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Mythology Gag / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012)

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The 2012 series has a significant amount of references to the comics and previous incarnations.


  • In "Never Say Xever", Mikey mentions the idea of getting his face tattooed over his face. A quick shot demonstrates this by placing a 2D image of Mikey from the 1987 series layered over his design.
    • In addition, it was likely a reference to the 2007 movie, where Mikey wore an animated turtle head for his job.
  • While on patrol, the Turtles chase villains who are driving a van. When the heroes plan to overtake them, Michelangelo is more excited about the possibility that afterwards "We've got ourselves a van!", which is likely a reference to the Turtles' van from the 1987 series.
  • The entirety of the Turtles' first fight with the Shredder in “The Gauntlet” closely mirrors it's occurrence in the Mirage comics via taking many poses and framing directly from the comic panels.
  • The last shot of the Turtles posing during the intro pays homage to the cover of the very first Mirage TMNT comic.
  • The T-phone's ringtone is the 1987 series theme song.
  • The opening theme is essentially a combination of the opening theme of the 1987 seriesnote  and the first film's Turtle Power by Partners in Kryme.
    • The Theme Tune Roll Call lists the Turtles in the exact same order as those of the 1987 series and the Fast Forward and Back to the Sewer seasons of the 2003 series: Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo.
    • The opening theme uses the phrase "Secret of the Ooze", a reference to the title of the second live action movie.
    • In addition, the part of the opening theme when the Turtles doing weapon demonstrations is a visual gag to the 2003 series' second opening version.
  • The debut trailer for the Kraang mirrors The Reveal note  from the 2003 series' "Secret Origins" arc scarily well, face hugging alien and all.
  • Hamato Yoshi mutates into Splinter, much like in the 1987 series and the Archie Comics series loosely based on the 1987 series.
  • The Foot Soldiers wear suits that resemble those used in the first film series.
  • The tails of Mikey's mask are short like they were in the 1987 series while the rest of the Turtles have long ones. This even came up in Turtles Forever where Mikey was a fan of the short tails (and the monogrammed belt buckles).
  • The Nick.com motion comics play the game over tune from the old Konami beat-em-up games at the end of each comic!
  • Just like in the 1987 series episode "Thing About Rats", the Turtles don't believe Mikey's story of an alien brain.
  • The Shredder, much like the 1987 series, is once again being voiced by a physically intimidating Scary Black Man.
  • April and her father are introduced when walking in front of the Second Time Around Antique Store, which April inherited from her father in the first live-action film series and the 2003 series.
  • Channel 6 is where the Turtles get their news.
  • The zoom-in on New York and then its sewers in "Rise of the Turtles" is more or less taken from the 2003 series.
  • April's father's name is Kirby O'Neil. The name "Kirby" had been used in the comics and 2003 series as an Expy for Jack Kirby. Also in the Mirage Comics, April's father used the Kirby Crystal to create April from an ink drawing.
  • Spider Bytez keeps mistaking the Turtles for Kung-Fu Frogs in reference to the Punk Frogs from the 1987 series.
  • Chris Bradford's Foot Clan uniform looks very similar to Shredder's costume from the Mirage Comics sans the trident blades on the helmet, right down to the red coloring.
  • One many people may not spot - in the 2003 series, Michelangelo says the following: "And what's with all those ninjas? Ninjas in New York City? Besides us? It's just not right." Come the 2012 series, we get this line from Donatello in "New Friend, Old Enemy": "Ninjas? In New York? Other than us?" The two lines are very similar.
  • Metalhead being controlled by a Kraang is a reference to its connection usually with Krang in the 1987 series.
  • Murakami the noodle chef was named for one of the producers of the 1987 series, Murakami-Wolf-Swenson.
    • Actually, Ciro Nieli named him after a friend of his, possibly Teen Titans collaborator Glen Murakami. It's more likely that the Wolf Hotel in "The Gauntlet" was named after Murakami-Wolf-Swenson.
  • In "Panic in the Sewers", Donatello suggests living in the sewers in Florida, which is the home of Leatherhead and the Punk Frogs in the 1987 series.
  • In "Mousers Attack!", Irma calls April just before her phone breaks.
  • The Kraang being responsible for creating Leatherhead is a reference to his origin in the Mirage Comics and the 2003 series, in which he was created by the Utroms, who were partially the inspiration for the Kraang.
  • The Rat King tries to take control of Splinter, much like he did in the 1987 series.
  • The Pulverizer seems to be based on Zach from the 1987 series. Both characters are fans of the Turtles who also dress like them and try to help them, which tends to turn out badly.
    • His belt buckle has a "P", referencing how the 1987 Turtles had monogrammed belt buckles.
  • The Shredder forms a partnership with Kraang, just like in the 1987 series.
  • Karai at one point orders something the 1987 Shredder would always want: Turtle Soup.
  • The head of Kraang Prime's armor resembles the head of 1987 Krang's robot body.
  • In "Showdown", the Turtles crash the Shellraiser into TCRI...except they're not even in the Shellraiser and instead occupy the enemies using Metalhead and once they're on the roof, Raph uses a piegon to block one of the security cameras so the Kraang don't see them. These are references to the 2003 version's "Return to New York" and "The Search for Splinter".
    • Using a pigeon to block the T.C.R.I. building's security cameras was also a technique used in the original Mirage comics.
  • This isn't the first time the Technodrome has been stranded at the bottom of the ocean.
  • Kraang Prime has some parallels to Krang from the 1987 series. Their robot bodies both have similar-looking heads and Kraang Prime at one point refers to the Turtles as "miserable mutants", an insult the 1987 Krang used against the Turtles a few times.
  • A very obscure reference - the villain Spider Bytez is named after an unreleased action figure based on a one-off mook from the 2003 series' "Back to the Sewer" incarnation - same spelling and all.
  • Mikey quotes the Ninja Rap from the second movie.
  • In "Follow The Leader", the trenchcoat disguises favored by the 1987 Turtles are referred to.
  • While Mikey is disguised as a giant fly (Buzz Buzz) in "The Mutation Situation", he flies past a Billboard advertising Stockman Technologies. Baxter Stockman in the 1987 series ended up mutated into a giant fly.
  • April's Weapon of Choice is a metal fan, not unlike Venus de Milo had, though it was supposed to go to Splinter's lost daughter, Miwa, who later turns out to be Karai.
  • The Turtles, April, and Casey get a look at their 1987 counterparts through a dimensional door in The Manhattan Project. Additionally, the worm they were fighting throughout the episode ends up in that universe in the epilogue.
Michelangelo: Why do we look like dorks?
Donatello (while looking at April's 1987 counterpart): Nice jumpsuit!
  • In "The Lonely Mutation of Baxter Stockman", a photograph of Ace Duck from the 1987 series’ toyline can be seen and Baxter Stockman suggests to Shredder that he can create mutant pigs and rhinos, a reference to Bebop and Rocksteady.
  • In "The Good, The Bad and Casey Jones", we see that Casey has drawn a picture of himself and Raphael in his journal. It's drawn in the style of the Mirage comics, with the original designs for the two characters.
    • Immediately after that is a sequence of shots of him noticing Raphael on a roof across the street that is almost frame-for-frame accurate to the scene in the original movie, up to and including Raphael shadowboxing and then leaning against the edge of the roof with a sigh.
  • In "Within the Woods", Raph is turned into a plant and has his mutagen sucked out of him by the Creep. It may be a very, very subtle nod to a little-known arc in the comics that has a leech suck out Raph's mutagen and turn him into a normal turtle.
  • In "The Croaking", the Frogs are leaving for Louisiana, which is the home of the Punk Frogs and Leatherhead in the 1987 series.
  • As of the third season, the Turtles have a van. One of the images on the van is a woman in a turtle costume leaning against a bomb that says "Venus".
  • In "The Pig and the Rhino," Bebop threatens Michelangelo with retromutagen, saying "Time for the next mutation, turtle!"
  • Once again, the Turtles exploit a nitrogen-deprived and stranded Triceratron to help them on a mission by pretending to be his commander. Unlike those times though, this one ends BADLY with the Triceratron not only trying to kill them, but calling the others, as well as calling them out on deceiving someone who was slowly dying.
  • April's space jumpsuit in "Beyond the Known Universe" is basically the jumpsuit worn by the 1987 April.
  • In "Requiem" when the Turtles are watching the series finale of Chris Bradford's show, the creature the villain in the show transforms into strongly resembles Carter's mutant transformation in the 1987 series.
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