Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012)

Go To
Here we go, it's the lean, green, ninja team
On the scene, cool teens doin' ninja things
So extreme, out the sewer, like laser beams
Get rocked with the Shell-shocked pizza kings
Can't stop these radical dudes
The secret of the ooze made the chosen few
Emerge from the shadows, to make their moves
The good guys win and the bad guys lose!
— The show's Theme Tune

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, commonly called TMNT 2012, is an All-CGI Cartoon that acts as a Continuity Reboot for the Heroes in a Half-Shell. It was produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studio side-by-side with another reboot (Winx Club). The two shows marked the first-ever Nicktoons based on preexisting cartoon franchises.note 

It's the Turtles' fifteenth birthday and they're itching to venture up to the surface and showcase their ninja skills. Master Splinter reluctantly agrees. At first, they love the surface with its weird lights and even stranger food (like pizza). However, things go awry when they witness a girl and her father being abducted by men in a van. They try to intervene, but don't fare well during the fight, with the van getting away, only to discover that the kidnappers are really robots with living brain creatures in their chest and were carrying the ooze that made them into mutants!

Eager to learn more of this strange connection, the Turtles regroup and begin to practice fighting as a team with Master Splinter appointing Leonardo as The Leader. After storming the enemy fortress, they learn that these creatures are called "The Kraang" and have sinister plans in store. They manage to rescue the girl, April O'Neil, but the Kraang still have her father. They vow not to rest until they rescue him.

Unfortunately, the Turtles' attack has not gone unnoticed by the media, which alerts The Shredder to come to New York to take on Hamato Yoshi's students himself. What ensues is the escalating war between the Hamato and Foot Clans, a Myth Arc that turns out to have been in the works for far longer than most of the cast knows, the unraveling mystery of the Kraang's agenda for Earth and humankind, and a whole host of mutants who take up residence in the city. Some will be heroes, some will be villains, and it’s up to the Turtles to keep the city and the planet safe from any threats as they grow up and learn what it means to be a family of ninjas.

The 2012 series is a reboot of the 1987 series, since it uses and/or modernizes a significant amount of that incarnation's characters and elements, with the theme song of seasons 1-4 even interpolating the chorus of the first theme to the 1987 series. However, it also tends to use characters and elements from the Mirage comics and other previous incarnations, as well as introducing its own additions to the mythos. The series also manages to strike a middle ground in regards to tone between the 1987 series and the 2003 series, frequently moving between darker stories and arcs of the latter and zany adventures and pop culture references of the former.

The series began on September 29, 2012. Before even finishing its first season, the show was renewed for two more. A fifth and final season (now retitled Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) premiered on Nickelodeon in 2017. Unfortunately, this season was Screwed by the Network, and seven episodes were Channel Hopped to Nick's smaller sister channel, Nicktoons Network. A replacement series, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, premiered in 2018.

Three video game adaptations were released in 2013 for the show, the abysmally-reviewed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (with the Turtles radically redesigned from their television likenesses), followed shortly by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2013) (this one with the cartoon's aesthetics), which was slightly better received. A game for mobile devices has also been released, as well as a LEGO racing game on the LEGO website. In 2017, it likewise got an arcade game, following in the footsteps of its '80s predecessor, though this one was developed by Raw Thrills rather than Konami.

In a unique touch, each season of the show features the Turtles watching a cheesy cartoon (parodying a specific decade per season) that usually foreshadows events of an episode (which was outright lampshaded on one occasion). Check out the Space Heroes Page, Super Robo Mecha Force Five Page and the Crognard the Barbarian Page.

The tropes unique to this adaptation include:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes A-E 

  • Abandoned Catchphrase: Cross-media example: the iconic "Cowabunga!" has been replaced with "Booyakasha!" for the series.
  • Abnormal Ammo:
    • The Shellraiser's weapons fire compressed balls of garbage and manhole covers.
    • The Party Wagon uses stink bombs and bullets made from soda and mints.
  • Aborted Arc: There are a few plot lines that the series never resolved after it ended:
    • Donatello's search for a cure for Mutagen Man, as shortly after his appearance in the second season, the show doesn't ever bring up the character again, and the Retro Mutagen is focused on other characters instead. Mutagen Man makes several background cameos in following seasons, but he is never outright saved.
    • Spider Bytez also promises to become a recurring threat to the Turtles at the end of his first appearance, but he ultimately only ever encounters them twice more before the end of the series, neither of them depicting him as anything close to a credible threat, either.
    • Renet, in her final appearance in the series, hints that she and the Turtles would meet again. This never comes to pass, although Ciro Nieli has suggested it might be covered in a comic.
    • The love triangle between Donatello, April, and Casey is never resolved, and mostly quietly dropped after the third season (which makes the scene from "A Foot Too Big" where April actually kisses Donnie on the lips after calling him "my mutant" seem pointless). In the fifth season, Donnie and April are implied to be on the verge of a Relationship Upgrade, but don't ever have one.
    • In the final scene of "Earth's Last Stand", the Fugitoid's head is shown reactivating, implying that he had survived his Heroic Sacrifice, and would return, but nothing ever came of this.
  • Absent Animal Companion: "The Gauntlet" introduces Hachiko, a dog owned by the Foot Clan whose only purpose appears to be playing an indirect part in turning Bradford into Dogpound. Hachiko is then never seen or even mentioned again for the rest of the series.
  • Abusive Parents: Shredder is implied to be one; Karai is genuinely terrified when she makes him mad with a comment, and he explicitly threatens her with bodily harm if she doesn't follow his orders to kill Leonardo the next time she sees him.
  • Accidental Misnaming: The Turtles can never remember how to correctly pronounce Baxter Stockman's name from one episode to the next. However, this could be deliberate due to his perpetual status as a D-List villain and a Butt-Monkey.
  • Adapted Out: Oroku Saki/Shredder takes the place of his brother Nagi from the Mirage comics in being the third wheel to Yoshi and Tang Shen.
  • Adaptation Amalgamation: The series utilizes numerous characters and elements from the 1987 series, Mirage comics, 2003 series, and first film series.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Of the Mirage comics and previous adaptations (the 1987 series, 2003 series, and first film series).
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: In previous iterations, Splinter and Shredder's hatred for one another stemmed either from clan politics or, in Splinter and the Turtle's case, a moral obligation to end Shredder's corrupting influence. Here, Yoshi and Saki were raised as brothers before the Shredder developed an obsessive vendetta against Splinter out of a mix of jealousy for Tang Shen choosing Yoshi, repressed guilt for killing Tang Shen, resentment when he finds out that he was adopted into the clan that ended his own and just a general contempt for others. Other versions of Shredder at least had ambitions for the Foot, but this Shredder only cares about ending Splinter's life in as petty a manner he can manage.
  • Adaptational Badass: Numerous characters are far more capable in combat than their previous versions.
    • Splinter has usually always been the most powerful mortal hero on the Turtles' side, but the 2012 series' Splinter ramps it up. He's a nearly unstoppable One-Man Army and is the only member of the main cast to be able to singlehandedly go toe-to-toe with Shredder and win.
    • Traag and Granitor are 20 ft rock monsters who can spit lava and blue fire and can reassemble themselves after an explosion with no visible damage.
    • The Shredder remains out of the Turtles' league all the way through season three when, by then, previous versions usually relied on technology (2003) or were reduced to non-threats (1987, both live action film series). He's even able to keep up against bigger and stronger mutants such as Slash and Leatherhead.
    • Rahzar was a powerful mutant in The Secret of the Ooze alright, but he was Dumb Muscle. In the 2012 series, Rahzar is a seasoned warrior who gains the strength of the previous Rahzar but a lot more cunning and malice, making him far more dangerous.
    • Xever Montes/Fishface becomes the 2012 version of Mr. X from the 1987 series and is certainly more capable than X, largely thanks to being a skilled martial artist.
    • Bebop and Rocksteady were Dumb Muscle who rarely put up much of a fight against the heroes in the 1987 series. In the 2012 series, it's mentioned they're more capable than their earlier counterparts, and they are more goofy than genuinely stupid. Even before their mutation, they were quite capable, with Bebop a world-class thief and Rocksteady a notable arms dealer.
    • Mona Lisa was a mutated college girl in the 1987 series. In this adaptation, she's a skilled warrior of a Proud Warrior Race of salamander-like aliens (the same race Newtralizer is) and her love of fighting matches Raph's (hence why they're drawn to one another). Her real name is Y'Gythgba with Mona Lisa being a loving nickname Raph came up with (also, easier to pronounce).
    • Tokka was a strong, stupid infant in The Secret of the Ooze. Here, she is a Kaiju with elemental powers and a giant lava monster who could only be defeated by hurling her into an exploding star, and even that didn't kill her.
  • Adaptational Jerkass:
    • Splinter is a minor example. Make no mistake, he does love his sons dearly. But, at the same time, he's not above messing with their heads for his own amusement, can be something of a hypocrite, and overreacts to an extreme degree towards some of the mistakes they make when fighting above ground. The reason why the Turtles fear disturbing him is because his default reaction to their fighting or being disruptive tends to be beating the shit out of them with a flurry of advanced ninjitsu techniques. It certainly keeps them in line, and is Played for Laughs as Tough Love, but at the same time, most of his previous counterparts would have never lifted a hand to the Turtles in anger.
    • April gets a special, but subtle mention. She would sometimes be prone to be mean towards the turtles if they do anything to upset or disappoint her. When her father was accidentally mutated into a bat and Mikey confessed they released the Mutagen canisters from a Kraang ship, which led to said mutation, she instantly accused them of mutating him on purpose, swore to never see them again, and even refusing to believe their claims that the whole incident was an accident. Fortunately, after a visit from Donnie and when Casey told her his story about how he lost a friend of his on an incident as they both remarked that some things can't be controlled, April not only realized her horrible treatment towards the Turtles but also how wrong she was to be so hard on them. Also, during a Foot attack, April realized that Donnie and Casey were right as it convinced to call the Turtles for help. Through this act of being there for her and understanding their always be her friend, April was convinced to forgive the Turtles and apologizes to them for her awful behavior towards them, especially Donnie.
    • Neither of them have anything on the Turtles themselves, though. Make no mistake, the Turtles in this series are still heroes and willing do the right thing, but they are much more prone to squabbling and infighting, and their personal flawsnote  are given more focus, making the Turtles come off as much meaner and less reasonable than they do in most incarnations. It also doesn't help that the Turtles have a bad habit of putting themselves and their desires over other people, including their family. Fortunately, they get much better on these fronts through Character Development, but it's still noticeable.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • The Kraangs' counterparts in the 2003 series (the Utroms) were a benevolent, peaceful race who eventually established friendly relations with Earth. In this adaptation, the Kraang are warmongering terraformers who seek to subjugate and eventually wipe out humanity. The Utroms later show up and it's revealed that the Kraang are actually Utrom who were brainwashed by the scientist who would become Kraang Prime after experimenting with mutagen, granting psychic powers and massive megalomania.
      • Then again, they're also based on their villainous namesake, Krang from the 1987 series, who is apparently an exiled member of this show's Kraang according to a Crossover episode, although this contradicts his original backstory, so it's more of a zig-zagged trope.
    • Rahzar is usually portrayed as a stupid infant who was just fighting the Turtles because of his "mama"'s orders. Here, he's the most loyal member of the Foot Clan willing to die for his master.
    • Zigzagged with Zog, the Triceraton scout who the Turtles traditionally take advantage of since thanks to breathing the Earth's incompatible atmosphere is not in his right mind. The Mirage and 2003 versions of Zog became loyal GuestStarPartyMembers to the Turtles and died sacrificing themselves to try to kill the Shredder. The 2012 Zog ultimately regains his bearings completely, turns on the Turtles the moment he does so, calls them out for nearly suffocating him, and ultimately dies trying to bring about the destruction of Earth.
    • The only other major version of Mozar, his 2003 counterpart, was a Noble Demon and ultimately pulled a Heel–Face Turn when Zanramon became utterly apathetic to their troops. In the 2012 series, Mozar is a Bad Boss, utter bigot, and dies trying to destroy the Earth out of pure spite against the Turtles.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • While not able to defeat the Turtles in combat, the Purple Dragon Gang is usually portrayed as a city-wide menace in most version. Here, they are just three punks who harass and rob people in their neighborhood. Their only capable member, Hun, who debuts as the fourth member and new leader in season three, is only a minor villain as compared to his major role in the 2003 series. By the fourth season, all four Purple Dragons are weak threats that are easily dispatched.
    • The Turtles themselves suffer from this hard in the series. While they are still skilled ninja, the Turtles are more prone to losing fights, pulling a Badass in Distress, receiving a lot of humiliating beatings, and/or being forced to retreat during battles compared to most versions. It also doesn't help that in the rare moment any one of them or the group as a whole manages to win an impressive victory, none of them seem to retain their experience or newfound skills in future battles and continue to remain inept when fighting a new Monster of the Week or even one of their old foes like the Shredder, Xever, Bradford, or Tiger Claw, whom the Turtles should be able to solidly defeat after multiple seasons worth of battles but yet... still have trouble against them even by the time of the final season. To put things into perspective, just about the only villains who don't subject them to at least one Curb-Stomp Battle throughout the series are the even more scaled-down Purple Dragons and the only Shredder that they can fight without being put in life-threatening danger is the 1987 Shredder, whom Leo and his 1987 counterpart can easily knock out together in "The Big Blowout".
  • Adipose Rex: Mob boss Don Vizioso is never seen without food in his mouth and is so fat he is never seen standing up. He also controls enough of New York's criminal underworld that Shredder personally meets with him to bring him under his heel.
  • Advertised Extra: The Newtralizer appears frequently and prominently in the show's opening credits sequences, suggesting he is a major antagonist of the series. However, he only appears in four episodes of the entire five season run, two of which were a two-parter that aired three years after his previous appearance, and his first appearance being a non-speaking role.
  • An Aesop:
    • The second season has a minor theme about not allowing friendships to be ruined. Splinter and Shredder were once the best of friends until they competed for Tang Shen's affections. Saki went as far as to provoke Splinter and instead of trying to mend their friendship, the two allowed their rivalry to become hatred, resulting in Splinter losing everything he loved. Then there's the incident with April becoming upset with the Turtles after they accidentally mutate her father into a giant bat. Casey tells her about how he unintentionally allowed his best friend Nick to hate him after accidentally hurting him, which convinces her not to allow an accident to turn her back on her friends. Had Splinter and Shredder did what April had done and try remain friends after everything, Splinter could have lived a happier life while Shredder could have moved on.
    • "Fungus Humongous" defies the usual "mastering your fear" anvil kids' shows depict. Instead showing that you aren't able to get over your fears overnight, but you can still face your fears. Leonardo doesn't get over his fear of failing his brothers, but he's learned to not let them go over his head.
  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • The Turtles have a nasty tendency to forget the Aesop of "The Gauntlet"; that they should be less arrogant and a little more aware of their limits. Splinter or the situation usually slaps them in the face at these times.
      • Leo will always allow his affection for Karai to cloud his judgment during missions and it often has grave results.
      • Several episodes center on Raph trying to work out his anger issues. Something goes wrong because Raph generally can't control his temper and he realizes how much of a problem it can be, but then another episode puts him back at square one.
      • Despite repeated reminders from personal experience that Mutagen definitely is not a toy to fool around with, Mikey keeps screwing off with or near it.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Mikey gets this from Leo and Raph.
  • Agony of the Feet:
    • In "Metalhead", Mikey attempts to stop Metalhead by doing a good old-fashioned Groin Attack. Cue Mikey briefly hopping around on one foot, before getting punched by Metalhead. Earlier in the episode, Metalhead stomps on Leo's toes; cue Leo screaming in pain before getting punted across the room.
    • In "The Crypt of Dracula", Vulko stabs Dracula in the foot with a wooden stake when the vampire tries to bite Esmeralda.
  • As You Know: During multi-episode arcs, the Turtles usually spend a minute recapping the events of the previous episode at the beginning of the current episode.
  • Airplane Arms: The Turtles consistently run like this.
  • Aliens in Cardiff: Just like Northhampton in the comics, there's a lot of weird stuff going on around the O'Neil family farm.
  • All-CGI Cartoon: This TMNT adaptation has high quality 3D CGI animation. Although, there are flashbacks done in a slick graphic 2D style reminiscent of sequences from Kung Fu Panda. It's also notable that the show often combines 3D animated models with 2D animated effects to give things a fresh, unique look. It's especially notable in the Turtles' eyes which often shift to a traditionally animated appearance to invoke a ton of anime conventions.
  • All There in the Manual: The tie-in comic's first issue reveals that Donatello builds a lot of his high-tech equipment out of scraps from a military junkyard, which explains how he's able to manufacture a lot of the gear the Turtles use.
  • All There in the Script:
    • Production materials call the Spy-Roach in "Cockroach Terminator" Chong.
    • In "Enemy of My Enemy", The Shredder meets up with a Russian arms dealer whom The Shredder considers an ally. The credits reveal that his name is "Steranko".
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese dub uses GReeeeN's "Shinobi" as the opening theme and Ulful's "Booyakasha!" as the ending theme.
  • Always Night:
    • Leo even explains in "Metalhead" that the Turtles don't go topside during the day.
    • "I, Monster" and "Enemy of My Enemy" show the Turtles out during a cloudy day, with Mikey even lampshading the fact that they haven't gone out in the morning.
    • A large chunk of the Kraang invasion in the second season takes place during the day, as does the Kraang/Triceraton invasion in season three.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: One of the Foot's main goals is to find the Turtles' lair and destroy it. The Kraang succeed in "The Invasion, Part 2" and launch their invasion from it, forcing the survivors of the Hamato Clan to flee the city.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Alopex slices off Tiger Claw's right arm in "Tale of Tiger Claw".
  • Animesque: The series has every bit of this equal to Teen Titans when it started out. Naturally, considering it's directed by Ciro Nieli
  • Animorphism/LEGO Genetics: The way Mutagen functions is the same as its 1987 counterpart. Unlike the 2003 series, where it strictly turned animals into anthropomorphs, the 2012 series splices genes of between two species that were last directly exposed to each other. Excluding other mutants.
    • The Turtles last touched Hamato Yoshi and Hamato had a split second contact with a rat. Snake lands near some weeds that look like his new form Snakeweed, Vic gets bitten in the finger by a spider that crawls onto his phone and looks like his new form Spider Bytez, Bradford gets bitten in the hand by Shredder's pet dog that looks like his new form Dogpound, Montes buys a fish that looks like his new form Fishface, Stockman gets stung in the nose by a fly that looks like his new form Stockman-Fly.
      • Pulverizer/Mutagen Man is the only exception. His form resembles nothing, though why this happened is up to speculation. The most frequent suggestion is that, since he hadn't touched anything organic besides mutants, the mutagen had nothing to work with and just made him a blob. Or it fused him with the microbes on his skin.
    • It also seems to somehow work with food. Pizza Face is a massive sentient pizza created when a pizza chef ingested a small amount of mutagen to see if it would taste great on his pizzas. Then there's Ice Cream Kitty, a bizarrely adorable cat/ice cream hybrid that Mikey accidentally created, after a normal cat licked up some mutagen that Mikey had spilled some ice cream into.
    • Apparently, it can grant sentience to non-sentient beings, if The Creep, who is a mutant plant monster, and Speed Demon, who is a mutant car, are anything to go by.
    • Partially explained in universe with the mutagen having unpredictable effects on earth due to coming from a different dimension with different natural laws. The Kraang themselves need to alter it in order to achieve the effect they want (which they achieve in "The Invasion, Part 2"). Furthermore, since the Ooze is constantly being developed, later batches could be more potent and more dangerous than older ones. Deliberate mutation experiments seem to be a lot more predictable later on, accidental mutations still cause very random results.
  • Angelic Aliens: The Aeons possess various similarities to the image of angels, notably their wings. When corrupted, they take on demon-like characteristics.
  • Anyone Can Die: Or in this case, anyone can get mutated, especially in season two, including Raphael's pet turtle Spike, Kirby O'Neil, Karai, and MOST OF NEW YORK.
    • There is one exception: April is half-Kraang and thus immune.
    • Oh, and why this is serious? Most mutants lose their minds completely.
      • The death part of this trope is played very straight in "Annihilation Earth!, Part 2", where EVERYONE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD dies thanks to the Triceratons and Shredder. Only the Turtles, Casey, and April remain.
      • The forth season has taken that turn as well. Splinter dies a second time, this time permanently in (although he later reappears as a spirit). Shredder dies as well in "Owari".
      • The fifth season, wrapping up several subplots and character arcs, has a noticeable body count in comparison to previous seasons. Tatsu, The Hammer, Rahzar, Newtralizer, Dregg, Savanti, and Dracula all perish.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • The Kraang primarily, though The Shredder does consider himself to be the entire Hamato Clan's personal nemesis.
    • The Shredder more due to the personal issues he has with Splinter and his sons. His hatred for Hamato grows with each season until it reaches its logical endgame in "Annihilation Earth!, Part 2": Splinter dies the moment he turns his back to Shredder, despite the fact Splinter was about to save the world from annihilation.
    • Traag seems to be this to Leatherhead.
    • Donnie briefly forms a murderous vendetta against Don Vizioso for his hatred of mutants and attempt to dissect him on a lab table.
  • Armies Are Useless: A noteworthy aversion; when the Kraang start invading Earth in "The Invasion, Part 1", the Earth Protection force arrives and put a fairly good fight against Kraang Prime. They even save Casey and Raphael at one point.
  • Arrow Catch: Splinter does this in "Turtle Temper".
  • Art Evolution: The show still looked pretty good early on in the show, but the later season one episodes are far more stylistic, introduce varied and interesting locales, improved cinematography, and the fight scenes become a fair bit more fluid. In season two onwards, the animation has become amazing by CGI standards via being more smoother.
  • Art Shift:
    • Flashbacks are done in a monochrome, green-tint, with 2D animation resembling a comic book panel.
    • Leo's favorite show, Space Heroes, is done in the style of old Filmation cartoons, particularly Star Trek: The Animated Series.
    • Every episode ends with the final frame shifting to a black and white comic panel.
    • In terms of the 3D itself, the rendering in the episodes handled by CGCG during the second, third, and forth seasons are a little more saturated than the other episodes.
  • Artistic License – Biology: In all honesty, almost every character in the show has been hit with this at one point or another. It's a show about animals mutated by alien wart pus. Scientists need not apply.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Casey Jones gets his bike outfitted with a flamethrower in the front. There's an inherent problem with spewing flames from the front of a small vehicle with good pickup speed and no real protection for the rider.
  • Ass Kicking Pose: Oh, so often. Frequently combined with more heavily stylized animation, whiteout eyes and Bullet Time for major fights.
  • Author Appeal: Ciro Nieli mentions that a lot of the writing staff apparently have a Mutagen Man toy on their desk and want to utilize Mutagen Man in some shape or form as an important character. Needless to say, after "The Pulverizer Returns" and "Mutagen Man Unleashed", they got their wish.
    • A lot of the series is clearly the production crew just having fun with various send-ups and celebrity guests; the Dream Beavers are as noted below, Expy's of Freddy Krueger (two of them even voiced by the man himself, Tigerclaw is an Expy of Boba Fett, Sir Malachi is voiced by Pee Wee Herman, etc.
    • Much of the aesthetic (along with the shows the Turtles watch) have a distinct, 50s-80s Retro look to it.
  • Avengers Assemble: When the Triceratons prove so powerful that they immediately wipe out the Kraang, Leo summons as many of their allies as they can gather to fight off the invasion. Cue a powerful force consisting of the Turtles, Splinter, Casey, April, the Mighty Mutanimals, Muckman, and Mondo Gecko arriving on the scene. When even that fails to put a dent in the Triceratons, Splinter then forms an Enemy Mine with the entire Foot Clan except Baxter Stockman to bring them in as reinforcements.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": How Leo tricks Snake in "Rise of the Turtles, Part 2". He loudly discusses a fake plan with Raph knowing that Snake will overhear and tell the Kraang.
    Leo: (acting) Oh, great! We let him get away!
    Raph: Whoa, whoa. You're the leader, so that means you let him get away.
    Leo: (whispering) You're not helping!
    Raph: I'm not trying to help.
    • April does this in "The Gauntlet", Donnie tells her it's ridiculous. And yet it works.
  • Bad Boss: The Shredder is not above threatening to mutilate his Co-Dragons and even his own daughter. Still, compared to the Shredder from the 2003 series, he's a Benevolent Boss, since he hasn't actually killed off any of his flunkies even though they're failed him quite a few times already.
    • His lieutenant Tiger Claw is also one of these, happy to mutilate lower-ranking members of the Foot if they fail.
    • The closest he's come to killing off a henchman is Stockman after his mutation.
    • As of the end of the third season, all of his minions are expendable as long as Hamato is taken out.
  • Badass Adorable: The Turtles are very adorable and skilled ninjas.
  • Badass Biker: Karai pre-mutation. She has the looks of a ninja and a crew of Foot to boot.
  • Badass in Distress: Mikey in "New Friend, Old Enemy".
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Several times. In "Casey Jones vs the Underworld", Casey confronts Shredder and his posse at a chemical plant, intending to fight them all on his own. The Turtles show up and fight, eventually causing an explosion and escaping, but since none of the equipment was actually damaged, they're free to continue their latest Evil Plan as soon as a few cleaning crews are called in.
    • Unfortunately, in some way, Shredder did win. Even though he was killed by Leo at the end of "Owari", he succeeded in what he had been trying to do his entire life since he started his vendetta in the end of their fight in Japan, that is, killing Master Splinter in "Requiem", so in the end, Shredder finally got what he wanted.
  • The Bait: Both April and Mikey have found themselves in this role when the team needs to draw out less intelligent mutants.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The opening of "Panic in the Sewers" initially looks like it's Leonardo's nightmare. It's Splinter's.
  • Balls of Steel: Metalhead doesn't respond at all to getting kicked in the groin by Mikey. Justified, since he's a robot and thus not anatomically correct.
  • Bamboo Technology: Donnie makes smoke bombs out of egg shells.
    • Which may have been how they were historically made. 17th-century writings from Japan describe "nageteppo" as eggshell hand grenades which may either explode or spill out large smoke clouds.
  • Baritone of Strength: Leo borderlines on this due to his new actor in the third season.
  • Basso Profundo: Though it is more noticeable through his appearances in Seasons 2-5, the Shredder maintains this quality due to being voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.
  • Battle of the Still Frames: A number of times.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Female mutants tend to get off easy compared to the male mutants. April is part-Kraang, but looks completely human. Karai's snake creature form is still pretty humanoid and she can change back to human form at will, though still retaining the eyes, tongue and teeth. And, as the third season reveals, the SCALES.
    • Justified, as there are only two female mutants, both of whom are pretty central to the plot.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Pulverizer wanted to be a mutant so badly, and he got it in the form of Mutagen Man.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Or crazy anyway. Leatherhead's got a few screws loose in his first appearance.
  • Berserk Button: The Kraang for Leatherhead, very literally so; the mere mention of their name causes him to go for an Unstoppable Rage:
    • The post-mutation Anton Zeck hates being called "Bebop".
  • BFG: "Kraang, the present is being a positive time to be the testing of the energy cannon."
  • Big Brother Instinct: The Turtles to each other, although Leo does this most often, being the leader. Raph has his moments as well, especially towards Mikey.
  • Big Bad Ensemble:
    • Initially, Shredder has to share the spotlight with The Kraang, who are much more directly antagonistic to the Turtles at this point in the series. However, the Kraang receive much more focus in the first season and are much more dangerous than the Shredder, Foot Clan, or any other villain, not to mention that they are directly or indirectly responsible for almost everything that happens in the series. This makes the Kraang the primary antagonists of the first season and perhaps the entire series while the Shredder is a secondary villain.
    • In the first half of the fourth season, after the destruction of Earth and the massacre of the entire cast including Shredder and the Kraang, Captain Mozar and Lord Dregg occupy this role, while the second half puts all focuses back on the Shredder's feud with the Turtles.
    • The fifth season has a series of Arc Villains, such as Kavaxas, Newtralizer and Lord Dregg, Jei, the Kraangnote , Savanti Romeronote , and the 1987 version of Shredder & Krang.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Turtles face quite a few of them, like the cockroach in "Cockroach Terminator" and the mutant wasp in "Parasitica".
  • The Big Guy: Raphael wins the first sparring match featuring the Turtles, enjoys his work a little too much, and is considered the team's heavy hitter. Hilariously, he's also close to being The Napoleon, since only Mikey is as short as him, and his stocky build makes him look shorter.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Shredder's three main henchman in the first season (not counting Karai): Chris Bradford/Dogpound/Rahzar is the big, Xever/Fishface is the thin and Baxter Stockman/Stockman-Fly, when compared to the other two, is the short.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • While The Kraang were defeated in "Enemy of My Enemy", this victory is negated by the fact that the Turtles now have a Karai who likely isn't going to be willing to even be playful toward them anymore, fully hating them for betraying her. The Shredder also has one of the Kraang after their UFO crashed into the water, thereby having even more access to the technology.
    • The end of the first season has the Turtles defeat the Kraang, but Splinter learns that his daughter, Miwa, was raised as Karai by The Shredder, and was misinformed about the whole ordeal. The Kraang are also down, but not out, as the Technodrome reactivates in the ocean, to begin their plans anew.
    • The fourth season has one too: although the Turtles defeated Shredder and most of his minions, they lost Master Splinter.
  • Blindfolded Vision: Splinter does this at the beginning of "Of Rats and Men" when he easily defeats Leo while blindfolded for training.
  • Bloodless Carnage:
    • Shredder is violently mauled in Leatherhead's jaws in "The Invasion" without any blood shown.
    • Shredder runs through Splinter with his blades, killing him without a drop of blood on his blades or on Splinter's body.
    • Tiger Claw has his arm cut off. It's a Gory Discretion Shot, but not a single drop of blood is shown afterwards, even on his stub.
  • Body Horror: This series likes to go above and beyond whenever this happens, which somehow fits with the channel it airs on. Notable examples include:
    • Snake's mutation into Snakeweed design includes a pumping heart outside of his chest, and visible meat and bones in his legs.
    • Xever Montes' transformation into Fishface leaves him unable to breathe and desperately begging Shredder for help.
    • Baxter Stockman's AI-enhanced power suit, specifically when Mikey has thrown a chain around Baxter and the torso on Stockman's suit starts spinning, sending Mikey flying. Either his body is curled up in the torso of the suit, or Stockman should have twisted his body several times causing irreparable internal, external, and skeletal damage.
    • Pulverizer's transformation into Mutagen Man. His organs are very visible inside of the goo and his eyes and lips are connected through stalks.
    • Then there's the Spy-Roach. The exposure to mutagen caused the spy equipment Donnie attached to him (including a camera) to fuse with it, and its saw and Super Sight clearly have visible veins. And then it molts, with its new form looking like a giant maggot with arms, legs, and robotic wings. Raphael is right to be terrified.
    • Steranko's brass knuckles are melded into his flesh, and Zeck's tech suit is also melded into his body.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: As always, Raphael can sometimes cross into Blood Knight / The Sociopath territory in episodes such as "Never Say Xever".
  • Bond Breaker: The Turtles were indirectly responsible for April's dad being mutated and she angrily leaves the group after Mikey tells her.
  • Botanical Abomination: Fungus Humungous from the episode of the same name (and not the trope of the same name) was a giant mutant mushroom lurking within New York City's sewers, thriving and spreading itself and its army of Mushroom Men within its dank, dark corridors. It was able to grow stringer and larger by feeding on the fear of others, doing so by using its hallucinogenic spores to cause those exposed to it to experience their greatest fears (Casey with rats, April with bats, Raphael and cockroaches, etc).
    • Creepweed from "The Creeping Doom" is a gestalt entity born from the merging of the Creep, a Jason Vorhees/Swamp Thing Plant Person, and the Son of Snakeweed, a clone of the plant mutant Snake Weed. It is a massive entity with the same healing-factor as its components, emitting a strong sleeping-gas and trapping human beings with the intent of eating them.
  • Brains Evil, Brawn Good: The Kraang and Triceratons respectively, although the Triceratons aren't exactly good. At worst, they're the lesser of two evils simply wanting to keep the rest of the universe safe from being invaded and mutated by the Kraang.
  • Breather Episode:
    • Several. Notably, the first half of season three basically ignores the conquering of New York and soon the world by the Kraang and the Foot in favor of mostly light-hearted Monster of the Week adventures with a subplot regarding Leo healing from "The Invasion, Part 2" (which still takes a backseat to the various mutant adventures).
    • This comes up again in the first arc of season four which features the Turtles having more-often-than-not zany adventures in space following the destruction of Earth in "Annihilation Earth!, Part 2", albeit this time there is a slightly stronger focus on the story aspect.
  • Broad Strokes: At least one of the series' writers admitted that not all of the episodes in the fifth season were built with series continuity in mind, which explains why it sometimes ignores or contradicts prior information. The only episode explicitly stated to be non-canon is the "Mutant Apocalypse" three-parter, by Nickelodeon.
  • Bunny Ears Picture Prank: Michelangelo does this to Raphael in the opening.
  • Butt Cannon: The Kraang Biotroids introduced in season two. They are large, ape-like, bio-mechanical heavy infantry units with nipple saws and butt cannons, as seen 20 seconds into this preview.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Donatello gets generally little respect from his brothers (mostly Raphael), has a particular penchant for embarrassing himself, and twice now, his Bo Staff has broken.
      • "It Came from the Depths" takes this to truly ridiculous levels, wherein Donnie gets thrown around like a ragdoll, shoved into the water multiple times, shocked by high-voltage technology, and then volunteered to face Leatherhead (the one who threw him around in the first place). This is all Played for Laughs, despite the fact that he is clearly terrified by the last part.
    • Baxter Stockman, who was insulted by his coworkers, accidentally broke their photo-copier, which resulted in him getting fired, and equally gets little respect from the Turtles.
    • Mikey would also count; he's easily kicked around by his brothers, especially Raphael. And Metalhead seems to be magnetically attracted to HIS head!
    "And what do we know about Bad Guys? They love chasing Mikey!"
    • An Asian man has been tricked by April twice and mugged by the Purple Dragons.
  • Canon Character All Along: Done routinely. Most of the major mutants in the franchise have had their origin stories totally revamped. Canon Foreigners will get slimed by mutagen and the Turtles (particularly Mikey) will give them a nickname that matches an established mutant from another continuity.
    • Raph's pet tortoise Spike mutates into Slash, who becomes a protagonist in this adaptation.
    • Arms dealer Ivan Steranko and master thief Anton Zeck get mutated into a rhino and warthog, and take on the names Bebop and Rocksteady from the 1987 series.
    • The Shredder's apprentice Chris Bradford was mutated twice into Rahzar, a character from The Secret of the Ooze.
    • Dr. Victor Falco becomes The Rat King during the first season.
    • Timothy/The Pulverizer becomes Mutagen Man towards the end of the first season.
    • Hamato Miwa, Splinter's daughter, is revealed to be Karai at the end of the first season.
    • Subverted with Irma, a classic character from the 1987 series, who is revealed to be the Canon Foreigner Kraang Sub-Prime.
  • Canon Foreigner: Some notable examples include Vic/Spider Bytez, Snake/Snakeweed, the Newtralizer, and Tiger Claw.
  • Canon Immigrant:
  • Cassandra Truth: Happens with Mikey when he tells his brothers about robots with brains in their chests. When they see it with their own eyes, Mikey is quick to go on an "I told you so" rant.
    • Which also acts as a Mythology Gag to the 1987 series as none of the Turtles believed Mikey's rant about seeing a giant brain even back then.
    • Both Leonardo and Splinter reveal the truth of Karai's parentage (Splinter is her true father), which she refuses to believe. It's not until the end of The Manhattan Project that she begins to wonder if they are telling the truth, when she eavesdrops on the Turtles and Splinter discussing her.
      Mikey: (whines) You're not listening to me!!
  • Catch a Falling Star: How Donnie saves April when she falls out of the helicopter.
  • Centipede's Dilemma: Mikey freaks out when he tries to fight without thinking — being The Ditz, he normally does this anyway — and winds up "thinking about not thinking".
  • Central Theme: Several.
    • First off, there's the recurring theme across the franchise about how family is the most important thing.
    • Then there's they key theme of the war between Splinter and Shredder - letting insults go and being willing to work things out peacefully. Shredder refused and ultimately embarked on a destructive path that destroyed everything he and Splinter loved. This also comes up early in season two when Casey (unknowingly) encourages April to make amends with the Turtles after they accidentally got Kirby mutated. In "Vision Quest", Splinter replies with a quote that easily sums up the entire series and its' arcs regarding revenge, betrayal, and the past:
    Splinter: We choose what holds us back, and what moves us forward.
    • Leo has to learn to be able to make hard decisions as a leader for the sake of his brothers.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: "The Gauntlet" has officially pushed the series into this direction.
  • Character Catchphrase:
    • "Booyakasha", which seems to be the new 'Cowabunga' and pretty much a Mikey thing.
    Donatello: Booyakasha!
    Michelangelo: Sounds weird when he says it.
    Raphael: It sounds weird when you say it!
    • Casey Jones' "Goongala" makes a return in this show as well.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Pretty much inevitable in this franchise. Pretty much everyone can easily scale buildings and leap across entire streets, sometimes while keeping up with speeding vehicles.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The giant vat of mutagen Stockman put in his lab keeps coming up, and people just keep falling in it. Throughout the series, three separate characters have fallen in, each in a different episode: Dogpound, turning him into Rahzar; April, who is immune so nothing happened; and Karai, who became a shape-shifting snake after Baxter had dumped some chemicals and snake DNA into it (the intention was for the Turtles to mutate instead). Given that the vat appears to have been blown up, it may not come back for a fourth round, though.
    • Good news! His new headquarters has a giant sphere of mutagen, that works by throwing them in the top, and letting them out, along with the excess mutagen, into a large sewer grate.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Pulverizer becomes The Mutagen Man. Likewise, Chris Bradford, Spike, Victor Falco, Anton Zeck, and Ivan Steranko become Rahzar, Slash, the Rat King, Bebop and Rocksteady respectively.
  • Classical Movie Vampire: How Dracula appears in one story arc in the fifth season.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Mikey, as with previous versions.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Episodes usually end with an illustrated, comic-esque still of the final scene in the episode. The characters shown on the screen, depending on their alignment, are shown in red if they're aligned with the Hamato Clan, blue if they're aligned with the Kraang or Foot Clan, and green if they're otherwise neutral.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: The monkey in "Monkey Brains" and later Dr. Falco.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Master Splinter. And his students are well on their way to becoming this as well.
    • Specifically invoked when Splinter told Leo that, since you can lose a fair fight, you should avoid fighting fair. Considering that many prior versions of the turtles, particularly Leo, have upheld Honor Before Reason, it stands out.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Raphael. Lampshaded in "Rise of the Turtles, Part 2", where, while pursued by Kraangs, he ripped off one of their robot armors' arm and uses said arm to block the door, much to his teammates' shock. Bonus points for making a pun right before it occurs.
    Raphael: That oughta hold 'em. (off his brothers' looks) What?
    Leonardo: You are seriously twisted.
    Raphael: Thanks!
  • The Comically Serious: Master Splinter. Shredder has his moments, and Steranko/Rocksteady reeks of it.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Shown in "The Pulverizer".
    Michelangelo: Donnie, we need help! Raph's been bitten by a giant poisonous robotic fish!
    Donatello: That's not possible. If he's bitten it's venom, not poison.
  • Comm Links: The T-Phones.
  • Companion Cube: Mikey affectionately hugs the ooze canister while sighing "Mom!".
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Vic in "Turtle Temper". He refuses to let the Turtles save him from the Kraang unless he gets his phone back.
  • Composite Character:
    • Hamato Yoshi mutates into Splinter, just like in the 1987 series and the Archie Comics series loosely based on the 1987 series. He is also the one who bought the Turtles from the pet store, taking Chet's role in every other continuity.
    • The Kraang share the name of an antagonist from the 1987 series, as well as a few traits of the Utroms from the Mirage comics and 2003 series, who were the inspiration for Krang in the first place. The Utroms were later shown to be a different sect of the same species.
    • Chris Bradford takes a lot of cues from Hun from the 2003 series, in that he starts out as the Shredder's Dragon and his most powerful soldier, only to lose too many times and lose his master's respect. In season two, however, he becomes the 2012 version of Rahzar.
    • Baxter Stockman, while black like in the Mirage comics and 2003 series, appears to take visual cues from the 1987 version of the character in physique, personality, life, hairstyle, and general attire. He also becomes a mutant fly in the second season.
    • Captain Ryan, protagonist of the Show Within a Show, Space Heroes, is an Expy of Captain Kirk and Bright Noa.
    • April O'Neil shares some traits with Venus de Milo from Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation. Much like Venus, This show's version of April is a teenager, uses the tessen fan as her weapon, is treated as the fifth member of use team, has a ponytail, and has latent psychic powers. It serves as a great compromise for fans who actually liked Venus and fans who saw her as a Replacement Scrappy for April O'Neil.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu:
    • The first few Kraang that the Turtles fought proved to be a hard match with superior strength and resourcefulness, however after the Turtles train to fight as a team, they can take down any number of Kraang.
    • Averted with the Purple Dragons. Despite having fewer members and more characterization than the Foot ninjas, they're just gangsters and not trained assassins. They go down even easier than the Faceless Mooks, only having success against Murakami (and even he fought back), and Stockman.
    • When the Kraang employ a Zerg Rush in their invasions, they're far more successful.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Kraang run the Mega-Corp TCRI as a front for their activities on Earth.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Donnie's chart about how to hang with April.
    • Stockman's prepared with a lot of Mousers when Leo and Raph crash in on him. This is presumably because he planned a major crime wave.
    • The T-Phones made by Donnie has a self-destruct mechanism in case they get captured by the enemy or are in a situation where they cannot be taken back.
  • Create Your Own Hero:
    • The mutagen that mutated Splinter and the Turtles was created by the Kraang for the purpose of mutating Earth to be more habitable for them.
    • Prior to the events of the series, April's parents were abducted by the Kraang and her mother was experimented on to create a human-Kraang hybrid mutant. April was born with psychic powers as a result of said experiments. While the Kraang intended to use her in their plan to conquer Earth, she ends up being vital to their defeat.
  • Create Your Own Villain: The Turtles have a bad habit of doing very this:
    • Snake was splashed with mutagen sent flying out of the van the Turtles were using as a distraction while they were breaking into the Kraangs' lair. As a result, Snake was transformed into Snakeweed.
      Snakeweed: You did this to me! I'll crush you turtles!
      Donatello: Uh, would it help if we said it was an accident? (Snakeweed roars at them) So, I'll put you down as a "no"!
    • The Shredder would have probably stayed in Japan had the Turtles not left shuriken with Hamato Yoshi's mark on it behind them, leading Saki to believe his rival was training new ninja in New York.
    • Baxter Stockman was a fairly Harmless Villain before Mikey accidentally allowed him to acquire their T-Pod. They eventually took it from him, but he kept a grudge against them after this because of it.
    • Spider Bytez invokes this trope, though it's arguable in his case: the Turtles were trying to save him, and would have succeeded if he hadn't been such an idiot.
      • Bradford does the same when he breaks the mutagen bomb and douses himself AND Montes with the goo. The Turtles didn't do anything technically (he and Montes attacked first) and were trying to disarm the mutagen bomb.
      • Similarly, Pulverizer purposely exposed himself to mutagen to become a mutant. Unfortunately, his mutation made him feral and insane.
    • As revealed in "Turtle Temper", Splinter considers himself responsible for the Shredder's Start of Darkness, as he explains to Raph in an attempt to Tame His Anger. Splinter recounts an incident where Shredder openly and relentlessly insulted him in front of Tang Shen, eventually leading Splinter to snap and attack him. This caused their rivalry to intensify, eventually leading to Shen's death at Shredder's hands. Raph attempts to justify that he had no choice but to get angry since Shredder badmouthed him, but Splinter points out he could have chosen to just ignore him, but poorly chose to do the exact opposite.
  • Creator Cameo: The Pizza Delivery Kid is voiced by none other than Executive Producer Ciro Nieli. Ice Cream Kitty is voiced by franchise co-Creator Kevin Eastman.
  • Crossover: The Turtles meet their 1987 counterparts a few times.
  • Crossover Relatives: In the episode "Trans Dimensional Turtles", the turtles meet characters from the 1987 show, and it's revealed that 1987 Krang is the cousin of Kraang Sub-Prime.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Turtles' first encounter with the Shredder. They were lucky to escape alive.
    • Leatherhead frequently curb-stomps entire squads of Kraang droids, and the Turtles at once, single-handedly. Then he tries to take on Splinter...
    • In "Showdown", we get Splinter vs the entire Foot Clan. Special mention goes to him taking on Dogpound and Fishface at once and kicking their tails without getting hit once.
    • In "Karai's Vendetta", we have a Designated Girl Fight between April and Karai. April has only had a few months of training and has never been in a serious fight, whereas Karai has been in training her whole life and has been in more than her fair share of fights; it's really not that surprising that Karai ends up beating April senseless.
    • Any time the Turtles go up against Tiger Claw (even with Karai helping them).
    • Shredder delivers one to a rampaging Leatherhead in "The Invasion".
  • Damsel in Distress: April in "Rise of the Turtles, Part 1", complete with Bound and Gagged. Has a short moment of this as well in "Panic in the Sewers".
  • Darker and Edgier: The 2012 series is darker than the 1987 series and has even managed to give the 2003 series a run for its money on numerous occasions.
    • The Turtles in this series are more prone to occasionally having morally questionable actions, such as betraying Karai despite a greater threat being on the loose or most of them agreeing to let Pulverizer spy on the Foot despite the threat.
    • The Turtles also have a tendency of losing in fights and missions a lot more often in this adaptation mainly due to the fact they're facing a lot of enemies out of their league. Granted they get a small victory, but it's very fleeting and more often then not just a small setback for the villains at best.
    • Mutagen Man in the 1987 series fell apart in a comical fashion and worked to get his body back, but didn't really devolve into a bad guy in his solo appearance. The 2012 series' Mutagen Man is a young man who decided to try and follow an example of his heroes and ended up painfully transforming into an amorphous, feral blob who seems to have no recollection of his humanity or his heroes.
    • The second season featured Kirby O' Neil mutating into Wingnut, and April breaking off from the Turtles as a result, and the fourth episode episode had Mutagen Man, who actively tells a pinned down Raphael to die, and was planning on using his acid to melt off Raphael's face.
    • The third season upped the ante even further. By "Annihilation Earth!", it all but officially managed to overtake the 2003 series' status as the darkest TMNT cartoon: Shredder betrays the Turtles and Splinter's truce during the fight with the Triceratons and kills Splinter, Earth is destroyed, and the Turtles have to travel back through time to save Earth from being destroyed a second time (which they do, and bring back Splinter).
    • The fourth season went even further, especially towards the end. Splinter is once again killed by Shredder (who is mutated as Super Shredder this time). This time it sticks, and while he does return as a spirit in subsequent episodes, it's still portrayed very tragically. And Leo kills Super Shredder in the following episode. Rahzar is also drowned by Leatherhead in the previous episode, only to be resurrected by Kavaxas in "The Forgotten Swordsman".
    • The fifth season as well. A pentagram is shown, while Tiger Claw summons a demon on-screen. Kavaxas the Demodragon drains Hattori Tatsu of his soul, and does the same thing to Don Vizioso's right hand man "The Hammer" in the following episode. The shots of their bodies are pretty Family Unfriendly for a kid's show.
  • Dark Action Girl: Karai, adoptive daughter of the Shredder. She's just as good or better than the Turtles at combat.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Raph as always, but this version takes it up to eleven though having him snark over Leo or Donnie when he really should be listening to them.
    • Splinter has his moments as well.
    • Leo is surprisingly good at this, as well:
      Raphael: We're giving up? Again? Are you kidding me?
      Leo: Yes! It's all part of my hilarious 'Let's All Live' routine!
      Leo (after Metalhead makes a ruckus trying to be stealthy): Should we go back? I think there's a car alarm it hasn't set off!
    • Donatello does this quite a bit too.
      Splinter: Again. Only this time, Leonardo, Donatello, and Michaelangelo...insult Raphael.
      Donatello: Wait. Insult...him?
      Splinter: Yes.
      Donatello: And he can't fight back?
      Splinter: No.
      Donatello: Haha...I'm feeling good about this plan.
    • Karai also has her moments. This exchange from "Enemy of My Enemy" stands out:
      Raphael: You brought her ''inside''?! Dude, she'll see all our gear!
      Karai: (looks around the Shellraiser for a second) Yeah, 'cause if Shredder finds out you have an ice cream lamp, it is over.
  • Death by Irony: Metalhead, in his debut episode. Not only is he taken down by his own creator, he's taken down with a bo staff, the very weapon that Donnie's dissatisfaction with led to Metalhead's creation in the first place.
  • Demon Head: This is one Japanese visual gag that shows up now and then.
  • Demoted to Dragon: Bradford starts out as The Dragon to the Shredder, but following too many failures, he's replaced with Karai, and later Tiger Claw. He seems comfortable enough with the loss of rank, though, and enjoys a Villainous Friendship with Tiger Claw. He also retains a high position in the Foot Clan's hierarchy, even if he isn't Co-Dragons with Tiger Claw.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Montes becomes a much less important character in season two, as does Bradford to a slightly lesser extent. Both eventually regain some spotlight in later seasons.
    • Spider Bytez and Snakeweed were the first mutant threats to the Turtles and looked to be shaping up to be recurring antagonists, but are gradually forgotten; Spider Bytez makes a last silent cameo in the middle of the third season, while Snakeweed makes a last appearance towards the end of the fourth season.
    • Kirby O'Neil was originally a major driving force of many of the series’ plots in the first season after his kidnapping by the Kraang. After being rescued, he gets mutated and much of the second season revolves around saving him again. After being saved again, however, he’s quickly shunted to the background, only getting one minor spotlight episode before almost disappearing entirely, his last appearance being a silent cameo at Splinter's funeral.
  • Denser and Wackier: The second season has a bigger share of humor and outlandish mutants (such as Pizza Face, the Squirrelanoids, and Sir Malachi) in generally non-plot related episodes and even some plot-related episodes have jarringly comedic moments or premises.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The Kraang sound almost like robotic versions of Mojo Jojo.
    "This place is a place that you are not allowed to be in this place."
  • Designated Girl Fight: April's first battle with the Foot is against Karai, though feels pity after learning that Karai is Splinter's daughter, Miwa. It's more of a Curb Stomp than a Cat Fight however. Earlier her first encounter with the Kraang was against Mrs. Campbell. This is even lampshaded "Target: April O'Neil", though it's quickly subverted when Leo joins the fray.
    Karai: This is between us girls.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage:
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Mikey's mind was filled with various colors, characters such as Leatherhead, and a baby Mikey being fed by Bradford.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: Perhaps even further than most versions, as the Turtles have their own unique body types that make them recognizable via silhouette or at least without the masks and weapons.
    • Leonardo is average height compared to the rest of his brothers and he has a balanced physique and cobalt blue-colored eyes.
    • Donatello is taller and slimmer than the rest of his brothers and he has a gap-toothed overbite and reddish brown-colored eyes.
    • Raphael is shorter (but not to extent of Mikey) and excessively musculed and a part of his plastron is chipped off to resemble a lightning bolt in addition to the fact that he has green-colored eyes.
    • Michelangelo is the shortest of the Turtles and he also has Youthful Freckles and baby blue-colored eyes.
    • Bebop and Rocksteady have been redesigned from their previous versions, with Bebop being skinnier and having a techno theme to his outfit. While Rocksteady keeps most aspects of his 1987 counterpart's design, but with gold knuckles and shoulder plates.
  • Dope Slap: A favorite of Raph's. All of the Turtles actually dish this out to each other frequently, though Mikey is the most constant recipient.
  • Downer Ending:
    • "The Gauntlet" features the Shredder giving a terrifying No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on the Turtles.
    • "The Mutation Situation" ends with Kirby mutating into a bat and when April finds out that the Turtles were indirectly responsible for this, she leaves the Turtles in spite and vows to never see them again and there are mutagen canisters all over New York.
    • "Vengeance is Mine" ends with one, just as we thought Karai would finally be reunited with her real father, she decides to go after Shredder in revenge for killing her mother and lying to her for her whole life. She gets captured and thanks to Shredder's lust for vengeance, ends up getting mutated into a snake creature.
    • "The Invasion" has Leo critically injured by the Shredder, Splinter is missing, The Kraang have taken over New York, Kirby is a mutant again, and the Turtles have been forced out of their home.
    • In-universe we have the finale of "Crognard the Barbarian", in which Crognard challenges a multi-headed dragon and is grabbed by one of the heads, violently chewed up off screen (though the noise is clearly heard) while his allies watch in horror, his crown hits the ground, and the dragon flies away as the words "The End" appear on screen. Mikey, Leo, and Donnie can only stare in shock and Mikey states it to be "anti-climate".
    • Latest entry, and probably the darkest, is "Annihilation Earth!", as the Turtles lose Splinter as he's fatally stabbed from behind by Shredder, thus allowing the Triceratons' Heart of Darkness black hole generator to activate, destroying the entire Earth while the Turtles, Casey, and April barely escape the same fate due to a last minute rescue by Prof. Honeycutt.
    • "Requiem" features Splinter once again dying after being stabbed by the mutated Super Shredder's blades, and thrown off a building by him. He is buried at the O'Neil farmhouse in the next episode. In "Owari", Leo avenges him by killing Super Shredder.
    • "The Forgotten Swordsman". After Kavaxas kills Tatsu, he and Tiger Claw manage to retrieve the Kuro Kabuto and escape. And in "Heart of Evil" they also get Shredder's heart, and manage to resurrect Shredder.
  • Dressed to Kill: The Kraang in their human robots.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Donnie makes Leo the designated driver of the Shellraiser because, as he puts it, Leo is the least likely of the group to crash into something for fun. Raph and Mikey both acknowledge that this is true.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: For Mikey in "The Gauntlet". Nobody wants to be paired with him when the Turtles split up.
    • Even worse in "Parasitica", in which despite Mikey saving their butts and showing he's far more competent than he looks, the other brothers only gripe about doing chores and Leo goes after him for using his comic book as toilet paper. Though he was pushing it by constantly rubbing it in.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Donnie is quick to try and save April... and her dad, too.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Before Leatherhead's appearance in the series, he appears in "Dark Horizons", a flash game on the Nickelodeon website... as a villain and the final boss.
    • Steranko makes a brief appearance in "Enemy of My Enemy" before becoming a supporting character in the second half of season two onwards.
  • Eating the Enemy:
    • In "Pizza Face", the titular pizza monster uses his tainted pizza and pizza minions to brainwash the entire town with the intention of putting all the people in calzones and eating them. The only one not to get brainwashed is Michelangelo. Mike goes to confront the monster but only gets subdued by his cheese. The monster is about to eat April when Mikey realizes the only for him to get out his mess is to eat his way out. He eats his way out of the cheese and jumps into Pizza Face's mouth. He then eats Pizza Face from the inside out and reduces him to a single slice and forces him to clear everyone's minds.
  • Editorial Synaesthesia: The Turtles have "pain lines" appear from parts of their body that have been hit in battle. Used to give the show a "comic book" feel.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: In "The Foot Walks Again!", Rocksteady and Bebop, along with a few Foot soldiers, break into a an Earth Protection Force complex to steal stuff. While inside, they have a brief scuffle with EPF soldiers on a funicular.
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Leatherhead becomes this for the Hamato Clan shortly before The Invasion.
  • The Empath: The mutant monkey in "Monkey Brains". Also, April and Splinter.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • The Turtles are forced to team up with Dogpound and Fishface when Baxter Stockman traps them all into his Maze of Doom. Stockman even complains about the Turtles and Shredder's henchmen teaming up to take him out. After getting out, they were all prepared to settle unfinished business, but were simply too exhausted to fight each other.
    • Karai subverts this when she and the Turtles face the Kraang in the Worldwide Genome Project building, creating Justin and then ditching the Turtles to face the Kraang and the super-mutant. This ends up biting her in the ass when she later wants to sincerely work with the Turtles to stop the Kraang's scout ship and none of them trust her. It also bites the Turtles in their collective asses when Leo decides to let Raph and the others attempt to take down Shredder during their team up with Karai, which not only blows up in their faces, but leads Karai to develop full-blown hatred of them.
    • The Turtles ally with Spider Bytez, Snakeweed, the Newtralizer, and a large number of their Rogues Gallery when escaping a Kraang prison in Dimension X.
    • The Turtles ally with Slash to get to a portal leading to the imprisoned New York citizens.
    • Splinter and April convince Shredder to team up with them and stop the Triceratons from destroying Earth. They fail when Shredder backstabs Splinter, killing him and allowing the Black Hole Device to activate. Even his allies call him out on his actions.
      Tiger Claw: Shredder, what have you done?
      Shredder: I care not if the Earth gets destroyed. I WON!
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • The Turtles' main traits are shown in their sparring session in the first scene of the series (Mikey's free spirit, Leonardo's focus, Raphael's Jerkass behavior, and Donatello's awkwardness), and then Splinter shows that he's not above joking with his own son.
    • Bradford and Montes' first scene showcases Bradford's ego and Bad Boss tendencies, Montes' sociopathic behavior, and their overall relationship.
    • Traag's first appearance show he is The Juggernaut of this series.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Tiger Claw is disgusted with some of the lengths his master will go to. Slash, meanwhile, genuinely wants to save humanity from the Kraang, refuses to kill innocents and ends up pulling a Heel–Face Turn when he's disturbed by the Newtralizer's murderous tendencies.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: In the fifth season, Tiger Claw summons the demon Kavaxas to Earth, planning to use him to resurrect the Shredder, who Leo killed in the "Owari", using a mystical talisman to keep him under control. Four episodes in, and it turns out that Tiger Claw was nothing more than an Unwitting Pawn to Kavaxas, who needed to resurrect Shredder as one of three tasks he needed to complete before beginning The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Evil Makes You Monstrous: Good or neutral mutants are fairly humanoid, while amoral characters exposed to the ooze become monstrosities. Best demonstrated by Montes: both he and Bradford mutated, but the pragmatic Bradford remained fairly humanoid as Dogpound, while the sociopathic Montes became a fish with arms as Fishface. And then Dogpound mutates into Rahzar next season, where he becomes even more sadistic.
  • Evolving Credits:
    • The opening of the second season has added most of the Turtles' Rogues Gallery in the first season to the "villains" part of the opening, featuring like Ms. Cambell, Kraang Prime, Snakeweed, Spider Bytes, Newtralizer, The Rat King, Fishface, Dogpound, Karai, and The Shredder.
    • A lesser example has Metalhead and Pulverizer (in his mutagen form) in Donnie's portion of the intro, and Casey Jones leaning on the building as the Turtles run up to the rooftop at the end.
      • Starting with "The Manhattan Project", the villains went through slight change to depict Kraang Prime, a Squirrelanoid, Slash, Mutagen Man, Rahzar, Fishface, Tiger Claw, Karai, and Shredder. Also, the part near the ending that has Leo cutting two Kraang droids and Donnie peeking out of a manhole is replaced with the Turtles firing grappling hooks and using them as zip lines. However, Spike is still shown with Raphael after "Slash and Destroy".
    • The third season changes things up again to feature mostly the Foot Clan, with Baxter Stockman added as Stockman-Fly, while most of the mutants nonaffiliated with the foot are removed... except for the Newtralizer.
    • Starting with "Return to New York", the intro is changed a lot, with the Party Wagon replacing the Shellraiser, the Turtles wearing their "Vision Quest" outfits, a scene with Splinter and April training together, and a car chase featuring the Turtles, Bebop and Rocksteady, Leatherhead, and Mondo Gecko.
    • The fourth season spends the first few moments the same but then is totally revamped for the "Turtles in Space" arc.
    • The second half of the fourth season adds Shinigami and a new montage of the Turtles' allies and villains.
  • Expressive Mask: The Turtles wears these.
  • Expy:
    • Chris Bradford is clearly meant to be an evil version of Chuck Norris. He also brings to mind Robert Wall, better known as O'Hara from Enter the Dragon.
    • Tiger Claw for Boba Fett. A hired gun brought in by a helmet-wearing villain who uses a variety of high tech devices including a jet pack :who ends up having someone cause said jetpack to malfunction, sending them hurtling into the maw of a massive subterranean beast.
    • The Dream Beavers are expies of Freddy Krueger. They're long-clawed evil entities with control over the dream realm who absorb energy from their victims as they torture them. Also they're defeated by bringing them out of the dream realm into the waking one. Two of them are even voiced by Robert Englund himself.

    Tropes F-L 
  • Facepalm:
    • Donnie does this in "Rise of the Turtles, Part 2". Unfortunately, he was wearing spiked knuckles at the time. Ouch.
    • This is a pretty common reaction to just about anything Mikey says or does that is particularly silly or dumb.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The first half of the fourth season. It begins with the panning shot of the first three seasons, only for a Triceraton to step on the manhole cover, cutting off the music, with Leonardo narrating about the conclusion of the third season, followed by the REAL the fourth season's opening sequence. It returns to normal for the second half of fourth season.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: Almost all guns used by the Kraang and and other characters fire lasers.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death:
    • In "Annihilation Earth!, Part 2", Shredder kills Splinter by stabbing him completely through with his blades.
    • In "Requiem", Rahzar is dragged to the bottom of a river by Leatherhead and drowned. Splinter is killed by Shredder once again, stabbed through the back, and this time his body is flung off of a high building, eliminating any chance of survival.
    • In "Owari", Shredder is decapitated by Leo, who carries the severed head with him before contemptuously dropping it on the ground.
    • In "The Forgotten Swordsman" and "Heart of Evil", Kavaxas kills both Tatsu and the Hammer by stealing their souls. We're 'treated' both times to the sight of their soulless corpses, their faces frozen in terror.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence:
    • The Shredder's shockingly dark No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on the Turtles, including Raphael being thrown into an electric sign and Michelangelo being crushed and stuck under pieces of said sign.
    • Slash in "Slash and Destroy", who severely wounds Donnie offscreen, smashes Mikey around, and has an absolutely brutal fight against Raph. Even when Leo joins the fray, he's quickly and painfully smacked off to one side.
    • In "The Invasion, Part 2", Leatherhead violently mauls Shredder by shaking him like a rag doll in his powerful jaws.
    • In "The Tale of Tiger Claw", Alopex chops Tiger Claw's right arm off, on-screen, as a warning that she could just as easily have killed him. We even see Tiger Claw's stump and the severed arm laying limp on the ground.
  • Fanboy:
    • Leo actually takes this role in the series from his favorite TV show Space Heroes, which he uses as a template in regards to becoming a true leader.
    • Pulverizer is a huge one of the Turtles, what with the turtle costume and all.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: As per usual: Mutant monsters, aliens, and evil Chinese spirits have all shown up, with the former two being connected.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Apparently, Hamato Yoshi's father took Shredder in despite him being the son of a rival clan they'd just destroyed. He was raised alongside Yoshi, but when he found out his heritage and became angry over Tang Shen choosing Yoshi over him, The Shredder rebuilt the foot clan, and destroyed Yoshi's life.
  • Fat Bastard: Vic (the guy who insults Raph and gets the Turtles on video) before his mutation into Spider Bytez.
  • Fighting Fingerprint: Michelangelo befriends a famous martial artist and learns one of his secret katas. When Splinter sees the move he immediately deduces that whoever taught Michelangelo must have been trained by the Foot Clan because it comes from his arch-rival Shredder's fighting style. Of course, he's right.
  • Flanderization:
    • Mikey is much more hyperactive, immature, and LOUDER than most versions. He also comes up with the dumbest nicknames.
    • Raphael gets some too, as he's never been so mean as to bully Mikey. Though recent episodes have given signs of him softening a little. He also constantly threatens and slaps Donatello whenever the latter starts on one of his science rambles. He even hits Leo, though at least Leo fights back.
    • Donnie's crush on April is very infamous for the series. While some fans are willing to support the pairing, others are getting tired of his stalkerish and obsessive behavior towards her.
    • Ivan Steranko's comedic, bumbling nature got more played up as he began taking a larger role in the series. Justified since his first two appearances were either a minor cameo or as the Greater-Scope Villain of an episode, and now the audience has an opportunity to get to know him better.
  • Foot Popping: Raphael does this in "The Moons of Thalos 3" when he and 'Mona Lisa' kiss (or possibly rub noses. Their heads are out of frame).
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the prequel motion comics:
      • Raphael's chapter has him find graffiti reading "Jones was here" and "Casey Jones is everywhere!", complete with a Kilroy-esque image of the hockey-masked vigilante himself.
      • Michelangelo's chapter features him discovering the remains of one of Baxter Stockman's Mousers, but assumes it to be one of Donatello's inventions.
      • At the end, Splinter says he would like a Pizza, with Mikey asking what it was, and Splinter simply replying that it was a gem of the upper world.
    • Subtly done in "Rise of the Turtles, Part 2" as Splinter recounts to Leonardo his history with the Shredder, and how his life was taken away by the Foot Clan. Splinter makes the clear distinction that they killed his wife & but "took [his] baby daughter Miwa from [him]", hinting to the viewer that Splinter's daughter is still alive.
    • A Freeze-Frame Bonus one occurs in "Turtle Temper". When the Turtles are trying to get the video back from Vic, on the wall next to him is a poster of a man with a monster as his shadow, foreshadowing Vic's mutation into the monstrous Spider Bytez.
    • Yet another example happens in "Metalhead", where Leonardo watches an episode of Space Heroes where Captain Ryan has to Mercy Kill one of his crew after a brain-like alien takes over his body. This foreshadowed Metalhead being taken over by one of the Kraang and Donatello defeating Metalhead by damaging it.
    • Happens yet again in "The Gauntlet", where we see Shredder's top minions Chris Bradford and Xever Montes get bitten by a dog and touch a fish respectively, foreshadowing their mutations into Dogpound and Fishface. The show seems to have grown fond of this trope by now.
    • Yet another one, this time from "Mousers Attack!". The phone that the Turtles have been busting their shells over has call display, which activates near the end of the episode. Clearly visible on the screen is the name Irma and the face of a bespectacled girl.
    • In "The Alien Agenda", after April sends her saliva to TCRI, Mrs. Campbell, a Kraang-Droid, goes after April. "TCRI" reveals that the Kraang run TCRI, and are in fact not after Kirby O' Neil, but April.
    • In the same episode, when Karai is about to mutate Justin, there is a picture of a snake on the mutation board, one season later, Karai is mutated into exactly this type of mutant.
    • Occasionally, a comic book is shown with a monster on the cover. "The Pulverizer Returns" has Michelangelo show this comic once again, showing the monster much more clearly: The monster on the cover is a reference to Mutagen Man, what with its Brain in a Jar head and body. The Pulverizer becomes Mutagen Man by the end of the episode.
    • In "New Girl in Town", Leonardo watches Space Heroes, and the episode deals with the protagonist dating one of the villains, and when she tries to betray him, the captain doesn't hesitate to betray her right back. Ultimately, Leonardo and his brothers have no qualms betraying Karai in "Enemy of My Enemy".
      • Basically any time you see the Turtles watching cartoons, it's probably foreshadowing.
    • Donnie's chart is one big foreshadowing of season one's episodes and maybe some of the second.
    • The ending of "The Mutation Situation" shows a squirrel drinking mutagen.
    • In "Follow The Leader", paying attention to the final fight in the episode shows a billboard featuring "Stockman Industries".
    • In "Mikey Gets Shellacne", Dogpound puts a collar loaded with mutagen around Stockman's neck, saying he'll release the mutagen if Baxter acts out of line, and then people will see what he turns into, suggesting that he'd probably be some sort of annoying bug.
    • In "Rise of the Turtles, Part 2", Michelangelo suggests that mutating a mutant will turn them into a super-mutant. Cue "Mikey Gets Shellacne"...
      • In the same conversation, Donatello counters with, "Or a pile of goo on the sidewalk." Cue "The Pulverizer Returns".
    • "The Lonely Mutation of Baxter Stockman" features Stockman saying that he has plans for mutant pigs and rhinos. A day before the episode aired, Playmates Toys released concept art of updated designs for Bebop and Rocksteady, indicating it may not just be a Mythology Gag.
    • "A Chinatown Ghost Story" has Ho Chan remarking that April has a special power inside of her. However, the real foreshadow is that he also says the same thing about Irma and well if you consider that April is half-Kraang...
    • "Cockroach Terminator" has a particularly subtle one. Two Kraangbots are seen conversing, with one talking about how successful its gluten-free diet has been. Funny Background Event, right? Until you realize that the only other character who puts such emphasis on a gluten-free diet is Irma...
    • The Triceratons were hinted at in the background quietly throughout the series before their debut at the end of the third season.
    • In "Dinosaur Seen In Sewers!", Michelangelo "fixes" the Downer Ending of Crognard the Barbarian by rewinding the tape to just before he gets eaten by the Dragon. How is the destruction of earth at the end of the third season fixed? By rewinding time to before it happened.
    • At the end of "Riddle of The Ancient Aeons", the newly purified Aeons give April a piece of their Soul Star as a gift for saving them. At the end of the episode, Donnie openly muses just how easily even powerful beings like the Aeons can be corrupted, the camera moving to April with the fragment as he does. Later on in the season, the crystal slowly corrupts her with its addictive properties before becoming possessed by the spirit of a corrupt Aeon in "The Power Inside Her".
    • In "Tale Of The Yokai", the Turtles attempt to rewrite history when they're taken back in time to the exact moment of the first battle between Oroku Saki and Hamato Yoshi. They fail, learning Tang Shen was always destined to die and that they were always destined to help set the events into motion. When Splinter dies in "Annihilation Earth", the Turtles undo it with the help of Honeycutt, only for Splinter to die in "Requiem", a few episodes later in the exact same way - stabbed through the back by Shredder. It's implied that despite the Turtles' efforts, Splinter was always destined to die at Shredder's hand and that he was living on borrowed time after the Triceraton invasion was foiled. Going even further, it seems the Tang Shen incident was meant to try to teach the Turtles about how they can't change their destiny or that of others.
    • In "Pizza Face" not only does Irma walk away unharmed from a moped hitting her, you can also hear the clang of metal hitting metal.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In "Slash and Destroy", when Raph and Slash are jumping across rooftops and Raph comment on them being a crime fighting duo, they pass by a billboard with a Mouser picture that reads "Stockman Industries: Making Today's Break Tommorow's Realities". It makes one wonder just what Stockman has been up to offscreen to have a business billboard up, and why he couldn't get someone to make sure the spelling was correct, as one can see by how the word "tomorrow" is spelled.
    • In "Mousers Attack!", April's phone briefly has an incoming call from Irma
  • Freeze-Frame Introduction: Exaggerated. Every time Khan is appearing, his Leitmotif is playing, which ends with big KHAN. His Establishing Character Moment is a freeze-frame and all above.
  • Freudian Slip: Donnie slips up when talking to April at the end of "Never Say Xever", saying that "sometimes things that don't seem like should go together actually make a great couple! - I mean food."
  • Friend Versus Lover: Irma doesn't like April spending so much time alone with Casey. Later we learn that this may have been just attempts to get April to lead the Kraang to the Lair.
  • Fright Beside Them: While the Turtles and Renet are in an Egyptian tomb, Michelangelo feels someone poke him from behind and assumes it's Raphael playing a prank on him. Except Raph is in front of him; Mikey looks back and to his horror sees it's a dismembered mummy arm on his shell.
  • Fumbling the Gauntlet: In "The Moons of Thalos 3", Leonardo is negotiating a tentative truce with the Salamandarians to allow them to work together to escape the moon. Just as it seems he has succeeded, he extends his hand to shake hands with the Salamandarian commander, only to discover that the extension of a open hand is tantamount to a declaration of war in Salamandarian society.
  • Funny Background Event: At the end of "Metalhead", whilst Donatello is showing off his, erm, rocket-staff, in the background you can see Raphael get annoyed at Leonardo, and grab him in a headlock with Michelangelo trying to pull him off.
  • Furry Confusion: Raph has a pet turtle. It later gets mutated and becomes Slash.
  • Geek Physiques: Donatello, "The Brains", is taller and skinnier than his brothers. He also has a gap-toothed overbite.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: A running gag on the show Space Heroes is Captain Ryan slapping his crew mate whenever he starts to panic. He even does it to himself while under the effects of an "anxiety ray". Leo actually tries it in "Rise of the Turtles, Part 1" on Mikey, with humorous results:
    Mikey: Did you just slap me?
    Leo: I was calming you down.

  • Geodesic Cast: Teams of mutants all seem to follow the Turtles' general make up. A Leader, a Big Guy who doubles as Number Two, The Smart Guy, and some variation of The Fool or Plucky Comic Relief. Other common elements include a Big Good behind the scenes. The Mutanimals, Punk Frogs, and even the Foot Clan (though their membership shifts around a lot) have all fit this scheme at least once.
  • The Ghost: April's aunt, Casey's dad and sister are never seen.
  • The Good Guys Always Win: Lampshaded in the theme song - The good guys win and the bad guys lose.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Quite a bit of Shredder's face has been utterly roasted, and his right eye is whited out.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: In "The Mutation Situation", a fight between the Turtles and the Kraang causes dozens of mutagen canisters to fall throughout the city. The Turtles have to track down every one to make sure they don't cause any more harm.
  • Grand Finale: There are three incredibly good examples of these throughout the final two seasons.
    • Season 4’s second half consisted of the City at War arc, closing off a lot of plot points throughout the series, containing the turtles’ final battle with Shredder, Splinter’s permanent death, the defeats of several long time villains like Fish-Face, Rahzar, Bebop, Rocksteady and Baxter Stockman, and a finale which fits the bill right down to the title, Owari, which is literally “End” in Japanese. According to Brandon Auman, this episode is the true series finale, and that the season 5 episodes are all just side stories.
    • The Raphael: Mutant Apocalypse arc in Season 5, taking place in a post apocalyptic wasteland with a fallen Leonardo as the main antagonist, was the last three episodes in production for the series and the ones intended as the finale, however they would end up airing early and would become considered as an alternate universe by Nickelodeon.
    • The series finally properly concludes with a three-part episode involving a second crossover with the 1987 series where the Turtles have to help their 1987 counterparts stop a team-up between the 1987 versions of Shredder and Krang and the 2012 versions of Bebop and Rocksteady.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Whenever ninjutsu is discussed and during training sessions with Splinter hajime, yame, ninniku seishin, etc.
  • Green Rocks: The Kraangs' mutagen.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: The Turtles quite often get hurled at each other during fights.
  • Groin Attack:
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Played with. April feigns sickness and tries to knock out the Kraang guard who comes in, but since he's in a robot body she doesn't even make a dent.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: The plot of "Turtle Temper" is about Raphael overcoming his temper.
  • Hand Seals: In "The Deadly Venom", Master Splinter teaches Leonardo to chant and perform the handseals for a special Healing Hands technique. This power becomes key in the following episodes.
  • Handshake of Doom: The Turtles get stranded on an ice moon with two Salamandrians, and Leo offers a handshake as a gesture of friendship. Unfortunately, extending a hand in Salamandrian culture is a gesture for combat, resulting in a fight breaking out between the two groups.
  • Hard Truth Aesop: "New Girl in Town" features Splinter deliver a message to Leonardo that leadership is a hard, thankless task, and he should not think otherwise.
  • The Heavy: Karai early on in the second season. Mozar in the first half of the fourth season.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Karai ultimately pulls one in the middle of the second season, though it doesn’t permanently stick until the fourth season.
    • In the penultimate arc of the fifth season, Bebop and Rocksteady decide to become superheroes, albeit a large reason is for the fame and fortune they can make.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Comes up in "New Friend, Old Enemy". Mikey tries to return a cat to its owner because he wants to make friends with humans, despite his brothers' warnings that humans would freak out if they saw him. Not only does said human freak out at the sight of a giant talking turtle with ninja weapons, he thinks he's trying to hurt his cat. And then the cat, who'd been cute and friendly moments ago, attacks Mikey.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Donatello and later Casey toward April.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Captain Ryan of Space Heroes. He'll sacrifice his crew members for the slightest of reasons, and his "humane" idea of getting rid of a bunch of alien creatures aboard his ship is to vent them all out of the airlock. Leonardo sees him as a role model.
  • Heroic Bystander:
    • In "Never Say Xever", April saves Mikey by throwing a pot's lid at the Purple Dragon sneaking up behind him. She also gets Mr. Murakami, the blind chef, safely out of the store during the fight.
    • In "Karai's Vendetta", when Karai reveals herself, Murakami steps in, "accidentally" throws a bowl of soup in her face, and stalls her long enough for April to escape, all while pretending to be a blind klutz.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • In "The Gauntlet" April's dad grabs a gun and covers the Turtles' escape so they can protect his daughter, throwing away his own chance at freedom.
    • Leatherhead pulls one in "TCRI" by dragging Traang back into Dimension X to save the Turtles.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Raph, especially towards Mikey in this adaptation. He constantly argues with and mistreats him, yet, when he realizes Mikey is in danger at the end of "New Friend, Old Enemy", he is the first to act alarmed by the idea. At the end of the episode, as Mikey is having a It's All My Fault moment, Raph actually bothers comforting him... while warning him he will beat him up if he ever tell the others. In the episode "New Girl In Town", he panics when Mikey gets hurt in battle and shows obvious relief when he finally comes to.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: Played with. The Turtles stand out like sore thumbs, and thus rarely go above ground in the daytime. They also try to employ ninja stealth in every mission. However, they end up being found out quite often, leading to them resorting to open battle.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Shades of this from the Turtles, most of it coming from Splinter training them to be warriors at the same time. Splinter's lessons seem to have a tendency to be painful and Raph once comments he pummeled them for merely being sleepy. The implication was that Splinter knew they had disobeyed their grounding, but that they thought it was for being tired is indicative.
  • Honor Before Reason: Inverted. In "New Friend, Old Enemy" Splinter calls Leo out for fighting fair because it gives the enemy a chance to win.
    • Although ideally, Splinter would rather have his sons fight with both honor AND reason.
  • Hostile Terraforming: The Kraang's endgame is to turn the Earth into something that they can inhabit. Among other things, their air is toxic to Earth natives, and their water is highly acidic.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: In a universe filled by psychotic mutants and killer aliens like the Kraang, the Shredder, a mere human, stands out as one of the most monstrous, evil beings. He's perfectly willing to support the Kraang's invasion of Earth and even allow the Triceratons to destroy the planet outright, as long as doing so gives him a shot at revenge on Splinter.
  • I Can See My House from Here: Mikey says a variant of this trope in one of the show's promos.
    Michelangelo: "I can see a pizza place from up here!"
  • Idiot Ball: Never once while fighting Snakeweed do the Turtles consider destroying his heart, which is the only reason why Snakeweed is never Killed Off for Real. Though this could be partially due to Executive Meddling, because, you know, you can't have Leo jabbing the creature in the heart with his katana in a kid's show.
    • There's a similar moment in Metalhead. The Turtles are fighting a Kraang-controlled Metalhead, attacking it vigorously while exclaiming that it must have a weak point - and never attacking the squishy, defenseless Kraang sitting on its head.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: The Pulverizer. He wants to be a ninja like the Turtles, and douses himself with the mutagen to gain powers. Unfortunately for him, he instead became a psychotic blob monster.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Let's just say the Kraang aren't the best shots in New York (as in literally cannot hit a man-sized target in the same room) and leave it at that. Unless its relevant to the plot like taking Kurtzman out of the action in "Battle For New York".
  • Impossible Shadow Puppets: In "Target: April O'Neil", Mikey volunteers to create a distraction for the others to force their way into a Kraang hideout. His idea? Busting a billboard light and creating shadow puppets resembling a rabbit, an elephant and a belly dancer, all which easily fool the guards and leaving them vulnerable to the Turtles' attack.
  • I'm Standing Right Here: Whilst the Turtles are trying to get some information out of Snake, Raphael says some barbed things regarding Michelangelo's appearance.
    Raphael: [...] Now, you could turn out handsome like me, or you might end up disgusting and deformed – like Mikey here.
    Michelangelo: Hey!
    *A minute or so later*
    Leonardo: Oh, that worked pretty good.
    Raphael: Of course it did, would you wanna look like Mikey?
    Michelangelo: I'm right here.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: This happens to Splinter twice. The first time is in an Enemy Mine with Shredder, when Shredder impales him from behind. While that is undone by time travel, Splinter still dies by being impaled by Shredder by the end of the fourth season.
  • Implacable Man:
    • Traag proves himself to be this trope in both of his appearances.
    • The Shredder is also described as such. If he wants something or wants someone dead, he will not stop until he gets that something or kills that someone.
  • Improvised Weapon: April does this a couple times. In "Metalhead" she uses a convenient pipe to take out a Kraang droid, and in "Never Say Xever" she knocks out one of the Purple Dragons by throwing a pot's lid at him like a Frisbee (and saving Mikey in the process).
    • The Turtles also do this in "The Pulverizer Returns", first with each other's weapons (and they fail miserably) and when in the Foot Warehouse, Don uses a push broom, Raph uses a piece of wood, Leo uses a pipe, and Mikey uses a chain.
  • Incest Subtext: Leo and Karai have a habit of flirting with one another in combat. However, Karai is Hamato Yoshi's daughter. Leo's humanoid aspects originated from Splinter's DNA. This makes Karai and Leo half-siblings.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Baxter Stockman is this trope to the point where Mikey wondered if they should buy him an ice cream rather than beat him up.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    April: Mikey, you already have a human friend; me!
    Mikey: April, you don't count. We saved your life! You have to like us!
    • "The Mutation Situation". Seriously, the way he tells April that it was the Turtles themselves who spilled the mutagen that mutated her dad makes you want to punch him in the face at the very least.
  • Insistent Terminology: As Donnie keeps reminding everyone in "Panic in the Sewers", they're not go-karts, they're Patrol Buggies.
  • It's All My Fault:
    • Splinter's Greatest Failure (below) leads to the loss of his family as a human.
    • Mikey says this at the end of "New Friend, Old Enemy" after he realizes his new friend actually works for the Shredder and that he's accidentally revealed the existence of himself and his family to their worst enemy.
    • Donnie gets this at the end of "Metalhead".
  • It's Been Done: When the Turtles and Splinter are discussing how to defeat Baxter Stockman.
    Splinter: *glances at a wall which depicts a ninja fighting an armored samurai*
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Raph threatens Snake with mutant ooze for information.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In "The Alien Agenda", Raph tells Leo that the only reason Karai didn't attack them is because she's studying their moves.
  • Jerkass Realization:
    • In "New Girl in Town", Raph kept criticizing Leo's leadership skills and methods, eventually leading to an exasperated him into giving him the leader position to see if he can do it any better. However, Raph doesn't take long to crack under the pressure as this lead to Mikey getting hurt by Snakeweed. When they get back to the lair, Raph gets hit with this, acknowledging that he's not fit to be the leader and now realizes how tough Leo has it.
    • In "The Mutation Situation", April's father accidentally got mutated into a mutant bat. After finding out that the turtle were responsible for the accident, April snaps at them then tells them that she doesn't want to see them again. Several episodes later, April was approached by Donnie as he attempted to apologize to her for what happened to her father, but her anger has lead her to not listen to him, who felt awful about the whole thing. Although, April took a moment to listen to Donnie say that some things can't be controlled. However, after Casey tells her of how he accidentally destroyed a friendship then remarked that some things can't be controlled, which was the same thing Donnie said to her earlier, April felt remorses for snapping at the Turtles, especially Donnie. While being attacked by Karai, April realized that Donnie and Casey were right as it convinced her to call the Turtles for help. After being saved, April officially forgives the Turtles and in return apologizes to them for being rough on them.
    • In "A Foot Too Big", after finding himself a recipient of Bigfoot's unwanted advances, Donnie complains about how she keeps bugging him and following him everywhere. However, hearing Raph remarks that that's exactly what he himself does to April, Donnie gets hit with this hard, and by the end of the episode decided to dial his crush back.
    • In "The Croaking", After Mikey ran away when his brothers and Casey treated him badly, April hits the boys hard when she told them that the reason he left was because of their harsh words. Also, April tells the boys that they don't appreciate Mikey, especially Raph. Hearing this, the boys, especially Raph, not only realized that April was right about how they treat Mikey but also agreed to be more appreciative towards him.
  • Joke and Receive: When Tiger Claw senses Alopex and freezes up, Bebop jokes that he's been using catnip. Given that Tiger Claw hid a plant behind his back when Bebop and Rocksteady came into his room, it's... not implausible.
  • Just Train Wrong: In the episode "It Came From The Depths", the turtles decide to use one of the Kraang's power cells to power up a train car and escape a group of Kraang, which causes the train to go at unnaturally fast speeds. Although the car manages go all the way down the track and onto the road, in real life, the car would derail immediately on the first turn.
  • Knight of Cerebus:
    • The Shredder. The episodes he's in usually make it clear that it's not going to be the same as a one-off adventure, and whenever he's in a fight scene, things get really ugly. The fact that he's a much, much more personal enemy to the Turtles and won't settle for anything but attacking them where it hurts (such as stealing Hamato Yoshi's child and raising her as his own to get his ultimate revenge on his former friend) earns him this status.
      • To put another thing in perspective, the point when he finally got up and did something, it brought a darker shift in the show. His Villain Team-Up with the Kraang also allowed them to nearly succeed in their invasion of Earth, and in "The Invasion, Part 2", they succeed.
    • The Rat King, whose attacks on the Turtles are much more personal than many other villains in the show, and attempts to veer Splinter to his side by pointing out that he's lost almost everything.
    • Tiger Claw is a very serious villain who is very rarely played for laughs, and his appearances in fights usually means that the battle is definitely going south for the Turtles.
    • Zog the Triceraton is revealed to be a scout for the Triceraton Empire, who are out to destroy Earth to wipe out its' Kraang population. Once he's outed, the episode becomes much darker to set the tone for "Annihilation Earth!" in which the Triceratons successfully wipe out and destroy Earth. He's also a dramatic example of Zigzagged Adaptational Villainy and deconstructs a plot point in the mythos many fans had questioned previously.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Mikey, as always.
  • Lancer vs. Dragon: Raphael is The Lancer to Leo and Fishface is one of two Dragons to the Shredder. Raph and Xever are similar regards to their preference of violence for solutions, and the two frequently clash over the course of the series. Their last battle occurs in the season 4 finale in which Raph nearly kills Fishface by removing his breathing apparatus.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The first opening for the fourth season makes no attempt at hiding what happened in "Annihilation Earth!", as Leo recaps how the Triceratons invaded Earth and destroyed the planet with the Black Hole Generator.
  • Leitmotif: In the Tales from the Turtles' Lair interactive prequel comics, the Japanese folk tune "Sakura" is used for Splinter's theme.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: The end of "Metalhead", after Donnie spends a great deal of the episode catching flack about his fighting/stealth skills and his bo staff. You can tell the instant he gets serious.
    Donnie: Just come get me!
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In "Into Dimension X", Mikey thought of this when he wonders if someone is watching him and his brothers watch TV from another world.
    Mikey: What if someone somewhere is watching us on TV right now? They'd be watching us watch TV on TV, bro.
  • Lighter and Softer: The 2012 series is at least lighter compared to the 2003 series. However, it's still Darker and Edgier than the 1987 series.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Shredder. Also Slash, Leatherhead, and Splinter.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Kraang's base is usually very well-lit, with the walls lined with silver.
  • Licensed Game: The series has two of them, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2013). Besides the Art Shift of the Turtles in OOS, both have been cited with The Problem with Licensed Games (although 2013 is generally considered perfectly acceptable for small children).
  • Line-of-Sight Name: In "The Pig And the Rhino", Michelangelo attempts to name Bebop and Rocksteady after some of the food stands at Coney Island, but eventually takes inspiration from a van promoting the band "Rocksteady Rascals", from "Bebop Records".
  • Love at First Sight: Donnie falls in love with April and calls her "the most beautiful girl I've ever seen!" Raph is quick to point out that she's the only girl that Donnie's ever seen.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Part of the reason Shredder became enemies with Splinter is because of his uncontrollable jealousy that Tang Shen chose Splinter over him.
  • Love Triangle: Donatello was crushing on April O'Neil ever since "Rise of the Turtles, Part 1". Then, in the second season, Casey Jones entered the picture. The two of them openly quarrel with each over to get April's attention, and more than one time, April's just exasperated that their Cock Fight messes up their missions or training.

    Tropes M-R 
  • Male Gaze: April, Karai, and Shinigami tend to be subjected to shots focusing on their buttocks.
  • Manga Effects: Scattered all over the place from Blank White Eyes to Cross-Popping Veins.
  • Maybe Ever After: In early season 5, the various love interests are all given a Relationship Upgrade: Leo and Karai and Donnie and April are all either dating or extremely flirtatious with each other. Mikey jokes that he and Renet have a Long-Distance Relationship. Mona moves to Earth to be with Raph and they seem to be canonically a couple. But after the Vizioso arc ends, these relationships become much more ambiguous again: Karai and Mona are both subjected to Chuck Cunningham Syndrome and never seen again (after Mona moved to Earth to be with Raph), April seems to revert back to being a friend who sometimes joins in on adventures (in some cases along with Casey), and when Renet appears in the time-travel arc, she just coyly suggests to Mikey that they'll see each other again "in the future." The Bad Future arc doesn't mention any of love interests at all (i.e. none of them are together by that point), but the canonicity of the various Season 5 arcs is considered questionable in general, leaving all the romantic relationships ambiguous.
  • Meaningful Name: Averted/Lampshaded. Mikey is surprised that Snake didn't mutate into a snake.
  • Medium Blending: The show combines 3D and 2D animation (sometimes even "bleeding" from one to the other like in the establishing shot of the first episode or the Art Shift seen at the end of every episode). Notable because the only other example that comes close to the same level of integration is the Disney theatrical short Paperman.
    • Much of the camera angles, special effects (particularly the Kraang UFO's laser in "Enemy of My Enemy"), shading, character design, and 2D animated sequences lend themselves to the comic books that TMNT was born of.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: In "Annihilation: Earth! Part 2", Splinter is murdered by Shredder. His death is undone, but he is murdered a second time by Super Shredder, this time permanently, in "Reqiuem".
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: In "Metalhead", the titular robot subjects Raphael to this.
  • Mid-Season Twist: In "Monkey Brains", April begins her training with Splinter and the Turtles acquire and actually manage to keep a live canister of Ooze.
  • Missing Mom: A bit of a minor recurring theme.
    • April's had to live most of her life without her mom, all we know is that the Kraang had something to do with it.
    • Similarly, Karai's never got to know her mother, though this is actually explained and shown as she threw herself into the fight between Splinter and Shredder and was accidentally slain by Shredder.
    • Casey has mentioned having a dad and sister, but never once mentioned a mom.
    • Even the lat middle aged Shredder and Splinter suffer this. Their fathers were currently leaders of the respective ninja clans and at war, which briefly ended when Splinter's father defeated Shredder's father. Shredder used this information to persuade the current Hamato Clan ninjas to defect to the Foot clan stating Splinter's father killed his, yet neither of them mention their mothers.
  • Mobile Fishbowl: Fishface has both water mounted on his gills, as well as artificial legs.
  • Mobile-Suit Human: The Kraang pilot these.
  • Monster Mash: A four-episode arc in season 5 has Savanti Romero travelling across time to recruit Dracula, a werewolf, an Egyptian mummy and Frankenstein's Monster to aid him.
  • Mood Whiplash: "The Gauntlet" goes from finding a silly mutant bird to an attempt to save April's father and stopping a Mutagen bomb and a short victory scene to the Shredder coming in and beating up the Turtles in a surprisingly brutal manner.
    • "Enemy of My Enemy" has the Turtles escape from Karai, and Leonardo has a My God, What Have I Done? about him betraying her and the unlikely chance she'll bother to work with them, then Mikey compares it to Leprechauns, to which Leo gets angry at. Then, it cuts right back to The Shredder and Karai, having gotten one of the Kraang to interrogate.
    • "The Pulverizer Returns" starts out humorous with the Pulverizer attempting to be a ninja. It takes a drastic turn when he mutates.
    • Shredder's recollection of Karai receiving praise from him with an adorable :D expression. She's being praised for having beaten down about a dozen adult men.
    • "The Invasion" is full of these. The most notable one probably comes when Kirby reveals his old Party Wagon from his "Hipster Days" (Groovy!) in a hilarious Shout-Out to the 1987 series, then seconds later he gets hit with the Mutagen and "Kraangified".
    • In general, the series will transition from very dark (rivaling the 2003 series) to very bizarre and light-hearted. For example, the very dark, dramatic "Vengeance is Mine" is followed by the goofy "A Chinatown Ghost Story", which is just a send-up to Big Trouble in Little China.
  • Mook Horror Show: Leatherhead in "It Came From the Depths" is shown to easily overpower the Kraang in his opening scene. Actually lampshaded later on when the Turtles first see Leatherhead, overpowering them again.
    Donatello: Never thought I'd feel sorry for the Kraang.
  • Multiple Endings: The prequel motion comics on have two alternate endings in the final chapter, determined by whether the reader types in the correct answer to the question that suddenly appears (the answer is turtles 4 sale). If the reader types in an incorrect answer, the Tengu defeats the Turtles. When the reader types in the correct answer, however, the comic ends with the Turtles succeeding in defeating the Tengu and finding out that the Tengu was really Splinter, who disguised himself to teach his sons the value of teamwork.
  • My Friends... And Zoidberg: Done in "Metalhead":
    Donatello: Gentlemen... and Raphael.
  • My Greatest Failure: For Splinter, it was allowing his anger to get the best of him after Oroku Saki insulted him in front of his love Tang Shen. The resulting attack on Saki intensified their rivalry, leading to Tang Shen's death and Miwa's kidnapping. This is the reason why dealing with Raph's temper is serious business for him.
  • Mythology Gag: The series has its own page.
  • Never My Fault:
    • After being transformed into Spider Bytez, Vic swiftly blames the Turtles for it... Except if he hadn't started screaming about his phone when the Turtles were pulling him to safety and blowing their cover, and then put himself in harm's way by trying to retrieve the phone in the midst of the Turtles fighting the Kraang, he never would've come into contact with the Mutagen.
    • Mikey shows this trait a couple of times too, like when he blamed Splinter for letting them go topside in the first place (though, admittedly, everyone was blaming everyone else for something at that point) or when he said that losing the 'TPod' was Donnie's fault for trusting him with it at all.
    • Played more dramatically with Shredder, whose feud with Splinter seems to have a lot to do with the fact that he blames Splinter for every mistake of his own that backfires on him. Such as Tang Shen's death and Karai being mutated into a three-headed mindless snake. Both a direct result of his own actions since nothing is EVER his fault. Even when others call him out on this, he refuses to believe it.
  • Never Say "Die": Mostly. Especially blatant in "The Gauntlet" where the stakes are very high for the first time, with the atmosphere of the Turtles potentially getting killed and soft words like "perish" are used instead.
    • Lampshaded by Mikey in "Metalhead":
      Kraang!Metalhead: "The ones that which are called turtles will now be called turtles that are... DESTROYED!"
      Michaelangelo: "Phew, I was really afraid at the beginning of the sentence, but then I sort of just lost interest towards the-"
    • Averted in "Panic In The Sewers", where Splinter trains the Turtles excessively. The rest of the series seems to be much more relaxed about using the word afterward.
      Splinter: Rest? The Shredder will not rest... Until all of you are dead!
    • Averted again in Showdown when Kraang Prime threatens to kill the Turtles.
      Kraang Prime: You will all die here!
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • "Rise of the Turtles, Part 2" - Snake wouldn't have become Snakeweed if the Turtles had emptied the Mutagen (which they knew was there) from the back of the van before crashing it into a large gate at high speed, causing the Mutagen to fly out of the back and cover Snake.
    • "Turtle Temper" - Mikey constantly provoking Raph whilst staking out a warehouse for the Kraang results in the destruction of a satellite TV dish, which sets into effect a chain of events that, thanks in part to his own stubbornness & stupidity, leads to Vic being transformed into Spider Bytez.
    • "Enemy Of My Enemy" - Karai genuinely wants to work with the Turtles to stop the Kraang, though her previous actions have left the Turtles wary of her intentions. They eventually do agree, but decide to set a trap for Shredder when they realize he'll be out in the open. When Karai notices them about to zap her father, she pushes him out of the way, fires a rocket at the Turtles, then attacks Leonardo in a rage, declaring that if it's a feud they want, it's a feud they'll get, severing any possible good will between them. Leo even acknowledges that he blew it big time.
    • "The Mutation Situation" - In stopping the Kraang shipment, the Turtles ended up losing mutagen canisters all over New York, one of which actually transformed April's father into a mutant bat. Furthermore, when Mikey (in a particularly idiotic manner) tells April that the Turtles themselves were the ones who spilled the mutagen, April is livid and promptly declares their friendship over.
  • The Nicknamer: Mikey seems to have taken charge of naming their enemies & equipment; he's just not very good at it and keeps giving them names which are incredibly blunt with their obviousness. In fact, when Donnie named the T-Phone, Mikey got upset that he didn't get to name it, despite admitting that he would have called it the T-Phone too. Although Mikey has his moments as the others admit that 'The Shellraiser' is a good name.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • April's dad bears a suspicious resemblance to Joss Whedon.
    • Chris Bradford, the famous martial artist Mikey meets in "New Friend, Old Enemy", looks a LOT like Chuck Norris. Exaggerated in the fourth season when the 1980's style cartoon he stars in is heavily based on a short lived animated series from Norris.
  • No Flow in CGI: The Shredder's cape almost always comes off before a fight scene in the first two seasons. "Serpent Hunt" features the first time he fights with it on.
  • Nominal Hero:
    • A Show Within a Show example with Captain Ryan; he is a complete sociopath, but is treated both in his story and by Leonardo as an awesome hero. Raph is, ironically, more lucid about it.
    • Spike/Slash, who thinks he's doing Raph a favor by eliminating Raph's brothers.
      • Slash's third episode reintroduces Newtralizer who only fights the Kraang for revenge and doesn't care if anyone else gets caught in the crossfire whether they're humans or mutants.
    • The third season introduces Crognarg the Barbarian, another In-Universe cartoon character, who's basically a worse version of Captain Ryan in a different setting. Whereas Captain Ryan at least had a Pet the Dog moment in the last episode of Space Heroes, the first episode of Crognarg has him and his allies beat up a bunch of hospitable slug people for no apparent reason.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: A downplayed example in Venus de Milo. She is smaller and has narrower shoulders than the males of her species we see. The design of her armor's chest piece is very vaguely suggestive of human-like breasts, but since she never takes the armor off, we don't know for sure if this reflects the actual shape of her torso or is just a decorative flourish.
  • Non-Mammalian Hair: In "Raphael: Mutant Apocalypse", Raphael and Michelangelo have somehow grown a beard and hair respectively in their old age.
  • Noodle Incident: Stockman seems to lend himself to these. He mentions in his first appearance, he got fired because of a photocopier accident, and in "Baxter's Gambit", mentions that he got expelled for bringing a makeshift volcano full of real magma to the Science Fair.
  • Not His Sled: The Turtles have a tendency to fight the Shredder on a roof as per the first issue of the comic during first meetings in adaptations, but usually win the fight either through teamwork or an outside party coming in to help them. Neither happens in their first fight in this series, with the Turtles being forced to escape.
    • Zog the Triceraton regains his bearings and turns on the Turtles, and commits suicide rather than allow the Turtles to save him in perhaps the most stunning example of Adaptational Villainy so far.
  • Not in the Face!: Leatherhead has quite the tendency to grab Donnie by the face and shake him around whenever he loses it. And it's lampshaded every time.
  • Not Quite Dead: Snakeweed. He appears to be killed when the Turtles trick the Kraang into electrocuting him, but his visible heart starts beating again when the Turtles leave.
  • Organic Technology: Dregg's mothership appears to be a living creature.
  • Origins Episode: There are some episodes devoted to revealing specific character's origin stories or details about their origins that weren’t established yet.
    • "Tale Of The Yokai" has the Turtles time-travel to the point in time where Hamato Yoshi fought Oroku Saki and discover why their fight happened in the first place as well as why Tang Shen was killed during the fire that took place during it.
    • "Tale of Tiger Claw" reveals how Tiger Claw became a tiger mutant and lost his tail.
    • "Lone Rat And Cubs" depicts Splinter looking after the Turtles when they were babies and explains why he gave them their specific weapons as well as why they all lived in the sewers.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: "Pizza Face" seems to end with the tired old All Just a Dream ending, with Mikey waking up in bed and everyone unharmed. However, as he goes back to sleep, Pizza Face (or what's left of him) pops out of a pizza box near the bed, confirming it was not.
  • Out-of-Context Eavesdropping: Averted. After being told by Splinter and the Leonardo that she is Splinter's daughter, not Shredder's, she thinks they are lying to her. However, at the end of The Manhattan Project, she eavesdrops on Splinter and the Turtles discussing this, leading her to question what is true and what is not.
  • Out of Focus: Besides her introduction in "Rise of the Turtles, Part 1", April doesn't start playing an active role in the show until "Metalhead".
    • Despite being two of the earliest mutants introduced, Snakeweed and Spider Bytez have practically disappeared from the show. It doesn't help that they're not affiliated with either the Foot or the Kraang, which means they don't get the obligatory cameos that most of the other bad guys get.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The mutated Parasite Wasp essentially does this. It stings Leo, who bites Raph, infecting him with the virus. They go after Donnie and Mikey, with Donnie even getting the surprise bite during a fight.
  • Over-the-Shoulder Carry: April is kidnapped like this in "Rise of the Turtles, Part 1".
  • Painful Transformation: As shown with several victims, the mutagen's transformation process is not a very pleasant experience. The Pulverizer even explicitly says it burns.
  • Papa Wolf: Kirby proves to be a Badass Normal when he holds off the Kraang in order to allow April and the Turtles to escape.
    • It's also a really, really bad idea to threaten the Turtles when Splinter's around. Leatherhead found this out the hard way.
  • Le Parkour: It shows up in the Turtles' Roof Hopping.
  • Personal Hate Before Common Goals: In the Annihilation Earth two-parter, the Earth is in danger of being destroyed due to the Triceratons deeming Earth "contaminated" due to the Kraang having set up a base there. The Turtles end up pulling an Enemy Mine with Shredder and his forces in other to save the planet, with Splinter convincing Shredder to do so for the sake of his daughter, Karai. But at a critical moment in the battle, Shredder stabs Splinter from behind and kills him, citing he doesn't even care if the Earth is destroyed long as he has the pleasure of personally killing his sworn foe. And indeed this action ends up dooming the Earth with the Turtles, April and Casey barely surviving thanks to the Fugitoid beaming them to his spaceship and setting in motion the space arc for next season to undo the damage.
  • Planet of Steves: The Kraangs all seem to go by just "Kraang".
  • Poke the Poodle: Somewhat fittingly, Donnie doesn't seem to understand what constitutes an effective insult.
    Donnie: And... oh! You don't keep your back straight during omote kote gyaku! [Beat] And you're ugly!
    • Donnie to a Kraang:
      Donnie: The one who is called your mother wears the boots that are made for combat! note 
  • Pop the Tires: Leonardo does this to Snake's van in "Rise of the Turtles, Part 1" by throwing a shuriken on a curve in midair from the rooftops to hit a speeding vehicle directly in its front tire.
  • The Power of Hate: Tiger Claw claims that only his hatred and desire for revenge against the Turtles, Splinter, and their human allies allowed him to survive his trek home after being swallowed alive by giant alien and then trapped in another dimension.
  • Powered Armor: Used by Baxter Stockman.
    • Anton Zeck's armor.
  • Pressure Point: Master Splinter uses this to calm down and discipline an overreacting Raphael. Later in the episode, Raph himself uses the technique to paralyze Slash.
  • The Promised Land: In "Raphael: Mutant Apocalypse". The Turtles, and many other factions, are searching for a promised land where water is in abundance. The third episode ends with the Turtles finding it.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: The Turtles do this when pleading to be let out of the sewers. And it's adorable. Mikey does this himself when trying to convince his brothers to bring Leatherhead back with them to the lair.
  • Put on a Bus: In "End Times", both Fishface and Tiger Claw exit the series and are never seen again. Fishface explains he's tired of the huge, supernatural hijinks the Foot has gotten up to and wants to return to a normal life of crime; Tiger Claw, meanwhile, doesn't even get a farewell scene, and Leatherhead offhandedly mentions he called a truce after the final death of the Shredder.
  • Raised by Rival: Karai, as she is not Shredder's daughter, but Splinter's. Years ago, when Karai (originally named Miwa) was a baby, Hamato Yoshi (Splinter) and Oroku Saki (Shredder) had a fight which led to their dojo being burned down, killing Yoshi's wife Tang Shen and trapping Yoshi inside, with a scorched Saki finding Miwa and deciding to raise her as his own child.
  • A Rare Sentence: Splinter tells Michelangelo that he made a wise decision, and then admits he never expected to say that.
  • Rearrange the Song: The 2012 series' theme song is a remix of the 1987 series' own.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Splinter is tough but fair, not to mention amazingly practical.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When Dr. Falco injects himself with the psychic-mind serum, his eyes turn bloodshot.
    • Several of the mutated villains follow this trope.
    • Averted with Splinter, who, as a rat, is supposed to have red eyes.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Raph and Leo clash in classic fashion.
  • Red Right Hand: The Shredder's severely burned face and blind right eye.
  • Red Shirt: Hysterically demonstrated in the Star Trek-expy show Space Heroes
  • Recurring Extra: The panicked cat owner who first appears in "New Friend, Old Enemy" appears again in "I Think His Name is Baxter Stockman" as the TCRI employee who recognizes Stockman on the news. He also makes a non-speaking cameo at the beginning of "The Gauntlet".
    • April has now scammed the same older Asian fishmonger twice with different, equally implausible stories about being a public official; she claims to be an undercover cop in "Never Say Xever", and a fire inspector in "Panic in the Sewers". The latter also serves as a Call-Back to the former, as the gentleman asked to see April's police badge ("Are you crazy? I can't carry a badge, that would blow my cover!"), so the next go around, she briefly flashes her "credentials" to avoid any questions (said credentials being her hilariously dorky high school student ID).
    • The Pizza Boy. Also, a blonde haired woman who the Turtles saved (along with the pizza boy) in "New Girl In Town" pops up now and again in a few later episodes.
    • The Turtles have run into a hobo several times sleeping, holding a sign that the world is ending, and bringing the squirreloids to the lair in his stomach.
  • Related in the Adaptation:
    • Karai is actually Hamato Miwa, Splinter's daughter from his marriage with Tang Shen and thus the Turtles' stepsister.
    • The Shredder was taken in by Splinter's father as a baby, making the two ninja masters adoptive brothers. By extension, this also makes him the Turtles' Evil Uncle.
  • The Remnant: 16 years before the start of the series, Shredder recreated the Foot Clan by converting most of the Hamato Clan to the Foot's ideologies. By the series' beginning, Splinter/Hamato Yoshi and the Turtles themselves are all that remain of the Hamato Clan.
  • Replacement Goldfish:
    • Subtle and (in-universe) unintentional. Hamato Yoshi lost his wife and daughter, moved to NYC, and bought four baby turtles for company. His encounter with the Kraang gives him four new young sons to take care of.
    • Played pretty much completely straight in "Monkey Brains" when Splinter asks April to train as a ninja because of her gift of empathy. Especially notable because afterwards it's obvious he's thinking of his lost daughter, Miwa.
    • And then in "Baxter's Gambit" when Splinter gives April the weapon he intended for Miwa to have.
  • Retool: Much like the previous two animated series, this adaptation was eventually retooled in the form of Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • The Reveal:
    • The Kraang were not actually after April's father, they were after her.
    • Karai is the long-lost daughter of Splinter, Hamato Miwa.
    • April is a half-Kraang mutant.
    • The fourth season reveals that the Kraang weren't always a Hive Mind that followed the orders of a single giant Kraang and spoke in strange inflections. They were actually all Utroms, but an Utrom scientist named Kraang ended up causing the Utroms to become what they are today.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Shredder's primary motivation in life is to kill Splinter and his turtle sons. He is perfectly willing to aid genocidal alien invaders in conquering the Earth, if it means they can help him exact his revenge. Take to extremes in "0" where [[spoiler:he murders Splinter and dooms the entire world just to get back at his rival.
  • Right Hand Dog: Shredder has a pet Akita named Hachiko who doesn't like failure. He was also indirectly responsible for turning Bradford into Dogpound.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Despite wielding advanced technology, the Kraang droids are easily beaten by traditional ninja weapons, coupled with a little creative thinking.
    • Averted with the Triceratons and most of the fourth season, as the advanced technology of space as well as the Proud Warrior Race Guy mentality of many races leads to the Turtles and their allies getting their butts kicked on a constant basis.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Splinter, of course, though especially noteworthy in this incarnation. Whilst he's almost always portrayed as one of the shortest characters, this version of Splinter is actually quite tall, even taller than the Turtles.
    • The mutant rats that The Rat King releases onto the city in "Of Rats And Men" also count.
  • Rogues Gallery: The Turtles' enemies typically fall into 3 categories. Aliens like the Kraang, Mutants of various types like The Rat King, or the Foot Ninjas led by The Shredder. Robots are sometimes used by these 3 groups, but aren't sentient. The only exception is of course Baxter Stockman who's not any of these per se, though he does work for the ninjas for a while. That is, until HE becomes a mutant fly and starts permanently working for the Foot.
  • Running Gag: Almost every time Leo is watching Space Heroes, the ensign will start panicking and then promptly be bitchslapped by the captain.
    • Often when Mikey names something, he'll start to explain the name only for Leo or Raph to interrupt with "We get it!"
      Mikey: We're no match for Spider Bytez!
      Leo: "Spider Bytez"?
      Mikey: Well, he's a spider, and he bites, so I thought—
      Leo: We get it!
      Mikey: Ooh! Let's call him Metalhead! Why, you ask? Because it's got a head and it's made of—
      Leo: We get it.
      Mikey: Dogpound was just too much for us.
      Leo: Dogpound?
      Mikey: Yeah, cuz he's a dog, and he pounded—
      Leo: We get it.
    • In "It Came From the Depths", there's a running gag of Donnie getting grabbed by the face (mostly by Leatherhead, but on one occasion by a disembodied Kraang arm).
    • This carries over well into Leatherhead's second appearances where it happens twice in short order and Donatello is painfully aware of and constantly lampshading it.
    • A rather dark and minor example, but it works nonetheless. In each of the Rat King's appearances, when reporters talk about the rat infestations, they get dog-piled by a group of rats. One rat looks up at the camera and the footage cuts out.
    • Some of Donatello's inventions and gear have signs or writing on them that can only be spotted with a pause button or a good eye. Typically, they tell Mikey not to put his hands on said gear.

    Tropes S-Z 
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • Donatello is presented with one of these scenarios in "The Pulverizer". He has to choose between saving Pulverizer's life or stealing back the Kraang's power cell.
    • Leo had to choose between summoning Splinter or letting Mikey get put in a furnace by Tiger Claw in "The Manhattan Project".
  • Sense Freak: Mikey gets into this when he has his first taste of pizza in "Rise of the Turtles, Part 1".
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: The Turtles manage to beat the powered-up Baxter Stockman by shoving Stock Beehive right into his armor's face slot, resulting in bees stinging him in the face, which makes him fall on his back. This allows Leonardo to stab the T-Pod, destroying Stockman's armor.
  • Series Continuity Error: In "Parasitica", the Turtles take a centrifuge from the Kraang. In "Mikey Gets Shellacne", Donnie states he needs a centrifuge to cure Mikey's retro mutagen shell acne. However, in the later episode, Donatello specifically says he needs a molecular centrifuge. Presumably some kind of Technobabble device. It might explain why they needed that particular centrifuge. The device used appears to be an ordinary centrifuge, though.
    • Dimension X is established, in its first appearance, to have a vastly timeframe than Earth. This is ignored in all later appearances (logically, the mutated humans should have been incredibly old by the time the Turtles got them out by "Battle For New York").
    • In "The Invasion", Kraang Prime mutates most of the humans in New York along with some animals. Some mutated humans can be seen in "Serpent Hunt". "Battle For New York" shows the Turtles turning the mutated humans in Dimension X back to normal, but the people and animals in New York weren't turned back, and its never mentioned at all.
    • The first season reveals that the Kraang are after April for their world domination plans. The second season presents them still interested in April only to conquer New York without her involvement in "The Invasion, Part 1" aside from showing "Irma" the Lair. Even more jarring, the third season presents a creature pretending to be April's long lost mom and plotting to capture her and hand her over to the Kraang.
    • Leo's new actor in the third season is Hand Waved as damage to his throat from his beating at Shredder's hands in "The Invasion, Part 2". Despite this, he retains Seth Green's voice in flashbacks in "Darkest Plight" and "Lone Rat And Cubs".
    • When Shredder is blasted by April's psychic powers in "Annihilation Earth!, Part 2", his helmet falls off and his face looks the way it did in "Tale Of The Yokai" when it was recently burned.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: At the end of the third season, the Earth gets invaded by Triceratons who use a Black Hole Generator to destroy the planet. At the last second the Turtles are saved by the Fugitoid, who takes them six months into the past to save Earth. He points out that this is the only chance they are going to get and won't be able to time travel again.
  • She's Not My Girlfriend:
    • In "Turtle Temper" Mikey teases Donatello for his not-so-subtle crush on April. Donnie responds with this remark.
    • Donnie says this again in "Monkey Brains", only this time it was Raph who did the teasing.
  • Ship Tease: Donnie and April. Later April and Casey as well.
    • Leo and Karai have a lot of moments that qualify as this trope.
  • Ship Sinking:
    • Although they seemed to be on their way to being an official couple (like most versions) this seems to have happened to the couple Casey and Abril, being that any interest on the part of Abril seems to have disappeared since the third season.
    • In the bad future, this seems to have happened with all the potential couples that involved the turtles, being that they are single and there is no implication that they have been married in the past. This may be because their love interests died, or could not be together due to different factors.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: After Pigeon Pete plays his part in "The Gauntlet", he almost abruptly disappears from the plot, as the episode shows the Turtles fail to save Kirby, fight Xever and Bradford, and then get beat up by the Shredder.
  • Show Within a Show:
  • Silence of Sadness: In "Owari", among the people who attend Splinter's funeral (the turtles, Shinigami, April, Casey, Dr. Cluckingsworth, Ice Cream Kitty, the Mighty Mutanimals, Chompy, and Kirby O' Neil), nobody talks once. They just stand there as April puts some flowers on Splinter's grave, watching somberly.
  • Smoke Out: Used to hilarious effect by Michelangelo.
  • The Smurfette Principle: In this adaptation, we have one hero girl (April) and one regular evil girl who later had a change of heart (Karai). Other than that, it's mostly men going at each other.
  • So Bad, It's Good: In-Universe, this is how Mikey views Chris Bradford's "2 Ruff Crew" cartoon.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
  • Spirit Advisor: Splinter astroprojects to meet the Turtles, his physical body having been driven to animalistic frenzy after being defeated by the Shredder. He guides his sons to the next level of their training before returning to New York. He does this again after having been Killed Off for Real, appearing exclusively to Leonardo to offer advice and guidance in his new role as head of the family. It's left ambiguous as to whether this is real or in Leo's head. Though Splinter is confirmed to have ghost.
  • Spoiler Opening: "New Friend, Old Enemy" introduces Chris Bradford & Xever Montes as Shredder's lieutenants, however they are conspicuously absent from the title sequence, which features a shot of Shredder standing in front of Dogpound & Fishface, No prizes for guessing what happens to Shredder's lieutenants.
  • Spoof Aesop: "The first rule of being a ninja is, 'Do no harm.' Unless you mean to do harm. Then do lots of harm".
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Steranko and Zeck have taken a considerable amount of screen time from Bradford and Xever once the former pair turn into Bebop and Rocksteady if the Foot Clan is the antagonist for the episode excluding "Casey Jones VS. The Underworld" and "Meet Mondo Gecko". The biggest example is "Attack of The Mega Shredder!", while they're not the main antagonist, they at least have some dialogue and screen time whereas Bradford and Xever's only scene is sleeping in Shredder's throne room when Leo and Mikey break in. In "Annihilation Earth!, Part 2", Bebop and Rocksteady were helpful fighting off the Triceratons via distraction and physical combat respectively while Bradford and Xever didn't really do anything.
  • Stable Time Loop: In "Tale Of The Yokai", the Turtles go back in time to when Hamato Yoshi fought Oroku Saki and Tang Shen was killed. They initially worry about altering history, but at the end of the episode realize that their actions in the past are why they exist in the first place.
  • Staircase Tumble:
    • A particularly funny one in "I Think His Name is Baxter Stockman". Leo insists to his brothers that, as ninja, they "move swiftly and silently"... and then proceeds to crash through a skylight, run into a beehive, and then loudly tumble down a fire escape to the streets below.
    • Later, in "Karai's Vendetta", April, after being on the receiving end of a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Karai, takes advantage of Karai's brief hesitation to toss her down the subway stairs and make her getaway.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Donnie can slip into this. First shown in "New Friend, Old Enemy", as he has a candid photo of April as his laptop wallpaper which he is eager to hide.
    • He slips into this again in "Metalhead" by using the titular robot's camera eyes to ogle April. Too bad he forgot to mute the speakers.
    • In "Monkey Brains" he makes a flow chart with every conceivable excuse or reason to hang out with April for any possibility. Every possibility.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: The Turtles are masters of this by default, but taken up to eleven when Donnie invents egg smoke bombs.
    • It's so good that even after getting Curb Stomped by the Shredder, they were able to escape from him when he was distracted for a few seconds, even without a smoke bomb.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Brought up when Snakeweed (originally just Snake) appears, and Mikey mentions how you'd think he would have Scaled Up, instead of becoming a Plant Person.
    Leonardo: It's Snake! He mutated into a... giant weed!
    Michelangelo: That's weird. You'd think he'd get mutated into a snake.
    Raphael: Yeah, you would. If you were an idiot!
    Michelangelo: But his name is Snake!
    Raphael: So?
    Michelangelo: You just don't understand science.
  • Steamrolled Smart Guy: Donatello favors scientific solutions to almost every problem and prefers to form a strategy before the Turtles face an enemy. Unfortunately, many of the Turtles' enemies are much more powerful than they are, and they have no choice but to engage in battle without being fully prepared. This makes Donatello prone to panic in the middle of a fight when it isn't going their way.
  • Stopped Dead in Their Tracks: The Turtles bicker over whose fault it was that they lost their first battle against the Kraang, resulting in the O'Neil family being kidnapped. Mikey, being last in line, says that maybe it wouldn't have happened if somebody didn't trust them to go up to the surface in the first place. This makes Splinter stop dead in his tracks, the camera cutting to his surprised face. However, he actually agrees with Mikey on this and says the Turtles should wait another year to try again (they don't, otherwise the rest of the show wouldn't have happened).
  • Storming the Castle: Done in "Rise of the Turtles, Part 2" in order to rescue April.
    • Then in "TCRI" the Turtles and Leatherhead attack the TCRI building — the Kraang's headquarters — to try and destroy the portal to Dimension X. Notably, they fail.
  • Stumbled Into the Plot: How the turtles find the Krang conspiracy - they happened to be nearby when they saw April get kidnapped.
  • Supreme Chef: Chef Murakami. Even being blind doesn't prevent him from cooking up "Pizza Gyoza" for the Turtles.
  • Surprise Incest: In a roundabout and extremely technical sort of way. Leonardo's crush on Karai became this when it was revealed that Karai is actually Hamato Miwa, Splinter's daughter.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: The Turtles keep beating up Foot Ninjas, resulting in them being hospitalized, arrested, or just flat out quiting...and Shredder eventually runs out of competent minions and is reduced to just grabbing whoever he can and throwing them at the heroes. Turns out competent minions with years of training aren't expendable and this forces Shredder to transition to Mecha-Mooks.
  • Swamp Monster: The Creep is a strange mashup of this concept and Jason Voorhees, essentially being Jason made of plant matter. He was created when a batch of mutagen ended up in a bog, bringing the vegetation there to life.
  • Tempting Fate: Everyone. Constantly. Despite numerous Lampshade Hangings the lesson never seems to stick.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Bradford and Montes, Shredder's star pupil and street contact, hate each other's guts, but are still perfectly capable of working together.
  • Theme Tune Rap: The body of the theme is this, coupled with the 1987 chorus.
  • There Are No Good Guys on the Internet: The plot of "New Friend, Old Enemy" revolves around Michelangelo going onto a social networking site to try & prove that the Turtles can befriend humans, only for the person he meets to secretly be one of the Shredder's lieutenants.
  • Toilet Humor: Generally rare, but instances include but are not limited to a random hobo farting as the Turtles first see the outside world, Spider Bytez' general sound effect when using webbing, and a dirty old toilet seat cover being used for the T-Sub's periscope.
  • Tongue-Out Insult: In the first episode when Donatello is eliminated from the training exercise and moves off to the side, Michelangelo briefly sticks his tongue out at him to annoy him.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • In "Turtle Temper", while the Turtles are trying to save Vic from the Kraang and are in the midst of pulling him to safety, he starts screaming about his phone and thus blows the Turtles' cover. Then, while the Turtles and the Kraang are fighting one another, Vic deliberately puts himself in the crossfire to retrieve his phone.
    • In "The Pulverizer Returns", the Pulverizer is perfectly willing to expose himself to mutagen despite being warned how dangerous it is. Particularly egregious since Donatello repeatedly tried to save him from being turned into a Mutant yet he still willingly subjected himself to it.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Mikey in Dimension X. Trapped alone, he quickly figures out the twisted logic of the place and becomes the most effective Turtle. The others even praise him for his skill in carrying the day.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After loads and loads of Character Development, Raphael. By season three, the amount of insults he dishes out has reduced phenomenally.
  • Tragic Monster: Poor, poor Slash and Leatherhead.
    • And as of now Pulverizer/Mutagen Man.
    • In "The Mutation Situation", April's dad mutates into a bat.
    • In a way, Karai. She finally finds an actual sense of family and accepts that she's Miwa, and is promptly mutated into a snake hybrid designed to kill her biological father. Though she's luckier than the others in that she seems to have an element of control.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Pizza, of course. Though this is not surprising as it's the first thing they've eaten that wasn't algae and worms. Unlike the 1987 series, the Turtles don't subsist completely on pizza; in "The Gauntlet", Michelangelo was going to make omelettes, and "Cockroach Terminator" shows them enjoying Ramen.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The preview commercial for "New Friend, Old Enemy" makes no attempt to hide that Chris Bradford works for the Shredder. They actually say it outright.
  • Transflormation: Raphael's stint as a plant in "Within The Woods".
  • Troll: Mikey, big time. Also, Splinter has far too much fun winding his sons up.
  • A Truce While We Gawk: There's an instance of this in "Turtle Temper" between the Turtles and the Kraang when Spider Bytez makes his debut.
  • Truer to the Text: While the show has a fair share of deviations, the 2012 TMNT series is still more faithful to both the comics and 1987 series than the Michael Bay movies and Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • Ultimate Universe: The 2012 series utilizes many characters and elements from the 1987 series, but tends to use aspects of many other continuities (such as the use of Composite Characters and a somewhat dark tone), and adds its own spins on occasion (case in point, the revamped origins of the Rat King and Mutagen Man).
  • Unfinished, Untested, Used Anyway: The Patrol Buggy.
    • And, at the end of the second season, the Turtle Mech.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Vic is a complete jerk to the Turtles even when they're trying to save him from the Kraang and it doesn't end well for him. Donnie even explicitly asks the others why they're bothering to try and save his ungrateful life.
  • The Unmasqued World: As the show progresses, knowledge of mutants and aliens becomes more public, so much so that Muckman is constantly hounded after by reporters and fans for interviews and a military division specialized to take on aliens (the Earth Protection Force) appears during the Kraang's second invasion of New York City.
  • Unusual Euphemism: In "The Pulverizer", Donatello uses "sewer apples" as a euphemism. This may also count as a Shout-Out to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and its use of "horse apples".
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: While the Turtles are generally pretty good about being stealthy when on the streets, there is a lot of stuff going on in New York City that really should raise more notice. Probably most blatant when the Shellraiser, a subway car converted into a monster truck that's as wide as a two lane street, is driving around in plain view of several pedestrians, and no one so much as takes a second glance.
  • Unwanted Assistance: The Turtles' basic reaction to anything "The Pulverizer"/Timothy does to try and be more like them or be useful to them.
  • Use Their Own Weapon Against Them:
    • "Target:April O'Neil": Michaelangelo destroys Chrome Dome with the latter's own Laser Blade.
    • "Slash And Destroy": Slash swats Donnie away with the latter's own staff.
    • "A Foot Too Big": Donnie defeats the Finger by throwing one of the hunter's explosive arrows into his quiver, setting off the other explosive arrows.
    • "The Pig And The Rhino": Bebop uses his invisibility technology to take Casey's hockey stick and knock him out with it.
    • "Casey Jones vs The Underworld": Casey is once again on the receiving end of this when Hun snatches his hockey stick from him and hits him with it.
    • "Clash of the Mutanimals": A brainwashed Dr. Rockwell uses his telekinesis to turn Donnie's staff against him.
  • Variable-Length Chain: Where does all that extra chain come from when Mikey's nunchucks convert into a kusarigama?
  • Verbal Tic: The Kraang really haven't grasped the concept of pronouns. Lampshaded by Kraang Sub-Prime, apparently the only Kraang to bother to learn the language.
  • Villain Team-Up:
    • Dogpound and Baxter in "Mousers Attack!". It ends with Stockman being forcibly drafted into the Foot.
    • In [[spoiler:"Showdown", Shredder and the Kraang form an alliance, with Shredder helping them capture April and then handing her over to the Kraang after using her to bait Splinter.
  • Violence Is Not an Option: Being one of the six great cosmic monsters of the universe, Tokka the Vorkathian Fire Tortoise is nigh-indestructible (like when she survived a supernova virtually unscathed). In "Tokka vs the World", Tokka travels to Earth, having followed the Turtles with the intent of retrieving her baby Chompy Picasso from them. General Griffen's first instinct is to use the technology loaned to the Earth Protection Force from the Utrom to force it to leave, but Bishop knows that none of it would work and it would only piss it off (which it does). It is not until the Turtles give Chompy back and showing that they were taking good care of him does she decide to leave in peace without him.
  • Was Too Hardon Him:
    • In the beginning of season t, when her father was accidentally mutated to a bat during a mission than finds out what happened, April losses it as she gets upset with the Turtles for her father's condition then walks out on them. However, a few episodes later, Donnie decided to visit April then tried to apologizes for what happen to her father but she coldly refused to hear him out. Although, April takes a second to listen Donnie say that some are just beyond anyone's control. Also, hearing how Casey ruined a friendship once in his life and saying the same thing Donnie said, April not only thinks about what they said but also realizes how wrong she was to be so hard on the Turtles, especially to Donnie. While being attacked by the Foot Clan, April sees that Donnie and Casey were right that everything can't be controlled than calls the Turtles for help. After being saved, April sees that the Turtles earned her forgiveness and apologizes to them for her poor treatment towards them.
    • In "The Croaking", after his brother and Casey scolded him for making a mess while watching his favorite T.V. show, Mikey felt unwanted as he decided to run away from home. While cleaning up Mikey's mess and hearing the boys back talking him about ditching, April was not only fed up about how the boys treated him but also explains to them his reasons for running away was because they were total jerks to him. Hearing April's words, the boys felt bad for treating Mikey poorly as they decided to find him in order to bring him home and make things right. After reuniting with everyone and seeing how really sorry the rest of the boys were, Mikey was convinced to forgive his brothers and Casey as he return home with them.
  • Weapon-Based Characterization: While Leonardo and Raphael have their familiar swords and sai respectively, Donatello uses a naginata instead of a bo-staff and Michelangelo uses a kusarigama instead of nun-chucks. Their action figures come with both of their respective weapons, with the classic weapons "loose" and the new weapons attached to the weapons rack with shuriken and other secondary weapons.
    • Their "new" weapons have been shown to be their "classic" weapons with retractable blades.
  • Weapon Twirling: Happens quite a bit, just watch the first 2 minutes of the first episode.
  • Weirdness Magnet: The O'Neil farm in the middle of nowhere in the third season, which draws so many horror tropes into the show it's practically a Genre Shift. And Donnie bringing mutagen there isn't even responsible for all of it.
  • We Used to Be Friends:
    • Hamato Yoshi/Splinter & Oroku Saki/the Shredder used to be close friends/adopted brothers.
    • From "The Mutation Situation" to "Target: April O'Neil" this was April's stance with the Turtles over her father's mutation until Casey tells her of an event that caused his own former best friend to adopt this outlook on Casey. This and the following attack on them made by Chrome Dome and Karai convinces April not to throw away her friendship with the Turtles.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "The Gauntlet": It starts out innocently enough with the Turtles investigating a mutant pigeon... then the Turtles plan to break out Mr. O'Neil from the compound he's being held only for them to make a Sadistic Choice and save themselves rather than free him. THEN they have to defuse a bomb that's going to cover the entire city in ooze while fighting Montes and Bradford (both of whom get mutated by the chemical in said bomb). If that wasn't bad enough they then get their first battle with the Shredder which ultimately ends with them all nearly getting killed and Splinter ending the episode by stating that the Shredder won't go away and his sons have officially gone to war.
    • "TCRI": The episode ends with the Kraang's portal re-activated, Leatherhead getting trapped on the other side fending off General Traag, and the revelation that the Kraang have actually been after April, not her father.
    • And now we have "Pulverizer Returns". It's almost doubly so because you don't expect an episode with one of the wacky characters to get this... bleak. Pulverizer, after joining the Foot clan begins to spy for the Turtles, and they learn that Shredder steals Mutagen to create a monster army... and the Pulverizer, or Timothy, attempt to get mutated so he can be a cool mutant. He succeeds... and becomes a blob monster with all his organs visible inside the gunk. The episode ends with Timothy trapped this way in a canister, and Donatello desperately promising to find a way to turn him back. And on top of this, The Shredder and the Kraang seem to be forming an alliance...
    • "The Mutation Situation" has Kirby mutate into a bat creature, April leaving the Turtles and Mutagen falling across much of New York, most likely to create new monsters and rogues for the Turtles to fight.
    • "The Kraang Conspiracy": Meeting with a journalist studying the Kraang, the Turtles learn that they've been on earth for thousands of years trying to terraform earth. However, the real whammy comes at the end when we learn April's telepathic powers are derived from that fact that she's actually a half Kraang half human mutant.
    • "The Manhattan Project" is a two part episode where Shredder returns from Japan with a new second in command: Tiger Claw. A deadly assassin strong enough to fight Splinter on roughly even terms. With Karai's help, they capture Splinter and almost kill him. However, the Turtles manage to save him partly due to the Kraang worms (which is where mutagen comes from) causing earthquakes in the city, and Leonardo finally tells Karai she's actually Splinter's daughter.
    • "Vengeance is Mine" -The history of the Hamato and Foot Clans feud is revealed and Karai gets mutated.
    • "The Invasion, Part 2" - The Turtles, along with April and Casey, must flee New York after the Kraang successfully pull off their invasion and destroy the lair. Irma turns out to be a Kraang spy and Leo is beaten almost to death by the Foot. Also, Kirby is mutated again, their other allies such as Murakami and Kurtzman are missing, and the Turtles think Splinter is lost, although he is seen being saved by Karai.
    • "Battle For New York": The Mighty Mutanimals help the Turtles save New York from the Kraang invasion.
    • "The Deadly Venom" and "The Fourfold Trap": Karai goes through a Heel–Face Revolving Door as she's brought back into the Foot in the former episode, and removed from the playing field in the latter.
    • "Tale Of The Yokai": The full backstory of Hamato Yoshi, Oroku Saki, and Tang Shen is revealed, revealing that the Turtles have always been destined to take part in their own origin and casting much of what Splinter has told his sons into serious question now that we see the events as they happened.
    • "Annihilation Earth!, Part 2": Shredder finally kills Splinter, preventing the heroes and villains from saving the Earth. Only the Turtles, April, and Casey escape Earth with Professor Honeycutt while the entire Earth and supporting cast are destroyed.
    • "The Ever-Burning Fire": Just as the Turtles are about to retrieve the final piece of the Black Hole generator, Lord Dregg steals it from them and delivers it to the Triceratons. Captain Mozar shoots Dregg out of the airlock where he's seemingly frozen alive, then personally calls Professor Honeycutt and lets him, the Turtles, Casey, and April know that the Black Hole generator is complete, and targeted for Earth.
    • "Requiem": Shredder attacks the Mighty Mutanimals, destroys their base, and nearly kills Karai. The Hamato Clan and Mighty Mutanimals retaliate and attack Shredder and the Foot Clan in two groups. Donnie and Mikey's group fight of most of Shredder's minions (and presumably kill Rahzar) only to discover it was all a diversion. Meanwhile, Shredder succeeds in killing Master Splinter for good before he falls in a trash compactor and is crushed to death by Casey. The Turtles retrieve Splinter's body and head home, seconds before it's revealed that Shredder's still alive.
  • Wham Line:
  • Wham Shot: Just as it looks like they're about to save the day by working together, Splinter suddenly stops in place. Two long, pointy blades slowly rise up from the bottom of the shot. The others turn around in horror to see Splinter impaled on Shredder's blades... which happens in time for the Triceraton's Black Hole Generator to go off, dooming the Earth.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Despite the fact Pigeon Pete sets up the plot of "The Gauntlet", he completely disappears from the narrative after the protagonists learn that Kirby says that something bad is about to happen and he subsequently tells them where to find Kirby. His disappearance likely has to do with the series' more dramatic side, but it is somewhat jarring. Like the mutated Doctor Rockwell, they presumably just released him into the city. Subverted, however, since both show back up in "Battle For New York, Part 1" as Slash's new teammates.
    • The Kraang effectively vanish after "Trans-Dimensional Turtles", their only appearance afterward being in the Flashback episode "Lone Rat And Cubs".
    • Pigeon Pete suffers one again towards the end of the series, when he abruptly disappears from the ranks of the Mighty Mutanimals. He makes a cameo at Splinter's funeral, but no explanation is given for his sudden disappearance.
  • What Have I Become?: Subverted. When Raphael and one of the Kraang switch bodies in Plan 10, the Kraang escapes outside then sees it's reflection in a mirror and says the line. It even starts raining.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: After Snake mutated into Snakeweed the Turtles had no qualms with potentially lethally electrocuting him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In "The Mutation Situation", April takes the fact that the Turtles unintentionally caused her father to be mutated very poorly. She winds up angrily telling them she doesn't want to see any of them again after that. It takes several episodes before she accepts it was an accident and reconcile.
  • What Does This Button Do?: Another annoying habit of Mikey.
    • Also Karai.
      Karai: (after being told by multiple people not to push a Big Red Button) Well, now I gotta.
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: In "It Came From the Depths".
    Splinter: Where is Michelangelo?
    Donatello: You don't think he went after Leatherhead, do you?
    Leonardo: (amused) Noooo, only an idiot would... (Beat) Oh, Boy...
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things: Mikey, who even admits it:
    Mikey: You know I can't be trusted with nice things!
  • Wingding Eyes
  • With Cat Like Tread: Metalhead.
  • Won't Take "Yes" for an Answer: Happens with Donnie and Splinter in "Metalhead".
  • The Worf Effect: It's established in the first episode that Raphael is the Turtles' strongest fighter, and he's usually the first to leap into a battle, so he naturally falls victim to this trope.
    • Leatherhead gets his pressure points hit and is quickly defeated by Shredder, but not before delivering a savage mauling to the villain.
    • Slash has always been the most powerful member of the Turtles/Mutanimals, but goes down instantly when he's beaten by a rampaging, confused Zog the Triceraton, as a clear indication of how powerful the Triceratons really are. Rockwell also calls him the most powerful being they've ever faced. Taken a step further in "Annihilation Earth!" when the Kraang are all quickly killed not long into the episode by the Triceratons.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Donnie tends to have his Bo staff destroyed in some way.
    • "Rise of the Turtles, Part 1": During training, Raph snaps it in two. Then uses the two halves to beat Donnie. Like a drum.
    • "I Think His Name is Baxter Stockman": Donnie snaps out the naginata blade. Stockman-Pod immediately crushes it with a robo-claw. It's perfectly intact in it's sheath during the Chase Scene though.
    • "Metalhead": The entire episode is dedicated to trying to resolve this very issue. Lampshaded several times, specifically by Mikey ("Dude, your weapon just exploded!") and Raph ("Oh look, another stick for Donnie to break.") The Kraang blast it apart... twice. And who knows if it survived it's "improvement" at the end of the episode. Of course, being broken doesn't stop Donnie from using it to impale an otherwise unstoppable robot...with a little help from a steel beam.
    • "The Gauntlet": Donnie’s Bo-Staff is cut in half when used against Shredder's armor.
    • "Panic in the Sewers": The Turtles aren't the only ones that Shredder annihilates in Splinter's nightmare.
    • Surprisingly averted for Donnie in "TCRI": It is Leo's sword that breaks on impact with the living rock giant Traag. Donnie just gets impact reverb all the way to his face.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Pulverizer's belief that the Foot are good guys since they fight the Kraang.
    • Raph does the same thing when he meets Zog and believes he is an ally since the Kraang are his enemies.
  • Xenomorph Xerox: The Squirrelanoids are a pack of mutants that spawned when a squirrel discovered a spilt canister of mutagen. The squirrel found a homeless man and forced itself into the bum's stomach where it divided into two squirrels (a process similar to the chestburster), one of which repeated the process with Raphael. They later underwent a transformation, becoming more monstrous mutants similar in appearance to the Xenomorph, including an elongated, translucent head, a second mouth hidden within its first one and a skeleton-esq exoskeleton.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: April definitely suffered this via having her dad mutate into a bat approximately one month after being reunited with him. Poor Kirby gets mutated again just as he provides the Clan with a vehicle to escape the Kraang invasion in.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: With April being targeted by both the Shredder and the Kraang, Splinter and the Turtles decide that she has to stay in the sewers with them for her own safety, at least until the crisis is resolved. The Kraang destroy the lair in "The Invasion", and the Turtles grab a few sentimental items, equipment, and Ice Cream Kitty before leaving it for the first half of the third season. This is played on a planetary scale with them at the end of that season.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: The Turtles try so hard, but end up failing to stop the first part of several plans (mainly by the Kraang).
    • While the Turtles go out after the Foot stealing Kraang Tech, they can't stop Baxter Stockman from creating new legs for Fishface.
    • The Kraang are able to summon the Technodrome to earth successfully, but fail to mutate the planet in time.
    • Tiger Claw's first appearance has him succeed in capturing Splinter as he promised. Unfortunately, this ends up ending in failure due to Shredder toying with Splinter for just a little too long.
    • The Kraang's second invasion is massively successful, even forcing the Turtles to flee New York for some time.
  • Youthful Freckles: Michelangelo and April have these.
  • Younger and Hipper
    • Instead of being an adult in her 20's, April O’Neal in this adaptation is a teenager who is around the same age as the Turtles themselves.
    • Splinter himself is younger than he was in most versions. Probably because he was a man around thirty-something rather than an adult rat at the time of his transformation and thus ages more like a human.
    • Just like April, Casey Jones, Karai, Renet, and Irma have been aged down into their teens.
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Raph's word-for-word reaction in "Cockroach Terminator" when the Spy-roach comes back for more... AGAIN.
  • Your Mom: In "Metalhead".
    Donatello: Hey, Kraang! The one who is called your mother wears the boots that are made for combat!
    Metalhead!Kraang: The comment that is made by you shows ignorance of Kraang. The ones known by you as mother—
    Donatello: Just come get me!
    • Rocksteady has a similar joke used on him in the fourth season.
  • Zerg Rush: The preferred tactic of the Kraang and the Mousers.


April O'Neil

While at first half-asleep when Leo meets her at her window, April immediately perks up when he says he met a girl, excited to hear about it... until he tells her that she's in the Foot Clan.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / GossipyHens

Media sources: