Donatello's Degree
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 Cartoon) episode
Donatello's Degree Title Card.png
Season Code: 04
Episode: 31
Original airdate September 8, 1990
Written by Jack Mendelsohn
Supervising Producer Fred Wolf
Producers: Walt Kubiak
Supervising Director  Bill Wolf
Episode chronology
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"The Dimension X Story" "The Big Cufflink Caper!"
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"

1987 Season1988 Season1989 Season1990 Season1991 Season1992 Season1992-1993 Vacation in Europe sideseason1993 Season1994 Season1995 Season1996 Season

Donatello's Degree is a season 4 episode of the 1987-1996 series.


Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael are all doing spring cleaning, but Donatello is finishing up the exams for his by-mail college degree. He anxiously waits for the next few weeks before receiving the news that he's graduated with the highest honors, and will be given his degree in person by Professor Filo Sopho himself.

Unfortunately, Sopho is under the impression that Donatello is actually a woman named Donna Tello. Refusing to forget about the honor, Donatello goes to Irma's apartment and is rewarded with a frying pan to the head before she recognizes him. He begs her to accept his degree in person, and after some initial reluctance, she agrees.

The two of them travel to the university (Donatello inside a trunk) and are picked up by drivers that bring them to Sopho's castle-like university. Professor Sopho flatters Irma and shows her around the university, but Donatello becomes suspicious of the hexadecimal transducer and the thuggish assistants that soon try to kill him.

Meanwhile, April is told to investigate fish overflowing in a lake. Vernon is sent with her, but only brought fishing equipment.

While the other Turtles recover from spring cleaning, Michelangelo's fish Max is acting oddly. Eventually he flops out into the sewer, where hundreds of other fish are furiously migrating. Michelangelo chases him, and Raphael and Leonardo chase Michelangelo.

While spying on Sopho and Irma, Donatello falls into the lake nearby and finds it overflowing with fish. He figures out why when he spots an oscilloscope in the basement of the university, which can change the molecular vibrations of the Earth's core. Sopho is planning to speed up the Earth and spin off everything on it. But before he can find Irma, he's grabbed by a vicious robot guard and barely escapes.

That night, at a banquet for the graduating class, Donatello has to masquerade as a waiter as he tries to figure out a way to contact Irma. He tries to pass her a note in a sandwich, but she ends up eating it.

The other three Turtles meet up with April after following the fishes to the lake, when Burne informs them that Sopho has called on the media for a big announcement.

Irma refuses to believe that Sopho could be a "crackpot," having let the flattery of Donatello's intellect go to her head. Before Donatello can do anything further, he's captured by Sopho's two goons.

Sopho announces that "Miss Donna Tello" is his partner in a massive scientific achievement, and whisks Irma off to his underground bunker. Irma realizes that he's a nutcase after all, and breaks the elevator through the roof. Unfortunately, the oscilloscope is already going strong, and Donatello is tied to it. Night and day have already sped up to a duration of mere seconds.

The other Turtles arrive and hack Donatello free of his chains, allowing him to root around inside the oscilloscope. He spots a hairpin on Irma's head and uses it as a tool to slow down the oscilloscope until it shuts down completely.

At home, Donatello rejoices that he's finally earned his degree, and Max continues misbehaving.



  • Turtles' Lair
  • Sewer System
  • Train Station
  • Sopho University
  • Channel 6
  • Irma's apartment


  • Turtle Van
  • Channel 6 Newsvan
  • Sopho University Limousine

Home media releases


  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Donatello's Degree


  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 4
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection



  • The ties on Raphael's belt are missing when Leonardo tells April to get out of the university.
  • Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo have no weapons when they jump into the sewer water to look for Maxwell, but they have them when they arrive at the lake.
  • When Donatello is attacked by the robot, there is clearly only one in the room... and then suddenly there are two, and then one again.
  • How did April know that Donatello was in Sopho's lab? Or that Irma was, for that matter?
  • When Michelangelo was scrubbing the floor with his feet, he was wearing headphones while listening to his Walkman. But when he knocked over a bucket of water and it landed on his head, he mistakenly appear to be wearing his headphones outside the bucket on his head.
  • Why didn't Donatello just explain to Professor Sopho about the misunderstanding of his name and gender instead of having Irma pretend to be him?


  • First appearance of Professor Filo Sopho  He will appear again for the second and final time in "Too Hot to Handle".
  • Professor Sopho's name is a pun on the word "philosophy".