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  • What is the proper way to spell Mich(a)elangelo's name?
    • Michelangelo. The Turtles are named after Italian Renaissance Artists, and Mikey was named after Michelangelo Buonarroti. Michaelangelo is however a common spelling error.
      • Though he was named after the artist, "Michaelangelo" was the canonical spelling for the turtle for a long time. Apparently they started using the "Michelangelo" spelling regularly in 2001.
      • It was only spelled like that until Eastman and Laird did their research


  • The Turtles are shown driving various tricked-out vehicles, but never draw the attention of the NYPD? Come to think of it, aren't they breaking the code of conduct for Lawful Good (or Chaotic Good for Mikey and Raph) by driving without a license? Yeah, MST3K Mantra, but it's just something I wondered about.
    • So they're not Chaotic or Lawful Good; that would be a good thing. Why should they obey the laws of a completely different species and a nation they are not registered citizens of?
    • What cop wants to put the smack down on the weirdos in green costumes who keep saving the city?
    • What's funny is in the 80's cartoon, no one's ever on the street when the turtles are speeding in the Turtle Mobile. You don't have to be from New York to realize that makes no sense.
      • But it sure saves a hell of a lot on the animation budget!
    • Remember, alignments aren't rigid codes that force you to act a certain way. While driving without a license may very well be unethical on some level, depending on interpretation, they may either feel that the benefit outweighs the law at the moment (save the world or spend the last day on earth getting your license) or they may indeed feel poorly about it and simply accept that they need to doing a bad thing. And, just because you're one alignment most of the time, does not mean you are that all the time. And it is not out of the realm of possibility that someone may disagree with a law and disobey in a lawful manner.
      • Hm. I must have missed the episode where the Turtles explained they became DnD style Paladins and had to adhere to a strict Lawful Good code in order to keep their ninja abilities.
        Oh, that's right, I forgot that Character Alignment only applies at all in settings that explicitly use it, and not every fictional character in the history of cartoons has to adhere to some arbitrary two-word summary of said alignment.
    • Besides all that, they're ninjas. Historically speaking, ninjas were the Chaotic to the samurai's Lawful. Which actually gets brought up in at least one episode of the 2003 series, when few samurai in Usagi's world trust Leonardo until he's proven himself both honorable and a ninja.


  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, upon falling into a swamp, Donatello remarks: "I think I swallowed a frog. I hope it wasn't my ancestor." Now why would a frog be the ancestor of a turtle, and why would the "brains" of the quartet say something like that? AVGN included this in his top ten most nauseating quotes of the movie.
    • This Troper thought Donnie was being sarcastic in that scene...
    • And this Troper wonders when people stopped being able to recognize an in-character joke.
    • This troper thinks he said "I hope it wasn't an ancestor." Meaning the frog he may have swallowed was supposed to mate.
      • What
      • Or he believes in reincarnation and ancestor worship.
        • Or, as was previously stated, it was humor shot at the kiddies for a cheap chuckle/the gross-out factor.
  • What possible purpose could it serve for the giant anthropomorphic turtles to wear tiny domino masks?
    • To tell them apart of course.
      • I doubt it, in the comics, ALL the turtles wear red masks. I'm going to say that its just a uniform thing.
    • Rule of Cool.
    • Because they have to wear something, otherwise they would be naked. We can't have that, now can we?
      • Hey, they wear belts and elbow/knee pads. Let's not throw out wild and uniformed accusations.
      • Because ninjas wear masks.
      • Because they sweat (canon from the original comic series - Donatello and April are trying to stop the mousers and Donnie is sweating up a storm; also canon per the original Fred Wolf cartoon in various instances) but lack hair that humans have, such as eyebrows and eyelashes. Keeping sweat and dirt out of the eyes is part of why we have fur on our faces. Lacking that, the "domino masks" do an effective job of keeping sweat and face oils out of their eyes. Hey, what ARE "domino masks, anyway?
  • Why does the NES game's second level have such a reputation for being hard? I beat it on my second try. Without losing any turtles. Am I just really good at video games, or what?
    • The timer has something to do with it - people panic more when the clock is ticking. Some people are just more cool under pressure.
    • Alot of people who played this didn't think to switch turtles when one of them got too injured.
    • And the game only gets harder after this stage.
  • I remember in my Misspent Youth hearing of the original TMNT comic and pretty much dismissing it, viewing the title as in-your-face punk perversion, etc. I saw the movie, and it was okay, nothing special. Of course, as time progresses, my own views evolve, and I forget a lot of what I thought earlier. (Sometimes going stuff I'd written years earlier, I'm reminded of ideas I'd had...) But here are two things that bugged me about the show.
    • According to the backstory, they were originally turtles, and their elderly mentor was originally a rat. They were exposed to radioactive toxic waste, and mutated into their current forms. Um, if the action of chemicals and radiation on the turtle body is huge enough to turn a small turtle into a huge talking ninja turtle, it would simply scramble the body all up, not transform it into a new giant complex machine or system. The metaphor of a tornado in a junkyard assembling a 747 (totally inaccurate for Darwinism and evolution) applies here.
    • I'd expect two effects of mutations. First, the DNA molecule might change (just a little bit) in a reproductive cell, and the mutation go into the next offspring of the creature. Second, the control system in a cell might be damaged. Cells reproduce, and sometimes have to reproduce rapidly to build or fix an organ. The reproduction has to be controlled strongly, to build the working organ. If the cell reproduces rapidly and uncontrolled (or even if the control is somewhat altered) we get a growth of flesh, not a working organ. Of course, this leads to cancers, tumors, etc.
    • Magic Genetics is a really common trope in superhero origin stories. TMNT is no worse than Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, Daredevil, the X-Men or hundreds of others.
    • My second gripe: "Teenaged" eh? The main article proclaims the title as Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Wait a minute. Were/are they really over 13yo? Or did they mutate into some turtle approximation stereotype of teenagers?
      • In the comics (and most of the adaptations of them) the turtles have been living in the sewers for at least fifteen years since the time of their exposure to the mutagen, making them solidly qualify as Teenagers. As far as the old fred Wolf cartoon, I got nothing, but that's far from the only thing about the series they screwed up.
        • The Fred Wolf series never really says how long they've been living down in the sewers when first meeting April. They do say in the first episode that it's the first time they're interacting with a human, but that they know all about humans because they watch a lot of TV. (April is not convinced.) This, combined with the fact that they must have trained for a long time to get as good at fighting as they are even in this show, would imply that they have in fact lived in the sewers for several years -- so it's perfectly conceivable that they are actual teenagers there too.
          • In fact, the only continuity in which the "teenage" part is very clearly a blatant lie is the new IDW comic written by Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz, where the Turtles and Splinter are very clearly mentioned to only have been in their mutated state for fifteen months. No saying how old they were before they mutated, but they don't look that old, making them two or three years old at the most. Possibly in this case the "teenage" part refers to that they're physically teenagers, not chronologically.
  • Considering Leatherhead and Baxter Stockman have been in every Ninja turtles series, why haven't they been playable in any of the TMNT fighting games?
    • In most of his incarnations, Baxter Stockman is either a relatively weak human, or a cyborg that would be difficult to balance properly, the only form really fitting for a playable character would be his Human Fly form from the 80s cartoon. Leatherhead would work well though.
  • I assume he taught the Turtles, but how the hell did Splinter learn to read?
    • Before he mutated he was already extremely intelligent, having learned martial arts from his owner. Who knows what else he may have learned?
      • He learned martial arts by watching his owner, though its probable that he taught himself to read upon mutation.
        • Of course, in the 80s cartoon, he was human prior to mutation, not a rat. He was Yoshi himself instead of Yoshi's pet.
  • How do the turtles always have money to buy pizza when none of them have jobs?
    • People drop stuff. And flush stuff. Also they may occasionally beat up muggers and deliver Laser-Guided Karma by stealing their wallets.
  • How come Raphael is the only turtle with a New York accent?
    • 'Cause he's just that tough.
    • Leonardo tries to emulate Splinter's manner of speaking because he's a Daddy's Boy, Mikey is more influenced by TV and deliberately tries for the Surfer Dude lingo, and Donatello's trying to avoid having an accent because he wants to sound intelligent. Raphael don't give no fucks, he talks like he wanna talk.
  • Where in all shell did Master Splinter get his hands on swords and sais? Give him some wood, bicycle chain, and enough time and I can see him making a bo staff and nunchaku, but it'd be awfully hard to forge decent blades in a sewer...
    • Bicycle chain would be terrible for nunchaku! But to address the underlying issue, the implication is that the New York sublevels of TMNT are a treasure trove of discarded items. A couple of quality katana does seem like a bit of a stretch, sais are slightly more plausible (it's just a glorified pitchfork), in any event it's a comic/cartoon. But even in real life there's certainly lots of loose change to be found (to answer the money question above). Collecting pennies in a sewer sounds like a solid Miyagi-style training exercise.
    • All that stuff, plus it's New York City, which is in a constant state of both growth and urban decay. At some point some store specializing in authentic Japanese weaponry may have hit hard times and the owner just walked away from it. If Splinter had been watching the store from below, wishing he could have the weapons in it, he may have decided that since it was all likely to be thrown out or seized by the IRS or whatnot, there was no real harm in appropriating some weaponry for his students first. That's the family-friendly WMG for it, anyway. The likely explanation for the original: They stole them from somewhere because they're masterless ninjas and weren't focused on being morally upstanding heroes, stealing some weapons would not be that big of a deal for them. The likely explanation for the G1 cartoon: They're ninjas so they have ninja weapons. Probably Donny made them because he's good at making stuff. And that's all the logic it needed.
  • In Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze Shredder in a moment of desperation decides to drink the ooze and mutate. How did his armor mutate?
    • The thing that you have to understand about the second movie is that it's basically a live action cartoon. The Shredder's armor mutated because that's what would have happened in the cartoon, so that they could make another action figure (which is the same reason they did it in the movie). The first movie was probably a little grimdark for what the studio really wanted for the franchise, the second and third ones are full of much more cartoon-like goofy moments and humor. Buuuuuuut if you want a real explanation: the mutagen Shredder was using was one of the batches that Stockman had been fiddling with. It was either capable of causing some sort of replication and mutation even in inorganic matter, or it mutated Shredder so severely that his body assimilated his armor and then made stuff that looked like it. So really, all that extra armor you see is his bones just taking on a metallic sheen.
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