Invasion of the Turtle Snatchers
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 Cartoon) episode
Invasion of the Turtle Snatchers Title Card.png
Season Code: 03
Episode: 19
Original airdate October 19, 1989
Written by Francis Moss
Episode chronology
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"Cowabunga Shredhead" "Camera Bugged"
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

Invasion of the Turtle Snatchers is a season 3 episode of the 1987 animated series.

Plot Synopsis

The Turtles are celebrating April's first anniversary of her job at Channel 6. April, however, is depressed because her boss had warned her that if she doesn't come up with a big story, she won't be around to celebrate her second year. In an effort to cheer her up, Donatello asks Irma to help him pick up a pizza.

Meanwhile, in the Technodrome, Krang is working on a device that ends up exploding. Shredder told him that he warned Krang that the plasma heat dissipator couldn't stand that much overload. Krang, however, is unfazed, because the device had picked up a powerful energy supply at the fission reactor plant at the university, and he wants Shredder to find it.

Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady set up shop in the abandoned Acme Glueworks, and Bebop and Rocksteady are sent out to find the power source at the fission plant. However, Bebop and Rocksteady confuse "fission" for "fishing" and end up spending the next three hours at the harbour fishing. Shredder is furious,

Suddenly, a beam of light shoots from the sky, lifting away Rocksteady. Bebop panics, thinking Shredder did that to him, but the Shredder has no idea what Bebop is babbling about. When Bebop returns to the Technodrome, he reports that he lost Rocksteady, in addition to not catching a single fish.

Meanwhile, Donatello and Irma have arrived at Papino's Pan-American Pizzas, which are apparently April's favorite. However, before they can go inside, Donatello ends up in a beam of light just like the one that took away Rocksteady, and he's taken away as well. Irma panics and runs away.

Back in the Technodrome, Bebop is telling the story of Rocksteady's disappearance. Krang realizes that, if Bebop is telling the truth, then the only explanation is visitors from space. At the Turtles' Lair, after hearing Irma's story, Splinter has come to the same conclusion, having sensed an alien presence. April is thrilled, seeing alien visitors as the perfect story to keep her job at Channel 6.

Meanwhile, Donatello finds himself in a strange cavern, apparently after a wild ride that he claims the roller coaster companies would love to have. He attempts to call the turtles, but realizes he dropped his Turtle-Comm. He then sees someone coming his way, which turns out to be Rocksteady. They get in a brief fight, but then team up to find a way out of wherever they are, even managing to outwit an alien monster.

At Channel 6, Vernon has all but taken over April's office. Vernon's picked up a story about radiation at the university, and is going to go out to cover it. Burnes tells April that she can tag along as Vernon's Camera operator. Meanwhile, the Turtles are investigating the scene of Donatello's disappearance, and find his Turtle-Comm, proving Irma's story.

Back in the caves, Donatello and Rocksteady are still looking for a way out, but find themselves running into cliff edges everywhere they go, including one that all but disappears right from under them while they're pressed against a wall. Donatello gets a theory, and tells Rocksteady to let go of the wall. They fall, but the area around them changes into another cave, which eventually turns into the main room of an alien spaceship.

It turns out they were in a holographic simulation being controlled by an alien child, Nikto. It turns out Nikto had beamed them up from Earth because he wanted somebody to play with. His parents, Klatu and Barada, introduce themselves, explaining that they came to Earth some time ago and were forced to come back because Nikto left one of his toys there, which turns out to be the source of power that was being detected from the fission plant that, if left unattended, could mean the end of the world.

Back on Earth, Shredder and Bebop are investigating Rocksteady's disappearance. Shredder is convinced that the Alien Ship could have unspeakable treasures, but Krang is insistent on Shredder getting that power source from the University. Shredder, however, plans to get on that Alien Ship and take it over.

Back on the ship, Donatello and Rocksteady are given a tour of the ship, including a display of a matter to energy converter that powers the entire ship (and makes great coffee). Rocksteady sneaks off and manages to make contact with Shredder, telling him about all the neat stuff, and eventually figuring out a way to broadcast the ship's coordinates to him. Donatello manages to stop him, but a bit too late. However, Donatello manages to re-wire Rocksteady's Com-Link to make contact with the other turtles, telling them to intercept Shredder at the glue factory.

By the time the Turtles and Splinter get there, the Shredder has already started a countdown which will beam him up to the Alien Ship. The Turtles engage Bebop and the Foot Soldiers, while Splinter engages Shredder directly. However, during the fight, the countdown expires, and both Shredder and Splinter are beamed up to the Alien Ship.

Shredder goes off in search of Alien technology he can use, while Splinter takes the opportunity to find Donatello, who is introducing the aliens to pizza. Rocksteady slips away to find Shredder when he hears that he's been beamed aboard as well, but can't give him a straght answer as to where the aliens keep their weapons.

Back on Earth, Bebop tells the story to Krang, who is angered that Shredder is trying to steal the alien technology for himself. Krang decides to give Bebop one last chance and sends him to the fission plant to seize the alien power source there.

At Channel 6, Vernon is doing April's newscast, which is the "last straw" for April. She storms off, telling Irma that she's going to tell off Burne Thompson, but instead ends up begging him for one more chance. Mr. Thompson, however, is not interested, claiming her alien invasion as a "fairy tale." April storms off, determined to prove the alien visitors are real. She then regroups with the remaining turtles, who are off to the fission plant to save the world.

Back on the ship, it turns out the cheese on the pizza has put the aliens to sleep. Shredder has taken advantage of this to seize some of the alien weaponry, and traps Donatello and Splinter using the same device Klatu used earlier. Shredder leaves them there for now as he heads for the fission plant, aiming to get there before Krang does.

At the fission plant, the Turtles, with April filming, intercept Bebop and the Foot Soldiers there. The Shredder then appears with Rocksteady, introducing himself as "the new, improved Shredder," protected by a force field generated from the alien device. He then uses the device to trap the turtles and April, and then uses it to raise the Antarean Power Source.

Donatello and Splinter suddenly arrive, since the Antareans' powers of recuperation allowed them to wake up from the pizza coma and set them free. Shredder and Rocksteady threaten them with the stolen blasters, but they suddenly disappear out of their hands. Shredder passes this off as "a mere parlor trick" and raises the Antarean Cube, but it also disappears. The Antareans took back everything Shredder stole, and this sets the other turtles and April free.

Suddenly, an errant shot from Bebop strikes the Antarean toy, accelerating the meltdown process. Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady escape in a Transport Module in the confusion. April suddenly gets an idea, handing the camera to Raphael and running to the toy. The toy suddenly powers down, saving the world. When questioned how she did it, April holds up a device, saying "every kid's toy has batteries."

Later, in the Technodrome, Krang taunts the Shredder for trying to keep the alien power for himself, and ending up with zip. Shredder fires back, claiming that Krang doesn't even have hands to fix his equipment. Bebop ends up slamming the module door on Shredder's hands, to which Krang jokes, "Keep that up, and you won't have hands either!"

In the Turtles' Lair, April and the Turtles, minus Donatello, are watching April's newscast. She's happy that this story got her her office back, and a three-year contract extension with Channel 6. Donatello enters, having just gotten in contact with Klatu, who tells him that he and his family will be back to visit in the year 4989. Michelangelo runs into the kitchen to get some pizza ready. When Leonardo points out that they won't be back for three thousand years, Michelangelo says, "Why wait until the last minute?"

Character voices



Home media releases





  • Bebop's stun laser was drawn like an Anterian blaster just before he hit Nikto's toy with it.
  • When Rocksteady backed away, Donatello was seen with Michelangelo's nunchuks.
  • When Shredder concluded talking to Krang on his comlink, Krang's bubble walker was visible, but not Krang.
  • The ledge that Donatello and Rocksteady jumped off was fully intact even though it had already started fading away shortly beforehand.
  • When Bebop shoots the second time, laser bullets don't come out.


  • This episode derives its name from the science fiction movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
  • The Antarean visitors keep a store of powerful weapons on hand for Shredder and Rocksteady to steal, despite a self-professed hatred for violence.
  • The names of Klatu, Barada and Nikto are based on the famous phrase "Klaatu barada nikto" from The Day the Earth Stood Still.
  • The Antarean toy appears to be shaped similar to the Glass Tower from the 1974 movie "The Towering Inferno".


Shredder: This should locate the energy source. Now go!
Rocksteady: Right, boss! Uh, where we goin' to?
Shredder: To the fission plant! THE FISSION PLANT!
[Cut to Bebop and Rocksteady fishing on the dock]
Rocksteady: Y'know, this fishin' is the easiest job we ever had!

Shredder: I give you two imbeciles a simple assignment, and you can't even carry it out!
Bebop: But boss, somethin' awful happened.
Krang: What, you lost Rocksteady?
Bebop: Uh yeah, that also.
Shredder: "That also"?! What else went wrong!!?
Bebop: We didn't catch a single fish.



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