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Western Animation: Turtles Forever

"Two turtle teams from two turtle worlds, different in so many ways... but deep down, there are similarities."
The Shredder

What do you get when the 2003 Ninja Turtles meet their counterparts from the original cartoon series? This special 80-minute movie, which acts as a celebration of the franchise's 25th anniversary, a love letter to the fans, and as the 2003 cartoon's Grand Finale. The film has a strongly obituary/funereal vibe as well, (particularly during the last 10-15 minutes) and could serve as a graceful and cathartic end to the franchise as a whole, for viewers who are upset about Eastman and Laird's sale of creative rights.

An accident in the Technodrome sends it and the Turtles from the original cartoon to the 2003 Turtles' universe. As the 2003 Turtles try not to get too annoyed by their counterparts, 1987 Shredder and Krang make the biggest error of their lives when they free the 2003 Utrom Shredder (Ch'rell) from his exile. Utrom Shredder eventually takes over the Technodrome, and decides that if he wants to destroy the turtles, doing so in one universe won't be enough...

See also the main Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles page, the page for the Mirage comic book series, and the pages for the first and second animated series.

This movie has the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Decay: In-universe that doubles as being meta: the Mirage Turtles mock the other sets of Turtles appearance-wise and character-wise.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us
  • Anti-Climax: When Krang enlarges himself to take on the Utrom Shredder, only for the Shredder to take him out without even trying:
    Krang: "You're not the only one with a molecular amplification bio-suit, y'know!"
    (gets his right arm chopped off and knocked down)
    Ch'rell: "But mine actually works!"
  • Animation Bump: The movie features the best animation for the series since the change to the Back to the Sewer style. The old toon designs are also animated much better than they were for most of the actual original cartoon.
  • Anti-Hero/ Nominal Hero / Token Evil Teammate: the Mirage Turtles, They just helped their counterparts, because they had an enemy in common (Shredder).
  • Apocalypse How: 2003 Shredder accidentally starts a Class Z when he thinks he's simply erasing the turtles themselves from existence by destroying the "prime" team because he's actually breaking apart the whole multiverse due to destroying the franchise itself by taking out the genesis point of the TMNT franchise that is the original 1984 Mirage comic book; of course, by this point he's gone so nuts and obsessed with revenge that he just doesn't care.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism:
    Mirage Michelangelo: So you're supposed to be us, from other worlds. *beat* I don't see it.
  • Art Evolution: The 2003-verse gets a minor facelift for the movie, with most characters sporting tweaked versions of their Back to the Sewer character models, and with the turtles themselves sporting similarly modified versions of their Fast Forward looks, complete with a return to pupil-less eyes.
  • Art Shift: The 1987 and Mirage Turtles, as well as the worlds they come from are drawn in their original art styles.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: While going down the list of what makes Utrom Shredder (Ch'rell) much more of a threat than 1987 Shredder, Mikey gives us the most damning argument ever.
    2003 Leonardo: You don't understand, the Utrom Shredder isn't anything like your Shredder. He's vicious!
    2003 Donatello: Lethal!
    2003 Michelangelo: COMPETENT!
  • Ax-Crazy: Utrom Shredder, as well as the Mirage Turtles, who, until 2003 Leonardo mentioned The Shredder, looked like they were set to kill their alternate universe counterparts.
  • Badass: The Mirage Turtles. Examples: 2003 Raphael really loves their gritty world, and is so impressed he even tries to kiss up to them - and gets punched down like he was their Mikey. Mirage Raphael alone scares the 1987 Turtles. The 2003 Turtles get stomped as well, although they weren't trying to fight the Mirage versions. Hell, they even scared Ch'rell.
  • Badass Boast
    2003 Shredder: Who are these fools, so weary of life, that they take the name of the Shredder, MY NAME, in vain?
    • He gets another one when confronting the Mirage Turtles:
      "You speak my name, but you do not know me. I am Ch'rell, Oroku Saki, Duke Acureds, the one true Shredder! I am a destroyer of worlds, and I fear no one!"
  • Badass Creed
    Mirage Leonardo: We are the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. We strike hard, and fade away into the night.
  • Badass Crew / Badass Family: One of the differences between the 80s and 2000s teams. 80s Leonardo is a little surprised to hear 2003-Leo call Splinter "father".
  • Barrier Maiden: The death of the Mirage Turtles will trigger the end of The Multiverse.
  • Bash Brothers: A Ninja Turtles staple, but what makes this movie interesting is contrasting the more straight-up martial arts of the 2003 Turtles with the slapstick of the 1987 Turtles, and by the end their styles merge together.
  • Batman Gambit: Invoked twice and lampshaded. The Mirage Turtles call the 2003 Shredder a coward, as part of a ploy to get him out of the Technodrome and into an ambush by the 1987 and 2003 Turtles, who are Genre Savvy enough to figure out that all Shredders are pretty egotistical. It mirrors a previous gambit where the Shredder lures the turtles into the Technodrome, where he is able to capture them in order to obtain the location to Turtle Prime.
  • Beat: The second time 1987 Raphael breaks the Fourth Wall, the entire fight scene seems to stop for a moment, then continues, as normal.
  • Better than a Bare Bulb: Enough to make a lampshade to fit the Statue of Liberty.
  • Big Bad: 2003 Shredder (Ch'rell).
  • Big Damn Heroes: Many examples, with the most prominent (albeit unintentional) one being Bebop saving the TMNT multiverse when he replugs the Technodrome's power supply.
  • Big "NO!": 2003 Splinter does one of these when he thinks that Ch'rell has killed both teams of Turtles.
    • 2003 Shredder himself has one when he is seemingly killed.
  • Blame Game: In the director's cut, The 1987 Turtles blame the 2K3 Turtles for allowing Ch'rell to wreak havoc in the multiverse. 2K3 Raphael retaliates by saying 1987 Shredder was dumb enough for freeing him in the first place.
  • Blatant Lies: Double subverted with 2003 Raph. In the director's cut after being scolded by 2K3 Splinter for his treatment of the 1987 Turtles, he humbly apologizes for calling them clowns. Then in the 1987 verse when the Turtle Van and Turtle Blimp is unveiled, his response: "What, your clown car's in the shop?"
  • Bond One-Liner: "The Shredder... has been shredded."
    • Which is also a Nod to the comic.
  • Book Ends: This is a pretty meta application, but the franchise started with the cover of the original comic, whereas the movie, and the franchise's pre-Nickelodeon era, ends on a shot of that same cover. It also ends on the same line that ended the Turtles' first battle in the comics: "We strike hard, and fade away... into the night."
    • Also, the three-part intro of the 2003 series had the turtles referring to themselves as "Turtles Forever... or something else we all shout at once."
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: 1987 Raphael addresses the audience a couple of times...
    • Audience? What Audience?: ... much to Hun's confusion.
      Hun: Why do you keep doing that?! Who are you talking to??!! THERE'S NO ONE THERE!!!
    • Then there's the 2003 Turtles noticing that Mirage Leonardo is narrating their fight...
  • Bullethole Door: During the original rescue of the '87 Turtles.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Take a look at the pedestrians and see how many variations there are.
  • The Cameo: A metric crapload; as a revival of the original cartoon and a celebration of the Turtles' 25th anniversary, you get a bunch of cameos from all over the franchise's history.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The Next Mutation has absolutely no representation in the previews of the multiverse 2003 Shredder shows all the Turtles.
    • Neither do any of the video games nor any oddity best forgotten such as the Coming Out of Their Shells tour, the Christmas special, Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue. Which can't be legally represented anyways.
      • Having Cartoon All-Stars would be pretty redundant, as that show had the 80's Mikey.
    • The '87 series's "Red Sky" seasons weren't adhered to either.
    • On the other hand, the existence of a universe isn't really determined on whether it is seen or not. The universes not shown may have been omitted for more than just being the most hated incarnations.
      • There are an infinite amount of parallel universes, after all. It could be that if there was more room to show them, those worlds could have been shown. After all, Usagi Yojimbo wasn't up there, and the two franchises are pretty good friends.
  • Character Exaggeration: While the original cartoon turtles would sometimes act as silly as they do here, the movie takes that aspect of their characterization and plotlines and runs with it (the 2003 Turtles even say: "Geez, it's like having five Mikey's now!"). The Mirage Turtles seem to go the other direction, with nearly all of their personalities subsumed in grim and gritty Badass, until one realizes that they are less the turtles from the Mirage Universe than they are the turtles of TMNT issue #1, and as such, have no established personalities beyond "Frank Miller parody".
    • Which makes sense, when one considers that when comparing their notes on Shredders, the Mirage Turtles state that they are still on a mission to kill their Shredder, which was the finale to their first story arc. Heck, he even shows up near the finale... for a few seconds.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The exploding throwing stars from the 1987 universe. While initially thought useless by the 2003 Turtles, it actually saves them from being erased from the universe forever.
    • 2003 Donatello hitting the portal generator with a wrench, which 80's Don used to get the portal stick working the previous time. Might count as a Chekov's Lesson.
  • City of Weirdos: Subverted when the 1987 Turtles, transferred to the universe of their 2003 counterparts, walk around New York like they're a common sight, unaware of the pains the 2003 Turtles take to conceal themselves. People are surprised by this as would be expected. The trope is later played straight when the teams end up in the 1987 universe, where rampaging living bananas fighting mutant turtles don't even get a glance from residents.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Land: The 1987 universe, as far as the 2003 Turtles are concerned.
    2003 Raphael: Was that a mutant... banana?
    2003 Michelangelo: This dimension is seriously messed up.
  • Covers Always Lie: The Nickelodeon DVD release has a cover that has only one set of Turtles on it, despite the fact that different groups meeting up is the entire point of the movie.
  • Continuity Cameo/Canon Immigrants: Tokka and Rahzar make their TMNT 2K3 debut—for all of five seconds—as members of the Shredder's mutant army.
  • Continuity Nod: Several, but most notable, the name "Turtles Forever" was used in the third episode of the 2003 series when Splinter finishes telling the origin story to April. The audience is set up to expect a Title Drop, but the four turtles subvert it by yelling "Turtles Forever!". Another would be Krang's and Ch'rell's use of the growing tech and Swiss army knife hands in his suit from way back in his first battle with the Turtles in the 87 show.
    • In Fast Forward, Cody mentioned the Turtle's second lair was destroyed. We found out it was during the movie and Hun was the responsible.
  • Continuity Porn: Oh dear Lord yes. Especially when the Turtles are being shown the "multiverse stills". It includes the Anime Turtles.
  • Cosmic Keystone: TMNT issue #1, and more specifically, its turtles. If they are destroyed, every TMNT-verse ceases to exist.
  • Creator Cameo: Turtles creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird show up twice: once as the pair of cops who have been a yuppie couple from the first episode of the 2003 series, and the second as themselves in live action, as they take a break from putting the finishing touches on the first issue of TMNT.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: The 1987 Turtles may be goofy clowns compared to their 2003 counterparts, but they're still helpful when the situation calls for it.
  • Crisis Crossover: Between the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This is technically the first time the Mirage Turtles have been animated.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: When both sets of turtles fight their Mirage counterparts, who would've likely killed them had 2003 Leo not mention Shredder's name.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Arguably a villainous example in Hun, who's mutated into a Turtle monster, how is this awesome? Well, literally none of the Turtles could defeat him, the mutation actually makes his chances at winning against the Turtles better. How is it a curse? Since they whip his ass so often, Hun freaking hates turtles.
  • Darker and Edgier: The world of the Mirage Turtles. Not to mention the Mirage Turtles themselves. Even the 2003 Raphael calls his Mirage counterpart a hardcase.
    • By extension, the 2003 world is also Darker and Edgier compared with the 1987 world. There's even a moment where, before they all go off to fight him, the 2003 Turtles point out to the 1987 Turtles that their Shredder is much deadlier than the 1987 Shredder.
    2003 Leonardo: The Utrom Shredder isn't anything like your Shredder. He's vicious.
    2003 Donatello: Lethal!
    2003 Michelangelo: COMPETENT!
  • Deadly Dodging: Hun moves just in time to avoid being hit by Master Splinter's walking stick, and it struck Rocksteady instead.
  • Death Ray: The Technodrome's laser, which gets upgraded by the 2003 Shredder into a weapon capable of destroying entire universes. Hot damn!
  • Deconstruction Crossover: The way each group of turtles act towards each other place it firmly in this trope.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The world of the Mirage Turtles. Right down to drawing shadows as tightly clustered black dots on a white background, like an actual black-and-white comic would use.
  • Deus ex Machina: 1987 Don. The character himself was a breathing Deus Ex Machina in the film. Along with being portrayed as the most competent of any of the 1987 characters, he also manages to turn a flashlight into a multi-universe dimension hopper- 2003 Don claims that this should not be.
    • Considering his role was exactly this in the 1987 cartoon (who retrofitted every vehicle, created every specialized tool, repaired time-traveling robots, made a time-stopper and dismantled doomsday devices? It sure wasn't Mikey), so this should come as no surprise.
    • Bebop and Rocksteady could be argued to be this.
  • Did You Get a Perm Job?: '87 Raphael to '03 Splinter.
  • Distressed Damsel: April's role as one in the 1987 series is lampshaded in the movie.
    1987 Don: We save April at least once a day.
  • Dynamic Entry:
    *Hun crashes through the door*
    Raphael: Hope you don't mind, but we let ourselves in.
    • Also, the Turtle Van's travel between the two universes, destroying Foot Soldiers in the process.
  • The Earth Prime Theory: The application here is more meta than the typical usage and requires a bit of thinking: Utrom Shredder's plan isn't really given any reason to work until you realize what he's ACTUALLY destroying is the franchise itself. If the Turtles don't exist at their earliest form, the rest of the property we know here in the real world as "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" cannot exist (as the original comic never was given life to spawn the rest of the franchise).
  • Elite Mooks: "Robots 2.0" and the Shredder's mutant army.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Hun, after his mutation into a turtle. He always gave the 2003 Turtles a run for their money as a human, but after his mutation, he easily puts the smackdown on both the '03 and '87 Turtles without even trying.
  • End Of The Multiverse As We Know It: As quoted by the Shredder...
    The Shredder: It seems like branches hanging off a single tree, each of these dimensions sprang from a common source, destroy the source, and you would set off a chain reaction that would destroy Ninja Turtles everywhere, Forevermore!
    • But, for a more specific example, destroying Turtle Prime destroys every other dimension, meaning they become nothing but a completely white wasteland which literally cannot support life.
  • Enemy Mine: Long list: Karai, Hun, Krang, and 1987 Shredder.
  • Everybody Has Standards: Even 2K3 Mikey gets tired of the 1987 Turtles' laid-back attitude and inability to take the 2003 Shredder seriously. Likewise, even 2k3 Raph considered the Mirage Turtles to be hardcase.
  • Evil Laugh: The 2003 and Mirage Shredders.
  • Eviler than Thou: The 2003 Shredder when compared with his 1987 counterpart and Krang. At first, 1987 Shredder hoped they could form a Big Bad Duumvirate with him... then he discovered Ch'rell was murderously violent and Karai's involvement allowed him to take over the Technodrome, and all of 1987 Shredder/Krang's assets, upgrade them to his own means, and use them in a plan the destroy the entire Multiverse. The 2003 Shredder considers the '87 villains incompetent and worthless, and eventually has them imprisoned when he can't stand them any longer (except Bebop and Rocksteady, who he allows to serve him).
  • Even Evil Has Standards: 1987 Shredder and Krang join the fight to stop 2003 Shredder at the end, because not even they would attempt to destroy all reality. Karai also follows suit.
  • Face Palm: In no particular order, Leo, Raph, Don, and April (all the 2k3 variants) get this 'privilege'.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Almost happens to the Mirage Turtles: the Utrom Shredder, now a giant, starts crushing them in his hand, and judging by the way things were fading to the white void, he really was killing them.
  • Flanderization: Sure, the Turtles from the 80's were sillier than the newer cartoon versions but they weren't nearly as wacky as displayed here. In fact, Leonardo was usually the more serious turtle but here, he was just as goofy as the others.
    • Similarly, '87 Shredder and Krang behaved even more like the bickering married couple that people claimed they had become by the end of the series.
  • The Fool: The '87 Turtles when they're out of their element. But that doesn't stop them from being helpful when the situation calls for it.
  • Foreshadowing: As he's being locked up by Bebop and Rocksteady, Krang tells them this:
    Krang: I hope he finds you two as useful as we (1987 Shredder and Krang) did.
    • At the beginning of the movie, after the news about the Turtles tackling the Purple Dragons, there's a report about seismic activity.
  • Genius Ditz: Epitomized in the technology of the '87 and 2003. The '87 technology is simultaneously more advanced and less efficient than the 2003 tech.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the beginning, the Soap Opera 2003 Splinter is watching has a man saying, "I'm not your stepbrother— I'm your half-sister!"
  • Godzilla Threshold: Quite a few moments where it gets so bad that the day is only saved through last ditch tactics, and equipment and methods that up to that point had been written off as useless.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: The 1987 villains. Until the final battle.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: 2003 Shredder loses it after learning of the multiverse. Or more specifically, that each alternate universe is home to its own group of Ninja Turtles.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: The 1987 Turtles take this Up to Eleven, with the worst thing that '87 Donatello can describe to the Mirage Turtles about the 2003 Shredder is that "he's a grade-A meanie!" Remember, he is meant to be describing a vicious murderer and would-be conqueror who is currently attempting to destroy the universe.
  • Grand Finale: For virtually the entire franchise up to this point, now that Mirage has sold the rights to Nickelodeon.
  • Hands Go Down:
    2003 Leonardo: Any idea what we should do next?
    1987 Turtles: Ooh! Ooh! I know! I know!
    2003 Leonardo: ...other than going out for a slice?
  • Harmless Villain: Any villain not from the TMNT 2003 universe.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Karai.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The 2003 Shredder is eventually killed by his own Technodrome's laser, care of Bebop and Rocksteady, who he had allowed to serve him only because "they're amusing."
  • Hypocritical Humor: 2003 Donatello gets really annoyed with his old-toon counterpart's attempts to make a dimensional transporter out of a flashlight. Especially when he calls a wrench a hammer. Later on, when needing to repair the device in a dire situation, 2003 Don... uses a wrench as though it were a hammer.
    • In a scene cut out of the network broadcast, 1987 Shredder explains to Krang that Ch'rell's upgrades to the Technodrome should be welcomed... until two Foot Soldiers remove '87 Shredder's beloved command chair.
    • 2003 Raphael calling the Mirage Turtles "hardcases", although they are harder than he is.
    • Though initially enjoying their antics, 2003 Michelangelo eventually gets annoyed by the 1987 Turtles' constant joking:
      "Can't you guys be serious about anything?!"
  • I Have Many Names: "You speak my name, but you do not know me. I am Ch'rell, Oroku Saki, Duke Acureds, the one true Shredder!"
    • Subverted: the 1987 Turtles have many names for their Shredder. These are: "Old Bucket Breath," "Frying Pan Face," "Chrome Dome," "Metal Mouth," and "Tin Teeth."
  • I'm Standing Right Here: Occurs when 1987 Shredder comments on how he hopes that Ch'rell will be a better partner than the usual idiots he works with. Krang is not amused.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: When the turtles reach the Technodrome for the first time, the 1987 Shredder sends out Bebop, Rocksteady and a large wave of foot soldiers, all armed with laser pistols. Their aim is so terrible that they can't even hit the eight Turtles and Splinter when they're standing together in a group for several seconds. Naturally, when 2003 Shredder sees that they get an upgrade, their aim improves drastically.
    • Although there's a scene where '87 Don and Leo are dodging laser fire.
    • In the initial rescue of the '87 Turtles, Hun's mooks are laying down some heavy fire. Enough to pull down a wall. And if one of their targets were to parkour all over a particular wall, they would shoot the exact spots to make that wall come down on top of Hun and all his men, including said shooters. '03 Leonardo takes his focus off of them, considers the wall, comes up with this plan, and then visibly admires his ingenuity, all while being actively shot at, without taking a single hit, all in the time it took you to read this sentence. Honestly, the eight of them could have just walked out of there.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: 1987 Shredder, Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady were always this, but it's especially highlighted when they're compared to the much more competent 2003 villains. Until the final battle, they're the Goldfish Poop Gang. Even the 2003 Turtles mention this.
    2003 Leonardo: "Listen. Utrom Shredder isn't anything like your Shredder. He's vicious!"
    2003 Donatello: "Lethal!"
    2003 Michelangelo: "COMPETENT!!!"
  • I Resemble That Remark:
    2003 Raphael: I told ya, ya can't brainstorm with these goofballs. They ain't got no brains!
    1987 Raphael: Hey! We resemble that remark!
    *All the 1987 Turtles start laughing, whilst 2003 Raphael and Leonardo facepalm*
  • Ironic Echo: The 1987 Turtles mention getting pizza, later, the Mirage Turtles decide to go out for pizza at the end, something that they've never done in the comics prior. And after that, the creators of the very first comic (Laird and Eastman) are overheard talking about how they hope the comic will sell as they go out for a slice of their own.
    • Let's not forget when 2003 Raphael called his Mirage self a hardcase.
    • There's also the time 2003 Michelangelo berated the '80s Turtles
      2003 Michelangelo: "Stop it, stop it, STOP IT! Can't you guys be serious about ANYTHING!?"
    • Also, this line, uttered first by the '03 Shredder, and later by '03 Leonardo, each after pulling off their respective Batman Gambits:
      If there's one constant in The Multiverse...
  • Irony: The 2003 Turtles consider their 1987 counterparts as silly, incompetent, and inferior to them. When they meet the Mirage Turtles, they get much the same treatment and reaction.
  • Karmic Transformation: Hun was transformed into the one thing he hates most, a mutant turtle.
  • Killed Off for Real: Ch'rell finally dies in this movie, courtesy of Bebop and Rocksteady. Bebop. And. Rocksteady. No, seriously. Given his track record, only the fact that this is the grand finale gives it any weight—even Splinter and Karai note that they don't doubt the possibility of him surviving.
  • Large Ham: Arguably 2003 Shredder. "The time has come... to RIIIIIIIISSSSEEEE!!!"
    • All the Shredders.
      1987 Shredder: Blasted TURTLES!
      Mirage Shredder: I! AM! ''HERE!''
  • Lampshade Hanging: When the eight turtles first arrive in the '87 universe, '87 Leonardo is able to know that they have to save April without even looking around.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others:
    2003 Leonardo: You don't understand, the Utrom Shredder isn't like your Shredder. He's vicious.
    2003 Donatello: Lethal.
    2003 Michelangelo: Competent!
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler/It Was His Sled: Any Ninja Turtles fan who even just remotely heard of this movie would have already known of its highlights, apart from, y'know, the '87 Turtles: The Multiverse and the Mirage Turtles. Heck, a clip of The Multiverse slideshow is the picture of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles main page!
  • Let's Get Dangerous: '03 Mikey is just as goofy as the '87 Turtles, but once they learn Chr'ell is back, even he couldn't tolerate the wackiness of his counterparts.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: The first thing that the Mirage TMNT do when they appear is fight the other two sets of turtles. If 2K3 Leo hadn't mentioned the Shredder, they'd all most likely be dead right now.
  • Made of Explodium: Krang's Foot Soldiers. As with many things about the cartoon, it is lampshaded here.
    2003 Leonardo: "Robots?"
    2003 Michelangelo: "EXPLODING robots! Ha ha!"
  • Make My Monster Grow: The 2003 version of Shredder grows to an incredible size in order to wipe out the turtles of the Mirage universe; Krang then enlarges himself as well, in order to fight this Shredder on equal footing, but is cut down in no time.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Two types: Krang's original robot Foot Soldiers from the first cartoon, and Ch'rell's upgraded version of the concept.
    • The tougher 2003 Raphael had a great time fighting these robotic mooks - even the tough upgraded ones - getting a chance to really vent for once.
  • Meet Your Early Installment Weirdness
  • Milestone Celebration: 25th anniversary special.
  • Motive Decay: Ch'rell/2003 Shredder. In most of his appearances in the 2003 series after The Reveal, including all of season 3, his goals are to get back to space to rebuild his empire and get revenge on the Utroms who imprisoned him. He considered the turtles little more than an inconvenience and was willing to leave Earth in his space ship without even finishing them off. In this movie he wants nothing more than to kill all Ninja Turtles, even at the cost of his own existence.
    • This might be explained by his seemingly going insane once he learns that there are ninja turtles in every universe. And the entire purpose of his entire existence, is to be foiled by those turtles.
  • The Movie
  • Multiversal Conqueror: The Shredder's original plan before learning of the Ninja Turtles in each and every universe. Eventually turns him into an Omnicidal Maniac.
  • The Multiverse: 2003 Shredder discovers that both the 1987 and 2003 universes are a part of a larger multiverse that branched out from a single origin universe (the Mirage universe, or "Turtle Prime").
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: Played straight and then defied. Karai immediately sides with the 2003 Shredder when he comes back... but as soon as she discovers that her plan to destroy The Multiverse will kill everyone and everything, including the Shredder and Karai herself, she pulls yet another Heel-Face Turn and helps the three sets of Turtles take him down.
  • Mythology Gag: Mirage Shredder gets offed quickly in an anticlimactic fashion not long after popping up, a nod to the fact that he was the shortest lasting of the three Shredders, being killed in the very first issue.
    • A earlier one is that 2003 Splinter is watching Channel 6—the same channel that 1987 April works for.
    • Hun turns into a monstrous turtle, very much resembling Slash from the 1987 continuity.
    • As said later, the Mirage Turtles and their Shredder directly quoting the comic in some sentences.
      • Even 2k3 Shredder gets in on the act. He tells the Turtles to "Come and face your doom!" A line from the first issue.
    • At least two of Krang's plans are used by the 2003 Shredder: Creating a mutant army, and turning into a giant robot.
    • "You were expecting maybe someone else?"
    • "I love being a turtle!"
  • Near Villain Victory: The 2003 Shredder almost kills the 1984 Turtles, thereby insuring Universe wide Turtlecide, but he's done in by Exploding Throwing Stars, his ego, and Bebop and Rocksteady.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Utrom-Shredder increases massively in size to take apart our heroes. Krang does the same however, and gets ready to fight him, one-on-one. He only lasts about three seconds.
  • Never My Fault: Hun blames the turtles for his transformation into a mutant turtle despite the fact that he knew what the 80's mutagen purpose was and he took the mutagen vials from 80's Donatello out of his own free will. He even wanted the mutagen.
    • Possibly justified in that he wanted the mutagen, but never wanted to mutate into a turtle.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Bebop and Rocksteady plugging back in the upgraded Technodrome's Death Ray and killing the 2003 Shredder.
  • No Ontological Inertia: When Ch'rell is defeated, the universe-destroying laser immediately switches off.
    • Heck, the whole Multiverse runs on this, as damage to the Mirage Ninja Turtles universe destroys the 2k3 universe, and when Utrom Shredder has the Mirage Turtles in his clutches he nearly destroys ALL OF EXISTENCE. And then it's all undone when he's defeated and the Mirage world is safe from further damage.
  • The Nose Knows
  • Not So Different: At the end of the film, all three groups of Turtles seem to acknowledge a sense of kinship between each other. Despite all the things that were different between them, they were all heroes and even the "more serious" 2003 Turtles had their gimmicks. "It's Ninja Time!" "Turtle Power!" When the '03 Turtles visit the '87 Turtles world they see the '87 Splinter treat them with the same wise compassion their Splinter showed the '87 Turtles when the roles were reversed.
    • Even the 2003 Shredder realized that the differing Turtles had at least something in common as he was preparing to kill both groups.
      The Shredder: Two turtle teams from two turtle worlds, different in so many ways... but deep down, there are similarities.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Ch'rell gets his tentacles on 1987 Shredder's toys (robot Foot Soldiers, mutagen, and the Technodrome) and actually turns them into a credible, lethal threat.
    • That's not to say a fast acting mutagen, a robot army, and a giant battle station with laser cannons are nothing to sneeze at, but Ch'rell really had the '87 arsenal upgraded.
    • Would Bebop and Rocksteady count? Sure, they didn't intend to kill Utrom Shredder, but... well, they did.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Utrom Shredder didn't start out this way (he just wanted to see the destruction of the turtles so he could run around unopposed) but when Karai told him that destroying the Ninja Turtles of Turtle Prime would also dissolve everyone else, his plan Motive Decayed into this (with a good ounce of Taking You with Me).
  • One Steve Limit: averted, of course, with the inevitable lampshade hangings.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: The 2k3 Turtles' reaction to the '87 Turtles. Taken Up to Eleven with the Mirage Turtles, who try to kill them both on sight.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Happens with the 1987 Turtles who are shown to be inferior fighters compared to the 2003 Turtles. Happens again with the Mirage Turtles overshadowing both.
    • Also happens with Shredders; with the 2003 Shredder actually being the Big Bad while both 1987 and Mirage Shredders were, by contrast, both relatively inept bad guys.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Shredder (old toon version) and Krang end up doing this as Ch'rell fights the military.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Apparently one of 1987 Donatello's stock techniques. 2003 Donatello is more reluctant.
  • Pet the Dog: At the end the Mirage Turtles admit their counterparts weren't that bad. Mirage Mikey admits he liked the initialized belt buckles of the 1987 Turtles.
    • And by extension the 2003 Turtles also admit they're gonna miss the 1987 Turtles. As a final sign of respect they even trade each other's catchphrases as a farewell.
    • Take note that the only Turtle to hit 2003 Raphael for hating on the belt buckles was Mirage Raphael, so Mirage Mikey may not have been the only one who liked the belt buckles.
  • Poke the Poodle: At the end of the movie, 1987 Shredder proudly threatens the group with a Giggle Ray before running away laughing.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: Occurs to the 1987 turtles and Shredder, particularly during the final battle.
  • Private Eye Monologue: Mirage Leo gives out one verbally while he and his crew are fighting their '03 and '87 counterparts.
  • That Poor Cat: Seen in the extended cut on a ledge of a building, looking at the 2003 Turtles and 1987 Turtles explain their side of the story to the Mirage Turtles. We then hear it squealing after the Mirage Shredder is knocked off the building top by trash cans.
  • Pretender Diss: The Mirage Turtles, to the point where their first reaction on seeing the other turtles is Kill-On-Sight.
  • Recursive Canon: Subtly implied at the end when the Mirage Turtles admit they liked some of the traits of their counterparts.
  • Retgone: Happens in real time with the universes fading into white when 2003 Shredder starts trying to kill the Turtles Prime.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Ch'rell is so intent on ending the existence of all the Turtles in the multiverse that he doesn't realize (or really care) that it will wipe him out as well.
    • In a scene deleted from the broadcast for time, it's revealed he stops for a moment, but he decides to kill the originals anyway, because, well, it's what he does. Either he can exist to be foiled, or actually do one thing of importance
    • Furthermore, Hun, blaming the Turtles for his mutation, attacks them and refuses to pay any mind to what they have to say about the Shredder. However, when their world begins to fade because of Ch'rell, he quickly gives up and hands them the tech they need to get to the Mirage universe without any further trouble.
  • Robotic Reveal: The 2003 Turtles learn this in their first battle with the 1987 Foot Soldiers, in a scene paralleling a similar moment in the first episode of the original cartoon.
  • Running Gag: Lampshading the 1987 toon's medium awareness: when that version of Raphael makes comments at the audience, Hun and/or 2003 Raph try to figure out what he's looking at.
    • Also 2k3 Mikey being the '87 Turtles frequent target of a "noogie".
  • Shout-Out: The scene where Ch'rell has captured both Turtle teams in the virtual chamber and is scanning their DNA in search of Turtle Prime distinctly evokes the final moments of TRON inside the MCP's Tower.
    • Then there's this line:
    • Not to mention:
    Utrom Shredder: "All too easy."
    • And:
    Utrom Shredder: "... unlimited power!!"
  • Shown Their Work: If you've read the comics, watched the old show, seen the movies, or just researched the franchise, there are so many in-jokes and tidbits you can notice. For example, Mirage Leonardo actually quotes the original comics.
    Mirage Leonardo: "I strike two on the way down. Donatello takes out a third with his staff. Already the pudgy ones were starting to panic. Raph loves this stuff. He's not alone."
  • Smurfette Principle: The Purple Dragons have only one female member.
  • Spanner in the Works: Bebop and Rocksteady.
    • An earlier example would be Karai. If not for her involvement, the two Turtle teams wouldn't even be alive, and the end of The Multiverse would have been a lot sooner.
  • Status Quo Is God: Karai's implied Heel-Face Turn (following a season long Enemy Mine situation) at the end of the season 5 is conveniently ignored for the purposes of this story.
    • Justified: Shredder came back.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: The Mirage Turtles at the end.
  • Stock Footage: Despite being a very well animated movie, it has several moments where footage from a previous scene is reused, including from a few seconds ago, doesn't stop the movie from being good though.
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: What 2003 Shredder's plan boils down to. Even when he finds out that he'll kill himself along with the others if he destroys the Prime universe, he has gone so nuts and revenge-obsessed that he decides he doesn't care if he dies or not.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: First noted by the 1987 Shredder. When the 2003 Shredder takes control, he also holds this opinion.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Subverted.
  • Talk to the Fist
    Shredder: I care nothing for the universe I left behind. I will not stop until-
    Mirage Raphael: Less talk, more action.
  • Taking You with Me: 2003 Shredder attempts to do this after discovering that by killing the Mirage Turtles, he'll destroy EVERYTHING to a white void, including himself. However, he hates the Turtles so much that he considers death by his own hand a small price to pay if it meant the Turtles in every dimension get killed off.
  • Title Drop:
    Utrom Shredder: So long as Ninja Turtles exist somewhere in the multiverse, they will interfere in the plans of the Shredder! Our epic battle is never going to end... unless I put an end to Turtles... FOREVER!
  • Totally Radical: Literally invoked.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: the 4Kids trailer, showing scenes from all acts in the movie, including the finale.
  • Trapped in Another World: the '87 Turtles at the beginning.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The broad daylight appearance of a troupe of mutant bananas and bowling balls in the world of the original cartoon draws no attention from bystanders, as would often happen in the cartoon itself. Likewise, the Mirage Turtles mention the Technodrome had been destroying everything all night without soliciting a reaction, seeming very similar to New Yorkers in this respect.
  • Vanilla Edition: The US DVD release. It does not have the full film or anamorphic widescreen. The UK DVD release on the other hand, is both widescreen and contains the full film.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The Utrom Shredder suffers one after he discovers that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles exist in all universes, meaning that no matter where he goes, he'll never escape them. This causes him to go from trying to conquer the multiverse to becoming an Omnicidal Maniac and destroy it.
  • Villain Team-Up
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: This movie seems to assume the viewer knows about the original comic books, people could only guess before this movie came out, many people assumed Turtle Prime was the 1987 world, and not the original comics. Not to mention the fact that the creators of the movie clearly did a lot of research on the franchise.
  • Where It All Began: For the entire TMNT franchise, as the last act takes place in the world of the original Mirage comics.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Asked by the 1987 Shredder and Krang as soon as the 2003 Shredder has both sets of Turtles in the Technodrome's sights. For 2003 Shredder, this was one annoyance too many from his counterpart. Of course, he wanted them alive so he could scan them, track down Turtle Prime, and kill all sets by wiping them from existence.
    • As soon as he reaches the Mirage Universe, this seems to be his original intention with the Mirage Turtles (since he doesn't need anything fancy to make sure they stay dead). But then the Mirage Turtles call him a coward and he abandons this plan to confront them himself.
    • And yet also lampshaded:
    2003 Raphael: If you plan on doing us in, there's gotta be an easier way!
  • You Are What You Hate: Hun after his mutation:
    Hun: "Now, I look in the mirror, and all I see is you! And I hate you EVEN MORE!!!"
  • You Have Failed Me: Averted. 2k3 shredder is at first angry that Hun only brought back Splinter to the Technodrome. However, after hearing his reasoning for why he lost them, and that "so long as you have the rodent, the turtles will come to you," Shredder actually congratulates Hun, and allows him to lead the attack on New York.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!:
    1987 Donatello: Exploding ninja stars. Anti-Technodrome roller skates. SPF 1000 sunblock.
    1987 Raphael: And I got the pizzas! We're good to go!
    [Beat]
    2003 Leonardo: You're joking, right?
    2003 Raphael: We came all the way to Wacky World for THIS JUNK!?
    2003 Michelangelo: No no no no no no no no NO!


All: "I LOVE BEING A TURTLE!"

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003)Franchise/TeenagemutantninjaturtlesTMNT
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003)Creator/Dong Woo AnimationTurbo
    Recap/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ( 1987 )Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012 S 2 E 1314 The Manhattan Project
TriangleFilms of 2005 - 2009 The Ugly Truth
The Triplets of BellevilleAnimated FilmsThe Twelve Tasks of Asterix
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003)Western AnimationTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012)

alternative title(s): Turtles Forever
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