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Trivia / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987)

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  • Channel Hop: From syndication to CBS in 1990. (Somewhat ironically, the firm that distributed the show in syndication and internationally- Group W/Westinghouse- would merge with CBS in 1995.)
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Vernon's nephew Foster Fenwick was voiced by the late Dana Hill.
  • Disowned Adaptation: Peter Laird, on his blog, when asked about the "Red Sky" seasons, said he never saw them because he stopped watching the series in the early seasons because he thought it was just "repetitive silliness", and disliked that his and co-creator Eastman's advice was ignored. The aforementioned Kevin Eastman, however, actually seemed rather fond of the whole experience, and Bebop and Rocksteady (characters that Peter Laird has admitted to disliking) are among his favorite TMNT characters.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Mona Lisa was originally going to be a female turtle, but Eastman and Laird rejected it, so she was reimagined into some kind of lizard, which is why her head and feet look like the TMNT's. Supposedly they still didn't like her even after these changes, and ordered the makers of the show not to use her again. According to that other wiki, Mona Lisa would've came back anyway, some time after the 8th season but the story scrapped in favor of the Lord Dregg and Carter story arc instead.
    • Network meddling was also responsible for Shredder and Krang being Put on a Bus and replaced by Dregg during the ninth season. They also forced the show's creators to introduce a "hip" new character, eventually resulting in Carter, who was pretty much an African-American Expy of Keno from the second TMNT movie. After these changes weren't liked by the fans, rather than admit they might have been slightly misguided in these demands, the executives fired head writer David Wise and replaced him with Jeffrey Scott, who had never even watched the series beforenote , speeding TMNT '87 to its demise.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • "Clonatello" or "Duplicatello" for Donatello's Evil Twin duplicate he creates in "Donatello's Duplicate".
    • The show's Shredder is sometimes referred to as "Uncle Phil", thanks to voice actor James Avery's most famous role.
  • Follow the Leader: The art style in the "Red Sky" era bore more than a little resemblance to the then hugely popular Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Long-Runners: With nine years, ten seasons, and almost two hundred episodes to its name, this was the Gunsmoke of Saturday morning cartoons. It was the longest running cartoon until The Simpsons came along.
  • He Also Did: Chuck Lorre wrote and performed the spoken lyrics for the famous theme tune, before going onto being a successful sitcom writer/producer/creator, including creating sitcom mega-hits Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory.
  • Name's the Same:
    • In season eight, there's a villain named Megavolt, who shares the same name as another villainous character named Megavolt.
    • There's also some Fridge Brilliance in that episode since Megavolt wanted to destroy the D.W.(Dark Water) company out of revenge. D.W. is also the nickname of Darkwing Duck.
    • Also Baxter Stockman's Mouser robots have the same name as King Koopa (Bowser)'s assistant in Super Mario Bros..
    • A one-shot villain named Dr. Mindbender shares the same name as the evil Cobra scientist from G.I. Joe.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • In the NHK BS2 (Now BS Premium) dub from Japan, it's Akio Ohtsuka as Casey Jones.
  • The Other Darrin: Several voice actors would occasionally have replacements during particular episodes:
    • Shredder was the biggest example, due to James Avery's other work; he was substituted by Dorian Harewood for a lot of the later Season 3 episodes, and then Jim Cummings on and off for the next few seasons (Cummings also tended to sub for him during the notoriously-bad first season of Iron Man, and Harewood replaced him after that). He finally bailed out the show for good after the first five episodes of Season 7; Townsend Coleman (the voice of Mikey and the Rat King) voiced Shredder for the rest of that season, and William E. Martin took over the role permanently in Seasons 8-10.
    • Raphael also had a few different voice actors over the course of the show; Thom Pinto voiced him for a few Season 3 episodes, Hal Rayle filled in for the "Vacation in Europe" episodes, and Michael Gough (no, not that one) replaced Rob Paulsen for the final season.
    • Donatello and Bebop, who were both usually voiced by Barry Gordon, were also replaced for part of Season 3 (seeing a pattern here?) by Greg Berg.
    • Vernon Fenwick was voiced by Pat Fraley in Season 1, but changed to being voiced by Peter Renaday in Season 2 to balance out the workload of the actors (Fraley did Vernon, Krang and Baxter Stockman in Season 1, while Renaday only did Splinter). Townsend Coleman provided Vernon's voice in one episode when Peter Renaday was unavailable.
    • Leatherhead was originally voiced by Jim Cummings, but Peter Renaday voiced him for his final appearance in "Night of the Rogues".
    • For "Donatello's Badd Time" and "Michelangelo Meets Bugman Again", Townsend Coleman is the voice of Splinter rather than Peter Renaday.
  • Recursive Adaptation: Before the Archie-published Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures established its own continuity, it was pretty much an adaptation of this cartoon, which was itself based loosely on the original Mirage comic book.
  • Spinoff Cookbook: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Cookbook by Peggy Paul Casella was published in 2017.
  • Star-Making Role:
    • For Rob Paulsen. It was his success as the voice of Raphael that really got his voice acting career off the ground.
    • In the Mexican Spanish dub, it was also this for the turtles' voice actors Luis Alfonso Mendoza (Leonardo), Cesar Arias (Donatello), Jorge Santos and Jorge Roig (Michaelangelo) and also Shredder and Krang's voice actor (Herman Lopez) along with Splinter's one as well (Carlos Magaña)
  • Talking to Himself: Constantly, as most of the show's voices were done by a handful of regulars. One example that stands out is Pat Fraley who did the voices of Krang and Baxter Stockman, and has one scene where the human Baxter is sent to the Technodrome's disentigrator, and begs Krang to spare his life only to have Krang refuse him. That means that Pat Fraley was begging himself to spare his life, and he refused his own request for mercy. This scene is also played very convincingly due to Pat Fraley's enormous voice acting talent, and to think he also did several other major characters on the show is nothing less than amazing.
  • Show Accuracy/Toy Accuracy:
    • Mona Lisa's action figure had a slightly different design than her cartoon version: black hair instead of brown, feet with three toes instead of two, and fins on her arms and legs.
    • There are actually numerous examples of this, far too many to list here.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Being in the 80s into the mid 90s, this was a given. First season alone had the Turtles in 80s wear when out on the street, Raph makes a lot of pop culture refs and heck, one of the search spots for the Technodrome ended up near the World Trade Center.
  • Voices in One Room: The main cast did the recordings together throughout the show's run, allowing for better character byplay and ad-libs.
  • Wag the Director: According to Renae Jacobs (April), the voice actors frequently undermined the efforts of the show's creators to make the show grittier and more serious, instead embracing silliness and jokes for both children and adults.
  • What Could Have Been/Missing Episode: There was originally going to be an episode called "Shredder in Love", but it never got past the script stage. Renae Jacobs even recorded lines for it. Little is known about the plot, but rumours state that the love potions from "Green with Jealousy" might have been reused.
  • Write Who You Know: Zach (the "fifth turtle") was allegedly based on one of the writer's kids.
  • In "Enter The Shredder" Raphael says to (presumably) Rocksteady "Didn't I see you in The Jungle Book?". This could be a reference to the fact that there was indeed meant to be a rhino character called Rocky in that film, but his scene was cut.


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