Western Animation: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012)

"We choose what holds us back and what moves us forward."
Donatello: Booyakasha!
Michelangelo: Sounds weird when he says it.
Raphael: It sounds weird when you say it!

The Turtles are back... Again! This time on Nickelodeon! And the official 32nd member of the Nicktoons!

It's the turtles' fifteenth birthday and they're itching to venture up to the surface and showcase their ninja skills. Master Splinter reluctantly agrees. At first, they love the surface with its weird lights and even stranger food (like pizza). However, things go awry when they witness a girl and her father being abducted by men in a van. They try to intervene, but don't fare well during the fight, with the van getting away, only to discover that the kidnappers are really robots with living brain creatures in their chest and were carrying the ooze that made them into mutants!

Eager to learn more of this strange connection, they regroup and begin to practice fighting as a team with Master Splinter appointing Leonardo as The Leader. After storming the enemy fortress, they learn that these creatures are called "The Kraang" and have sinister plans in store. They manage to rescue the girl, April, but the Kraang still have her father. They vow not to rest until they rescue him.

Unfortunately, the Turtles' attack has not gone unnoticed by the media, which alerts The Shredder to come to New York to take on Hamato Yoshi's students himself. What ensues is the escalating war between the Foot and Hamato Clan, a Myth Arc that turns out to have been in the works for far longer than most of the cast knows, as well as the unraveling mystery of the Kraang's agenda for Earth and humankind. Booyakasha!

It was renewed for a third season on February 26, 2013, before even finishing its first season, now renewed for a fifth season. Word of God is that the series' plan is for a five season long story, though the creators are currently not outright objecting to going on further (albeit it would require some significant reworking of the story at this stage).

Two video game adaptations were released in 2013 for the show, the abysmally reviewed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out Of The Shadows (with the Turtles' radically redesigned from their television likenesses), followed shortly by kiddie-friendly Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2013 (this one with the cartoon's aesthetics), which was slightly better received. A game for mobile devices has also been released, as well as a LEGO racing game on the LEGO website.

In a unique touch, each season of the show features the Turtles watching a cheesy cartoon that usually foreshadows events of an episode (which was outright lampshaded on one occasion). Check out the Space Heroes Page, Super Robo Mecha Force Five Page and the Crognard the Barbarian Page.

Tropes unique to this incarnation include:

  • Abnormal Ammo: The Shellraiser's weapons fire compressed balls of garbage and manhole covers.
    • The Party Wagon, however, uses stink bombs, and bullets made from soda and mints
  • Aborted Arc: The Mutagen Man arc appears to have been completely dropped, as shortly after his appearance in Season 2, the show doesn't ever bring up the character again, and the Retro Mutagen is focused on other characters instead.
  • Abusive Parents: Shredder is implied to be one; Karai is genuinely terrified when she makes him mad with a comment, and he explicitly threatens her with bodily harm if she doesn't follow his orders to kill Leonardo the next time she sees him.
  • Accidental Misnaming: The turtles can never remember how to correctly pronounce Baxter Stockman's name from one episode to the next. However, this could be deliberate due to his perpetual status as a D-List villain and a Butt Monkey.
  • Action Girl: April is slowly turning into one of these.
  • Adapted Out: Oroku Saki/Shredder takes the place of his brother Nagi from the original comics in being the third wheel to Yoshi and Tang Shen.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Of the original comic and both previous cartoon shows.
  • Adaptational Badass: Numerous characters are far more capable in combat than their past incarnations.
    • Traag and Granitor are 20 ft rock monsters who can spit lava and blue fire and can reassemble themselves after an explosion with no visible damage.
    • The Shredder remains well out of the Turtles league all the way through season three, when by then, past incarnations usually relied on technology (2003) or were reduced to non-threats (1987).
    • Xever Montes becomes the 2012 incarnation of Mr. X from the 1987 cartoon, called Fishface, and is certainly more capable than X, largely thanks to being a member of the main cast.
    • The Triceratons are the largest threats faced on the show to date. Zog by himself is a force to be reckoned with, and he's a low-level scout.
  • Adaptational Villainy: The Kraang's counterparts in the 2003 series, the Utroms, were a benevolent, peaceful race who eventually established friendly relations with Earth. Here, the Kraang are warmongering terraformers who seek to subjugate and eventually wipe out humanity. The Utroms later turn up as a splinter tribe of the Kraang, though.
    • Rahzar's last major role was as an infant… well, a stupid infant, who was just fighting the Turtles because of his "mama"'s orders. Here, he's the most loyal member of the Foot Clan willing to die for his master.
  • Adaptational Wimp: While not able to defeat the Turtles in combat, the Purple Dragon Gang is usually a city-wide menace. Here they are just three punks who harass and rob people in their neighborhood. Their only capable member, Hun, who debuts in season three, is only a minor villain as compared to his major role in the 2003 show.
  • Adorkable: Donatello gets this from the get-go, but Leonardo is also shown to be one. Seriously, when are we ever going to see a version of Leonardo who's into Sci-Fi television shows and tries to emulate them? Heck, even Raphael is shown reading a vintage comic book when he's mocking Leonardo's pastime. And let's not even get started on Mikey's general quirkiness. Really, all of the turtles in this version have elements of this.
  • Aesop Amnesia: The Turtles have a nasty tendency to forget the Aesop of "The Gauntlet"; that they should be less arrogant and a little more aware of their limits. Splinter or the situation usually slaps them in the face at these times. They cut it out almost entirely after "The Mutation Situation".
    • Leo will always allow his quasi-obsession with Karai to cloud his judgment during missions and it often has grave results.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Mikey gets this from Leo and Raph.
  • Agony of the Feet: In "Metalhead", Mikey attempts to stop Metalhead by doing a good old-fashioned Groin Attack. Cue Mikey briefly hopping around on one foot, before getting punched by Metalhead. Earlier in the episode, Metalhead stomps on Leo's toes; cue Leo screaming in pain before getting punted across the room.
  • Airplane Arms: The Turtles consistently run like this.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: Like Northhampton in the comics, there's a lot of weird stuff going on around the O'Neil family farm.
  • All-CGI Cartoon: Though there are flashbacks done in a slick graphic 2D style reminiscent of sequences from Kung Fu Panda. It's also notable that the show often combines 3D animated models with 2D animated effects to give things a fresh, unique look. It's especially notable in the Turtle's eyes which often shift to a traditionally animated appearance to invoke a ton of anime conventions.
  • All There in the Script:
    • Production materials call the Spy-Roach in "Cockroach Terminator" Chong.
    • In "Enemy of My Enemy", The Shredder meets up with a Russian arms dealer whom The Shredder considers an ally. The credits reveal that his name is "Steranko".
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese dub uses GReeeeN's "Shinobi" as the opening theme and Ulful's "Booyakasha!" as the ending theme.
  • Always Night: Leo even explains in "Metalhead" that the turtles don't go topside during the day.
    • "I, Monster" and "Enemy of My Enemy" show the Turtles out during a cloudy day, with Mikey even lampshading the fact that they haven't gone out in the morning.
    • A large chunk of the Kraang invasion in the second season takes place during the day, as does the Kraang/Triceraton invasion in season three.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: One of the Foot's main goals is to find the Turtles' lair and destroy it. The Kraang succeed in the second season finale and launch their invasion from it, forcing the survivors of the Hamato Clan to flee the city.
  • Animesque: Has every bit of this equal to Teen Titans when it started out. Naturally, considering it's directed by Ciro Nieli
  • Animorphism/LEGO Genetics: The way the ooze works has been reverted to its 87 counter part as well. Unlike the 03 series where it strictly turned animals into anthropomorphs, here it splices genes of between two species that were last directly exposed to each other. Excluding other mutants.
    • The Turtles last touched Hamato Yoshi, and Hamato had a split second contact with a rat. Snake lands near some weeds that look like his new form Snakeweed, Vic gets bitten in the finger by a spider that crawls onto his phone and looks like his new form Spider Bytez, Bradford gets bitten in the hand by Shredder's pet dog that looks like his new form Dogpound, Montes buys a fish that looks like his new form Fishface, Stockman gets stung in the nose by a fly that looks like his new form Stockman-Fly.
      • Pulveriser/Mutagen Man is the only exception. His form resembles nothing, though why this happened is up to speculation. The most frequent suggestion is that, since he hadn't touched anything organic besides mutants, the mutagen had nothing to work with and just made him a blob. Or it fused him with the microbes on his skin.
    • It also seems to work with food...somehow. Pizza Face is a massive sentient pizza created when a pizza chef ingested a small amount of mutagen to see if it would taste great on his pizzas. Then there's Ice Cream Kitty, a bizarrely adorable cat/ice cream hybrid that Mikey accidentally created, after a normal cat licked up some mutagen that Mikey had spilled some ice cream into.
    • Apparently, it can grant sentience to non-sentient beings, if The Creep, who is a mutant plant monster, and Speed Demon, who is a mutant car, are anything to go by.
  • Anyone Can Die: Or in this case, anyone can get mutated, especially in Season 2, including Raphael's pet turtle Spike, Kirby O'Neil, Karai, and MOST OF NEW YORK..
    • There is one exception: April is half-Kraang, and thus immune..
    • Oh, and why this is serious? Most mutants lose their minds completely.
      • The death part of this trope is played very straight in the Season 3 finale, where EVERYONE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD dies thanks to the Triceratons and Shredder. Only the Turtles, Casey, and April remain.
  • Arch-Enemy: The Kraang primarily, though The Shredder does consider himself to be the entire Hamato Clan's personal nemesis.
    • The Shredder more due to the personal issues he has with Splinter and his sons. His hatred for Hamato grows with each season until it reaches its' logical endgame in the third season finale: Splinter dies the moment he turns his back to Shredder.
    • Traag seems to be this to Leatherhead.
    • Slash to the Turtles, although he bonds with Raphael after their last encounter.
  • Armies Are Useless: A noteworthy aversion; when the Kraang start invading Earth in the season 2 finale, the Earth Protection force arrives and put a fairly good fight against Kraang Prime. They even save Casey and Raphael at one point.
  • Arrow Catch: Splinter does this in "Turtle Temper".
  • Art Evolution: The show still looked pretty good early on in the show, but late season one episodes are far more stylistic, introduce varied and interesting locales, improved cinematography, and the fight scenes become a fair bit more fluid, which all continue in Season 2. Previews from Season 3 show that the animation is becoming amazing by CGI standards, with the animation (including fighting sequences) becoming much smoother.
  • Art Shift:
    • Flashbacks are done in a monochrome, green-tint, with 2D animation resembling a comic book panel.
    • Leo's favorite show, Space Heroes, is done in the style of old Filmation cartoons, particularly Star Trek: The Animated Series.
    • Every episode ends with the final frame shifting to a black and white comic panel.
    • In terms of the 3D itself, the rendering in both "A Foot Too Big" and "The Croaking" is a little more saturated than the other episodes.
  • Artistic License – Biology: In all honesty, almost every character in the show has been hit with this at one point or another. It's a show about animals mutated by alien wart pus. Scientists need not apply.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Casey Jones gets his bike outfitted with a flamethrower in the front. There's an inherent problem with spewing flames from the front of a small vehicle with good pickup speed and no real protection for the rider.
  • Ass Kicking Pose: Oh, so often. Frequently combined with more heavily stylized animation, whiteout eyes and Bullet Time for major fights.
  • Author Appeal: Ciro Nieli mentions that a lot of the writing staff apparently have a Mutagen Man toy on their desk and want to utilize Mutagen Man in some shape or form as an important character. Needless to say, after "Pulverizer Returns" and "Mutagen Man Unleashed", they got their wish.
    • A lot of the series is clearly the production crew just having fun with various send-ups and celebrity guests; the Dream Beavers are as noted below, Expy's of Freddy Krueger (two of them even voiced by the man himself, Tigerclaw is an Expy of Boba Fett, Sir Malachi is voiced by Pee Wee Herman, etc.
    • Much of the aesthetic (along with the shows the Turtles watch) have a distinct, 50s-80s Retro look to it.
  • Bad Bad Acting: How Leo tricks Snake in Rise of the Turtles, Part 2. He loudly discusses a fake plan with Raph knowing that Snake will overhear and tell the Kraang.
    Leo: (acting) Oh, great! We let him get away!
    Raph: Whoa, whoa. You're the leader, so that means you let him get away.
    Leo: (whispering) You're not helping!
    Raph: I'm not trying to help.
    • April does this in "The Gauntlet," Donnie tells her it's ridiculous. And yet it works.
  • Bad Boss: The Shredder is not above threatening to mutilate his Co-Dragons and even his own daughter. Still, compared to the Shredder from the 2003 cartoon, he's a Benevolent Boss, since he hasn't actually killed off any of his flunkies even though they're failed him quite a few times already.
    • His lieutenant Tiger Claw is also one of these, happy to mutilate lower-ranking members of the Foot if they fail.
    • The closest he's come to killing off a henchman is Stockman after his mutation.
    • As of the end of season 3 all of his minions are expendable as long as Hamato is taken out.
  • Badass Adorable: Essentially all of the Turtles due to the art style, but especially Michelangelo.
    • April can also be this.
  • Badass Baritone: Leo borderlines on this with his new actor in Season 3.
  • Badass in Distress: Mikey in "New Friend, Old Enemy."
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Several times. In "Casey Jones vs the Underworld" Casey confronts Shredder and his posse at a chemical plant, intending to fight them all on his own. The turtles show up and fight, eventually causing an explosion and escaping, but since none of the equipment was actually damaged, they're free to continue their latest Evil Plan as soon as a few cleaning crews are called in.
  • The Bait: Both April and Mikey have found themselves in this role when the team needs to draw out less intelligent mutants.
  • Bait and Switch: The opening of "Panic in the Sewers" initially looks like it's Leonardo's nightmare. It's Splinter's.
  • Balls of Steel: Metalhead doesn't respond at all to getting kicked in the groin by Mikey. Justified, since he's a robot and thus not anatomically correct.
  • Bamboo Technology: Donnie makes smoke bombs out of egg shells.
    • Which may have been how they were historically made. 17th-century writings from Japan describe "nageteppo" as eggshell handgrenades which may either explode or spill out large smoke clouds.
  • Battle of the Still Frames: A number of times.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Female mutants tend to get off easy compared to the male mutants. April is part-Kraang, but looks completely human. Karai's snake creature form is still pretty cute and she can change back to human form at will, though still retaining the eyes, tongue and teeth. And, as Season 3 reveals, the SCALES.
    • Justified, as there are only two female mutants, both of which are pretty central to the plot.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Pulverizer wanted to be a mutant so badly, and he got it in the form of Mutagen Man.
  • Bee Afraid: How the Turtles manage to beat the powered-up Baxter Stockman.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Or crazy anyway. Leatherhead's got a few screws loose in his first appearance.
  • Berserk Button: The Kraang for Leatherhead, very literally so; the mere mention of their name causes him to go for an Unstoppable Rage:
    • The post-mutation Anton Zeck hates being called "Bebop."
  • BFG: "Kraang, the present is being a positive time to be the testing of the energy cannon."
  • Big Brother Instinct: The turtles to each other, although Leo does this most often, being the leader. Raph has his moments as well, especially towards Mikey.
  • Big Bad: The Shredder.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Currently Shredder has to share the spotlight with The Kraang, who are much more The Heavy at this point in the series.
    • The Kraang receive much more focus in the first season and are much more dangerous than the Shredder, Foot Clan or any other villain. Not to mention that they are directly or indirectly responsible for almost everything that happens in the series, making them primary antagonists of the first season, perhaps the entire series, while the Shredder is secondary Big Bad.
    • The Rat King's threat level, recurring appearances, and global ambitions warrant him a mention as well.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Turtles face quite a few of them, like the cockroach in "Cockroach Terminator" and the wasp in "Parasitica".
  • The Big Guy: Raphael wins the first sparring match featuring the turtles, enjoys his work a little too much, and is considered the team's heavy hitter. Hilariously, he's also close to being The Napoleon, since only Mikey is as short as him, and his stocky build makes him look shorter.
  • Biker Babe: Karai pre-mutation. She has the looks of a ninja and a crew of Foot to boot.
  • Bittersweet Ending: While The Kraang were defeated in "Enemy of My Enemy", this victory is negated by the fact that the Turtles now have a Karai who likely isn't going to be willing to even be playful toward them anymore, fully hating them for betraying her. The Shredder also has one of the Kraang after their UFO crashed into the water, thereby having even more access to the technology.
    • The end of Season 1 has the Turtles defeat the Kraang, but Splinter learns that his daughter, Miwa, was raised as Karai by The Shredder, and was misinformed about the whole ordeal. The Kraang are also down, but not out, as the Technodrome reactivates in the ocean, to begin their plans anew.
  • Blade on a Stick: Donnie's bo staff possesses a retractable naginata blade.
  • Blindfolded Vision: Splinter does this at the beginning of "Of Rats and Men" when he easily defeats Leo while blindfolded for training.
  • Body Horror: This series likes to go above and beyond whenever this happens (with added, multiple doses of Nightmare Fuel for good measure), which somehow fits with the channel it airs on. Notable examples include:
    • Snake's mutation into Snakeweed design includes a pumping heart outside of his chest, and visible meat and bones in his legs.
    • Xever Montes's transformation into Fishface leaves him unable to breathe and desperately begging Shredder for help.
    • Baxter Stockman's AI-enhanced power suit, specifically when Mikey has thrown a chain around Baxter and the torso on Stockman's suit starts spinning, sending Mikey flying. Either his body is curled up in the torso of the suit, or Stockman should have twisted his body several times causing irreparable internal, external, and skeletal damage.
    • Pulverizer's transformation into Mutagen Man. His organs are very visible inside of the goo and his eyes and lips are connected through stalks.
    • Then there's the Spy-Roach. The exposure to mutagen caused the spy equipment Donnie attached to him (including a camera) to fuse with it, and its saw and Super Vision clearly have visible veins. And then it molts, with its new form looking like a giant maggot with arms, legs, and robotic wings. Raphael is right to be terrified.
    • Steranko's brass knuckles are melded into his flesh, and Zeck's tech suit is also melded into his body.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: As always Raphael, sometimes can cross into Blood Knight / The Sociopath territory in episodes such as "Never Say Xever".
  • Bond Breaker: The Turtles were indirectly responsible for April's dad being mutated and she angrily leaves the group after Mikey tells her.
  • Breather Episode: Several. Notably, the first chunk of season three basically ignores the conquering of New York and soon the world by the Kraang and the Foot in favor of mostly light-hearted Monster of the Week adventures with a subplot regarding Leo healing from the second season finale (which still takes a backseat to the various mutant adventures).
  • Bunny Ears Picture Prank: Michelangelo does this to Raphael in the opening.
  • Butt Monkey:
    • Donatello gets generally little respect from his brothers (mostly Raphael), has a particular penchant for embarrassing himself, and twice now, his Bo Staff has broken.
      • "It Came from the Depths" takes this to truly ridiculous levels, wherein Don gets thrown around like a ragdoll, shoved into the water multiple times, shocked by high-voltage technology, and then volunteered to face Leatherhead (the one who threw him around in the first place). This is all Played for Laughs, despite the fact that he is clearly terrified by the last part.
    • Baxter Stockman, who was insulted by his coworkers, accidentally broke their photo-copier, which resulted in him getting fired, and equally gets little respect from the Turtles.
    • Mikey would also count; he's easily kicked around by his brothers, especially Raphael. And Metalhead seems to be magnetically attracted to HIS head!
    "And what do we know about Bad Guys? They love chasing Mikey!"
    • An Asian man has so far been tricked by April twice, and mugged by the Purple Dragons.
  • Canon Character All Along: Done routinely. Most of the major mutants have had their origin stories totally revamped. Seemingly original humans will get slimed by mutagen, and the turtles will give them a nickname that matches an established mutant from another continuity. Shredder's new apprentice Chris Bradford got mutated twice before he became Rahzar from the films, arms dealer Steranko and master thief Zeck get mutated into a Rhino and Warthog and take on the names Bebop and Rocksteady from the 87 show etc.
  • Canon Foreigner: Subverted with Chris Bradford/Dogpound/Rahzar, Timothy/Pulverizer/Mutagen Man, and Ivan Steranko/Rocksteady, Mutagen Man, and Rocksteady respectively. Some notable Canon Foreigner's are Xever Montes/Fishface, Vic/Spider Bytez, Snake/Snakeweed, and the Newtralizer.
    • Subverted with Hamato Miwa, who is revealed in the first season finale to be Karai. Then Irma is revealed to be a Canon Foreigner as she is in reality Kraang Sub-Prime.
  • Canon Immigrant: The Earth Protection Force make their debut in the second season finale fighting the Kraang invasion. From the same series, Hun is set to debut in the third season. The Mighty Mutanimals return to the franchise in "Battle for New York". Agent Bishop makes his debut in the third season finale.
  • Cassandra Truth: Happens with Mikey when he tells his brothers about robots with brains in their chests. When they see it with their own eyes, Mikey is quick to go on an "I told you so" rant.
    • Which also acts as a Shout-Out to the first cartoon as none of the turtles believed Mikey's rant about seeing a giant brain even back then.
    • Both Leonardo and Splinter reveal the truth of Karai's parentage (Splinter is her true father), which she refuses to believe. It's not until the end of The Manhattan Project that she begins to wonder if they are telling the truth, when she eavesdrops on the Turtles and Splinter discussing her.
      Mikey: (whines) You're not listening to mee!!
  • Catch a Falling Star: How Donnie saves April when she falls out of the helicopter.
    • Also how Leo saves Karai in "Enemy of My Enemy".
  • Catch Phrase: "Booyakasha!" which seems to be the new 'Cowabunga' and pretty much a Mikey thing.
    Donatello: Booyakasha!
    Michelangelo: Sounds weird when he says it.
    Raphael: It sounds weird when you say it!
    • Casey Jones's "Goongala" makes a return in this show as well.
  • Centipede's Dilemma: Mikey freaks out when he tries to fight without thinking — being The Ditz, he normally does this anyway — and winds up "thinking about not thinking".
  • Central Theme: Several.
    • First off, there's the recurring theme across the franchise about how family is the most important thing.
    • Then there's they key theme of the war between Splinter and Shredder - letting insults go and being willing to work things out peacefully. Shredder refused and ultimately embarked on a destructive path that destroyed everything he and Splinter loved. This also comes up early in season two when Casey (unknowingly) encourages April to make amends with the Turtles after they accidentally got Kirby mutated.
    • Leo has to learn to be able to make hard decisions as a leader for the sake of his brothers.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: "The Gauntlet" has officially pushed the series into this direction.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Pretty much inevitable in this franchise. Pretty much everyone can easily scale buildings and leap across entire streets, sometimes while keeping up with speeding vehicles.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The giant vat of mutagen Stockman put in his lab keeps coming up, and people just keep falling in it. So far, three separate characters have fallen in, each in a different episode: Dogpound, turning him into Rahzar; April, who is immune so nothing happened; and Karai, who became a shape-shifting snake after Baxter had dumped some chemicals and snake DNA into it (the intention was for the turtles to mutate instead.) Given that the vat appears to have been blown up, it may not come back for a fourth round, though.
    • Good news! His new headquarters has a giant sphere of mutagen, that works by throwing them in the top, and letting them out, along with the excess mutagen, into a large sewer grate.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Pulverizer becomes The Mutagen Man. Likewise, Chris Bradford, Spike, Victor Falco, Anton Zeck, and Ivan Steranko become Rahzar, Slash, the Rat King, Bebop and Rocksteady respectively.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Mikey, as with previous versions.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Episodes usually end with an illustrated, comic-esque still of the final scene in the episode. The characters shown on the screen, depending on their alignment, are shown in red if they're aligned with the Hamato Clan, blue if they're aligned with the Kraang or Foot Clan, and green if they're otherwise neutral.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: The monkey in "Monkey Brains" and later Dr. Falco.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Master Splinter. And his students are well on their way to becoming this as well.
    • Specifically invoked when Splinter told Leo that, since you can lose a fair fight, you should avoid fighting fair. Considering that many prior versions of the turtles, particularly Leo, have upheld Honor Before Reason, it stands out.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Raphael. Lampshaded in "Rise of the Turtles, Part 2", where, while pursued by Kraangs, he ripped off one of their robot armors' arm and uses said arm to block the door, much to his teammates' shock. Bonus points for making a pun right before it occurs.
    Raphael: That oughta hold 'em. (off his brothers' looks) What?
    Leonardo: You are seriously twisted.
    Raphael: Thanks!
  • The Comically Serious: Master Splinter. Shredder has his moments, and Steranko/Rocksteady reeks of it.
  • Comically Missing the Point
    Michelangelo: Donny, we need help! Raph's been bitten by a giant poisonous robotic fish!
    Donatello: That's not possible. If he's bitten it's venom, not poison.
  • Comm Links: The Tphones.
  • Common Eye Colors:
    • Leo, Mikey and April all have Innocent Blue Eyes signifying their purity and youth (respectively).
    • Raph has Green Eyes to go with his hot-headed impulsiveness.
    • Donnie has Brown Eyes because of his intelligence and humility (and manages to pull off Puppy-Dog Eyes).
  • Companion Cube: Mikey affectionately hugs the ooze canister while sighing "Mom!"
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Vic in "Turtle Temper." He refuses to let the Turtles save him from the Kraang unless he gets his phone back.
  • Composite Character:
    • Splinter is a mutated Hamato Yoshi, just like in the first show and the Archie Comics series loosely based on the first show, and is also the one who bought the baby Turtles, taking Chet's role in every other continuity.
    • The Kraang share the name of an antagonist from the 1987 series, as well as a few traits of the Utroms from the original comics and 2003 series, who were the inspiration for Krang in the first place. The Utroms were later shown to be a different sect of the same species.
    • Chris Bradford takes a lot of cues from Hun from the 2003 series, in that he starts out as the Shredder's Dragon and his most powerful soldier, only to lose too many times and lose his master's respect. In season two, however, he becomes the 2012 incarnation of Rahzar.
    • Baxter Stockman, while black like in the original comics and 2003 show, appears to take visual cues from the 1987 version of the character in physique, hairstyle, and general attire. He was also confirmed to become a flyman in Season 2 at a convention.
    • Captain Ryan, protagonist of the Show Within a Show, Space Heroes, is an Expy of Captain Kirk and Bright Noa.
    • April O'Neil shares some traits with Venus de Milo from Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation. Much like Venus, This show's incarnation of April is a teenager, uses the tessen fan as her weapon, is treated as the fifth member of use team, has a ponytail, and has latent psychic powers. It serves as a great compromise for fans who actually liked Venus and fans who saw her as a Replacement Scrappy for April O'Neil.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: The first few Kraang that the Turtles fought proved to be a hard match with superior strength and resourcefulness, however after the Turtles train to fight as a team, they can take down any number of Kraang. Averted with the Purple Dragons, despite having fewer members and more characterization than the Foot ninjas, they're just gangsters and not trained assassins, and they go down even easier than the Faceless Mooks, so far only having success against Murakami (and even he fought back), and Stockman.
    • When the Kraang employ a Zerg Rush in their invasions, they're far more successful.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Kraang run the Mega Corp. TCRI as a front for their activities on Earth.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Donnie's chart about how to hang with April.
    • Stockman's prepared with a lot of Mousers when Leo and Raph crash in on him. This is presumably because he planned a major crime wave.
    • The T-Phones made by Don has a self-destruct mechanism in case they get captured by the enemy or are in a situation where they cannot be taken back.
  • Create Your Own Villain: The Turtles have a bad habit to do this very frequently in this adaptation:
    • Snake was splashed with mutagen sent flying out of the van they use as distraction whilst they break into the Kraangs' lair, transforming him into Snakeweed.
      Snakeweed: You did this to me! I'll crush you turtles!
      Donatello: Uh, would it help if we said it was an accident? (Snakeweed roars at them) I... I'll take that as a "no"!
    • The Kraangs weren't concerned with the Turtles until they almost destroyed one of their installations while trying to save April from them.
    • The Shredder would have probably stayed in Japan had the Turtles not left shuriken with Hamato Yoshi's mark on it behind them, leading Saki to believe his rival was training new ninja in New York.
    • Baxter Stockman was a fairly Harmless Villain before Mikey accidentally allowed him to acquire their T-Pod. They eventually took it from him, but he kept a grudge against them after this because of it.
    • Spider Bytez invokes this trope, though it's arguable in his case: the Turtles were trying to save him, and would have succeeded if he had not kept acting like a combination of Jerkass and Too Dumb to Live. His mutation was pretty much more his fault than theirs.
      • Bradford does the same when he breaks the mutagen bomb and douses himself AND Montes with the goo. The Turtles didn't do anything technically (he and Montes attacked first) and were trying to disarm the mutagen bomb.
      • Similarly, Pulveriser purposely exposed himself to mutagen to become a mutant. Unfortunately, his mutation made him feral and insane.
  • Creator Cameo: The Pizza Delivery Kid is voiced by none other than Executive Producer Ciro Nieli.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Turtles' first encounter with the Shredder. They were lucky to escape alive.
    • Leatherhead frequently curb-stomps entire squads of Kraang droids, and all four turtles at once, single-handedly. Then he tries to take on Splinter...
    • In "Showdown", we get Splinter vs the entire Foot Clan. Special mention goes to him taking on Dog Pound and Fishface at once and kicking their tails without getting hit once.
    • In "Karai's Vendetta", we have a Designated Girl Fight between April and Karai. April has only had a few months of training and has never been in a serious fight, whereas Karai has been in training her whole life and has been in more than her fair share of fights; it's really not that surprising that Karai ends up beating April senseless.
    • Any time the Turtles go up against Tiger Claw. Even with Karai helping them once.
    • Shredder delivers one to a rampaging Leatherhead in the second season finale.
  • Damsel in Distress: April in Rise of the Turtles, Part 1, complete with Bound and Gagged. Has a short moment of this as well in Panic in the Sewers.
  • Darker and Edgier: Darker than the 1987 series and slowly edging to be on par with the 2003 series.
    • The Turtles in this series are more prone to sometimes morally questionable actions, such as betraying Karai despite a greater threat being on the loose or much of the team agreeing to let Pulverizer spy on the Foot despite the threat.
    • Mutagen Man, in the first show, fell apart in a comical fashion, and worked to get his body back, but didn't really devolve into a bad guy in his solo appearance. This show's Mutagen Man is a teenager who decided to try and follow an example of his heroes and ended up transforming painfully into an amorphous, feral blob who seems to have no recollection of his humanity or his heroes.
    • Season 2 appears to be heading in this direction, as it has Kirby O' Neil mutating into Wingnut, and April hating the Turtles as a result, and the fourth episode episode features Mutagen Man, who actively tells a pinned down Raphael to die, and was planning on using his acid to melt off Raphael's face.
    • The turtles are prone to lose a lot more in this one mainly due to the fact they're facing a lot of enemies out of their league. Granted they get the small victory, but it's very fleeting and more often then not just a small setback for the villains at best.
  • Dating Catwoman: There's definitely a mutual spark going on between Karai and Leo, one they both acknowledge.
  • Dark Action Girl: Karai, adoptive daughter of the Shredder. She's just as good or better than the turtles at combat.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Raph as always, but this version takes it Up to Eleven though having him snark over Leo or Donnie when he really should be listening to them.
    • Splinter has his moments as well.
    • Leo is surprisingly good at this, as well:
      Raphael: "We're giving up? Again?"
      Leo: "Yes! It's part of my hilarious 'Let's All Live' plan!"
      Leo (after Metalhead makes a ruckus trying to be stealthy): "Should we go back? I think there's a car alarm it hasn't set off!"
    • Donatello does this quite a bit too.
      Splinter: "Again. Only this time, Leonardo, Donatello, and Michaelangelo...insult Raphael."
      Donatello: "Wait. Insult...him?"
      Splinter: "Yes."
      Donatello: "And he can't fight back?"
      Splinter: "No."
      Donatello: "Haha...I'm feeling good about this plan."
    • Karai also has her moments. This exchange from "Enemy of my Enemy" stands out:
      Raphael: "You brought her ''inside''?! Dude, she'll see all our gear!"
      Karai: (looks around the Shellraiser for a second} "Yeah, 'cause if Shredder finds out you have an ice cream lamp, it is over.
  • Death by Irony: Metalhead, in his debut episode. Not only is he taken down by his own creator, he's taken down with a bo staff, the very weapon that Donnie's dissatisfaction with led to Metalhead's creation in the first place.
  • Demon Head: This is one Japanese visual gag that shows up now and then.
  • Demoted to Dragon: Bradford starts out as The Dragon to the Shredder, but following too many failures, he's replaced with Karai, and later Tiger Claw. He seems comfortable enough with the loss of rank, though, and enjoys a Villainous Friendship with Tiger Claw. He also retains a high position in the Foot Clan's hierarchy, even if he isn't Co-Dragons with Tiger Claw.
  • Demoted to Extra: Montes becomes a much less important character in season two, as does Bradford to a slightly lesser extent.
  • Denser and Wackier: Season 2 has a bigger share of humor and outlandish mutants (such as Pizza Face, the Squirrelanoids, and Sir Malachi) in generally non-plot related episodes, and even some plot-related episodes have jarringly comic moments or premises.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The Kraang sound almost like robotic versions of Mojo Jojo.
    "This place is a place that you are not allowed to be in this place."
  • Designated Girl Fight: April's first battle with the Foot is against Karai, though feels pity after learning that Karai is Splinter's daughter, Miwa. It's more of a Curb Stomp than a Cat Fight however. Earlier her first encounter with the Krang was against Mrs. Campbell.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: Perhaps even further than before, as the Turtles have their own unique body types that make them recognizable via silhouette or at least without the masks.
    • Leonardo is now average height compared to the rest of his brothers, as well as having a balanced physique.
    • Donatello is now taller and slimmer than the rest of his brothers, and he has a gap-toothed overbite.
    • Raphael is now shorter (but not to extent of Mikey) and excessively musculed, and a part of his plastron is chipped off to resemble a lightning bolt.
    • Michelangelo is now the shortest of the turtles, and he also has Youthful Freckles.
    • Bebop and Rocksteady have been redesigned from their previous incarnations, with Bebop being skinnier and having a techno theme to his outfit, whilst Rocksteady keeps most aspects of his previous design, but with gold knuckles and shoulder plates.
  • Dope Slap: A favorite of Raph's. All of the turtles actually dish this out to each other frequently, though Mikey is the most constant recipient.
  • Downer Ending:
    • The Gauntlet has Shredder giving a terrifying No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on the turtles.
    • The Mutation Situation ends with Kirby mutating into a bat and when April finds out that the turtles were indirectly responsible for this, she leaves the turtles in spite and vows to never see them again and there are mutagen canisters all over New York.
    • "Vengeance Is Mine" Ends with one, just as we thought she would finally be reunited with her real father, she decides to go after Shredder in revenge for killing her mother and lying to her for her whole life. She gets captured and thanks to Shredder's lust for vengeance, ends up getting mutated into a snake creature.
    • Most Recently "The Invasion" has Leo critically injured by the Shredder, Splinter is missing, The Kraang have taken over New York, Kirby is a mutant again and the Turtles have been forced out of their home.
    • In-universe we have the finale of "Krognard the Barbarian", in which Krognard challenges a multi-headed dragon and is grabbed by one of the heads, violently chewed up offscreen (though the noise is clearly heard) while his allies watch in horror, his crown hits the ground, and the dragon flies away as the words The End appear on screen. Mikey, Leo, and Donnie can only stare in shock and Mikey states it to be "anti-climate".
    • Latest entry, and probably the darkest, is the Season 3 finale, as the Turtles lose Splinter as he's fatally stabbed from behind by Shredder, thus allowing the Triceratons' Heart of Darkness black hole generator to activate, destroying the entire Earth while the Turtles, Casey, and April, barely escape the same fate due to a last minute rescue by Prof. Honeycutt.
  • Dressed to Kill: The Kraang in their human robots.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Donnie makes Leo the designated driver of the Shellraiser because, as he puts it, Leo is the least likely of the group to crash into something for fun. Raph and Mikey both acknowledge that this is true.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: For Mikey in "The Gauntlet". Nobody wants to be paired with him when the turtles split up.
    • Even worse in Parasitica, in which despite Mikey saving their butts and showing he's far more competent than he looks, the other brothers only gripe about doing chores and Leo goes after him for using his comic book as toilet paper. Though he was pushing it by constantly rubbing it in.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Donnie is quick to try and save April... and her dad, too.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Before Leatherhead's appearance in the series, he appears in "Dark Horizons", a flash game on the Nickelodeon website... As a villain and the final boss.
    • Steranko makes a brief apperance in "Enemy of My Enemy" before becoming a supporting character in the second half of season two.
  • Editorial Synaesthesia: The Turtles have "pain lines" appear from parts of their body that have been hit in battle. Used to give the show a "comic book" feel.
  • Eleventh Hour Ranger: Leatherhead becomes this for the Hamato Clan shortly before the second season finale.
  • The Empath: The mutant monkey in "Monkey Brains". Also, April and Splinter.
  • Enemy Mine: The Turtles are forced to team up with Dogpound and Fishface when Baxter Stockman traps them all into his Maze of Doom. Stockman even complains about the Turtles and Shredder's henchmen teaming up to take him out. After getting out, they were all prepared to settle unfinished business, but were simply too exhausted to fight each other.
    • Karai subverts this when she and the Turtles face the Kraang in the Worldwide Genome Project building, creating Justin and then ditching the Turtles to face the Kraang and the super-mutant. This ends up biting her in the ass when she later wants to sincerely work with the Turtles to stop the Kraang's scout ship and none of them trust her. It also bites the Turtles in their collective asses when Leo decides to let Raph and the others attempt to take down Shredder during their team up with Karai, which not only blows up in their faces, but leads Karai to develop full-blown hatred of them.
    • The Turtles ally with Spider Bytez, Snakeweed, the Newtralizer, and a large number of their Rogues Gallery when escaping a Kraang prison in Dimension X.
    • The Turtles ally with Slash to get to a portal leading to the imprisoned New York citizens.
    • Splinter and April convince Shredder to team up with them and stop the Tyrannodons from destroying Earth. They fail when Shredder backstabs Splinter, killing him and allowing the Black Hole Device to activate. Even his allies call him out on his actions.
      Tiger Claw:Shredder, what have you done?
      Shredder:I care not if the Earth gets destroyed. I WON!
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • The Turtles' main traits are shown in their sparring session in the first scene of the series (Mikey's free spirit, Leonardo's focus, Raphael's Jerk Ass behavior, and Donatello's awkwardness), and then Splinter shows that he's not above joking with his own sons.
    • Bradford and Montes's first scene showcases Bradford's ego and Bad Boss tendencies, Montes's sociopathic behavior, and their overall relationship.
    • Traag's first appearance show he is The Juggernaut of this series.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Tiger Claw is disgusted with some of the lengths his master will go to. Slash, meanwhile, genuinely wants to save humanity from the Kraang and refuses to kill innocents and ends up pulling a Heel-Face Turn when he's disturbed by the Newtralizer's murderous tendencies.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: Good or neutral mutants are fairly humanoid, while amoral characters exposed to the ooze become monstrosities. Best demonstrated by Montes: both he and Bradford mutated, but the pragmatic Bradford remained fairly humanoid as Dogpound, while the sociopathic Montes became a fish with arms as Fishface.
  • Evolving Credits: The opening of Season 2 has added most of the Turtles' Rogues Gallery from Season 1 to the "villains" part of the opening, featuring like Ms. Cambell, Kraang Prime, Snakeweed, Spider Bytes, Newtralizer, The Rat King, Montes, Bradford, Karai, and Shredder.
    • A lesser example has Metalhead and Pulverizer (in his mutagen form) in Donnie's portion of the intro, and Casey Jones leaning on the building as the turtles run up to the rooftop at the end.
      • Starting with "Wormquake/The Manhattan Project", the villains went through slight change to depict Kraang Prime, a Squirrelanoid, Slash, Mutagen Man, Rahzar, Fishface, Tiger Claw, Karai ahd Shredder. Also, the part near the ending that has Leo cutting two Kraand-droids and Donnie peeking out of a manhole is replaced with the turtles firing grappling hooks and using them as ziplines. However Spike is still shown with Raphael after the Slash episode.
    • Season 3 changes things up again to feature mostly the Foot Clan, with Baxter Stockman added, while most of the mutants nonaffiliated with the foot are removed... except for the Newtralizer.
    • Starting with Return to New York, the intro is changed a lot, with the Party Wagon replacing the Shellraiser, the turtles wearing their Vision Quest outfits, a scene with Splinter and April training together, and a car chase featuring the turtles, Bebop and Rocksteady, Leatherhead and Mondo Gecko.
  • Expressive Mask:
  • Expy: Chris Bradford is clearly meant to be an evil version of Chuck Norris.
    • He also brings to mind Robert Wall, better known as O'Hara from Enter the Dragon.
    • Tiger Claw for Boba Fett. A hired gun brought in by a helmet-wearing villain who uses a variety of high tech devices including a jet pack who ends up having someone cause said jetpack to malfunction, sending them hurtling into the maw of a massive subterranean beast.
    • The four Dream Beavers are expies of Freddy Krueger. They're long-clawed evil entities with control over the dream realm who absorb energy from their victims as they torture them. Also they're defeated by bringing them out of the dream realm into the waking one.
  • Extraordinarily Empowered Girl: April, as it turns out.
  • Eyes of Gold: Splinter's eyes are orange.
  • The Face: Leonardo.
  • Facepalm: Don. Unfortunately he was wearing spiked knuckles at the time. Ouch.
    • This is a pretty common reaction to just about anything Mikey says or does that is particularly silly or dumb.
  • Fake-Out Opening: Season 4. It begins with the panning shot of the first three seasons, only for a Triceraton to step on the manhole cover, cutting off the music, with Leonardo narrating about the conclusion of Season 3, followed by the REAL Season 4 opening sequence.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: The Kraang and Snake use powerful laser weapons on the Turtles.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: The Shredder's shockingly dark No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on the Turtles, including Raphael being thrown into an electric sign and Michelangelo being crushed and stuck under pieces of said sign.
    • Slash in "Slash And Destory", who severely wounds Donnie offscreen, smashes Mikey around, and has an absolutly brutal fight against Raph. Even when Leo joins the fray, he's quickly and painfully smacked off to one side.
  • Fanboy: Leo actually takes this role in the series from his favorite TV show Space Heroes, which he uses as a template in regards to becoming a true leader.
    • Pulveriser is a huge one of the turtles, what with the turtle costume and all.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: As per usual: Mutant monsters, aliens, and evil Chinese spirits have all shown up, with the former two being connected.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Apparently, Hamato Yoshi's father took Shredder in despite him being the son of a rival clan they'd just destroyed. He was raised alongside Yoshi, but when he found out his heritage and became angry over Tang Shen choosing Yoshi over him, The Shredder rebuilt the foot clan, and destroyed Yoshi's life.
  • Fat Bastard: Vic (the guy who insults Raph and gets the turtles on video) before his mutation into Spider Bytez.
  • Fighting Fingerprint: Michelangelo befriends a famous martial artist and learns one of his secret katas. When Splinter sees the move he immediately deduces that whoever taught Michelangelo must have been trained by the Foot Clan because it comes from his arch-rival Shredder's fighting style.
  • Five-Bad Band: The Shredder seems to have formed one by 'Casey Jones Vs The Underworld'.
    • Big Bad: The Shredder
    • Dark Chick: Hamato Miwa/Karai - The Shredder's daughter and most cunning agent. Espionage, reconnaissance, and flirts with The Hero through her feminine wiles. Also fits the loose cannon description, actively seeking out the uncanny and causing chaos otherwise she gets bored, but receives a change of heart when informed that Splinter is her real father.
    • Sixth Ranger Traitor: Tiger Claw - He is also second-in-command, but he could've betrayed the Shredder in his desire to kill Karai when he found out that she is Splinter's daughter or protests against Shredder's idea of allying with the Kraang.
    • The Dragon: Chris Bradford/Dogpound/Rahzar - Of the Genius Bruiser variant as Shredder's top disciple and most trusted enforcer even after mutating.
    • The Brute: Xever Montes/Fishface - Of the Lightning Bruiser variant as Shredder's street contact and ambassador of the South American gangs even after mutating.
    • Evil Genius: Baxter Stockman/Stockman-Fly - His brains are the only reason the Shredder hasn't mutilated him.
    • The Starscream: Ivan Steranko/Rocksteady - Of the Old Friend variant as Shredder's weapons-trafficker and ambassador of the Russian Mafia even after mutating.
  • Flanderization: This incarnation of Mikey is much more hyperactive, immature, and LOUDER than all previous incarnations. He also comes up with the dumbest nicknames.
    • Raphael gets some too, as he's never been so mean as to bully Mikey. Though recent episodes have given signs of him softening a little. He also constantly threatens and slaps Donatello whenever the latter starts on one of his science rambles. He even hits Leo, though at least Leo fights back.
    • Donnie's crush on April is very infamous for the series. While some fans are willing to support the pairing, others are getting tired of his stalkerish and obsessive behavior towards her.
    • Ivan Steranko's comedic, bumbling nature got more played up as he began taking a larger role in the series. Justified since his first two appearances were either a minor cameo or as the Greater Scope Villain of an episode, and now the audience has an opportunity to get to know him better.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the Nick.com prequel motion comics:
      • Raphael's chapter has him find graffiti reading "Jones was here" and "Casey Jones is everywhere!", complete with a Kilroy-esque image of the hockey-masked vigilante himself.
      • Michelangelo's chapter features him discovering the remains of one of Baxter Stockman's Mousers, but assumes it to be one of Donatello's inventions.
      • At the end, Splinter says he would like a Pizza, with Mikey asking what it was, and Splinter simply replying that it was a gem of the upper world.
    • Subtly done in "Rise of the Turtles, Part 2" as Splinter recounts to Leonardo his history with the Shredder, and how his life was taken away by the Foot Clan. Splinter makes the clear distinction that they killed his wife & but "took [his] baby daughter Miwa from [him]," hinting to the viewer that Splinter's daughter is still alive.
    • A Freeze-Frame Bonus one occurs in "Turtle Temper". When the Turtles are trying to get the video back from Vic, on the wall next to him is a poster of a man with a monster as his shadow, foreshadowing Vic's mutation into the monstrous Spider Bytez.
    • Yet another example happens in "Metalhead", where Leonardo watches an episode of Space Heroes where Captain Ryan has to Mercy Kill one of his crew after a brain-like alien takes over his body. This foreshadowed Metalhead being taken over by one of the Kraang and Donatello defeating Metalhead by damaging it.
    • Happens yet again in "The Gauntlet", where we see Shredder's top minions Chris Bradford and Xever Montes get bitten by a dog and touch a fish respectively, foreshadowing their mutations into Dogpound and Fishface. The show seems to have grown fond of this trope by now.
    • Yet another one, this time from "Mousers Attack!". The phone that the turtles have been busting their shells over has call display, which activates near the end of the episode. Clearly visible on the screen is the name Irma and the face of a bespectacled girl.
    • In "The Alien Agenda", after April sends her saliva to TCRI, Mrs. Campbell, a Kraang-Droid, goes after April. "TCRI" reveals that the Kraang run TCRI, and are in fact not after Kirby O' Neil, but April.
    • Occasionally, a comic book is shown with a monster on the cover. "Pulverizer Returns" has Michelangelo show this comic once again, showing the monster much more clearly: The monster on the cover is a reference to Mutagen Man, what with its Brain in a Jar head and body. The Pulverizer becomes Mutagen Man by the end of the episode.
    • In "New Girl In Town", Leonardo watches Space Heroes, and the episode deals with the protagonist dating one of the villains, and when she tries to betray him, the captain doesn't hesitate to betray her right back. Ultimately, Leonardo and his brothers have no qualms betraying Karai in "Enemy of My Enemy".
      • Basically any time you see the turtles watching cartoons, it's probably foreshadowing.
    • Donnie's chart is one big forshadowing of season one's episodes and maybe some of the second.
    • The ending of Mutation Situation shows a squirrel drinking mutagen.
    • In "Follow The Leader", paying attention to the final fight in the episode shows a billboard featuring "Stockman Industries".
    • In "Mikey Gets Shellacne", Dogpound puts a collar loaded with mutagen around Stockman's neck, saying he'll release the mutagen if Baxter acts out of line, and then people will see what he turns into, suggesting that he'd probably be some sort of annoying bug.
    • In "Rise Of The Turtles, part 2", Michelangelo suggests that mutating a mutant will turn them into a super-mutant. Cue "Mikey Gets Shellacne"...
      • In the same conversation, Donatello counters with, "Or a pile of goo on the sidewalk." Cue "The Pulverizer Returns".
    • "The Lonely Mutation of Baxter Stockman" features Stockman saying that he has plans for mutant pigs and rhinos. A day before the episode aired, Playmates Toys released concept art of updated designs for Bebop and Rocksteady, indicating it may not just be a Mythology Gag.
    • Season 2 Episode 23 has the villain of the week remarking that April has a special power inside of her However the real foreshadow is that He also says the same thing about Irma and well if you consider that April is half kraang...
    • "Cockroach Terminator" has a particularly subtle one. Two Kraangbots are seen conversing, with one talking about how successful its gluten-free diet has been. Funny Background Event, right? Until you realize that the only other character who puts such emphasis on a gluten-free diet is Irma...
    • The Triceratons were hinted at in the background quietly throughout the series before their debut at the end of the third season.
  • Freudian Slip: Donnie slips up when talking to April at the end of "Never Say Xever", saying that "sometimes things that don't seem like should go together actually make a great couple! - I mean food."
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In "Slash & Destroy", when Raph and Slash are jumping across rooftops and Raph comment on them being a crime fighting duo, they pass by a billboard with a Mouser picture that reads "Stockman Industries: Making Today's Break Tommorow's Realities". It makes one wonder just what Stockman has been up to offscreen to have a business billboard up, and why he couldn't get someone to make sure the spelling was correct, as one can see by how the word "tomorrow" is spelled.
    • In Season 1's "Mousers Attack!", April's phone briefly has an incoming call from Irma
  • Friend Versus Lover: Irma doesn't like April spending so much time alone with Casey. Later we learn that this may have been just attempts to get April to lead the Kraang to the lair.
  • Funny Background Event: At the end of "Metalhead", whilst Donatello is showing off his, erm, rocket-staff, in the background you can see Raphael get annoyed at Leonardo, and grab him in a headlock with Michelangelo trying to pull him off.
  • Furry Confusion: Raph has a pet turtle.
  • Gainaxing: Renet. Constantly.
  • Gaussian Girl: April's first appearance.
  • Geek Physiques: Donatello, "The Brains", is taller and skinnier than his brothers. He also has a gap-toothed overbite. Fangirls approve.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: A running gag on the show Space Heroes is Captain Ryan slapping his crew mate whenever he starts to panic. He even does it to himself while under the effects of an "anxiety ray". Leo actually tries it in the pilot on Mikey, with humorous results:
    Mikey: "Did you just slap me?"
    Leo: "I was calming you down."
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: So many examples that it currently has its own page.
  • Geodesic Cast: Teams of mutants all seem to follow the Turtles' general make up. A Leader, a Big Guy who doubles as Number Two, a Smart Guy, and some variation of The Fool or Plucky Comic Relief. Other common elements include a Big Good behind the scenes. The Mutanimals, Punk Frogs, and even the Foot Clan (though their membership shifts around a lot) have all fit this scheme at least once.
  • The Good Guys Always Win: Lampshaded in the theme song - The good guys win and the bad guys lose.
    • Subverted at the end of "The Gauntlet".
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Quite a bit of Shredder's face has been utterly roasted, and his right eye is whited out.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: In the first episode of season 2, a fight between the turtles and the Kraang causes dozens of mutagen canisters to fall throughout the city. The turtles have to track down every one to make sure they don't cause any more harm.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Whenever ninjutsu is discussed and during training sessions with Splinter hajime, yame, ninniku seishin, etc.
  • Green Rocks: The Kraangs' mutagen.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: The turtles quite often get hurled at each other during fights.
  • Groin Attack: Mikey attempts one on Metalhead, with predictable results.
    • In the season one finale, Splinter tricks Fishface into giving Dogpound one.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Played with. April feigns sickness and tries to knock out the Kraang guard who comes in, but since he's in a robot body she doesn't even make a dent.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: The plot of the second episode is about Raphael overcoming his.
  • Hand Seals: In the Season 3 episode "The Deadly Venom", Master Splinter teaches Leonardo to chant and perform the handseals for a special Healing Hands technique. This power becomes key in the following episodes.
  • The Heavy: Karai in early season 2. Mozar in the third season finale.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Comes up in "New Friend, Old Enemy." Mikey tries to return a cat to its owner because he wants to make friends with humans, despite his brothers' warnings that humans would freak out if they saw him. Not only does said human freak out at the sight of a giant talking turtle with ninja weapons, he thinks he's trying to hurt his cat. And then the cat, who'd been cute and friendly moments ago, attacks Mikey.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Donatello toward April.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Captain Ryan of Space Heroes. He'll sacrifice his crew members for the slightest of reasons, and his "humane" idea of getting rid of a bunch of alien creatures aboard his ship is to vent them all out of the airlock. Leonardo sees him as a role model.
  • Heroic Bystander:
    • In "Never Say Xever", April saves Mikey by throwing a pot's lid at the Purple Dragon sneaking up behind him. She also gets Mr. Murakami, the blind chef, safely out of the store during the fight.
    • Again, in "Karai's Vendetta", when Karai reveals herself, Murakami steps in, "accidentally" throws a bowl of soup in her face, and stalls her long enough for April to escape, all while pretending to be a blind klutz.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In "The Gauntlet" April's dad grabs a gun and covers the Turtle's escape so they can protect his daughter, throwing away his own chance at freedom.
    • Leatherhead pulls one in TCRI by dragging Traang back into Dimension X to save the turtles.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Played with. The turtles stand out like sore thumbs, and thus rarely go above ground in the daytime. They also try to employ ninja stealth in every mission. However, they end up being found out quite often, leading to them resorting to open battle.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Shades of this from the Turtles, most of it coming from Splinter training them to be warriors at the same time. Splinter's lessons seem to have a tendency to be painful and Raph once comments he pummeled them for merely being sleepy. The implication was that Splinter knew they had disobeyed their grounding, but that they thought it was for being tired is indicative.
  • Honor Before Reason: Inverted. In "New Friend, Old Enemy" Splinter calls Leo out for fighting fair because it gives the enemy a chance to win.
    • Although ideally, Splinter would rather have his sons fight with both honor AND reason.
  • Hostile Terraforming: The Kraang's endgame is to turn the Earth into something that they can inhabit. Among other things, their air is toxic to Earth natives, and their water is highly acidic.
  • I Can See My House from Here:
    Michelangelo: "I can see a pizza place from up here!"
  • Idiot Ball: Never once while fighting Snakeweed do the Turtles consider destroying his heart, which is the only reason why Snakeweed is never Killed Off for Real. Though this could be partially due to Executive Meddling, because, you know, you can't have Leo jabbing the creature in the heart with his katana in a kid's show.
    • To be fair, there's no reason they should know this. They're never around to see that the heart is the first thing to start moving again.
    • There's a similar moment in Metalhead. The Turtles are fighting a Kraang-controlled Metalhead, attacking it vigorously while exclaiming that it must have a weak point - and never attacking the squishy, defenseless Kraang sitting on its head.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: The Pulverizer. He wants to be a ninja like the Turtles, and douses himself with the mutagen to gain powers. Unfortunately for him, he instead became a psychotic blob monster.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Let's just say the Kraang aren't the best shots in New York (as in literally cannot hit a man-sized target in the same room) and leave it at that. Unless its relevant to the plot like taking Kurtzman out of the action during "Battle for New York".
  • I'm Standing Right Here: Whilst the Turtles are trying to get some information out of Snake, Raphael says some barbed things regarding Michelangelo's appearance.
    Raphael: [...] Now, you could turn out handsome like me, or you might end up disgusting and deformed – like Mikey here.
    Michelangelo: Hey!
    *A minute or so later*
    Leonardo: Oh, that worked pretty good.
    Raphael: Of course it did, would you wanna look like Mikey?
    Michelangelo: I'm right here.
  • Implacable Man: Traag proves himself to be this trope in both of his appearances.
  • Improvised Weapon: April does this a couple times. In "Metalhead" she uses a convenient pipe to take out a Kraang droid, and in "Never Say Xever" she knocks out one of the Purple Dragons by throwing a pot's lid at him like a Frisbee (and saving Mikey in the process).
    • The turtles also do this in "Pulverizer Returns", first with each other's weapons (and they fail miserably) and when in the Foot Warehouse, Don uses a push broom, Raph uses a piece of wood, Leo uses a pipe, and Mikey uses a chain.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Baxter Stockman. To the point where Mikey wondered if they should buy him an ice cream rather than beat him up.
  • Implacable Man: The Shredder is described as such. If he wants something or wants someone dead, he will not stop until he gets that something or kills that someone.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Mikey toward April in "New Friend, Old Enemy." Look at her face while this exchange occurs:
    April: Mikey, you already have a human friend; me!
    Mikey: April, you don't count. We saved your life! You have to like us!
    • And let's not forget "The Mutation Situation." Seriously, the way he tells April that it was the Turtles themselves who spilled the mutagen that mutated her dad makes you want to punch him in the face at the very least.
  • Insistent Terminology: As Donnie keeps reminding everyone in Panic In The Sewers, they're not go-karts, they're Patrol Buggies.
  • Interspecies Romance: Donatello has a crush on April in this version. So far, however, the feeling doesn't seem mutual. As of the episode "Monkey Brains", she appears to be warming up to him. Case in point, "The Gauntlet". After they fail to save her father she immediately runs to Donnie for comfort. For the most part, though, the relationship is played for laughs. Though she gets angry at him once when her father is mutated, she realizes her mistake when Donnie told that some things are always gonna get worse when Mutagen Man tried to seek help from her on understand the Turtles and Karai tries hunting her, and gives him a kiss. These feelings become seeled as mutual when April learns that she's a half-Kraang hybrid, Karai is actually the daughter of Splinter's who Splinter was hoping to give April's Teesen to as a gift, and one of her friends at school was a high-ranking Kraang who was tasked to watch over April.
    • Also, Leo and Karai, though their rather complicated relationship is more of the mutual kind and later more mutual when he and the other Turtles (including April and Casey) learn from Splinter that Karai is in reality Splinter's daughter Miwa, abducted by the Shredder as an infant following her mother's death and raised by him to no avail against her real family, until she discovers it from them.
    • Bigfoot and The Finger. Don't ask.
  • It's All My Fault:
    • Splinter's Greatest Failure (below) leads to the loss of his family as a human.
    • Mikey says this at the end of "New Friend, Old Enemy" after he realizes his new friend actually works for the Shredder and that he's accidentally revealed the existence of himself and his family to their worst enemy.
    • Donnie gets this at the end of "Metalhead".
  • It's Been Done: When the team and Splinter are discussing how to defeat Baxter Stockman.
    Splinter: *glances at a wall which depicts a ninja fighting an armored samurai*
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Raph threatens Snake with mutant ooze for information.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In "The Alien Agenda", Raph tells Leo that the only reason Karai didn't attack them is because she's studying their moves.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Raph as per usual
  • Knight of Cerebus: The Shredder. He flat out Curbstomp Battles the Turtles when they first face him. If it weren't for being momentarily distracted by his top henchmen Chris Bradford and Xever Montes being mutated into Dogpound and Fishface, he would have killed them.
    • The Rat King, whose attacks on the Turtles are much more personal than many other villains in the show, and attempts to veer Splinter to his side by pointing out that he's lost almost everything.
    • Tiger Claw is a very serious villain who is very rarely played for laughs, and his appearance on the battlefield usually means that the battle is definitely going south for the Turtles.
    • Zog the Triceraton is revealed to be a scout for the Triceraton Empire, who are out to destroy Earth to wipe out its' Kraang population. Once he's outed, the episode becomes much darker to set the tone for the season finale in which the Triceratons successfully wipe out and destroy Earth.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Mikey, as always.
  • Leitmotif: In the Nick.com Tales from the Turtles' Lair interactive prequel comics, the Japanese folk tune "Sakura" is used for Splinter's theme.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: The end of 'Metalhead', after Donnie spends a great deal of the episode catching flack about his fighting/stealth skills and his bo staff. You can tell the instant he gets serious.
    Don: Just come get me!
  • Lighter and Softer: At least compared to their previous 2003 cartoon. Compared to the 80s version, it's still Darker and Edgier.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Shredder. Also Slash and Leatherhead.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Kraang's base is usually very well-lit, with the walls lined with silver.
  • Licensed Game: Two of 'em, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Out Of The Shadows and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2013. Besides the Art Shift of the Turtles in OOS, both have been cited with The Problem with Licensed Games (althought 2013 is generally considered perfectly acceptable for small children).
  • Line-of-Sight Name: In "The Pig And The Rhino," Michelangelo attempts to name Bebop and Rocksteady after some of the food stands at Coney Island, but eventually takes inspiration from a van promoting the band "Rocksteady Rascals," from "Bebop Records."
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: There are sixteen members of the main cast note  a handful of supporting characters note , and dozens of recurring characters. The show's creators have even admitted this is becoming a problem hindering the show going into the third season, which introduces new characters every single week.
  • Lost Aesop:
    • So what was the message of "Metalhead"? Splinter points that there's nothing wrong with developing new weapons when fighting for your life, but when Donatello sends in Metalhead, it saves the other turtles and only ends up having to fight it because he got careless with it. So, technology is okay, but, what?
    • The real Aesop of the episode, which Splinter went on to clarify, is that it is you who must prevail in battle, not your weapon. That is, you can upgrade your weapons as much as you want, but in the end it doesn't matter what kind of weapon you use so long as you use it properly and win.
  • Love at First Sight: Donnie falls in love with April and calls her "the most beautiful girl I've ever seen!" Raph is quick to point out that she's the only girl that Don's ever seen.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Part of the reason Shredder became enemies with Splinter is because of his uncontrollable jealousy that Tang Shen chose Splinter over him.
  • Love Triangle: Donatello was crushing on April O'Neil ever since episode 1. Then in season 2, a flirty boy named Casey Jones entered the picture. The two of them openly quarrel with each over to get April's attention, and more than one time, April's just exasperated that their Cock Fight messes up their missions or training.
  • Male Gaze: April and, sometimes, Karai are subject to this.
  • Manga Effects: Scattered all over the place from Blank White Eyes to Cross-Popping Veins.
  • Meaningful Name: Averted/Lampshaded. Mikey is surprised that Snake didn't mutate into a snake.
  • Medium Blending: The show combines 3D and 2D animation (sometimes even "bleeding" from one to the other like in the establishing shot of the first episode or the Art Shift seen at the end of every episode). Notable because the only other example that comes close to the same level of integration is the Disney theatrical short Paperman.
    • Much of the camera angles, special effects (particularly the Kraang UFO's laser in "Enemy of My Enemy"), shading, character design, and 2D animated sequences lend themselves to the comic books that TMNT was born of.
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: In "Metalhead", the titular robot subjects Raphael to this.
  • Mid-Season Twist: In "Monkey Brains", April begins her training with Splinter and the Turtles acquire and actually manage to keep a live canister of Ooze.
  • Mobile Fishbowl: Fishface has both water mounted on his gills, as well as artificial legs.
  • Mobile-Suit Human: The Kraang pilot these.
  • Mood Whiplash: "The Gauntlet" goes from finding a silly manbird to an attempt to save April's father and stopping a Mutagen bomb and a short victory scene to the Shredder coming in and beating up every turtle in a surprisingly brutal manner.
    • "Enemy of My Enemy" has the Turtles escape from Karai, and Leonardo has a My God, What Have I Done? about him betraying her and the unlikely chance she'll bother to work with them, then Mikey compares it to Leprechauns, to which Leo gets angry at. Then it cuts right back to The Shredder and Karai, having gotten one of the Kraang to interrogate.
    • The Pulveriser Returns starts out humorous with the Pulveriser attempting to be a ninja. It takes a drastic turn when he mutates.
    • Shredder's recollection of Karai receiving praise from him with an adorable :D expression. She's being praised for having beaten down about a dozen adult men.
    • "The Invasion" is full of these. The most notable one probably comes when Kirby reveals his old Party Wagon from his "Hipster Days" (Groovy!) in a hilarious Shout-Out to the 80s cartoon, then seconds later he gets hit with the Mutagen and "Kraangified."
  • Mook Horror Show: Leatherhead in "It Came From The Depths" is shown to easily overpower the Kraang in his opening scene. Actually lampshaded later on when the Turtles first see Leatherhead, overpowering them again.
    Donatello: Never thought I'd feel sorry for the Kraang.
  • Multiple Endings: The prequel motion comics on Nick.com have two alternate endings in the final chapter, determined by whether the reader types in the correct answer to the question that suddenly appears (the answer is turtles 4 sale). If the reader types in an incorrect answer, the Tengu defeats the Turtles. When the reader types in the correct answer, however, the comic ends with the Turtles succeeding in defeating the Tengu and finding out that the Tengu was really Splinter, who disguised himself to teach his sons the value of teamwork.
  • My Friends... And Zoidberg: Done in "Metalhead":
    Donatello: Gentlemen... and Raphael.
  • My Greatest Failure: For Splinter, it was allowing his anger to get the best of him after Oroku Saki insulted him in front of his love Tang Shen. The resulting attack on Saki intensified their rivalry, leading to Tang Shen's death and Miwa's kidnapping. This is the reason why dealing with Raph's temper is serious business for him.
  • Mythology Gag: Quite a few are sprinkled throughout the show.
    • In one episode, Mikey mentions the idea of getting his face tattooed over his face. A quick shot demonstrates this by placing a 2D image of Mikey from the 80s cartoon layered over his current design.
      • In addition it was likely a reference to the 2007 movie, where Mikey wore a cartoon turtle head for his job.
    • While on patrol, the Turtles chase villains who are driving a van. When the heroes plan to overtake them, Michelangelo is more excited about the possibility that afterwards "We've got ourselves a van!" Which is likely a reference to the Turtles' van from the 80s show.
    • The entirety of the first fight with Shredder closely mirrors it's occurrence in the original Mirage comics, taking many poses and framing directly from the comic panels.
    • The last shot of the turtles posing during the intro pays homage to the cover of the very first Mirage TMNT comic.
    • The T-phone's ringtone is the 80's show's theme song.
    • The opening theme is essentially a combination of the original theme of the 1987 seriesnote  and the first film's Turtle Power by Partners in Kryme.
      • The Theme Tune Roll Call lists the Turtles in the exact same order as those of the 1987 cartoon and the Fast Forward and Back to the Sewer seasons of the 2003 cartoon: Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo.
      • The opening theme uses the phrase "Secret of the Ooze", a reference to the title of the second live action movie.
      • In addition when the Turtles doing weapon demonstrations is a visual gag to 2003's second opening version.
    • The debut trailer for the Kraang mirrors The Reveal note  from 2k3's "Secret Origins" arc scarily well, face hugging alien and all.
    • Hamato Yoshi mutates into Splinter like the 1987 animated series and the Archie Comics series loosely based on the 1987 animated series.
    • The Foot Clan Ninjas wear suits that resemble those used in the live action movie.
    • The tails of Mikey's mask are short like they were in the 80's cartoon while the rest of the Turtles have long ones. This even came up in Turtles Forever where Mikey was a fan of the short tails (and the monogrammed belt buckles).
    • The Nick.com motion comics play the game over tune from the old Konami beat-em-up games at the end of each comic!
    • Like in the 87 series episode "Thing About Rats", the Turtles don't believe Mikey's story of an alien brain.
    • Shredder, much like the '87 series, is once again being played by a physically intimidating Scary Black Man.
    • April and her father are introduced when walking in front of the Second Time Around Antique Store, which April inherited from her father in the continuities of the live-action films & 2003 animated series.
    • Channel 6 is where the turtles get their news.
    • The first episode's zoom-in on New York and then its sewers is more or less taken from the 2003 show.
    • April's father's name is Kirby O'Neil. The name "Kirby" had been used in the comics and 2003 series as an Expy for Jack Kirby. Also in the Mirage Comics April's father used the Kirby Crystal to create April from an ink drawing.
    • Spider Bytez keeps mistaking the Turtles for Kung-Fu Frogs in reference to the Punk Frogs from the 80's cartoon.
    • Chris Bradford's Foot Clan uniform looks very similar to Shredder's costume from the Mirage Comics sans the trident blades on the helmet, right down to the red coloring.
    • One many people may not spot - in the 2003 series, Michelangelo says the following: "And what's with all those ninjas? Ninjas in New York City? Besides us? It's just not right." Come the 2012 series, we get this line from Donatello in the fourth episode: "Ninjas? In New York? Other than us?" The two lines are very similar.
    • Metalhead being controlled by a Kraang is a reference to its connection usually with Krang in the older TV series.
    • Murakami the noodle chef was named for one of the producers of the '87 cartoon, Murakami-Wolf-Swenson.
      • Actually, Ciro Nieli named him after a friend of his, possibly Teen Titans collaborator Glen Murakami. It's more likely that the Wolf Hotel in "The Gauntlet" was named after Murakami-Wolf-Swenson.
    • Dogpound resembles Rahzar, and later becomes him.
    • In "Panic in the Sewers", Donatello suggests living in the sewers in Florida, which is the home of Leatherhead and the Punk Frogs in the 80's cartoon.
    • In "Mousers Attack!", Irma calls April just before her phone breaks.
    • The Kraang being responsible for creating Leatherhead is a reference to his origin in the Mirage Comics and the 2003 cartoon, in which he was created by the Utroms, who were partially the inspiration for the Kraang.
    • The Rat King tries to take control of Splinter, much like he did in a previous incarnation.
    • The Pulverizer seems to be based on Zach from the 1987 animated series. Both characters are fans of the Turtles who also dress like them and try to help them, which tends to turn out badly.
    • His belt buckle has a "P", referencing how the 80s Turtles had monogrammed belt buckles.
    • The Shredder forms a partnership with Krang from the original 1987 animated series.
    • Karai at one point orders something the original Shredder would always want: Turtle Soup.
    • The head of Kraang Prime's armor resembles the head of 1987 Krang's robot body.
    • In the Booyakashowdown 2 parter, the turtles crash the Shellraiser into TCRI...except they're not even in the Shellraiser and instead occupy the enemies using Metalhead and once they're on the roof, Raph uses a piegon to block one of the security cameras so the Kraang don't see them. These are references to the 2003 version's Return to New York and The Search for Splinter.
      • Using a pigeon to block the T.C.R.I. building's security cameras was also a technique used in the original Mirage comics.
    • This isn't the first time the Technodrome has been stranded at the bottom of the ocean.
    • Kraang Prime has some parallels to Krang from the original 1987 cartoon. Their robot bodies both have similar-looking heads and Kraang Prime at one point refers to the Turtles as "miserable mutants", an insult the original Krang used against the Turtles a few times.
    • A very obscure reference - the villain Spider Bytez is named after an unreleased action figure based on a one-off mook from the 2003 series' "Back to the Sewer" incarnation - same spelling and all.
    • Mikey quotes the Ninja Rap from the second movie.
    • In "Follow The Leader", the trenchcoat disguises favored by the '87 Turtles are referred to.
    • While Mikey is disguised as a giant fly (Buzz Buzz) in "The Mutation Situation" he flies past a Billboard advertising Stockman Technologies. Baxter Stockman in the 80s cartoon ended up mutated into a giant fly.
    • April's Weapon of Choice is a metal fan, not unlike Venus de Milo had, though it was supposed to go to Splinter's lost daughter, Miwa, who later turns ou.
    • The Turtles, April and Casey get a look at their 1987 cartoon counterparts through a dimensional door in The Manhattan Project. Additionally, the worm they were fighting throughout the episode ends up in that universe in the epilogue.
    Raphael: Why do we look like dorks?
    Donatello (while looking at April's 87 counterpart): Nice jumpsuit!
    • In "The Lonely Mutation of Baxter Stockman", a photograph of Ace Duck from the original 1987 cartoon's toyline can be seen and Baxter Stockman suggests to Shredder that he can create mutant pigs and rhinos, a reference to Bebop and Rocksteady.
    • In The Good, The Bad and Casey Jones, we see that Casey has drawn a picture of himself and Raphael in his journal. It's drawn in the style of the old Mirage comics, with the original designs for the two characters.
      • Immediately after that is a sequence of shots of him noticing Raphael on a roof across the street that is almost frame-for-frame accurate to the scene in the original movie, up to and including Raphael shadowboxing and then leaning against the edge of the roof with a sigh.
    • In the first episode of season 3, Raph is turned into a plant and has his mutagen sucked out of him by the Creep. It may be a very, very subtle nod to a little-known arc in the comics that has a leech suck out Raph's mutagen and turn him into a normal turtle.
    • In "The Croaking", the Frogs are leaving for Louisiana, which is the home of the Punk Frogs and Leatherhead in the 1987 series.
    • As of the third season, the Turtles have a van. One of the images on the van is a woman in a turtle costume leaning against a bomb that says "Venus".
    • In "The Pig And The Rhino," Bebop threatens Michelangelo with retromutagen, saying "Time for the next mutation, turtle!"
    • Once again, the Turtles exploit a Nitrogen deprived and stranded Triceratron to help them on a mission by pretending to be his commander. Unlike those times though, this one ends BADLY with the Triceratron not only trying to kill them, but calling the others, as well as calling them out on deceiving someone who was slowly dying.
    • April's space jumpsuit in "Beyond the Known Universe" is basically the jumpsuit worn by the 1987 animated April.
  • Never My Fault:
    • After being transformed into Spider Bytez, Vic swiftly blames the Turtles for it... Except if he hadn't started screaming about his phone when the Turtles were pulling him to safety and blowing their cover, and then put himself in harm's way by trying to retrieve the phone in the midst of the Turtles fighting the Kraang, he never would've come into contact with the Mutagen.
    • Mikey shows this trait a couple of times too, like when he blamed Splinter for letting them go topside in the first place (though, admittedly, everyone was blaming everyone else for something at that point) or when he said that losing the 'TPod' was Don's fault for trusting him with it at all.
    • Played more dramatically with Shredder, whose feud with Splinter seems to have a lot to do with the fact that he blames Splinter for every mistake of his own that backfires on him.
  • Never Say "Die": Mostly. Especially blatant in "The Gauntlet" where the stakes are very high for the first time, with the atmosphere of the turtles potentially getting killed and soft words like "perish" are used instead.
    • Lampshaded by Mikey in "Metalhead":
      Kraang!Metalhead: "The ones that which are called turtles will now be called turtles that are... DESTROYED!"
      Michaelangelo: "Phew, I was really afraid at the beginning of the sentence, but then I sort of just lost interest towards the-"
    • Averted in "Panic In The Sewers", where Splinter trains the Turtles excessively. The rest of the series seems to be much more relaxed about using the word afterward.
      Splinter: Rest? The Shredder will not rest... Until all of you are dead!
    • Averted again in the first season finale when Kraang Prime threatens to kill the turtles.
      Kraang Prime: You will all die here!
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • "Rise of the Turtles, Part 2" - Snake wouldn't have become Snakeweed if the Turtles had emptied the Mutagen (Which they knew was there) from the back of the van before crashing it into a large gate at high speed, causing the Mutagen to fly out of the back and cover Snake.
    • "Turtle Temper" - Mikey constantly provoking Raph whilst staking out a warehouse for the Kraang results in the destruction of a satellite TV dish, which sets into effect a chain of events that, thanks in part to his own stubbornness & stupidity, leads to Vic being transformed into Spider Bytez.
    • "Enemy Of My Enemy" - Karai genuinely wants to work with the Turtles to stop the Kraang, though her previous actions have left the Turtles wary of her intentions. They eventually do agree, but decide to set a trap for Shredder when they realize he'll be out in the open. When Karai notices them about to zap her father, she pushes him out of the way, fires a rocket at the Turtles, then attacks Leonardo in a rage, declaring that if it's a feud they want, it's a feud they'll get, severing any possible good will between them. Leo even acknowledges that he blew it big time.
    • "The Mutation Situation" - In stopping the Kraang shipment, the Turtles ended up losing mutagen canisters all over New York, one of which actually transformed April's father into a giant bat. Furthermore, when Mikey (in a particularly idiotic manner) tells April that the Turtles themselves were the ones who spilled the mutagen, April is anything but pleased and promptly declares their friendship over.
  • The Nicknamer: Mikey seems to have taken charge of naming their enemies & equipment; he's just not very good at it and keeps giving them names which are incredibly blunt with their obviousness. In fact, when Donnie named the T-Phone, Mikey got upset that he didn't get to name it, despite admitting that he would have called it the T-Phone too. Although Mikey has his moments as the others admit that 'The Shellraiser' is a good name.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • April's dad bears a suspicious resemblance to Joss Whedon.
    • Chris Bradford, the famous martial artist Mikey meets in "New Friend, Old Enemy", looks a LOT like Chuck Norris.
  • No Flow in CGI: The Shredder's cape almost always comes off before a fight scene in Seasons 1 and 2. The Season 3 episode "Serpent Hunt" features the first time he's fighting with it on.
  • Nominal Hero:
    • A Show Within a Show example with Captain Ryan; he is a complete sociopath, but is treated both in his story and by Leonardo as an awesome hero. Raph is, ironically, more lucid about it.
    • Spike/Slash, who thinks he's doing Raph a favor by eliminating Raph's brothers.
      • Slash's third episode reintroduces Newtralizer who only fights the Kraang for revenge and doesn't care if anyone else gets caught in the crossfire whether they're humans or mutants.
    • Season 3 introduces Crognarg the Barbarian, another In-Universe cartoon character, who's basically a worse version of Captain Ryan in a different setting. Whereas Captain Ryan at least had a Pet the Dog moment in the last episode of Space Heroes, the first episode of Crognarg has him and his allies beat up a bunch of hospitable slug people for no apparent reason.
  • Noodle Incident: Stockman seems to lend himself to these. He mentions in his first appearance, he got fired because of a photocopier accident, and in "Baxter's Gambit", mentions that he got expelled for bringing a makeshift volcano full of real magma to the Science Fair.
  • Not His Sled: The Turtles have a tendency to fight the Shredder on a roof as per the first issue of the comic during first meetings in adaptations, but usually win the fight either through teamwork or an outside party coming in to help them. Neither happens in their first fight in this series, with the Turtles being forced to escape.
  • Not in the Face!: Leatherhead has quite the tendency to grab Donnie by the face and shake him around whenever he loses it. And it's lampshaded every time.
  • Not Quite Dead: Snakeweed. He appears to be killed when the Turtles trick the Kraang into electrocuting him, but his visible heart starts beating again when the Turtles leave.
  • Out-of-Context Eavesdropping: Averted. After being told by Splinter and the Leonardo that she is Splinter's daughter, not Shredder's, she thinks they are lying to her. However, at the end of The Manhattan Project, she eavesdrops on Splinter and the Turtles discussing this, leading her to question what is true and what is not.
  • Out of Focus: Besides her introduction in the premiere, April doesn't start playing an active role in the show until episode 6.
    • Despite being two of the earliest mutants introduced, Snakeweed and Spider Bytze have practically disappeared from the show. It doesn't help that they're not affiliated with either the Foot or the Kraang, which means they don't get the obligatory cameos that most of the other bad guys get.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The mutated Parasite Wasp essentially does this. It stings Leo, who bites Raph, infecting him with the virus. They go after Donny and Mikey, with Donny even getting the surprise bite during a fight.
  • Painful Transformation: As shown with several victims, the mutagen's transformation process is not a very pleasant experience. The Pulverizer even explicitly says it burns.
  • Papa Wolf: Kirby proves to be a Badass Normal when he holds off the Kraang in order to allow April and the Turtles to escape.
    • It's also a really, really bad idea to threaten the Turtles when Splinter's around. Leatherhead found this out the hard way.
  • Le Parkour: Shows up in the Turtles' Roof Hopping.
  • Planet of Steves: The Kraangs all seem to go by just "Kraang."
  • Poke the Poodle: Somewhat fittingly, Donnie doesn't seem to understand what constitutes an effective insult.
    Don: And... oh! You don't keep your back straight during omote kote gyaku! [Beat] And you're ugly!
    • Donnie to a Kraang:
      Donnie: The one who is called your mother wears the boots that are made for combat! note 
  • Pop the Tires: Leonardo does this to Snake's van in the first episode by throwing a shuriken on a curve in midair from the rooftops to hit a speeding vehicle directly in its front tire.
  • The Power of Hate: Tiger Claw claims that only his hatred and desire for revenge against the turtles, Splinter, and their human allies allowed him to survive his trek home after being swallowed alive by giant alien and then trapped in another dimension.
  • Powered Armor: Used by Baxter Stockman.
    • Anton Zeck's armor.
  • Pressure Point: Master Splinter uses this to calm down and discipline an overreacting Raphael. Later in the episode, Raph himself uses the technique to paralyze Slash.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: The turtles do this when pleading to be let out of the sewers. And it's adorable. Mikey does this himself when trying to convince his brothers to bring Leatherhead back with them to the lair.
  • A Rare Sentence: Splinter tells Michelangelo that he made a wise decision, and then admits he never expected to say that.
  • Rearrange the Song: The theme tune is a remix of the 1987 one.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Splinter is tough but fair, not to mention amazingly practical.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When Dr. Falco injects himself with the psychic-mind serum, his eyes turn bloodshot.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Raph and Leo clash in classic fashion.
  • Red Right Hand: The Shredder's severely burned face and blind right eye.
  • Red Shirt: Hysterically demonstrated in the Star Trek-expy show Space Heroes
  • Recurring Extra: The panicked cat owner who first appears in "New Friend, Old Enemy" appears again in "I Think His Name is Baxter Stockman" as the TCRI employee who recognizes Stockman on the news. He also makes a non-speaking cameo at the beginning of "The Gauntlet".
    • April has now scammed the same older Asian fishmonger twice with different, equally implausible stories about being a public official; she claims to be an undercover cop in "Never Say Xever," and a fire inspector in "Panic in the Sewers." The latter also serves as a Call Back to the former, as the gentleman asked to see April's police badge ("Are you crazy? I can't carry a badge, that would blow my cover!"), so the next go around, she briefly flashes her "credentials" to avoid any questions (said credentials being her hilariously Adorkable high school student ID).
    • The Pizza Boy. Also a blonde haired woman who the turtles saved (along with the pizza boy) in the episode New Girl In Town pops up now and again in a few later episodes.
    • The turtles have run into a hobo several times sleeping, holding a sign that the world is ending, and bringing the squirreloids to the lair in his stomach.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Subtle and (in-universe) unintentional. Hamato Yoshi lost his wife and daughter, moved to NYC, and bought four baby turtles for company. His encounter with the Kraang gives him four new young sons to take care of.
    • Played pretty much completely straight in "Monkey Brains" when Splinter asks April to train as a ninja because of her gift of empathy. Especially notable because afterwards it's obvious he's thinking of his lost daughter, Miwa.
    • And then in Baxter's Gambit when Splinter gives April the weapon he intended for Miwa to have.
  • The Reveal: The Kraang were not actually after April's father, they were after her.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Shredder's primary motivation in life is to kill Splinter and his turtle sons. He is perfectly willing to aid genocidal alien invaders in conquering the Earth, if it means they can help him exact his revenge.
  • Right Hand Dog: Shredder has a pet Akita named Hachiko. He doesn't like failure. He was also indirectly responsible for turning Bradford into Dogpound.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Splinter, of course, though especially noteworthy here. Whilst he's almost always portrayed as one of the shortest characters, this incarnation of Splinter is actually quite tall, even taller than all four turtles.
    • The mutant rats that The Rat King releases onto the city in Of Rats And Men also count.
  • Rogues Gallery: The Turtle's enemies typically fall into 3 categories. Aliens like the Kraang, Mutants of various types like The Rat King, or the foot ninjas lead by The Shredder. Robots are sometimes used by these 3 groups, but aren't sentient. The only exception is of course Baxter Stockman who's not any of these per se, though he does work for the ninjas for a while.
  • Role Reprisal: Subverted. While Rob Paulsen returns to the new series, he winds up as the voice of Donatello this time around.
    • This Trope's subversion repeats itself again with Nolan North, who also did a voice of Raphael for the TMNT film in 2007. He now voices the Kraang.
  • Running Gag: Almost every time Leo is watching Space Heroes, the ensign will start panicking and then promptly be bitchslapped by the captain.
    • Often when Mikey names something, he'll start to explain the name only for Leo or Raph to interrupt with "We get it!"
      Mikey: We're no match for Spider Bytez!
      Leo: "Spider Bytez"?
      Mikey: Well, he's a spider, and he bites, so I thought—
      Leo: We get it!
      Mikey: Ooh! Let's call him Metalhead! Why, you ask? Because it's got a head and it's made of—
      Leo: We get it.
      Mikey: Dogpound was just too much for us.
      Leo: Dogpound?
      Mikey: Yeah, cuz he's a dog, and he pounded—
      Leo: We get it.
    • During "It Came From The Depths", there's a running gag of Donnie getting grabbed by the face (mostly by Leatherhead, but on one occasion by a disembodied Kraang arm).
    • A rather dark and minor example, but it works nonetheless. In each of the Rat King's appearances, when reporters talk about the rat infestations, they get dogpiled by a group of rats. One rat looks up at the camera and the footage cuts out.
    • Some of Donatello's inventions and gear have signs or writing on them that can only be spotted with a pause button or a good eye. Typically, they tell Mikey not to put his hands on said gear.
  • Sadistic Choice: Donatello is presented with one of these scenarios in "The Pulverizer". He has to choose between saving Pulverizer's life or stealing back the Kraang's power cell.
    • Leo had to choose between summoning Splinter or letting Mickey get put in a furnace in the Wormquake.
  • Sense Freak: Mikey get into this when he gets his first taste of pizza.
  • Series Continuity Error: In Parasitica, the turtles take a centrifuge from the Kraang. In Mikey Gets Shellacne, Donnie states he needs a centrifuge to cure Mikey's retro mutagen shell acne.
    • Or not. In the later episode, Donatello specifically says he needs a molecular centrifuge. Presumably some kind of Technobabble device. It might explain why they needed that particular centrifuge. The device used appears to be an ordinary centrifuge, though.
    • Dimension X is established, in its first appearance, to have a vastly timeframe than Earth. This is ignored in all later appearances (logically, the mutated humans should have been incredibly old by the time the Turtles got them out by "Battle For New York").
  • She's Not My Girlfriend:
    • In "Turtle Temper" Mikey teases Donatello for his not-so-subtle crush on April. Donnie responds with this remark.
    • Donnie says this again in "Monkey Brains", only this time it was Raph who did the teasing.
  • Ship Tease: Donnie and April. Later April and Casey as well.
    • Leo and Karai
  • Shipper on Deck: April is this in "New Girl in Town". Until she finds out Karai's in the Foot, that is.
  • Shipping Torpedo: Raph and April are this to Leo and Karai.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: After Pigeon Pete plays his part in "The Gauntlet", he almost abruptly disappears from the plot, as the episode shows the Turtles fail to save Kirby, fight Xever and Bradford, and then get beat up by the Shredder.
  • Show Within a Show:
  • Smoke Out: Used to hilarious effect by Michelangelo.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Thus far, we have one hero girl on the show (April), one regular evil girl who later had a change of heart (Karai) and one female sounding alien (Kraang Prime). Other than that, it's mostly men going at each other.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
  • Spiritual Successor: It appears to be heading toward being one to Teen Titans, a show Ciero Nieli previously worked on.
  • Spoiler Opening: "New Friend, Old Enemy" introduces Chris Bradford & Xever Montes as Shredder's lieutenants, however they are conspicuously absent from the title sequence, which features a shot of Shredder standing in front of Dogpound & Fishface. No prizes for guessing what happens to Shredder's lieutenants.
  • Spoof Aesop: "The first rule of being a ninja is, 'Do no harm.' Unless you mean to do harm. Then do lots of harm".
  • Staircase Tumble:
    • A particularly funny one in "I Think His Name is Baxter Stockman." Leo insists to his brothers that, as ninja, they "move swiftly and silently"... and then proceeds to crash through a skylight, run into a beehive, and then loudly tumble down a fire escape to the streets below.
    • Later, in "Karai's Vendetta," April, after being on the receiving end of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Karai, takes advantage of Karai's brief hesitation to toss her down the subway stairs and make her getaway.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Donnie can slip into this. First shown in "New Friend, Old Enemy", as he has a candid photo of April as his laptop wallpaper which he is eager to hide.
    • He slips into this again in "Metalhead" by using the titular robot's camera eyes to ogle April. Too bad he forgot to mute the speakers.
    • In "Monkey Brains" he makes a flow chart with every conceivable excuse or reason to hang out with April for any possibility. Every possibility.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: The turtles are masters of this by default, but taken Up to Eleven when Donny invents egg smoke bombs.
    • So good that even after getting Curb Stomped by the Shredder, they were able to escape from him when he was distracted for a few seconds, even without a smoke bomb.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Brought up when Snakeweed (originally just Snake) appears, and Mikey mentions how you'd think he would have Scaled Up, instead of becoming a Plant Person.
    Leonardo: It's Snake! He mutated into a... giant weed!
    Michelangelo: That's weird. You'd think he'd get mutated into a snake.
    Raphael: Yeah, you would. If you were an idiot!
    Michelangelo: But his name is Snake!
    Raphael: So?
    Michelangelo: You just don't understand science.
  • Storming the Castle: Done in "Rise of the Turtles, Part 2" in order to rescue April.
    • Then in "TCRI" the turtles and Leatherhead attack the TCRI building — the Kraang's headquarters — to try and destroy the portal to Dimension X. Notably, they fail.
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: "Hey April~ Hey April~"
  • Supreme Chef: Chef Murakami. Even being blind doesn't prevent him from cooking up "Pizza Gyoza" for the 4 turtles.
  • Surprisingly Good Japanese: Being Japanese, most of the main cast pronounce the language quite well; April's pronunciation is accented since she's new to it as the only non-Japanese main character. But Karai is pleasantly surprised when she hears her making the attempt anyway.
    • One awkward example is the word "kunoichi". Even Splinter leaves out the last syllable and pronounces it as "koo-no-EECH". Justified, considering that it's very common for Japanese speakers to drop the 'i' in the syllables of a word if said syllables end with 'i'.note  Most likely, April pronounces it as "koo-no-EECH" like Splinter, because she's simply mimicking the way he says it.
  • Surprise Incest: In a roundabout and extremely technical sort of way. Leonardo's crush on Karai became this when it was revealed that Karai is actually Hamato Miwa, Splinter's daughter.
  • The Team/Color-Coded Characters
    • The Leader: Leonardo - Blue
    • The Lancer and The Big Guy: Raphael - Red
    • The Smart Guy: Donatello - Purple
    • Plucky Comic Relief: Michelangelo - Orange
    • The Chick and the making them close to a Five-Man Band (subtly lampshaded by wearing a #5 shirt): April - Yellow
    • The Mentor: Splinter - Magenta, like his 87 show counterpart only desaturated. Possibly Brown because of his fur also.
    • Team Pet: Mikey's Ice Cream Kitty
    • Signature Team Transport: This series' 'Turtle Van' is called the Shellraiser, which has a Cool Bike hidden underneath it that comes equipped with armor plates that fold over the bike and rider in the shape of a turtle shell.
      • They also have interlocking and detachable go karts called Patrol Buggys.
  • Tempting Fate: Everyone. Constantly. Despite numerous Lampshade Hangings the lesson never seems to stick.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Bradford and Montes, Shredder's star pupil and street contact, hate each other's guts, but are still perfectly capable of working together.
  • Theme Tune Cameo:
  • Theme Tune Rap: The body of the theme is this, coupled with the 1987 chorus.
  • There Are No Good Guys on the Internet: The plot of "New Friend, Old Enemy" revolves around Michelangelo going onto a social networking site to try & prove that the Turtles can befriend humans, only for the person he meets to secretly be one of the Shredder's lieutenants.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Shredder's two top henchmen, Chris Bradford and Xever Montes. Doubles as Salt and Pepper.
  • Tights Under Shorts: April
  • Toilet Humor: Generally rare, but instances include but are not limited to a random hobo farting as the Turtles first see the outside world, Spider Bytez' general sound effect when using webbing, and a dirty old toilet seat cover being used for the T-Sub's periscope.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • In "Turtle Temper," while the Turtles are trying to save Vic from the Kraang and are in the midst of pulling him to safety, he starts screaming about his phone and thus blows the Turtles' cover. Then, while the Turtles and the Kraang are fighting one another, Vic deliberately puts himself in the crossfire to retrieve his phone.
    • In "Pulverizer Returns", the Pulverizer is perfectly willing to expose himself to mutagen despite being warned how dangerous it is. Particularly egregious since Donatello repeatedly tried to save him from being turned into a Mutant yet he still willingly subjected himself to it.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In an odd example, Mikey's nunchaku for this iteration. Not to say they weren't cool before, but now they can convert into a kusarigama.
    • Donnie's staff has a naginata blade hidden in one end.
    • April in "Metalhead". She's still no ninja, but she's learned how to take down a single Kraang droid by herself. Takes another level when Splinter offers her ninja lessons.
  • Took a Level in Dumbass: Mikey compared to his previous incarnation. He was never the brightest crayon in the pack before, but his increased immaturity in this series tends to invoke this trope to the point that the other characters frequently lampshade his stupidity; it earns him lots of disrespect from his brothers.However that it should be noted he smarter than he looks since he was the first to realize Leatherhead wasn't a monster.
    • Took a Level in Badass: Mikey in Dimension X. Trapped alone, he quickly figures out the twisted logic of the place and becomes the most effective Turtle. The others even praise him for his skill in carrying the day.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: This version of Raphael compared to the 2003 version. In the 2003 version, Raphael was rarely a jerk towards Donatello and usually respected his nerdy brother's brain. In the 2012 version, Raph tends to smack Don for his blathering and tends to be unimpressed with Don's inventions, and in The Gauntlet, when April tells the turtles she was attacked by a giant pigeon man, what is Raph's reaction? He laughs when no one else thought it was funny, not even Mikey, who even tells Raph that he's being insensitive.
    • Eventually you begin to notice how much of Raph's insults are unsolicited and automatic. More often than not, he puts them down when they're doing nothing more than minding their own business, indulging in their hobbies, or just making casual statements. While 1987 and 2003 Raphael were, to be sure, rather rude at times, they were either funny or responding to another brother's teasing. The 2012 version is just consistently disparaging to his siblings.
  • Tragic Monster: Poor, poor Slash and Leatherhead.
    • And as of now Pulverizer/Mutagen Man.
    • In Season 2's first episode, April's dad becomes a bat monster.
    • In a way, Karai. She finally finds an actual sense of family and accepts that she's Miwa, and is promptly mutated into a snake hybrid designed to kill her biological father. Though she's luckier than the others in that she seems to have an element of control.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Pizza of course. Though this is not surprising as it's the first thing they've eaten that wasn't algae and worms. Unlike the older series, the Turtles don't subsist completely on pizza; in "The Gauntlet" Michelangelo was going to make omelettes, and "Cockroach Terminator" shows them enjoying Ramen.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The preview commercial for "New Friend, Old Enemy" makes no attempt to hide that Chris Bradford works for Shredder. They actually say it outright.
  • Transflormation: Raphael's stint as a plant at the beginning of Season 3.
  • Troll: Mikey, big time. Also, Splinter has far too much fun winding his sons up.
  • A Truce While We Gawk: There's an instance of this in "Turtle Temper" between the turtles and the Kraang when Spider Bytez makes his debut.
  • Ultimate Universe: Reuses many ideas related to the 1987 show, but tends to use aspects of many other continuities (such as the use of Composite Characters and a somewhat dark tone), and adds its own spins on occasion (case in point, the revamped origins of the Rat King and Mutagen Man.).
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Pizza Face, a character who previously existed solely as a toy back in the days of the 80s cartoon, was probably one of the last characters anyone would have pegged for an appearance. That said, his design was drastically different.
    • Lord Dregg, the main antagonist of the final two seasons of the 1987 TMNT cartoon, is confirmed to appear in the show now.
  • Unfinished, Untested, Used Anyway: The Patrol Buggy.
    • And, at the end of Season 2, the Turtle Mech.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Vic is a complete jerk to the Turtles even when they're trying to save him from the Kraang, and it doesn't end well for him. Donnie even explicitly asks the others why they're bothering to try and save his ungrateful life.
  • Unusual Euphemism: In "The Pulverizer Returns!", Donatello uses "sewer apples" as a euphemism. (This may also count as a Shout-Out to My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and its use of "horseapples".
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: While the turtles are generally pretty good about being stealthy when on the streets, there is a lot of stuff going on in New York City that really should raise more notice. Probably most blatant when the Shellraiser, a subway car converted into a monster truck that's as wide as a two lane street, is driving around in plain view of several pedestrians, and no one so much as takes a second glance.
  • Variable-Length Chain: Where does all that extra chain come from when Mikey’s nunchucks convert into a kusarigama?
  • Verbal Tic: The Kraang really haven't grasped the concept of pronouns. Lampshaded by Kraang Sub-Prime, apparently the only Kraang to bother to learn the language.
  • Villain Team-Up:
    • Dogpound and Baxter in "Mousers Attack!". Ends with Stockman being forcibly drafted into the Foot.
    • In the first season finale, Shredder and the Kraang form an alliance, with Shredder helping them capture April and then handing her over to the Kraang after using her to bait Splinter.
  • Walking Armory: Metalhead.
  • Weapon of Choice: While Leonardo and Raphael have their familiar swords and sai respectively, promo posters show Donatello with a naginata instead of a bo, and Michelangelo with kusarigama instead of nunchucks though the commercials show them with their traditional weapons. Their action figures come with both of their respective weapons, with the classic weapons "loose" and the new weapons attached to the weapons rack with shuriken and other secondary weapons.
    • Their "new" weapons have been shown to be their "classic" weapons with retractable blades.
  • Weapon Twirling: Happens quite a bit, just watch the first 2 minutes of the first episode.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Hamato Yoshi/Splinter & Oroku Saki/the Shredder.
    • From "The Mutation Situation" to "Target: April O'Neil" this was April's stance with the turtles over her father's mutation until Casey tells her of an event that caused his own former best friend to adopt this outlook on Casey. This and the following attack on them made by Chrome Dome and Karai convinces April not to throw away her friendship with the turtles.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Despite the fact Pigeon Pete sets up the plot of "The Gauntlet", he completely disappears from the narrative after the protagonists learn that Kirby says that something bad is about to happen and he subsequently tells them where to find Kirby. His disappearance likely has to do with the series' more dramatic side, but it is somewhat jarring. Like the mutated Doctor Rockwell, they presumably just released him into the city.
    • Both show back up in The Battle for New York two-parter as Slash's new teammates.
  • What Have I Become?: Subverted. When Raphael and one of the Krang switch bodies in Plan 10, the Krang escapes outside then sees it's reflection in a mirror and says the line. It even starts raining.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: After Snake mutated into Snakeweed the turtles had no qualms with potentionally lethally electrocuting him (to be fair though, they were never very concerned with his safety to begin with, given who he works for).
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In "The Mutation Situation", saying that April doesn't take the fact that the Turtles unintentionally caused her father to be mutated well is a bit of an understatement. She winds up angrily telling them she doesn't want to see any of them again after that. It takes several episodes before she accepts it was an accident and reconcile.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 9, "The Gauntlet": It starts out innocently enough with the Turtles investigating a mutant pigeon... then the turtles plan to break out Mr. O'Neil from the compound he's being held only for them to make a Sadistic Choice and save themselves rather than free him. THEN they have to defuse a bomb that's going to cover the entire city in ooze while fighting Montes and Bradford (both of whom get mutated by the chemical in said bomb). If that wasn't bad enough they then get their first battle with the Shredder which ultimately ends with them all nearly getting killed and Splinter ending the episode by stating that the Shredder won't go away and his sons have officially gone to war.
    • Episode 17, "TCRI": The episode ends with the Kraang's portal re-activated, Leatherhead getting trapped on the other side fending off General Traag, and the revelation that the Kraang have actually been after April, not her father.
    • And now we have episode 22, "Pulverizer Returns". It's almost doubly so because you don't expect an episode with one of the wacky characters to get this... bleak. Pulverizer, after joining the Foot clan begins to spy for the Turtles, and they learn that Shredder steals Mutagen to create a monster army... and the Pulverizer, or Timothy, attempt to get mutated so he can be a cool mutant. He succeeds... and becomes a blob monster with all his organs visible inside the gunk. The episode ends with Timothy trapped this way in a canister, and Donatello desperately promising to find a way to turn him back. And on top of this, The Shredder and the Kraang seem to be forming an alliance....
    • "The Mutation Situation" has Kirby mutate into a bat creature, April leaving the Turtles and Mutagen falling across much of New York, most likely to create new monsters and rogues for the Turtles to fight.
    • The Kraang Conspiracy. Meeting with a journalist studying the Kraang, the turtles learn that they've been on earth for thousands of years trying to terraform earth. However, the real whammy comes at the end when we learn April's telepathic powers are derived from that fact that she's actually a half kraang half human mutant!
    • The Manhattan Project is a two part episode where Shredder returns from Japan with a new second in command: Tiger Claw. A deadly assassin strong enough to fight Splinter on roughly even terms. With Karai's help, they capture Splinter and almost kill him. However, the turtles manage to save him partly due to the Kraang worms (which is where mutagen comes from) causing earthquakes in the city, and Leonardo finally tells Karai she's actually Splinter's daughter.
    • Vengenace is Mine - The history of the Hamato and Foot Clans feud is revealed and Karai get's mutated
    • "The Invasion" - The Turtles, along with April and Casey, must flee New York after the Kraang successfully pull off their invasion and destroy the lair. Irma turns out to be a Kraang spy and Leo is beaten almost to death by the Foot. Also, Kirby is mutated again, their other allies such as Murakami and Kurtzman are missing, and the Turtles think Splinter is lost, although he is seen being saved by Karai.
    • The Battle for New York: Several of the Turtle's allies return as a new team: The Mutanimals. Composed of Slash, Leatherhead, Pigeon Pete, Dr. Rockwell and Kurtzman, this 2nd team is much more straightforward in its plans, but working together, the two teams stop the Kraang's 2nd attempt to mutate the planet, and then storm Dimension X in the new Turtle Blimp to rescue the people of New York.
  • Wham Line: "This did not prevent the planned escape of the Human known as Kirby O'Neil." And suddenly the whole episode has changed.
    • "I have no honor...but that's about to change." -Karai
  • What Does This Button Do?: Another annoying habit of Mikey.
    • Also Karai.
      Karai: (after being told by multiple people not to push a Big Red Button) Well, now I gotta.
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: In "It Came From the Depths".
    Splinter: Where is Michelangelo?
    Donatello: You don't think he went after Leatherhead, do you?
    Leonardo: (amused) Noooo, only an idiot would... (beat) Oh, Boy...
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Mikey, who even admits it:
    Mikey: You know I can't be trusted with nice things!
  • Wingding Eyes
    • Blank White Eyes: The Turtles gets these when they're shocked or surprised. Not to be confused with the Blank White Eyes of the previous Turtles cartoon.
    • It appears as if their eyes also shift to this in the more serious fights, making them resemble their 2003 counterparts.
  • With Cat Like Tread: Metalhead.
  • Won't Take "Yes" for an Answer: Happens with Donnie and Splinter in "Metalhead".
  • The Worf Effect: It's established in the first episode that Raphael is the turtles' strongest fighter, and he's usually the first to leap into a battle, so he naturally falls victim to this trope. Later, Leatherhead gets his pressure points hit and is quickly defeated by Shredder, but not before delivering a savage mauling to the villain.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Poor Donnie. Poor Bo staff.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: April definitely suffered this having her dad mutate into a bat approximately one month after being reunited with him. Poor Kirby gets mutated again just as he provides the Clan with a vehicle to escape the Kraang invasion in.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: With April being targeted by both the Shredder and the Kraang, Splinter and the Turtles decide that she has to stay in the sewers with them for her own safety, at least until the crisis is resolved. The Kraang destroy the lair in the second season finale, and the Turtles grab a few sentimental items, equipment, and Ice Cream Kitty before leaving it for the first half of Season 3. This is played on a planetary scale with them at the end of that season.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: The turtles try so hard, but end up failing to stop the first part of several plans. (mainly by the Kraang)
    • While the turtles go out after the Foot stealing Kraang Tech, they can't stop Baxter Stockman from creating new legs for Fishface.
    • The Kraang are able to summon the Technodrome to earth successfully, but fail to mutate the planet in time.
    • Tiger Claw's first appearance has him succeed in capturing Splinter as he promised. Unfortunately, this ends up ending in failure due to Shredder toying with Splinter for just a little too long.
    • The Kraang's 2nd invasion is massively successful, even forcing the turtles to flee New York for some time.
  • Youthful Freckles: Michelangelo and April have these.
  • Younger and Hipper
    • Instead of April being in her 20's, now she's about the same age as the turtles themselves, around 15-16.
    • Splinter himself is younger than he was in most incarnations. Probably because he was a man around thirty-something rather than an adult rat at the time of his transformation and thus ages more like a human.
    • Like April, Karai and Casey Jones have been aged down into their teens.
    • The turtles themselves act more like adolescents than any of their previous incarnations.
  • You Have GOT To Be Kidding Me: Raph's word-for-word reaction in "Cockroach Terminator" when the Spy-roach comes back for more... AGAIN.
  • Your Mom: In "Metalhead".
    Donatello: Hey, Kraang! The one who is called your mother wears the boots that are made for combat!
    Metalhead!Kraang: The comment that is made by you shows ignorance of Kraang. The ones known by you as mother—
    Donatello: Just come get me!
  • Zerg Rush: The preferred tactic of the Kraang and the Mousers.