Enter the Rat King
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 Cartoon) episode
Season Code: 03
Episode: 09
Original airdate October 5, 1989
Written by Buzz Dixon
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"The Fifth Turtle" "Turtles at the Earth's Core"
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"
  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

Enter the Rat King is a season 3 episode of the 1987 animated series.


After Burne Thompson is attacked by rats on his way to work, he demands April do an editorial on the city's rat problem. The Turtles are also experiencing rat issues, since one of the rats somehow managed to eat an entire pizza mix. And after April visits them, rats chew through her tires and chase her and Irma down the street.

But during the broadcast, the lights cut out and April vanishes without a trace. She has been kidnapped by a mysterious sewer-dwelling man known as the Rat King, who has taken exception to her unflattering descriptions of his rodents. He throws her in a cage and demonstrates his ability to control rats with a flute.

Splinter joins the Turtles in searching for April in the sewers, but he starts hearing a strange melody that causes him to act oddly.

The Rat King, upon hearing from April that Splinter is a rat, intercepts him in the sewer and brainwashes him into attacking the Turtles. All four are unable to stop Splinter, partly because they are reluctant to hurt him, and Leonardo pleads with him to come to his senses. When Splinter is unable to fight off the Rat King's influence, Leonardo declares he won't defend himself against his master... but tricks Splinter into breaking a large water pipe, sweeping away the Rat King and temporarily breaking his hypnotic hold.

Splinter is deeply ashamed of having attacked his pupils, and doesn't want to accompany them lest the Rat King use him again.

Meanwhile, April escapes from the Rat King's cage and makes her way into a "Danger Keep Out" area. She quickly comes across the Turtles, while the Rat King finds Irma (who had deduced where April was being kept). The Turtles and April rush in to rescue Irma, but after she stomps on the Rat King's foot, one of his soda pop bombs is dislodged and detonates. The Rat King and the Turtles flee in different directions, right before the ceiling caves in.

Later, Splinter says that he's expecting them to battle the Rat King again someday, and Donatello shows them a trap he's devised for the Rat King, only to be humiliated when it backfires.

Appearing in Enter the Rat King

Major characters

Minor characters


Objects and vehicles

Home media releases





  • When the Turtles head for the Channel 6 building's window the strap around Donatello's is brown.
  • April's Turtlecom looks like the Turtles' version when she contacts them with it in the sewers.
  • When the Turtles are eating pizza, Donatello's bō and Leonardo's katana's disappear from their belts after the screen goes static.
  • April's speech was not muffled when she was in the process of removing her gag when she asked who the Rat King was.
  • When Raphael said to April talked after April told him and the other Turtles off when their weapons were drawn his sais where seen on his belt in the very next shot and he wasn't seen sheathing them.
  • After Burne crashes his car, a white cop and a black cop are seen, but when they write Burne a ticket, both cops are black.
  • At first, the Rat King put his soda bombs on the front, but later, they were seen on his back.
  • Throughout the episode, the pattern of the color soda bombs changes.
  • When the Turtles lowered their weapons after mistaking April for an intruder in the lair, the whites of Leonardo and Donatello's eyes were coloured green and their pupils were coloured white, plus immediately in the next shot, Donatello's bō was seen on his belt without being seen sheathing it.
  • When the Rat King was first seen holding the bowl of ratatouille, the left hand side pocket on April's jumpsuit was coloured brown.
  • When Splinter attacks Leonardo, he breaks the water pipe open in one place. After he and the Turtles leave, the pipe suddenly has TWO breaks.
  • Michelangelo is shown putting his mask on at the episode's beginning... but when he was putting on his belt a few seconds before, he was shown already wearing it.


  • First appearance of the Rat King in the 1987 TV series.
  • First episode not to feature Shredder and Krang etc.
  • While scaling the Channel 6 building, Donatello recalls the events of "Sky Turtles", wishing for the anti-gravity boots from that episode. He breaks the fourth wall to do so, referring to "episode six", though "Sky Turtles" is officially the fifth episode of season three; however, it's at least the chronological sixth, since the actual sixth, "The Old Switcheroo", appears to take place before it.



Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.