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Cartoon Bloopers

INTRODUCTION | WHAT QUALIFIES AS A BLOOPER? | SUBMISSIONS |  CATEGORIES | EPISODES


"All things in life are subject to examination, my young friends."


Introduction

I'm a big fan of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series, and I've analyzed it with nearly the same compulsive-obsessive zeal as my other favorite cartoon show, The Transformers.  Now, when I first started watching Ninja Turtles, I didn't really look at it too closely.  It was a fun show and I enjoyed watching it.  I taped each episode and edited the commercials in real-time.  (This means that I pressed "pause" on the VCR and hoped that it looked good during playback.)  Naturally, I watched each episode more than once, but after a while, something interesting happened.  When I've gotten to know a series this well, I sometimes tend to look beyond the plot points and sight gags.  My eyes may catch a glimpse of something out of place in the background, or I may detect an unusual sound in the dialogue tracks that I'd never noticed before.  How is it possible that I can see an episode ten times before I notice the most glaring, obvious mistakes that have ever snuck their way into television?  These sorts of discoveries are fun to make, and they're even more fun to share with other fans.

If you regard Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with an only casual interest, and right about now you're asking yourself why somebody would erect entire web pages dedicated to picking apart a silly cartoon show, well, I suggest you hit the "back" button on your broswer right now.  This sort of thing probably just isn't for you.  My target audience is intended to be the obsessive fans who know their favorite episodes by heart; fans who can rattle off the names of the voice actors of every major character and most of the one-shot characters (and which ones never got action figures); fans who enjoy analyzing the episodes to death and discovering all sorts of trivial minutae about the cartoon.  It is the mark of the forgiving fan who can celebrate what the creators did wrong in addition to all the delightful things they did right.

What Qualifies as a Blooper?

I use the term "blooper" as sort of a catch-all for mistakes, discrepancies, and anything else that seems not-quite-right.  I admit that this is a pretty broad definition and it may seem pretty arbitrary.  Obviously, this includes genuine mistakes; i.e., stuff that the writers or animators or voice actors didn't actually intend to happen.  I think that's where a lot of people draw the line, but I take it a little bit further.  If something happens in the show and it contradicts another episode, I consider it a blooper.  If a character behaves or speaks in a manner that's significantly inconsistent with their portrayal up to that point, I call it a blooper.  If something happens that completely defies my sense of logic, internal to the inherent physics-defying properties of any animated program, it's still a blooper.

What I definitely don't consider mistakes:

  •  Elements of the show that are internally consistant but directly contradict the comic books, the movies, or other TMNT television series.  While these may be facets of the same license, they all take place in different universes, each with a similar-but-different continuity.  (I may occasionally make references to them as points of interest, particularly concerning the Playmates Toys action figures.  I'm particularly fond of the character biographies on the toy packaging since they're pretty much the only official source for the ages, heights, weights, etc. of these characters.)

  • Stylistic decisions made deliberately for the sake of humor.  Basically, this means that if the characters do something that doesn't make sense, I'll make note of it.  If they do something that doesn't make sense because it's supposed to be funny, however, that's another matter entirely.  A lot of silly things happen in the cartoon that simply aren't meant to be taken seriously, and I afford them a great deal of slack.

You're well within your rights to disagree, of course.  Sometimes people get upset at me for compiling these huge lists of mistakes, and ask me why I can't just sit back and enjoy the show without picking it apart.  I can understand this tendency, since it's only natural for people to get defensive when they perceive me as attacking a TV show that they happen to like and enjoy.  I think you have to understand where I'm coming from, though.  I'm not saying "this is a bad show because they made all these mistakes," but rather something along the lines of, "While this is a good show, I still found some mistakes, and some of them are really funny."  You're more than welcome to critique my work, if you feel so inclined.  I think that it's possible, given enough time and creativity, to rationalize away just about any blooper that I've listed so that it's not "really" a mistake.  That doesn't mean I'm going to agree with you, though.  It's quite possible that the notion has occurred to me and I've already dismissed it.  Also, I'm not particularly inclined to spend lots of time defending and justifying the bloopers I've documented.  It just isn't a lot of fun for me.

The only blooper I am consistently ignoring is the spelling of Michaelangelo's name.  While it's true that his name is not spelled the same as his Rennaissance artist namesake Michelangelo Buonarroti, the Ninja Turtle's name was always spelled by Mirage Studios and Playmates Toys with the extra "e," so it's  a misspelling that's nonetheless official.  (They have since corrected the misspelling for the newer 2003 toy line and TV series.)

Incidentally, I will occasionally add a comment about the episode that may not be a blooper in the strictest sense.  I will usually label these comments as observations, not true bloopers.  For those of you who may be concerned that I'm artificially inflating the total blooper count for that episode, rest assured that I do not tally these up when arriving at a final count.

Submissions

If you find a mistake in an episode of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, please feel free to e-mail me and tell me about it.  I make it a practice of crediting the first person to acknowledge a mistake that I haven't already found.  (I am also notoriously slow in responding to e-mails, so forgive me if I don't acknolwedge you right away.  Rest assured that I keep a file of every blooper submission along with the name of the person to be credited.  Please specify whether you'd like me to credit you by your real name or online screen name.)  It's entirely possible that I may disagree with you on whether what you've found is actually a blooper, but I appreciate every submission sent to me.  Along the same lines, if you think I'm completely off the mark and want to challenge one of the bloopers I've already documented, contact me and I'll consider your point of view.  I may even add your counter-argument to the site if I feel that your position is valid.

At this time, I have no plans to document bloopers from any of the TMNT comic books or the other television series like The Next Mutation or the 4Kids! Entertainment animated series.  I might get around to doing the live-action movies, though, so submissions for them are welcome, too.

Categories

All the bloopers are listed chronologically and are broken down into several basic categories:

  • Plot Oversights.  Any mistake having to do with the storyline or information given in a character's dialogue.  Generally speaking, if the blooper was caused by the person writing the episode, it goes here.

  • Dialogue and Sound Effects.  Any mistakes arising from the soundtrack of the episode, whether they be poor editing of music and dialogue, sound effects that don't belong, the background music, or problems relating to the character voices or the voice actors.

  • Animation and Continuity.  Anything having to do with the visual aspects of the episode, up to and including the title cards, matte paintings, characters being drawn or colored incorrectly, or cels being animated incorrectly.

  • Breaking the Fourth Wall.  These aren't mistakes, but I thought it would be fun to tally up all the many instances in which the characters from the show address the audience or make references to the fact that they're in a cartoon show.  Blatant instances of "cartoon physics" go here, too.

  • Pop Culture References.  Again, these aren't bloopers, but I also wanted to document the scenes from episodes that make references to other television series, films, or other popular media.

For each episode review, I've also included a brief synopsis to refresh your memory, trivia questions specific to each episode, and other assorted comments about elements from the episode that I found to be interesting, pertinent, or just plain weird.  I've also included a small handful of relevant screen shots from each episode or related images, which are cross-referenced with the appropriate blooper entries.  You can either click the (Camera Icon) icon to see the picture, or click on the image to go to that blooper entry.

Episode Chronology


Animation studios are frequently at work on several episodes at any given time, and the production numbers assigned to each episode don't always correspond to the dates that the episodes first aired. Furthermore, sometimes the internal chronology of the show (which events took place in which order) don't always agree with the production order or the order in which the episodes first aired.  What this means is that there are at least three different ways of organizing the episodes: by production order, by airdate order, or by chronological order.  (There's also the order in which the episodes appear on the DVD sets, which sometimes corresponds with none of these!)  I've been a fan of the show since the beginning and I remember seeing the episodes as they aired for the first time.  This does not agree with the chronological time line of the episodes, nor does it correspond with the production numbers listed on the official site.  My list corresponds with the order in which the episodes were originally presented on television.  (The number in parenthesis after the episode titles below is the current total number of bloopers found in that episode.
)


Episodes

Season One (1987-88)

 1.  "Turtle Tracks" (37)
 2.  "Enter the Shredder" (28)
 3.  "A Thing About Rats" (30)
 4.  "Hot Rodding Teenagers from Dimension X" (36)
 5.  "Shredded & Splintered" (28)

Season Two (1988)

 6.  "Return of the Shredder" (32)
 7.  "The Incredible Shrinking Turtles" (24)
 8.  "It Came from Beneath the Sewers" (32)
 9.  "The Mean Machines" (31)
10. "Curse of the Evil Eye" (34)
11.  "The Case of the Killer Pizzas"  (41)
12.  "Enter: the Fly"  (46)
13.  "Invasion of the Punk Frogs"  (34)
17.  "The Catwoman from Channel Six" (44)
18.  "Return of the Technodrome" (40)
15.  "New York's Shiniest" (41)
14.  "Splinter No More" (47)
16.  "Teenagers from Dimension X" (54)

Season Three (1989-90)

19.  "Beneath These Streets"
21.  "Sky Turtles"
25.  "Turtles on Trial"
26.  "Attack of the 50 Foot Irma"
27.  "The Maltese Hamster"
22.  "Cowabunga Shredhead"
28.  "The Fifth Turtle"
30.  "The Ninja Sword of Nowhere"
36.  "20,000 Leaks Under the City"
35.  "Burne's Blues"
39.  "Super Bebop and Mighty Rocksteady"
33.  "Enter the Rat King"
24.  "The Old Switcheroo"
41.  "Attack of Big MACC"
29.  "Camera Bugged"
50.  "The Four Musketurtles"
34.  "Turtles at the Earth's Core"
37.  "Beware the Lotus"
32.  "Take Me to Your Leader"
40.  "Blast from the Past"
45.  "Casey Jones: Outlaw Hero"
47.  "Turtles, Turtles Everywhere"
38.  "Leatherhead Terror of the Swamp"
53.  "Corporate Raiders from Dimension X"
51.  "Usagi Yojimbo"
23.  "Invasion of the Turtle Snatchers"
44.  "Mutagen Monster"
52.  "Shredderville"
42.  "The Turtle Terminator"
56.  "Case of the Hot Kimono"
48.  "Return of the Fly"
58.  "Bye Bye, Fly"
49.  "The Making of Metalhead"
55.  "Leatherhead Meets the Rat King"
20.  "April Fooled"
31.  "Green With Jealousy"
54.  "Usagi Come Home"
62.  "Mister Ogg Goes to Town"
61.  "The Great Boldini"
46.  "Michaelangelo's Birthday"
57.  "Pizza by the Shred"
63.  "The Big Rip Off"
64.  "The Big Break In"
65.  "The Big Blow Out"
43.  "The Grybyx"
59.  "The Gang's All Here"
60.  "The Missing Map"

Season Four (1990)

96.  "The Dimension X Story"
109. "Donatello's Degree"
97.  "Son of Return of the Fly II"
111. "Raphael Knocks 'Em Dead"
103.  "Bebop and Rocksteady Conquer the Universe"
110.  "Raphael Meets His Match"
104.  "Slash, the Evil Turtle from Dimension X"
113. "Leonardo Lightens Up"
102.  "Were Rats from Channel 6"
114. "Funny, They Shrunk Michaelangelo"
98.  "The Big Zipp Attack"
112. "Donatello Makes Time"
99.  "Farewell, Lotus Blossom"
105. "Rebel Without a Fin"
101. "Rhino-Man"
115. "Michaelangelo Meets Bugman"
106. "Poor Little Rich Turtle"
117. "What's Michaelangelo Good For?"
100. "The Big Cufflink Caper!"
116. "Leonardo Versus Tempestra"
121. "Splinter Vanishes"
120. "Raphael Drives 'Em Wild"
118. "Beyond the Donatello Nebula"
108. "The Big Bug Blunder"
107. "The Foot Soldiers are Revolting"
119. "Unidentified Flying Leonardo"
66.  "Plan Six From Outer Space"
80.  "Turtles of the Jungle"
81.  "Michaelangelo Toys Around"
82.  "Peking Turtle"
83.  "Shredder's Mom"
84.  "Four Turtles and a Baby"
85.  "Turtlemaniac"
86.  "Planet of the Turtles"
87.  "Name That Toon"
88.  "Menace Maestro, Please"
91.  "Rondo in New York"
92.  "Superhero for a Day"
93.  "Back to the Egg"

Season Five (1991)

94. "Planet of the Turtleoids" part 1
95. "Planet of the Turtleoids" part 2

89.  "The Turtles and the Hare"
90.  "Once Upon a Time Machine"
124. "My Brother, the Bad Guy"
127. "Michaelangelo Meets Mondo Gecko"
125. "Enter: Mutagen Man"
122. "Donatello's Badd Time"
128. "Michaelangelo Meets Bugman Again"
130. "Muckman Messes Up"
126. "Napoleon Bonafrog: Colossus of the Swamps"
133. "Raphael Versus the Volcano"
123. "Donatello's Duplicate"
131. "The Ice Creature Cometh"
129. "Leonardo Cuts Loose"
135. "Pirate Radio"
134. "Raphael, Turtle of a Thousand Faces"
137. "Leonardo, the Rennaissance Turtle"
132. "Zach and the Alien Invaders"
138. "Welcome Back, Polarisoids"
139. "Michaelangelo, the Sacred Turtle"

Season Six (1992)

140. "Rock Around the Block"
153. "Leonardo is Missing"
141. "Krangenstein Lives!"
145. "Return of the Turtleoid"
142. "Super Irma"
147. "Too Hot to Handle"
146. "Shreeka's Revenge"
150. "Donatello Trashes Slash"
144. "Sword of Yurikawa"
148. "Nightmare in the Lair"
143. "Adventures in Turtle-Sitting"
149. "Phantom of the Sewers"
155. "Snakes Alive!"
152. "Polly Wanna Pizza"
154. "Mr. Nice Guy"
151. "Sleuth on the Loose"

Season Seven (1993)

67.  "Tower of Power"
68.  "Rust Never Sleeps"
69.  "A Real Snow Job"
70.  "Venice on the Half Shell"
71.  "Artless"
75. "Ring of Fire"
73. "The Irish Jig is Up"
74. "Shredder's New Sword"
72. "The Lost Queen of Atlantis"
76. "Turtles on the Orient Express"
77. "April Gets in Dutch"
78. "Northern Lights Out"
79. "Elementary, My Dear Turtle"

159. "Night of the Dark Turtle"
157. "The Starchild"
158. "The Legend of Koji"
160. "White Belt, Black Heart"
156. "Convicts from Dimension X"
163. "Night of the Rogues"
161. "Attack of the Neutrinos"
162. "Escape from the Planet of the Turtleoids"
164. "Revenge of the Fly"
167. "Atlantis Awakes"
165. "Dirk Savage: Mutant Hunter!"
168. "Invasion of the Krangazoids"
166. "Combat Land"
169. "Shredder Triumphant!"

Season Eight (1994)

170.  "Get Shredder!"
171.  "Wrath of the Rat King"
173.  "State of Shock"
174.  "Cry H.A.V.O.C.!"
175.  "H.A.V.O.C. in the Streets"
176.  "Enter: Krakus"
172.  "Cyber-Turtles"
177.  "Turtle Trek"

Season Nine (1995)

178.  "The Unknown Ninja"
179.  "Dregg of the Earth"
180.  "The Wrath of Medusa"
181.  "The New Mutation"
182.  "The Showdown"
183.  "Split-Second"
184.  "Carter, the Enforcer"
185.  "Doomquest"

Season Ten (1996)

186.  "The Return of Dregg"
187.  "The Beginning of the End"
188.  "The Power of Three"
189.  "A Turtle in Time"
190.  "Turtles to the Second Power"
191.  "Mobster from Dimension X"
192.  "The Day the Earth Disappeared"
193.  "Divide and Conquer"

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