Western Animation: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012
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!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.It was renewed for a third season on February 26, 2013, before even finishing its first season.Has a Recap page.
Tropes unique to this incarnation include:
7th Episode Twist: In "Monkey Brains", April begins her training with Splinter and the Turtles acquire and actually manage to keep a live canister of Ooze.
Action Girl: April is slowly turning into one of these.
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 past-time. And let's not even get started on Mikey's general quirkiness. Really, all of the turtles in this version have elements of this.
Leo really warrants special mention. His face shape, big blue eyes, and his propensity for fanboying makes for some borderline moe screenshots.
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.
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-Star Cast: Aside from some legends in the voice acting community (Rob Paulsen in particular makes his return to the Ninja Turtles after twenty years), the show also has legitimate movie stars (Jason Biggs, Sean Astin, Kelly Hu) slumming it to play cartoon turtles. Mae Whitman as April and Greg Cipes as Mikey and round out the cast with lower key TV and movie Stars.
"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.
Animesque: Has every bit of this equal to Teen Titans when it started out. Naturally considering its directed by CiroNieli
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 landed near some plants. Vic sees a couple of spiders before he mutates into Spider Bytes, Bradford gets bitten by a dog that looks like his mutant form Dogpound, and Xever buys a fish that looks like his new form Fishface.
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 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.
(小禄団 is Oroku-dan, meaning "Oroku Group"... as in Oroku Saki)
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.
Body Horror: Snake's mutation into Snakeweed. His design includes a pumping heart outside of his chest, and visible meat and bones in his legs.
Also Xever's transformation into Fishface leaves him unable to breathe and desperately begging Shredder for help.
Pulverizer's transformation into Mutagen Man. His organs are very visable inside of the goo and his eyes and lips are connected through stalks.
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 allPlayed for Laughs, despite the fact that he is clearly terrified by the last part.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Episodes usually end with a comic-esque shot of the final scene in the episode, with who's on the screen at the time getting a corresponding color (the heroes are classified as blue, the villains getting dark purple).
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.
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?
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 Xever with the goo. The Turtles didn't do anything technically (he and Xever attacked first) and were trying to disarm the mutagen bomb.
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 . . . .
Enemy Mine: The Turtles are forced to team up with Dogpound and Fishface when Baxter Stockman traps them all into his Maze of Doom. Baxter 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.
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 Xever's first scene showcases Bradford's ego and Bad Boss tendencies, Xever's sociopathic behavior, and their overall relationship.
Evil Makes You Monstrous: Good or neutral mutants are fairly humanoid, while amoral characters exposed to the ooze become monstrosities. Best demonstrated by Xever: both he and Bradford mutated, but the pragmatic Bradford remained fairly humanoid as Dogpound, while the sociopathic Xever became a fish with arms as Fishface.
The Dragon: Chris Bradford/Dogpound - Of the Genius Bruiser variant as Shredder's top disciple and most trusted enforcer even after mutating.
The Brute: Xever/Fishface - Lightning Bruiser variety. He's the sociopath and more obsessed with fighting than with the honor of the Foot Clan
The Evil Genius: Baxter Stockman - His brains are the only reason the Shredder hasn't mutilated him.
The Dark Chick: 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.
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 like Channing Tatum to Jonah Hill in Twenty One Jump Street. 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.
Forced Meme: "Booyakasha!" So much so, that Nickelodeon must inject it into nearly every advertisement for the show, and a healthy number of episodes can and will make at least one of the turtles say it.
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.
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 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.
Ocassionally, 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".
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."
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
In the episode "New Girl In Town", he panics when Mikey gets hurt in battle and shows obvious relief when he finally comes to.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 The Shredder and Karai, having gotten one of the Kraang to interrogate.
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 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.
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.
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 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 The first verse is about how cool the turtles are, the second verse goes through each of the four and Splinter individually, and the chorus is exactly the same. 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.
In addition when the Turtles doing weapon demonstrations is a visual gag to 2003's second opening version.
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.
April wearing yellow once again.
Shredder, much like the '87 series, is once again being played by a physically intimidating Scary Black Man.
Splinter is played by a Japanese man, much like in the 2007 TMNT film.
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.
The opening theme has a pretty big one with the Turtles striking the iconic poses of the first issue of the original comic at the end of it.
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.
In addition to actually using the face of the 1987 Mikey for his tattoo, the 'It would be like I'm wearing a mask of my face' gag from 'Never Say Xever' was likely a reference to the 2007 movie, where Mikey wore a cartoon turtle head for his job.
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.
In "The Gauntlet", Shredder's first meeting of the Turtles is accompanied by him making the exact same pose as in the first issue after he jumps off of the top of the Mutagen bomb.
Dogpound resembles Rahzar.
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.
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 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.
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.
"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 & 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.
The Nicknamer: Mikey seems to have taken charge of naming their enemies & equipment; he's just not very good at it & 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.
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, to date, is never around in a fight scene.
Noodle Incident: Baxter 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 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 Focus: Besides her introduction in the premier, April doesn't start playing an active role in the show until episode 6.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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!"
Shout Out: If you listen carefully, both Baxter in "His Name Was Baxter Stockman" and Chris Bradford in "Mousers Attack!" yell "Oh yeah!" when they burst through walls, like a certain anthropomorphized punch bowl is known to do...
In episode 4, when Mikey does his "Secret Kata", one of his moves is the henshin pose of Kamen Rider V3.
Spoiler Opening: "New Friend, Old Enemy" introduces Chris Bradford & Xever 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".
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.
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".
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.
When Donnie unveils the T-Phone in "Monkey Brains," it's accompanied by the theme tune performed in the form of a ringtone.
Tempting Fate: When the Channel 6 news shows one of the turtles' shuriken, Master Splinter state that it isn't a good thing. Raphael asks what’s the worst that could happen? In Tokyo, Japan, The Shredder recognizes the symbol on the shuriken, which belonged to Splinter when he was human, now he's off to New York.
Theme Tune Rap: The body of the theme is this, coupled with the 1987 chorus.
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.
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 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.
Trademark Favorite Food: Pizza of course. Thought 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 omlettes, and "Cockroach Terminator" shows them enjoying Ramen.
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.
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.
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).
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 The 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 Xever 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....
Metalhead: The entire episode is dedicated to trying to resolve this very issue. Lampshaded several times, specifically by Mikey ("Dude, your weapon just exploded!") and Raph ("Oh look, another stick for Donnie to break.") The Kraang blast it apart...twice. And who knows if it survived it's "improvement" at the end of the episode. Of course, being broken doesn't stop Donnie from using it to impale an otherwise unstoppable robot...with a little help from a steel beam.
The Gauntlet: Is cut in half when used against Shredder's armor.
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 has been aged down into her teens.