Pizza seen in various TMNT incarnations

Pizza is a type of flatbread that originated in the 18th century or early 19th century in the city of Naples, Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (today part of modern Italy). Pizza has since become popular in many parts of the world, especially the United States of America, where distinctly American style of pizza has developed.

Pizza has been featured as the favorite food of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in several iterations of the franchise, as Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird often ate it for lunch while working on the original comics.[citation needed] Michelangelo is usually the turtle with the strongest affinity for pizza, however all of the brothers are usually shown to also enjoy it. Pizza has since become associated with the franchise in pop culture, leading to numerous promotional tie-ins.

By appearance[]



Some TMNT stuff really isn't for little kids.

Pizza occasionally appeared in the Mirage universe, but it never had the central role in the Turtles' diet as it did in other versions.


Splinter giving the Turtles' Pizza to tick Gnatrat off.

  • "Totally Hacked!" - Using a million dollars he had in his pocket, Gnatrat buys a restaurant (employing Splinter as a waiter) and lures Supperman in with an All You Can Eat promotion. They prepare the final dish, which is unfortunately pizza, and it attracts the Ninja Turtles to the restaurant. Splinter begins to tell his sons to back off from the pie, but Gnatrat gets too absorbed in his "boss" role and starts ordering Splinter around. Incensed, Splinter feeds the pizza to the Turtles just to tick Gnatrat off.

    Leonardo showing Usagi and Tomoe Ame Pizza before being teleported back to his world.

  • "The Treaty" - Leo is racing across the rooftops of New York, hoping to get back to April's apartment with a fresh pizza. Unfortunately, he undergoes another one of the after effects from his recent time/space adventures and finds himself zapped to the world of Usagi Yojimbo yet again. While there Leo drops his pizza. Tomoe Ame picks up his trampled pizza box, disgusted by the quality of the contents within. Taking the pizza, Leo attempts to explain that normally it's very appetizing, but before he can finish, the time/space effects wear off and he vanishes. Back in April's apartment, the Turtles are a bit ticked that Leo's taking so long with the pizza. Suddenly, he comes smashing through the window and lands face-first on the floor. Not only has he missed the entire movie and ruined the pizza, but now he's broken April's window.
  • "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Attack!!!, part 1" - The Turtles are arguing over where to stop for dinner. Michelangelo suggests pizza, but Leonardo vetoes the idea, as pizza makes him gag.
  • "The Name is Lucindra" - Raphael owes Lucindra a pizza after losing to her.
  • "The Violent Underground" - Raphael eats pizza.
  • "Raphael: Snapper" - Raph sits on the couch in front of the tube, nursing indigestion after eating six pepperoni pizzas. Looking to his left, he spots a glass bowl containing Snapper, a tiny snapping turtle. Amused, Raph plucks the turtle up by its tail, only to have it bite his finger. The pain and the indigestion prove too much for him, and Raph passes out. Suddenly, Raph finds himself in a nightmarish version of April's apartment, approached by a humongous mutant snapping turtle. Tearing Raph's throat out with his jaws, the snapping turtle says that pizza is no substitute for blood.
  • "The Haunted Pizza" - A cheese factory drilled deep into the ground to create gigantic warehouses for their product. Eventually small portions of Ooo-Zah were able to make their way through hairline cracks into the factory, and begin growing on the cheese. Eventually the cheese was processed and shipped to pizza factories... and of course, April brings the pizza containing Ooo-Zah home. After they dispose of Ooo-Zah, Raph suggests they get a REAL pizza… just from a different restaurant.
  • "Memories of the Future" - Casey passes out in front of the tube, having eaten too much pizza.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Flaming Carrot crossover "Land of Green Fire, part 1" - Professor Daub, Colonel Blade and the Turtles decide to break for pizza.
    Splinter Cell frontispiece

    Michelangelo, master of the whirling pizza.

  • "Splinter Cell" - Michelangelo uses his nunchakus to deflect several slices of pizza being hurled in his direction.

1987 TV series / Archie[]

The 1987 cartoons are, along with the comics based on them, a TMNT universe in which the Ninja Turtles all share an intense affinity for pizza, particularly Michelangelo. The Turtles always get their pizzas by going on the streets to a pizza parlor, dressed so no one could see that they are mutant turtles. Sometimes all four go, sometimes only one goes.

Pizzas are also the Turtles' weakness. The Shredder is aware of this, as many of his plans to destroy them involve pizza (like the episodes "The Case of the Killer Pizzas", "Pizza by the Shred" etc.)

The Turtles are hardly ever seen eating anything else; however they are very flexible with what toppings they like on their pizza, experimenting with all sorts of items in every possible combination including:

Was that the of Pizza 87

Pepperoni and Ice-cream

Archie Comics


Splinter's alone time consists of either meditating, watching TV or eating anchovies and black olive pizza from Town Spa Pizza.

Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (Fleetway)[]

Just as in the 1987 TV series and the Archie comics, the Fleetway comics depict the Turtles as having not only an intense affinity for pizza, but even a physical need for it. Though most of the time they get takeaway and eat their pizza in the lair, they do sometimes don their disguises of trenchcoats and fedoras in order to dine out at a pizza restaurant. Some of the stories even focus on pizza, as seen in The Pizza Throwing Contest and Help! Where's the Pizza?. In the latter story, Shredder determines that without pizza, the Turtles' fighting ability would be zero. Promises of free pizza will lure them into traps, as in Haunted Turtles. When Michaelangelo is knocked out in Pizza Nightmare!, he dreams of a Pizza Planet.

The Turtles' pizza topping choices are eclectic and imaginative, with such combinations as:


Giant pizza

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (comic strip)[]

Pizza appears in or is mentioned in every one of the comic strip storylines. A Pizza Delivery dude appears in two of the storylines to deliver pizza to the Turtles, one time directly to the lair.

Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (Grandreams)[]

The dependency on and obsession with pizza carries into the TMNT Annuals and Special by Grandreams. Shredder knows this and places a sleeping potion in their pizza during Poisoned Pizzas.

  • Invasion of the Punk Frogs (comic) - Michaelangelo brings in a celebration pizza to send the Punk Frogs on their journey back to their home in Florida. When he learns that they don't like pizza, Mikey thinks that's just plain weird.
  • Shadow of the Ninja - Donatello tries to snap Splinter out of his trance by waving a slice of stale Chinese mustard and raspberry jam pizza under his nose.
  • Poisoned Pizzas - Strawberries and cream, banana and jam, rhubarb and jelly, cherries and custard, strawberry and jam, cheese, onion and custard, rhubarb and tomato, mushroom and marzipan.



Some TMNT stuff really isn't for little kids.

TMNT Image Issue -10

Raph talks to Mikey about his cravings while in Chicago.

issue #10 - While in Chicago, Raphael talks about wanting beer and stuffed crust pizza and a hot dog.

Tmnt Image -17

April brings home the bacon, or in this case the pizza.

issue #17 - April brings home some pizza.

The Next Mutation[]

2003 TV series[]

Pizza occasionally appeared in the 2003 TV series. Though not as much as they are also seen eating things such as Chinese food, Barbeque Soy Chips, scrambled eggs and even ice-cream.

  • "Attack of the Mousers" - The Turtles are seen eating pizzas as babies during the flashback of their origin.
  • "Darkness on the Edge of Town" - Michelangelo ate pizza off-screen
  • "The Way of Invisibility" - After delivering a message to the Turtles at their lair, Casey Jones decided to crash on their couch to watch TV and eats a slice of pizza.
    TMNT 2K3 S1E5

    Leo sleeping while holding a slice of pizza.

  • "Nano" - Leonardo was seen sleeping with a slice of pizza and a drinking cup in his hand.
  • "The Shredder Strikes, Part 1" - While spying on Leo during his meeting with Oroku Saki, Michelangelo talks about his craving for pizza with onions, pepperoni and sausage in a deep dish crust.
  • "The Shredder Strikes Back, Part 1" - You can see open pizza boxes when the turtles are sleeping.
  • "The Lesson" - The kid Turtles are seen eating Pizza while Splinter is lecturing them to not go up to the surface.
  • "Grudge Match" - Splinter mentions wanting to eat pizza as he teaches Mikey a lesson in karma as declares that he's ready for training in his rematch with Kluh.
  • "Bad Day" - A pizza box is amongst the stuff scattered around the living room.
  • "Prodigal Son" - We see Angel delivering a pizza (which is actually a note from Leonardo) to April's antique shop as the Foot spy on them. Also in the same episode when Leo is about to go out and get some supplies, Mikey requested Leo to get some pizza, Chinese food and some Kibble for Klunk. He only got them Chinese food in the end...
  • "Enter the Dragons, Part 2" - Michelangelo talked about wanting pizza at the end of the episode.
  • "SuperQuest" - The Admin Wizard's player can be seen sleeping with a pizza box next to him.


TMNT 2K3 dw6

Leo casually eats pizza while walking up to April telling that they ran out of pizza

In the Dreamwave comic series, Leonardo can be seen eating pizza in "Bend It Like Turtles".

2012 TV series[]

Similar to the 80s cartoon, the Turtles heavily enjoy consuming pizza, which they've grown to love since the first episode of the series. In "Karai's Vendetta", it was also confirmed that they, mostly Mikey, place strange toppings on their pizzas (such as shrimp and sardine).

  • Rise of the Turtles, Part 1 - In their fifteen years growing up in the sewers, the Turtles only ever ate algae and worms prepared in various dishes. When they were finally allowed to go up to the surface, Raphael playfully scares a pizza delivery guy and causes him to drop a box of Antonio's Pizza-Rama pizza. Not knowing what it was at first, the Turtles investigate it and Michelangelo volunteers to taste it. It was so good (his brain exploded from the flavor) Mikey at first tried to convince his brothers it was terrible so he could have it all to himself, but they weren't convinced - after eating the pizza they determined it was a huge improvement over worms and algae. Pizza had since become the Turtles' favorite food, particularly Mikey's.
  • Never Say Xever - After saving his life, Mr. Murakami offers a reward to the Turtles, he asks what would they like to eat and as they answered pizza, Murakami created a new recipe, Pizza Gyoza.
  • It Came from the Depths - Mikey blended some pizza while trying new recipes, creating a "pizza milkshake", the P-Shake. None of his brothers liked the novelty, but Leatherhead fell in love with another of Mikey's recipes, the Pizza Noodle Soup.
  • New Girl in Town - Mikey was revived with a slice of pizza after a fight with Snakeweed left him unconscious.
  • Parasitica - When trying to get Leo back to his normal self, the Turtles offer him some of his favorite pizza, anchovy, jalapeños and jelly beans. But it was actually Mikey's favorite.
  • Pizza Face - Antonio turns into a mutant pizza man, who creates mind controlling pizzas, but Mikey defeats him by eating him up.
  • The Invasion, Part 2 - When permanently evacuating the Turtle Lair, Mikey puts Ice Cream Kitty in her red-and-white cooler, keeping her cold by placing her between two boxes of Hellio's frozen pizza.
  • The Croaking - Mikey watches Crognard the Barbarian with Ice Cream Kitty while eating Hellio's pizza. In the process, he makes a huge mess of the farmhouse's living room, managing to get slices of pizza stuck to the ceiling and walls. This is the first major appearance of Hellio's being eaten; it is distinctly different from other pizzas shown in the series in that all its slices are square-shaped.
  • Vision Quest - Mikey cooks some Hellio's pizza over a campfire.
  • Return to New York - The Turtles find a new home in an abandoned Antonio Pizza-rama store.
  • Clash of the Mutanimals - When Pigeon Pete visits the Turtle Lair and craves bread, Mikey introduces him leftover pizza crusts, which Pete instantly loves.
  • Tale of the Yokai - After days trapped in the past without eating a single slice of pizza, Michelangelo makes one up out of wood, berries, and spider eggs. Later he forces Raphael to eat it.



Some TMNT stuff really isn't for little kids.


Raph is unsatisfied.



Some TMNT stuff really isn't for little kids.


Who wants pizza?

Video games[]

Pizza slices are often used as a health power-up in the TMNT video games. In Turtles in Time, one type of pizza grants the Turtles temporary high speed spin attack and invulnerability and they shout out "PIZZA POWER!!!"


Pizza Slice - Item - Fortnite

The Pizza Slice is used to restore HP. It works differently to other healing items. Consuming it will restore 25 Health and 25 Shield together, and caps at 100 Health and 50 Shield. It does not heal effective health unlike other consumables of it type, as for example, at less than 100 Health it will not heal less shield as a result, each value is increased without affecting the other.

Like all consumables they can be thrown with the aim button, then shoot button, which will mark the item for squad members.



Some TMNT stuff really isn't for little kids.

The Turtles also eat pizza in the film series. Except in the third film, they are not seen eating pizza but despite it not appearing, pizza does get mentioned. The second film begins with a sequence of people eating pizza all over New York.

At the end of Turtles Forever, the Mirage Turtles, after having encountered the 1987 Turtles and their 2003 counterparts, suggest to go eat some pizzas. Since the Mirage Turtles rarely ate pizza in the original Mirage comics, they're obviously influenced by their '87 counterparts.

Mikey resisting the urge

Mikey resisting the urge.

The 99 Cheese Pizza

The 99 Cheese Pizza.

Pizza rat

Splinter offers you a slice, would you take it?

In the 2014 film, the Turtle's couch is made of Pizza Hut's pizza boxes. Another scene involves Splinter giving each of the Turtles punishments after he found out that they sneaked out to the surface, Michelangelo was forced to balance himself upside down while resisting the urge when his sensei offers the "Novantanove Formaggio", the 99 cheese pizza to which Donatello has stated that it's a "culinary impossiblility". The known cheese we've known in the pizza are:

  • Cheddar
  • Provolone
  • Asiago
  • Taleggio
  • Mozzarella

It's also explained that April is the reason they love pizza as she fed it to them when they are still her childhood pets.



The real-life 99-cheese pizza.

  • Although Donatello stated that a pizza with 99 different types of cheese would be "culinary impossible", Johnny di Francesco, an Australian pizza maker and owner of the 400 Gradi pizzeria, took the challenge and created a 99-cheese pizza after the film, and travelled to Sydney to present it to Paramount, who paid for his travel time and for him to stay in honor of the 2014 film's DVD and Blu-Ray release.

See also[]