The heroes in half-shells have been nerd culture staples for more than three decades. Of course that means that viewers have been able to craft all sorts of brilliant fan theories about the Ninja Turtles. The subterranean superheroes already have a convoluted backstory, so it’s not much of a stretch to add some more weirdness to the TMNT universe.
The cast of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is as diverse as it is interesting. The titular heroes and the memorable villains have all inspired TMNT enthusiasts to theorize, speculate, and just plain daydream about the many possible storylines lurking in the shadows.
There are a few fan theories about the cinematic side of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The first film, which came out in 1990, ends with evil villain Shredder's surprisingly brutal demise. Splinter makes the bad guy fall into a garbage truck, and Casey Jones turns on the compactor. While Shredder does return in later sequels, Redditor Elranzer speculates that, originally, the movie was supposed to be a one time thing. Shredder was meant to die. Even though the villain met a rather finite end, the film was too financially successful to abandon after only one flick.
One of the most frequent complaints about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze is that the Ninja Turtles barely use their iconic weapons. Instead they rely on hand-to-hand combat. Perhaps parents had complained about the violence of the first film, but Redditor Deven247 believes there's another reason for the lack of weaponry. The user claims that the Turtles advance in their ninja-training to become less reliant on tools. Furthermore, the Turtles move on from fighting the deadly Foot Clan to fighting everyday criminals. They no longer require fatal force.
This one isn’t so much a theory as an intentional Easter egg by original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. Initially, the Turtles were meant to parody the ‘80s’ hottest comics. Frank Miller’s Daredevil was the most obvious source of inspiration. Eastman and Laird make the connection between the two franchises explicit by suggesting that the chemical ooze that blinds and powers Matt Murdock is the same ooze that flows into the sewers, infecting the turtles. Eastman and Laird obviously couldn't use Matt Murdock's name for legal reasons, but the implication was clear to most readers.
Writer Tom Reimann has a few theories on why Bebop and Rocksteady have such odd names. Bebop and Rocksteady are two types of relatively obscure music genres, and only someone with an appreciation for relatively obscure music would be familiar with the forms. Reimann suggests that evil villain Shredder named his henchman Bebop and Rocksteady in homage to his own eclectic tastes. It’s hard to picture Shredder even bobbing his head to a beat and enjoying himself, but it is possible.