Cowabunga Shredhead
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 Cartoon) episode
Cowabunga shredhead.jpg
Season Code: 03
Episode: 18
Original airdate October 18, 1989
Written by Duane Capizzi
Steve Roberts
Episode chronology
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"Turtles, Turtles Everywhere" "Invasion of the Turtle Snatchers"
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1989 Season
October 19, 1989 - December 22, 1989
List of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episodes


  1. "Beneath These Streets"
  2. "Turtles on Trial"
  3. "Attack of the 50-Foot Irma"
  4. "The Maltese Hamster"
  5. "Sky Turtles"
  6. "The Old Switcheroo"
  7. "Burne's Blues"
  8. "The Fifth Turtle"
  9. "Enter the Rat King"
  10. "Turtles at the Earth's Core"
  11. "April Fool"
  12. "Attack of Big MACC"
  13. "The Ninja Sword of Nowhere"
  14. "20,000 Leaks Under the City"
  15. "Take Me to Your Leader"
  16. "Four Musketurtles"
  17. "Turtles, Turtles Everywhere"
  18. "Cowabunga Shredhead"
  19. "Invasion of the Turtle Snatchers"
  20. "Camera Bugged"
  21. "Green With Jealousy"
  22. "Return of the Fly"
  23. "Casey Jones - Outlaw Hero"
  24. "Mutagen Monster"
  25. "Corporate Raiders from Dimension X"
  26. "Pizza by the Shred"
  27. "Super Bebop & Mighty Rocksteady"
  28. "Beware the Lotus"
  29. "Blast from the Past"
  30. "Leatherhead: Terror of the Swamp"
  31. "Michelangelo's Birthday"
  32. "Usagi Yojimbo"
  33. "Case of the Hot Kimono"
  34. "Usagi Come Home"
  35. "The Making of Metalhead"
  36. "Leatherhead Meets the Rat King"
  37. "The Turtle Terminator"
  38. "The Great Boldini (episode)"
  39. "The Missing Map"
  40. "The Gang's All Here"
  41. "The Grybyx"
  42. "Mister Ogg Goes to Town"
  43. "Shredderville"
  44. "Bye, Bye, Fly"
  45. "The Big Rip-Off"
  46. "The Big Break-In"
  47. "The Big Blow Out"

1987 Season1988 Season1989 Season1990 Season - 1991 Season1992 Season1992-1993 Vacation in Europe sideseason1993 Season1994 Season1995 Season1996 Season

Cowabunga Shredhead is a season 3 episode of the 1987-1996 series.


Michelangelo has been having problems with gluttony: he ate all the pizzas that he was supposed to serve his brothers for dinner. Because he has done this before, Splinter says that he must learn a form of inner self-control, which involves being hypnotized into responding "I crave pizza no more" whenever he is exposed to his favorite food. After it is done, Michelangelo no longer wants pizza and hears in his mind "I crave pizza no more" whenever he comes near one.

Meanwhile, Shredder is working on a plan to destroy the Turtles by creating a holographic clone of Michelangelo to infiltrate the Turtles' Lair. Something goes wrong with the mainframe when Bebop puts the disk with Michelangelo's psychological profile in backwards, resulting in lasers shooting around the room. One of the lasers hits Shredder in the head, and he groggily stumbles off.

In the sewers, the other three Turtles are impressed by Splinter's hypnotic technique, and test it out by offering Michelangelo a pizza. He acts repulsed and says "I crave pizza no more."

Suddenly Shredder appears, having bought some pizzas. The Turtles are shocked to see Shredder, much less him thinking of the Turtles as friends. It is realized that by his mannerisms and behavior that the Shredder somehow thinks he is Michelangelo! Splinter then uses a hypnotic method on Shredder to get him to see why he is behaving in such a manner, and says the word "Shredder" to get him to gain his appropriate personality of Saki. The right-minded Shredder suddenly lashes out at Splinter and the Turtles, albeit confused what he is doing in their residence. Aware of the danger, Splinter hypnotizes him into taking Michelangelo's persona once again to prevent a fight, by using the word "Michelangelo." Splinter warns the Turtles that any mention of the word "Shredder" will cause him to revert to his Shredder persona, so such word should be avoided.

Meanwhile, Michelangelo has been feeling left out, and goes by himself to his favorite restaurant, Vinnie's Pizzeria. Remembering Splinter's hypnotic suggestion "I crave pizza no more," he feels no need to eat pizza and instead orders a soft drink. Bebop and Rocksteady have been stalking Michelangelo, and manage to capture him after a fight.

Meanwhile, Donatello discovers a computer disk that fell out of Shredder's pocket and decides to take it to Channel 6 News to use April's computer system to access the information on the diskette. Once there, they surmise that Shredder plans to digitally clone Michelangelo, and Shredder, who thinks he is Michelangelo, is none too happy about that. Raphael asks Shredder/Michelangelo where he might go if he wanted to sulk—the answer: Vinnie's Pizza.

But Leonardo, Raphael, and Shredder/Michelangelo arrive just moments after the real Michelangelo is abducted by Rocksteady and Bebop. While they search the kitchen, Shredder/Michelangelo stuffs his face with pizza and sees some cheese clinging to a cheese shredder. When he gloats to himself that there is some loose cheese on the "shredder", it causes his true persona to return. Shredder is confused, but not so confused that he does not realize that he is alone with the Turtles. Leonardo and Raphael enter the kitchen unaware that Shredder has reverted to his true mindset; to which he knocks the two turtles into a gigantic pizza and says they are on their way to the oven.

Back at Shredder's hideout, while he returns to find Michelangelo gagged and tied to a chair as Rocksteady and Bebop dance in delight, Donatello and April have learned Shredder and Krang's master plan - and it involves the President of the United States of America . They try to contact Leonardo and Raphael, via the Turtlecom, but there is no answer. Meanwhile, Shredder discovers that his "master plan" computer disk is missing and races back to Vinnie's Pizza by demanding to know what they did to his disk. Raphael saves himself by replying "Sure thing, Michelangelo," causing Shredder to once again think he is Michelangelo and wondering why his fellow Turtles are in the pizza? Shredder frees the two turtles by eating the cheese.

At the Channel 6 News Building, the Turtles realize that they must find the holographic synthesizer and destroy it, along with finding the real Michelangelo. Donatello has a plan that might accomplish both. They head back to Vinnie's Pizza and recreate the scene just as Shredder/Michelangelo had encountered Leonardo and Raphael moments before they were "saved" by Shredder, where Leonardo says that Donatello needs to make the cheese loose so he and Raphael can free themselves from it, and so that "you know who" will not be thrown off track as he believes no time has passed. Shredder in his "surfer Turtle" persona thinks this is a dotty idea to be in a pizza and have himself point a gun at them, to which Leonardo says they are only preparing a sting for Shredder, which causes Shredder to regain his true persona and demand the computer disk. They give it to him and escape before he has a chance to capture them. They then follow him back to his hideout, where he discovers that his disk has been reprogrammed and he is surrounded by dozens of holographic Michelangelos. This gives the Turtles time to rescue their brother, as they untie and ungag him.

Shredder ejects the disk and all of the holographic Turtles disappear only to be replaced by the real Turtles. In their attempt to destroy the Holographic Synthesizer, Shredder has them encased in a force field - but they outsmart him when they call him Michelangelo and he reverts to a "Turtle" and destroys his own machine when he sees his "amigos" in trouble. Before the machine blows, Shredder is zapped by the machine once again, and is, once again, reverted to Shredder but, by now, Rocksteady and Bebop believe that he really is a Turtle in disguise and they take him back to Krang and the Technodrome.

In celebration of their victory, the Turtles have pizza. Michaelangelo declines, saying "I crave pizza no more." Feeling Michaelangelo has learned his lesson about overeating, Splinter undoes the hypnotic technique to allow Michaelangelo to crave pizza once again. Michaelangelo celebrates by eating multiple slices, to which the other Turtles remark no clones are needed with the way Mike eats!

Character voices



Home media releases


  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga, Shredhead


  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 4
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 3
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Cowabunga Classics



  • Michelangelo can be seen holding Leonardo's katanas (see photo above) in the intro title card.
  • When Bebop and Rocksteady dance around Michelangelo, they switch positions.
  • Just before Leonardo and Raphael are about to enter the giant pizza oven, Leonardo speaks in Raphael's voice.
  • Michelangelo is seen with his nunchuks when he walks out of the lair, but his nunchuks are not seen on his shell when he's captured by Rocksteady and Bebop.
  • Michelangelo has a sock in his mouth, but later, he's gagged with a cloth.
  • Michelangelo's ankles are tied, but later, when a cloth covers his mouth, his ankles are untied.
  • When the Turtles (except Michelangelo) pop out of the trash cans after Shredder leaves the pizza kitchen, Leonardo is seen with Michelangelo's colors. Then, when the Turtles (except Michelangelo) approach Shredder's hideout after following him in the very next shot, Raphael is seen with Michelangelo's colors.
  • When Splinter hypnotizes Shredder to his regular self, Donatello and Michelangelo grab him, but a shot later, they are replaced by a duplicate Leonardo and Raphael.
  • When Donatello and Michelangelo grab Shredder after Splinter hypnotizes him back, Michelangelo is seen with Leonardo's "L".
  • When Shredder approaches Leonardo and Raphael in the pizza kitchen to attack them, Leonardo said Michelangelo‘s name, but Shredder didn’t change back into Michelangelo‘s personality.


Splinter: You will never speak the name of my arch-enemy. Instead, you will refer to him as "you-know-who".

<Bebop and Rocksteady were ordered by Shredder to clean their temporary hideout. Then Shredder arrives in the Transport Modules, causing a bigger mess.>
Shredder: This place is a pig sty! I thought I told you to clean it up!
Bebop: But we did. But then you came busting in and we—
Shredder: No excuses!