Big Bug Blunder
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 Cartoon) episode
Big Bug Blunder Title Card.png
Season Code: 04
Episode: 37
Original airdate December 1, 1990
Written by Michael Reaves
Supervising Producer Fred Wolf
Producers: Walt Kubiak
Supervising Director  Bill Wolf
Episode chronology
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"Beyond the Donatello Nebula" "The Foot Soldiers are Revolting"
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990 Season
September 10, 1990 - December 8, 1990
List of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episodes


  • Syndication
  1. "Plan Six From Outer Space"
  2. "Turtles of the Jungle"
  3. "Michelangelo Toys Around"
  4. "Peking Turtle"
  5. "Shredder's Mom"
  6. "Four Turtles and a Baby"
  7. "Turtlemaniac"
  8. "Rondo in New York"
  9. "Planet of the Turtles"
  10. "Name That Toon"
  11. "Menace Maestro, Please"
  12. "Superhero for a Day"
  13. "Back to the Egg"
  • Saturday Mornings
  1. "Son of Return of the Fly II"
  2. "Raphael Knocks 'em Dead"
  3. "Bebop and Rocksteady Conquer the Universe"
  4. "Raphael Meets His Match"
  5. "Slash - The Evil Turtle from Dimension X"
  6. "Leonardo Lightens Up"
  7. "Were-Rats from Channel 6"
  8. "Funny, They Shrunk Michelangelo"
  9. "The Big Zipp Attack"
  10. "Donatello Makes Time"
  11. "Farewell, Lotus Blossom"
  12. "Rebel Without a Fin"
  13. "Rhino-Man"
  14. "Michelangelo Meets Bugman"
  15. "Poor Little Rich Turtle"
  16. "What's Michelangelo Good For?"
  17. "The Dimension X Story"
  18. "Donatello's Degree"
  19. "The Big Cufflink Caper!"
  20. "Leonardo Versus Tempestra"
  21. "Splinter Vanishes"
  22. "Raphael Drives 'Em Wild"
  23. "Beyond the Donatello Nebula"
  24. "Big Bug Blunder"
  25. "The Foot Soldiers are Revolting"
  26. "Unidentified Flying Leonardo"

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Big Bug Blunder is a 1990 episode of the 1987-1996 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series.

Plot Synopsis

The Turtles are watching TV and eating pizza, rejoicing that they have nothing to do right now, when an irritated Splinter "strongly suggests" that they clean the mess out of the living room. The Turtles immediately obey, and Donatello decides to use Metalhead to do the housecleaning for them. Unfortunately the robot begins going haywire until Raphael shuts it off.

In Dimension X, Krang is trying to create another batch of mutagen while Rocksteady and Bebop attempt to swat a fly. They accidentally knock some more chemicals into the mutagen, causing it to bubble over - and when the fly lands in it, it grows enormous. Krang confirms that it only affects insects and arachnids, and Shredder decides that it could be very useful in taking over the Earth.

Genghis Frog, one of the Punk Frogs, goes by bus to New York City to visit the Turtles. When arriving in the city, he sees the huge fly and attempts to eat it, with limited success. Meanwhile, the Turtles see April O'Neil reporting about the giant fly on TV, and take the Turtle Blimp to check it out. They end up rescuing Genghis from the giant fly. After that, Donatello decides that the best way to lure the fly would be to spill a few hundred gallons of syrup from a nearby tanker truck, which sticks the fly to the ground.

In Dimension X, Krang and Shredder use the mutagen to mutate three new bugs - a scorpion, a mud wasp and a mantis - and send them through the dimensional portal to Earth. Their main plan is to mutate an entire anthill, leaving thousands of killer bugs running amuck.

April alerts the Turtles that a giant wasp is building a nest right on Channel 6, and the Turtles soon find themselves running afoul of the scorpion. Donatello faces down the scorpion with construction equipment until Leonardo can pour cement on top of the giant arachnid, immobilizing it.

But when they rescue April from the mud-covered building, the wasp returns and drives them away, before stinging the blimp envelope. They manage to land safely, only to find themselves being chased by the mantis. The vengeance-seeking scorpion (who managed to break free of the concrete) appears and fights the mantis.

Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady manage to track down an anthill, but Bebop's clumsiness causes Shredder to drop the mutagen and mutate a single ant that chases them down the street.

A comment by Genghis gives Donatello the idea to use bug spray against the creatures, while Raphael and Michelangelo rig a parade float as a makeshift blimp. They successfully herd the insects to where Shredder is preparing the mutagen, and they charge through the portal and menace the villains on the other side.

Back in the lair, Genghis and April share pizza with the Turtles, but Genghis' choice of movie ends up driving them back to housecleaning.




Home media releases





  • When the turtles are flying on the Turtle Blimp and see Genghis Frog hanging from the giant fly, Donatello says, "Isn't that Genghis Frog?" and Michelangelo says "Yeah! And it looks like he bit off more than he could chew." When Donatello's dialogue ends and Michelangelo's begins, Donatello's mouth continues to move for the moment the shot is held, and Michelangelo's mouth doesn't move at all for his entire line, including after the shot changes to a view right behind Michelangelo and Raphael.
  • When the power to the Channel 6 building gets cut and Irma says "The power's gone out!" both her and Burne's mouths move. Immediately after this moment, Irma's ponytail disappears, reappears, and disappears again.
  • When the Turtles drive away the giant scorpion, it approaches a gate and fence with a sign on it that reads "NO TRESTASSING."
  • When Genghis Frog breaks through the window of the Channel 6 building and Irma says "Fresh air!" April's and Vernon's mouths move along with Irma's.
  • When Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady escape the giant ant by ducking into a narrow alley, the first shot shows an entrance to an apartment or condo to the left of the alley complete with stairs, windows, plants in the windows, and a door, but in the next shot it disappears and the windows with plants in them have been moved further up the side of the building. In subsequent shots the entrance comes back and the plant windows are moved back down to head level again.
  • Shredder is given a silver-colored cylinder to place near the ant-hill, with the green mutagen inside. When Bebop knocks it out of his hand, it's a glass beaker filled with lilac liquid.
  • When the chained-up giant ant is sprayed with the bug spray and starts to run away, the chain only appears around its neck and the rest of the chain that's keeping it held to the barricade disappears, although the next shot shows the chain breaking.
  • After the mutant ant enters the portal, the abdomen part of Krang's android is coloured red.
  • Near the end of the episode when Leonardo says "I think I'll go read a book," his mouth only flaps open for one frame and then stays shut during the rest of the line.
  • Genghis Frog is eating pizza at the end of the episode, despite him and his brothers showing disgust at being offered pizza in his debut episode, "Invasion of the Punk Frogs".


  • Final appearance of Metalhead.
  • This is the second episode in the series where one of the turtles retracts all extremities into his shell. The first time was "The Ninja Sword of Nowhere".


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