Bebop was originally an African-American human gangster that was employed by Shredder, affiliated with the likes of thugs such as fellow mutant Rocksteady. With the other members of his gang, he was sent out to stop a Channel 6 reporter named April O'Neil from doing a report about crime in the city. April ran down into the sewers while being chased by the street gang and met the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who then defeated the gang in a fight.
After his army of Foot Soldiers failed to stop the Turtles, Krang suggested that the Shredder mutate his own mutant soldiers so that they would have abilities parallel to the Turtles' to fight his enemies. With a new plan, Shredder sought two "volunteers" for his experiments. Bebop and Rocksteady both volunteered to undergo the procedure (though neither was particularly aware of what it would entail) with the promise that it would gave them superhuman powers and allow them to exact revenge on the Turtles. He was tied down with belts on a laboratory chair. Using robot drones, the Shredder stole a rhinoceros and a warthog from the zoo and brought them in the room with his new test subjects, and so his DNA was mutated with the kidnapped warthog.
As a result, Bebop became a mutated mix of warthog and man, donning twin turtle shells on his shoulders to mark his new job as an enforcer for the Shredder. Bebop henceforth supported Shredder in carrying out his plans. Bebop had the enormous strength of his animal counterpart, with the disadvantage being his appearance. However though the transformation did make them larger and stronger, the Shredder's choice in test subjects was less than stellar. Although tough, both Bebop and Rocksteady were far from intelligent. For example, in Enter the Shredder they charged at the Turtles, who jumped, causing the two mutants to crash into each other. Donatello commented that their mutations didn't "up their IQ's any." For most of the series they were employed for purposes however, the Turtles certainly consider them to be formidable (despite their stupidity) in combat due to their great strength and endurance, and as such, often use their intelligence to outwit them rather than fighting them in a straightforward manner. But their attempts at the turtles seem to regularly fail due to their incompetence and goofing behavior, which all leads to them being abused both physically and verbally by Shredder and Krang. Despite his supposed lack of intelligence, Bebop is continuously employed by the Shredder and is poorly chosen to be entrusted with various jobs that almost always fail miserably. In one episode of the series, Bebop was shown to have kept a pet turtle, which got mutated into the evil turtle Slash.
However, in their final appearance in the first "Red Sky" season, Bebop along with Rocksteady seemed to grasp some form of intelligence, and talked and joked around less. Bebop and Rocksteady's last appearance is in the season 8 finale Turtle Trek. As soon as Krang managed to get a trans-dimensional portal open to Dimension X, Bebop followed along with his boss. However, he is not seen later in the episode, perhaps signifying Shredder and Krang put him and Rocksteady to work with simple manual labor that even they could not foul-up. However, after the Turtles destroy the Technodrome's engine, the fortress is pulled into a giant pit by a monstrous plant. The impact of the fall destroys the Technodrome's trans-dimensional portal (although it is shown to be still working in the series finale), thereby leaving its inhabitants stranded in Dimension X. At some point after this, Bebop and Rocksteady either perish or are left behind by Shredder and Krang, as they do not return to Earth with them in season 10. It can also be assumed that, much like in the comics (which were originally based on this TV show), he and Rocksteady find the Eden Worlds in Dimension X and contentedly live out the rest of their lives as animals in its wilderness.
Outside of that, Bebop's human form was seen in a street scene with the other gang members when the Turtles arrive in the 80's Turtles dimension.
Bebop and Rocksteady as well as their former human forms, made a reappearance in the made-for-TV movie 'Turtles Forever'. In the flashback describing how the Turtles crossed dimensions, they said to their Turtle counterparts that they were facing off against Shredder and the Technodrome, meaning that he got the machine out of Dimension X (as well as Bebop and Rocksteady). He and Rocksteady end up working for Ch'rell after he takes over the Technodrome. Their incompetence is still shown, although it ended up saving the Utrom Shredder when Rocksteady accidentally tripped over and unplugged a laser that was about to destroy him, although Bebop ended up obliterating the Utrom Shredder anyway when he replugged the same laser device all the while thinking he would be pleased that they "fixed" his machine. All this happened just as the Utrom Shredder was unleashing a plan that would wipe out Ninja Turtles of all planes of existence (even if it meant destroying himself since he was still linked to them), so ironically... Bebop saved all of Turtle existence.
2012 TV Series
In Wanted: Bebop and Rocksteady, Classic Bebop and his partner Rocksteady get left behind on accident when Classic Shredder and Krang use the Classic Technodrome to travel to the 2012 dimension. Shredder and Krang recruit the 2012 versions of Bebop and Rocksteady to do their bidding, dressing them up as their '87 counterparts. However, they slowly grow irritated with their new bosses' constant belittling, suggesting a reason why the original versions were kept around despite incompetance. At the end of the arc, the '87 Turtles convince Bebop and Rocksteady to stop being Shredder and Krang's meat-shields. Bebop reveals that he "just wants to dance".
- Just like Rocksteady, Bebop is named after a genre of music.
- In Muckman Messes Up, it is established that neither Rocksteady or Bebop can read.