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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TV Series 2003–2010) Poster

Trivia

The character "Miyamoto Usagi" who appears in several episodes (e.g in "The Big Brawl" or "The Real World") is a character created and owned by Stan Sakai, a friend of Peter Laird. There have been several crossovers in the comic world and Usagi was published by Fantagraphics Books and Mirage Comics and is currently published by Dark Horse Comics. The comic book is published under the title "Usagi Yojimbo".
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Storylines of various episodes are actually borrowed and taken from the original comic books, making the new cartoon more like one of the original comic book storyline.
According to the voice actors in interviews they were told to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) the movie for inspiration as to how to create the voices of the Turtles, Splinter, and The Shredder.
The warehouse where the turtles' van is stored is located on the corner of Eastman and Laird. 'Kevin Eastman' and 'Peter Laird' are the creators of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The two policemen who appear every few episodes (one is thin with long brown hair and a mustache, the other with gray hair) are designed after TMNT creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.
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In 2001, Mirage Studios pitched an idea to Warner Bros. for a new TMNT cartoon series that would have either aired on Kids WB! or Cartoon Network. Beyond the concept art stage, Warner Bros. passed on the show. However, Fox took it up a few years and it evolved into this series.
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The Turtles primary source of transportation was a souped up armored car called the Battle Shell. It's made by Donatello out of an armored car that was confiscated from the Purple Dragons during their first adventure. The Battle Shell also has a motor bike stored inside of it for Raphael.
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The four Turtles are named after artists of the Italian Renaissance: Donatello Bardi (1386-1466), 'Leonardo Da Vinci' (1452-1519), Michelangelo Buonaroti (1475-1564), and Raffaelo Santi (1483-1520). The names of Michaelangelo and Raphael as Turtles have been Anglicised.
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The show was recorded where it takes place, New York City.
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Co-creator Peter Laird had significant amount of input on this show and worked with Lloyd Goldfine and the production team to make this series as close of an adaptation of the original Mirage comics as possible.
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Instead of having each episode as a separate self-contained story, each episode connects to build a larger growing storyline that evolves throughout the course of the season.
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The original comics were more explicit with the turtles having blood splattering fights, saying cuss words and occasionally drinking alcohol. For this series, the use of cuss words is substituted with shell puns (I. E. "Let's kick some shell").
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The design of the turtles largely reflects the way they were drawn in the Mirage comics, being agile, muscular, and having an edge.
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One of the things co-creator Peter Laird was happy about was that the Turtles had the classic comic style eyes, which were just white slits behind the bandanas.
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The Purple Dragon street gang has a much larger role in this series than in the comics where they just appeared in the first issue. Their appearance in this series, lead them to appear again 25 years later in 2009 in Tales of the TMNT #56 where they were led by man named Hunter Mason (the true identity of Hun).
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For the first time outside of the comics, Casey Jones says his battle cry, "Goongala!". In fact, the series expands on the origin of the battle cry.
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A running joke in this series is that every time Baxter Stockman fails the Shredder, he shreds a body part from Baxter. Peter Laird was a never a big fan of the "butcher Baxter" approach, but thought it has served its purpose.
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This is the first animated series to feature the Triceratons in more than just one episode. The series also really explores Triceraton culture than any previous version.
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The decision to make the Shredder an Utrom was something that came up in initial discussions for the show. The creative team thought it was a great way to connect the backstory of the Shredder even more with the backstory of the Turtles, as well as give the Turtles a foe who could seriously be beat on within the constraints of a Saturday morning TV show.
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Karai makes her animated debut in this series. In her original comic incarnation, Karai was completely unrelated to the Shredder, not his adopted daughter, and was actually higher in the Foot Clan's global hierarchy.
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Savanti Romero and Renet make their first appearance outside of the Mirage comics in this series. Savanti Romero is actually the most reoccurring antagonist in the Mirage comics.
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This series' graphic look features a lot of black shadows to give the show an edgier and darker look.
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In addition to different bandana colors, the Turtles each have a different skin color to better match their Playmates action figure counterparts.
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The series depicts the Turtles with belts and elbow and knee pads in classic comic style brown.(Unlike the old series where they had initialized belt buckles and colored elbow and knee pads). This is also the first series to feature a shoulder strap to store Katana blades on Leonardo's belt.
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In this series Baxter Stockman is African American just like he was in the original Mirage comics.
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This is the first cartoon to feature Casey Jones as a regular character. While he was always a regular character in the Mirage comics, he was just an occasional guest in the original cartoon.
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This version of Casey Jones is heavily based on the original Mirage comics. However, in this show Casey is finally given a real backstory for his vigilante motives. His father's shop was burned down by Hun and a gang of neighborhood thugs (killing his father in the process, viewers are led to believe) and from that day forward he vowed to rid his city of all gang members & otherwise bad/evil men. This origin would later be adapted into Mirage canon in Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol. 2 in the mid to late 2000's.
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In this series, the Shredder's costume is full metallic exoskeleton armor with spikes.
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Turtle Titan, Michelangelo's occasional super hero identity, uses a grappling hook. This is a reference to the original toon which had Michelangelo use a grappling hook as his main weapon throughout most of that show.
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Some elements prominently featured in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993) are adapted in this series. In Secret Origins, the Turtles travel back in time to Feudal Japan and battle a Feudal Shredder. Also the idea for the characters the Ultimate Ninja and the Supreme Daimyo are loosely inspired by Kenshin and Norinaga.
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This series portrays Leatherhead as a friend and ally to the Turtles yet prone to rage, similar to his portrayal in the original Mirage comics. They even used the original comic origin where Leatherhead was originally an exotic pet who got flushed down to the sewer, somehow ending up in an Utrom base and exposed to mutagen.
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The Evil Turtlebot from the 2003 Konami video game was featured in the episode, "What, a Croc?", but with a slightly different look than his video game and action figure counter parts. The Foot Gunner from the same game was featured in "Rogue in the House".
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This is the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series to feature supporting characters from Usagi Yojimbo (such as Gennosuke Murakami, Tomoe Ame, Lord Noriyuki, Chizu, and Lord Hebi) to appear alongside Miyamoto Usagi.
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Starting in Season 4, Leonardo had a chunk of his shell chipped off near his upper left shoulder. It was a literal version him having a chip on his shoulder following the events of the the previous season's finale. Starting from the Fast Foward season, this injury was removed and never seen again
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In this series, the mutagen works much like in the Mirage Comics, where it causes explicit growth, both physically and intellectually. This allowed Splinter to be depicted as a mutated rat. (Unlike the original series, where Splinter was a man who transformed into a anthromorphic rat)
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The "Planet Racers" from Episode 72 (Across the Universe) are in fact from the comic book with the same name, written by Peter Laird and penciled by Jim Lawson (who did and does draw the TMNT comic books as well).
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Efforts for to get a new Ninja Turtles series on the air began in 2001, the same year Mirage Studio brought back the comics with Volume 4.
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In this series, Splinter has gray fur and a brownish orange kimono in contrast to the comics where he had brown fur and a white kimono.
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The Foot Soldiers on this series are an army of human ninjas just like they were in the original comics.
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In this series, April has a career background in Science being a former Lab assistant to Baxter Stockman as well as running her Antique store "Second Time Around". After Stockman tries to kill her, April keeps the job as an antique dealer as her livelihood.
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Though this series is closer to the Mirage comics, April O'Neil has red hair, a staple for the character since the original cartoon, instead of being a brunette like in the original Mirage comics.
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Hun was a character created specifically for this series as Shredder's main henchman and leader of the Purple Dragons. Originally Hun was supposed to be of Hispanic decent, but it was decided to make him of Slavic decent. His popularity later led him to adapted into later comic book and other TMNT productions as well.
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The design of the Foot Tech Ninja is based on the design of the Foot Ninja from the 2001 TMNT CGI pilot by Rainbow Studios.
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This is the first animated series to feature the Utroms, a race of aliens that are responsible for creating and losing the Ooze which mutated the Turtles and Splinter.
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This series features the animated debut of the Fugitoid, fulfilling a dream for co-creator Peter Laird's since the Fugitoid is one of his favorite characters.
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Agent Bishop, who becomes the Turtles' main antagonist after The Shredder, was a character originally created for this series.
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In Season 3, Raphael's voice actor had his credit changed from Frank Frankson to John Campbell.
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Nobody, a mysterious crime fighting vigilante in a dark costume, is a character from the original Mirage comics and makes his debut outside of the comics in this series.
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Beginning in Season 4, the intro was updated to reflect the changes that happened in the show and included a lyric that describe each of the four turtles.
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Following the Season 3 finale, Hun gets a new look with a coat and fully retakes the role of leading the Purple Dragons. This was to reflect that the discovery of the Shredder's identity as an Utrom caused Hun to leave the Foot for good.
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The logo for this show is similar to their logo for the original series except the colors on the "Teenage Mutant Ninja" part are red letters on a black background and the "Turtles" part is in a stylized edgier font.
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A comic book, based on this series was issued by Dreamwave Productions in 2003. The first four stories are based on episodes of the TV series, but told from the view of supporting characters. Afterwards, saw the creation of the creation of new original stories, just as the original issues of TMNT Adventures followed the 1987 TV series before developing new stories. However, as with many of Dreamwave's licensed comics, it was abruptly canceled by the struggling comic company.
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Techno Cosmic Research Institute (T.C.R.I.), the scientific corporation/organization, is used first time outside the comics. When the company was adapted for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991) the name was changed to Techno Global Research Industries (T.G.R.I) and didn't feature the Utroms.
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In this series, the Utroms are shown to have an extremely long life that allows them to survive the centuries virtually unchanged.
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Chuck Patton stepped down as director at the end of Season 2. Roy Burdine took over starting in Season 3 and remained director until the end of the series.
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Dr. Chaplin is a character created for the show and features a character design that's very similar to the human Baxter Stockman from the original series.
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The Silver Sentury is an iconic super hero that flies, has unique vision properties, and is super strong. He was created for this series by the creative staff as a superhero character for Michelangelo to relate to in his desire to be a superhero.
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The Super Heroes that the Turtles team up with in this series are called the Justice Force and are from the early issues of the Mirage comics.
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The Battle Nexus originated in this series and allowed more characters such characters to be introduced to the Turtles such as Drako, Dajin, and Miyamoto Usagi.
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Klunk, Michelangelo's pet cat, is used for the first time outside of the Mirage comics.
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A few of the episodes in Season 4 first aired out of order on 4Kids TV causing a few problems continuity wise as characters referenced events that have not aired yet.
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The Rat King made his debut in Season 4. This version was much closer to his Mirage counterpart, but was given a backstory tied to Agent Bishop and Splinter as well as not being killed at the end of his appearance.
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When Karai took over as Shredder, was supposed to have an armor with a longer and more feminine looking signature Shredder claw that pops- out and crackles with a blue electricity and staff blades that popping from her feet. Peter Laird opposed this "super gizmofied" armor and preferred a sleek and deadly suit of bladed armor, like the original.
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The episode "Insane in the Membrane" was never aired in the United States in the shows' original run because it was deemed not suitable for young audiences. The episode was released in the United States on DVD and wasn't seen on TV until August 2nd 2015 when Nicktoons Network aired reruns of the show.
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In this series, the original Shredder is actually an evil entity that absorbs into Oroku Saki, the fifth and best of the original warriors. That means that the Utrom Shredder, the main antagonist of the series, actually took the name Shredder and Oroku Saki's legacy from the Tengu Shredder.
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When the turtles are shown as turtle toddlers, they don't wear elbow and knee pads and wear the same kind of head covering mask as they did in the mirage comics. However, the turtle toddlers do have pupils similar to their original toon counterparts.
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The Nanobots used to create the Nanotech Monster are loosely inspired by the surgery Nanobots used to save April's life in the Volume 4 comics.
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During Season 3, the Fox's cartoon block that carried to show was changed from the Fox Box to 4KidsTV.
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In 2004 Cartoon Network began airing repeats on their Miguzi afternoon block. In fact, a few episodes from Season 3 actually debut on Muguzi before airing on the 4Kids TV Saturday morning block.
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Raphael's motorcycle is inspired by Kaneda's bike in the movie Akira (1988). In fact, a scene in the intro where Raphael stops his motorcycle is inspired by a scene in Akira.
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In an effort to boast toy sales, Season 4 began having the Turtles wear or carry extra equipment or costumes resembling all of the toy variants.
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Raptarr, a fairly new character in the Mirage comics, makes his animated debut. He is also one of the few characters on the show to never receive an action figure.
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In this series, Karai takes over the mantle of The Shredder. This is adapted from the Image comics where Karai took over as the Lady Shredder.
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The Ancient One is a short obese old ninjitsu master who taught Hamato Yoshi and Yukio Mashimi ninjitsu. He was created specifically for this series. Ironically the Ninja Tribunal refers to him as "Young One".
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In Season 4, it was revealed that Agent Bishop is actually hundreds of years old and survives by cloning new bodies for himself to survive in. His mission in life is to defend the Earth from alien attack and create an army of super soldiers to do it.
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During Season 4, Agent Bishop got an alternate look with weaponized battle armor and a black coat.
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The Minnetonka Mutant was actually created by a fan who won a contest to get his character made as an action figure and featured on the show.
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The episode "Tale of Master Yoshi" is supposed to be a special 100th episode for the series. However, since FOX choose not to air "Insane in the Membrane" on TV during the 2005-2006 TV season, "Adventures in Turtlesitting" was the 100th episode aired and "Tale of Master Yoshi", though still episode #100, became only the 99th episode aired on TV.
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This is the first animated series to feature Tang Shen, the love interest of Hamato Yoshi.
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Yukio Mashimi, a childhood friend and eventual rival of Hamato Yoshi was included in the "Tale of Master Yoshi" to effectively take the place of Oroku Nagi, the brother of Oroku Saki/The Shredder in the Mirage comics, as the jealous suitor for Tang Shen.
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The Battle Nexus and The Shredder's armored costume were carried over to the Mirage comics. The armored Shredder costume in the comics was adapted for a Battle Nexus combatant named Oroku Yoshi.
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After Season 4, there were no more Mirage comic stories that were adapted into episodes.
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Around when Season 4 started production, Playmates toys wanted to go in a different direction to attract a younger audience and sell more toys. As a result Season 5 was pushed back alienating the audience who had been following the story arc the show was presenting and the audience didn't get a proper follow up to the Season 4 finale until nearly two years later.
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"The Ninja Tribunal" story arc (Season 4 finale and the entire 5th Season) involved 4 warriors of the Ninja Tribunal appointing 8 acolyte warriors the assist then in the battle against the evil Tengu Shredder including: The 4 Ninja Turtles and 4 other warriors: Joi Reynard, Adam McKay, Faraji Ngala, and Tora Yoshida. All 8 acolyte warriors were given amulets that allowed them to tap into their chi. The amulets start glowing when used and puts stripes with their bandanna color on the turtles bodies.
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The Ninja Tribunal wear color coordinated battle armor that has a look commonly associated with The Shredder. The Tribunal consists of: Kon Shisho (Teal), Chikara Shisho (Green), Juto Shisho (Blue), and Hisomi Shisho (Orange).
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In the 5th Season it was revealed the Foot Clan's symbol was given to the Five Dragons (Kon Shisho, Chikara Shisho, Juto Shisho, Hisomi Shisho, and Oroku Saki) as the mark of the dragon after their apparent defeat of the Shredder Tengu. However, the fifth warrior, Oroku Saki, was possessed by the Shredder. Oroku Saki actually took the symbol and flipped it to make it the symbol of the Foot Clan.
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Season 5 was supposed to be 13 episodes long. However, an episode that featured a story that had Hun and the Garbageman as Siamese twins that were separated at birth. The reason this story was scrapped is because the Network thought it was too dark for a children's television show.
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In Season 5, the Justice Force would resurface with a brand new roster during the Ninja Tribunal story arc (in "Blast from the Past"), the only original comic book members still in the group were the robot Metal Head and Ananda, the rest of the new team consisted of Nobody, Raptarr, Michelangelo and Raphael (calling themselves Turtle Titan and Green Mantle while members of the JF) and a few other characters who have thus far only appeared in the animated series and video games and not the comics. The original Justice Force now retired much like in the original comic also appeared in this episode, with the exception of Captain Deadbolt.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In Season 4, Donatello creates a new Battle Shell that looks like a moving van after the original was destroyed by the Foot Clan. The sign on the van says (Tortuga Bros Moving...Since 1984) Tortuga is Spanish for Turtle and 1984 is a reference to the year the first issue of Mirage Studios TMNT was published.
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After Karai/The Shredder destroys the turtles' lair, they take refuge in an abandoned pumping station for a reservoir which they make the new lair. Which is why the intro sequence was changed again mid-Season 4 to reflect the new changes (a new lair, new Battle Shell and a new Shredder).
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As it was revealed in the Season 3 finale, Ch'rell was an evil planet dominating conqueror who went by various identities to many planets in the universe. The Tengu Shredder was introduced in Season 5 to show why the regular Shredder (Ch'rell) took the identity to conquer the Earth.
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It was revealed that the Foot Mystic Ninjas are actually minions of the original Tengu Shredder.
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During the Ninja Tribunal story arc, the Turtles and the other 4 acolytes are given new weapons that allow them to strike their enemies mystically and physically. However, Leonardo is not appointed a weapon and is given the sword used by Faraji. Leo honors Faraji and gives the sword back to its rightful owner in the Season 5 finale.
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In "Past and Present" it is revealed that the Ancient One gave the turtles their bandannas as reward for saving him and the Ninja Tribunal from an evil entity.
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At the end of the 5th Season, the Ancient One is offered a spot on the Ninja Tribunal.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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