Notes from the Underground,
Part 1
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) episode
Notes from the Underground Part One.PNG
Season Code: S01E13
Episode: 13
Original airdate May 10, 2003
Written by Eric Luke & Greg Johnson
Supervising Producer Lloyd Goldfine
Producers: Gary Richardson
Frederick U. Fierst
Al Kahn
Norman Grossfeld
Thomas Kenney
Supervising Director  Chuck Patton
Story Editor: Lloyd Goldfine
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"The Unconvincing Turtle Titan" "Notes from the Underground, Part 2"

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 1
February 8, 2003 - November 1, 2003
List of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episodes


  1. Things Change
  2. A Better Mousetrap
  3. Attack of the Mousers
  4. Meet Casey Jones
  5. Nano
  6. Darkness on the Edge of Town
  7. The Way of Invisibility
  8. Fallen Angel
  9. Garbageman
  10. The Shredder Strikes, Part 1
  11. The Shredder Strikes, Part 2
  12. The Unconvincing Turtle Titan
  13. Notes from the Underground, Part 1
  14. Notes from the Underground, Part 2
  15. Notes from the Underground, Part 3
  16. The King
  17. The Shredder Strikes Back, Part 1
  18. The Shredder Strikes Back, Part 2
  19. Tales of Leo
  20. The Monster Hunter
  21. Return to New York, Part 1
  22. Return to New York, Part 2
  23. Return to New York, Part 3
  24. Lone Raph and Cub
  25. The Search for Splinter, Part 1
  26. The Search for Splinter, Part 2

Season 1Season 2Season 3Season 4Ninja TribunalFast Forward - Back to the Sewer

"Notes from the Underground, Part 1" is the thirteenth episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and is also part 1 of 3 of the Notes from the Underground story arc. It first aired on May 10th, 2003. It had 1.99 million views on the 4kids website as of 2007.


Major Characters

Minor Characters

Main Locations, Vehicles and Accessories


Voice-Over Introduction

Michelangelo: What, you might ask yourself, would any sane turtle be doing in an abandoned subway tunnel deep under the city? A tunnel so decayed, it's going to collapse from just one little noise, and a huge weird thing howling at us at the top of its lungs. Funny, I'm asking myself the same question.

Plot summary

Donatello is at his workbench studying the mysterious crystals the Turtles found when they discovered their new lair. Mikey is watching a monster movie, and once it comes to an end, the bored Turtles walks over to pester Don. Mikey grabs the shards that Don is studying and nonchalantly places them together, causing the crystals to vibrate, glow and give off a high-pitched bell tone. Unknown to Donatello, the tone travels deep into the earth, and we see scary, glowing, eyes awaken upon hearing the noise.

In addition to waking the mysterious beasts, the noise wakes Splinter, Raph and Leo, and they all converge on Don to find out what’s going on. As Donatello is explaining that he doesn't know what's causing the light and noise to emanate from the crystals, the perimeter intruder alarm goes off. The TMNT grab their weapons, hop into the Sewer Slider and head out into the sewer tunnels to investigate. When they get to the site of the alarm, all they find is some weird tracks and, weirder still, evidence of someone or something eating through the tunnel walls and rock. Donatello takes samples of the melted rock surrounding the tunnel and they head back to the lair. As the Turtles depart, we see the strange glowing eyes watching them leave.

After analyzing the rock sample in his lab, Don concludes that the stone was melted by some kind of super powerful chemical. Splinter recommends that the guys investigate further, because this intruder may be a danger to them. The guys all jump at the chance for an underground adventure, except for Mike that is. Mikey is a little freaked out by all this talk of monsters and unexplainable events. It all sounds much too much like one of the monster movies he has been watching lately...

The guys pack up their weapons and spelunking gear and head off to follow the trail the creature dug into the rock. Don also brings along a few of the mysterious crystals, because they are a great light source. What they first discover is a long abandoned subway tunnel from the early 1900s. The tunnel system is in very bad shape, and looks like it could collapse with the slightest noise. Unknown to the Turtles, they are being followed by a mysterious creature. Just as the TMNT think they have made it through a dangerous part of the tunnel by being extra quiet, the monster confronts them and then lets out a loud roar that causes the tunnel to start collapsing. The Turtles run as fast as they can to escape the collapsing tunnel. They barely manage to escape being crushed by the rock fall and Leo tells them to keep moving.

The ninjas quickly relocate some monster tracks and follow them to the edge of a deep cliff. Don drops a rope and the Turtles make the long climb down. Once the Turtles reach the bottom, they decide to make camp for the night and rest. Raph takes the first guard duty. Not long after sacking out, Raphael awakens everyone with shouts that they are under attack. This time, a shadowy beast is rolling a huge boulder down the passage towards the Turtles' camp. The ninjas have no choice but to make another run for it. With the boulders gaining on them, the TMNT come to a broken bridge that once crossed a deep chasm. With time running out, Raphael uses his grappling hook and rope to assist their desperate crossing. The Turtles make it to the other side and watch the boulders fall endlessly into the chasm.

Taking a look at their new surroundings, the TMNT discover a hi-tech security door that has been forced open from the inside. Donatello tells the team that whatever was inside wanted out very badly. The Turtles enter the space and discover that it is a long abandoned laboratory of some kind. By looking at the various bits of equipment, Don concludes that it was a genetics lab. Mikey accidentally trips an electric eye beam and sirens start to sound, security doors slam shut and a force field defense systems activates! The force field will pass through inanimate objects, but it prevents living tissue from escape - thus the Turtles are pushed towards the room's walls, where they'll be crushed! At the last second, Donatello tells Raphael to toss his Sai into the crystal-powered generator. Raph's throw is successful and the machine short circuits, saving our heroes from becoming crushed.

With the immediate threat avoided, Don makes his way to a computer console, where he finds a program in the computer that is a visual diary of the experiments that were conducted in the lab by the Foot. The video diary reveals that Shredder established the lab to look for some enemies of his that he thought were living deep underground. The Foot were going to investigate this theory by mutating some "volunteers" into creatures that could tunnel their way deep into the center of the earth. At first, the experiments seemed to go well, but then the diary indicates that the mutated creatures became uncontrollable and trashed the lab, apparently killing all the Foot staff involved in the diabolical scheme. The last entry in the diary is a horrible scream from the leader of the experiment.

Now that they have a little better idea about what is following them (and what broke out of the lab and has been tormenting them), the Turtles decide the fun is over and they should haul shell back to the surface. Just as the TMNT turn to leave, the three mutant monsters block their path.


  • [The Turtles see something trigger the sewer tunnel alarm]

Donatello: Whoa!
Leonardo: What in the?
Raphael: Sewer rats are getting' bigger.
Michelangelo: Yeah, time to cut the cheese!
Leonardo: [facepalms]
Michelangelo: That's not what I meant.

Raphael: Hey, what do ya' get when ya' cross a turtle and a chicken? [pause] Mikey.

Raphael: You think that thing survived?
Michelangelo: Know your monsters, Raph. It can melt rock!
Raphael: Oh, yeah. Maybe I forgot because I was trying not to get buried in a COLLAPSING SUBWAY TUNNEL!!!!!
Leonardo: Everybody calm down. Let's keep moving.

  • [The Turtles run from a rolling boulder]

Michelangelo: Man, don't you hate when this happens?

Michelangelo: COWABUNGAAAA!
Raphael: Mikey, I told you no more Cowabunga!

Michelangelo: I like a little excitement first thing in the morning!

Foot Scientist:Day 1: Project commences. Master Shredder believes his enemies have taken refuge underground. Our Foot soldiers have been unable to locate them, so the genetic division has been directed to mutate human subjects, so that they can explore deeper into the earth.
[A test subject is being injected with green liquid]
Test Subject:No! Please!
Foot Scientist:The subject appears to be in "some" discomfort, but this is a minor annoyance.
[The subject mutates into a monster]
Leonardo:That poor guy.
Michaelangelo:This is starting to get really weird.
Foot Scientist:[The tape goes days later]Day 345, the experiment appears to be a success! Though the subjects are exhibiting reduced intelligence. [The diary flips days later again] Day 575, the creatures are showing signs of instability, becoming angry and vicious! Certain aspects of the experiment have gone horribly wrong! Have we attempted too much in developing this unnatural life form?!Perhaps there are some things man was never meant to tamper with.
Michaelangelo:[after mimicking the scientist's word] That's the one line in a monster movie you DON'T wanna hear.
Foot Scientist:[A demonstration is shown on the diary log] Through the generous use of shock restraints, the creatures have been trained to retrieve evidence from their explorations. [The log goes forward again as the Foot Tech Ninja cheer] Day 699, the project is a success! Our creatures have found evidence of habitation underground, which has been turned over to Master Shredder. I've been told he's quite pleased. [In the next log part, the scientist is disappointed] Day 733, the settlement we found is not what Master Shredder was searching for. He has pronounced the project: a failure. We've been ordered to shut down the operation, and destroy the creatures. [The tape then shows the creatures staging their escape] The creatures have freed themselves! They are more intelligent than we ever dreamed! [A Foot tech ninja is killed by the creatures while the log fast forwards again] They.. They have been manipulating us ALL ALONG waiting for their moment to escape! [The creatures come after the scientist] No! NO! KEEP AWAY! [The Foot Scientist screams as he is killed by the monsters]

[The Turtles hear growling noises]
Michelangelo: So there's always one guy in the monster movie who freaks out 'cuz he can't take the pressure and I'm gonna do an impression right now and it goes something like...GET ME OUTTA HERE!
[Mikey proceeds to run away]


  • First appearance of the Mutant Monsters: Quarry, Razorfist, and Stonebiter.
  • Mikey says his 1987 counterpart's catchphrase "Cowabunga!" for the fourth time.
  • When the Turtles run from the rolling boulder, may be a reference to Indiana Jones.
  • When Mikey says to Raph, "After you.", you can see that there are two Mikeys. 
  • This episode began a long chain of adventures that continues until episode 34



External links