Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles copycats were common throughout the '90s. No surprise, since Ninja Turtles remains one of the most famous cartoons/franchises of all time. It's spawned comic books, movies, video games, four different animated series, a live-action series, and more toys than you can shake a stick at. So it's no wonder the premise has been ripped off more times than the fat guy/hot wife sitcom formula.This list presents some of the most ridiculous and obvious Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles knockoffs to ever grace TV screens and toy shelves. These are the animated shows that blatantly aped TMNT in cash-grabbing attempts to capture the imaginations of children and the wallets of their parents.
Here's an original idea: a team of four totally rad skateboarding, roller-skating mutants take on the forces of evil on the city streets. Sound familiar? That's because it's the premise for Street Sharks. From 1994-1997, Ripster, Jab, Streex, and Big Slammu extreme sports-ed their way into America's heart taking on the evil Dr. Piranoid.They even had their own toy line, Don't believe it? Just ask a young Vin Diesel. No, seriously, click that link. You won't regret it.
Throttle, Modo, and Vinnie are three anthropomorphic alien mice with a penchant for motorcycles who crash-land on Earth in the city of Chicago. Biker Mice from Mars went three seasons, wrapping up in 1996, and unlike the rest of the chumps on this list, actually received an inexplicable reboot in 2006. No slouches, these hog-riding rodents had lines of action figures, comic books, and even video games, but no matter how successful they've been, they're still products of what is basically Ninja Turtles Mad Libs.
Battletoads was one of the most popular beat-em-up video games of the early '90s, but not even the people at Tradewest (now a long-forgotten video game company) could deny comparisons to the Ninja Turtles. Just sub out reptiles for amphibians, and nobody will know the difference, right?In 1992, a pilot for Battletoads (written by none other than David Wise, the head writer of the classic 1987 TMNT animated series) aired, showcasing the sick skills of Rash, Pimple, and Zitz and their adventures in Oxnard, CA, but that was the only episode made. The 'Toads starred in some more video games produced in the mid 90s, including a crossover with Double Dragon, but have since faded into obscurity.
Yet another instance of animal mutations, these ruminants weren't changed by some mysterious ooze, but rather by an irradiated comet (or "cow-met"). For two seasons (in 1992 and 1993), Marshal Moo Montana, the Dakota Dude, and the Cowlorado Kid swore to uphold the Code of the West by protecting their fair town from the villainous Mayor Oscar Bulloney and Sheriff Terrorbull. They even had a line of action figures, a comic book, and an arcade game.Hey, at least the Cowboys of Moo Mesa took a different approach to the TMNT ripoff by adding a little Southern twang and endless bovine puns.