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Turtle Power

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Here we see the latest model, the Tortoise 9000! Strong, durable, and only 5000 gold!
Only available in hardtop.

"High Five, Turtle!"
Matt Parkman, Heroes

Just like Monkeys and Penguins, many people have an odd fascination with turtles. They come off as clumsy, shy and slow, and helpless if turned on their shell, but they also appear wise and spiritualistic at times. They are also among the longest-living animals on the planet. If you want a very elderly funny animal, it's usually going to be a tortoise.note  If they get large enough, they can also qualify as a fantastic transport or living island (or in the case of one series and certain mythologies, the entire world).

Sea turtles in particular are quite popular and are often included as charismatic megafauna for ocean and beach conservation. Giant Tortoises are also quite popular for island conservation, especially the Galapagos Tortoise, which the islands were named after.


They're also notable as the main exception to the Reptiles Are Abhorrent trope, being seen as cute and non-threatening. A localized exception is the snapping turtle, which isn't generally considered cute (that being said, their prehistoric looks make them pretty badass), and pretty bad-tempered to boot; softshelled turtles usually tend to be depicted as evil as well, being frankly ugly by most standards. Compare Lovable Lizard, for another goofy-looking and harmless reptile.



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  • Comcast Cable has, as their mascots for high speed Internet, the speed-hating Slowskys — a husband and wife turtle couple.
  • "Mr Turtle, how many lick does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?"
  • "Vonu" is an American-style lager brewed in Fiji by the Island Brewing Co. It has a sea turtle as its mascot. The word "vonu" is also Fijian for "sea turtle."

    Anime and Manga 
  • Kamemon in Digimon Data Squad, as well as Ebonwumon and Eldradimon.
    • Especially Ebonwumon: he's one of The Four Gods, and they thought his back was a forest when he first appeared.
  • DokiDoki! Pretty Cure has Melan, an old fairy who looks like a turtle. However, she can fight when she transforms into a huge dragon. she defeats the five Pretty Cure twice!
  • Doraemon: Nobita's Chronicles of the Moon Exploration have an alien tortoise named Mozo who's a Speedy Tortoise, capable of running circles around enemies in mere seconds. Additionally, Mozo is a tech genius and have a Nigh-Invulnerable shell which turns out useful when he uses himself in a Fastball Special moment taking down the Big Bad.
  • Dragon Ball had not only Master Roshi, the Turtle Hermit (whose Training from Hell involves wearing huge turtle shells on your back all day), but also his pet turtle, which also happened to be a competent martial artist, and "Baby Gamera".
    • And the signature move of the series has the Japanese word for "turtle" in the name. Roughly translated, it means "Turtle Destruction Wave". How cool is that?
      • Word of God says he was inspired by a trip to Hawaii, and a statue of their King Kamehameha. The rest is history.
  • A symbolic instance with the Ōarai Student Council/"Turtle Team" from Girls und Panzer: their logo is that of a running Turtle, but their tank, a Panzer 38(t) light tank, doesn't actually live up to the toughness of their namesake's shell. That changes when they upgraded it into a JagdPanzer 38(t) Hetzer.
  • Coco Jumbo from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind is a tortoise with a Stand that enables the heroes to use its shell as Hammerspace. Soul-swapping shenanigans near the end of the Part leave a human inhabiting its body after his dies, somehow still able to speak.
  • Love Hina Cute little Tamago aka Tama-chan, who was originally Mutsumi's pet that she gave to Keitaro as a gift. Tama-chan also happens to be able to fly.
  • One of the aliens that the Wolkenritter stole Mana from in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's were giant turtles with metal plates and shells containing rocky protrusions. As one could guess from the description, they weren't the docile type of fictional turtles.
  • The wise old turtle from Mori no Ando who the animals go to for advice and appears to be able to read kanji.
  • Naruto: Might Guy is capable of summoning ninja turtles (no, not those ninja turtles), though he doesn't do it very often.
    • There is also a giant island in The Land of Lighting that's really just a ginormous turtle....With another semi-ginormous turtle on top.
  • One of the One Piece movies featured an island that turned out to be giant turtle, which the Big Bad had set his eyes on manipulating to help him Take Over the World.
  • Pokémon:
    • Squirtle, Torkoal and Turtwig are all examples of turtle Pokémon. Squirtle and Turtwig are both starter Pokemon, and one of the more popular ones in their generation, while Torkoal is the signature Pokemon of gym leader Flannery. Ash, the main character of the series, has had all three of them at one point or another.
    • In the Sun and Moon anime, Kiawe has a Turtonator, another fire turtle (also a Dragon-type), as his partner Pokemon.
  • Sgt. Frog: One episode has Tamama coming across a tortoise in the countryside, plodding along the same path day after day. It's revealed later on that Fuyuki had that tortoise as a pet but lost it several years ago, and it's done nothing but make its way back to its breeder ever since. It succeeds.

  • In Worcester, Massachusetts, there is a sculpture (or rather, a now-defunct fountain). It features a young teenage boy riding a sea turtle, naked. Except it looks more like he's doing something else entirely with the turtle. The sculpture is officially called "Burnside Fountain," but it is affectionately known to locals as "Turtle Boy."

    Card Games 

    Comic Books 
  • In the various incarnations of Elflord comics the sidhe Windblade has a turtle which he mutates into a goofy bipedal sidekick and names Mister MacTutt.
  • Fastback and the Crash, Animal Superheroes with speed powers in DC Comics' Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!.
    • There's also DC's Golden Age turtle speedster (and Fastback's uncle), the Terrific Whatzit.
    • While not an actual turtle, The Flash had a turtle-based villain, complete with super-slowness and a launchable shell.
    • Wally West, the third Flash has been shown with a pet turtle in stories such as Teen Titans: Year One.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This concept, crazy as it is, spawned at least four TV series, six movies, and couple dozen video games. This or one of the adaptations is the Trope Namer.
  • In one issue of X-Men Fairy Tales, Charles Xavier is represented by a (talking but otherwise basically unanthropomorphized) tortoise.

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Animation 
  • Just before the end of The Emperor's New Groove, Kuzco is accidentally turned into a red tortoise.
  • Crush and his offspring Squirt from Finding Nemo. Bonus points for being both the laid-back Ninja Turtle type and the wise old mentor at the same time.
  • Master Oogway from Kung Fu Panda is wise beyond all others, the inventor of Kung Fu, and badass enough to drop the nigh-unstoppable Tai Lung with a lightning-fast nerve strike pattern.
  • The mayor in Rango, voiced by Ned Beatty, who turns out to be evil.
  • Toby Tortoise from Robin Hood (1973). Curiously enough, his best friends are rabbits (likely in a Shout-Out to the famous aesop).
  • A turtle is among the many animals Snow White befriends in the woods during her stay in the Seven Dwarfs' cottage.
  • The first animal Merlin turns into during the Wizard Duel from The Sword in the Stone is a blue tortoise.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Cordwainer Smith's character T'ruth in the novella 'On the Storm Planet' is an Underpeople Turtle-Woman with a lifespan of 90,000 years and immense telepathic and possibly-reality-warping powers. She usually chooses to appear as a young human girl.
  • In Dinoverse Bertram's Ankylosaur body is frequently compared to that of a turtle, albeit one with more offensive capabilities. As descriptors go, "clumsy, shy, and slow" fit him well. He considers himself plodding but with a powerful intellect. Mike has to help him when he gets overturned, turtle-style. They also encounter a beach full of Archelon, enormous sea turtles, laying their eggs and being preyed on. Mike decides to try and attack their predators.
  • Discworld:
    • Great A'Tuin, the multiverse's largest turtle, carries the Discworld on her back through space. With elephants.note  In the second book which is also the second half of The Film of the Book, it’s revealed that the strange lights in the sky are A’Tuin’s eggs, which hatch into new baby Discworlds.
    • Small Gods features the Great God Om stuck in the shape of an ordinary tortoise.
  • In the Stephen King multiverse, especially The Dark Tower series, The Turtle is a benevolent force who watches over various characters and even acts as a type of Deus ex Machina at times. The "Voice of the Turtle" is the force which compels King to write, especially about things related to The Dark Tower.
    • More specifically, in The Dark Tower series the Turtle is one of the old gods/guardians which protect the foundations of the Tower itself.
      • There's also a small figurine referred to as the "sköldpadda" that is used by the ka-tet; it has hypnotic effects which make people very open to suggestion. The name literally means "turtle" in Swedish, and it was coined by a Swedish diplomat Susannah meets in 1999, and due to its influence he cheerfully gives her directions and money for a hotel stay.
    • Also in It, where the Losers are sort of the champions of the Turtle. Unfortunately, the Turtle apparently dies in their universe before their Final Battle (although It very well may have been lying to Bill when he said that in an attempt to discourage him although probably not, given the line "Oh, shit, the Turtle really IS dead!"
  • The Clutch in the Liaden Universe. Big, ancient, smart turtle species. Very, very polite, but do not mess with them.
  • Lizard Music: In the end, Victor leaves the island and returns to Hogboro via riding a surfboard that's towed by a turtle.
  • Also from a Michael Ende story: Cassiopeia, the wise turtle from Momo who can see half an hour into the future, and communicates by making letters appear on her shell.
  • Morla, the giant swamp turtle in The Neverending Story.
  • In the Redwall book Rakkety Tam, the MacGuffin being sought by the villain is the "Walking Stone", which is the symbol of power in his homeland and must be owned by the king. It turns out to be a tortoise, which is nicknamed "Rockbottom" and adopted as a semi-sapient pet by the heroes. (Ironically, the villain, despite being a savage maniac in all other respects, must have taken pretty good care of it for a cold-blooded animal to survive in the "Lands of Ice and Snow".)
  • Savage Divinity has Ping Ping who is a massive ancient turtle capable of eating Kraken, that follows the protagonist around like an oversized dog.
  • The turtle wizard Clothahump in Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger series. This trope is rather literal as he is the most powerful wizard in the entire world.
  • Peter Hatcher's pet turtle Dribble in Judy Blume's Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing.
  • Themed superhero example: George R. R. Martin's The Great And Powerful Turtle, a very powerful telekenetic who can only work well given peace and concentration... and so built a giant turtleshell covered with battleship armor, which he flies around in to fight evil.
  • Downplayed/Inverted with Dr. Seuss's Yertle the Turtle (from Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories), but he isn't outright evil, just greedy. He was, however, an allegorical stand in for Hitler as Dr. Seuss stated in an interview.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Underwater nature documentaries love to show swimmers riding the back of a turtle.
  • Jeremiah, the wise old turtle in Bear in the Big Blue House. Oh, and he runs the Post Office.
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon and Amy had a brief infatuation with adopting a turtle as the perfect house pet — until one bit him.
  • The Home Base in Choujuu Sentai Liveman, the Gran Tortoise, is shaped exactly like what you think it's shaped like.
  • CSI had an episode where a guy was killed accidentally in the same way as Aeschylus. He was a fringe religion starter who called himself The Steven and got the shell dropped on his bald head.
  • Elementary: After his owner is found murdered, Clyde the turtle is taken in by Sherlock Holmes and can be seen wandering around Sherlock's brownstone, or being used as a paperweight.
  • The Discovery Channel mockumentary The Future Is Wild has Toratons. They are basically dinosaur-sized turtles with less shell.
  • The Genio Innocuo in Grimm, one of the most peaceful and harmless Wesen.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers:
    • The first season featured Shellshock as a Monster of the Week, leading to this hilarious Shout-Out after he grew to giant size:
      Shellshock: Wait until those teenage mutants see what a full-grown turtle can do!
    • The second season has Tor the Shuttlezord. He's big, he's green, and more often than not the only way you'll know he's there is the growing shadow from him about to crush you from above. His counterpart in Gosei Sentai Dairanger was Daimugen, the mightiest of the Mythical Chi Beasts, but also the gentlest of them, preferring to stay away from conflict and taking on the form of a fat turtle-loving man named Kameos.
  • My Name Is Earl: Crabman has a box turtle, named Mr Turtle, who occasionally suffers from the actions of others. He also once got lost, and had all kinds of crazy adventures (ran in a marathon, got caught in the middle of a gang war, and mated with another turtle he found) on the way back.
  • Abby of NCIS had a pet turtle as a kid large enough to ride on. She was told that the turtle would be replaced with a wagon upon its passing, but that turtle hung in there...
  • It's probably obligatory to mention Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation here—although many people see it as Turtle LACK of Power.
  • Our Miss Brooks: In "Madison Mascot", Stretch Snodgrass offers his pet turtle as Madison High's mascot:
    Stretch Snodgrass: I know, maybe I can bring my turtle over as a mascot.
    Walter Denton: The Madison Mudturtles! That's sort of alliterative. How big a turtle have you got, Stretch?
    Stretch Snodgrass: He's exactly three inches square!
    Mr. Conklin: Now there's a brilliant suggestion. How could the crowd in a football stadium possibly see a three inch turtle?
    Miss Brooks: I know. We can paint Madison in huge red letters on his back.
  • Mia's Zord on Power Rangers Samurai (or Mako's Origami in Samurai Sentai Shinkenger) is of the flying sea turtle variety.
  • Motoki in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon is obsessed with turtles, specifically his pet turtle Kamekichi.
  • Maura Isles on Rizzoli & Isles has a giant turtle... "It's a tortoise!"
  • On Stargate Atlantis, Dr. Beckett decides that the ideal pet for him would be turtles, as they don't require much care or space (any animal that did require such would be unfairly served by him and his job) but are still appealing to him. He reveals this when they're leaving on a particularly dangerous mission, and he realizes he never left any instructions that the "baby wee turtles" should be cared for, lamenting, "Ah've prob'ly killed them." Deleted scenes from a later episode establish that the turtles survived, and that after Carson died, they passed into Rodney's care.


    Myths & Religion 
  • It should be mentioned that one of The Four Gods is a turtle. A turtle that is having sex (some say consensually, others not) with a giant snake.
  • In Egyptian Mythology turtles are associated with the God of Evil Apep and considered to be creatures of darkness that are enemies to the sun god, to the point that eating turtle meat was a serious taboo to ancient Egyptians. Some demons have entire turtle bodies as their heads.
  • The Longgui, or Dragon Turtle, of Chinese Mythology is described as a giant turtle with the head of a dragon. It's considered a symbol of prosperity and wisdom, often depicted carrying a large stele on its back.
  • Many mythologies, particularly Hindu and Native American ones, have the earth on the back of a tortoise. (Exactly what the tortoise itself is standing on is rarely mentioned.) The creature in Hindu Mythology varies quite a bit, but the most well-known version in the West is this guy. Another Hindu turtle of importance is Kurma. While not ubiquitous, this is common enough among Native American cultures for some to propose using the name "Turtle Island" as a truly American (non-European) replacement name for the continent of North America ("America" is derived from some Italian guy's name).
  • Aesop's Fables: In particular, The Tortoise and the Hare.
  • Kusu Island, one of Singapore's several offshore territories, was said to be created when an ancient turtle transformed into an island to save Chinese and Malay sailors when their boat capsized during a storm. To this day, a temple on Kusu Island raises tortoises and turtles alike.
  • The Japanese folktale about Urashima Taro involves him rescuing a turtle that then takes him to an Undersea Palace.
  • Also from Japan is the Kappa; basically an anthropomorphic turtle with a few extra features. Essentially a bogeyman of rivers, the Kappa was originally blamed for deaths caused by drowning, and in time evolved a complex mythology of its own. It has a hole on top of its head that carries water, allowing it to survive on land, and hence can be defeated by causing it to spill, loves to eat cucumbers, and according to some sources, eats through its butt. The Koopas from Super Mario Bros. games are based on this legend.
  • In Greek Mythology, Hermes is associated with turtles/tortoises because he made the first lyre out of a shell.
    • Meanwhile, it was said the elderly outlaw Sciron kept a giant sea turtle he would feed passersby after forcing them to wash his feet and bend over, leaving them open to be kicked. Theseus defated him by doing exactly that, and in my accounts he is eaten by it.
  • In parts of Africa, the tortoise is a trickster along with the hare and the spider.
  • Some people have suggested that sightings of Sea Serpents and lake monsters are actually a bizarre undiscovered species of long-necked turtle dubbed "plesioturtle".

    Pro Wrestling 
  • USWA and SMW had Kowabunga, known as Turtle Kamen in FMW. Basically a wrestling ninja turtle. He was better known as referee Brian Hildebrand aka Dr. Mark Curtis.
  • In 1992, Lucha Libre Internacional and AAA debuted Los Tortuguillos Karetekas, four masked men clearly inspired by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • Vegetius the Big Eater bird turtle from Kaiju Big Battel. Technically he's a bird tortoise but then again, read the promotion's name again. The inaccuracy is on purpose.
  • CHIKARA has featured Steve "The Turtle" Weiner, who sometimes dressed up in full costume and drew chants of "Turtle power! Turtle power!" The March 19, 2016 event was titled The Secret of the Ooze, from the title of the second TMNT film.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons had humanoid turtles called tortles (as well as an evil subrace called snappers) and giant turtles, including the snapping variety.
    • In second edition there were also giant turtles called zaratans frequently mistaken for islands. Their inhabitants tended to live in fear of it awakening and submerging.
    • Dragon Turtles (giant turtle-like marine dragons with a Breath Weapon of concentrated, superheated steam) have been a staple of the Monster Manual since the beginning.
    • The third-party DragonMech setting had humanoid turtles called tortogs, whose Feel No Pain made them very good at smuggling in an environment where agonizing micrometeorite showers are a nightly hazard.
  • Legend of the Five Rings features the minor and mercantile Turtle clan, who are mostly despised by the rest of Rokugan for their semi-secret mission of being the Empire's contact with the Gaijin, but they have the direct support of the Emperor in that mission.
  • Warhammer: Age of Sigmar has the undersea Aelves known as the Idoneth Deepkin, whose largest, toughest unit is a massive six-flippered sea turtle called a Leviadon, ridden by several warriors on a howdah.
  • In the tabletop RPG Werewolf: The Apocalypse, each tribe follows a specific totem whose beliefs, goals, and philosophies match those of the tribe. The extinct Croatan (yes, that Croatan) followed Turtle as their totem, due to their ties to the Earth element and the recurring myth that the world is carried on the back of a turtle. After the tribe's Heroic Sacrifice, Turtle withdrew his support from the werewolves for over 500 years. When the Old World of Darkness line ended, a possible scenario for the end of the world involved Turtle's return.
    • The Mokole weresaurians once had a chelonian subgroup, the Ao, who gradually disappeared over a period of time from the sixth century BCE to the first century CE. Unlike most fallen Changing Breeds, no-one knows what caused the Ao's disappearance.

    Video Games 
  • In Robo Aleste, the Stage 6 boss is a gunship shaped like a turtle, with a retractable head.
  • In Al-Qadim: The Genie's Curse, when the protagonist needs to leave the island on which the game begins, he is given a magic phrase to summons a turtle which can carry him. (The turtle is not a long-term method of transport, instead delivering the player to a claimable ship.)
  • The Animal Crossing games have the elderly tortoise Tortimer as the mayor of town. He's retired in New Leaf, but still shows up to host the mini-games on the tropical island.
  • In Aquaria, you ride an Ancient Turtle to speed-travel. The game also has an entire cave full of peaceful turtles, looked over by a gigantic Turtle Mother.
  • Gohma squashers from Asura's Wrath.
  • Crossed Swords have a giant matamata turtle as a boss in the second game. Said turtle can talk, taunting you as you tried crossing his swamp, and later tries shoving it's spiked shell on you during the boss fight.
  • In the Darkwing Duck Licensed Game for the Nintendo Entertainment System, there are turtle enemies that sneeze their shells at Darkwing and can only be hit when their shells are off. Interestingly, these enemies are still really tough, requiring six hits to go down, and since the shell acts like a boomerang, watch your back while attacking them.
  • Tiptup from Diddy Kong Racing, considered to be one of the best drivers in the game. He proved to be popular enough to have cameos in a later series starring one of his fellow racers, Banjo-Kazooie.
  • Dwarf Fortress has its share of turtles and tortoises, naturally, but the Giant Tortoise has gained a surprising amount of popularity among the more domestication-minded players. Due to the fact they actually retract into their shells, they quickly become close to unkillable to unarmed enemies and even wooden arrows, which lets them survive events many other pets would be slaughtered in. And if they find Gigantic Tortoises, their even bigger wild variants, all the better: they retract into their shells too, shells so thick entire squadrons of people can hit them with iron weapons all day and night and achieve nothing, making them excellent distractions.
  • In Infocom's Enchanter, a turtle is one of the friendly creatures you encounter, and its shell combined with a, exex...spell make it a useful ally in getting one necessary item.
  • In Ensemble Stars!, Souma initially wanted to join the Marine Bio Club when he was shown a video about sea turtles, which moved him greatly and made him very excited to see them in real life. Unfortunately, Kanata immediately informs him that sea turtles are actually endangered and can't be kept as pets. However, they do have pond turtles at the club, and Souma swiftly becomes attached to them, particularly one he nicknames 'Kamegorou' and eventually becomes the effective owner of, regularly cooking for and taking care of him.
  • The Quadav from Final Fantasy XI are a large-scale subversion of Always Chaotic Evil. Think Indians vs. Colonists, and you can get an idea of why they fight back.
    • The ancient Sage Ghido from Final Fantasy V is the oldest living creature in the world, supremely wise, monumentally sarcastic (especially towards Bartz) and can engage Exdeath in hand-to-hand combat that leaves the young adventurers positively flabbergasted. He still needs help flipping over if knocked on his back, though.
    • Adamantoise enemies from Final Fantasy XIII bear only a passing resemblance to turtles, but they've got the "power" part down.
    • Final Fantasy XIV has a relatively mundane version of the Adamantoise that simply looks like an oversized tortoise, but it can be obtained as a mount that moves surprisingly fast and can even fly Gamera-style once you unlock the ability. Stormblood introduces the Kojin beast tribe who outwardly resemble turtles and live beneath the sea, though unlike the aforementioned Quadav, their shells are artificial and hand-crafted. Also in Stormblood is Genbu of the Four Lords, a wizened turtle with powerful water magic.
  • A sidequest in Golden Sun ends with a large turtle offering (through telepathy) to carry the party to his secret island, where they can fight powerful monsters and a sub-boss who grants a useful summon. To get him to offer this you have to bring him a baby turtle who relieves his loneliness, much to his surprised joy.
  • Guild Wars has the Luxon. Their turtle clan builds nomadic cities on the backs of giant land tortoises, and they strap cannons to turtles to make mobile siege platforms.
  • Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu has flying turtles as the typical sort of platforms that move up and down in mid-air.
  • Kickle Cubicle has a turtle enemy named Myrtle that likes to drop into its shell and charge.
  • One of the mid-bosses in Kirby's Adventure is the Rolling Turtle, a turtle who attacks Kirby by rolling at him. Even though it's not technically a boss, the Rolling Turtle is still one of the toughest enemies in the game because of how fast and unpredictable its movements are.
  • The Turtle Tamer is a class in Kingdom of Loathing. Their ultimate ability is actually called "Turtle Power". They're essentially The Beastmaster with turtles, being in tune with ancient turtle spirits who give them blessings and able to tame turtles as familiars (hence the name). Live turtles are also used in lieu of helmets, apparently without any harm to the turtle. You can even get them upgraded with linoleum or chrome plating.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has a turtle enemy called Snapper, and an island that turns out to be a giant turtle (which also appears in the Great Bay stage of Super Smash Bros. Melee).
  • The Lord of the Rings Online has a variety of giant turtles, most of which toss characters across the map. Notable turtles include one of the harder mid-level quest instances (The Tomb of Elendil) and Nornuan, a turtle that is an entire raid unto itself.
  • In the Mahou Daisakusen series, turtles bear cannons, tanks, and sometimes whole fortresses.
  • Rainy Turtloid from Mega Man X6 and Heat Genblem from Mega Man Zero 4. One of the bosses in Mega Man 7 was a robotic tortoise.
  • In Monster Hunter, one common source of meat is the peculiar turtle/dinosaur cross known as an Apceros. They're also one of the few herbivores which will actually chase and attack the player on sight — albeit verrry slooooowly.
  • In Ordyne, the second boss is a giant turtle.
  • The Zeshrayda from Phantasy Star Online 2 is a massive bipedal turtle with rocket thrusters in its shell, cannons on its back, and a demonic-looking face on both sides of its shell. It calls to mind a certain other giant turtle rather readily, though this one is most definitely not a friend to all children..
  • Pokémon:
    • Squirtle, a water-shooting turtle is one of the starters in the first two games; it was pretty popular, likely because it evolves into Wartortle and finally Blastoise, a giant turtle with cannons on its shell.
    • There's also Torkoal from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, a fiery tortoise. Even moreso come Pokémon Sun and Moon, where it was blessed with Drought, letting it automatically summon harsh sunlight upon entering battle.
    • Another turtle starter, Grass-type Turtwig was available in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. It evolves into Grotle and finally Torterra, a gigantic tortoise with a forest growing on its back. To this date, Torterra is the only Grass/Ground type in existence.
    • The fifth generation adds Tirtouga and Carracosta, based on the prehistoric Archelon.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon has Turtonator, a giant, explosive, Fire/Dragon-type turtle based off both the Kappa and the South American mata mata turtle.
    • Pokémon Sword and Shield gives us Chewtle (Water-type) and Dreadnaw, (Water/Rock type) based off the alligator snapping turtle.
  • Terraria:
    • Giant Tortoises in the Underground Jungle and Ice Tortoises in Underground Snow. They have lots of health and armor and are pretty slow, but they utilize a fast spinning attack to move around and deal heavy damage.
    • You can collect Turtle Shells from the Giant Tortoises to craft the Turtle Armor, which boasts extremely high defense and a Set Bonus of reflecting damage back to physical attackers.
    • 1.2.4 adds the Turtle Mount, which improves your mobility underwater when in use.
  • Psychonauts: Mr. Pokeylope, an infantile old lady's pet with a deep voice and a mind full of stratagems. "That's right baby, Daddy's here. Everything's going to be alllllright."
  • In Return to Mysterious Island, spotting a sea turtle on the beach and backtracking it to its eggs is what part of what keeps your stranded character alive.
  • The Game Mod Ridgeside Village has Torts, a turtle that has lived for many generations in the eponymous village and is loved by many of its inhabitants, especially the children. The player character can befriend him and share many funny moments with him, and in his 10 heart friendship event if they made the right choices, Torts reveals himself as a huge cosmic turtle being that has observed humanity for eons.
  • Tartagon mounts in Rift: basically giant two-headed riding tortoises.
  • The Ninth Colossus from Shadow of the Colossus, a really, really big turtle/tortoise, is very nasty. Also one of the hardest Colossi in the game.
  • Sly Cooper: Bentley. Even after he loses the use of his legs in the second game, he still proves to be essential to the Cooper Gang.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog has various robotic turtle enemies created by Dr. Eggman.
    • In the Genesis version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, in Sky Chase Zone, the Turtloid enemy consists of a tiny robotic turtle operating a big one, allowing it to shoot at Sonic and Tails. The tiny turtles can be defeated, revealing regular turtles and chickens inside that fall to the ground. Once the tiny turtles are defeated, the big ones can be used as platforms. In the Master System and Game Gear versions, the Game-game enemy in Sky High Zone is a robotic turtle that can fly into the air when it goes inside its shell.
    • In Sonic Triple Trouble, there are various robotic turtle enemies with springs on their backs in Great Turquoise Zone. They can be destroyed with roll attacks, but jumping on their springs can allow Sonic and Tails to reach higher places and/or items. In the same game, the boss of Great Turquoise Zone is the Tart Turtle, a flying robotic turtle who can be defeated by hitting his underside multiple times. In the second phase of the battle, you'll need to use the aforementioned robotic turtle enemies to get up to him.
    • In Sonic Heroes, the Cameron enemy is a robotic turtle that comes in green and gold colors and appears as a recurring enemy in the game. Green Camerons can be destroyed with Power attacks, but Gold Camerons either have to be flipped on their backs to hit their undersides, or be destroyed with the Team Blast.
    • In Sonic Mania, in Titanic Monarch Zone, there is the Turbo Turtle, a small robotic turtle that carries a fan on its back, which can blow the player away.
  • Pretty prominently featured with the Koopas from the Super Mario Bros. series. Most of them are intelligent but very nasty, especially Bowser and his kin, but the rank-and-file are still kinda cute and cartoony. After the switch to 3D, numerous good Koopas have turned up as well.
  • In Super Metroid, the turtle-like Tatori and Tatori, Jr. creatures in Maridia are non-hostile toward Samus; Tatori even lets Samus stand on top of it to access an Energy Tank and a Missile Expansion. (They will still damage you if you approach them the wrong way.)
  • In 3D games of the Tales Series, truck-sized tortoises are a common monster type. They tend to not be very threatening, due to moving and attacking slowly, and being very large targets. Tales of Symphonia has the enemies called turtles and their Tethe'allan counterparts crush turtles.
  • Toss the Turtle. Yes, you get to throw turtles. With cannons.
  • The Touhou series used to feature a flying turtle named Genji as main character Reimu Hakurei's main method of transportation. He has not been seen since the series migrated to Windows and Reimu learned to fly on her own. Word of God is that he now lives in a pond behind the shrine.
  • World of Warcraft has turtle beasts, typically immense and fanged, with heavy armour. Wild turtles can be tamed as Hunter pets and as one can expect, are good for tanking. Lastly, one of the trading card bonuses is a ridable turtle without any requirements, but it's not any faster than walking (and recently, a new turtle mount has been introduced, which is obtainable by fishing and gives movement speed bonuses only while swimming). One quest involves two talking turtles as well.
    • One dungeon has a turtle for a boss, called Ghamoo-ra. Another turtle in the wild is called Gammerita. Unlike Gamera, both are very much hostile, though.
    • Even larger turtles are or have been used as ships by the Horde and the tuskarr of Northrend. In Cataclysm we get to meet the even larger turtle ancient Tortolla (and combat his Evil Twin Nemesis, who is also on fire), and Mists of Pandaria takes it even further with Shen-zin Su, a Turtle Island of massive proportions.
    • The Pandaren's racial mount is a dragon turtle as well, and comes in the normal and epic speeds like any other. This averts the usual perception of turtles as slow, since they are indeed capable of sprinting when necessary.
    • As a Shout-Out to the Trope Namer, some of the wild turtles in Pandaria have a spinning attack called Turtle Power.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 2, one of the massive Titans who comprise the game's setting is Genbu, a gigantic sea turtle whose body houses the icy kingdom of Tantal.

    Web Animation 
  • ASDF Movie: The recurring mine turtle (technically, he's a tortoise), who either self-destructs or is triggered to blow up in all of his appearances.
    "Hello, Mine Turtle!" "Hello!" *KABOOM*
  • In Bee and Puppycat, the man at the Temp Agency has a room full of turtle posters and a pet turtle.

  • Koan of the Day has a tortoise who seems to know more about zenlightenment than anyone.
  • Not Quite Daily Comic has Lulu, one of the rare instances of a Turtle Girl.
  • The Khamega from Slightly Damned are a race of 7ft semiaquatic turtle people that are (usually) laid-back and friendly . They are native to the Dragon Island Archipelago and some believe they are descended from the native dragons, physically they are stronger and tougher than humans or jakkai and magically superior to the latter but not the former, however their main drawbacks are that they are cold-blooded and can't travel far north as well as being slow and clumsy on land.
  • Everybody in Tower of God, if you believe Rak Wraithraiser. He refers to anybody but Anaak as 'turtles', often in a derogatory fashion. The best thing about it? He's a giant alligator that hunts and fights so-called strong turtles in order to become stronger himself.
    • Hendrock Bloodmadder, a man obsessed with immortality, who has after achieving his goal been given the moniker long-life sea turtle, because of turtles renowned longevity.

    Web Original 
  • Owen from lonelygirl15 is a turtle. Also Spencer's dancing turtle from "Back to Work", either. His moment of fame was brief, but memorable.
  • This gallery on the paleo art blog Art Evolved.
  • That's a tortoise!

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • A 5th century B.C.E. Greek writer (claimed to be the founder of Greek tragedy), Aeschylus, was reportedly killed when an eagle, attempting to crack open a turtle shell, mistook Aeschylus's bald head for a rock and dropped the turtle on it. Despite the fact that Aeschylus was killed instantly, the turtle lived. Turtles > Greek Writers.
  • Any true Marylander knows that you should Fear the Turtle. Because you should REALLY fear the turtle.
  • Anything capable of living more than a century and a half has to be pretty cool.
  • The largest known turtle known to have existed, Archelon, lived in the Cretaceous ocean that is now the Niobrara Basin. The largest Archelon fossil, found in the Pierre Shale of South Dakota in the 1970s, measures more than 4 metres (13 ft) long, and about 4.9 metres (16 ft) wide from flipper to flipper.
    • On average, the freshwater turtle species Stupendemys (from Pliocene South America) was even larger, with an estimated average carapace length of 3.3 metres (11 feet) and an even greater width. A "stupendous" turtle, indeed!
    • The largest land-dwelling tortoise known to have existed was Megalochelys atlas (sometimes Colossochelys), the Atlas Tortoise, which lived in India, Pakistan, and Southeast Asia during the Ice Age and was the size of a car.
  • The largest living turtle is no less incredible. The Leatherback Sea Turtle holds a number of records, including being the largest living turtle, the most widespread reptile and surprisingly enough, the fastest reptile. That's right, the fastest reptile is a turtle (in the water of course). Unfortunately, they're also among the rarest of reptiles, so conservation is highly important. It is also able to swim in cold water despite not being a truly warm-blooded animal, due to generating heat through its fat and swimming motions.
    • It's also a phenomenal marathon swimmer. In the one successful case of leatherback turtles being reared in captivity for longer than a few weeks, the manhole-cover-sized youngsters never quit sculling their way through the water, and had to be leashed with a "jolly jumper"-like harness to the center of their tank so they wouldn't try to swim right through the glass walls. Marine biologists' annual "Tour de Turtles", a just-for-fun comparison of migration distances by satellite-tracked sea turtles, regularly awards leatherbacks top ranks for traversing thousands of miles in their neverending search for food. What kind of food? Jellyfish. Which, given how most species avoid their venomous tendrils like the plague, rates as Turtle Power all by itself.
  • It's also notable that the largest shelled freshwater turtle is the alligator snapping turtle, which typically averages around 2ft (60cm) and 165lbs(75kg) — the catch being they never stop growing over the course of their life. Confirmed specimens top 4 feet (1.2 meters) and 249 lbs (113 kg), and an unconfirmed specimen in 1937 reportedly weighed in at 403 lbs (183 kg), which would be about 6ft(1.8m) of extremely irritable turtle. These animals are the reason that hand-catching catfish ("noodling") is illegal in many areas — these apex predators tend to react predictably when someone sticks a hand into the wrong burrow.
    • Snapping Turtles are said to have the second strongest jaws in the animal kingdom, right after crocodilians of course. This is actually untrue, their jaw power is in fact quite unimpressive but they make up for it with their razor-sharp beaks. Many an unwary turtle hunter has lost part of their hand thanks to the bite of an angered snapping turtle.
  • Giant soft-shell turtles are even deadlier. They get even larger (up to five hundred pounds), have a projectile neck, swim faster than many fish, and are among the most aggressive carnivorous reptiles.
  • Turtles can live without eating for a ridiculous long time. Many species in temperate zones don't really hibernate, they just stop eating and move very little during the cold months. Centuries ago, giant turtles were often rounded up in islands by passing sailors, carried to the ships and left upside down for months so they couldn't move, one on top of the other, until they were killed and eaten when the crew run out of food. The turtles were never fed during the time aboard.
  • Even though turtles are reptiles and obviously don't have gills, pet sliders can spend up to 4 hours underwater without breathing air. Part of it is because of their low metabolism, part is because there are areas of their skin that are thin enough to get oxygen directly from the water and into their blood. One of the most efficient areas is around the anus.
  • Several sea turtles not only are immune to jellyfish stings, but even eat jellyfish (or similar creatures) as part of their diets. Considering the many, many nasty things jellyfish stings can do to you (such as never-ending agony or instant death), this is a good thing. Unfortunately, plastic bags resemble jellyfish and turtles will try to eat them, only for the bags to clog up their digestive system, which isn't a good thing.
  • Think turtles are slow? Think twice! In September 1968, two tortoises were launched in prototype "Soyuz" craft around the Moon as a part of Soviet lunar program (they were chosen generally to simplify life support, because they could easily stay without food or water for several days. The spaceship circled around the Moon, and returned to Earth, achieving the highest recorded speed for any "inhabited" spacecraft yet. That's right, tortoises are still holding the record of the fastest-moving living being, tovarischi!
  • "Turtle Ships" is a nickname for the Geobukseon, armoured ships in Joseon-era Korea which had allegedly had spiked armour plating on its back.


Video Example(s):


Earth Vellumental

The Earth Vellumental, a legendary elemental turtle being, emerges from the dirt.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / TurtlePower

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