• Pop Culture

15 Things You (Somehow) Never Really Knew About The Ninja Turtles

For most kids that grew up in the '90s, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were a Saturday morning touchstone that informed the way they spoke, the food they ate, and their thoughts on ninjas in general. But there are a lot of Ninja Turtles behind-the-scenes facts that true fans may find very frustrating, and maybe even a little disheartening. Some of the surprising Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles facts are interesting pieces of lore that go back to when the turtles were first created in a cramped apartment in Massachusetts. Below, you'll find out which kitchen utensil Shredder was based on - and it’s not the one you think it is.

In the early days of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s now-iconic comic book, Ninja Turtles Easter eggs were all over the place, and most of them made very on-the-nose references to some of their favorite comic book artists and characters. This compendium of TMNT facts will take you on a journey from page to screen and include the thoughts of the creators of the series, as well as fill you in on what the turtles were up to in the comics while you were at home eating pizza and shouting “Cowabunga!” If you like your Ninja Turtles trivia to be nice, nice, baby, then you’re going to love reading about these Ninja Turtle facts.

  • They Lived In A Dystopian Society

    One of the most interesting parts of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures is their crisscrossing timelines and their constant hopping to the dystopian future that seems to wait for them no matter what they try to do to stop it.

    Their first taste of the future comes in "The Future Shark Trilogy," a storyline that sees the current timeline Turtles helping future Raphael and future Donatello fight a time-displaced Shredder, a super shark, and some robots. In this timeline we find that Raph has lost an eye, Splinter has passed away, and there's been a falling out within the group. Dark times indeed. 

  • Michelangelo Went Blind

    To quote Michelangelo, "Bummer." After visiting their dystopian future, going to outer space, and doing some other things that are kind of ridiculous, the gang has to stop Armageddon (long story), and while they inevitably triumph, Mikey is caught in an explosion and temporarily blinded.

    If that's not bad enough, he's later captured by the Coast Guard and locked in a cage for about five issues until his brothers pick him up. 

  • The Foot Soldiers Were Turned Into Robots To Sell Toys

    When Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird agreed to turn their successful comic book into a line of toys, they also had to agree to make a softer, more kid-friendly cartoon. One of the concessions they had to make was that the members of the Foot Clan would no longer be humans - they were turned into robots in order to keep parents from complaining about the severity of their kids' Saturday morning cartoons.

    Shouldn't they have been worried about their kids wanting to turn into robots so they could serve a giant brain sitting in the belly of a large baby man?

  • Michelangelo's Name Was Misspelled For A While

    Depending on how well-versed you are in Renaissance art, you may have noticed that the most party-hardy Ninja Turtle's name was spelled incorrectly as "Michaelangelo." Or at least it was for the formative years of the comic book and some of the animated series.

    There's no direct timeline for the spelling change, but it was probably brought to Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's attention by an art school student.