During the late ‘80s and early ‘90s the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon was huge. Kids worldwide loved the show and tuned in each week to watch their pizza-munching heroes fight crime in New York City.
If you were a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon then you probably watched your fair share of episodes – there were certainly plenty to choose from. In total, the show ran for a whopping ten seasons, and clocked up a mammoth 193 episodes during its run.
But if you were only into the Turtles during the peak years of Turtlemania then your memory of the show probably consists of just a handful of episodes. How many? I reckon seven.
Whether you’re a fully fledged fan or a fair weather friend, I believe these are the seven episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which pretty much everyone remembers.
The Case of the Killer Pizzas (Season Two – Episode Six)
Let’s begin with arguably the most famous episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – The Case of the Killer Pizzas. This episode saw the awesome foursome cross paths with some yellow-skinned aliens from Dimension X.
The reason everyone remembers this episode is because of the aliens, who bore a striking resemblance to the Xenomorphs from the Alien movie series. It’s also possible this one sticks in the mind, because those same yellow aliens also featured in Turtles in Time – a hugely popular arcade and console game.
Enter: The Fly (Season Two – Episode Seven)
Next up is another very memorable episode, this time focusing on Baxter Stockman. You will remember this one because a.) the story referenced the Fly movies (iconic horror films in their own right), and b.) it’s a ruddy awesome episode!
Up until this point in the series, Baxter Stockman had been a fairly dull character, but thanks to an unfortunate incident with a disintegration unit, he got a new lease of life. This new lease of life turned him into a man-fly and created a cracking episode which remains a fan-favourite story to this day.
Invasion of the Punk Frogs (Season Two – Episode Eight)
In this episode, the Turtles’ arch enemies, Shredder and Krang inadvertently create four mutant frogs: Atilla the Frog, Genghis Frog, Rasputin the Mad Frog, and Napoleon Bonafrog. The frogs are initially depicted as enemies of the Turtles before becoming their friends.
Invasion of the Punk Frogs is a story many remember because it was the first time the Turtles were pitted against rivals of equal number and ability (sorry, Bebop & Rocksteady). It was also a heap of fun, with the Punk Frogs standing out as popular characters… despite limited appearances in the series.
New York’s Shiniest (Season Two – Episode Ten)
In New York’s Shiniest, the Turtles meet REX-1 – a prototype robotic law enforcement officer. REX-1 is one of the good guys, but during the course of the episode he provides the template for an army of evil robots, controlled by Shredder.
You may not recall everything about this episode, but the sight of REX-1 is sure to stir up some memories.
The Catwoman from Channel Six (Season Two – Episode Twelve)
In The Catwoman from Channel Six, April O’Neil is transformed into a humanoid cat – an unfortunate incident involving a matter transporter. At first April merely resembles a cat, but the longer she remains in this state, the more she takes on cat-like characteristics.
This episode was not only a popular one, it also inspired an action figure in the TMNT toy line. The figure could transform from regular April into a catwoman April, offering hours of endless fun. Probably.
Attack of the 50ft Irma (Season Three – Episode Eight)
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon loved a good spoof, and in this episode the spoof came via a reworking of the 1958 movie, Attack of the 50ft Woman. In the TMNT version of the story, Channel 6 secretary, Irma is zapped by a malfunctioning ray and subsequently grows in size, becoming a giant.
Most people recall this episode because it places Irma firmly in the spotlight. Plus, it’s pretty hard to forget a 50ft Irma!
The Fifth Turtle (Season Three – Episode Ten)
And finally, The Fifth Turtle – an episode which most people recall, even if it is hidden in the back of their memory banks.
In this story, a teenage boy called Zach dons a Turtle costume and becomes the group’s honorary fifth member. He might not look like a Turtle, but he demonstrates to the audience that anyone can be a Turtle if they act heroic!
Eagle-eyed fans will notice that all seven episodes come from the show’s second and third seasons. I believe this is when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles really connected with a worldwide audience and when the show was introducing some truly memorable moments.
It’s also worth noting that many of the episodes listed above also received VHS releases. So, some of these episodes will have been watched again, and again, and again… and again.
Should you want to delve further into the old school era of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you might like to know that all three ’90s TMNT movies are available on Blu-ray, as part of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Blu-ray collection.
The set – which is available from Amazon US – contains Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991) and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993).
Thank you for taking the time to read this post about the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon on It’s A Stampede!. For more Turtle-related content, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.
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