• Total Nerd

Before The Cartoons, The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Used To Just Straight-Up Murder People

You will not find pizza parties or exploding "Cowabunga!" word bubbles in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic. Instead, the Turtles' early adventures are loaded with swearing and extreme violence.

The first appearance of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came in 1983 when a mutated rat sent his adopted mutant turtles on a vengeful killing rampage to take down the Shredder, who they successfully slew before moving on to bigger and badder foes.

These days, the Heroes in a Half Shell are ubiquitous - as are a slew of TMNT ripoffs - but younger fans may be surprised to learn the crew's dark origins. While the concept has always been a little goofy, the hilarious jokes and good-natured comradery are newer additions to the franchise. 

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  • There Are No Shouts Of 'Cowabunga' And 'Radical,' But There Is Swearing

    Video: YouTube

    Since the comic book Turtles are hardened killers, it should come as no surprise they don't restrict themselves to Captain America-approved language. While the crew never drops any F-bombs, milder swear words are totally common.

    This seeped into the first live-action Ninja Turtles movie that premiered before toy companies started scrubbing away anything remotely offensive. In one scene, Raphael is pursuing a bad guy who eventually gets away, and in his frustration, he unleashes a primal scream of foul language.

  • The Mousers Are Bloodthirsty Robots That Eat Rats

    You may remember the Mousers from the various TMNT video games - they're the easily dealt-with minions of more powerful foes. But in the comics, they're nothing short of terrifying.

    The mad scientist Baxter Stockman creates these bipedal robots. When they first appear, one viciously devours a rat. The poor creature looks terrified just before its bloody remains dribble down the Mouser's metallic jaws.

  • Raphael Is Prone To Blackouts In Which He Attacks His Brothers

    In an early one-shot about Raphael, it's clear he isn't just a sardonic, cantankerous bad boy - he's mentally unhinged. After some intense ninja training, Raph inexplicably loses his mind and goes after Michelangelo with a wrench. There's not much of an explanation for his outburst, and not even Raph is sure what happened.

    Raphael actually blacked out during the incident, so there's an underlying fear he might snap at any moment and kill one of his brothers. In modern depictions, he may be moody, but it usually amounts to normal teen angst. In the comics, he's a danger to everyone around him.

  • April O'Neil Isn't A Real Person

    Donatello faces a terrifying creature in an early one-shot focused on the bo-staff-wielding Turtle. This monster is more horrific than anything seen in the TMNT universe since the Turtles were rebranded to be kid-friendly.

    The creature is drawn to life by a character named Kirby King who makes his creations real through the use of warp crystals. This is how April O'Neil comes to life. This means O'Neil isn't truly human in the original series - she's a sentient drawing.

    She also isn't white, yet she's been whitewashed in every depiction of her since the rebranding.