WHAT QUALIFIES AS A BLOOPER? |
CATEGORIES | EPISODES
"All things in life are subject to examination,
my young friends."
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.
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.
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.
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
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
icon to see the picture, or click on the image to go to that blooper
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.)
Season One (1987-88)
2. "Enter the Shredder"
3. "A Thing About
Rodding Teenagers from Dimension X" (36)
& Splintered" (28)
Season Two (1988)
"Return of the
Incredible Shrinking Turtles" (24)
Came from Beneath the Sewers" (32)
9. "The Mean Machines"
10. "Curse of the Evil Eye"
11. "The Case of
the Killer Pizzas" (41)
12. "Enter: the Fly"
13. "Invasion of
the Punk Frogs" (34)
17. "The Catwoman
from Channel Six" (44)
18. "Return of the
15. "New York's Shiniest"
14. "Splinter No More"
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"
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"
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"
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"
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"
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"
184. "Carter, the Enforcer"
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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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles created by
Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird
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©1987-1996 Muraki-Wolf Swenson
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