Leatherhead Meets the Rat King
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 Cartoon) episode
Leatherhead Meets the Rat King Title Card
Season Code: 3
Episode: 36
Original airdate November 13, 1989
Written by David Wise
Episode chronology
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"The Making of Metalhead" "The Turtle Terminator"
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 Meets the Rat King is a season 3 episode of the 1987-1996 series.


The Turtles are at a garbage dump, testing their abilities against cardboard cutouts. Michelangelo is having trouble taking it seriously, so Splinter decrees that he and Raphael will instead compete against Leonardo and Donatello, to see who can capture or defend whose mountain of garbage. Leonardo utilizes battle strategy, Donatello makes a garbage cannon, and Michelangelo sunbathes and orders pizza, much to Raphael's dismay because he‘s trying to focus.

Since a tanker truck of rat poison has gone missing, Burne demands that April find out what really happened. She soon finds a secret passage into the sewers, and a piece of cloth left behind by the Rat King.

Meanwhile, Leatherhead has stowed away in a truck and arrived in New York, searching for the Turtles. However, he has no idea where in the sewers they live, and he soon discovers the sewers are more than he can cope with. Soon he stumbles across the domain of the Rat King, who immediately enslaves him.

He also reveals that not only did he steal the rat poison, but he is chemically changing it into a gas that will turn humans into mindless slaves. There are a series of entrapments and freeings down in the sewers: Leatherhead frees himself from the collar put around his neck, the Rat King successfully captures Vernon and Irma, and though April escapes him she's immediately caught by Leatherhead.

In their garbage-mountain battles, Raphael and an indifferent Michelangelo seem to be getting trounced by Donatello's garbage cannon. But when the garbage destroys his pizza, Michelangelo goes berserk, tramples Leonardo, destroys the cannon, and claims his brothers' mountain, leaving his brothers mystified.

Just as they finish, April calls them to notify them that she's been captured by Leatherhead. Leatherhead also lets slip what the Rat King is planning - and he's using Irma and Vernon as his test subjects. Only after locking them in a room with the gas does the Rat King notice Leatherhead is gone.

The Turtles arrive just as a fight breaks out between Leatherhead and the Rat King, saving April from a soda pop bomb. As the two villains continue duking it out, the Turtles set out to save Irma and Vernon. But as they free the two newspeople (who are unaffected by the gas), Donatello checks the gas and finds that the entire tanker has become unstable.

The Turtles formulate a plan to get back at both Leatherhead and the Rat King, luring them back to the Rat King's home and tricking Leatherhead into firing his bazooka at the tanker. Leatherhead is blasted into the ocean, and the Rat King is trapped in the rubble of his home.

Vernon rejoices that he has a top story, which he believes will make him the new star reporter at Channel 6. But the Turtles are not convinced... partly because they noticed that he left the lens cap on the camera.


Home media releases


  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles vs. Leatherhead


  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 5
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 3
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection


  • City dump
  • City streets
  • City Sewer System
  • Rat King's Lair


  • Rat Poison Tanker


  • Turtlecom


  • Shredder, Krang and the mutants cardboard cutouts are based on their actual animation model sheets but with weapons added and a fake moustache added to Rocksteady's cutout.


  • The cardboard cutout of Krang is not wearing his Android Body.
  • The first two shots of Bebop's cardboard cutout showed him without his bandolier.
  • In one scene, we see cutouts of Michelangelo and Donatello instead of Michelangelo and Raphael.


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