Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990 film)

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a 1990 film about a quartet of humanoid turtles trained by their mentor in ninjutsu who must learn to pull together in order to face the menace of Shredder and the Foot Clan.

Directed by Steve Barron. Written by Todd W. Langen and Bobby Herbeck.
Heroes in a half shell! taglines




  • Well, that depends on how fast you stock your pizza.


  • Pork Rind.
  • It's the news lady.


  • Pork Rind?


  • [finally free of the can and furious] FREAK?! FREAK?!?
  • [still chasing Casey] Come back here! I'm not finished with you! [screams angrily] DAAAAAAAAAAMN!!!!


Donatello: [skateboards in the sewers, and then stops to sit down next to Michelangelo] How ya doin'?
Michelangelo: Fine.
Donnie: Nice night.
Mikey: Mmhmm. Pizza dude's got 30 seconds.
Donnie: Mm-hmm. [nods] Hey, Mikey, did you ever think about what Splinter said tonight? I mean, about... what it would be like, you know, not havin' him?
Mikey: [understandably uncomfortable with answering such a question, he brushes it off] Hmm. Time's up. 3 bucks off. [Donnie shakes his head in frustration]

Pizza delivery guy: [pulls up on his scooter outside an apartment building] Okay. [removes pizza from a pouch on the back of the scooter and whistles] Now, 122. [looks closer at the address of the order] 122 1/8? [looks around for the address] 122...1/8. [annoyed because he can't find it] Terrific. Where the heck is 122 1/8?
Mikey: [from the sewer grate on the street, which surprises the pizza delivery guy] You're standin' on it, dude. [pokes a ten dollar bill up through the grate] Just slip it down here.
Pizza delivery guy: [warily slides the pizza down through the grate while simultaneously taking the money] Gimme that! [starts back to his scooter before noticing the amount of money he was given and turning back toward the grate] Hey, this is a $10. The tab's $13.
Mikey: You're two minutes late, dude!
Pizza delivery guy: [kneels down upon the grate] Aw, come on, I couldn't find the place!
Mikey: Wise man say "Forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for late pizza."
Pizza delivery guy: [stands upon realizing how weird the situation is and heads back to his scooter, muttering] I gotta get a new route. And I thought I delivered everywhere.

Mikey: Yes, friends, the new Turbo Ginsu! Wa-hoo! [tosses the pizza while Leonardo slices it] It dices, it slices, and yet makes French fries in three different- [a pizza slice lands on Splinter's head] WHOOPS!
Splinter: [annoyed] Mmm, kids.

Casey Jones: New game, round-head: [pulls out a cricket bat] Cricket.
Raphael: Cricket?! Nobody understands cricket. You gotta know what a crumpet is to understand cricket.
Casey: I'll teach you! [swings and hits Raphael into a trash can] See? 6 Runs.
Raph: [struggles to get out]
Casey: [running] So long, freak! I've got work to do!
Raph: [finally free of the can and furious] FREAK?! FREAK?!?
[Casey leaps over wall and runs while Raph gives chase before he rolls over the hood of a taxi cab]
Passenger (Josh Pais): What the heck was that?!
Cab driver: Looked like sort of a big turtle in a trenchcoat. [passenger is silent] You're going to LaGuardia, right?
Raph: [still chasing Casey] Come back here! I'm not finished with you! [screams angrily] DAAAAAAAAAAMN!!!!

Raphael: [tries sneaking in late after his encounter with Casey]
Splinter: [lights a match, revealing he's been waiting for Raph to return home] Raphael? [Raph sighs] Come sit by me.
Raph: [stressed] Couldn't this wait 'til morning?
Splinter: [firmly] You will listen now. [Raph relents and joins him] My Master Yoshi's first rule was "possess the right thinking." Only then can one receive the gifts of strength, knowledge, and peace. I have tried to channel your anger, Raphael, but more remains. Anger clouds the mind. Turned inward, it is an unconquerable enemy. [Raph listens in silence as Splinter continues] You are unique among your brothers, for you choose to face this enemy alone. But as you face it, do not forget them. And do not forget me. [reaches to touch Raph's head, causing Raph to weep] I am here, my son.

Chief Sterns: We are presently executing a plan of redeployment that will minimize response time while maximizing coordination between patrol units in a decentralized networking scheme.
April: [confused] Huh. I'm not sure I understood all of that, Chief Sterns. Would you mind repeating it, in English, perhaps?

[April is called into Sterns' office]
Chief Sterns: O'Neil! Get in here!
April: [sighs; to the technician] Time me.
Sterns: [tired of her investigation] Just what is it that you hope to accomplish out there, besides busting my chops?!
April: I think you know just as much as I do about this Foot Clan, and I don't think you're doing anything about it.
Sterns: [getting increasingly agitated] You expect me to waste precious manpower because a few immigrants are reminded of something that supposedly happened years ago in Japan?!
April: [sarcastically] Have you got something else?
Sterns: [angrily] Are you tryin' to tell me how to [screams] DO MY JOB?!?!
[April runs out of Sterns' office in fright as the door slams shut behind her]
Technician: 1:07, a new record.

April: [races down into the subway only to discover she just missed her train; scoffs in annoyance] Great, just great. [proceeds to wait for the next train, but senses she's not alone. She turns and gasps, seeing a small group of Foot Clan ninjas there]
Foot Clan Ninja #1: We've been waiting for you, Ms. O'Neil.
April: [trying to act brave] What? Am I behind on my Sony payments again? [laughs nervously]
Foot Clan Ninja #1: Your mouth may yet bring you much trouble, Ms. O'Neil. I deliver a message. [he extends his hand as if to give her something, only to slap her on the cheek] Shut it.

Le: [To Raphael; upon seeing that he has brought an unconscious April O'Neil back to their sewer den] Are you crazy?
Raph: [sarcastically] Yeah, Leo, I'm crazy, okay?! A loony, okay?!
Donnie: Why?
Raph: [still sarcastically] "Why"?! Why, oh, I don't know, 'cause I wanted to redecorate! You know, a couple throw pillows, a TV news reporter, whaddya think?! [Leo grunts]
Splinter: [walks into the common area to discover the cause of all the commotion] Raphael, what are you doing?!
Raph: [nervously; trying to stay out of trouble] She got jumped in the subway, I had to bring her here.
Donatello: It's the news lady.
Michelangelo: [hopefully] Can we keep her?
Splinter: [reluctantly; to the Turtles] Bring water, cold washcloth, pillow.

Splinter: For 15 years now, we have lived here. Before that time, I was a pet of my Master Yoshi, mimicking his movements from my cage and learning the secret art of Ninja. When we were forced to come to New York, I found myself, for the first time, without a home, wandering the sewers, scavenging for whatever I could find. And then, one day, I came upon a shattered glass jar and four baby turtles.
Mikey: That was us.
Raph: [annoyed] Shut up.
Donnie: [annoyed] Ohhh, no.
Splinter: The little ones were crawling into a strange, glowing ooze from a broken canister nearby. I gathered them up in an old coffee can, and when I awoke the next morning, I received a shock, for they had doubled in size. I, too, was growing, particularly in intellect, and I was amazed at how intelligent they seemed, but nothing could have prepared me for what happened next - 1 of them spoke.
Baby turtle in flashback: Pizza. Pizza!
Splinter: More words followed, and I began their training, teaching them all that I had learned from my master.
Baby turtle in flashback: Radical, radical, radical, radical...
Splinter: And soon, I gave them all names - Leonardo, Michelangelo...
Mikey: That’s me.
Splinter: ...Donatello and Raphael.

April: [after the Turtles have escorted her home] I'd like to invite you all in, but really I don't have anything to offer you guys, except for, uh, frozen pizza.
Mikey: [excitedly hops up out of the manhole] Let's go for it!
Donnie: [pops his head up out of the manhole mere moments after Mikey] You said the magic word.
April: [stunned] You guys eat pizza?
Mikey and Donnie: [simultaneously] Doesn't everybody?

April: Will I ever see you guys again?
Mikey: Indubitably!
Leonardo: Well, that depends on how fast you stock your pizza.

Leo: Ha-ha! No doubt about it. She loved us!
Mikey: It was the impressions, dudes!
Donnie: You wish.
Leo: Hold it!

Charles Pennington: [while driving Danny to school] I don't get it, Danny. I make more than enough money to provide for both of us and you're stealing. Why?
Danny Pennington: [blandly] I don't know.
Charles Pennington: [incredulous] You don't know?! [scoffs] What the heck were you doin' with a car stereo anyway? [sarcastically] Or, uh, don't you know that either?
Danny Pennington: [still blandly] Sorry.
Charles Pennington: [completely unimpressed] "Sorry"? Not as sorry as you're gonna be after school. [they stop at a red light and Danny runs out of the car and flees into the subway] Danny! Damn it! Danny, come back here!

[after Raphael gets a mention from April on the news]
Donnie: [teasingly] Hey, look. Nyuk-nyuk. I think he's blushing.
Raph: [embarrassed] I am not.
Donnie: [thinking Raph is lying; still teasingly] I think he's actually turning red. [Raph angrily chucks a Sai into the floor between Donnie's legs; shocked] Uh, hmm. Maybe not.

[Watching an argument starting between Leonardo and Raphael]
Mikey: Fight?
Donnie: Fight.
Mikey: Kitchen?
Donnie: Kitchen.
Mikey: Yeah.
[later, while eating pork rinds]
Mikey: [hands him a pork rind] Pork Rind?
Donnie: [takes the pork rind] Pork Rind.

[two Foot Ninjas are left after Raphael defeats a large number; they look at each other in fright and confusion.]
Raphael: I mean, come on, how do you guys expect to beat me? [camera pans as an overwhelming number of Foot Ninjas leap onto the rooftop. Raph realizes he's screwed] Good answer. Good answer.

April: Hasn't Raph been gone a long time?
Donnie: Nah, he does it all the time. He likes it.
[scene cuts to Raph being dragged down some fire escape steps by the Foot.]
April: Are you sure?
Donnie: Ah, don't worry. He'll probably be back any minute.
[An unconscious Raph is thrown through the skylight, landing at Donnie's feet]
April: [horrified] Raph! Is he--?!
Leonardo: [checking Raph's pulse; trying to stay calm] No, he's alive, barely.
April: [softly] Oh, God.

Leo: [about Casey] Who the heck is that?
Mikey: Wayne Gretzky? On steroids?

April: What did you do, did you take classes in insensitivity?!
Casey: Hey, I was just trying to break it to you easy.
April: Oh! Well, you failed miserably!
Casey: Hey, Broadzilla, you wouldn't even be standing here if it weren't for me, OK?
April: And what do you want, do you want a 'thank you'?
Casey: No, it's me who should thank you for that privilege, right?
April: Fine!
Casey: Yeah.
April: Thank you.
Casey: No, thank you!
April: You're welcome!
Casey: You're welcome! [they each march to their separate rooms slamming the doors behind them]
Donnie: Gosh, it's kind of like Moonlighting, isn't it?

Casey: [as he and Donnie work to fix up an old truck] Not even close, Zip Neck. Professor and Mary Ann. Happily ever after.
Donnie: Heh! No way, Atomic Mouth. Gilligan was her main man. They'd be married and have 6 kids by now.
Casey: Aw, man, Gilligan was a geek, Barfaroni!
Donnie: You're the geek, Camel Breath.
Casey: Dome Head.
Donnie: [gasps and self-consciously rubs his bald head] Elf Lips!
Casey: [finishes fixing the engine] Let's give this a try. See if this transplant worked, Funkoid.
Donnie: All right, here goes. [about the insult game] What are we on?
Casey: Uh, G.
Donnie: Here goes, Gack Face!
Casey: I'm ready, Hose Brain!

Tatsu: [to Shredder on the Foot's growing influence over the city] Your empire flourishes, Master Shredder.
Foot Ninja in background: Oh, no, no, no, that's a stereo.
Shredder: [inquiring updates on Splinter's interrogation] What more from the rat?
Tatsu: Nothing. He will not speak.
Shredder: [regarding Danny's whereabouts] And the boy who led us to the Turtles?
Tatsu: He is still missing. [wondering why Shredder's so troubled by the Turtles] I do not understand. Why do the Turtles trouble you, Master? They have not been seen for many days.
Shredder: Something... about the way you described their fighting. Something familiar. Something... [pauses, realizing that Splinter and the Turtles might have some connection to Hamato Yoshi] ...from the past.

Donnie: [upon noticing how uncomfortable Casey seems in their underground lair] You're a claustrophobic! [chuckles]
Casey: [thinking Donnie is making a rude gay joke; warningly] Do you want a fist in the mouth?
Donnie: [shakes his head "no"] Mmm-mmm.
Casey: I've never even looked at another guy before.

Mikey: [yawns] Oh, man, I could go for a little deep dish action right about now.
Danny: I had some pizza down here the other day. There might be some left over. [Donnie notices the pizza box]
Mikey: [runs over to the table as April laughs. Donnie takes a look inside the box, but quickly closes it] Well?
Donnie: Question.
Mikey: [growing impatient] Ugh. Yeah?
Donnie: Do you like penicillin on your pizza? [shows Mikey that the pizza has developed mold on it]
Mikey: D'oh! [he and Donnie start humming "Taps"]

[while fighting the Foot]
Mikey: Hey, Donnie, looks like this one is suffering from shell shock.
Donnie: Too derivative.
Mikey: Well, I guess we can really shell it out.
Donnie: Too cliché.
Mikey: Well, it was a shell of a good hit!
Donnie: I like it! [to next opponent] Step up!

Leo: [Shredder shows up] Does anybody have any idea about who or what this is?
Mikey: I don't know, but I'll bet that it never has to look for a can opener. [Donnie chortles]
Shredder: You fight well... in the old style. But you've caused me enough trouble. Now you face... the Shredder.
Donnie: "The Shredder"?
Mikey: [nervously] Uhh, maybe all that hardware's for making coleslaw.

Raph: Where's Splinter?
Shredder: [realizes what Raph means] Ah, the rat? So it has a name? [thinking that Splinter's dead; sadistically] It HAD a name.
Leo: [angrily growls; screams] YOU LIE!
Shredder: [smirks] Do I?
[Leo furiously screams and charges toward Shredder, but Shredder flips Leo, and points his yari to Leo's neck]
Shredder: [to Raph, Donnie and Mikey; referring to Leo] He dies. [Raph, Donnie, and Mikey gasp; gestures with his head] Weapons. [Raph, Donnie, and Mikey hesitate] NOW! [Raph, Donnie, and Mikey reluctantly discard their weapons to save Leo.] Fools. [chortles] The three of you might have overpowered me with the loss of but one. Now your fate... WILL BE HIS!!! [holds up his yari and prepares to stab Leo]
Raph, Mikey, and Donnie: [alarmed; pleadingly] NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!
[suddenly, Splinter appears, startling Shredder]
Mikey: [relieved] Splinter!
[Leo, seeing Shredder in shock, rolls away back to the other Turtles]
Splinter: Yes, Oroku Saki, I know who you are. We met many years ago... in the home of my master, Hamato Yoshi!
[Shredder removes his mask, revealing the scars underneath from their last encounter, revealing him to be Oroku Saki]
Raph: [referring to the Shredder, known as Oroku Saki] It's him.
Shredder: [absolutely horrified] You. [angrily] Now I will finish what I began with your EAR! [attempts to joust Splinter, but his yari is caught in a nunchaku chain and he is hanging over the edge of a building]
Splinter: Death comes for us all, Oroku Saki, but something much worse comes for you. For when you die, it will be-- [Shredder reaches for the back of his belt, takes out a knife and throws it at Splinter, who dodges and grabs it and, at the same time, releases Shredder, who, while screaming, falls into the garbage truck] --without honor.
Casey: [sarcastically] Oops! [activates the trash compactor with Shredder inside]

Leo: We were awesome!
Mikey: Bodacious! Ha-ha-ha-ha!
Raph: Bitchin'!
Donnie: Uh... mmm-mmm.
Mikey: Gnarly!
Leo: Radical!
Mikey: Yeah!
Raph: Totally tubular, dudes!
Mikey: Wicked!
Raph: Hellacious!
Donnie: Uh, mega--
Splinter: Ahem.
The Turtles: Huh?
Splinter: I have always liked... "Cowabunga."
Turtles: Hmm? COWABUNGA!!
Splinter: [laughs] I made a funny! [laughs again]
[Leo, Donnie, and Mikey dance in victory while Raph hugs Splinter in relief.]


  • Heroes in a half shell!
  • Hey dude, this is no cartoon.
  • Lean, Green And On The Screen.
  • They're mean, green and on the screen
  • This ain't no cartoon.
  • All fathers care for their sons.
  • Cowabunga Dudes

About Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990 film)

  • There’s no greater feeling than walking onto the set and seeing the costumes in full motion, being worn by an actor. These things weighed 80 pounds, and the way they brought them to life with the technology that Jim Henson created to make them work and be believable…
  • When I first heard of it, I thought it was a horror film. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ is such a strange name.
  • The animatronic Turtle suits created by Jim Henson's crew for the first TMNT movie were, quite simply, wonderful. I remember being blown away by how beautiful they were and how much the performers and puppeteers were able to get out of these clever and carefully-crafted agglomerations of latex, paint, leather and various fabrics.
  • Q: Being a martial artist and having to work with Donny’s head on and being unable to see fully–does that hinder your natural movement? Did it do anything to your hand-eye coordination?
A: You just had to rely on feel and not be so focused on what you were seeing. You had to rely on the feel of where your body would normally be. It was really difficult work. Plus, we were shooting down in North Carolina in the summer and there was 100% humidity all the time. It was tough. But we were also having a great time. It was one of the first times that Hong Kong stuntmen had come to work on an American production. I mean, these were guys that worked with Jackie Chan.



Encyclopedic article on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990 film) on Wikipedia

  CREATORS     Kevin Eastman · Peter Laird  
  COMICS     Mirage comic series  (1984–2010) · Tales  (1987–2010) · Adventures  (1988–1995) · Mighty Mutanimals  (1991 spin-off) · Daily comic strip  (1990–1997) · Dreamwave comics
 (2003) · IDW comic series  (2011–present)
  TELEVISION     Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue  (1990) · Turtles Forever  (2009)  
  SERIES     1987–1996 series · Mutant Turtles: Superman Legend  (1996) · Next Mutation  (1997–1998) · 2003–2010 series · 2012–2017 series · 2018–2020 series    
  FILMS     Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles  (1990) · Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze  (1991) · Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III  (1993) · TMNT  (2007) · Turtles
 (2009) · Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles  (2014) · Out of the Shadows  (2016) · Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie  (2022) · Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem  (2023)  
  FAN-MADE     Casey Jones  (2011)  
  DOCUMENTARY     Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles  (2014)  
  VIDEO GAMES     Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus  (2004)  
  SEE ALSO     Leonardo da Vinci · Donatello · Michelangelo · Raphael