Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987)

Season 1 Episode 1

Turtle Tracks

Aired Unknown Dec 28, 1987 on CBS
out of 10
User Rating
82 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

April O'Neil, an ace reporter for Channel 6, investigates recent break-ins, allegedly by Ninjas, which have resulted in the thefts of numerous technologies. However, a chance encounter with a gang of thieves soon leads her to a bigger story when she is saved from the criminals by four Ninja-trained, mutated Turtles.

The Turtles take April back to their lair, and, after getting better acquainted, April learns they are good-hearted mutants. They decide to investigate the thefts together, and their efforts lead them into an encounter with the mysterious ninjas, The Foot Clan, and their leader, Shredder.

Shredder manages to keep the Turtles from advancing to the Technodrome by flooding the building it is connected to.moreless

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  • goofs and more plot holes

    A couple of goofs. The technodrome in the early epsiodes show that every time an escape monule going back down lave comes up. Where does the lava come from? Also the gang that Shredder mutates into beebop and rockstedy-other gang member are also mutated-yet they are never seen again! Lastly Shreddr has the technology to change the TMNT back to regualr turtoles-yet he never does that!
  • this episode kicks butt

    this is my favorite episode in season 1 i have it on vhs its pretty cool and its kindu exciting cause i wont to see the turtles fighting shredder and the foot soldiers its kinduf cool its an alright episode but i gaved it a 10 cause i wont this tv show to be the best well anyways i like the part when they fight on top of the roof i loke the song when they fight whats it called stomping the foot i think or something like that anyways the shredder is cool he reminds me of darth vader and the foot soldiers remind me of stormtroopers.moreless
  • The origins of the turtles and their master, Splinter, is told in this episode. As well as the connection between Splinter and Shredder, from back in the days when the Foot Clan was an honorable ninja formation.moreless

    Great pilot episode. It all starts out with robberies by ninjas which Channel 6's April O'neal is investigating. She gets attacked by a group of Shredders henchmen and flees to the sewers. There she is caught up to by the men but the turtles intervene to take out the fools. April faints and later awakes inside the turtles home. Splinter tells the whole story of how the turtles and him came to be in their state, and how him and Shredder are enemies from years gone by. April gets kidnapped by the Foot Clan and the turtles come to her rescue on a rooftop. They defeat the Foot soldiers and follow them inside another building from the roof. They hear Shredder speak of the Technodrome but get flooded out before being able to investigate further.moreless
  • The first in a Saturday Morning Classic from the 90's, Four turtles are mutated in the sewers, raised by their rat father, and taught in the ancient way of the Ninja.moreless

    The only thing missing from this episode was Casey Jones. This episode has all of the classic characters from the comics, including the turtles, Master Splinter, The Shredder, and April O'Neal. According to the pilot, Hamato Yoshi was the leader of the Foot Clan, and was set up by Oroku Saki, fleeing to New York where he was forced to live in the sewers. One day, he found four baby turtles, who soon found their way into a glowing pile of ooze, transforming them in humanoid turtles, while Yoshi became a rat. Using his experience in Ninjitzu, Yoshi trained the young turtles as a way of defending themselves in case they should be caught by the humans. He also had another purpose: Teach them how to fight, so they may help him destroy his ancient enemy, Oroku Sake.

    After explaining their origins to April, whom they had just saved from a street gang, they decided to help her figure out who was robbing high-tech security stores, an act that April herself had accused them of.

    After April gets kidnapped, the turtles follow the clues to a rooftop, where they encounter The Foot Clan, a group of robotic ninjas. After defeating them and freeing April, they attempt to follow the ninjas to their master, only to be washed out, deterred until next time.moreless
  • okay so i've seen the old series now! :) and i love it!

    okay so i'm a fan of the new series (2003-present) but this was sooo cool! i may have only seen two episodes of this series but from what i've seen, it looks intriging (if thats how you spell it). although it wasn't based on the comics like the newer version, it still has a very funny, original vibe to it. but, come on! i don't think they need two joksters in one cartoon (mickey & raph). but thats just one persons opinion....for those fans of the new teenage mutant ninja turtles i say: watch the old series and compare them both, you may be saprised at how much you like the old series.moreless
Barry Gordon

Barry Gordon


Cam Clarke

Cam Clarke


James Avery (I)

James Avery (I)

Shredder (Oroku Saki)

Peter Renaday

Peter Renaday

Splinter (Hamato Yoshi)

Renae Jacobs

Renae Jacobs

April O'Neil

Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen


Cam Clarke

Cam Clarke


Guest Star

Pat Fraley

Pat Fraley

Vernon Fenwick

Guest Star

Jennifer Darling

Jennifer Darling


Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (11)

    • After the Turtles slide down the rope and onto the neighboring rooftop, there are 2 Leonardos and 2 Raphaels. There is no sign of Michaelangelo or Donatello.

    • Thought the course of the series the Turtles were often referred to as amphibians, but in reality turtles are reptiles not amphibians.

    • When Hamato Yoshi finds the Turtles in the mutagen, it's coming out of a large hole in the wall. After the commercial break when Hamato goes over to wipe off the Turtles, they're in a puddle of the mutagen that's in the center of the room, with no trail leading towards a wall or the hole that it came from.

    • Shredder said himself that Turtles must not discover the Technodrome. But in the next scene, the Turtles clearly heard the voice that calls all Foots back in the Technodrome. How did Shredder let that happen?

    • The television April is broadcasted on is round-shaped, like an oval.

    • The baby Turtles had paws instead of flippers.

    • Leonardo puts his sword into a brown scabbard, but it's not seen in the rest of the episode.

    • Leonardo uses his sword and rope as a makeshift grappling hook, rather than using a proper one.

    • Channel 6 is free to air, you don't need cable.

    • When Leonardo picks up the hatch that the Foot Soldiers escaped through, there are two of him (the animation frame of Leonardo is left there, making it look like there are two Leonardos), and Michaelangelo is colored as Raphael! So there are five Turtles in the shot: two Leos, two Raphs, and a Don.

    • First in a long, ignominious history of voice flubs: when April tries to escape the Turtle's lair, Donatello blocks her path and accosts her--using Raphael's voice.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Solicitor: Fake teeth! Goofy noses! Get them here!
      Raphael: Hey, April, why do humans want to make themselves dumber looking than they already are?
      April: I really don't know, Michaelangelo.
      Raphael: I'm Raphael.
      April: Oh. Sorry!

    • April: Do you guys think of anything besides pizza?
      Raphael: Not unless we have to.

    • April: This is great! I must be onto something really hot if they're trying to kill me!

    • Donatello: What is it, Raphael? A threatening note?
      Raphael: Worse than that... It's the check!

    • Michaelangelo: Aw, she's no fun. She fainted.

    • April: (To Leonardo) Nice going, Raphael. Only half the people saw that!
      Leonardo: I'm Leonardo.
      April: Oh! Sorry.

    • Gangster (Rocksteady): Sign off time, April O'Neil! Grrrrr! (He raises his bat, but gets it knocked from his hands by a bo-staff.)
      Figure 1 (Donatello): Chill out, home-boy!
      (Another punk raises his sword, but gets disarmed by a sai blade)
      Figure 2 (Raphael): Hey, watch with that thing, pal!
      Gangster (Rocksteady): Oh, whoeever you are, you are dead!! (He grabs hold of the bo-staff but gets lifted off his feet and is send careering into the sewage.)

    • Ninja Chef: One sashimi pizza, and three whipped cream pizzas. Eat in good health.

    • April: (After the fight) I don't know who you are, but thanks!
      (The four figures step out of the shadows and reveal themselves as humanoid talking turtles!)
      April: (Shocked) You're..not human!
      Raphael: Bingo! (To other Turtles) Oh, we're dealing with a real mind here!
      April: You're, you're turtles!
      Donatello: Yep! So, we are!
      April: I can't handle this! (Faints)

    • Donatello: Ninja Dry Cleaners.
      Leonardo: Ninja Shoe Repair.
      April: Ninja Video Rental.
      Raphael: Ninja Dentist, Ouch!!

    • Michaelangelo: Choco-Puffs for me!

    • Leonardo: We Turtles don't know the meaning of the word 'defeat.'
      Michaelangelo: That's right! We never bothered to look it up in the dictonary.

  • NOTES (16)

    • Bebop and Rocksteady (as humans) may of made their first appearance in this episode, but they're names are unknown until the next episode, after they're mutated.

    • This episode was included on the TMNT VHS titled Heroes in a Halfshell.

    • This episode shows April buying the guys their trench coat outfits, which they often wear out on the streets in order not to be seen.

    • This episode includes one of the few times Shredder takes off his mask, as well as seeing Splinter human. This is the only episode where Bebop and Rocksteady aren't mutated without an illusion or a dream sequence taking place.

    • First appearances of Vernon and Burne Thompson.

    • Vernon appears much more friendly and non-competitive in this season, but would change into his arrogant chauvenistic persona in Season 2.

    • This episode was adapted in Archie Comics' TMNT Adventures (Mini-Series) Issue One

    • In this premiere season, Vernon is voiced by Pat Fraley, but would be regularly voiced by Peter Renaday permanently from "Return of the Shredder".

    • The ninja pizzeria chef whos served the Turtles their pizzas sounds a little bit like the cartoon character, Droopy.

    • The first season was never aired on terrestrial tv in the UK but was shown on The DJ Kat Show instead

    • This episode is avalible on the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles- Season One" DVD release.

    • A Human mutated into a Mouse makes more sense in that I can not believe a Mouse could have learned the Martial Arts, it would be impossible for that skill to defeat even from a novice Martial Artist. By making him human it stresses the fact that you have to learn from a Master not from a book, or for watching other's.

    • In the original comics Splinter started off a pet rat of Hamato Yoshi, a member of the Foot Clan. But here, Splinter started off as Hamato Yoshi himself.

    • April O'Neil was Baxter Stockman's assistant in the original comics, but here a Channel 6 News reporter with no ties to Stockman what so ever.

    • The two camera people are the same voices as Leonardo, and Raphael.

    • This episode is also called "Heroes in a Halfshell"