Return of the Shredder
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 Cartoon) episode
Return of the Shredder.png
Title screen
Season Code: 02
Episode: 01
Original airdate October 1, 1988
Story by: David Wise
Patti Howeth
Written by Christy Marx
Supervising Producer Fred Wolf
Producers: Walt Kubiak
Kara Vallow
Supervising Director  Bill Wolf
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"Shredder & Splintered" "The Incredible Shrinking Turtles"
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1988 Season
October 1, 1988 - December 24, 1988
List of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episodes


  1. "Return of the Shredder"
  2. "The Incredible Shrinking Turtles (1987 TV series)"
  3. "It Came from Beneath the Sewers"
  4. "The Mean Machines"
  5. "Curse of the Evil Eye"
  6. "The Case of the Killer Pizzas"
  7. "Enter The Fly"
  8. "Invasion of the Punk Frogs"
  9. "Splinter No More"
  10. "New York's Shiniest"
  11. "Teenagers from Dimension X"
  12. "The Catwoman from Channel Six"
  13. "Return of the Technodrome"

1987 Season1988 Season1989 Season1990 Season1991 Season1992 Season1992-1993 Vacation in Europe sideseason1993 Season1994 Season1995 Season1996 Season

This article was transwikied from Wikipedia.

"Return of the Shredder" is episode number 6 of the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series. It is the first episode of season 2 (1988). This episode of the show was produced by Kara Vallow. The script was written by Christy Marx. The story was written by David Wise and Patti Howeth. This episode of the show originally aired on October 1, 1988, in syndication. It is available on the DVD box set released on April 26, 2005.

Plot summary

While shopping, Leonardo and Michelangelo stop two robbers at a supermarket, and return to their home in the New York City sewers system before the police arrive. Later, TV reporter April O'Neil arrives and interviews the woman working in the checkout. The woman tells the world that hoodlums tried to rob her, when turtles showed up (although she's generally unsure just what kind of reptiles they were).

In the sewer, Leonardo and Michelangelo are congratulated by their peers for stopping the robbery; however, Michelangelo says that it was nothing, compared to fighting Shredder and his Foot Soldiers, as Donatello adds "or that flipped-out brain creature, Krang".

Meanwhile, in Dimension X, Shredder claims their defeat to the Ninja Turtles was an "accident" and begs Krang to send him back to Earth. Krang, tired of his whining, sends Shredder back to Earth through the Trans-Dimensional Portal. Bebop and Rocksteady try to follow, but Krang closes the portal before they can get through. When Rocksteady asks Krang why he did that, he answers that he "enjoys seeing both people and animals suffer", and refers to Bebop and Rocksteady as both.

At Channel 6, April says that the Turtles are heroes, but her boss Burne Thompson says that they are a menace to society, and his girlfriend Tiffany (who loathes turtles in general) agrees.

Meanwhile Michelangelo discusses how easy it was to stop the robbers in comparison to Shredder's Foot Soldiers. However, Splinter fears that Shredder is about to return.

Meanwhile Shredder passes through the dimensional portal into a park in New York City, where two muggers demand his money. Shredder thinks this will be no problem, as he calls for Bebop, Rocksteady, and the Foot Soldiers and orders to destroy the muggers. When nothing happens he is baffled by this, and Shredder realizes he is alone, so he decides to handle things himself. He jumps into a nearby tree and uses his wrist blades to saw off a branch that falls on the muggers, who immediately give him their money and beat a hasty retreat.

Shredder contacts Krang, who tells Shredder that—since he failed to defeat Splinter and the Ninja Turtles with Krang's help—he is on his own until he proves worthy of assistance. This means no Foot Soldiers, no Bebop or Rocksteady, and no access to Krang's technology.

Unable to get any help from Krang, Shredder finds a corrupt local karate school, the "Slash for Cash Gym", and decides to take control of it. Inside the dilapidated dojo, he watches a karate match between two students, who appear to be the best the school has to offer. He quickly discovers that their skills leave quite a bit to be desired. Through a series of clumsy as well as illegal moves, uninspired technique and cowardliness, the two students manage to knock each other off balance. They eventually, land on top of each other, on the mat.

Their master "Smash", fed up with his students' pathetic performance, declares them all "useless wimps!" The Shredder comments that "the master is responsible for the students", then "declares himself the new master of the dojo and that he will obey his every command "or else." To show he means business, when Smash seems reluctant to let the Shredder take over, he rips one of the punching bags out of the ceiling and slices it to ribbons! Smash and his students wind up on the mat, on all fours, for fear of what would happen to them if they chose not to obey him.

After some training, he establishes Smash's students as the "Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang", a gang who dress up as ninja turtles and start a series of robberies, with the hope that the humans living in the city will believe that the real Turtles are the bad guys. Meanwhile, Shredder frees Baxter Stockman from the city's insane asylum (where he was apparently placed following his debut episode; apparently, the cops didn't believe his story about him being tied up by four man-sized mutant turtles).

At Channel 6, Burne wants to run a video of the Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang on the 11 o'clock news. April calls the TMNT and tell them to come to Channel 6, and they arrive in the Turtle Blimp. They watch a videotape that shows the Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang robbing a jewelry store, and Leonardo realizes that the technique of Smash is the same as only two senseis in the world: Splinter and Shredder, and of course they conclude that Shredder is behind this. Just then, Tiffany enters, and when she sees the Turtles, she screams, driving them away.

Baxter Stockman then steals an excavator equipped with a drill and re-builds it into a rat catching machine, which he uses to catch Splinter in the sewers. When the Turtles return home to find Splinter missing, they follow the trail left by Baxter Stockman's machine. Eventually they end up on the streets, where they encounter the eight members of the Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang. The Turtles defeat their less-than-competent foes in a fight, and force Smash to tell them where Shredder is hiding. The answer is already written on a nearby wall: at the karate school Slash for Cash dojo.

At the karate school, Shredder has tied up Splinter and is just about to use his sword to cut down an enormous battering ram and crush Splinter. Just then, Baxter Stockman drives his machine into the dojo and the Turtles defeat it. Shredder cuts loose the ropes supporting the battering ram, which begins to move. Leonardo uses his katana to cut through the ropes Splinter is tied with. Splinter is freed, and the battering ram smashes Baxter Stockman's machine into pieces.

The Shredder and Baxter Stockman escape. April has also followed the trail, and arrives after the fight with a Channel 6 news crew. Krang tells Shredder that Shredder has been beaten once again, and that Shredder will not get "one shred of help from him" until he has proved himself. The police also come, and arrest the "Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang" members. On TV April O'Neil says to the Channel 6 viewers that the Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang were just a hoax. Tiffany believes Burne Thompson is a turtle lover (after Irma brought him his lunch--mock turtle soup) and dumps him. The Turtles head home to the sewers and catch April on the news saying that the TMNT are heroes.





Home media releases


  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Shredder is Splintered


  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 2
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection



Animation Errors

Raphael with Leonardo's colors

  • The mats at the Slash For Cash Dojo are shown 3 different ways. In the first shot, they are large, in good shape and hot pink. in the next shot, where we see slashes students sparring, they look more worn out and look to be a darker redish color. In the final shots, after the Shredder takes over the class, they are pink and smaller in size and in much better shape.
  • When Shredder bends the bars to Baxter's cell, one, and then several of the bars appear as if they've been cut. They also bend in different directions, starting out with sideways bends and then switching to inward bends.
  • When Michelangelo asked April what the haps was, his mouth didn't move.
  • When the Turtles high-tail it to the blimp after being caught, only three are seen boarding the blimp.
  • When the Turtles walk over to the TV in April's office, Raphael gains Leonardo's colors.
  • When the Turtles speak to Splinter in his meditation room, Donatello is seen with red teeth in one shot.
  • When the Turtles are eating pizza in the lair, Leonardo is seen with Raphael's colours when telling the others about Splinter's condition. 
  • The Turtles are missing their eye pupils as they advance on Shredder when he's holding Splinter captive in Slash's dojo.
  • In this episode, Irma's hair is black and not brown, and Vernon's is brown and not black.

Continuity/Logical Errors

  • Michelangelo blows a pile of orange juice cans on one of the crooks in the opening scene, from several feet away and from in front. How exactly did the cans fall forward?
  • When Baxter recounts his story, he indirectly mentions Splinter and the Turtles, but he never encountered Splinter before this episode.


  • The "Slash for Cash Gym" is erroneously referred to, in this episode, as the "Slash for Cash Dojo". It's given its proper name in the Archie's comics version.
  • This is the first appearance of Irma (although it's not her first encounter with the Turtles).
  • Baxter Stockman reappears for the first time since "A Thing About Rats", having been committed to an asylum. He now has longer hair.
  • Baxter Stockman was committed to an asylum for mentioning Ninja Turtles, despite the fact that the Turtles were publicly known.
  • Vernon Fenwick's voice actor changes from Pat Fraley to Peter Renaday starting with this episode. This was done to even out the number of roles each actor had to deal with; otherwise, Fraley would have had three regular characters (Krang, Baxter Stockman and Vernon) and Renaday would only have had one (Splinter).
  • Leonardo and Donatello somehow can tell Shredder trained the crooks merely from the way one guy kicks down a door.
    • Perhaps coincidentally on the part of the animators, Smash's flying kick to open the door looks almost identical to the Foot Soldier who kicks open a Cola vending machine during a flashback scene in "Turtle Tracks", lending some credibility to the observation.
  • There's a rather dodgy scene where April asks Burne what he and his girlfriend were doing at the Channel 6 building after hours. Burne's girlfriend drapes her arms over him, giving him a rather seductive sounding, "Tell her, shnookums..." before a babbling Burne quickly lets April off the hook and runs back in his room with his date. Makes you wonder...
  • The dojo master is named Smash, but in the Archie's comics adaptation of the episode, he is erroneously named Slash in one panel.
  • Tiffany is extremely phobic of turtles, to the point where she'd dump Burne merely for ordering turtle soup. Mock turtle soup, to be exact.
  • April breaks a fourth wall of sorts when she assures the Turtles that she was winking at Splinter over a TV screen.
  • The animation has been redesigned to have a higher quality, from the design of the characters to the background settings.
  • This episode had many edits in the UK airings in the 1990s. The gang was renamed to The Crooked Turtle Gang and scenes of nunchaku were trimmed.
  • Other edits that the UK version of this episode recieved took place at the slash for cash dojo, both the sparring and training scenes. This is interesting as in both scenes, the students were on a mat, with at least one master monitoring them. Also, the students were not practicing full contact style just sparring.
  • This episode was adapted to comic book format in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1-2 published by Archie Comics.
  • Starting from this episode onwards, Rocksteady no longer wears his helmet.
  • The Technodrome now resides on a Mars-like planet in Dimension X with pink sky, but at the end of "Shredder And Splintered" it was seen hovering in a fiery dimensional limbo, oddly reminiscent of Hell.
  • This is the first episode to air on BBC1 in the UK. The reason for this being was probably because the BBC deemed Season 1 too violent to be aired. This season and the next are the only seasons that the BBC have ever aired in the show's nine year run.
  • First appearance of Shredder's comlink.
  • In this season, the Turtles' belt-buckle initials are white, but are gray in "The Mean Machines", "Enter The Fly", and "The Catwoman from Channel Six"., plus, their weapon sleeves are coloured beige instead of dark brown like in those three episodes and for the whole of the first season.
  • When Splinter calls the Turtles, he says each of their names: Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael instead of "Turtles" or "my students" like he usually does.
  • The lunatic in Baxter's cell thinks he's Napoleon Bonaparte. Quite common in cartoons.


Baxter: Greetings from your friendly neighbourhood rat-catcher!
Leonardo: Baxter?
Raphael: Don't you just hate it when people drop in unannounced?

- More so when said rat happens to be your father.

Shredder: I tell you Krang, our defeat was an accident! Send me back to Earth and I will get rid of the Turtles! Krang, I implore you! Please send me back!
Krang {mocking voice}: "Send me back! Send me back!" I am tired of your endless whining! That is all I ever hear from you since you arrived in Dimension X! I'll tell you what, I will send you back to Earth.
Shredder: Thank you, Krang! You will not regret it!

Krang opens portal

Rocksteady: Oh boy, hamburgers, onion rings!
Bebop: And vanilla milkshakes!

Shredder passes through

Bebop: Earth, make way for Bebop and Rocksteady! Because here we come!
Rocksteady: And away we go--OOF!
Rocksteady and Bebop race towards the portal, but Krang has closed it and they bounce back to him. Krang laughs.
Rocksteady: Why'dja do dat?
Krang: Because I enjoy seeing both people and animals suffer, and you, my friends, are both! (laughs)

- Krang, Dimension X's biggest troll.

In Central Park...

Mugger #1: Boy, this is a slow day. We ain't mugged anyone for over ½ an hour!
Mugger #2: Relax pal, some poor sucker is bound to show up.

Shredder arrives through portal from Dimension X

Mugger #2: See? What'd I tell you?
Shredder: Where am I?
Mugger #1: I got a better question, like how much money you got in that silly costume of yours?
Shredder: Of course...I'm in the Big Apple. You threaten me?
Mugger #2: Yeah!
Shredder: Ha ha ha. You will see why you are wrong to threaten me. Foot soldiers, Bebop, Rocksteady, destroy these fools!

Nothing happens and the muggers look at Shredder like he is crazy

Mugger #1: That old trick? Forget it pal, it won't work!
Shredder {looking around confused}: Foot soldiers! Did you not hear my command?

Still nothing happens

Mugger #2: Now just handover your dough!
Shredder: Bebop! Rocksteady! Where are you? Oh well, I'll just have to handle this myself.

Shredder jumps atop tree and uses his gauntlet to break a branch, intimidating muggers

Shredder: Now what were you saying about money?
Mugger #1: We were saying, here... if you don't have any, take ours!
Mugger #2: Yeah! And, uh...have a nice day!

The muggers empty their pockets and retreat hastly. Shredder contacts Krang.

Shredder: Krang! Where is my army? And my Technodrome? And all my weapons?
Krang: You failed to defeat those miserable Turtles and their teacher Spliter with my help. Now you must destroy them on your own. I refuse to give you any support or technology until you prove worthy of it. Until further notice, you are on you own!
Shredder: I will show you, Krang. I will destroy my enemy, the Turtles. And then, the world will tremble before... the Shredder!

- Krang, basically telling Shredder "Go screw yourself."

Shredder: Not another step, or your furry sensei will be crushed!

(The Turtles look upward towards to see a giant fist-shaped battering ram suspended from the ceiling)

Donatello: "That rope, it leads to...a battering ram!"
Michelangelo: "It's gotta weigh megatons!"
Raphael: "None of us could stop that thing!"
Shredder: That's right Turtles, your master is about to become history!!

- Not only do Turtles fight with honor, but with a tenacious grasp of the painfully obvious as well.

Shredder contacts Krang via dimensional communicator to report on his progress

Krang: Well Shredder, what have you to report?
Shredder: My mock turtle ninjas have been terrorizing the city with a glorious crime spree. I tell you Krang, my plan is working well.
Krang: How so?
Shredder: With the citizens turn against them, the real Turtles will be forced to the surface to clear their names!
Krang: You call that a plan? That will take forever! I want results now. Now, now, NOW!! Don't contact me until you have real progress to report. Goodbye.

Krang ends communication

Shredder {talking to himself}: Insolent fool! That leaves me just one place to turn.

- Even Krang knows a dumb plan when he hears it.

Baxter: And then I set loose a horde of robot rat-catchers, but unfortunately we were captured by a talking rat and some ninja turtles!
Napoleon Guy: Sacre bleu! We never had such problems when I ruled France!

- When even the guy who thinks he's Napoleon gets awed by your story, you should really consider therapy at this point.



External links