Leatherhead: Terror of the Swamp
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) episode
Leatherhead Terror of the Swamp Title Card.png
Season Code: 03
Episode: 30
Original airdate November 3, 1989
Written by Michael Reaves
Episode chronology
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"Blast from the Past" "Michelangelo's Birthday"
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"

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"Leatherhead: Terror of the Swamp" is an episode of the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series.

Plot Synopsis

Raphael is surprised (and momentarily frightened) by the other three Turtles while looking at an old photo album. As Leonardo flips through it, he sees a picture of their friends, the Punk Frogs.

Meanwhile, in the Florida swamp, a gator hunter and his son are searching for an alligator called Leatherhead, "the biggest gator that ever got born." Leatherhead attacks the two and successfully drives them from his swamp. When he gets to shore, Leatherhead mutates into an enormous humanoid creature.

Leatherhead chases down the Punk Frogs, easily defeating their various weapons before capturing them and making them his personal slaves. While he's sleeping, Rasputin calls the Turtles for help. Fortunately April, and Irma are in Florida on vacation, so the Turtles can stay with them for the duration of their rescue attempt.

Meanwhile in the Technodrome, Krang sees Leatherhead and is deeply impressed what his size and strength, especially since he was able to enslave the Frogs, Krang tells Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady to fetch Leatherhead, because he believes that Leatherhead will easily deal with the Turtles.

As soon as they arrive in the swamp (with April), the Turtles are captured in one of Leatherhead's nets. But one of the Frogs cuts them down, which allows them to pin Leatherhead down and then hoist him into a tree. Donatello concludes that he was probably mutated by some of the mutagen released into the swamp before.

Meanwhile, Shredder, Rocksteady and Bebop arrive in the swamp, and immediately enrage a hive of bees. They spot the Turtles, Frogs and a tied-up Leatherhead, and begin tracking them through the swamp.

Leatherhead successfully tricks the Turtles, Frogs and April into stepping into quicksand, but is pulled in headfirst by them. Shredder and his mutants rescue Leatherhead, and leave the others to die in the quicksand. Fortunately, Napoleon uses his bullwhip to drag them out of the quicksand.

As they clean themselves off, Michelangelo spots a beautiful little pond and leaps in, which causes him to start glowing. Donatello suspects that it has some diluted mutagen in it, but the only effect seems to be Michelangelo experiencing a massive energy boost. He concludes that it's turned the spring into a Fountain of Youth, but dissuades April from trying it herself.

Shredder sees a spring and tries to drink from it, but Leatherhead interrupts, declaring "it be full of voodoo magic." What it's actually full of is mutagen, and Shredder starts thinking of how to transport it back to Krang.

Shredder and the three villainous mutants show up and begin fighting. During the battle, Shredder falls into the Fountain of Youth and dramatically de-ages into a tiny baby. But Donatello accidentally breaks a local dam, which floods the area, washing Bebop, Rocksteady and Krang down their module hole. Leatherhead leaves, vowing revenge.

On the Technodrome, Shredder begs Krang to help him, and screams threats at Bebop and Rocksteady. But Krang just laughs his head off at this turn of events.

As the Frogs and Turtles say their goodbyes, Michelangelo gets caught in one of Leatherhead's leftover snares.





Home media releases





  • The back part of the interior of Leonardo's Turtlecom is coloured the same as the rest of the device when the Punk Frogs contact him.
  • When Bebop and Rocksteady fire their stun lasers their fingers aren't seen making contact with their triggers.
  • As the smoke from Rasputin's arrow had cleared in image of Shredder's discarded clothes and armour could be seen next to Leatherhead's foot but Shredder was actually in the fountain of youth at the time with his clothing still intact.
  • When the Turtles, April and the Frogs were looking at the baby Shredder, gaps were seen on the strapping on Donatello's staff.
  • Shredder is strangely orange in parts of this story.
  • When Michelangelo jumps out of the fountain of youth, Leonardo speaks in Raphael's voice.
  • When Donatello says "well, yeah, that's where the frogs live," he has Leonardo's colours.
  • Rasputin fires an arrow with a compressed net at Leatherhead, but instead of the net erupting from the arrow tip, it just sort of floats up to touch the arrow in mid-air.
  • Leatherhead says that "us gators live for hundreds of years." Alligators actually only live for 30 to 50 years.
  • When April yanks Leatherhead into the quicksand, he was tied up and his upper part of the body sunk in the quicksand. Then when Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady arrive and pull Leatherhead free from the quicksand, Leatherhead is no longer tied up.


  • This is the first episode appearance of Leatherhead.
  • This is the second episode appearance of the Punk Frogs.
  • Greg Berg voices Donatello and Bebop.
  • Dorian Harewood voices Shredder instead of James Avery.
  • Prior to his mutation, Leatherhead doesn't actually touch either of the humans in the boat, but still mutates into a humanoid anyway. This leaves a question as to how and when he came into contact with humans (with some potentially gruesome implications, given his reputation).
  • April mentions that she's 28 years old.
  • It is the first time that April appears in a bikini and Irma in a swimsuit.



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