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Fridge: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012)

Fridge Brilliance

  • The show features a return to the emphasis of the Turtles' fun side, like the '87 series, whilst maintaining the Darker and Edgier elements of the 2003 series. In other words, it's the perfect follow-up to Turtles Forever having both sets of Turtles meet.
    • The balance between silly and serious could also be seen as a great way to show the reality of the Turtles situation. While they may be facing serious obstacles, in the end they are still teenagers.
  • Splinter's origins (and, by extension, those of the Turtles themselves) is a Darker and Edgier "update" of the 1987 series, essentially going for "more realism", just like in the 2003 series. As in the 1987 show, Splinter and Hamato Yoshi are one and the same — avoiding the rather hokey "Splinter was Yoshi's pet rat" angle from the comics/2003 show. At the same time, it avoids the 1987's equally hokey backstory of "Yoshi was kicked out of his clan, moved to New York, and wound up living in the sewers there". Instead, Yoshi was living a perfectly normal life in New York — until he encountered the mutagen. The realization that neither he, nor his new sons, will be able to be accepted amongst humans forced them into the sewers due to lack of any choice.
  • The Turtles develop their Trademark Favorite Food because it's the first thing they've ever eaten that isn't algae, worms and other garbage. This makes more sense for a family that are living hidden away from all humankind, but it also makes sense that it would be the first time they've eaten something like that:
    • They mutated from ordinary turtles; Splinter would have had no idea that they could eat human food without getting sick.
    • Worms and algae are natural food sources for common pet turtles; naturally, Splinter would bring them up on the stuff, since it's what they'd be eating if they were still pets.
    • Worms and algae are also fairly easy to come by in storm drains and sewers and the like, which is essential for people with neither money, contact to the upper world, or desire to be exposed to humans.
    • Even if Splinter knew they could eat human food, he's still training them as ninja warriors. Pizza is, to put it bluntly, junk food; the last thing he'd do as a responsible father/sensei is let them live on something so unhealthy.
      • Which also fuels fridge brilliance as to why they are seen eating other sorts of food in various episodes, like omelets and ramen; now that Splinter knows they can safely eat human food, he's happy to let them do so, but he expects them to try and maintain some semblance of a healthy diet. Pizza is their favorite food, but it's a treat, not the be-all, end-all of their food supply.
  • The number 5 on April's shirt? It's a nod to this being the fifth adaptation of the Turtles - The previous four being the 1987 animated series, the live-action films, the 2003 animated series, and the CGI movie. In the eyes of both the creators of the Turtles & the majority of the fandom, there was no live-action series and besides, April wasn't in it anyway.
    • Plus the more obvious meaning is that April is always the "fifth Turtle." Especially now that Splinter will be giving her ninja training.
      • Even more significant when April's name means "month of the goddess Venus".
  • An obvious one is Splinter's multiple (mundane) warnings before he let the turtles go topside. It makes sense that he would be worried since he's already had his family broken up once before.
  • The Kraang's speech patterns and less than variational disguises can probably be used to indicate that they don't care to learn anything about the humans other than looking like them.
    • When translating most languages into English, its not uncommon for the results to sound stilted because English has more nouns than most other languages. Its possible that the Kraang deal with science on a multi dimensional scale that they have more words for describing specific "places" in relational to space and other dimensions that just don't have an English counterpart, which would explain why "this place" is one of their most frequently used phrases.
  • Why isn't Snake a little bit weirded out upon seeing the Turtles? Because he's been working with the Kraang, and so he's probably used to seeing strange things!
  • Splinter's decision to make Leo the leader makes sense considering the fact that he was the first to ask for the position, and the others followed suit after he made a move. In other words, he led his brothers.
  • Look at the way Donnie's desktop is cluttered with folders. He purposely arranged them so they'd cover Leo and Mikey's faces, leaving April uncovered.
  • In episode 4, Shredder's minion refers to Hamato Yoshi as "Splinter" despite not having seen him in his rat form yet. But consider that Oroku Saki himself bears the name "Shredder", and it becomes obvious Yoshi himself had a Nickname/Codename, and that it was Splinter, the name he still carries now.
  • Why does Chris tell Michelangelo not to show his Death Dragon Kata to anyone else? It would tip off enemies of the Foot Clan.
  • Just a general thing this troper just realized: Raph's weapon is the only one with minimal lethal uses. Sai in general are meant to be used to disarm. Look at everyone else's: Leo's Katana/washizate(obviously lethal); Mikey's Nunchaku which turn into kusarigama; amd Donnie's Staff has a blade hidden in it. In other words, Splinter gave the most dangerous and angry turtle the hardest weapon to kill with. Good judge of character, that man/rat.
    • The sai is actually a perfectly lethal weapon if wielded with the intent to kill. Not only is the central shaft more than enough to pierce deep deep into the body and reach vital organs, but the pommel can crack or even punch through the skull. The appeal of the sai is that it's so versatile to begin with, and Raph certainly wields in in a lethal manner (if he were attacking humans and not robots, that is).
      • Still, Splinter probably trained him to use them properly.
      • which would mean that the trained him to use them lethally.
      • Look at them in a screenshot, though, and you can see that the points aren't sharp at all. So that means that Raphael has the only non-bladed weapon (Mikey and Donnie's are hidden, and Leo's are exposed at all times).
      • Sais do not have bladed central shafts, ever. They are either rounded or octagonal so as to minimize chipping/breakage while using the sai. Anyway, just because a weapon doesn't incorporate a blade doesn't make it less deadly. In fact, considering Raph tends to charge into fights first, he probably has the most "kills" in the series so far.
  • Why is New York so empty at night? Well, given all the disappearances and the sightings of strange creatures, it's not unlikely that people would avoiding going out into the streets at night.
  • The word "Gauntlet" possesses a few meanings, one being "Go through an intimidating or dangerous crowd, place, or experience in order to reach a goal", which the Turtles go through, in saving the city at the cost of being able to save Kirby O' Neil... But then another meaning of "Gauntlet" shows up, as in the phrase "throw down the gauntlet" or to issue at direct challenge, with the arrival of The Shredder(who, for bonus points, wears actual gauntlets!).
    • Also in the episode Raph's comment about him being a Shredder double as a Mythology Gag to the fact that the previous series had multiple Shredders.
  • In a way Xever's mutation is a punishment for his ways. It was mentioned that Shredder found him in a prison and got him out, now thanks to his mutation he must stay in water or he'll die, meaning he's now imprisoned in water. During fights he favored using his legs and kicking, now he has no legs.
  • Why did Mikey scream at the Cat DNA in "The Alien Agenda"? Remember what happened the last time he encountered a cat?
  • Baxter Stockman's Mousers have digitized cat sound effects. Once you remember or know the intended purpose of the Mousers in previous incarnationsnote , this makes much more sense.
  • The Rat King doesn't go into battle due to the fact that he's burned and emaciated, which is why he relies upon his rats to do his work.
  • In the opening, when Splinter is giving the turtles their masks, we only see Raphael's mask, but it then cuts to all 4 turtles. Then the Pulverizer was wearing a red mask. Sounds like nothing, right? Wrong. Not many people know that the multicolored masks originated in the 1980's cartoon. Before that, they were all wearing red.
  • In "Enemy of My Enemy", when fighting The Shredder, he seems to be for once on defense. He was just caught off-guard by the Turtles, and he's fighting them in an enclosed space, something that will make his bladed weapons more difficult to utilize as they might get caught on to the walls.
  • Notice how Timothy's mutation was nothing like Splinter, Snakeweed, Spider-Bytes, Bradford, or Xever's? It's because unlike them, Timothy had no previous contact (that we saw) with animal DNA for the mutagen to combine with his own. With nothing else to work with, it mutated his human DNA more than previous mutants had.
    • Hence the name "Mutagen Man".
  • The Foot Clan's numbers are said to be dwindling in "The Pulverizer Returns", and what's left aren't really worth keeping. The dwindling numbers, if not due to death or being intimidated by the Turtles, is probably how out and out scared the members are due to how they're being treated by their own higher ups, especially since their bosses are monstrous mutants now.
  • Splinter's lesson in "The Pulverizer Returns" and how the Turtles learned it. Switching weapons meant the would have to completely change their fighting styles. But, with random objects that could be used in a similar way to their regular weapons, they would have better luck.
  • Raphael frequently insults his brothers, even when it's uncalled for. But look at his brothers - Leonardo's the leader & most proficient fighter, Donatello's the smartest & Michelangelo's the funny one. Take away Raph's insults, and you're left with someone who's not a leader, not as skilled a fighter as Leo, not as smart as Donny & not as funny as Mikey. Raph insults his brothers because of his own insecurities over his brothers having a clear role in the team.
    • Raph is the stereotypical brawn of the team. Also, while not exactly intelligent, he has some level of common sense like calling Leo out for letting a Fong go after attacking Murakami and showing some feelings for Karai despite the fact that she's in the Foot Clan and unlike Donnie, he refrains from talking about things that are mostly irrelevant to the situation at hand.
      • Which actually reinforces the original point - He's the strongest physically, but not the strongest fighter; He has more common sense than his brothers, but he's neither The Smart Guy or The Leader; and he's sarcastic, but not the funny one.
    • The same could be said about how Mikey is so defensive of his role as The Nicknamer. Being the funny one doesn't exactly help in a fight. Notice how the trailers for the show & the opening consistently refer to Leo, Donnie, and Raph as the leader, brains, and brawn, respectively. Whereas Mikey is labeled as something a little less specific, like "the wild one" or "one-of-a-kind". Mikey probably dislikes it when someone other than him comes up with the names (Rat King or Newtralizer) because he feels that is what he contributes, so he's not just thought of as The Ditz.
  • One line from the opening theme is "can't stop these radical dudes". "Radical" is a slang term from the 1980's. You're all smart enough to figure it out from there.
  • Shredder's burnt and decrepit body symbolize the poisonous nature of a life only sustained by hatred and revenge.
  • Karai's Vendetta seems to be a case of Never Trust a Title since it features Karai but doesn't show her having any vendetta at all, that is at first glance. The episode heavily implies that Karai has a Missing Mom. Come the season one finale and it's revealed that not only is this implication true but Karai does have a vendetta against Splinter for killing her mother based on the lie told by Shredder. Based on this, the title of the episode Karai's Vendetta actually does show Karai having a vendetta. It's just more of a Foreshadowing sort of revelation rather than an actual and most likely presumed episode wherein Karai goes after the Turtles for the events that transpired in the previous episode, Enemy of My Enemy.
  • The Kraang were a lot tougher for the Turtles to beat in the first episode. Badass Decay? Conservation of Ninjutsu? Nope. The turtles thought they were human during their first fight. They were holding back.
  • Karai having a lot of similarities between the Turtles makes perfect sense when you relize she is Splinter's daughter; making her the older sister of the Turtles. It is a common thing that the younger siblings take after the older sibling.
  • Why did Slash/Spike go after Donnie first when he was hunting down Raph's brothers? Because earlier in the episode Donnie almost blew up Spike so it was more personal revenge for Slash since he views the other brothers merely as obstacles that need to be removed for Raphael's sake.
  • There's an interesting symbolic mirroring of the introduction of Slash and Casey joining the hamato clan. Essentially, the episodes serve as a counterpart to each other. Slash was all of Raph's negative traits taken Up to Eleven. Casey is Raph's counterpart. So in a way, these two episodes were about Raph being reminded of who he should be rather than becoming his worst parts.
  • Corey Feldman auditioned to play Raphael in this series, but didn't get the part. So who did he play? The essential personification of all of Raphael's negative traits: Slash.
  • The spores in "Fungus Humongous" weren't making everyone see their greatest fears, just the fears that were closest to their minds at the time. Leo was leading a mission while it happened, Donnie was with April, and everyone else started seeing things that could be found in the sewers. I mean, are we really supposed to believe Mikey's single greatest fear is a bunch of random mutant squirrels they fought one time?
  • Karai is 16-years-old when the series came out in 2012, making her years of birth 1996.It was actually a very clever hint that she was Splinter's daughter because in the Chinese zodiac, that was the year of the rat.
  • Why did Snake Karai only spit acid at Raph? Raph is the only one who truly hates her. While Mikey and Donnie dislike her for her actions in The Alien Agenda and treat her like any other enemy, they don't outright hate her the same way Raph does.
    • I wouldn't go so far as to say Raph hates her (he did say he was on-board with the rescue mission at the start of the episode, after all) but he obviously doesn't trust her at all.
  • This one might well be unintentional, but that "Spear of Destiny" that Zeck steals from Steranko is commonly known as a Boar Spear, so named because it was the kind favoured for hunting Wild Boar. Considering who Zeck is likely to mutate into...

Fridge Horror

  • Press releases have stated that The Shredder has an adopted daughter, Oroku Miwa. Part two of "Rise of the Turtles" reveals that Hamato Yoshi's daughter's name is Miwa. The implication being that Shredder's adopted daughter is actually Yoshi's daughter and that he's raised her as his own. A key thing to note is that when Splinter is telling Leonardo about how the Shredder destroyed his life, Splinter explicitly states that his wife was killed & makes the clear distinction that his daughter "was taken from [him]".
    • It gets worse when you realize that she is pretty obviously meant to be a way for Shredder to get revenge on Splinter. Shredder could have renamed Miwa after he took her away from Hamato Yoshi, but he didn't. Why? So that Splinter could be 100% sure that Miwa (who probably will try to kill him at some point or at least endanger the Turtles) is his daughter. Shredder is one sick bastard.
      • From the looks of things, Shredder has renamed her... Karai.
  • So... Just what does Spider Bytez eat? Well, remember that regular spiders eat insects smaller than themselves, and Spider Bytez is a giant mutant spider. In New York, a city with one of the largest populations in America...
  • Turtles are notoriously long-lived (sometimes pets even end up outliving their owners), this means that barring death in battle or illness (unlikely, since they're the heroes after all) the Turtles will most likely end up outliving everyone they know, April, Master Splinter, even Shredder. A day will most likely come that everyone they knew and care about is gone.
    • Inversely, dogs don't usually live longer than 15 years (even shorter for larger breeds who average out to ten), and Chris Bradford was a full grown adult when he was transformed into Dog Pound. Whilst the exact properties of his transformation are unknown, he could only have a few years left to live before dying of old age.
    • Fish don't live very long either, a few years at the longest. Xever might already be on borrowed time...
      • However, Splinter was mutated into a rat, a creature that lives for an average of 2-3 years, fifteen years ago and is doing pretty fine today.
      • In the comics Splinter didn't live very long at all, maybe twenty-five years (2-3 as a normal rat plus 18-21 as a mutant) if that before dying of heart failure.
    • The turtles have it bad either way. Either they have human-style metabolisms and lifespan (supported by the 2003 series) and got a huge chunk of their lifespans lopped off in exchange for an arguably richer existence, or they keep the turtle-level lifespan and see above.
      • This actually happened in a Time Travel arc of the Archie comics when future versions of Don and Ralph came back from one hundred years in the future and were only middle-aged and still active fighters. In that sense, they could live for centuries barring disease or violent death. And who's to say the Mutagen doesn't enhance life spans as a side effect?
  • When Bradford broke the mutagen bomb who knows how many things got covered in it when it spilled over the side of the building, as we've seen even plants can get mutated by it.
  • Depending on the sewer system being used, The Shredder could have caused the deaths of millions or even deprivation of water if he were to use the chlorosulfonic acid.
  • The Rat King took a good, long look inside Splinter's mind. What if he meets The Shredder?
    • Are you suggesting Villain Team-Up, because I think Shredder would just find Rat King a nuisance and kick his ass.
  • In New Girl in Town, Snakeweed hits Raph, Don, and Mikey with a yellow substance (presumably pollen) and uses it kind of like a tracking device, which explains how he found Raph (and by extension, Leo and Karai). Since Snakeweed also tagged Don and Mikey who had been in the lair, Snakeweed could potentially find their lair.
    • The pollen Snakeweed tagged Raph with dissipated right after he found him. The same thing probably happened with Donnie and Mikey. And Donnie had plenty of time in the Lair with unconscious Mikey to notice it and get rid of it himself.
  • How old do you guess is Leatherhead? If you take the hypothesis that mutated animals age at human pace and that the Kraang took him when he was a baby alligator, it means that, or he is an adult that has being a prisoner for too long, or that he hasn't been with the Kraang that much and is still a child. A tortured, disturbed child that now is fighting in another dimension with Traag all alone.
    • Alternatively, time might move faster in Dimension X. When the Kraang first took Leatherhead over there he was a baby. He could have aged at the normal rate while they experimented on him. Meaning that they tortured him for basically his entire life.
  • This is more of a fridge terror thing, but Shredder is constantly wearing something like 30 pounds of armor. He is constantly seen fighting, moving, and training with it, even being capable of insanely high jumps and acrobatic moves similar to the turtles (someone had to teach Bradford the Death Dragon Kata). How much faster, how much more dangerous, is Shredder without his enormous armor slowing him down?
  • Surely, Timothy must have some family wondering where he is now.
  • It's been explained that the Kraang can't breathe on earth. So when they run out of they're suits wheezing? Yeah, they're suffocating.
    • And yet they seem to last a very long time after being separated from their suits, which adds some Fridge Logic.
  • In Parasitica, Leo knows that Mikey used his comic book as toilet paper even though he was at the time being controlled by the wasp. Unless Don or Raph squealed on Mikey, that means Leo was aware of everything that happened when he was brainwashed.
  • Splinter's story in the first episode shows the Kraang were around 15 years ago. (Maybe longer) Imagine everything they've been doing all this time without the Turtles to stop them.
    • Also, at the end of the second episode, the Kraang said the turtles were a threat to "what they were doing in this place and other places", which means they've either Earth is not the first foreign planet they've been to, or they're operating in other places on Earth, or both. Either way, the quote is a bit chilling to think about.
    • Even worse, it is said that they have being in Earth far long as Ancient Egypt.
  • Mikey's explanation telling the others about the Kraang in the first episode ("That guy, he...had a brain!") Could be very easily misinterpreted as a traumatized delivery of "that guy's head was busted and I could see his brain". So easily that, out of context, it's hard to imagine the quote meaning anything else. Censorship aside, the others didn't seem to care.
    • Heck, it is surprising the others didn't assume from Mikey's words that he accidentally killed the man by bashing his head open.
  • Shredder has been feeding that Kraang prisoner, right?
  • Traag shows up in the final, leaving the question of Leatherhead's whereabouts unanswered.
    • Leatherhead is confirmed for season 2.
  • It's been stated that the Kraang have been kidnapping scientists, yet the only one who's ever been rescued or even seen is April's dad and even then, it was only because the Kraang let the turtles rescue him.
  • In "TCRI", why the Kraang didn't leave the turtles in the elevator with the toxic air to perish? That would actually saved them a trouble, but instead the Kraang took them and lock them up in a cage where they could breath fine. It doesn't make sense, until you remember that the Kraang are constantly making experiments with mutated creatures, and they need them alive.
  • It has been implied that Shredder falls into Abusive Parents category in regards to Karai and that she is the daughter of Splinter, his sworn enemy, imagine what is was like for Karai/Miwa growing up with Shredder? She may be used as a Shredder's "weapon" against Splinter, but she's also the physical reminder of Tang-Shen and Splinter. It wouldn't be a big surprise if Shredder emotionally, or physically abused Karai/Miwa.
    • On the subject of Shredder being an Abusive Parent...He tests the Foot Ninja robots' fighting skill and lethal potential by siccing three of them on Karai. Granted, he stops them from delivering a killing blow, but when she asks if he'd ever really let them hurt her...he doesn't say no. He dodges the question entirely. Uh oh...
  • When Bradford/Dogpound fell into the vat of Mutagen in Mikey gets Shellacne, he comes back as Rahzar. Take a closer look at his look as this terrifying undead werewolf. Had he stayed there any longer, he most likely would have died the most painful death in the entire series.
  • Spike/Slash knows where the lair is. Absolutely nothing is stopping him from going back to the lair to try and murder Raphael and his brothers again.
  • Spike/Slash think that anger is what make a 'real' warrior and who is like that? THE SHREDDER even though he is in Japan he will come back and in the mean time, a suitable substitute is Karai who is full of rage at the Turtles, since Raph cut his ties with Spike he would have no problems telling Karai where their lair is and helping her take them down.
  • When Casey is writing in his journal and admits he's worried about his loved ones getting hurt, he mentions his dad, sister, and April, but not his mother. This either means that Casey's mom passed away or he (and possibly the rest of his family) and his mother are not on good terms.
    • Additionally, his mother may have taken his father's place in being killed by the Purple Dragons.
  • The Kraang have been around on Earth for a looong time. Experimenting. Just think about how many must have suffered at their hands over the years.
  • The Kraang tried to extract April's DNA with a giant and incredibly painful looking needle. We don't see it used on her, but all those April clones around seem to imply it was already used on her (just not to the lethal extent they attempted later) and we just didn't see it.
  • When the Kraang grabbed April she was in her normal clothes, when we next see her she's in a completely different outfit. Think about that for a minute.
  • A Parasitica Wasp was among the captured Mutants in "Metalhead Rewired". This either implies that the Kraang remade it, or that the Wasp planted more eggs all over the city.
  • After "Metalhead Rewired", all those mutants are back to freely roaming the streets of New York City, with nothing keeping them under control anymore. Most of them were villains in their previous appearances. New York City might have been safer with the mutant prison in operation.
    • But then again, with the mind-control devices, the Kraang were free to do whatever they felt like doing with the mutants. It could very well have been a better idea to have them able to cause trouble on their own terms, rather than the Kraang's terms.
  • Notice who was oddly not in the Kraang's mutant prison and thus did not escape with all the others? Leatherhead.
  • Stockman's duck mutant may have been a nice cameo for the first cartoon's fans, but in-universe, what exactly did Shredder do with it? It's clear that Shredder's not above killing...
    • To be fair, Baxter refers to Ace Duck in the present tense, so it is possible that Shredder didn't kill him...yet.
  • When Tiger Claw tells of how he fought his way out of the worm and back to the '12 universe, it shows him fighting the '87 turtles. And it looked like he was winning.
  • In The Alien Agenda, the turtles enter April's school, and since schools have security cameras, what are the odds that at least one of the cameras has footage of the turtles?
  • After he mutated into a fly in The Lonely Mutation of Baxter Stockman, Baxter was still capable of human speech. Come The Legend of the Kuro Kabuto, however, and he is apparently only able to communicate by buzzing. Is Stockman's fly mutation causing him to degenerate into a mindless beast?
    • As of "Vengeance is Mine", he can talk again.

Fridge Logic

  • If Donatello really wanted to upgrade his staff, he could go with the simplest option: a METAL staff, which at the very least wouldn't get broken all the time, and would be very effective against armored opponents like the Kraang.
    • A metal staff would be significantly heavier and would also be balanced differently (Donnie's staff is not one consistent thickness, thinner in the middle and wider at the ends).
      • But in the pilot Donnie states he's familiar with metallurgy and so he could most likely be able to make a staff balanced like his wooden one.
    • The strangest thing about that episode was that it ignored the fact that Donny's staff already had a hidden blade in it.
      • Yeah, but the staff itself is still wooden and can be broken, which would just leave Donnie with what you'd roughly call a dagger in combat if that were to happen.
      • Or upgrade it with blades at both ends!
  • In "Cockroach Terminator", it's revealed that Raphael has a major fear of cockroaches, and from the reactions of his brothers they just now found out about it. The thing is, they live in the sewers, a veritable cockroach heaven. So how did they not know about Raph's fear for the last 15 years, and how did Raph not have a mental breakdown from being surrounded by cockroaches?
    • It might be very well how he developed that fear. pljus he reacted in a way some poeple would react to a small size roach. it only when it was man-size did his fear grip him tightly.
  • So, a mutant wasp accidentally gets it's stinger caught in a wall and the floor, but the stinger gets yanked out when he stings a turtle?
    • Well, it is a parasitic wasp, that seems to have evolved to infect others with the virus that caused all the trouble. Maybe it released its stinger on purpose in order to infect him

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