is a catchphrase first used by the Ninja Turtles in the 1987-1996 animated TV series. While used by all four turtles, its generally associated with Michelangelo. As one of the more recognizable aspects of TMNT lore, it continues to be referenced in various other incarnations. The phrase is also spoken in the 2003 TV series and 2012 TV series. It is pronounced /ˌkaʊ.əˈbʌŋ.ɡə/ (KOW-ə-BUNG-gə).


Coming Out of Their Shells

The Coming Out of Their Shells tour includes a song called Cowabunga, which is performed by Michelangelo.


2012 TV series

  • In the 2012 TV series it was replaced by a new catchphrase, Booyakasha for two and a half seasons. In Meet Mondo Gecko, Mondo Gecko introduced the phrase Cowabunga into the series. Ever since Meet Mondo Gecko, Michelangelo uses Cowabunga from time to time, although he still more often uses Booyakasha.
  • A sports equipment store named Cowabunga appears in the background of various episodes.
  • At the end of The Manhattan Project, Part 2, the 80's turtles charge against a Kraathatrogon shouting "Cowabunga".
  • The new Party Wagon's license plate sais "CWABNGA" in previous artworks instead of LUVDCTR.
    • "Cowabunga" is Mondo Gecko's catchphrase in the episode Meet Mondo Gecko.

Video Games


The phrase "Cowabunga" was actually not from TMNT to begin with. It actually came from the British ventriloquist show the Howdy Doody Show in the 1950s by the character Chief Thunderthud. Writer Eddie Kean wanted to think of a word that's the opposite of the friendly "Cowagoopa" which is "hello", instead of the usual "Hao". So, Eddie Kean came up with "Cowabunga", showing a sign that the character, Chief Thunderthud, would get frustrated.

Eventually, after the Howdy Doody show was off the air, the word got stuck into people's minds, over the years it has become a kind of triumph for surfers, eventually getting into different media like the Ninja Turtles; and since Michelangelo is known for "pop culture references", it doesn't hurt that Cowabunga, would be used. This phrase enjoys some successor, mostly as a spoof of of clichés.