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Film / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
aka: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990

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"Dudes and dudettes, major league butt-kicking is back in town!"

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the 1990 feature adaptation of everyone's favorite heroes in a half-shell. It was directed by Steve Barron, with the screenplay by Todd W. Langen and Bobby Herbeck and the story by Herbeck. It was released on March 30th, 1990.

The Shredder (James Saito, with voice dubbed by David McCharen) is building an army. With his Foot Clan, a group of misguided teenagers trained in the art of ninjitsu, he is responsible for a crime wave the likes of which New York City has never seen. The worst thing is that they're ninjas. How do you catch someone so quick? So silent?

Enter four reptilian hominids: Leonardo (David Forman, with voice dubbed by Brian Tochi), Donatello (Leif Tilden, with voice dubbed by Corey Feldman), Michelangelo (Michelin Sisti, with voice dubbed by Robbie Rist), and Raphael (Josh Pais), given a humanoid shape through a dip in a broken canister full of mutagen. Trained by a similarly mutated rat named Splinter (Kevin Clash) in the art of ninjitsu as well, along with moral support in investigative reporter April O'Neil (Judith Hoag) and extra muscle in street vigilante Casey Jones (Elias Koteas), these Ninja Turtles must save the Big Apple from the clutches of the Foot.

Financially the most successful of the movies made thus far, the first was mostly an adaptation of Eastman and Laird's original comic, although it did take some elements from the popular '80s cartoon, such as the turtles' love of pizza and their differently colored headbands, and April's job as an investigative reporter. The costumes provided for the eponymous heroes, as well as puppetry for Splinter and the turtles as young mutants, were provided by Jim Henson.

The film was followed up by two sequels and an animated continuation in 2007. A completely different movie was released in 2014, which also received its own sequel in 2016.

These films provide examples of:

  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: Averted; the Turtles are clearly using storm drains to travel (with Splinter explicitly stating that he found the book he used to name them in one) and their home is located in an abandoned control station (in the sequel they move into what appears to be an old pneumatic transit station). The sewer pipes are separated from the canals, and while real storm drains aren't quite that large, the New York system is large enough for a man to stand in.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: The whole farmhouse subplot.
  • Adaptation Amalgamation: TMNT movies of the The '90s (especially the first one) were primarily adapted from the original 1984 Mirage comics (the first movie was primarily based on the first issue, along with plot points taken from the Raphael and Leonardo one-shots, the Exile arc, and the Return to New York arc) but also included elements of the 1987 animated show (the logo, the show's Lighter and Softer approach, the color-coding of the turtles, their love for pizza, their Catchphrase "Cowabunga", and April being a reporter, as well as April being rescued by the Turtles from street punks).
  • Adaptation Distillation:
    • The movie keeps Hamato Yoshi's rivalry with another man for the love of Tang Shen, but there's no reference to Oroku Saki's brother Oroku Nagi, and Saki himself becomes the rival. (This is not the case in the shooting script, which adapted the Oroku Nagi plot word-for-word.)
    • Raph is the one who gets ambushed by the Foot instead of Leo, as in the original comics. This brings Casey, who at this point had only met Raph, back into the story.
    • Likewise, with Raph out of commission, Don is the one Casey develops a friendship with.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: In the version of the origin story recounted in the comics, Splinter got the turtles' names from a book on Renaissance art that had washed down a storm drain. This isn't brought up in the movie, so exactly why these turtles raised by a Japanese rat all have Italian names is never explained. Although this was mentioned in the sequel.
  • Adaptational Alternate Ending: Like in the comics, Shredder is stronger than all the Turtles one-on-one. Unlike the comics, he's able to bait Leo into making a critical error, and holds him hostage to force the others to throw their weapons away. The Turtles would have lost if Splinter hadn't shown up to bail them out.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: This version of Raphael is portrayed as a much more troubled teen than the versions before him (and indeed, after him). His temper is treated as a serious problem that he thinks he has to deal with alone. When Splinter lectures him about it, assuring him that he and his brothers will always be there when he needs them, he is seen quietly weeping.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Splinter in the comics raised the Turtles to settle his blood feud with Shredder, saying in the first issue that he was too old to defeat his old nemesis. In the movie, Splinter beats Shredder with a flick of the wrist.
    • Shredder in the movie is depicted as an unstoppable Juggernaut, as opposed to being an easily defeated Starter Villain in the comics and an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain in the cartoon series.
  • Adaptational Comic Relief: This version of Donatello is a lot less serious than other incarnations, being more of a slacker who spends his time goofing around with Michaelangelo.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: Donatello's intelligence is expressed more subtly here than in most other adaptations; limited mostly to making nerdy or esoteric references when attempting to join his brothers in being Totally Radical and fixing a truck with Casey (and somebody patched the payphone in the lair). Outside of these instances, he spends most of his screentime screwing around with Mikey.
  • An Aesop: The movie has one about fatherhood and family, with the good example (Splinter and the Turtles), the abusive/dysfunctional example (Shredder and the Foot) and the one stuck in the middle (Charles and Danny Pennington). Both Splinter and Shredder identify themselves as fathers, and, of course, Charles is Danny's father.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: Even before he became a mutant, Splinter was remarkably intelligent for a rat. He could mimic Yoshi's movements to the level that he became just as good a martial artist as him after mutating, and he could use tools, herding the baby turtles into a coffee can using a spoon.
  • Anchovies Are Abhorrent: At the beginning of the film, Michelangelo is ordering pizza. He angrily threatens the person on the other end of the line about what would happen if they put anchovies on it, but is cut off before he can elaborate.
  • Answer Cut: After Raphael goes off by himself, April asks the other Turtles where he's gone. Cut to Raphael being waylaid by Foot Ninjas.
  • Art Shift: Splinter's flashbacks are shot differently from the rest of the film with a grainier, almost Film Noir look to them.
  • Aside Glance: Splinter gives one in reaction to Michelangelo accidentally dropping a slice of pizza on his head.
    Splinter: Kids.
  • Atomic F-Bomb: Actually, it's more like an Atomic D-Bomb, but considering how frustrated Raphael sounds when Casey Jones bests him in their initial scuffle, and the fact that we only hear Raph's voice echoing over a wide shot of the city, it sure fits the trope.
    Raphael: "DAAAAAAAAAAMN!!"
  • Bad News in a Good Way: When April says she has to go to a neighbor's house four miles away to call Charles, Casey responds, "Hey, you just saved yourself an eight-mile round tripper. You were fired." April doesn't take it well—either the news or Casey's attempt at "sensitivity."
  • Badass Family: The Turtles and Splinter, of course.
  • Badass in Distress: Splinter spends most of the film held prisoner by The Shredder. Then he beats Shredder with a flick of his wrist.
  • Badass Normal: The Shredder and Casey Jones. The Turtles and Splinter kinda count, if you consider that, outside of being mutants, they have no other special or enhanced powers
  • Bash Brothers: All four of the Turtles, which is even Lampshaded in the battle of April's apartment as they're not used to fighting with a man down.
  • Batter Up!: Casey does this with two different baseball bats... and a cricket bat!
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: The climax of the Apartment Fight.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: During The Teaser, April gets saved by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles who turn off the lights before they beat a group of thieves up.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Casey and April. So much so that Donatello lampshades it at one point.
    Donatello: Gosh. It's kinda like Moonlighting, isn't it?
  • Berserk Button: Raphael:
    Casey Jones: So long, freak, I've got work to do!
    Raphael: Freak!? FREAK!?
    • Leonardo during Shredder's Kick the Dog moment at the end of the film.
    Raphael: Where's Splinter...?
    Shredder: Oh, the rat? So it has a name.... it had a name.
    Leonardo: (angrily shoves past the others) YOU LIE!!!
    Shredder: Do I?
    • Don't tell Chief Sterns how to do his job.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Raph does this for April, and Casey does it for the Turtles later. Then Splinter does this for the Turtles in the climax.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: April and Casey at the end. Followed by the Turtles watching and cheering them on.
  • Big "NO!":
    • When it appears Shredder is going to kill Leo.
    • Earlier, Raph lets one out when the Turtles find their home ransacked and Splinter missing, though it's more an inchoate scream of rage than anything.
  • Blinded by Rage: Shredder uses this to his advantage by mocking the Turtles, claiming that he killed Splinter. Leo proceeds to recklessly charge Shredder in absolute rage... and is easily disarmed and pinned down. Then, a moment later, Splinter arrives and makes Shredder angry enough to charge at him recklessly, giving Splinter the opening he needs to quickly defeat Shredder.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The British DVD release for the film did not do a good job with the subtitles, as it was clear they did not know the Japanese terms. The two most glaring mistakes were calling a 'sai' a 'scythe' (when Raphael exclaims to Splinter that he lost one), and spelling 'katana' as 'cattana' (when Splinter tells his back-story to Danny).
  • Bloodless Carnage: Averted. We see blood on the dead bodies of Master Yoshi and his lover Tang Shen, and Shredder bleeds from some of the wounds inflicted by Splinter in the flashback and Leonardo in the final fight.
  • Blood Knight: All the turtles to some degree, as seen in the climactic showdown. Even Donatello is disappointed when Mike gets to face the Shredder before he does.
  • Bond One-Liner: After Casey defeats Tatsu with a golf club, he quips, "I'll never call golf a dull game again."
  • Bowdlerise: In the TMNT film soundtrack, references to drug use ("I smoke the mic like weed" and "This hypes you up like speed") are removed from the Hi Tek 3/Ya Kid K rap "Spin That Wheel".
  • Call-Back: When she first meets the Turtles and Splinter and assume she's dreaming, April attempts to explain away Splinter as the rat she saw in the parking lot at the start of the movie.
  • Calling Me a Logarithm: Casey Jones gets offended when Donatello calls him a claustrophobic, apparently thinking he called him gay. April has to explain to him what it means.
  • The Cameo: The Turtles' actors (their in-costume actors, not their voice actorsnote ) appear unmasked (David Forman - Leonardo costume - is a gang member in the warehouse when Casey Jones defeats Tatsu, Josh Pais - Raphael - is a passenger in a taxicab, Leif Tilden - Donatello - plays the Foot Messenger that meets April in the subway station, and Michelan Sisti - Michelangelo - plays the pizza delivery man)
    • But then, Leif Tilden doesn't really appear unmasked...
      • Well, there's the scene where Donnie laughs and you can see his face. Although that's a blooper rather than a cameo, it DOES mean his face appears onscreen.
  • Canon Foreigner: Tatsu, Charles and Danny Pennington.
  • Canon Immigrant: Charles Pennington, April's boss, stands out as the only film character to make it to the Mirage comics.
  • Catchphrase Spouting Duo: Donatello and Michelangelo.
    Donatello: Bossa Nova! *Beat* Chevy Nova? Excellent!
  • Chekhov's Gag: Casey's claustrophobia is treated as a minor gag, as he refuses to admit it and initially thought Donatello was calling him gay. However, it's because he opted to sleep in the truck instead of the lair that he saw Danny sneak off back to Foot headquarters. As a result, Casey is able to help both rescue Splinter and talk some sense into the runaways.
  • Claustrophobia: Why Casey hates the idea of staying in the sewer and would rather sleep in the truck.
  • Combat Pragmatist: True to form, Casey Jones. Anything is a weapon for him, from a cricket bat to a garbage truck.
  • Comedic Work, Serious Scene: After an overnight stay at April's apartment (during which we see Michelangelo doing a few impressions and April managing to crack an Actually Pretty Funny one involving Splinter), the turtles return home, only to find their den ransacked and Splinter missing. Raphael ends up taking it the hardest, realizing that his earlier rescue of April is what lead Splinter's abductors to their home.
  • The Comically Serious: Splinter, who finally learns how to crack wise at the end of the movie. Fittingly, he becomes so delighted at this that he quips: "I made a funny! Ha ha ha ha ha!"
  • Composite Character:
    • Oroku Saki and Oroku Nagi. In the film, Saki, instead of Nagi, is the one who's Hamato Yoshi's rival and in love with Tang Shen. (Though a complete origin with Nagi was featured in the script and found its way into the novel and comic adaptations.)
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Averted. While the Turtles are able to defeat individual Foot ninjas with ease (and Raph takes out a small group at once thanks to the element of surprise), a large group of them at once beats Raph nearly to death and forces the other three to retreat. Played straight later where the Turtles defeat an entire army of ninjas but then have trouble against The Shredder alone. Although with Shredder, it's played with: The Foot ninjas were intentionally leading the Turtles to the rooftop where he was waiting and partially tired them out so he could take them on fresh. He stepped in after his ninja were beaten and fights defensively using minimal movements and turning the Turtles' aggression against them, making him the freshest and most conservative fighter. But as the fight drags on, this approach starts to fail him; he is fighting four skilled opponents half his age, as Leonardo draws first blood, something that we never saw Shredder do to the Turtles. Shredder admits the Turtles might have won eventually with only the loss of one of them. If anything, the trope is inverted in the climactic showdown, as the Turtles continually try to rush him one at a time, and by the time Shredder himself points out they had a chance at taking him down together, he's already gotten them to disarm and leave themselves at his mercy.
  • Coolest Club Ever: Kind of like a downplayed Bad-Guy Bar, but the Foot Clan nightclub is where young teens play pool, card games, skateboarding games, and arcade versions of Blades of Steel and NARC, and also offer cigarettes. All while songs like MC Hammer's "This Is What We Do" and Hi Tek 3's "Spin That Wheel" play in the background while teens dance in raves... with the real danger being the training lair behind the nightclub.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Shredder completely dominates the Turtles at the end of the movie... Then Splinter shows up and takes out Shredder with a flick of the wrist.
    • Shredder vs. Leonardo wasn't necessarily a complete curb-stomp, though. While Shredder was able to fight off Don, Raph, and Mikey with ease, Leo was able to hold his own and was able to actually WOUND the Shredder in a few places before he was finally fought off. ...Until Shredder pushes his Berserk Button, and proceeds to take down Leonardo in seconds.
  • Da Chief: Chief Sterns
  • Dance Battler: All of the Turtles, in addition to using real martial arts, incorporate moves inspired by modern breakdancing.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the '80s cartoon. Justified as it was inspired more by the original Volume I comics by Mirage. The second and third movies reverse this, with the fourth film striking a satisfying balance between the two.
  • Darkest Hour: The Turtles are forced to cope with their first real defeat when their confrontation with the Foot at April's apartment ends in them being forced to retreat to Northampton. If that weren't enough, Raph's in a coma, April's lost her home and her job, the Foot Clan continues to tyrannize New York unopposed, and the Turtles are barely any closer to finding Splinter, who remains a prisoner of the Foot.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Splinter without a doubt. Also Donatello.
    • April actually has a little game she plays where she asks a cameraman to time her and see how long she can snark at Chief Sterns until he becomes so angry he throws her out of his office. The record is one minute and seven seconds.
  • Death Glare: After Tatsu's attack on April's apartment fails to eliminate the turtles, Shredder gives one of these to him. Shredder doesn't say a single word, the glare itself is enough to let Tatsu know that he is deeply displeased.
  • Determinator: April.
    April: Are you denying such organization known as the Foot exist?
    Sterns: I'm not denying anything. Again Ms. O'Neil, you're putting words into my mouth!
    April: I'm sorry, but I feel somebody ought to.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Shredder's last-ditch attempt to kill Splinter in the climax. Even if had worked, the rat was literally the only thing keeping him from falling over the side of a building. Killing Splinter would've just killed himself in the bargain. Justified, though, as Shredder's consumed with rage (at realizing he's fighting his old rival's legacy) and not thinking rationally.
  • Disney Death: Shredder, as revealed in the second movie.
  • Disney Villain Death: Splinter drops Shredder off an apartment building and into a garbage truck, which Casey Jones activates the compactor on to finish the jon. As the above trope indicates, the sequel reveals that Shredder survived.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: To one of the greatest degrees ever. Not only were the Turtles' conflicting personalities pushed further than they've ever gone but each Turtle has a unique and distinctive look and body type that would make them recognizable even without their differently-colored masks. Leonardo is slim and athletic, Raphael is muscular with some tough-guy scars, Donny is a little chubby, and Mikey is short. The fourth movie mainly keeps these intact (although Donny's slimmed down a bit) and gives Mikey Innocent Blue Eyes to help show off his youth and innocence further.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In keeping with the whole "family" motif — as well as the portrayal of the Foot as a dysfunctional family — Tatsu taking Shredder's disappointment in him out on a hapless Foot recruit is reminiscent of a Domestic Abuser who, fresh from a bad day at work, goes home to beat up his wife and kids.
  • The Dragon: Tatsu serves as the Shredder's right-hand man in the first two movies.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Casey mugs a Foot soldier for a disguise while he's at their hideout.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: The jocular mood comes to an awkward halt when April suggests Mike's "dirty rat" impression is Splinter's favorite. Mike, Leo and Donnie laugh it off, though... except Raphael clearly takes offense.
  • Ear Ache: Shredder chopped off one of Splinter's ears many years ago.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: After threatening to kill Leo if the other Turtles don't surrender, Shredder mocks them for complying instead of sacrificing Leo to gang up on him in an unfair fight.
  • Evil Counterpart: Shredder and the Foot are this to Splinter and the Turtles. Both groups identify themselves as a family, with Shredder and Splinter as their respective fathers. However, whereas the Turtles and Splinter, whatever their differences, are a loving family that stick together, the Foot is a dysfunctional family, which serves Shredder's selfish goals.
  • The Fagin: Shredder essentially ran the Foot Clan this way. The Foot Clan was made up of teenage orphans and runaways who instigated a massive New York crime wave.
  • Failed a Spot Check: When Raphael rescues April from getting jumped by The Foot in the subway and brings her to the lair, he neglected to double-check if there were any followers after him. Sure enough, after he continues on his way home, a Foot soldier is shown to be hiding in the shadows and following after him. It's because of this that he blames himself for the home invasion and Splinter getting captured.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: The movie is pretty loaded with this, as it's more of an adaptation of the comic rather than the cartoon. In particular are the scenes where Raphael is mercilessly beaten to near-death, the entire fight in April's apartment (where a Foot ninja accidentally hits a power main with his axe and starts jerking around and smoking), Tatsu's beating of Shinsho to near-death (or actual death if you go by the original script), Tatsu's beating of Casey Jones, and the Shredder being crushed inside the compactor of a garbage truck. It shocked so many people that in the second movie the Turtles barely even touch their weapons, let alone use them against people. The third movie, for all its problems, attempted to fix this.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The Shredder. He compliments the Turtles for their fighting prowess during the rooftop fight — then he taunts them with supposedly killing Splinter.
  • Floorboard Failure: This occur in the middle of a fight between the Turtles and the Foot clan on the second floor of April's apartment. Given that the floor had been hacked at with ninja axes and the number of people in the room at the time, this was inevitable. Donatello even tries to warn the Foot.
    Donatello: Uh, guys, I'm not so sure if this is, structurally speaking... such a good time for your buddies to drop in.
    [Foot soldiers drop in through the skylight; seconds later epic floorboard failure occurs]
  • Feud Episode: Leo and Raph get into a fight due to Raph's impatience over finding Splinter and Leo's aggravation over Raph's attitude. It's not a big deal for Don and Mikey, as this sort of thing always happens.
    April: Hasn't Raph been gone a long time?
    Don: Nah, he does it all the time. He likes it. He'll probably be back any minute now.
  • Firing Day: Charles fires April when she won't give up her story on the Foot. Unfortunately, he leaves a message on her answering machine which Casey hears and has to break the news to her. Thankfully, she's re-hired by the end of the movie.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: During the Floorboard Failure from the top floor of April's apartment to the second-hand store, a Foot Ninja can be glimpsed in the foreground of the storeroom. Viewers who catch this detail therefore won't be surprised when more Foot Ninjas swarm April and the Turtles on the lower level.
  • Flashback: Splinter narrates two. The first is when he explains to April how he and the Turtles were mutated. The second is when he talks to Danny about Hamato Yoshi.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Early in the movie, Donnie ponders on what life would be like without Splinter. Guess what happens on the night that Raphael saves April?
    • Donnie discusses his concerns with Mikey, who hides his own worries behind a joke. But during the campfire scene, Mikey is shown to have been hit the hardest by the loss of Splinternote .
    • When questioned by Tatsu about his obsession with finding the Turtles, the Shredder says something about the descriptions of their fighting styles makes him think of something from the past. Later, Splinter talks to Danny about Hamato Yoshi, copying his fighting style, and witnessing his death at the hands of the Shredder.
  • Funny Background Event: If you can follow Mikey's phone call to the pizza place while Splinter is giving his opening speech they clearly get tired with his list of toppings and ask if he just wants everything on it, setting up his anchovies line.
  • Genre Refugee: This version of Casey Jones wouldn't look out of place in an R-rated vigilante action movie.
  • Golf Clubbing: Casey uses a driver to nasty effect against Tatsu. He heavily hints to do this on the teens should they try to attack him next.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Averted, which is a Pragmatic Adaptation of the cartoon and comic book (where swearing was much more common).
  • Groin Attack: Tatsu delivers one to Casey during their fight.
  • Gut Punch: The Turtles return home after a fun night hanging out with April to find their home is demolished and Splinter is missing, possibly dead.
    • Shredder delivers another one later in the film:
      Shredder: And the rat? Kill it.
  • Handbag of Hurt: In the subway, after having the Sai weapon knocked out of her hand (and it lands near where Raphael is waiting), April uses her purse for attack and holds up her own against the Foot until she is knocked out with a punch to the face.
  • He Had a Name: Invoked by Shredder just to taunt the Turtles:
    Shredder: It had a name...
  • He's Back!: After seeing Splinter speak to them, the Turtles decide they, along with April and Casey, should return to New York.
    Shredder: [seeing the drawing of Leo] They're back!
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Charles Pennington makes comments to this effect regarding his son, Danny.
    Charles: See? That's what he does when he wants to ignore me. Sticks his head in those things.
  • Hidden Depths: Casey Jones is initially presented as a crude, violent vigilante. April describes him as "a 9-year-old trapped in a man's body." However...
    • One of the jokes he makes about the farm references the film version of The Grapes of Wrath, which is rather surprising from a supposedly dumb hockey player.
    • While it can be attributed to his general sports obsession, the fact that he knows how friggin' Cricket is played speaks volumes about his intelligence.
    • Due to some shuffling in adapting the plot from the comic, Casey ends up bonding with Donatello, the most intelligent Turtle, rather than the hotheaded Raphael. In the scene where they fix the truck they are playing a version of the Alphabet Game where each insult begins with the next letter of the alphabet in sequence (Atomic Mouth -> Buffaroonie -> Camel lips -> Dome head -> Etc.).
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Shredder. Splinter shows up to save his sons and delivers a Shut Up, Hannibal! speech that drives The Shredder into into a murderous rage, charging at him with his spear. Splinter uses Shredder's own momentum (and an assist from one of Mikey's discarded nunchaku) to fling him over the edge of the rooftop and leaves the villain holding onto the spear for dear life.
    Splinter: Death comes for us all, Oroku Saki! But something much worse comes for you.
    [Shredder slowly pulls a hidden knife from his belt]
    Splinter: For when you die, it will be- [Shredder flings the knife at Splinter's face... which Splinter immediately catches, releasing his grip on the nunchaku and leaving Shredder to fall to his death] -without honor.
  • Hold the Unsolicited Ingredient: Michelangelo orders a pizza near the beginning of the movie as Splinter talks about the "art of invisibility". As Splinter is finishing up his speech, Mikey is just about to finish the order, and he says, "Oh, but no anchovies, and I mean no anchovies. You put anchovies on this thing and you're in big trouble, okay?" right before Splinter throws a book at his head.
  • Huddle Shot: "So exactly at what point did we lose control here?"
  • I Know Your True Name: "Yes, Oroku Saki, I know who you are."
  • If I Can't Have You…: Oroku Saki, losing a love triangle, murders both Splinter's master and his girlfriend.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Donatello and Michelangelo are unimpressed with the Foot soldiers' axe-wielding skills.
    Donatello: Good thing these guys aren't lumberjacks!
    Michelangelo: No joke! <<thwack>> the only thing safe in the forest <<thwack>> would be the trees!
  • Improbable Weapon User: Casey Jones, from cricket bats to hockey sticks to a garbage truck.
  • Informed Ability: Monumentally averted. The Shredder totally dominates the Turtles when they finally fight. They get in virtually no offense, and it's strongly implied he would have killed them one by one until Splinter appeared.
  • Internal Homage: The movie contains a recreation of Raphael #1 with Raph leaving the lair to blow off steam, running into Casey and getting into a fight with him after stopping him from beating up some thugs. It also adapts Leonardo #1 with one of the Turtles fighting a horde of foot while the others are in April's apartment. The lone fighter loses to the horde and crashes through the window, and after the team does their best to fight back the rest of the team is forced to make a getway, ending up at an old farm house to recover and plan a counter attack. However, in the film it is Raph, not Leo, who plays this role and gets taken down.
  • Interspecies Romance: Pretty much all of the Turtles display some level of attraction to April in the beginning. Justified in that they were mutated into being part human, so they're probably attracted as much to humans as they are to turtles, unless the mutation also mutated their brains into losing their attraction to turtles and gaining attraction to humans.
  • Irony: Mikey orders a pizza from Domino's. In the original VHS release (from Family Home Entertainment), the movie was preceded by an ad from Pizza Hut.
    • A possible Stealth Insult. It's mentioned openly that the delivery guy was late.
  • It Came from the Fridge: After the turtles return home from the farm, Donatello inspects the fridge. After finding a pizza, he asks Mikey "Do you like penicillin on your pizza?"
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Shredder almost exclusively refers to Splinter as "it."
  • It's Time to Go Back: After the boys have gotten their act back together during their time at the farmhouse.
  • Kick the Dog: Shredder, after thoroughly beating the Turtles, mocks them by saying that he killed Splinter. It works.
    Raphael: [sternly] Where's Splinter?
    Shredder: Ah, the rat. So it has a name... It had a name.
    [Leonardo angrily pushes past the rest of them]
    Leonardo: You lie!
    Shredder: [smiling behind his mask] Do I?
    [Leonardo charges at Shredder in absolute rage]
    • He tries it again after taking down Leonardo and ordering the other Turtles to throw away their weapons and threatening to kill him if they don't. After they have done so...
      Shredder: Fools... The three of you might have been able to overpower me with the loss of but one. Now your fate... WILL BE HIS! [readies killing strike on Leonardo]
  • Last Note Nightmare: The end credits. After "T-U-R-T-L-E Power" and "9.95" play, it's followed by the singer screaming "Turtle Power" one more time, followed by a very sharp, loud rush of wind.
  • Last-Second Word Swap:
    Leonardo: We have had our first battle, Master Splinter. They were many, but we kicked—! [catches himself] ...We fought well.
  • Locked Out of the Loop:
    • April is unaware that Danny was part of the Foot Clan. Or that he stole money from her wallet, so she was confused that he paid him back at the end. Neither do the Turtles.
      April: (when Danny hands her a $20) What's this?
      Danny: It's just something I owe you! Trust me.
    • April also remains in the dark about the reason her boss fired her. He was blackmailed by Chief Stern to get April to back off in his case and he'll erase Danny's criminal record. So April doesn't completely forgive Charles, even after he rehired her.
      Charles: April, I told you, there were circumstances!
  • Love at First Punch: April and Casey; as Donatello so eloquently put it "Gosh. It's kinda like Moonlighting, isn't it?"
  • Manchild: April describes Casey as "A 9-year-old trapped in a man's body."
  • Martial Arts for Mundane Purposes: Leo puts his swords to use by slicing up a pizza that Mikey threw up in the air and distributing the slices. The last one ends up falling on Splinter's head.
  • Meaningful Name: Tatsu means The Dragon in Japanese.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Nicely subverted.
  • Mistaken for Gay: What Casey thinks when he hears Donatello call him a "claustrophobic". April corrects him on the meaning of the word.
  • Mood Whiplash: The movie seems almost as funny and lighthearted as the cartoon series (it's a little bit darker, but we have to Avoid the Dreaded G Rating here!), until the Turtles return home to find it completely destroyed and Splinter missing. Watching it as a little kid, the effect is like someone punching you in the stomach.
    • Made slightly worse because the centerpiece of the wreckage is a pile of maroon laundry in the center of the room that, in the darkness, looks oddly gory if you don't realize what it is.
    • The apartment fight scene starts out pretty comedic and triumphant, giving us the impression that this could be an easy win. However when they are overrun with more foot soldiers the music and the mood changes. Even the music itself is pretty much saying Oh, Crap!. And then a Foot ninja is electrocuted.
  • Mook Chivalry: Inverted. The Foot have no problems ganging up on the Turtles, and this leads them to two brutal defeats. Meanwhile, the Turtles attack Shredder one at a time... and get their shells handed to them repeatedly.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Elias Koteas as Casey Jones.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Danny looks at April's apartment on fire in tears, knowing it's because he told Shredder he saw one of the Turtles there.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • While the movie is mostly based on the original Mirage Studios comics, it had a few elements from the 80s cartoon: different-colored bandanas, their love for pizza, April being a news reporter, and Michelangelo's Catchphrase "Cowabunga".
    • "Check out East Warehouse on Lairdman Island." (Reference to Eastman and Laird, of course.)
  • Near-Miss Groin Attack: Raphael, in heated response to Donatello's teasing of him getting televised credit for saving April's life, hurls one of his sai at his brother. It lands right between the latter's legs, prompting him to quickly cease.
    Don: Hey, look! Nyuk Nyuk!! I think he's blushing!
    Raph: I am not!
    Don: I think he's actually turning red — (Raph hurls his sai, landing it point-first between Donnie's legs) — uh, maybe not.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Raphael rescued April in the subway, but he Failed a Spot Check and accidentally revealed the lair's location to the Foot. He is clearly aware of this fact, too, which makes him feel worse.
    • Looking in a mirror, Danny briefly spotted Michelangelo hiding under the table. Though Mikey managed to make himself scarce before the boy turned around, it was still enough for Danny to later tell the Shredder where the Turtles were hiding.
  • Non-Protagonist Resolver: Other than beating a ton of Foot Clan Mooks, the Turtles don't contribute much at all to the film's climax. Casey rescues Splinter, and Splinter shows up to save the Turtles from the Shredder.
  • Not Helping Your Case: No word of the Foot or Splinter, the Turtles have to wait until April can get more info via her news reports. However, Raph is getting impatient for basically just "sitting on their butts". Leo gets frustrated with Raph's usual temper outburst and tells him it's not "helping anything". So Raph just leaves.
  • Not So Above It All: Straight-laced Master Splinter, at the end of the first three films, will show that he's not above making the occasional joke like the turtles.
    First film: I have always liked... "Cowabunga".
    Second film: Ten flips now! And remember... Go, ninja, go, ninja, go!
    Third film, while wearing lampshade: Yo, dude! Like Elvis in Blue Hawaii!
  • Offhand Backhand:
    • Leo fakes out another Foot ninja and kicks him offhandedly during the fight in April's apartment.
      • Later, Mike does a straightforward offhand backhand after ducking in his shell.
    "God, I love being a turtle!!"
    • Raph does it after calling Donatello a showoff after Don's skateboarding ass-kicking-montage.
  • Once per Episode: The first three movies concluded with Splinter "making a funny."
    • Also: a sequence where Raphael is separated from the rest of the group
    • The Turtles saying "I love being a turtle". Mikey in the first film, all of them in the sequel, Leo in the third.
  • One of the Boys: April seems to be this with the turtles, and with Casey.
  • Outgrowing the Childish Name: By the end of the first movie, Daniel "Danny" Pennington, after Character Development, tells his dad, "It's just Dan now."
  • Parlor Games: When Donnie and Casey are fixing the truck, they play a variation of "Alphabet" where they take turns insulting each other. ("Atomic Breath," "Barfaroni," etc.)
  • Parting-Words Regret: Leo comes to regret having the last words in his and Raph's argument at April's apartment, particularly because they were rather harsh words, and because, for a time, it looks as if they might be his last words to Raph when the latter looks like he won't wake up from his injuries.
  • Police Are Useless: Chief Sterns practically embodies this trope, refusing to take any meaningful action against the organized crime ring and refusing to hear out April's warnings as to what they are up to. Also counts as Obstructive Bureaucrat as he goes out of his way to badmouth Charles when she calls out the chief on his inaction on live television, which immediately gets her fired.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: This film satisfactorily combined two very different version of the turtles into a successful whole.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Casey Jones's fight with Tatsu was all over once Casey got knocked into a pallet of sporting goods and came up with a driver. Casey promptly delivers the obligatory line before ending the fight with one stroke.
    Casey Jones: FORE!!!!!!!!
  • Precision F-Strike: Raph actually says "bitchin'" near the end of the film.
    • After he fails to defeat the turtles the first time, Tatsu drops a low-key "Kuso!"note 
  • Product Placement: Domino's Pizza, whom Michelangelo gleefully shorts for arriving late.
    Michelangelo: Wise man say: "Forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for late pizza."
    • In the beginning, one of the runaways helping The Foot unload their stolen merchandise has eaten a Burger King meal.
  • Put Down Your Weapons and Step Away: Played painfully straight, and then Shredder tells them how stupid it was.
  • Ransacked Room: After visiting April at her apartment, the Turtles come home to find their lair trashed and Splinter gone.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Charles Pennington is competent in doing his job as Channel 3's news editor and genuinely cares for the well-being of April and Danny.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Shredder, when faced with the dilemma of taking revenge for some scars on his face against the mutant rat that is the only thing preventing him from falling to his death and, well, not falling to his death, Shredder chooses the first option. It goes even more poorly than you might expect.
  • Revised Ending: The original ending for the film had April quitting her reporter's job in order to pitch the story of their adventures to a comic book company while the Turtles listen in outside the window. When the editor rejects her idea as being too unrealistic, Mikey falls off the building. This scene is still in the real-life comic adaptation.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Master Splinter.
  • Rooftop Confrontation: Raphael heads to the roof after a spat with Leonardo and gets jumped by a butt-load of Foot ninjas. He holds his own for a while, but after some time they kick his ass and throw him through ceiling and proceed to fight the rest of the Turtles.
    • The final confrontation with Shredder also takes place on a roof.
  • Running Gag: The Turtles say things like "awesome" and "wicked," while Don says something lame like "Bossa Nova" or "A Capella." The last one makes it funnier, because the music cuts out when the Turtles stare at him at how lame it is.
    • Whenever pizza's mentioned by a non-Turtle in their presence, a weird sound is played in the background which prompts one of the turtles (usually Mikey) to gain cartoon-like superspeed before heading off for the nearest pizza.
  • Say My Name: "The Turtles are four once again. And yet, still not whole. A lingering doubt remains. An unknown which they can't face. Their greatest fear..."
  • Scars are Forever: Raphael has a scar on his cheek from some unexplained injury, while Shredder has scars on his cheek from a pre-mutation Splinter.
    • If you look closely in the first two movies all of the turtles have little nicks and dings all over their shells, probably from a lifetime of ninja training.
  • Screaming Warrior: Raphael when they find their home trashed and Splinter gone.
    • A better example would be his rescue of April from the Foot in the subway when he gets his missing sai back.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • After having a fight with Leonardo, Raphael leaves to blow off some steam doing martial art moves on the rooftop. Unfortunately, it is on the rooftop where he gets ambushed by the Foot.
    • Even before the argument, Donatello and Michelangelo see exactly where this is going and rush into the kitchen. The way they talk so casually about it makes it clear this happens a lot.
  • Secondary Adaptation: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, which had begun as a comic book series, had a successful western cartoon, so New Line Cinema made this live-action film trilogy starting in 1990, incorporating elements from both previous mediums.
  • Secret-Keeper: Besides April and Casey, there's also Danny.
    • Also, Splinter and Casey are apparently the only ones who know that Danny was a member of the Foot. It's unclear if April and the Turtles ever found out, and April was confused when Danny gave her $20 he owed her (which he stole from April's wallet earlier in the film).
  • Seen It All: The cabbie, especially compared to his fare.
    [Raphael somersaults over the hood of the cab]
    Passenger: What the hell was that?!
    Cabbie: Looked like sort of a big turtle, in a trench coat. You're goin' to LaGuardia, right?
  • Shipper on Deck: Despite his crush on April, Raphael ships April and Casey together as he cheers along with his brothers on the rooftop when the two kiss.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: In-universe. While working on a truck, Casey expresses certainty that Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island ended up with the Professor, but Donatello insists she ended up with Gilligan. As they're so rigid in their positions, they actively insult each other for being wrong about Mary Anne's true love.
  • Shoot the Television: Shredder is introduced watching a wall of TV screens. When April appears on the news and indicates that she knows too much about the Foot Clan, Shredder throws a knife at her face on the TV screen. (There are several televisions sporting various cracks and dings, indicating that this happens quite often.)
    The Shredder: Find her. SILENCE her!
  • Shout-Out: Mikey's quoting of famous movie lines at April's apartment... including Rocky and James Cagney.
    Mikey: "Maybe I'll fight Apollo, maybe I won't. What do you think? Adrian!!!"
    • April gives a nod to Ghostbusters in her opening news report.
    April: Crimes without criminals? An invisible gang? Who we gonna call?
    • During the bar scene, you can see some kids play the arcade version of Blades of Steel and NARC (the one where they are battling Mr. Big's skull form).
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Delivered by Splinter and Casey to the Foot members still identifying Shredder as a father figure, essentially telling them that the Shredder cares nothing for them; he merely uses them for his own selfish desires.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Shredder attempts when Splinter is lecturing him while holding him over a ledge.
    Splinter: Death comes for us all, Oroku Saki, but something much worse comes for you, for when you die, it will be...
    Shredder: [tries to throw a knife at Splinter, who releases his grip on Mikey's nunchaku in order to catch it, letting him fall into the garbage truck]
    Splinter: [finishes] ...without honor.
  • Signature Style: A plot point. After the antique shop battle, Shredder is left troubled by Tatsu's report. It's not just that the Turtles can fight the Foot Clan, but also Tatsu's description of how the Turtles fought the Foot — how familiar their fighting style seems to Shredder. Splinter's tale to Danny later reveals why: The rat learned martial arts from imitating Hamato Yoshi and trained the Turtles in his late owner's style. So Shredder unconsciously recognizes the Turtles are fighting just like his old rival, but he doesn't put it together until the climax (between actually fighting the Turtles himself and Splinter's bombshell).
    • This trope also applies to the Foot Clan themselves and is another plot point. Shredder was active in Japan years before bringing the Foot and their criminality to the United States. Older Japanese immigrants who lived through this original reign of terror recognize all too well the similarities between the crime wave that's gripping NYC and the Foot's crimes back home. April investigates this and reports on it, which is what puts her on Shredder's hit list.
    • As noted above, Raph has another, unintelligible one when Splinter is kidnapped.
      • That scream can even be heard on the surface. An old man walks by and hears it, but shakes his head "nah, it couldn't be."
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad:
    • In terms of contribution to the plot, Casey Jones is the main hero of the movie. He gets the most development, and actually plays a bigger role in the resolution of the plot than any of the Turtles do, being the one to discover and free Splinter, give a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to the Foot teens, and since he's the one who "accidentally" starts up the garbage truck's compactor after Shredder falls into it, he's ultimately the one who takes out the Shredder too.
    • Of the Turtles, Raphael gets the lion's share of the focus in the movie, taking over a plot that belonged to Leo in the original comics.
  • Starring Special Effects: But when Jim Henson is on board that's kind of a given.
  • Stab the Picture: Shredder's very first scene has him hurling a throwing knife at the TV where April is interviewing Police Chief Sterns about the Foot Clan, hitting her image right between the eyes and making it quite clear that he means her harm.
    The Shredder: Find her. Silence her.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: The Turtles, Splinter, and the Foot ninjas.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • When the Foot Clan raid the building, the Turtles finds themselves on the backfoot very quickly. Sure they're trained ninjas. But the Foot Clan turn out to be more numerous than they realize, not to mention they're down a member (Raph in this version who was ambushed and lost his Sai in the process) and fighting in enclosed spaces. While they take out a few of them, they soon start tiring and taking hits. They're only saved when Casey shows up to lend some aid, April getting them out through a secret passage and a fire starting that forces all parties to flee.
    • When a squad of Foot Clan ninjas show up to intimidate her, April gets the bright idea to try and fight them. Since she's not a trained ninja, this goes as well as you'd expect.
    • In the final confrontation with Shredder, the Turtles try to take him on but are no match. Foot Clan members are one thing, but he's a trained warrior with much more experience on them. Likewise when he has Leo at his mercy, the others are forced to discard their weapons to save him... only for Shredder to go back on his word to spare him, only stopping when Splinter calls him out.
      • Conversely, while Shredder is winning against the turtles, it's because he stepped in after his ninja were beaten and fights defensively using minimal movements and turning the Turtles' aggression against them, making him the freshest and most conservative fighter. But as the fight drags on, this approach starts to fail him; he is fighting four skilled opponents half his age, as Leonardo draws first blood, something that we never saw Shredder do to the Turtles. Shredder admits the Turtles might have won eventually with only the loss of one of them.
    • Splinter forces Shredder over a building side who only manages to hang on through the nunchuck he grabbed. While Splinter monologues about avenging his master, Shredder tries to sneak attack him with a knife. He misses and ends up falling into a garbage truck.
  • Take That!:
  • Taking You with Me: Shredder's only possible motivation for trying to throw a dagger at Splinter.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: There's really no reason why the Turtles should be able to spout off that much dialogue during their fights, other than the Rule of Cool and Rule of Funny. Averted during the fight against Shredder, which is still cool but much less funny.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • When Raphael gets ambushed on the rooftop by the Foot Ninja. He manages to take down a couple no problem, but...
      Raphael: Hey hey, c'mon! How do you guys expect to beat me? [a whole army of ninja come out of hiding and corner him, vastly outnumbering him] Good answer... good answer...
      • As April keeps asking about Raphael's prolonged absence, Donatello expresses certainty that he'll be back any minute. The Foot Ninjas throw Raph's battered body through the skylight immediately afterwards.
    • After the turtles finish fighting off the Foot ninja, Raph quips, "Aw, no more?" Enter the Shredder.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Casey trying to tell April he overheard that she got fired.
    Casey: Hey, you just saved yourself an 8-mile round tripper: you're fired.
    April: I... I just saved myself?
    Don: Uh-oh.
    April: What did you do? Did you take classes in insensitivity?
    Casey: I was just trying to break it to you easy.
    April: Yeah? Well, you failed miserably!
    Casey: Hey, Broadzilla. You wouldn't even be standing there if it weren't for me!
  • Theme Music Power-Up: The main theme kicks in during the final battle on the streets as the Turtles fight their way through the Foot and onto the rooftop where Shredder awaits.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: After falling through the floor down two levels to the antique basement, the Turtles and April have this reaction when they are faced with Master Tatsu and more of his Foot clan ready to attack.
    The Turtles: [groaning] Oh no...
  • Those Two Guys: Donatello and Michelangelo.
    Michelangelo: Pork rind?
    Donatello: [mouth full] Pork rind.
  • Tone Shift: See Shoot the Television above. Up until that point in the movie, things have been rather lighthearted and 'up.' When that knife gets thrown at the TV once April demonstrates to Shredder that she knows too much, the whole mood of the movie shifts, to the point where it borders on Mood Whiplash. Raphael is the only turtle to realize the implications of her reporting. With a knowing look on his face, he gets his hat and trench coat on while the others continue ogling April on TV.
  • Totally Radical: How the Turtles speak, considering the film takes place between the late 1980's/early 1990's.
  • True Companions: The Turtles.
  • Truer to the Text: Although it borrowed elements from the then-current animated series (such as April as a news reporter rather than a scientist), the first film is one of the most faithful adaptations of the original comics in the entire franchise, including direct adaptations of several storylines from the original comics (the first issue, the exile at April's farm, and the "Return to New York" arcs). Also, Casey Jones was more prominent like in the comics, as opposed to his Demoted to Extra in the animated series.
  • Unconventional Electives 101: Used as a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner by Casey Jones in an early scene:
    Casey: (to Raphael) Welcome to Pain 101. Your instructor is Casey Jones.
  • Unconventional Food Order: Referenced in jest when Mikey tells April they like their pizza with "y'know, the usual, flies, stinkbugs..."
  • Underestimating Badassery: A rare heroic example: when Shredder arrives the Turtles are overconfident after besting his Foot army, and mock his name and armor to his face. Shredder resultantly completely wrecks them despite being outnumbered 4-to-1. While they briefly gain the upper hand when they realize Shredder has Splinter, his sheer skill and their consistently engaging him one at a time allows him to win out until Splinter appears. Lampshaded by the Turtles once they've recovered from the shock of their initial thrashing.
    Michaelangelo: Now, at exactly what point did we lose control here?
    Donatello: Maybe somebody oughta tell him that we're the good guys?
  • Unknown Rival: Unlike other versions of the story, where the Turtles are aware of Splinter and Shredder's blood feud, they have absolutely no idea of Shredder's existence until the final scene of the movie.
  • Video Arcade: This is a place without parental supervision where underage kids smoke cigars (!) and the Foot Clan recruits new members.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses:
    • "Do you like... penicillin on your pizza?"note 
    • A lot of Donny's failed attempts at slang are this.
    • In the scene where Donatello and Casey are attempting to fix the truck while playfully insulting each other they're actually playing a variation of the Alphabet Game.
    • When Casey Jones knocks Raphael into the trash can with a cricket bat, he declares, "See? Six runs." That's the actual point value for cricket's equivalent of a home run.
  • Villain Decay: The Foot. In the first half of the first film they prove to be dangerous, as they manage to overwhelm the Turtles and deliver a brutal beatdown to Raph, putting him in a coma. By the second half the Turtles are swatting them aside with no problem. The novelization attempts to explain this by Leo, and later the other turtles, developing and honing a kind of sixth-sense so they can predict the Foot's attacks and the ambush of their lair (the only possible reference to this in the film is Michelangelo retracting his head into his shell when he gets attacked from behind).
    • The film itself shows the turtles training in various ways before they return to New York. If the viewer watches closely, the turtles spar in a way that has one of them blindfolded by turning their head band around (supporting the sixth-sense from the novelization and supported by Mikey's head retraction). Leonardo himself practices meditation, as do his brothers as he later asks his them to join him, culminating in the campfire scene where the four establish a psychic link with Splinter.
  • Villainous Breakdown: In the climax, Shredder gets into this when he sees Splinter alive and well. He fully breaks down when he realizes Splinter was the same pet rat of Hamato Yoshi who scarred his face (and returned the favor by slicing off one of his ears) all those years ago.
    The Shredder: [feels his scar] "You... now I will finish what I begun with your ear!"
  • Villain Respect: At the start of the final fight, Shredder (grudgingly) compliments the Turtles' fighting skills. He even concedes (just before Splinter's arrival) that they might just have been able to beat him had they been willing to sacrifice Leonardo's life.
  • Villains Never Lie: Subverted with Dramatic Irony in the climax of the film: Shredder certainly believes that Splinter is dead by now and the audience knows otherwise, but the Turtles themselves don't and Leo accuses him of lying.
  • Visual Pun: There's a bit of Product Placement for Turtle Wax.
  • Volleying Insults: Donatello and Casey Jones do this while fixing the truck, in alphabetical sequence for each insult.
  • Watching Troy Burn: April watches her father's store burn to the ground after an attack from the Foot, as she, Casey, and the Turtles drive away.
  • Wham Line: In-universe, Splinter, who had been silent to Shredder during his imprisonment, has this to say:
    Master Splinter: Yes Oroku Saki, I know who you are. We met many years ago, in the home of my master... Hamato Yoshi!
  • Within Arm's Reach: Casey Jones is on the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle from Tatsu until he ends up landing near a bag of stolen golf clubs. He grabs a driver and proceeds to One-Hit KO Tatsu.
    Casey Jones: I'll never call golf a dull game again!
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: To quote Raphael after watching Critters, "Ugh! Where do they come up with this stuff?!"
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • The Foot 'chucker Mike engages in a flourish duel is duly impressed by his skills during their showdown.
    • The Shredder acknowledges that the Turtles "fight well; in the old style". When he effortlessly takes down Raph, Leo also realizes "This guy's good", as opposed to the poorly-trained Foot soldiers they just took down.
  • "You!" Exclamation: Shredder upon realizing that Splinter is the rat that scarred him all those years ago.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: The Turtles constantly mock and goad their opponents in battle. Don and Mikey are the two biggest offenders but even Leonardo and Raph get in on this one. They only stop joking at the very end, when the Shredder seriously pisses them off.
    • Of course, with the way the fight had been going, the Turtles could hardly justify talking smack against the way the Shredder fights in the first place.
  • You Fool!: Holding a yari spear to Leonardo, Shredder threatens to finish him if the other Turtles don't toss their weapons off the roof. When they comply, he says this to mock them for squandering the chance to overtake him with sheer numbers.
  • You Have Failed Me: Shredder stares at Tatsu, who realizes he failed. Tatsu takes his anger out on the Foot ninjas he was commanding, almost (maybe?) killing one.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Casey holds the line against the entire Foot Clan in the battle of April's apartment, buying enough time for the Turtles to escape.
  • You Watch Too Much X: It's implied that the Turtles watch a LOT of TV (especially Mikey). It's not like there's too much else for them to do. Though Don skateboards and Raph goes to movies.

"I made a funny! Ha ha ha ha ha!"

Alternative Title(s): Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990


Domino's Pizza

Whom Michelangelo gleefully shorts for arriving late.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / ProductPlacement

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