Headscratchers: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987)

  • Why isn't April more successful? She get's all the good stories. How did Michelangelo get to talk so different than the other turtles, since they don't talk with anyone else? Also, shouldn't Splinter be a rat-sized human?
    • April isn't respected by her employer (the boss calls her his "third-best reporter" in the pilot)
  • Why does April keep having trouble getting a date? She's attractive and she's on TV.
  • Nostalgia Critic made a good point. Why a rat? From what I've gathered from the show, the turtles were the last thing he touched and it's not like he made any contact with rodents
    • I believe the sequence of events is something like: 1) Touches rats offscreen, 2) Notices ooze and 3) steps on it in order to get to the turtles, activating the mutation.
    • Other possibilities are the "most recently" was a goof and it was supposed to be "most often" or Yoshi had been around rats long enough that he had some shed fur on himself or his clothes.
  • In the episode "The Missing Map", we learn that Splinter apparently has documented evidence of Shredder's treachery within the Foot Clan. It's implied that if these documents were released, Shredder would be exiled and Splinter would be reinstated, allowing him to reform the ninja clan to its former glory. So... Why has he not done precisely that?? If Splinter is concerned no one would take a giant talking rat seriously, he could just as easily hand the documents off to April. Instead, these documents are hidden away and are never mentioned again...
    • It might be two-fold. He doesn't think they would follow a giant rat and the evidence needs to be presented by someone who is part of the clan. Given the back story across all the other Turtle stories my guess is he came across proof of what actually happened between him and Shredder all those years ago.
  • Exactly why did the Turtles not let Baxter Stockman change back to his human form at the end of his last episode, "Revenge of the Fly"? Baxter gets his hands on Shredder's Retromutagen Ray gun, but then the Turtles tackle him through the dimensional portal and they all land in the dimensional limbo. Shredder starts closing the portal, so the Turtles grab the ray gun and get out of there, apparently leaving poor Baxter trapped in his mutant form. I know they were in a hurry, but is there really a good reason why the Turtles didn't zap Baxter with the ray before leaving? If they had returned to Baxter to normal right there, the Turtles would have one less villain to have to deal with, since he'd no longer have reason to get revenge on them (that, and he'd still be trapped in the dimensional limbo considering the hurry they were in). Did the writers expect they were going to do at least one more episode with Baxter after "Revenge of the Fly"? I ask that because the fact that they destroyed his computer buddy in this episode kinda suggested they weren't intending for that.
    • Well, I heard that the Red Sky episodes were announced abruptly. You can tell by some other Season 7 episodes that they had different plans for some other minor characters. And plus, Baxter is HEAVILY implied to be unstable mentally and probably would still be evil even as a human again.
    • Or rot in jail or spend the rest of his life in the asylum he was seen in at the start of season 2.
  • Why would a disintegrator chamber merge Baxter with a fly? Shouldn't it have...I don't know...disintegrated them? And why bother with disintegration in the first place, why not just have a mook kill him?
    • That's not Krang's style.
    • The Fly, which had just come out only a year earlier, was big big bigbigBIG!
  • Who or what did that voice belong to when the show came back from commercials. You know: "we now return to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? It sounded like a grizzled creature of some sort, but nobody specific. The closest thing I can think of would be Krang, but it didn't have that certain Miss Piggy-esque sound to it.
    • Maybe a character that got written out pre-production?
  • Kind of a more real-world one, but Mikey had to give up nunchucks for a grappling hook because they were deemed 'too violent' by parents. Question: How are a couple of sticks held together by chains MORE violent than freackin KATANAS?! How does that make sense?!
    • As stated elsewhere, probably because nunchucks can be easily made in the home.
  • The turtles and Shredder are ninjas, right? Why are they running around in plain view, in broad daylight? In some episodes, Shredder appears on tv, announcing his evil plans. The 2003 Shredder was more secretive. Only his alter ego, Saki, was well known.
    • Ninjas in fiction is often just short hand for martial artist. The Ninja Turtles are far from the only franchise of ninja who run around in broad day light, sometimes wearing bright orange uniforms.
  • What the hell does "heroes in a half shell" even mean? They all have full shells. If they had half shells, they'd probably die.
    • They only have shells covering their backs, rather than their fronts and backs, unlike real turtles.
  • So what did Krang do to get banished to earth in the first place?
    • If I recall correctly, the early episodes said he was waging war for control over Dimension X. mind you, who he's waring against is a whole other question...
  • Why does Shredder wear cloaks and disguises in public? The new yorkers don't know Shredder's true identity. The turtles and Splinter know, but it's not like they can walk into a police station and tell the cops. If the humans don't know, then why doesn't Shredder take his costume off and go up to the surface as Saki?
  • The whole Foot Clan thing is not made clear. Are there still human foot clan members in Japan? Did Shredder replace them all with robots? After watching "Missing Map", why does it matter to Shredder if he gets exiled? He has robots, an alien warlord, high tech weapons, and evil mutants at his disposal. He can go to Japan, crush them, and conquer it.
  • On a related note, what happened to Shredder's (human) ninja minions? The first episode shows evidence that that ninjas are stealing high-tech equipment, but the only people we see working for Shredder are robots and street punks. When Shredder came back without his Foot Soldiers, there were no ninjas to help him. And what was with the ninja district in New York? That wasn't really followed up on, but the implication seemed to be that so many Japanese-American ninjas were in Shredder's employ that the whole neighborhood had become ninja-oriented. This makes the disappearance/nonappearance of Shredder's ninjas even more puzzling.
    • Shredder's whole plan in the original miniseries was a garbled mess. What was he stealing that technology for? The Technodrome? Krang's body? We know his ultimate goal was conquering the world, but what were the intermediate steps? At this point the Technodrome was fully functional. Why wasn't he using this insanely powerful mobile war machine for anything other than drilling holes and staking out hideouts? What was he waiting for?
    • The miniseries also doesn't provide an explanation for why Shredder constantly wears a mask. In the comic it was to hide his disfigurement, but he looks fine in the cartoon. If it's to conceal his true identity, why? What would his enemies gain by knowing he's Oroku Saki?
  • Where did the Technodrome come from? If it was from Dimension X, how did it get to Earth? We know Krang was banished to Earth as punishment for war crimes, and the Technodrome was designed by one of his old associates who resurfaced in one of the later seasons. But who would let a deposed dictator take a massive weapon of conquest with him into exile? The other possibility is that it was built on Earth using blueprints Krang somehow brought over. That raises the questions of who built it, where the materials came from, and how the project was kept a secret. It looks like it was designed to be manned by a crew of hundreds. If Shredder and/or Krang got someone to build it on Earth, why wasn't it redesigned for a small crew?
  • Why did Krang need Shredder to make him a body? Shredder's not exactly an engineer. He seems to create it using materials and tools already in the Technodrome, so why didn't Krang just do it himself? He doesn't have hands, but we see him use his tentacles to operate equipment pretty often. The bubble walker doesn't do anything to augment his tentacles.