Superhero for a Day
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) episode
Superhero For a Day Title Card.png
Season Code: 04
Episode: 12
Original airdate September 25, 1990
Written by Francis Moss
Ted Pedersen
Supervising Producer Fred Wolf
Producers: Michael Algar
Episode chronology
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"Menace, Maestro Please" "Back to the Egg"
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990 Season
September 10, 1990 - December 8, 1990
List of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episodes


  • Syndication
  1. "Plan Six From Outer Space"
  2. "Turtles of the Jungle"
  3. "Michelangelo Toys Around"
  4. "Peking Turtle"
  5. "Shredder's Mom"
  6. "Four Turtles and a Baby"
  7. "Turtlemaniac"
  8. "Rondo in New York"
  9. "Planet of the Turtles"
  10. "Name That Toon"
  11. "Menace Maestro, Please"
  12. "Superhero for a Day"
  13. "Back to the Egg"
  • Saturday Mornings
  1. "Son of Return of the Fly II"
  2. "Raphael Knocks 'em Dead"
  3. "Bebop and Rocksteady Conquer the Universe"
  4. "Raphael Meets His Match"
  5. "Slash - The Evil Turtle from Dimension X"
  6. "Leonardo Lightens Up"
  7. "Were-Rats from Channel 6"
  8. "Funny, They Shrunk Michelangelo"
  9. "The Big Zipp Attack"
  10. "Donatello Makes Time"
  11. "Farewell, Lotus Blossom"
  12. "Rebel Without a Fin"
  13. "Rhino-Man"
  14. "Michelangelo Meets Bugman"
  15. "Poor Little Rich Turtle"
  16. "What's Michelangelo Good For?"
  17. "The Dimension X Story"
  18. "Donatello's Degree"
  19. "The Big Cufflink Caper!"
  20. "Leonardo Versus Tempestra"
  21. "Splinter Vanishes"
  22. "Raphael Drives 'Em Wild"
  23. "Beyond the Donatello Nebula"
  24. "Big Bug Blunder"
  25. "The Foot Soldiers are Revolting"
  26. "Unidentified Flying Leonardo"

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"Superhero for a Day" is an episode from season 4 (1990) of the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series.

Plot Synopsis

When walking away from a cinema in New York City, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hear a screaming sound. They follow the sound, discovering a gang robbing a store. The TMNT fight the robbers and save a woman working there. The woman says that the TMNT are heroes, and gives them candy.

When a TV crew arrives, the Gadgetman watches the story on TV. Gadgetman is a former hero, who used his gadgets to fight criminals when he was young.

The TMNT are in their sewer lair when April calls them via her Turtlecom and tells them that Shredder has been seen at a power plant in the city. The TMNT take the Turtle Van.

On their way, the TMNT come across the Gadgetman, who has seen an accident near a bridge, where the traffic is temporarily forbidden to go because of repair. However, a bus has driven out and is now hanging over the bridge. The children in the bus are scared. Gadgetman tries to climb out and save the children without knowing that his plan puts the kids in more danger.

The TMNT save them all by shooting ropes from the Turtle Van on the bus, and bring the bus back up. No one is killed or physically hurt.

When the TMNT try to persuade Gadgetman to retire, he gets angry and storms off. He does not know that the event was broadcast on the news.

Krang has been watching the event on television in the Technodrome, at this point at the series is located on a Dimension X asteroid. Krang thinks of a plan to have the TMNT distracted by the Gadgetman, so that Shredder can take over the power plants successfully and steal energy to power up the Technodrome and sent the Technodrome to Earth. Krang opens the Technodrome's dimensional portal and sends Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady to Earth.

Shredder calls himself a super hero agent and tries to convince Gadgetman to work with Shredder so that the citizens shall think Gadgetman a hero instead of the TMNT. Gadgetman doesn't know that Shredder wants to get rid of the TMNT permanently. Bebop and Rocksteady stage a bank hold up, which Gadgetman foils, causing Gadgetman to be considered a hero again by the citizens. When the police arrive, Bebop and Rocksteady do not resist because it is a part of the plan. Shredder later frees Bebop and Rocksteady.

The TMNT realize that the bank hold-up was only a distraction so that Shredder could achieve time enough to go to another power plant. When the TMNT track the power plant, which April tells is at the East Side, and arrive, Shedder is waiting for them and captures them. He ties them to a generator and powers it to overload and explode. April, who follows the TMNT searching for a news story, arrives just in time to save the TMNT before the plant blows up.

Back in the sewers, Splinter and the TMNT discover Shredder's plan. The TMNT track Shredder to the final power plant. When they arrive, Shredder is already draining energy from the city to the Technodrome.

Gadgetman realizes that he was fooled by Shredder and wants revenge. He has listened to the radio and heard that the TMNT stopped a catastrophe at a power plant. Gadgetman finds the final power plant, and when he arrives he helps the TMNT combat Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady. Donatello reverses the power sending it from the Technodrome back to the city. However, Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady manage to escape.




Home media releases




  • When Shredder is setting up the energy draining link-up, an image of Krang in his Comlink showed Krang in his bubble walker instead of his android body. It's possible that he wore it briefly as his android was being tuned up.
  • When the Turtles watch the police taking Bebop and Rocksteady away, Raphael speaks in Donatello's voice.
  • When Gadgetman hangs the key to the city on his key rack, it sticks to the rack without a hook to hang from. In the subsequent shots, the key is missing from the rack entirely.


  • Michelangelo references The Simpsons by saying Bart's catchphrase "Don't have a cow"; this causes a 4th wall break from Raphael who says "Wrong show, genius."
  • Raphael broke the 4th wall by sayinng "what do you expect, it's a cartoon" after April unplugged the generator.
  • Raphael also broke the 4th wall by saying "what, after 100 episodes you expected something different?" after Leonardo complained that Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady got way.
  • Gadgetman would have to be suspicious as to why someone claiming to be a superhero representative would wear a clearly villainous outfit, implying that he is suffering from dementia in his old age.


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