Recap / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 S 1 E 1 Things Change

When mysterious robots attack the Turtles' lair in the sewer, they lose contact with their master, Splinter, and decide to go topside to meet up with him. However, the quartet run afoul of a group of street thugs known as the Purple Dragons and a swarm of ninjas.

First appearance of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, Splinter, The Shredder/Oroku Saki, the Purple Dragons, and the Foot Clan

This episode provides examples of:

  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Leo is the only one to pass Splinter's candle exercise.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • The Turtles show off their personalities and methods of fighting by the first quarter of the episode.
    • The Shredder's very first on-screen action in the series is to personally murder a Purple Dragon who failed him.
  • I Can't Hear You: Mikey taunts Raph this way while he's locked inside a truck.
  • Involuntary Group Split: The Lair caves in on the Turtles, separating them from Master Splinter.
  • Mythology Gag: Leonardo's narration in the cold open describing him and his brothers impending fight with a gang, the description of their location, and clarifying they're not wearing costumes, is the exact same monologue used to start the original Mirage comic books.
  • Narrator: Leonardo appropriately provides the first of the series.
  • Recurring Extra: The Turtles drop the stolen money off with two cops that resemble creators Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman. The cops will recur throughout the series.
  • Scream Discretion Shot: When the Purple Dragon member reports to his master about his failure at the episode's end. Said master is Oroku Saki, AKA the Shredder.
  • Seen It All: After the Turtles drop off the money, the younger cop freaks over what they just saw. The elder cop just rolls his eyes and says, "Rookie."
  • Walk This Way: Splinter says this to the Turtles. Mike begins to imitate his walk before Don whacks him.
  • You Have Failed Me:
    Purple Dragon: I promise, sir, I won't fail you again.
    Saki: I know. You won't fail me again. Ever!