Leonardo, the Renaissance Turtle
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) episode
EP 121 TMNT1987 Leonardo the Renaissance Turtle.png
Season Code: 05
Episode: 17
Original airdate October 9, 1991
Written by Dennis O'Flaherty
Episode chronology
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"Raphael, Turtle of a Thousand Faces" "Zach and the Alien Invaders"
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1991 Season
List of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episodes


  1. "The Turtles and the Hare"
  2. "Once Upon a Time Machine"
  3. "My Brother, the Bad Guy"
  4. "Michelangelo Meets Mondo Gecko"
  5. "Enter: Mutagen Man"
  6. "Donatello's Badd Time"
  7. "Michelangelo Meets Bugman Again"
  8. "Muckman Messes Up"
  9. "Napoleon Bonafrog: Colossus of the Swamps"
  10. "Raphael Versus the Volcano"
  11. "Landlord of the Flies"
  12. "Donatello's Duplicate"
  13. "The Ice Creature Cometh"
  14. "Leonardo Cuts Loose"
  15. "Pirate Radio"
  16. "Raphael, Turtle of a Thousand Faces"
  17. "Leonardo, the Renaissance Turtle"
  18. "Zach and the Alien Invaders"
  19. "Welcome Back, Polarisoids"
  20. "Michelangelo, the Sacred Turtle"
  21. "Planet of the Turtleoids, Part 1"
  22. "Planet of the Turtleoids, Part 2"

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"Leonardo, the Renaissance Turtle" is an episode of the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series.

Plot Synopsis

The Mayor of New York City is holding a press conference, claiming that a new plan will wipe out all crime. Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael are dismissive of the idea, but are shocked when Donatello reveals he was attacked by five thugs at the public library.

They decide to go to the conference, where the mayor introduces Professor Ignatz Mindbender, who has created a new robot: LEX, Law Enforcement Expediter. Mindbender claims that LEX will easily replace policemen, being tougher and smarter.

The following day, Pinky McFingers holds up a bank that April is doing business at. The Turtles arrive to stop the robbery in progress, but are interrupted by LEX's arrival. The robot easily apprehends McFingers and his goons, but when the Turtles try to thank him, he gives them a parking ticket.

As LEX continues to round up criminals, Leonardo is disgusted by the constant coverage of the robot. The other Turtles are hoping to have some time off to do other things like visit the Punk Frogs or overhaul Donatello's inventions. But their leader is not convinced that LEX is suited for all crime-fighting.

Meanwhile, Professor Mindbender adjusts LEX's programming, so that instead of just going after major criminals, he will now pursue all people who do anything "wrong."

Leonardo and April are just crossing the street after having a pizza when the "walk" sign switches to "don't walk." LEX shoots at them and swoops down to arrest them, but is interrupted when Mindbender summons him to arrest the mayor for wearing unmatched socks. Leonardo tries to contact the other Turtles, but Donatello is fixing a TurtleCom transmitter, and Raphael and Michelangelo are in a Florida swamp. With no one to turn to, Leonardo has to use Donatello's long-range communicator (which is keyed to another planet), but his attempts to get the other Turtles to help are unsuccessful.

Then he has a brainstorm: their old friend REX-1, now stored in a police warehouse and rather loopy and unable to remember them. They take him back to the lair, but Donatello is taking longer to fix things than expected. Leonardo leaves an overwrought message on Donatello's Turtle Com, which concerns the other three Turtles.

Fortunately he finds some old tapes of REX-1, using them to educate the robot on his past, and finally restoring his memory. Just then, LEX appears at the lair to arrest them, and brainwashes REX-1 into believing that his old friends are actually his enemies. They barely manage to escape on Michelangelo's Cheapskate.

As the other three Turtles head back home, Professor Mindbender declares martial law over New York and claims to be arresting every person in the city.

April and Leonardo sneak into City Hall, but find REX-1 waiting for them there. April tries to access his old memories, but it takes a kick from Leonardo to joggle REX's circuits back into shape. Unfortunately, Professor Mindbender and LEX arrive just then, and it seems like LEX will triumph. But Leonardo yells that the professor's shoes are scuffed, sending LEX to arrest his creator, and driving Mindbender to tear the wires from his invention. The other three Turtles arrive just then, but Leonardo has successfully subdued the villains.

That night, the Turtles and April feast on pizza while REX drinks antifreeze. Splinter compliments Leonardo on his heretofore-unknown talents, and April toasts the "Renaissance Turtle." As for REX-1, Donatello brings in "Rexanne," a female robot who immediately flusters the police robot.



  • 5th Street Bank
  • Turtle Lair
  • City Sewer System
  • Police Department Warehouse
  • City Hall
  • Florida Swamps



  • Long Range Scanner
  • Turtlecoms
  • Turtlecom Transmitter

Home media releases


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



  • Michelangelo was briefly seen with Leonardo's Katanas on his belt when he goes over to the picnic basket to answer his Turtlecom.
  • When Professor Mindbender is introduced, he somehow cuts through a steel microphone stand...but not the microphone cable dangling right next to it.
  • When Raphael and Michelangelo are calling Leonardo and April, Raphael calls Leonardo on April's compact Turtlecom, and Michelangelo calls April on Leonardo's walkie-talkie Turtlecom.
  • When Leonardo and April emerge from the sewer in City Hall, the grating on the sewer entrance suddenly changes from opened to closed when REX-1 appears in the next shot.
  • At the beginning of the episode, Splinter was looking very angry for no given reason.



LEX: Are you going to come quietly, or will I have to use force?
Leonardo: Let's try force first!!
(he draws his sword before LEX shoots it with a pink ray from his finger melting the blade)
Leonardo: Errr... How about thumb wrestling?