YMMV / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012)

  • Abandon Shipping:
  • Accidental Aesop: Some people view "The Croaking" as giving the message, "If you don't like being grounded, run away! You'll even become friends with Napoleon Dynamite!" The fanbase was understandably... not happy.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: When the Pulverizer mutates into Mutagen Man.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Does April care about Donnie, OR Casey on a romantic level at all? Does she not realize what some of her actions towards Donnie implies through his eyes? Did she have a thing for Casey during season 2 and backtracked due to the traumatic events during said season's finale? Or is she leading BOTH of them on, only to to turn them down, because it's the only thing she can control about her life anymore?
    • Is Mikey really as stupid and irrational as he seems, or is he insecure about being compared to his brothers and being "just" the funny guy, and said stupid and irrational actions are just his misguided way of trying to prove himself. explanation 
    • Is Raph's skill with animals just a result of not being good with people, or is he inherently more animalistic than his brothers and father.
      • Another one would have to be on whether or not he's a Stepford Smiler in season 3 due to the events of the season 2 finale. Was he able to cope with the situation during the seasons' three month time skip, or is he just putting on a brave face because he's the Team Dad now, and doesn't want the others to worry to much.
      • Yet another Raph one. (Although this one is at least partially due to shipping.) Is Raph's negative attitude towards Donnie's crush (on April) due to his Brutally Honest nature and being realistic over the situation (and not wanting Donnie to get hurt), or does he also have a crush on April as well but doesn't act on it because both his brother and best friend are already pursuing her, and the comments he makes are meant to dissuade himself as well. Is it just one of these, or all of them?
    • Are Casey and Donnie Vitriolic Best Buds or is all their antagonism towards each other truly out of spite? explanation 
    • Did the Shredder take Miwa to spite Hamato Yoshi? Or did he do it out of atonement for accidentally killing Tang Shen? And on that note, is he doing evil because he knows he crossed the Moral Event Horizon for killing Shen?
      • Considering his Lack of Empathy for everyone else, does his revenge actually extend to the rest of the world for what happened to the original Foot Clan, with Splinter and the Hamato Clan being his main targets? Did he mean to let the Earth be destroyed so it's not just Splinter he ends up killing?
    • Was Kraang Sub Prime brainwashed by Kraang like the other Utroms, or did he willingly join the Kraang? The fact that he can speak fluent English and has some level of independent thought points to the latter.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Bradford likes his mutation into Rahzar despite it being much more horrific looking than his Dog Pound mutation, since it allowed him to regain some of his ninja speed. Subverted in "The Lonely Mutation of Baxter Stockman", where it is shown he still wants to be human again.
    • Because a filler episode comes afterwards, April's reaction to learning she's a human-Kraang mutant comes off as this.
    • Arguably, Ice Cream Kitty. She doesn't seem bothered in the slightest about being transformed into a living dessert.
    • After the much Darker and Edgier second season finale, the third season completely dropped the plot regarding the Kraang's ongoing invasion and mutation of the Earth in favor of several filler episodes that are either gratiutous Shout-Out's to horror films ("Dream Beavers", "Within the Woods", "Buried Secrets"), bizarre episodes mostly focused on humor ("The Croaking", "A Foot Too Big"), or a mixture of both. Absolutely no mention of what's going on in the outside world let alone the missing Splinter or their allies, or Kirby being mutated again is made, and overall despite the odd darker moment the show has taken a much more bizarre, lighter approach.
    • In the third season finale, Casey is excited to have adventures in space, despite the fact that the whole planet was sucked into a black hole, including his dad and sister.
    • While not as bad as Casey, Mikey started to get over said incident mentioned above when the Fugitoid offered him hot cocoa.
  • Anti-Shipping Goggles: Some fans who like Leo and Don's brotherhood don't like Leo/April. Leo knows perfectly well that Don has a crush on April. No matter how strained this incarnation of Leo's relationship with Don is, it's out of charcater for Leo to just hook up with April and betray his brother like that.
  • Anvilicious: The moral about not letting insults get to you, to the point where Raph is blatantly portrayed as putting his "insult ignoring training" to "good use".
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • Season 3's first 8 episodes at April's farm are criticized as taking the action away from the invasion of New York, too many strange Filler episodes, and for lasting longer than is probably necessary. Part of this feeling is possibly a consequence of episodes being released sporadically, though the lack of any significant plot development is a major problem as well.
    • The arc of Karai being reunited with Splinter and the Turtles has already been going on from season 2 to season 3, went through several fake resolutions only for a Diabolus ex Machina to make it worse each time (she gets kidnapped again by Shredder, mutated, the retro-mutagen doesn't work on her, she is captured and Brainwashed and Crazy...), and is still going on by now. Some fans feel it's seriously getting too long by this point.
  • Ass Pull:
    • Michelangelo mixing up a bunch of random chemicals together just so happens to create the cure to the Kraang's mutagen that the Turtles have been looking for.
    • Shredder had the mind control worms injected directly into Karai's brain so she couldn't just cough them up. She does it anyway.
    • In the season 3 finale, Annihilation Earth, Earth is sucked into a black hole. In the season 4 premiere, Professor Honeycutt takes the heroes 6 months into the past which fixes all the damage. However, the real ass pull was how the time travel was executed. Renet, Lord Simultaneous and the Time Scepter showed up about half a dozen episodes before this, but they were not involved in the process in any way.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Season 3's first few episodes seem to go to great lengths to amend the complaints toward Donatello's characterization; "A Foot Too Big" showing him his advances toward April can be seen as creepy and forceful, "Race With The Demon" re-emphasizes his role as The Smart Guy, downplaying his romantic focus on April, and instead focusing on his banter and friendship with Casey. "Eyes of the Chimera", "Vision Quest", "Turtles In Time", and "Annihilation: Earth!" are also very brief in their few scenes where Donatello's crush on April is apparent or referenced.
    • After several complaints regarding Mikey's characterization, Season 4's "Journey to the Center of Mikey's Mind" shows exactly why he acts the way he does. In his mind, he's still a very young turtle no more than six years old, and he still hasn't matured yet, despite being as old as his brothers.
    • There have been criticisms of how the Shredder is nearly unbeatable in almost every single one of his appearances, even when completely outnumbered and against people who should be even matches against him, skill-wise. "Earth's Last Stand" finally features Shredder losing a fight on-screen against Splinter, without any sort of claim to victory as he did in Season 1 when revealing that he took Miwa and raised her as a weapon against Splinter.
    • People questioned why the heroes didn't just take the first piece of the BHG from The Arena of Carnage and destroy it. Leonardo himself questioned this in Earth's Last Stand after the Triceratons complete the machine. As it turns out, it can't simply be destroyed and needs a combination of fusion and dark matter.
  • Awesome Art:
    • The show is one of Nick's better animated CGI cartoons. The acute eye will notice subtle "blink and you'll miss it" moments about the body language of the characters and facial expressions that really help set the mood for certain scenes. The occasional 2D elements that get thrown in every so often make the show visually fun to look at.
    • Then there's the fight scenes. They flow well, feel realistic, and can be both fun and exciting to watch. One of the best examples would be Splinter and Shredder's fight at the end of Season 1.
  • Badass Decay:
  • Base Breaker:
    • Either Michelangelo is funnier than ever, or he's more annoying than ever. He became even more divisive after “The Croaking". Some people felt sympathetic towards him in the episode and were happy he gained a friend, others felt like he was acting like a spoiled brat and think the punishment he received at the beginning of the episode should have increased ten fold due to his actions. The episode also didn't help the fandom's view of April as explained below.
    • Casey Jones, even before he appeared in the show!
      • Less so as we learned about his personality and motives. The fact that many Apritello shippers jumped the ship around the time of his introduction probably helped.
      • However, some are turned off by his antagonistic behavior towards Donatello in season 3, all because he likes the same girl he does. Others are put off by how often Casey seems to shrug off devesating events (such as the season 3 finale) in favor of commenting how awesome their adventures are or whining about how there's no action happening to the group at a given moment.
    • Donatello. You either think his crush on April is cute or Squick. His crush on April was viewed by fans as cute and even endearing during early season one, then suddenly it stopped being referenced to for a few episodes, then it came back but extremely flanderized. More focus starts getting put on it and we get to see Donnie makes less than rational choices because of it. Then there was Operation: Breakout. Raph tells Donnie to leave him out of his attempts at impress April. (Raph clearly didn't like being used like that and was offering some advise he seemed to think was helpful.) So what does Donnie do? He basically goes on a VERY dangerous rescue mission, by himself, without telling anybody, to get April's dad away from the Kranng. Not only that but he almost gets himself and Mr. O'Neil killed multiple times. All to impress April.
    • April's being angry with the Turtles after they accidentally mutated her dad has caused either people to turn against her or explain why she's justified in acting that way. Might calm down after "Target: April O' Neil", where she apologizes to the Turtles for acting like they did it on purpose and apologizing for the way she's acted to them.
    • Seth Green's voice as Leo in Season 3. Whereas Dominic Catrambone managed to sound almost exactly like Jason Biggs, Seth Green sounds nowhere near it, being borderline baritone. Some don't mind it, others do. At the very least, it's given a reason for why it happened, in contrast to many other cartoons that change voice actors without the in-universe characters noting the change: Shredder damaged his vocal chords to the point of being unrepairable.
    • Karai's mutation. Some fans hate it due to the fact that it came up simply to keep her and Splinter apart per the status quo. Others hate it due to it being a heavy change to the show's canon since Karai has never been a mutant in any other iteration of the series, with some feeling it's a cheap gimmick of adding yet another mutant to the toyline, not helped by the fact that a figure was indeed announced not long after the change happened. Others are fine with it, as long as they feel it can be eventually cured down the line, and a few other like her new form because it's surprisingly cute, and puts her in the same acceptance club that the Turtles and her father Splinter are in.
    • Tiger Claw is either awesome or a Villain Sue depending on who you ask.
    • The end of "A Foot Too Big" where after Donnie comes to the realization that he's been too much of a Stalker with a Crush towards April and apologizes, saying he'll lay off and then she kisses him on the lips. some fans are crying foul about the mixed messages April's giving by her response, others are happy for their ship, and still others are just pissed off at the writers/execs for clearly trying to drag out the love triangle.
      • April manages to do it again just two episodes later in “The Croaking" in which she acts as an instigator towards Mikey's bad behaviour. Kid trashes the house multiple times (making a mess with thrown around food, waisting said food, AND breaking furniture) in which his brothers understandably get mad and Raph leaves him to clean up the mess. When Mikey runs away from the group April blames every other member but herself, trying to claim the event was caused by mistreatment that was never shown onscreen. She then takes it a step further and unrightfully yells at Raph for being “inconsiderate", despite the fact he had to take up a lot of responsibility after the season two finale and was acting as a Reasonable Authority Figure when he decided to make Mikey clean up his mess. All of this and the fact that her words seemed to genuinely hurt Raph has caused... negative reactions to say the least.
      • April as a whole has been displaying a very self-righteous nature since season 2, which has only been getting worse in season 3, that many fans find unjustified. Given she's also tied to an extremely obnoxious love triangle and has gotten little character development outside of the love triangle her standing in the eyes of the fandom is shaky at best.
    • As noted above, the temporary dropping of the Kraang invasion of the world plot line in season three in favor of filler episodes with little emphasis on ongoing plots besides Leo's recovery and the Donnie/April/Casey love triangle.
    • There have been complaints that the show could get better mileage out of having more human antagonists, instead of what is an almost exclusively mutant Rogues Gallery. Not helped by the fact that almost all human villains eventually get mutated down the line, including those (like Karai) who didn't in any of the previous incarnations.
    • Shredder's personality in the cartoon, where his sole motivation is to kill Splinter. Some love the portrayal and how ruthless and determined he is to the point where he literally stabbed Splinter in the back even though it meant the end of the world, while others feel the show has heavily flanderized his character and miss how he was in the previous cartoons where he had other villainous ambitions in addition to wanting to destroy the Turtles and Splinter.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • A mildly disturbing occurs in Fungus Humongus: After Leo gets sprayed with spore and starts seeing his fear, we're all treated to a random scene of all the mushrooms dancing to the Nutcracker Suite. However, it does break the tension briefly of one of the more disturbing episodes.
    • The ending shows one of the mushrooms on Mikey's pizza getting up and dancing.
    • Also the cheese phone from The Manhattan Project.
    • Slash's ability to perfectly mimic Leonardo's voice and silhouette.
  • Bizarro Episode:
    • Even by this shows standards, "Pizza Face" is just...out there.
    • A close second in weirdness is "A Foot Too Big". To wit: the Turtles find Bigfoot, Bigfoot falls in love with Donnie and a psycho hunter who talks to his mother's Shrunken Head is after them.
  • Broken Base:
    • People either love the new personalities for the Turtles, or think it's crap.
      • Broadly speaking, their personalities still line up with both previous shows' theme songs. The biggest change is Donatello having a crush on young teen April (and Raphael is somewhere between the 1987 and 2003 shows on the anger scale).
    • The quality of this version of the turtles is arguably the most divided when it comes to the fans reactions of the whole franchise.
    • The reworked designs of the Turtles seem to be something of a point of contention among a few fans.
    • Fans are also divided over whether or not it is a good thing that Spike became Slash.
    • Season 2 seems to have divided fans. There are those who see it as Growing the Beard, and there are others that feel that while the season has some good episodes, it also has a few pacing issues, such as resolving plots too quickly, having perhaps too many filler episodes, some of which are very goofy and at odds with the slightly darker tone that the season was going for in its first few episodes.
    • While fans rejoiced that Bebop and Rocksteady are finally appearing, they are heavily divided over 2 things. The first is their drastically different character designs. The second thing is the fact that they're completely different characters from the other versions. Basically, instead of the loveable idiots from the 80's and comics universes, Bebop is an eccentric hi-tech thief who speaks in slang, and Rocksteady is a Russian arms dealer, who is also a collector of antique military weapons, and is after Shredder's helmet.
    • The reveal in "The Invasion, Part 1" that Irma was really a Kraang spy. Some found the twist funny, while others hated it because it came completely out of nowhere with no foreshadowing except for one part in the previous episode. It requires a lot of suspension of disbelief to buy that she was a robot the entire time and a lot of die hard Irma fans are clinging on to the theory that the real Irma was replaced by a robot until Word of God proves otherwise.
    • The fact that the Kraang as a whole have seem to have replaced long time Big Bad Shredder as the main villain of the entire series.
    • Renet being announced as an incoming character hasn't been so much of a Base Breaker as much as the announcement that she'd be Mikey's love interest has. Some don't mind it (Renet/Mikey was already a popular ship) but others don't like how almost every female character (except Irma) becomes a love interest to one of the turtles. This resurfaced when Mona Lisa was announced to appear in the series, with people being simultaneously happy about her inclusion but lamenting the fact that she's another female character that shows up to be immediately tied to one of the turtles (Raph, in this case).
    • The show being much more heavily Merchandise-Driven, and seeing as that influenced both of the previous TMNT cartoons that's saying a lot. Every single episode either introduces a new mutant or mutates a previously established character even if they're already a mutant in characters like Bradford's case, and even ones that don't somehow find a way to get a new form or costume in for one of the characters which appear in the toyline a few months later. While not so bad in more story-centric episodes, it also has led to many Monster of the Week filler episodes, most infamously the first third of season 3, which derail the story completely just to bring in yet another mutant. Combine that with the number of times the show has gone on hiatus and it's led many people to start losing interest.
    • While the Season 3 finale was well-received by both critics and fans, some people feel divisive about the way the episode ended. A portion of viewers feel that the ending was rushed, the Fugitoid's appearance was a blatant Deus ex Machina, and that the show went way too far by destroying the entire world in the span of five minutes and killing off every single recurring character, in a way that some would argue was done for shock value. Others are perfectly fine with the ending and praise the writers for being able to go that far, for adding the Fugitoid to the cast, and for finally moving past the Kraang invasion arc and starting the Triceraton and space arc for Season 4.
  • Cargo Ship:
    • As per usual fans jokingly ship the turtles with their weapons of choice. However this series has provided multiple new ones.
    • Splinter+The empty broken mutagen canister Mikey called "mom."
    • Raph+Wooden Spoon
    • Leo+Karai's throwing knife.
    • Donnie+Metalhead.
    • Mikey+Smoke bombs.
  • Character Rerailment:
    • One of the most consistent problems that were had with Turtles Forever was the Character Exaggeration the 1987 Turtles went through, save particular quirks, where they were portrayed as being a bit too silly and too similar. Their appearances in "The Manhattan Project" and "Trans-Dimensional Turtles" dial back the silliness and uses the characterizations more common to the 1987 series.
    • Some people view "Race With the Demon" as this for Donnie and Casey. Whether it lasts is up in the air.
    • Donnie seemingly gets some Character Development in A Foot Too Big (Season 3, episode 2), and, as of Season 3, Episode 8, it seems to be sticking: After Donnie promises to not bug April anymore and April kisses Donnie, telling him that he's not just "a mutant", he's "her mutant" his more stalker-y tendencies all but disappear, and he reverts back to his early-Season-1 persona in regards to her, if not more subdued, making the attraction cute again. He does still have occasional moments of jealousy towards Casey, but he noticeably pulls back much more and lets April do her own thing.
    • Despite just being a spirit to test Raphael in "Spirit Quest", Xever is treated more respectfully and as an Arch-Enemy to Raphael rather than the joke he became in Season 2. And while he doesn't face off against Raphael in "Serpent Hunt", he wins his fight against Anton Zeck via cunning, along with displaying the dark wit he had in Season 1.
      • Taking further in Meet Mondo Gecko. He's revealed to be Mr. X, Mondo's boss, and on the side to be running an underground mutant entertainment ring.
    • On a meta level, this Show does this with their versions of Bebop and Rocksteady. Their origins and designs are different, but they're portrayed as closer to their original characterization of comical bad guys who can still be a serious threat to the turtles rather than as the total doofuses they became after Flanderization sunk in.
  • Complete Monster: This continuity’s Rat King, Dr. Victor Falco, started off as just a smug mad scientist. The Turtles first meet him while investigating the disappearance of another scientist, with Falco seeming very friendly, helpful and concerned with his colleague's well being. However it is soon revealed that Falco himself kidnapped his colleague, mutating him into a gorilla creature and is using his mutated DNA to create a serum that gives himself Psychic Powers. After his initial defeat by the Turtles, Falco loses his job and continues his experiments on rats. An accident leaves him blind and deformed, but also grants him the ability to control rats. Falco becomes disgusted with humanity, adopts the name Rat King and seeks to have his rats take over the city by driving the humans away. Rat King also mind rapes Splinter several times, in order to break his spirit and turn him into his slave. After another defeat, Rat King later returns again, kidnaps several civilians, including a couple of teenagers and a small girl and plans to experiment on them, trying to turn them into human rat hybrids. However his first attempt results in a creature that is deformed, immobile and in constant pain, but that does not deter him from continuing his experiments. Also despite his supposed kinship with his rats, he has no problem experimenting on them and is willing sacrifice them to gain an advantage over one of his enemies.
  • Continuity Lock-Out: The first season alone demonstrates this, due to the fact that episodes build on each other, lack of Previously On segments (though the opener may explain), and not really explaining things as well as they could for viewers who have missed an episode or are just starting (though Nick.com is kind enough to leave episodes up for a few weeks just in case viewers missed them).
  • Crack Ship:
    • Donatello/April shippers and Casey/April shippers have been at each other's throats since the first episode. Those who have been annoyed by their behavior have started shipping Casey/Donatello to troll them for their irrational behavior.
    • April/Raphael to a lesser, yet somehow still understandable, degree.
  • Crazy Awesome: Anton Zeck could rival Deadpool in being a looney, unpredictable Dance Battler who never shuts up, yet is incredibly good at what he does as well as being lots of fun to watch. Especially after he's turned into Bebop.
  • Creepy Awesome: The Rat King, all the way. Just the way he's able to affect and corrupt Splinter's mind is horrifying enough. And, to top it all off, he does it all with the bone-chilling voice of Jeffrey Combs...
  • Critical Research Failure: In Turtles in Time, the knights from Arthurian times confuse the Turtles for Orcs. Not only are orcs not part of medieval legends from that era, they are not from any real world mythology at all, having been entirely invented by Tolkien long after Medieval times, meaning there is no way the word could have even existed back then.
  • Damsel Scrappy:
    • April seems to keep on becoming the Damsel in Distress despite her alleged kunoichi training, and by mid-Season 2 it's starting to wear thin on some viewers. The episode "Mutants and Monsters" even pokes fun at the trend by making an illusionary April play the part of a Princess Classic needing to be saved.
    • Kirby has started to become this by the end of the second season, as something always comes up to keep him and April apart for most of the series. Twice in the series the Turtles have finally managed to save him as part of an over-arching plotline only for him to wind up getting in trouble again not long after, both times due to getting mutated. By this point, some fans have lost interest in him, feeling that even though he'll eventually be saved later he'll only be inevitably either captured or mutated once more in time for season four to do the whole thing over again. Indeed, the third season finale comes along and he and April are separated again by apparently killing him along with the rest of the planetnote .
  • Designated Hero: The title hero of the Show Within a Show Crognard The Barbarian certainly fits the bill. In the clip we see, he and his friends meet some mutants who offer them peace and friendship. But because these guys are kind of ugly, Crognard and his friends happily invade their territory and beat them up.
  • Die for Our Ship: Casey Jones has been hit with this by many April/Donatello shippers. This reaches into Fandumb territory as some April/Donnie shippers have declared the show of losing "quality" and have declared they will not watch it anymore... simply for the ship teasing of the (almost always canon) Casey/April ship.
  • Ear Worm: The theme song; seems to be a tradition in the TMNT franchise.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • This show's version of Karai has developed a following. Her loyalty to the Shredder/Foot is downplayed, her snarks are hilarious, and her Ship Tease with Leo helps (or doesn't).
    • Xever/Fishface is slightly more popular than his partner Chris Bradford/Dogpound, due in part to having a more visually appealing, unique fighting style. It probably helps that the audience learns far more about him than they've learned about his partner.
    • Spike and Murakami, thanks to being a funny background critter and a Cool Old Guy respectively..
    • Despite starting out as The Scrappy (mostly due to shipping), Casey has since become a fan favorite.
    • Starting out as divided when people found out about the character Slash is now very well liked due to being portrayed as a cunning, genuine threat who provides interesting tension with Raphael.
    • Ice Cream Kitty seems to have developed a following, most likely thanks to the mutant kitty being genuinely adorable, especially whenever Mikey's interacting with her.
    • Tiger Claw has some of this due to being a Badass bounty hunter who puts up a brutal fight with the turtles.
    • Kraang Sub-Prime, for finally giving this show a Kraang in the style of Krang from the 80s cartoon.
    • Bebop and Rocksteady, two old fan favorites from the old show, now remade into more dangerous villains with richer personalities than ever before.
    • This show's incarnation of Renet gained a small following, since she's shown to be a capable fighter and is adorable to boot.
    • Professor Honeycutt should be getting his fair share of fans by the start of season 4.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop:
    • In "New Friend, Old Enemy", Splinter teaches Leonardo that victory is more important than fairness. Granted, he's talking about fighting (potentially) to the death, but perhaps they should have clarified that to the kids watching.
    • From Episode 5:
      Splinter: The first rule of being a ninja is, "Do no harm." Unless you mean to do harm. Then do lots of harm.
    • New Girl in Town has Splinter deliver a message to Leonardo that leadership is a hard, thankless task, and he should not think otherwise.
    • Some fans cite this as a meta-reason why the creators may avoid the April/Casey pairing, or just leave the Love Triangle entirely unresolved: the general message of Donnie and April's relationship would then be "you'll never be loved if you're different," and that... is probably not something you should be teaching kids, for a whole myriad of reasons.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Some people like to pretend Irma's true nature as Kraang Sub-Prime never happened.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • April/Raph ever since the creators released old concept art of the the two dancing together. (Raph noticeably had hearts in his eyes and the writers even went so far as to confirm that they were originally going to be love interests.) Basically due to Casey being a bit of a perv and Donnie being down right creepy at times support for this pairing has skyrocketed.
    • April/Leo also has quite the following. This is mostly due to April having far more interaction with him than the other turtles except Donnie. The support for this pairing may increase following the Narmtastic moment below from "Eyes of the Chimera" (which was ironically written by Greg Weisman, who is no stranger to Interspecies Romances).
  • Foe Yay:
  • Fountain of Memes: Suprisingly enough this version of Raphael has been the source of most of the show's memes.
  • Genius Bonus/Fridge Brilliance:
    • In Episode 13, the Rat King wears an outfit nearly identical to the ones worn by medieval Plague doctors (long black coat and black wide-brimmed hat). The Bubonic plague was spread (partly) because of fleas being carried by rats.
    • In Leatherhead's first episode, he grabs one of the turtles and starts spinning, a tactic he later performs on Shredder in the Season 2 finale. A grab-and-roll is a tactic used by real life alligators to take down their prey.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • The tone of the show became more focused and consistent mid-first season, starting with "The Gauntlet", the arcs that were previously only hinted at or set up became more prominent, and mostly dropped the Monster of the Week format. Later in Season 1, Karai's introduction upshot an interesting dynamic with Leonardo, some new and interesting setpieces were introduced, and the fight scenes and animation becoming far more consistent and fluid. Season 2 did backpedal, though.
    • While Season 3 has its issues such as rather boring filler at April's farm, "Spirit Quest" and "Return To New York" have much stronger pacing and have thus far stayed at the central arc (taking New York back from the Kraang), creating a much stronger narrative.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • At the beginning of "Rise of the Turtles (Part 2)", Mikey wants to drink some mutagen, but Don points out that it may turn him into a pile of goo. Fast forward to "The Pulverizer Returns"....
    • Also fast forward to Mikey Gets Shellacne where we see what happens when Mikey does use more mutagen on himself.
    • Any moment between Raphael and his pet turtle, Spike, become this after Spike mutates into Slash.
    • Any moment that Irma is on-screen becomes this after the reveal that Irma is a Kraang in disguise who became April's friend in order to get April to lead her to the turtles. You can see how everything this character says is a subtle manipulation to earn April's trust in her, and sometimes to erode April's trust in others, such as Casey. Every little quirk is a foreshadowing of what this character really is, such as her encyclopedic knowledge of the behaviors of rats, an innocent enough interest for a Perky Goth, but also something valuable when tracking Master Splinter. Or the gluten-free diet a Kraangbot mentions in passing, when Irma is the only prominent "human" character to stick to the same diet.
    • The line in the theme song describing Leonardo, "does anything it takes to get his ninjas through", becomes a lot heavier after the season 2 finale.
    • In the Alien Agenda, Karai is fascinated by the mutagen since that's where the "monsters" come from. Raph tells her to "lean in for a closer look" and let's look at what happened in Vengeance is Mine.
    • In The Fourfold Trap, Karai tricks the turtles and April into thinking the Kraang are back and that's exactly what happened in the next episode.
    • In Enemy of My Enemy, Karai states that Shredder's vendetta "is going to take us all down". As of the third season finale, Shredder really has taken down everyone.
  • He Really Can Act: While Corey Feldman isn't a bad actor, nobody expected how intimidating he was as Slash.
  • He's Just Hiding:
    • Not too many fans believe that Tokka, who was caught in the blast of an exploding star perished, since the character's alleged death was never shown onscreen.
    • The same can be said for Lord Dregg. Despite being thrown out of an airlock and frozen alive, most fans believe he'll show up again before the season ends.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Donatello/April and Leonardo/Karai were both ships that only received mere teasing in the 2003 series rather than anything serious. This series takes those teases and makes them officially acknowledged in-universe.
    • Donatello and Casey's friendly rivalry and name calling in the 1990 film, all of a sudden becomes a lot funnier now that the two have received Die for Our Ship between those who pair them with April in this series.
    • A scene with The Elevator from Ipanema involves a Suspiciously Similar Song to "Hooked on a Feeling" (Bossa Nova remix), which is especially funny after another unorthodox superhero team made it famous.
    • In the 2003 cartoon's Fast Forward era, the turtles must fight evil clones of themselves. Donatello's evil clone is the tallest and skinniest of the 4 evil turtles, much like the 2012 version of Donatello, while Raphael's evil clone is the shortest reflecting Raphael's 2012 design being shorter than Leonardo and Donatello, and Michelangelo's evil clone is basically a nincompoop who barely makes sense to reflect the 2012 version of Mikey's Flanderized stupidity.
    • In the second episode the turtles find a canister of mutagen. Mikey suggests that they drink it, reasoning that if you mutate a mutant, you get a super mutant. That's exactly what happens when Dogpound takes a mutagen bath and turns into Rahzar.
    • Minae Noji voicing Tang Shen in "Tales of the Yokai". In the 2014 movie, she played Karai.
    • Misanthropic comedian Lewis Black voiced a balding man that got mutated into a red bipedal spider with a temper problem. He advanced further with this concept in Disney/Pixar's Inside Out.
  • Holy Shit Quotient: The season 2 finale. The Kraang successfully invade New York, Irma turns out to be a Kraang Mole, most of the population gets mutated (including April's dad again), Splinter is defeated and left for dead by Shredder and the iconic part about the Turtles losing their lair, forcing them to hide in the country, with Leo being broken gets an adaptation. But this pales in comparison to the Season 3 finale, where the entire world is destroyed thanks to the Triceratons and a backstabbing Shredder.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Mikey and Leatherhead in "It Came From The Depths".
    • Irma seems to be just as jealous of Casey and possessive of April as Donnie is.
    • Donnie and Casey get quite a few moments in "Race With the Demon" including one where Casey admits to going after the Speed Demon without Donnie in a way that sounds like apologizing for cheating.
    • Bebop and Rocksteady have their share of this. Particularly of note is the season 3 finale, where the two of them are shown hugging one another as they're sucked into the black hole. Rocksteady even asks Bebop to "hold him close" right beforehand. There's even more of it in the Half-Shell Heroes TV special where Rocksteady outright says "I love you, Bebop. Hold me tight!" when they're surrounded by armed Triceratons. Both cases sound almost like an Anguished Declaration of Love.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • "Mikey Gets Shellacne" is started by Michelangelo using prototype Retro-Mutagen on himself, which will have the side effect of making him explode due to the incompleteness of it, because he completely ignored the labels telling him not to use it. To a more minor extent, the other characters ignore Mikey thanks to him messing up when he says that Baxter is probably at his lab, which, considering Baxter's personality, actually wouldn't be very far-off. The entire episode ends up resulting in a far more powerful Chris Bradford, who mutated into Rahzar thanks to it.
    • There's also the previous episode, Mutagen Man Unleashed. Donnie's lust for April combined with her falling out results in Donnie endlessly ranting which at least partially contributes to Pulverizer's insanity. Splinter had the time to teach Donnie that he can't just make April like him, but for some reason neglects to teach him that a romantic relationship between them wouldn't work due to them being different species. Then Pulverizer is somehow able to make his mouth appendage leave the container he's in and drink more mutagen allowing him the strength to escape, no explanation given as to how he managed to get his mouth out of the container he's stuck in or why Donnie didn't notice that his mutagen supply was depleting. The kicker comes in when Donnie tries to defend Pulverizer's actions stating he was only trying to let them reconcile with April. Pulverizer then tells them he wanted April for himself and blames the turtles for turning him into Mutagen Man when it was clearly his own fault (great, another instance where the turtles are blamed for something that wasn't their fault, by the perpetrator no less). Even after all this, Donnie still defends Pulverizer's actions and gives his brothers a reason to keep him since he believes Pulverizer's DNA as Mutagen Man might help him discover a cure for him and April's dad. However, by the time a cure is discovered, it was April's DNA that unlocked the answer, not Pulverizer. About the only thing that stopped this from being an avoidable filler episode was Casey's debut.
  • Inferred Holocaust: The Kraang's invasion in the season 2 finale is full of this.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Poor Splinter. But even though he keeps getting kicked down by life, he refuses to stay down, picking himself up and continuing on.
    • Leonardo, so very much. It's clear that being leader is a very thankless job, seeing as no matter how many times he proves himself, his brothers only tend to listen to him when they feel like it. Despite that, he does a really good job keeping them united, and he's always there to save their shells. His number one priority is to keep his family safe, even if he has to sacrifice himself to do it.
    • On the more comedic side of this trope, we have Mikey, who's basically a punching bag, both physically and verbally for his brothers. Doesn't stop him from being who he is though.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Raph in Cockroach Terminator. Raph shows that he's clearly afraid of regular cockroaches, but then he has to put up with a mutant cockroach and the other turtles are absolutely no help since they either make fun of him or don't give him any sympathy.
    • Happens to him again in season 2 when Spike becomes Slash, hurts his brothers, and has to fight him. The ending where Raph is looking at a chewed up leaf really sends the message that his best friend is gone and has turned into a monster.
    • As of the season finale, Karai now qualifies, as she is actually Splinter's daughter and has been lied to her whole life by Shredder, and she still thinks that Splinter's the one who killed her mother and wants vengeance.
      • The ending of Wormquake/The Manhattan Project shows her eavesdropping on the heroes, where April is in disbelief that Karai's actually Splinter's daughter. Splinter states that Karai might believe the truth one day, but its ultimately her decision.
      • It gets worse for the poor girl once she DOES believe the truth in "The Wrath of Tiger Claw", "Vengeance is Mine", and "The Deadly Venom".
    • Arguably Spike, while he did try and murder the turtles he genuinely believed he was helping Raph... it's kinda hard NOT to feel bad for him when Raph calls him a monster.
      • Briefly comes back during the Battle For New York special due to Leo's distrust and when he doubts himself as leader when the Kraang force the Mighty Mutanimals into surrendering.
    • Baxter Stockman in his more pathetic moments can be this. And it gets worse after his mutation, as it drove him over the edge, and all he wants is to be normal again.
    • Casey in Casey Jones vs. the Underworld when the turtles laugh at him for losing to the Purple Dragons. Then again, he did underestimate Hun and didn't bother telling the turtles about him.
    • With all the "shut ups" he endures from his brethren, one can't help but feel a little bit sorry for Dave Beaver.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Raphael. Dear god, Raphael. He's been shipped with his weapon, a wooden spoon, April, his brothers, Casey, Bradford, Xever, Slash, Karai, Irma, and even characters who haven't even appeared yet like Mona Lisa, Venus, and Ninjara. To make things better he has shown absolutely no romantic interest in any of these characters that he's actually met, effectively making each and every one of these crack pairings. It got to a point where even cleaning supplies were added to this list. By Season 4, however, Mona Lisa turns out to be the canonical winner.
  • Like You Would Really Do It:
    • It was rumored that Karai was possibly getting mutated, which was scoffed at, as even with the various liberties taken with the series, they most likely wouldn't mutate a major series mainstay. Averted when they went through with it.
    • Earth is destroyed in the Season 3 finale. It's brought back five minutes into the Season 4 premiere.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Both Donnie and Casey.
    • Bigfoot as well.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Booyakasha!
    • That which is the way the Kraang speak has become mutated by that which is known as the Internet into what is known as a meme.
    • The term "sadorable" has become extremely popular on Deviantart.
    • A certain preview for the two part finale for season one shows the turtles and April having a little dance party. All three dances shown has become a bit memetic. So you know it shows Leo shuffling. Donnie and April, of all dances they could of done, doing the funky chicken. Then Raph's dance, which might be the most memetic of all.
    • "[Insert character name here] confirmed for season 2!" (To the point where fans will search for the most obscure characters possible to keep the joke going.) It'll probably die down once season 2 actually comes along though.explanation 
    • "I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN!!!"explanation 
    • Buzz buzz. explanation 
    • The costumes the turtles (and April) wore in the Halloween game featured on the Nick website. Especially Raph's fairy princess outfit.
    • Raphael: KING OF ALL PIGEONS!!!explanation 
    • "[X] on your [Y] if you [Z]."
    • "Bigfoot's got some moves." explanation 
    • Daddy Raphie! explanation 
    • This fanmade ask blog has spanned several. One post created about five at once.
      Raph (pretending to be Donnie): April's like an F5 key— She's so refreshing.
      Leo (pretending to be Mikey): OMG, you guys! Check out this giant gummy bear I found at the landfill! (Starts chewing at it wildly.)
      • Earlier in the same post is Mikey and Donnie acting out a mock fight between Leo and Raph respectively. The funny thing is it's pretty accurate to their relationship/arguments in other continuities.
      Donnie (pretending to be Raph): You're always holding me back, Leo!! You don't understand me!
      Mikey, in reply to the above. (While pretending to be Leo): Uhhh, wait, Raph, I've stopped caring.
      • Earlier still.
      Mikey (pretending to be Leo): I'm Leo. I enjoy fangirling and being serious.
    • Raphael and cleaning products. explanation 
    • The Cheese Phone, truly an emergency!
    • "Don't Casetello me, bro!", "My Casetello vibes are tingling", and it's variants to a lesser agree. explanation 
    • Captain Ryan/Captain Dash Coolstar/Leonardo slapping people.
    • How did he build that? explanation 
    • "Raphael is BEST Disney princess" explanation 
    • SAINW, nooooooooo! explanation 
    • Nightwatcher or Riot! explanation 
    • Casey Jones: First psychotic human friend! explanation 
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Shredder crossed this when he killed Hamato Yoshi's (this was before he was mutated and started calling himself Splinter) wife, burned his house down and took Yoshi's daughter Miwa to raise as his own, naming her Karai (meaning "weapon"), blaming Yoshi for murdering her mother, and making Karai hate her biological father. Why did he do all this? Essentially because he was jealous of Yoshi. And he just kept going.
    • What makes this even worse is that he's outright shown he has not compassion at all for Karai. She's simply a means to an end. Even the fact she genuinely loves him means nothing so long as he can use her to hurt Splinter. The big crossing in this regard comes when he responds to her asking if Splinter is her real father by saying yes and having her locked up. No show of sorrow or upset. No feelings of remorse. He just basically tells her 'yes, I used you as a living tool of revenge and discards her.
      • Him blaming Splinter for Karai's mutation probably counts as a better example, but for different reasons. Her mutation was more or less entirely his own fault, with Splinter having nothing to do with it. In a way, Shredder actually caring about Karai makes it worse because [[spoiler:instead of going My God, What Have I Done?, he uses it as more fuel for his hunger for revenge instead of accepting responsibility for his actions.
    • He most certainly crossed the horizon for good in the Season 3 finale, when he throws away a chance to save the world AND Karai in favor of killing Splinter through a literal, figurative, and possibly symbolic backstab, which leads directly to the Triceratons sucking Earth into a black hole.
    • Spike at first came off as a Well-Intentioned Extremist because Raph was mad at his brothers. However, he crossed it when he not only ignored Raph's pleas to not hurt the other turtles, but went after him too.
    • While his first appearance wasn't exactly not crossing it, The Rat King crossed it in "I Monster" where he sicked a mind controlled Splinter to kill the turtles.
    • Krang, of the original series, crosses this territory in "Trans-Dimensional Turtles", where he sets bombs in the Earths of 2012, 1987 and original Mirage Turtles in a plan get rid of the Turtles forever while lying to his cousin, Kraang Sub-Prime, that he was helping them conquer their worlds.
    • Lord Dregg shows how utterly irredeemable he is in "The Evil of Dregg". Having his armada ready to attack the Salamndrain homeworld, he forced Mona Lisa and Sal Commander to betray the Turtles by luring them into a trap. He then reveals to the two he had no intention of sparring their planet, having plotted on eating them the entire time.
  • Narm:
    • Mikey calling Kirby "Wing Nut" after he's been mutated into a bat and the turtles are trying to trap him. Which is lampshaded by Donnie.
    Donnie: You are not giving Mr. O'Neil a monster name!
    • Slash's fingernails can extend to puncture or slash at his enemies. The result isn't as threatening as it is strange.
    • April's attack on Mom-Thing in Buried Secrets.
    • In "Eyes of the Chimera" April experiences Horror Hunger due to having a psychic link to the aforementioned Chimera. Since Leo is the only one around she tries to eat him... but the dialog she's given and her VA's delivery makes the whole event sound incredibly like she's trying to make sexual advancements towards Leo. The fact that Leo's VA doesn't even try to make Leo sound all that frightened makes it look like he's only halfheartedly shooting her advancements down. Hell, if you take the scene out of context it wouldn't be surprising if you legitimately thought they were a couple and Leo didn't want to let her "eat him" because he has a headache or something.
    • After the Kraang invasion subplot was wrapped up in a scant few episodes of season three, the impact of seeing the Downer Ending and Splinter's death feels more than a bit cheesy since there is a massive Like You Would Really Do It feel, like it only happened for shock value, considering how the last Downer Ending was so quickly resolved.
    • Same goes for the Karai arc, every time the show comes to a resolution one episode she's back with Shredder, one she's not and tries to make it as dramatic as possible.
  • Narm Charm: The frog crying in "The Croaking". It's so cheesy yet you can't help but feel upset after it happens.
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • Mikey's shell acne throughout the whole episode of "Mikey Gets Shell Acne".
    • Baxter Fly, being part fly, needs to vomit on food before eating it. He also eats garbage.
    • Some of the toppings Mikey used for his home made pizza in Pizza Face has a clump of dirt with worms (and it looks like he got it from a trash bin), a rat carcass, and an eyeball.
    • Steranko eating a cockroach. Granted, it makes sense considering he's out of food thanks to the alien invasion, but still there was no need to actually show it. Likewise, Mikey mistakes some of Karai's scales for potato chips and eats them.
  • Never Live It Down: Donnie is never going to live down his Stalker with a Crush tendencies before his rerailment in many parts of the fandom.
  • Nightmare Retardant:
    • While there is a certain paranoia factor to the Kraang, the "place" where they speak creates a difficult "place" with the "place" where they are taken in the serious "place". They can however be surprisingly frightening when they drop that. Although this can be made sinister when they want it to: "The turtles must be eliminated from this place, and all other places."
    • As horrifying as the Pulverizer's mutation into Mutagen Man is, there's just something hard to take seriously about his high-pitched voice when he screams "It burns!"
    • Kraang Primes's voice was this for many people. Perhaps inevitable, considering that they were voiced by Roseanne Barr, who is known as a comedian first and the casting choice was considered pretty strange to begin with.
    • Much of the scare factor from "Fungus Humongous" can be ruined due to the fact that, aside from Leonardo, April, and maybe Casey, if you're a musophobic, the other Turtles' fears and hallucinations are done in a manner too over-the-top or silly to be taken seriously, with Donatello possibly being the worst offender, as his hallucinations of April rejecting him is done in the same Animesque, exaggerated style as the rest of the series.
    • In The Deadly Venom, the situation temporarily becomes hard to take seriously when Leo hallucinates and sees Donnie's head as a pineapple and his bo staff as a fork.
  • Older Than They Think: A few watchers have commented on the apparent "change" for Splinter to train April in martial arts. It's likely most of the commentators are only familiar with her 80s cartoon counterpart, who was essentially always a Distressed Damsel. Otherwise, they're a few comic series, one previous animated series, and a feature film late to that development.
  • One-Scene Wonder: The Dracodroid; it's a two-headed robot dragon that's also a lightning-shooting jet!
  • Periphery Demographic: Surprisingly, this TMNT series has just as many adult fans as it does children.
  • Relationship Writing Fumble:
    • Minor case. While it's undeniable that Raph's dere moments towards his brothers are heartwarming, a few of the ones with Mikey unintentionally came off as something else to some of the viewers. As stated above it's not nearly as bad as most other examples of the trope despite it having been noticed. This pairing is shipped by some of the fans.
    • Casey and Donnie's rivalry over April sometimes looks more like UST rather than actual rivalry. This has also caused shipping.
      • "Race With the Demon" did. Not. Help. Instead of coming off as two friends getting in an argument over their mutual crush and slowly making up over the course of the episode it comes off like they're a couple who are getting over the fact that one of them (Casey) cheated on the other (Donnie). The fact that April is entirely unconcerned if annoyed and has a bit of a moment with Raphael makes this even more jarring. Casey and Donnie even argue Like an Old Married Couple and have a good-natured insult game.
    • April with BOTH Raph and Leo on several occasions.
      • For some people Raph's distaste of Donnie liking April comes off as jealousy and angst rather than him trying to be a good (if overly blunt) big brother by helping him let go of a crush. They also had a few small moments during the first two seasons. In season 3 April shows no interest in either Casey or Donnie (the people who are suppose to be her love interests) and even gets annoyed and angry over some of their advances, whereas she'll later be shown acting rather casual with Raph. The aforementioned "Race With the Demon" had April affectionately lean on Raph at the end after both make a crack at the Ho Yay antics of Casey and Donnie. Lastly there's her blowing up at Raph in "The Croaking" over Mikey, which some fans have said looked like two stressed parents arguing over their... Well, their parenting methods.
      • As for Leo, many fans have said that he has much more natural chemistry with her than Donnie does. They're shown to get along well and seem fairly close. Then "Eyes of the Chimera" came out and fans almost immediately dubbed it, "April/Leo: The Episode" as not only do they work together well, but April tries several times to cheer Leo up over their situation, AND this is an episode or so after the Ho Yay-tastic "Race With the Demon". Oh, and the above mentioned "eating" moment in the narm section only added fuel to the fire for some people.
    • In "Parasitica", while Leo(controlled by the wasp) bit Raph by the arm, Leo bit Donnie close to his neck leaving a bite mark. It doesn't help that according to the Fridge page, Leo might have been aware of what was happening. This was one of the moments, that cause shipping fuel between the two.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Leonardo tended to get a lot of reactions ranging from apathy to dislike from fans in previous incarnations due to being what they felt to be a rather boring character. This incarnation gets a fair amount of like due to the show making an effort to showcase him as still learning to be a leader, as he has just started, and the addition of other characteristics (his love of Space Heroes and disobeying Splinter a bit more frequently).
      • In fact, one of this shows biggest selling points amongst the fandom is "when was the last time you could say Leonardo was your favorite turtle?"
    • One can now argue Raph has been rescued from the heap after "Operation: Breakout" as he took several levels of kindness within the episode. A notable example is his behavior towards Mikey in the episode. In the beginning he intentionally does something he knows Mikey can't get enough (albeit at the expense of Donnie), his once an episode Dope Slap came off as a warning for Mikey to mind his manners (Mikey basically just called Leo stupid, which visibly made Leo angry) and near the end he laughs at one of Mikey's jokes while patting his head. It helps that he has similar behavior towards Donnie in the episode. When he finds out that, yes Donnie still has a crush on April he recommends Donnie not involve him, both as something he obviously thought was helpful advice (since he just embarrassed Donnie) and because he was clearly a little angry Donnie was, in a sense, using him. This has unintended consequences as Donnie leaves without the others on a rescue mission for April's dad. He obviously felt bad when he realized this and in the end retold the episodes events in a way that made Donnie look like the big hero of the day which resulted in Donnie getting a hug from April. It probably helped even more that he was called out by Leo for his negative behavior and then, as stated above, made up for it by the end of the episode.
    • Michelangelo is frequently derided for being even dumber than his previous incarnations, but has earned some likability for having occasional moments of competence in episodes like "New Friend, Old Enemy" and "Parasitica".
    • Donatello when he finally realized that he should stop pursuing April in season 3. Sure, it's implied that he still has feelings for her, but that was mostly April's fault this time.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor:
    • Almost every episode featuring April in a big role is going to heavily feature Donatello's obsessive crush on her, and it's gotten to the point where many are tired of it, especially now that Casey Jones is in the picture and making it a love triangle. Season 3 seems to be making a conscious effort to alleviate this, downplaying Donatello's crush on the character and giving her an episode with her and Leonardo as the focus characters, which ironically had a Narm scene that may or may not have inspired ships with THEM.
    • Leo and Karai's romance can come off as this since the show doesn't even feel like resolving the Karai reunion plot, and yet we still get scenes where Leo rambles about how he's obsessed with her and later, he snaps at Donnie for giving up after an extended period of failures to save her.
    • Raphael and Mona Lisa's romance, in large part because of how poorly-developed and rushed many people see it as, and since their romance subplot never has a lasting effect on Raphael unless he's in the same room as Mona Lisa.
  • The Scrappy:
    • All of the turtles, save for Leo (usually the least followed one nonetheless!), got into this zone at some point:
      • Raphael, due to being a bigger jerk in this series than he's usually depicted, has his fair share of people who dislike him. This has cooled off a bit though, thanks to getting Hidden Depths and toning down his behavior in later episodes.
    • Outside of the turtles are the Kraang, as they get this mostly for the fact that once they start talking, they're almost never going to shut up. As time has gone on, the show seems to have tried to phase out the humor aspects, possibly saving them a little.
    • The Pulverizer is quite disliked for being an obnoxious fanboy whose levels of stupidity range from uncanny to mind blowing.
    • Spiderbytez, an intentional case, for being a crude, realistically obnoxious person before his mutation, and only got worse upon it.
    • Bigfoot and the Finger star in one of the least well-regarded episodes of the entire series and are full of Nausea Fuel and are just plain bizarre additions to the show. It's to the point that nobody on this very wiki even cared enough about them to add character entries for them until almost a year after they appeared!
    • Hun is hated for being a Bruce Lee Clone with no other characteristics, having almost nothing to do with the character he's named after, and being superfluous to the narrative, especially since he quickly becomes a minor character in the grand scheme of the series.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • Many fans of the first season have expressed dislike or disappointment in season two. The cause of this occurred behind the scenes, as the writers from the first season were all replaced with brand new-writers unfamiliar with the show for season two. As a result, it took the new writers a good while to really find their groove, and the results are noticeable. Pacing Problems began showing up with some plot elements being resolved too quickly while others wound up taking forever, the turtles, particularly Mikey and Donny, all went through some Flanderization, several new characters were introduced but many of them were underutilized, and many controversial changes began happening which left people divided all over the place. That said, the final few episodes do show noticeable improvement and the season finale was particularly well-received, with the exception of the Irma twist.
    • Some fans started to get tired of the first half of Season Three's Arc Fatigue, with the Turtles being stuck at April's farm, and the Romantic Plot Tumor between Donatello, April, and Casey coming back after it was seemingly resolved at the end of season two has made some people angry. Not to mention the show completely ignoring the Kraang invasion plot. And when it finally did conclude the Kraang invasion arc after this, many felt it came off as a huge Anti-Climax by rushing the whole thing through five episodes, with the invasion aspect itself only being dealt with for two of them.
  • Shipping:
    • Donnie and April have been getting this since the first episode. Also, people started shipping Leo with Karai as soon as the description for "New Girl in Town" was released (a legacy of the 2003 show).
    • Casey didn't appear until Season 2, but he got Die for Our Ship from Donnie X April shippers long before his debut.
      • Some fans got so tired of the drama surrounding April, Donnie, and Casey that they disregarded the love triangle completely and began "bro-shipping" Casey and Raph instead.
  • So Bad, It's Good: In-Universe, this is how Mikey views Chris Bradford's "2 Ruff Crew" cartoon.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • Season 2 has a minor theme about not allowing friendships to be ruined. Splinter and Shredder were once the best of friends until they competed for Tang Shen's affections. Saki went as far as to provoke Splinter, and instead of trying to mend their friendship, the two allowed their rivalry to become hatred, resulting in Splinter losing everything he loved. Then there's the incident with April turning her back on the turtles after they accidentally mutate her father into a giant bat. Casey tells her about how he unintentionally allowed his best friend Nick to hate him after accidentally hurting him, which convinces her not to allow an accident to turn her back on her friends. Had Splinter and Shredder did what April had done and try remain friends after everything, Splinter could have lived a happier life while Shredder could have moved on.
    • "Fungus Humongous" defies the usual "mastering your fear" anvil kids' shows depict. Instead showing that you aren't able to get over your fears overnight, but you can still face your fears. Leonardo doesn't get over his fear of failing his brothers, but he's learned to not let them go over his head.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • While the show's CGI is generally fairly good, sometimes an acute eye will spot that there's something off about the skyline or the distant buildings.
    • The Invasion two-parter had it snowing, along with generally well-detailed buildings and environments to reflect this, with snow covering the buildings in Part 1 and for most of Part 2, but by night-time, the snow disappears from the environment completely, even when it was previously on the buildings and sidewalks.
    • In Newtralized, at least one scene shows Slash wearing Donnie and Mikey's masks wrapped around his arm. Despite the fact that this occurred in a different episode.
  • Spoiled by the Format:
    • Tiger Claw being added to the opening titles made his supposed death by Kraathatrogon very suspicious, to say the least.
    • If you're paying attention to the running time in "Dream Beavers", the fact that the beavers are released with only two minutes to go will probably let you guess that they aren't as dangerous in the real world as they are in dreams.
  • Squick:
    • A birthday cake made out of algae and earthworms.
    • Almost everything about the Spy-Roach from Cockroach Terminator.
    • In-Universe, the Turtles reaction to the sea monster guarding the Kraang fortress falling in love with their submarine.
    • Depending on whether or not you believe the mutagen made the turtles related to Splinter by blood the fact that Karai is infact Splinter's daughter may have very well caused this reaction in some fans. Especially since Leo had/has a crush on her and Raph admitted she's hot "in the evil way".
      • The people who were guessing that this version of Karai and Splinter are related since before the show even aired (due to promotional material) found the Leo+Karai ship gross, especially if they're in the party that believe the Turtles and Splinter are related thanks to the mutagen. The confirmation that yes, Karai is Splinter's daughter has caused several people to abandon the Leo+Karai ship.
    • Some fans find any mutant+human shipping to be a bit...odd.
    • Concept art notes on the Mousers reveal that their "gut" carries 5 Rat Carcasses. Ew.
    • Wormquake/The Manhattan Project reveals that mutagen comes from alien worms and the mutagen has to be milked from them.
    • At the end of "Target: April O' Neil" Mikey takes out a slice of pizza with bugs on it and eats it.
    • A Freeze-Frame Bonus in "Metalhead Rewired" reveals potato chips with flavors such as "Scab N' Sausage", "Menthol", "Salt N' Sweat" and "Mucous & Chives".
    • The pizza that Mikey bakes in "Pizza Face". Just look at it. Undestandably everyone was grossed out when Mikey actually ates it.
    • Don Vizioso's atrocious table manners, involving him spitting up an entire meatball that he was eating when speaking to Shredder.
  • Stop Helping Me!: The turtle's basic reaction to anything "The Pulverizer"/Timothy does to try and be more like them or be useful to them.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Besides the ongoing Casey/Donnie/April Love Triangle and Leo and Karai's thing, Raphael and Mona Lisa's development was rushed considering they've known each other for about an hour and have spent half that time fighting.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • Believe it or not, the most controversial change is the addition of a third toe on the Turtles. Fans exploded.
    • April being de-aged to a teenager hasn't been taken very well. And as of "Monkey Brains," people are complaining about her "empathic" ability and Splinter's decision to train her in ninjutsu because of it.
    • Neither has the replacement of "Cowabunga!" with "Booyakasha!" This is later lampshaded in the show when Mondo Gecko uses "Cowabunga" as his catchphrase, and has a discussion with Mikey and Casey over which catchphrase is better.
    • Karai's new design.
      • Reactions are a bit better now that her full appearance has been revealed.
      • Though the decision to make her Hamato Yoshi's biological daughter is something that threw fans off. Especially since they saw that plot-twist coming a mile away.
      • Even more controversial for a lot of fans has been Karai becoming a mutant. As noted in the Base Breaker section, due to being a heavily drastic change to the series it's made some people give up on the show.
    • Within this particular version, the second season's Darker and Edgier turn, in which April's father becomes a mutant, and as a result now hates the Turtles for causing it to happen, despite the fact that it was an accident.
    • The revelation that April is a half-Kraang mutant is already starting to turn some people off.
    • Dominic Catrambone replacing Jason Biggs as Leonardo has sparked a lot of complaints.
      • Seth Green being confirmed to take over beginning in season 3 has provoked a similar reaction, especially since Catrambone was at least able to mimic Biggs' voice almost perfectly. Green just sounds too different for it to work.
    • Some fans don't like how this incarnation of Leo and Donnie's brotherhood is strained and that unlike Leo with Raph, there's barely any closure between Leo and Don, ("The Fourfold Trap", "Revenge of the Triceratons", etc), which made some fans write Fix Fics and hurt/comfort fics between the two.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Slash, as a villain. In his first appearance, Slash is without a doubt, a villain. By his second appearance, he had a very brief (albeit awesome) team up with the turtles and other mutants against the Kraang and in his third episode, Slash is still an enemy of the turtles, but shows there are some lines he will not cross like blowing a building when there could be people in the vicinity of the explosion. At the end, he fights against both the Kraang and the Newtralizer and his grudge against the turtles disappears when Raph saves him from being crushed by the Kraang walker. What's really jarring is the fact that Slash appears alongside the other villains in the third version of the theme song.
    • April also qualifies. She's being trained as a kunoichi, is now confirmed to be half-Kraang and half-human, is immune to Mutagen and has empathy/telepathy powers. Although this makes her cliche to some, the writers could have actually done something with it. Instead, everything is completely tossed over. Despite her training, she's kidnapped or in danger in almost every episode. The half-Kraang, half-human idea is hardly ever mentioned again. Her immunity is understandable, but her powers make her the source of last-minute solutions to problem. As of the love triangle between her, Casey, and Donny, she's little more than a plot device only there to be kidnapped and ignore Donny's affections.
    • Irma makes her first appearance since the 80's cartoons, to the delight of fans. There is teasing over when she will finally meet the turtles and how her interactions with them and Splinter will be like, and one episode establishes that she may have an unknown, hidden power, which would have made this Irma more fleshed out than the boy-crazy best friend from the original cartoon. Instead, Irma was never real to begin with and was actually a Kraang all along, used solely to find the turtles' lair and quickly disposed of by Splinter, which rather feels like the writers just gave the middle finger to long-time fans who wanted Irma to be among the supporting cast.
      • It gets even worse in season 3, where Kraang Sub-Prime returns, still wearing the Irma mech suit for no apparent reason, not to mention the Kraang having created an army of robot Irmas to fight the turtles and their allies. Meaning that we see the good guys wailing on and destroying lots of Irma bots, and the last shot we see of one is Kraang Sub-Prime's decapitated Irma mech suit's head floating around with a goofy look on its face, basically making it a "Let's Destroy Irma" festival. By now it doesn't feel like a middle finger so much as the creators of this show seeming to have a hatred for the character of Irma and rubbing it in the faces of the long-time fans that this is all they get.
    • Xever has interesting chemistry with Raphael, a unique fighting style among all the ninjitsu-using characters in the series, and is a surprisingly threatening and dangerous planner, which makes Season 2's treatment (appearing less often and being played more for humor) of the character disappointing.
    • Mikey, in the eyes of some, due to the show implying that some of his less than intelligent actions being due to feeling inadequate compared to his brothers. He NEVER gets character development from this, nor is it explored at all.
    • Mondo Gecko, to some extent. After his debut episode, there could've been another episode that focused solely on his relationship with Mikey and/or Casey, and the two characters could've easily bonded and went through further development (something which, as stated above, Mikey has been severely lacking). If anything, Mikey and/or Casey could've taught Mondo to defend himself instead of being the Non-Action Guy. Instead, he's cast aside until the Season 3 finale, does very little during said finale, and is one of the dozens of characters we see getting sucked into the Black Hole.
    • Agent Bishop, already an Ensemble Darkhorse from the 2003 cartoon, is finally introduced in the third season finale to the delight of many fans. Unlike the 2003 version who was a villain who opposed aliens, this version is made an ally of the Turtles and is an Utrom in disguise, setting up a bunch of a bunch of interesting potential with the new direction for the character. And then he gets destroyed. He does return in Season 4, albeit only for one episode.
    • The Newtralizer, despite being in the opening titles for Season 2 and 3, only appears in two episodes. Not only is he an assassin and an Evil Counterpart to Leatherhead, but he also has a personal vendetta against the Kraang—again, like Leatherhead—and was out to destroy as many of them as possible. He could've become a backstabbing Enemy Mine for the Turtles and used them to destroy the Kraang, or at the very least could've been a recurring antagonist in Season 4 (especially since it's revealed there are other Salamandarians). Instead, he appears in one episode in Seasons 1 and 2, and is mostly forgotten about afterwards.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • April being unable to leave the lair when both Shredder and the Kraang are after her is never even implied after it comes up, and only lasts for a few episodes.
    • Although in Fungus Humongus, she did mention she spent weeks living with them.
    • As mentioned above, the implication that Mikey feels inadequate when compared to Raph, Leo, and Donnie. This could have been a really good plot with great character development but so far the writer's haven't even touched upon it unless they're trying to make the audience feel bad for Mikey.
    • The season three finale is immediately invalidated by season four's opening, wherein Honeycutt transports the turtles back in time to a few months before the Earth is destroyed so they can all go on a space-faring adventure hunting for parts of the super weapon before the Triceratons get the parts and use it on Earth again. Not only is the gravity of the Earth's destruction barely explored outside of the first part of the season's opening episode, this could've been the perfect opportunity to use the season to bring back Renet and Lord Simultaneous and have them, along with Honeycutt, be the ones who help send the turtles back in time.
    • Some people were disappointed that the 2003 Turtles were left out of "Trans-Dimensional Turtles", a crossover between the 1987 and 2012 Turtles, or that it was only a standard episode.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The Mousers. They even make cat-like noises!
    • Justin.
    • Pete.
    • This incarnation of Casey, as opposed to being quite attractive in the previous cartoon.
    • Slash just may count, having those small, creepy eyes and big jaws and spikes protruding out of his body, but yet you still want to pinch his cheeks, if he has any.
    • The mutant mushroom's minions. At least from Mikey's point of view.
    • The Kraathatrogons, who have very catlike faces that, when they're annoyed, turn into maws, which somehow doesn't mitigate how strangely adorable these giant worms are.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • While stylized like everything else in the show, the Kraang's disguises are droll businessmen whose eyes and mouths scarcely move, as if the Kraang are barely trying with their disguises, creating a rather odd and creepy effect.
    • Then there's Mrs. Campbell, who is also a Kraang creation, and only gets creepier during her fight with the turtles.
    • There's something creepy about the realistic lips that the mutated Pulverizer aka Mutagen Man has.
    • In Season 1, some of April's facial expressions caused for a wider mouth, such as smiling or screaming. Her lips looked kind of...off.
    • Don Vizioso is a monstrously obese gang lord the Shredder is allies with, and he's simply creepy to look at sometimes - especially when his mouth and eyes are wide open as he prepares to inhale a big meatball (that Shredder quickly bisects).
    • The 1987 Turtles from "Trans-Dimensional Turtles." They look fine in the 2-D world, but when they adventure into the 3-D realm, their wide smiles, combined with their giant eyeballs, makes them look more disturbing than cute.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Michelangelo often hits this due to at least a few occasions of being Innocently Insensitive, refusing to see any of his actions as in any way his fault for the most part, and his comic relief role being played up during fights for their lives. Not helping is the implication that many of the stupid actions he does are the result of him acting out because the rest of the team doesn't treat him seriously. It's meant to make his brothers look like jerks for being mean to him, but as he's often pulled many of these actions at the worst possible times during life-or-death situations which have endangered himself, his family, and his friends, the implication from that would mean he's willing to risk his loved ones' lives just to act out and try and prove a point, which not only winds up making him look like much worse of a jerk, but somewhat of a sociopath as well.
    • Donnie, due to his sole motivation for doing many things (in which he should ALREADY be doing out of either the goodness of his heart or because he's legitimately responsible for it) so that April will like him.
    • Raphael earlier in the show's run. This may or may not have been intended given that the fans warmed up to him after his character development.
    • April has been heavily hit with this. In spite of all the crap she goes through, due to her self-righteous attitude and tendency to blame others for things that either aren't their fault or had little control in have made a lot of people quit feeling sorry for her. When her father is turned into a giant bat, she swears to never see the turtles again. And while they are looking for Kirby and Donnie working tirelessly to cure him, what is April doing? Going to school vowing to not even think about her father or the turtles, not even trying to find him or finding a cure. Not helping has been her kissing Don and getting him confused about his feelings for her again after he'd managed to put them aside, which has come off as her unintentionally toying with him to some.
    • Karai after Enemy of My Enemy. While she has every reason to be angry at the turtles, it doesn't change the fact that she's knowingly and willingly helping the Kraang take over the world just to get revenge on the turtles.
    • Splinter in regards to his inability to reunite with Karai/Miwa. When Shredder burns down his home, he just assumes Miwa died, never (to our knowledge) thinking of spying on Shredder, does nothing when Shredder says he took her away and chooses to stay in the lair instead of fighting Tiger Claw when Karai says they're using tracking devices to find the lair and need to lure him away.
  • The Untwist:
    • Many fans saw the first season finale's twist about Splinter's daughter coming a mile away. The fact that Hamato Yoshi never had a daughter in other continuities and that in continuities where she was Shredder's daughter, Karai was always explicitly referred to as his adopted daughter is what made it easy to predict.
    • Absolutely nobody was surprised that Steranko and Zeck become Bebop and Rocksteady.

  • What an Idiot:
    • Episode 6. A Kraang takes control of Donnie's robot and the guys futilely attack it, claiming it has to have some sort of weak spot...completely ignoring the Kraang that's just sitting on its head right out there in the open.
    • The season 2 premiere has the turtles (except for Donnie) playing dodgeball with the Kraang communication orb. Which Donnie calls them out on. Nothing new for Mikey and Raph, but Leo should've known better. Sure nothing bad came of it but still.
    • A better example would be Mikey telling April that it was their fault that her father became mutated, causing her to hate them.
    • Mikey holds the ball even harder in the "Shellacne" episode, since in order to make himself cooler he exposed himself to dangerous experimental retro-mutagen, missing the fact that Donatello put several warnings of how deadly it was on the can since he only looked at the front.
    • A non-lethal example but still worth a facepalm. In Pizza Face, Mikey tries to take pictures of all the people that are being mind controlled by Antonio. When he's done and checks the camera, all of the pictures consist of his eye, and he thinks the camera's broken, not realizing he was pointing the camera in the wrong direction.
    • Anton Zeck is out running in the middle of the street while invisible where no drivers can see him. No wonder the Shellraiser hit him.
    • In Vengeance is Mine, Karai finally learns the whole truth between Shredder, Splinter and Tang Shen, she wants revenge and returns to Shredder's lair by herself and picked a fight with Shredder. This is lampshaded by Shredder since he taught Karai everything she knows and can't take him by surprise.
      • In the same episode, Shredder locks Karai in a cage and suspends it above a mutagen vat as bait to turn the turtles into snakes. Shredder then attacks the chain suspending Karai's cage and is horrified at Karai's mutation.
    • In Beyond the Known Universe, Raph and Casey are messing around with space weapons and accidentally behead the armory's robot clerk causing security robots to chase them even though they were told touching the weapons is not allowed. Later, April tells Dregg that humans kill insects, making him angrier than he was before and he was already angry enough to begin with and make him swear a vendetta.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The Pizza Face episode.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: For a TV-Y7 cartoon on Nick, there sure is a huge amount of Family-Unfriendly Violence.
  • Woobie Species: The Kraang when its revealed that Kraang Prime has brainwashed them all.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • Roseanne Barr being cast as Kraang Prime. It may well have been intentional casting a comedian considering how ridiculous the Kraang are.
    • Oddly enough, she and Gilbert Gottfried play their roles completely straight.
  • The Woobie:
    • Poor, poor Kirby. The guy just can't catch a break.
    • April. In season 1, the worst thing that happens to her is her dad getting kidnapped. Things get even worse starting in season 2.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012