Michelangelo's Birthday
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) episode
Michelangelo's Birthday Title Card.png
Season Code: 03
Episode: 31
Original airdate November 6, 1989
Written by Eliot Daro
Episode chronology
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"Leatherhead: Terror of the Swamp" "Usagi Yojimbo"

"Michelangelo's Birthday"  is an episode of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987 cartoon series.

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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The show starts in the Turtles' Lair, with Michelangelo making a cake out of stacked pizzas and singing a birthday song to himself. But when he walks into the living room, where his brothers are, they eat the pizza-cake, and are acting like the day is any other day. He tries desperately to call attention to his birthday, but is brushed off. When an upset Michelangelo leaves the room, his brothers give each other high-fives about how they fooled Michelangelo, in anticipation of a surprise party they're planning.

Meanwhile, in the Earth's core, Krang has forced Shredder out of the Technodrome and Shredder is complaining about it. A Rock Soldier has knocked over some welding flux he was working with, that turns the lava into a puddle of goo. Krang sees it as an opportunity for a horrible plan.

Back in the Lair, the turtles and Splinter are training. Michelangelo is kind of dropping a few hints about his birthday, but his family doesn't seem to be getting any of them.

In the Technodrome, Krang has created an anti-mutagen that he believes will return the turtles back into their previous form, as ordinary turtles. Krang sprays some on one of the Rock Soldiers, but it fails. But when he throws the whole bottle at three soldiers, they become the rocks they once were. Krang believes that the only way for the anti-mutagen is to spray is on at least three of the turtles together.

Later, back in the Lair, Michelangelo is giving his family one last chance at guessing what day it is. But since they're still pretending, they still pretend not to know, and Michelangelo runs out of the room. Raphael and Donatello are amused by Michelangelo's reaction, but Leonardo begins to feel that they are stretching the joke too far. But Raphael insists that what they're doing is 'too much fun.' In Michelangelo's room, he writes a note to his family. When he's done, he runs away with a packed bag.

Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady decide to trash one of the streets, which they believe will attract the authorities, which will attract a friend of the Turtles'. That friend will call the Turtles, and the Turtles will try to stop Shredder. The Shredder then tells Bebop and Rocksteady to starts destroying the area and causing mass panic. Vernon Fenwick sees it as an opporitunity for a story, and records some footage, which April sees.

She alerts Donatello to the news that Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady are destroying everything near the Channel 6 building. But as Donatello, Leonardo and Raphael are leaving, they notice that Michelangelo isn't with them. Splinter answers their queries, reading out loud the note that Michelangelo left behind and why he ran off. Leonardo talks about how he knew they should have ended the joke about them forgetting Michelangelo's birthday sooner, and Donatello says that it looks like Michelangelo surprised THEM before THEY could surprise HIM. Realizing they hurt Michelangelo's feelings, the turtles plan to go find him and bring him back, but Splinter says that he will look for Michelangelo, while the others go stop Shredder.

The Turtles go topside, and fight, but Shredder's attempts to spray them are less than successful. The three villains eventually escape by scampering over a garbage truck, but stumble across a disconsolate Michelangelo wandering by himself.

They strap Michelangelo into the Flushomatic machine that will slowly slowly pours an acidic mutagenic compound onto his body. Shredder orders Rocksteady to contact the turtles via Michelangelo's Turtle Com, ordering them to meet Shredder within ten minutes, or Michelangelo will be "flushed."

The villains rush off to meet the Turtles, leaving Michelangelo to be melted. However, he manages to break loose from the restraints a few seconds before the mutagen falls, burning a hole in the floor. He rushes out to find the other Turtles before Shredder can.

The other Turtles meet Shredder, who insists on being driven back to his hideout in the Turtle Van. Michelangelo arrives a few minutes late, and encounters Splinter there.

When they arrive at Shredder's hideout, the other three Turtles are horrified to see the burned hole full of green goo in the floor, which they believe is the last of their youngest brother. Before the grief-stricken Turtles have a chance to react, Shredder sprays them with his anti-mutagen. But instead of de-mutating them, it just swells them up to the size of weather balloons.

Exulting over the seeming deaths of his enemies, Shredder sneers at Krang that he doesn't need him anymore now that the Turtles are gone. Just then, Michelangelo and Splinter arrive, causing Shredder to desperately plead for Krang's help.

Michelangelo and Splinter easily dispose of Rocksteady and Bebop, and the two mutants flee with Shredder from the building. Michelangelo is devastated by the apparent loss of his three brothers, who do not respond to his calls. But Splinter pulls three small spheres from his pocket, claiming that they were given to him by a wise teacher to be used in direst need. The spheres glow, fly into the air, and restore the three Turtles to normal. Only then does Splinter reveal that they're actually mothballs, and it was all due to the power of believing strongly enough.

Back at the lair, Michelangelo makes one last attempt to tip off his family about his birthday, when Splinter calls him over to where a curtain has been drawn over a room. Behind it is the surprise party they've been planning all day.


Eliot Daro


Bill Wolf

Character voices




Home media releases


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



  • The blown-up Turtles have no knee pads for four shots in a row.
  • In exactly the same shot, they have an extra finger and an extra toe.
  • Also have gains a few plastral plates while ballooned up.
  • Turtles are hatched, not born


  • Rocksteady breaks the fourth wall when he turns towards the audience and said; "He must have seen this episode before".
  • Introduces the Flushomatic.
  • April gives Michelangelo a kiss at the end of the episode. She previously kissed Donatello before in "Sky Turtles". 
  • Michelangelo also breaks the fourth wall, by saying; "Ya know, some birthdays, a dude oughta just stay in bed and catch somes Z's. You know what I mean?'
  • When Raphael says "Hey, never mind the jokes, Shecky", it is a reference to Shecky Greene, an American comedian who was famous in the 50's and 60's.