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Heartwarming / Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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Hugs! Hugs! Hugs!
  • The brothers are openly affectionate and clearly enjoy their family dynamic in this series, more than any previous incarnation. They joke together, laugh together, and aren't averse to hugs. At least one review has cited their strong bond is a solid winning point to Rise that stands out from the others.
    • There are countless times the turtles say 'I love you' to each other, and it isn't in a joking or mocking tone. They rib and tease each other, but at the end of the day, if any of them show signs of being in real danger, expect the others quickly come to their rescue.
  • The increased emphasis on Mikey's creative skills, notably as an artist. Other series have focused on elements of his creativity (his cooking talents most notably), but it's nice to see this part of his personality getting more attention.
  • Due to the comedic focus of the show, distributing all comic relief to all the brothers, it's nice to see Mikey being taken just as seriously as his brothers. In previous incarnations, he was often dumbed down to being simply the comic relief. While he is the youngest, he isn't razzed for being the youngest or being childish and in fact, his older brothers are shown to genuinely enjoy his company. Though sometimes, they are shown to baby their baby brother through small actions (ex. Making sure he's safe, patting him on the head, keeping him out of danger etc).
    • In particular, Raphael's and Michelangelo's relationship stands out from being much different than past incarnations, mostly due to this adaption's change to Raph's personality. While he still likes to poke fun at Mikey sometimes, Raph has went from a of a bully big brother annoyed with Mikey to someone who frets over him like a mother hen and will beat anyone at a second's notice just for insulting him.
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  • Splinter, for as much as a deliberately placed bad first impression he leaves, is more a father than a teacher to them. This is shown by their regularly calling him "Dad" or "Pops", not "Master", "Sensei" or even just "Splinter". The turtles are shown to genuinely love him and in turn, Splinter does too.
  • Throughout the show, despite their differences, April and the Turtles are shown to be true friends. It's refreshing to see April as a teenager and just chilling and having fun with them.



    Season 1 
Episode 1: Mystic Mayhem
  • With the expectations turned from the onset zipping past a crime lord, the turtles are shown more of their being teenagers than ever before, having fun doing over-the-top cannonballs. Their successful pool dive is met with a circle of praise to go all around.
    Mikey: You must be this rad, to ride that ride!
    Donnie: Based on our velocity and entry angle, I concur, we rad.
    April: You guys crushed it! Give me five! Or three!
    Raph: Couldn't have done it without you April, our girl with the plan!
    Leo: And keys to the roof! (cheekily swipes them from her)
  • Raphael immediately concerned by the frightened looking Mayhem that he crashes into a wall.
    Raph: Hey, hey guys hold up! Poor thing looks lost.
    • Raphael fails to win Mayhem over, but Mayhem immediately likes April, licking her face.
      April: Aww. I didn't get this drenched from the cannonball!
    • This extends to April jumping into an unknown portal to save Mayhem upon the latter's abduction.
  • The group hug when the brothers and April find each other.

Episode 2A: Origami Tsunami

  • When the team is discouraged from their failure to catch the paper thieves, Leo shows shades of his leadership qualities, and this user analyzes the difference from his predecessors in detail.
    The previous Leos would have taken the stern approach to get them back on their game as quickly as possible because that’s how he leads. He was the oldest, he had to lead by example and he would have been concerned with the getting them back on their game quickly to achieve the end goal for the mission rather than waste time letting them wallow.
    Not this Leo. This Leo is not concerned so much with completing the mission as he was making his brothers feel better about their loss. This Leo does not have the weight of being the oldest, so he takes a different approach and initially tries to encourage them by listing out their strengths and when that doesn’t work, he immediately comes up with a plan and rallies his brothers behind him to give it another go.

Episode 2B: Donnie's Gifts

  • Just before Donnie gives them their gifts, Raph assures him that he was certain that they would love it. And as soon as the brothers saw their gifts, they were extremely happy and immediately put them on.
  • He didn't get to explain himself and the execution wasn't received well, but Donnie's gifts were genuinely as thoughtful as he said.
    • Mikey's jumper was probably the least insulting— for not hurting himself.
    • Leo's zap collar was to not joke around and take battles seriously so he isn't distracted.
    • Raph's helmet to conceptualize plans instead of getting into more trouble due to not thinking first.
  • Raph not being honest over the the phone about liking Don's gifts, being a very soft eldest brother who outright babytalk-lies that they all loved them considering all the work he's done.
  • Donnie's frustrated by the misuse of his gifts, but with a facepalm admits they're perfect the way they are and just tells them to bring it in for a group hug.

Episode 3A: War & Pizza

  • The little kid in the claw machine at the start of the episode giving April a bright thumbs up when she gives herself a little pep-talk; she smiles back at him.
  • The turtles immediately jumping to April's aid when she says she needs their help. Overall, despite the poking and teasing, the turtles seem really supportive of April's job, to the point that they seem to know what's going on in her workplace.
  • Though it ended with April smashing Alberto, the animatronic bear seemed to really appreciate the turtles singing him on his "birthday". If April didn't smash Alberto, there seems like there would have been a possibility that he would've become an ally instead of an enemy.

Episode 3B: Newsworthy

  • The brothers are able to joke about Raphael's hippo-suit fitting size and just have a lighthearted laugh rather than having it be something that bothered him through the whole episode a la other incarnations.
  • When Mikey starts his Honey Trap mating dance to attract Hypnopotamus, he has a throwaway line and Leo encourages him; equal parts hilarious and sweet.
    Mikey: I hope he likes me!
    Leo: He will, of course he'll like you, you're adorable.

Episode 4A: Repo Mantis

  • Mikey trying his darnest to resist the temptation of the cute puppies, but he is unable to compose himself properly and ends up playing with them.
  • Todd is quite admirable as a person to be someone wholeheartedly dedicating their whole life to helping homeless puppies. He's so kind to would-be Repo Men, Donnie and Mikey. It's really hard not to like him.
  • When Mikey and Donnie try to repo Todd's RV, it starts pouring rain as Todd goes into a monologue about how they won't have a place to stay. Despite being drenched in rain, a small puppy offers Mikey and Donnie a broken umbrella so they won't get wet on the way home. Cue Mikey breaking down and cradling that puppy in his arms, not having the heart to go through with it.
  • Donnie and Mikey spending days straight making Todd and the puppies a new place to stay, complete with a water slide, Frisbee throwing machines, and even a robot butler. They really went all out with the whole Puppy Kingdom.

Episode 4B: Down with the Sickness

  • Where people still had their doubts, the episode shows a shot of a family photo Splinter has with his sons in a nice frame. It's knocked over with Splinter's hugging the wall as he coughed his lungs out, but still.
  • Leo seems pensive on trapping Splinter in Donnie's device for Stage Two, for as irreverent as he is to their dad, he doesn't want him uncomfortable.
    Leo: And you're sure this isn't cruel?

Episode 5A: The Fast and the Furriest

  • Donnie never calls it "his" Turtle Tank note , it's always "our", something he wanted to share with his brothers.
  • Donnie makes a large driver's seat for Raphael to his exact lumbar settings.
  • Raph's soft spot for animals shown once again, as he frantically stomps the brakes when Meat Sweats dumps small helpless mutants on the road. Seeing they're alright, he exhales a big sigh of relief.

Episode 5B: Mascot Melee

  • Most Raphaels would immediately lash out at the accusations that he lost their money, but this Raph tries his best to keep his temper in check in regards his brothers, and though he gets stressed out, he doesn't get directly upset at them.
  • The plan to get Splinter a new robe backfires. Not because he doesn't like it or because it isn't his size. No, Splinter is so touched and honored by his sons' gift that he doesn't want to wear it unless it's a special occasion, even if the one he's wearing is in rags.
    • Take a look carefully at Splinter in the newer episodes, he's wearing the robe his sons got for him! Looks like the brothers managed to convince Splinter to wear it after all.

Episode 6A: Shell in a Cell

  • Mikey makes an adorable hype man for Leo as Primetime, the two younger brothers get along really well.
  • Both pairs of conflicting brothers are able to come to an understood apology just by giving each other brofists.

Episode 6B: Minotaur Maze

  • Mikey and Raph admiring each other's progress with their magic weapons at the start, and Raph is also impressed with Donnie's use of the crystal he stole from Draxum in the first episode.
  • Upon their first time in a restaurant, Raph picks up Donnie and Mikey as they evaluate how to behave.
    Raph: A table! What do we do?
    Donnie: Okay be cool, I think we just sit at it, and ask for stuff.
    Mikey: Uhh, like regular people?
    Donnie: Here, I think we are regular. (the three of them smile)
  • Leonardo's looking through the Wall of Champions is an extensive shot of him child-like wonder, with accompanying giddy squeeing.
  • When Leo rudely slaps Mikey's pizza off and he's clearly upset, Raphael pats his head. It doesn't help Mikey's mood, but it's a sweet gesture.
  • Blink-and-you'll-miss-it, but Raphael carries all his brothers when rushing through the portal.
  • The final picture of the brothers on the Cheaters wall, having a good time eating their pizza, sans Leo lying on the ground. Mikey has Leo's hand lifted up as if he was a champion anyway.

Episode 7: Bug Busters

  • In the immediate moment that Leo was in danger of falling off a roof, Raph completely disregarded the Oozesquitoes in favor of diving off the roof to save his brother.
  • When attempting to flee from the scene, Big Mama manages to snag Mikey before they could escape. Donnie manages to free him at the cost of Mikey falling off the building, but Donnie manages to catch him, even patting him on the head to make sure he's okay.
  • The first thing Donnie asks after the battle is not where the Oozesquitoes were, but rather if everyone was okay after such an intense fight.

Episode 8A: The Longest Fight

  • The brothers bond over their favorite skater, having an extensive pizza meal prepared courtesy of Mikey.
  • Mikey's open expressions of loving his brothers twice in the episode, the first leading into yet another group hug around Donnie (which the Twitter has said he secretly enjoys), and the second time they chill together watching the rest of the show.
  • Contrary to the doubt portrayed by the brothers earlier in the episode, Raph tells Leo to try the extreme skateboarding trick again, and when he nails it his brothers are mesmerized with Wingding Eyes and cheer loudly at his landing.

Episode 9A: The Gumbus

  • The siblings are implicitly chill enough with each other to borrow one another's things, as Mikey's watching from Donnie's tablet. Presumably, he'd be less chill with knowing it got tossed around a bit, but still.
  • When Mikey is frightfully explaining what the Gumbus is, he hugs April's waist for support. Instead of being annoyed or pushing away, April comforts him by patting his head, smiles and all.
  • Leo's reasoning in a nutshell may just seem that he's merely bringing Mikey along ghost hunting just to rub it in his face that the Gumbus doesn't exist, but Leo could have done it without Mikey coming along. He could've let Mikey wallow in his pillow fort in terror, but he wanted to prove to Mikey that the Gumbus wasn't real so he wouldn't have to be so afraid.
  • Leonardo's ultra Big Brother Instinct with Michelangelo throughout the episode. He's really got a good sense when it comes to protecting his only younger brother.
    • When being chased by the Gumbus, Mikey becomes so frightened that the poor lad retracts into his shell for safety, almost falling off the shopping cart the two are riding. Leo instinctively reacts and calls out to his little bro, grabbing Mikey before he tumbles off the cart and clutches Mikey tightly, who still hiding in his shell. Throughout the chase scene, you can see Leo wrapping his whole body around Mikey, hugging and protecting him and not letting go no matter what.
      • While it's hard not to feel sorry for the poor boys frightened out of their minds, it's adorable that when truly frightened, Mikey resorts to hiding in his shell. A bit of Fridge Brilliance seeing as Mikey is a Box Turtle, who in real life resorts to hiding in their shell when they feel they are in danger.
      • Even though the danger was not really over and nowhere are they really safe, Mikey pops out of his shell as soon as the immediate danger relented just so he could continue hugging Leo.
    • When April is 'taken' and the Gumbus appears before them, both of the brothers scream. Mikey is frozen in place screaming in fear and Leo starts to falls back to start running only to realize Mikey hasn't moved, causing him to run over and grab Mikey to get him to start running.
    • Soon after the above scene, Leo and Mikey are dodging products being thrown at them. Upon approaching cover, Leo grabs Mikey's foot to throw him down to safety before jumping behind cover himself. Even though they're in danger, Leo prioritizes Mikey's safety above his own.
    • When the now-revealed machine Gumbus attacks, Leo tackles and picks up Mikey to bring him to safety. In a freeze tame, it's clear to see that Leo's holding Mikey so tight, he's choking him a little!

Episode 9B: Mrs. Cuddles

  • Every time Mrs. Cuddles shows up to try scare someone, when Raph hears their scream, he immediately rushes for their aide.
  • When Mrs. Cuddles shows up to scare Leo and Mikey, the first thing Mikey does is leap into Leo's arms for safety.
  • Even though he was alone and afraid, Raph does his best to fight Mrs. Cuddles to get his family back.
    • Splinter shows up, first showing how badass he actually is, and he and Raph have a bit of a father-son bonding experience.

Episode 10A: Stuck on You

  • The entire premise of this episode is Raph doing his hardest to do a 'team bonding' exercise, even though he doesn't really know what he's doing. He has little notes scribbled on his hand just so he knows what to say to them. It's heartwarming to see how hard Raph tries for his brothers.
  • When they are freed from their sticky sphere, initially the other brothers were relieved to finally be free of each other, but upon seeing Raph heartbroken that his team bonding experience didn't really go to plan, the brothers do their best to assure Raph that they really have improved as a team, even if they really didn't need the exercise. They are willing to fake it to make Raph feel better and they do end up kicking butt together.

Episode 13B: Hot Soup: The Game

  • When Mikey decides that he wants to go off to pick up the game they just got, Raph goes into an overprotective tizzy about Mikey's safety, almost to the point of being unreasonable. It worries Raphael a lot that his littlest brother is going on a 'mission' alone and throughout the episode he is seen fretting like a mother hen over Mikey's progress.
    • Raph's baby talk to Mikey is absolutely adorable. Moreover, he's calling Mikey to check up on him to make sure he's alright. Just aww.
    • At the first sign that Mikey was in trouble, Raph immediately went into Papa Wolf mode and mobilized his brothers to go save Mikey. When the older brothers arrive, they are full on ready to kick butt and save their littlest brother.
      Raph: My overprotective brother senses are tingling!
    • When Foot Brute insulted Mikey by calling him a 'pipsqueak', Raph immediately stood up to him and engaged him in a rather comical battle, continuing the battle until he was beaten black and blue. It's heartwarming to see how far Raph has changed from being the bully brother that picks on Mikey to being an absurd overprotective mother hen.
      Raph: (Jumping on Foot Brute) I'LL PROTECT YOU, MIKEY!
  • While Raph's overprotectiveness is more of the focus for the episode, Leo and Donnie by comparison doesn't seem worried at all, but it's not that they don't care. Leo in particular seems to perfectly believe that Mikey can handle himself. They believe in Mikey's abilities, but as shown later, they are both ready to hop into action if he's in danger. Regardless, Mikey is all too happy that his two brother believe in him.
    • Mikey gives Leo an 'I love you' and a hug in thanks, a hug which Leo is happy to receive. After Mikey leaves, Leo laughs and gives Raph a smug smile, as if to say: I got a hug and you didn't!
    • While Donnie doesn't seem to be too interested about the situation at hand, when Mikey hugs him, Donnie offhandedly uses one of his robotic limbs to pat Mikey affectionately on the head, not even bothered by Mikey's enthusiastic glomp.
  • Foot Lieutenant and Foot Brute both jump into action the moment they realize Foot Recruit was in danger of an ambush, mirroring Raph and the brothers jumping to Mikey's aid. Even though they're the bad guys, it seems that they genuinely care for one of their own.
    • Foot Brute in particular seems to worry a lot, mirroring Raph and, and is more than ready to jump in if Foot Recruit was in danger.
    • Foot Lieutenant offhandledly comforts Foot Recruit's failure on the mission and that they'll get a falafel together before heading back. It's a heartwarming gesture for the supposed 'bad guys' of the series.

Episode 12: The League Of Evil Mutants

  • When the turtles learned that Lou Jitsu is their dad (Technically), just...examining how they each have his traits is just so freaking precious. Like they finally know where they came from and its so exciting but they also don't dismiss Splinter at all and that's what makes it even more precious. The fact that Splinter really is Lou Jitsu also counts as the end of the episode has him promise to tell the boys at the right time.
    • There's something adorable about how Splinter adopted the turtles. Splinter was Lou Jitsu, a haughty famous man who seemed obsessed with his stardom. Yet he had a big enough heart to adopt four turtles, raising and loving them as his own (which they technically are)
  • Sometime while the turtles were gone, Splinter realized that his sons were missing. Concerned about where they've gone, Splinter brought his chair to the living area where he sat in the dark silently waiting for the boys to come home. For someone who spends most of his time in front of the TV or sleeping, seeing him go this far for the turtles means that he does really truly love them.
    • Then watching Splinter trying to awkwardly apologize to his sons, showing that even though he is incredibly lazy, he does truly love them.
  • The turtles, who still think not directly related to Splinter thought he may have been upset that the they had found out who their real dad is, assure their pops that he will always be their father, even if they weren't related by blood. Aww.
    • In the hug, the turtles wonder out loud where Lou Jitsu might be and Leo says that he's probably being awesome. Since Splinter is Lou Jitsu, hearing this compliment from his son makes rat-turn former Film Star chuckle warmly.

Episode 14A: Late Fee

  • The entire reason that the turtles want to return the DVD is because Splinter promised them hugs for doing it. Splinter clearly was going to suggest something else in return for the boy's help, but at the mention of a hug, they were all already on board.
  • After the boys go through the troublesome effort to turn in the DVD on time, the episode ends with them in a family (plus a cosplay wizard) hug.

Episode 14B: Bullhop

  • The turtles seek out the bellhop they accidentally turned into a mutant due to their negligence and offer an appreciation day in addition a place to stay with them. The best part? They are absolutely genuine. The episode seems to set up that the turtles only extended an offer to help in order to ask for something in return, even lampshaded by the Bullhop himself, but the turtles truly are genuine with their offer to help and feel entirely responsible to what happened to him. The turtles wanted nothing, not even Bullhop's help, in return. They did this from the bottom of their heart.
    • Not only was the turtle's kindness paid in full, Bullhop seemed to have become a genuine ally for the turtles, one of the first of the new mutants besides Todd to appreciate their help. Not only did Bullhop open the opportunity to snatch more web fluid from Big Mama to catch the ooze mosquitoes, but Bullhop left amicably, finding a new purpose in his newfound dance skills.
  • Although she didn't seem to mind attacking Bullhop once he showed his true colors, Big Mama seemed to have genuinely enjoyed Bullhop's company and dance moves. She fell heads over heels in love with him and was devastated when he turned out to be on the turtle's side. She even kept his boot ala Cinderella style, lamenting over her lost love. Can't help feel sorry for the big creepy spider lady.

Episode 15A: Mind Meld

  • Donnie's room has a special wall in his room with several monitors displaying family photos of him and his family. Even having a photo of a 'scary' moment of him and his fear of beach balls.
  • Despite the new efficiency of an 'all Donnie' team and his annoyance with his brother's goofy behavior, Donnie himself realizes that he misses his brothers and that he would rather them be 'dum-dums' and be themselves than having them be as smart and competent as he is.

Episode 15B: Nothing But Truffle

  • In this episode, Mikey is all on his lonesome, without his brothers, though he is with Todd. Looks like Raph finally realizes that Mikey is capable enough to do things on his own now, just as Leo said in Hot Soup: The Game.
  • Though later the effect finally worn off, Mikey was genuinely happy to spend a day with his idol, Meat Sweats and the short friendship he had was pretty sweet.
  • Throughout the episode, Todd has been almost frustratingly patient with Mikey's antics, letting Mikey walk all over him and not even getting mad.
    • When it turns out Meat Sweats was pretending, Mikey realizes who his true friend is and apologizes to Todd. Mikey even has Todds on his shoulders for a change to defeat Meat Sweats.
    • At the end of the day, Mikey cooks up some truffle Steaks for him and Todd. When the puppies eat his portion, Mikey goes to ask Todd for his, who is for the first time, a bit mean and unwilling to share. Mikey doesn't even get mad and merely laughs it off.

Episode 16A: Portal Jacked!

  • Leo throughout this entire episode is desperately trying to find and rescue his brothers. He really does love them.
  • As Leo is begging Senor Hueso for help, Leo says that he's 'nothing without them' and says that Hueso wouldn't understand that feeling. Leo is about to leave on his own to find his sword and his brothers, but sympathizing with Leo's struggle, Hueso decides to help him get his family and sword back for real this time.

Episode 16B: Sparring Partner

  • You wouldn't expect an episode featuring a patchwork origami ninja to be this, but THINK again!
  • As soon as Raph declared that Buddy was his friend and no one was going to shred him, his brothers immediately took his side, Leo even calling Buddy 'ours'. Mikey even erased his Foot Clan symbol and replaced it with a turtle symbol instead, officially accepting him into the family.
  • The episode ends with the brothers and their new friend dog piling and laughing to each other.

Episode 17: Shadow of Evil

  • As Splinter goes undercover as a member of the Foot Clan, he tells April to give his love to his sons. This is heartwarming in itself, but April then texts the turtles (who are fighting a mutant crow) the message. Mikey is all too happy to receive the message that their dad loves them, even texting her back by saying they love him too.
  • As April is attempting to escape with the armor piece, she refers to the turtles and Splinter as her 'fam'.
  • Before the turtles engage Splinter, who is under the guise of a Foot Clan grunt, Splinter tries to get them to surrender peacefully, saying that their father (him) would like for them to come home in one piece.
    • Splinter seemed to have skimped out on telling his sons about his destiny and Shredder, not because he didn't think they were capable, but he probably wanted to keep them safe.

Episode 18A: Warren & Hypno, Sitting in a Tree

  • Despite their strange dynamic and their status as villains, both Warren and Hypno genuinely care for each other. Both of them betrayed their respective sides in order to save the other and the episode ends with Hypno flying off with Warren back to their idyllic life together. Not to mention the romantic implications between the two and the title of the episode.
  • After hearing that April's Birthday was cursed, the turtles do everything in their power to make it the best birthday they can for their friend. It goes to show how much April as a friend means to the brothers.
    • Despite all the crazy hubbub, the episode ends with April being gifted Warren's stretched arm and she is absolutely ecstatic as his biggest fan.

Episode 18B: Operation: Normal

  • Leo and Donnie waited patiently in the alleyway (Leo in a trash can no less) for April to pass by so they can invite her into pulling a prank together on Splinter. When they hear that April just wants to have a 'normal' day, Leo and Donnie decide the dedicate the rest of their day trying to help April have a normal day with her friend by keeping the weird away.
    • The turtles and April seem close enough that they apparently have pulled pranks on Splinter. April even laughs and remarks that "I love you guys!".
  • April's friendship with Sunita is adorable. Even though Sunita ended up not being so 'normal' after all, April has definitely earned another friend.
  • At the end of the episode, April happily acknowledges that she's weird, but that the weird is her normal.

Episode 19A: You Got Served

  • Throughout this episode, the brothers aggressively try to compete with each other for who is the winner due to having the most unicorns and end up souring their relationship a bit, but by the end of the episode, they learn their lesson and make up.
    • To Leo's credit, he's trying to do the best as a Big Brother Mentor to Mikey. Throughout the first part of the episode, Leo tries to get Mikey to drop his Competition Freak attitude and to help Hueso genuinely. He did eventually get caught up with Mikey's attitude, but he was also the one to realize that they've gone too far, reeling back his younger brother to do the right thing.
  • Apparently the common Yokai currency is adorable tiny unicorns, all of which mob bosses have in their pockets. Several thousand of them in fact.
    • Despite being technically currency, Mikey adopts them all as if they were pets and names all of his unicorns George and one unicorn Mikey Jr.

Episode 20B: The Purple Game

  • When Donnie is left behind and the other brothers go to a con, they talk about this life-changing once in a lifetime experience. It's not a super exclusive limited edition merchandise or anything like that. What is it? Watching a lady in a wheelchair walk again.
  • Leo, Raph, and Mikey trying to their best to help Donnie get over his obsession.
  • As Leo, Raph, and Mikey are being crushed to death by the Purple Game robot, what does Leo say in a last ditch effort to get "Donnie" (who they still think is controlling the robot) to stop?
    Leo: Donnie, you got to stop this. I love you and your gaming is hurting me.
  • After Donnie saves his brothers, he immediately goes to check if they're alright, pulling them into a hug and apologizing for getting too sucked in.

Episode 21A: Flushed But Never Forgotten

  • Splinter and the turtles seem to genuinely love Piebald. Splinter loves her enough to read her a bedtime story and the turtles are eager to play games with her, despite her just being a little goldfish.
  • After being scared by some writing on the wall, the first thing Mikey does is run to get Leo to check it out.
  • Mikey being extremely concerned with the idea of telling the truth. He feels overwhelmed by guilt and is extremely bothered by the fact that Splinter doesn't know the truth. He is shown multiple times trying to tell the truth.
  • Leo and Mikey both trying to get Frakenfoot into the Turtle Tank, to save him from being hunted by Piebald. It's great also to see the big guy after so long.
  • Leo's older brother instinct kicks in again after he and Mikey were the only ones left after Piebald kidnapped Donnie and Raph. He throws Mikey down to safety from the Turtle Tank.
  • When Leo is left alone and frightened, Leo bursts into Splinter's room, crying out for his father for help. Even though he's a teenager, Leo doesn't seem ashamed to do that.

Episode 23A: Turtledega Nights: The Ballad of Rat Man

  • Splinter tricks Donnie and Mikey into entering the Turtle Tank into a mutant destruction derby with him by saying he "wanted to spend more quality time with them", which they were both giddy about. He did all of this because he's feeling washed out and wants to recapture some former glory. When Donnie confronts him about it, he is genuinely remorseful and explains that while yes, he did trick them into entering the Derby, he never lied about wanting to be with his sons. In turn, once Splinter apologizes, Donnie gets right back on the horse and wins the Derby because it means so much to Splinter.
    Splinter: "Donatello. I may have lied about this event. But I never lied about wanting to spend more time with you. I would not have brought you here if I did not."
    Donatello: If you would just have asked me to hang out with you I would have said yes. I like spending time with you too, dad."
    Splinter: "You are right. I got a little crazy. I wake up every day as a tiny little rat man, and I wanted some glory back in my life. I'm sorry. Take me home, boys."
  • In the beginning of the episode, Splinter has a flashback to his glory days fighting monsters in the Battle Nexus as Lou Jitsu, and shooting a grin to a swooning feline fangirl of his in the audience. After spending the entire episode feeling washed out and then winning the Derby, he looks up to the audience and finds that same, now much older cat-woman in the audience, who gently waves to him, at which points he gives her the same grin and she once again swoons. It gets a Black Comedy Burst immediately after that, but it's very cute all the same.

Episode 23B: The Ancient Art of Ninja Hide and Seek

  • Splinter trying to teach the boys about how to be a proper Ninja is both sweet and funny. Splinter oo's and aa's them with his technique and the boys try to copy their parent to a T (though it does go a bit wrong).
  • After Splinter sends them off on a mission to retrieve Gus's collar, Splinter actually waits patiently for them to come back from their mission. This is Splinter we're talking about, the character who spends most of his time sleeping and watching TV while eating snacks. Though it's played for laughs, Splinter waits there for literal days and the moment he realizes that something must've gone wrong, he springs into extreme Papa Wolf mode and speeds to the tower to rescue his sons. It's heartwarming to reaffirm that Splinter does really love his sons like no other.
    • Right as they were leaving, Splinter even assures himself that turtles are capable.
  • The moment Splinter finds out that the boys were okay, but in fact still trying to do the mission he sent them on, he is indubitably proud of them. He is a bit dismayed at their poor technique, but is proud nonetheless. He does his best to aid them on their mission without their knowledge and allows them to continue on with the mission instead of stopping them.
    • When Splinter sees them finally doing the skills that he's taught them, he is absolutely stunned and even more proud that he was before. They still need a little practice, but Splinter is impressed and incredibly happy. He happily congratulates them and they even share a group hug before Splinter tells them to celebrate the victory they've earned.
    • A little funny heartwarming moment, but what's the thing that Splinter said he didn't deserve? His 'Best Dad' Mug. He was genuinely upset thinking that he didn't deserve that mug, probably something the turtles gave him. When he saw the turtles were actually using the techniques, he's happy to realize that he does deserve the mug after all.

Episode 25: Insane on the Mama Train

  • When the boys realized that they've really let Splinter down, they realized that it's finally time to take things seriously and step up as ninjas. They were willing to throw away what defined them personality-wise to get this done, they wanted to make their father proud.
  • On a meta note, who voices Splinter's ancestor? 2012 Splinter. He really is Rise!Splinter's ancestor in some way. It's heartwarming to see that former voice actors for the previous show came to help voice the new series.

Episode 26: End Game

  • When Splinter gets word that the turtles have been captured from April and is being held for ransom for the last armor piece he possessed, he runs into a dilemma of giving up the armor piece and saving his sons or keeping the armor piece and saving humanity. He rushes to consult the scrolls that advised him in the last episode. Splinter seemed willing to do what his ancestors told him to do, until they mention that he had to let his sons die to protect humanity. Splinter then decided to shred the ancient scrolls of his ancestors and decides wants to do both (save his sons and save humanity).
  • After a brief fight with Draxum, the latter poses a bargain: give up the armor piece or he'll torture the turtles until they give up the location of the armor piece. Splinter, good dad as he is, immediately resolves to give Draxum the armor piece and dooming humanity if it meant getting his sons back.
  • The fact that Splinter apologized to the boys for trying to change them. This is incredibly poignant as being 'Ninjas of the Hamato Clan' was more efficient and serious than the usual 'Mad Dogs' energy than the boys used, but Splinter realized that it was more important to have the boys be themselves than force destiny upon them (which is opposite of how some other adaptions of TMNT handled this). Cue heartwarming spine-crushing family hug (literally).
    • What reminds Splinter about each turtle's individuality? He remembers them as they were as little turtle tots.
  • The turtles have a short flashback sequence of them accidentally breaking the teapot and boy, isn't it the cutest sequence you ever since. It showcases the small turtle tots playing sports ball in the most adorable fashion.


  • In the second issue of the comics, Donnie remarks how he's been concerned for Splinter's health recently due to him not exercising often in response to Leo's bitter remark about how Splinter hasn't really trained them.
    • All the brothers try to come up with ways to get their father to exercise more, so he wouldn't get sick later.

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