then'', they make her cook for them. However, Irma's lack of cooking skills results in her burning their lunch.
-->'''Shredder:''' How humiliating... the future ruler of the universe reduced to eating Chinese takeout!
* StoneWall: General Tragg and the rock soldiers to a literal extent.
* StrawLoser: Vernon to April.
* SurferDude: Michaelangelo.
* SurroundedByIdiots: Krang actually says a variation of this in "The Dimension X Story". "Morons! I'm surrounded by morons!"
** Shredder laments this quite frequently.
* SurveillanceAsThePlotDemands: Shredder, most definitely.
** This is actually lampshaded multiple times throughout the series.
* SwissCheeseSecurity: The Technodrome, which the turtles would usually infiltrate with ridiculous ease.
** In one episode the Technodrome has an [[FacePalm easily opened hatch on it marked "ENTRANCE]]."
* TagalongKid: [[BaseBreaker Zack]], a young kid in a turtle costume and so-called "fifth turtle".
* TakeThat: One episode (''Raphael meets his match'') started with the turtles complaining a lot about tiny pizzas available at Pick A Peck O' Pizza, which is owned by ''UsefulNotes/{{McDonald|s}} [[Creator/DonaldTrump Crump]]''.
* TeenGenius: Donatello.
** Also Zack, the "fifth turtle".
*** His friend Caitlin also falls under this.
** Also Buffy Shellhammer, who was able to use Shredder's own technology against him and trick him into making the wrong formula to free the Technodrome. [[spoiler: Instead of rocket fuel, it turned out to be firework fuel.]]
** Also Vernon's nephew Foster Fenwick, who creates a solar magnet that is actually powerful enough to draw the Earth towards the sun. Subverted as he's stated to be 11.
* TerribleTrio: The Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady.
* ThemeNaming: The turtles are, of course, named after artists, then there's Bebop and Rocksteady (both musical genres) and Splinter/Shredder (both destructive).
** The punk frogs are named after historical tyrants who are Shredder's heroes.
* ThemeTuneRollCall
* TheAhnold: Hanz and Fitz in "Planet Of The Turtles" and Wally Airhead, along with his gang in "Leonardo Cuts Loose".
* TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation
* TheLavaCavesOfNewYork: Trope Codifier. For something often surrounded by lava, the turtles don't have to walk very far underground in order to find the Technodrome. In fact, a few times, lava lakes apparently existed just below the sewers (if not in them)
* ThisIsADrill: The transport modules that Shredder and the other villains used most of the time.
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Shredder's attitude towards Splinter and the Turtles, so much so that they taunt him with it over the interstellar radio from a slave camp on Dimension X. His twisted code of ninja ethics forces him to bring them back to Earth...where they proceed to defeat Krang's bid for global domination.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: Bebop and Rocksteady.
* ThreeAmigos: The Neutrinos.
* TitleDrop:
** "Turtles, Turtles Everywhere"
-->'''Shredder:''' Turtles, turtles everywhere. And not a blasted ninja among them.
** "Four Turtles and a Baby"
-->'''Krang:''' Outwitted by four turtles and a baby. Unbelievable.
* TitleThemeTune
* TokenMinority: Carter and [[AmbiguouslyJewish possibly Irma]].
** Technically Bebop counts considering he was African American before his transformation.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: April and Irma respectively.
* TookALevelInBadass: Irma, on several occasions.
** Also [[spoiler:Donatello]] when he becomes the Dark Turtle.
** Also Shredder, when he's the {{c|orruptCorporateExecutive}}hairman of Octopus Inc. He actually gets things right, with frightening (for the Turtles) results. [[spoiler: Until a sprinkling of water changes things]]. This was before the Red Sky seasons.
* TotallyRadical: The turtles, ''especially'' Mikey. The Neutrinos take it UpToEleven.
** Justified with the turtles, since, in the first episode, Michelangelo tells April that they learnt all about humans from watching TV.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Pizza. And how!
* TransformationRay: Many.
* TrueBlueFemininity: Irma, Tempestra, Haypax Legomina, and Medusa.
* {{Tsundere}}: Buffy Shellhammer.
* TwoGuysAndAGirl: The Neutrinos, Zack, Dask, and Kala.
** Also April's co-workers Burne, Vernon, and Irma.
* UndyingLoyalty: The turtles to Splinter.
** Also Haypax Legomina to Alim, [[spoiler: which is why she is made his personal adviser when he becomes king.]]
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: Is it ever!
* VagueAge: Irma looks and acts like a young teenager but is apparently old enough to own an apartment and have a steady job.
** And to a lesser extent, Shredder.
** Even more so with Splinter, he sounds and acts like a very old man, but in his human form he can't be above early 40's.
* VictoryIsBoring
* VideoPhone: The "turtle communicators" use a video screen and camera.
* VillainBall: Shredder and Krang nearly won on numerous times but lost due to not disposing of The Turtles when they had a chance or making a blunder. Or trusting Bebop and Rocksteady to do something right.
** For example, in ''Metalhead'' The Robot has them tied up and ready to destroy them but Krang orders it to bring them back to The Technodrome, that allows The Turtles to escape and short curcuit it.
* VillainExitStageLeft: The Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady, invariably.
* VillainTeamUp: Happened quite a bit.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Lord Dregg, initially. That is until the Turtles unmasked him to the people at the end of season 9.
* VillainousCrush: Strangely enough, Shredder sometimes seems blatantly attracted to [[HotScoop April]] in some episodes. [[DependingOnTheWriter It really depends on the writer, though.]]
* WasntThatFun: One of the episodes in the final season sees the Turtles go off a waterfall, which then sees Mikey saying "let's do it again!"
* [[BigWhat Wait, What? Whoa]]: In ''Burne's Blues'', Burne and Vernon spend the entire episode unsuccessfully looking for a news story about the Turtles. Just as soon as the reporters find the Turtles frozen on a factory loading dock, the two get randomly abducted by aliens that look like Elvis.
* WhamLine: "I never bluff!" [[spoiler: The line Shredder says before he destroys the Channel 6 news building in the first episode of season eight.]]
** Also in "Donatello's Degree", the end of the first act features Donatello being attacked by two nerdy henchmen of the BigBad and saying that they must be joking to take him on. The henchmen quickly bulk up and respond "If we're joking,[[spoiler: [[OhCrap then you're about to ''die'' laughing!]]]]
** And in "My Brother The Bad Guy", the end of the second act has Splinter facing off against the Kojima Brothers, [[spoiler: who were recently resurrected and saying that they have been deceased for centuries and that he doesn't believe in ghosts.]] The Kojima Brothers response to Splinter is [[spoiler: "It is not necessary for you to believe in us for us to destroy you!"]]
* WhamEpisode: The first episode of season eight ''Get Shredder'' mainly because of the ending [[spoiler: where Shredder destroys the Channel 6 news building.]]
** "Enter: The Fly" initially starts out with the status quo from the second season: Shredder attempting to cause mayhem with whatever help he can get from Baxter thanks to Krang cutting him off in the premiere. Then quickly everything changes, as Bebop and Rocksteady return to take their place at the Shredder's side while he regains access to Krang's armament, Shredder attempts to by trying to kill April (not capture mind you, but '''KILL'''), and a botched attempt by Krang to vaporize Baxter cause him to instead be transformed into a half-human, half-fly creature in one of the most disturbing scenes in the show.
* WhatTheHellIsThatAccent: Baxter Stockman has an accent. Just..an accent.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: In a later season we learn that [[spoiler: Leonardo]] [[CompressedVice is terrified of snakes]].
* WhiteSheep: Kazuo Saki compared to his big brother Shredder and their mother.
* WolverinePublicity: Michaelangelo.
* WonderfulLife: The episode ''Shredderville''.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Macc, the robot from the future when he becomes BrainwashedAndCrazy due to Krang's docilizer.
** Also the Starchild.
* WouldHitAGirl: Raphael has absolutely no reserves about tackling Mona Lisa to ground when he thinks she's trying to take over the ship their sailing on.
** Also Shredder has no problem physically threatening April and Irma in multiple episodes.
* WreckedWeapon: Donatello's [[SimpleStaff bos]] were constantly getting broken. One wonders why he never upgraded to a steel pole or something a bit sturdier.
* TheXOfY: A few examples; probably the most well-known is the Eye of Sarnath, an alien artefact that formed a StoryArc for the first half of season two.
* {{Yandere}}: The alien computer Zee for Baxter Stockman, a (possibly) non-romantic example.
** Irma can show signs of being one.
* YouHaveFailedMe[=/=]YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: These are Shredder's reasons for sending Baxter into Dimension X, and sacrificing him so that Bebop and Rocksteady can be sent to help fight against the turtles.
** Krang also did this to Berserko, as explained by the eight season opener.
** Dregg does this to his number one man Hi-Tech in the tenth seasons premiere, by launching him into space. He later does it in the series finale to Mung by leaving him at the mercy of his nanobots.
* YoungerThanTheyLook: Baxter Stockman. He looks like a middle-aged man but is implied to be younger than Shredder.
* YourCostumeNeedsWork: In ''Super Irma,'' Vernon isn't impressed when the Turtles show up as themselves to the Channel Six Halloween party.
-->'''Vernon:''' Hmm, I don't think they're realistic at all! I've ''met'' the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and you don't look a ''bit'' like them.

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