A Thing About Rats
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 Cartoon) episode
A Thing About Rats Title Card.png
Title screen
Season Code: 01
Episode: 03
Original airdate December 16, 1987
Written by David Wise
Patti Howeth
Supervising Producer Fred Wolf
Producers: Osamu Yoshioka
Rudy J. Zamora
Directed by Yoshikatsu Kasai
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"Enter the Shredder" "Hot Rodding Teenagers from Dimension X"
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987 Season
December 14, 1987 - December 18, 1987
List of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episodes


  1. "Turtle Tracks"
  2. "Enter the Shredder"
  3. "A Thing About Rats"
  4. "Hot Rodding Teenagers from Dimension X"
  5. "Shredder & Splintered"

Season 1Season 2Season 3Season 4Season 5Season 6Season 3 1/2Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10

This article was transwikied from Wikipedia.

"A Thing About Rats" is an episode of the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series. It is the third episode of season 1 (1987). This episode of the show is part of the Heroes in a Half Shell arc.

It was produced by Kara Vallow, written by David Wise and Patti Howeth, and directed by Yoshikatsu Kasai. It originally aired on December 16, 1987, in syndication. It is available on DVD on the box set released on April 20, 2004.

Plot summary

In the New York City sewers, Splinter recovers from the previous episode's confrontation with Shredder. The Turtles search for the Technodrome, hoping to force Shredder to transform Splinter from a mutant rat back into a human.

In another part of the city, scientist Dr. Baxter Stockman tries to convince the Ajax Pest Control company to invest in his new invention: the Mousers, robots that can catch rats. The president of the Ajax Pest Control company sends Baxter away, saying that the Mousers would cause unemployment for the pest control companies. However, Shredder's remote-controlled flying camera bugs—sent out earlier in search of a new source of technical equipment—records the incident, and Shredder later asks Baxter if they can work together. Back at the deserted mansion where Shredder has set up base, Shredder orders Baxter to create a master control device to control the mouser army he plans to build.

Shredder returns to the Technodrome and begins to mass-produce Mousers. Krang is angry because he wants Shredder to provide him with a body, which would aid them in their goal to destroy the Turtles. When Shredder refuses, Krang mutters that he hopes Shredder fails.

Splinter is meditating in the sewers, until he is attacked by twelve Mousers sent by Shredder. With his martial arts skills, Splinter is able to fight off the Mousers one by one, but is outnumbered - until the Turtles, who had sensed Splinter was in danger, arrive and help him defeat the Mousers. Afterwards, they notice that each robot is inscribed with "Baxter Stockman, Inventor." The Turtles and Splinter visit April O'Neil's apartment, where she looks up Baxter Stockman on her computer, finding a photograph and his address. The Turtles head for Baxter's house.

Baxter, who has finished the master control device, is followed home by Shredder's Foot robots because Shredder fears that Baxter "knows too much." Luckily, the Turtles fight off the Foot robots before Baxter is hurt. The Turtles tie Baxter to a nearby lamp post and Raphael convinces Baxter to divulge that Shredder is at the deserted mansion. Suddenly realizing how easily the Mousers can find Splinter, the Turtles hurry back to April's apartment. When they arrive, they find April and Splinter using kitchen utensils to fight for their lives against the 1,200 arriving mousers. The Turtles, April, and Splinter all escape the apartment just as the building collapses as a result of the Mousers' destruction.

Afterwards, the Turtles, Splinter and April head to the deserted mansion. Donatello tries to use Baxter's remote control to control the Mousers, but the Shredder's master control device is stronger. Michelangelo tries to sneak inside the mansion to turn off the master control device, but is captured by Shredder. The Shredder recalls all the mousers to attack the other Turtles, Splinter, and April, who all are waiting outside.

Inside the deserted mansion, Krang rescues Michelangelo and tells him to save his friends by destroying the master control device. Upstairs, in front of the master control, Michelangelo encourages Shredder to fire his rifle at him. Michelangelo jumps away at the last second, and Shredder's shots destroy the master control device.

With the master control destroyed, Donatello uses Baxter's remote control to reprogram the mousers to hit the gas pipe, and the deserted mansion explodes. Shredder and Krang narrowly escape in their transport module. The Turtles find Michelangelo's toe in the rubble, and they think that Michelangelo is dead - until he pops up, saying he loves to play hide and seek.

Michelangelo tells the others about how "a giant brain" (Krang) helped him escape, but the others don't believe him.




Home media releases


  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Hot Rodding Teenagers


  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 1
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection


Animation/Technical Errors

  • When Michelangelo says "so if there are hundreds of them now", he speaks in Donatello's voice.
  • When the Turtles, April, and Splinter get in the van at the end, April is in the driver's seat; then when the van drives off, Michelangelo is driving (a repeated clip), and Donatello speaks in Raphael's voice.
  • When the mousers shut down, the shot makes it look as if the van is completely surrounded. Yet, when Donatello reprograms them, they're all on the far side of the van, making it look as if the Mousers were just closing in.
  • At the end, when Michelangelo starts talking about Krang, both Leonardo and Donatello is seen with a bo staff.
  • After the Technodrome crashed through the underground building at the beginning of the episode, the white of its eye was colored grey.
  • When the Turtles, Splinter and April head for the ropes when April's apartment block is falling down, Michelangelo's nunchucks are on his belt upside down.
  • The end of the handles on Leonardo's swords were colored brown in the first shot of him sifting though the destroyed Mousers in the lair. 

Continuity Errors

  • Not so much an error as it might be an oversight, but the entire part of the episode where Michelangelo sneaks into the abandoned house depicts him with only one nunchuck. In most episodes and other media, he's usually seen with a pair. As he escapes, he has both again.
  • Michelangelo isn't strong enough to break out of a roped chair, and yet rams through a solid brick wall when he escapes the room as the abandoned house collapses.
  • How did Michelangelo get back his nunchuck after being captured and tied up by Shredder? Did it not occur to the latter to disarm his hostages first?
  • Shredder's gunfire sounds like a laser while Michelangelo is taunting him. Later on, when the Master Control is destroyed, that same gun sounds like a handgun being fired.


  • This is the first appearance of Baxter Stockman. Notably, he's depicted as Caucasian here despite being African American in other TMNT related media. This is also the first appearance of the Mousers, as well.
  • Baxter does a title drop once Shredder leaves him to work on the master control for the Mousers, saying that the Shredder must really have "a thing about rats".
  • This is the first episode where Mikey uses a man-riki-gusari, a chained weapon.
  • There is an underground ancient city, the Technodrome drives right through it.
  • Despite the fact that Raph's personality was toned down for this show from the comics, there's a scene where the Turtles are interrogating Baxter Stockman. When Baxter refuses to talk, Raph says, "You'd better... or else I'm gonna get... sarcastic," while holding up a sai to his face and sporting a sinister grin.
  • Shredder uses special Transport Module-like drilling devices which enable the Foot to travel from the Technodrome to city level, however these would never be used again and would be replaced by the more familiar model used in the third, fifth and sixth seasons.
  • This episode features Krang's first appearance to the Turtles. Oddly enough, his first act is to actually help Michelangelo escape and defeat Shredder, although we'll see later that Krang has an ulterior motive for doing this.
  • First appearance of what would later become the Turtle Van .
  • First appearance of the Turtle-Seeking Cycles.
  • When this episode was released onto VHS, it was actually on the video after the episode which succeeded it.
  • This Episode was edit out from the Movie"The Epic begins" VHS.


Baxter: So...(heh, heh) you think Ajax Pest Control would be interested in my invention?

Manager: Well, to put it in a single word...

(tosses Baxter out)


- Uhh....Manager, those were three words.

Raphael: "All right, who's gonna clean up this mess?"

- Subtly said after the Turtles trashed the mousers.

April O'Neil: "Boy, they sure don't build 'em like they used too."

- Moments after her apartment building collapsed due to the mousers. With people inside, presumably.

Michelangelo: "Whoa, I've heard of going out of your skull, but you take the cake!"

- Michelangelo meets Krang for the first time.



External links