|“Invasion of the Punk Frogs”|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 Cartoon) episode|
|Original airdate||November 19, 1988|
|Written by||Michael Reaves|
Invasion of the Punk Frogs is episode number 13 of the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series. It is the eighth episode of season two (1988). This episode was written by Michael Reaves. It originally aired on November 19, 1988, in syndication. It is available on the DVD box set released on April 26, 2005. It is the first episode appearance of the Punk Frogs.
Michelangelo rushes through an elaborate and dangerous obstacle course, only being defeated by a flood of water at the very end. Splinter is timing the obstacle course runs that the Turtles are doing, which Donatello has recently added new traps to.
Meanwhile, Shredder wants Krang to send him more mutagen, in order to create more mutants to stop the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Krang is willing to do so, but since Dimension X is currently suffering from an ion storm, the canister lands in a Florida swamp instead of New York City. In the swamp, a family is having an unsatisfactory vacation when a young boy finds four frogs. His mother makes him put them back in the swamp, just as the mutagen leaks into the water. To the boy's delight - and his parents' horror - they mutate into human-sized mutants.
Krang informs Shredder where the mutagen landed, and Shredder decides to head to Florida to reclaim it (disguising himself with a holographic suit). He orders Rocksteady and Bebop to keep the Turtles occupied in his absence.
Meanwhile, at Channel 6, April O’Neil gets information that frog-like monsters were seen in Florida's swamp. April notifies the Turtles of the discovery, but before the Turtles can leave for Florida, they must take care of Rocksteady and Bebop, who are publicly causing problems.
Shredder finds the canister, but it's already empty - and he's immediately greeted by four talking giant frogs. He pretends to be a kind person to the innocent frogs, and they eagerly leap into his boat. He declares that he's taking them to defeat the "evil mutant Turtles."
Just as the Turtles engage Rocksteady and Bebop, the two thugs are recalled by Shredder and flee. Shredder has since named the frogs after his personal heroes - Attila the Frog, Genghis Frog, Rasputin the Mad Frog and Napoleon Bonafrog - and given them weapons. He's also "personally trained them," which has made them more effective than Bebop and Rocksteady in just an afternoon.
The Turtles are eating when the news suddenly reports that creatures like turtles have just robbed the bank, and the mayor has decided that the Ninja Turtles are responsible. As a response, he has created an Anti-Turtle Squad, led by Captain Hoffman, to hunt them down. The Turtles, realizing they are being framed, set out to find the impostors, but are hampered by the authorities chasing them wherever they go.
Shredder still needs more mutagen, and Krang doesn't currently have any more, but he offers to tell Shredder the ingredients. The Frogs are sent out to steal chemicals, and the Turtles aren't able to stop them from escaping. Even worse, Donatello realizes that the chemicals that the frogs stole are some of the ingredients needed to make more mutagen. However, there is one more chemical that is needed. April manages to find a shipment of the stuff being taken to the Argus Chemical Supply Warehouse.
The frogs are beginning to experience doubts about the rightness of what they're doing, and even suggest to Shredder that they reason with the Turtles. Shredder tells them to trust him, and demands that they steal the chemicals.
At the Argus Chemical Supply Warehouse, the Turtles spot the Frogs attacking the van, and land the Turtle Blimp. They then watch in horror as the Anti-Turtle Squad arrives on the scene with a tank and freezes the frogs. Before the Turtles meet the same fate, Raphael redirects the tank with his sai, and the Turtles retreat with the frozen frogs back to their sewer lair.
Splinter says that they have to show the Frogs trust if they want to win them over. Leonardo thaws the frogs, who believe they have been captured and are determined to fight their way out. A battle is about to break out when Splinter intervenes, orders the Turtles to lay down their arms, and informs the Frogs that they can leave. This convinces the Frogs that their former enemies are actually the good guys, and that Shredder is their true enemy.
The Frogs pretend that the Turtles are hiding the needed chemical at Stonewall Prison, luring Shredder to an abandoned penitentiary so that the Turtles can get the drop on him. However the Anti-Turtle Squad arrives at the wrong time, and Shredder uses the holographic projector to make himself, Rocksteady and Bebop look like Squad members. The Squad fills the area with sleeping gas, but Rasputin manages to blow out the floor and doorway, allowing them to escape.
Donatello gives the Frogs directions to get back to their home. Michelangelo offers them a pizza for the road, but the Frogs turn out to hate pizza.
- Leonardo (Cam Clarke)
- Donatello (Barry Gordon)
- Michelangelo (Townsend Coleman)
- Raphael (Rob Paulsen)
- Splinter (Peter Renaday)
- April O'Neil (Renae Jacobs)
- Burne Thompson (Pat Fraley)
- Irma Langinstein (Jennifer Darling)
- Shredder (James Avery)
- Bebop (Barry Gordon)
- Rocksteady (Cam Clarke)
- Krang (Pat Fraley)
- Genghis Frog (Jim Cummings) (Debut)
- Attila the Frog (Townsend Coleman) (Debut)
- Rasputin the Mad Frog (Nicholas Omana) (Debut)
- Napoleon Bonafrog (Pat Fraley) (Debut)
- Captain Hoffman (Jim Cummings)
- Mother at Florida Swamps (Jennifer Darling)
- Boy at Florida Swamps (Renae Jacobs)
- News Reporter (Peter Renaday)
- Turtles' lair
- City streets
- Shredder's hideout
- Okefenokee Swamp
- Mallory Chemical Plant
- Argus Chemical Supply Warehouse
- Channel 6
- Stonewall Prison
Home media releases
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Invasion of the Punk Frogs
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 2
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection
- The canister of mutagen changes size each time it's seen in this episode.
- One of the Rock Soldiers loading the mutagen canister into the dimensional portal is animated like a grey version of General Traag, All of the Rock Soldiers would appear in this way in "Return of the Technodrome".
- When Irma says, "Wait! You don't have a car!" to April, her left eye is drawn a bit oddly. It's slightly larger than her right, and the iris is a bit too far down.
- The Turtles' TV set changes color and model when it zooms in on the news report about the Punk Frogs.
- Leonardo's katana become the size of Ginsu knives when he lifts the manhole cover for the Turtles to escape the cops.
- When Bebop and Rocksteady are about to fight the Turtles, Bebop speaks in Rocksteady's voice.
- When Rocksteady and Bebop smash a manhole cover, there's nothing underneath it.
- Earlier in the episode, the Turtles have mounted up their TV on a wall stand. Later on, it's back on the floor again.
- It's nighttime when the Turtles first meet the Frogs, but it's daytime once they leave the building.
- Rasputin blows a seemingly bottomless well into the pathway of the van, but when it's seen from the Turtle Blimp's angle, it's only a slight crater in the ground.
- Why does it take two Stone Warriors to hurl a canister of mutagen through the portal? The way it bounces off of water as it falls through the vortex suggests that it's extremely light, and it's not really all that big, either, further evidenced by Shredder picking it up with one hand later on.
- When the canister leaks radioactive goop into the swamp river, it courses through the stagnant water at a very rapid pace, before coming to a halt right at the boy's feet. The background even suggests that the ooze had a good way to go down the river, so why did it just stop flowing?
- This episode seems to follow the trend that "Turtle Tracks" started; when the Punk Frogs appear before the family, they high-tail it and run instead of leaping into the van and driving off.
- Several of Shredder's shenanigans have him exposed to the general public in full costume, but as he announces he's heading to Florida, he's basically asked, "You're going there looking like that?" by Rocksteady, to which Shredder replies by showing off his image inducer, which alters his appearance. That's fine and all, but it leaves one to wonder: why hasn't Shredder done this before, and why does he not do it in future?
- (Or, for that matter, just change his clothes?)
- Is anybody else thrown off by the fact that all four Turtles trip over a lamppost when chasing after Bebop and Rocksteady? Seriously, how did they not see it?
- Seriously, Shredder trained the Punk Frogs that quickly? Where did he possibly find the time to teach the Punk Frogs martial arts, given the timing of this episode?
- If Shredder could train the Frogs that quickly, why not do the same for Bebop and Rocksteady?
- April's computer only has 18 keys.
- This is the first appearance of Attila the Frog, Genghis Frog, Napoleon Bonafrog, and Rasputin the Mad Frog, a.k.a the Punk Frogs.
- The weapons wielded by the Punk Frogs have medieval/western overtones to them, in contrast to the Turtles' Asian-originated weapons.
- Shredder's hologram projector disguise is basically his Oroku Saki character model dressed in pink.
- When Shredder leaves Rocksteady and Bebop in charge while he heads to Florida, the pair are seen laughing to themselves dimwitted, but immediately right before the scene cuts to the Channel 6 building, they can be seen scowling rather menacingly at the camera.
- Bebop and Rocksteady actually call Shredder out on the gaping plot holes in his plans. For example, as stated above, when Shredder prepares to leave, Rocksteady calls him out on his armor being less than conspicuous. Also, when Shredder introduces the Punk Frogs, Bebop points out that the Turtles are trained ninjas who'd mop the floor with them.
- The mayor describes the Turtles as 'terrorizing the city long enough' and assembles an 'Anti-Turtle' squad to deal with them, despite there only being one reported incident with creatures very vaguely described (and assumed to be) turtles.
- The Turtles are still wanted for the bank robbery at the end of the episode.
- The Punk Frogs hate pizza.
- Shredder's plan of creating an army of powerful mutants would be revisited and realized by another Shredder in Turtles Forever.
- Rocksteady carries a yellow comlink with a different design to that of Shredder's, this may have been what the animators had intended for them to look like until deciding to create identical versions for them from the third season onwards.
- When the News Reporter is interviewing the Mayor and Captain Hoffman, they are standing in front of a building with Kubiak written on it referencing the show's producer Walt Kubiak.
- When the boy tells his mother that the frogs are not "...the creatures from the Maroon Lagoon", he's making a reference to the monster movie classic Creature from the Black Lagoon.
- The Punk Frogs themselves are named after infamous figures in world history, namely Attila the Hun, Napoleon Bonaparte, Genghis Khan and Grigori Rasputin (otherwise known as Rasputin the Mad Monk.)
- Krang states that the canister landed in the Okefenokee Swamp, which is one of the largest peat-based swamps in North America. He has his facts slightly mixed up, however while a part of the swamp does reside in Florida, a major part of it is actually in Georgia.
- One of Rasputin's arrows gives off a blinding light upon impact, similar to a Flash Grenade. He is also reminiscent of another superhero with multi-purpose arrows, the Green Arrow.
- Stonewall Prison is a dead ringer for Alcatraz Island.