The Great Boldini
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) episode
Title boldini
Season Code: 3
Episode: 38
Original airdate November 15, 1989
Written by Francis Moss
Supervising Producer Fred Wolf
Producers: Walt Kubiak
Supervising Director  Bill Wolf
Episode chronology
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"The Turtle Terminator" "The Missing Map"
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 Great Boldini is an episode from season 3 (1989) of the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series.

Appearing in The Great Boldini

Major characters

Minor characters



  • City museum
    • Museum basement
  • Don Turtelli's penthouse
  • Turtle Lair

Objects and vehicles

Plot Synopsis

April O'Neil is seen reporting at a museum where the Great Boldini is expected to perform a magic trick where he will make the famous Tortellini Emerald disappear. While there, she meets up with the Turtles and Zach, the young teenage boy who befriended the turtles in the episode The Fifth Turtle, and his new friend Caitlin. Watching a broadcast of the event is mob boss Don Turtelli. According to him, the Tortellini Emerald once belonged to (i.e. was once stolen by) his grandfather Tony "The Tickler" Turtelli, and he plans to bring it back into the family. As the Great Boldini is about to perform one of his disappearing act, the lights suddenly go out, and once they come back on, he is seen tied up, claiming someone stole the emerald.

Zach and Caitlin are suspicious of this and begin to investigate and follow Boldini to see that he and Don Turtelli have the emerald. They learn that the Great Boldini is Don Turtelli's cousin, and he staged the robbery so he could steal the emerald for Turtelli. Meeting up at a rendezvous point in the sewers under the museum, Caitlin snatches the emerald from Turtelli and runs, but they run into a wall. Caitlin gives the emerald to Zach and tells him to run, but Turtelli grabs Caitlin and offers to trade Caitlin for the emerald. When Zach refuses, Don Turtelli threatens to tickle Caitlin with a feather if Zach doesn't return the emerald but when he still says no, Turtelli says that was his last chance and asks Caitlin, "where do you want it under the arm or the soles of your feet". Meanwhile, the NYPD arrives on the scene, secures the area, and searches everyone, which leads to them discovering the Turtles. The lieutenant in charge of the investigation jumps to the conclusion that the Turtles stole the emerald while Sgt. O'Flaherty, a bumbling policeman, somehow believes that the Turtles are leprechans, which gives the Turtles a chance to escape, borrowing April's news van to escape back to their sewer entrance as O'Flaherty pursues in a police cruiser.


Caitlyn tickled.

Suddenly, Rat King arrives and accuses Turtelli and Boldini of trespassing in his kingdom uninvited when Turtelli built a tunnel in his domain. This allows Zach and Caitlin to escape and manage to hide the emerald back in the museum. The Rat King offers to find the kids for a reward, and Don Turtelli agrees. The Rat King uses his rats to sabotage the museum's master controls, locking everyone, including the Turtles, outside, with Zach and Caitlin trapped inside with the villains, where they are re-captured and tied up by Don Turtelli, and subjected to foot tickle torture to try to get them to reveal where they hid the emerald. Caitlin fights off the foot tickling and not breaking, but Zach gives in and returns the emerald. However, when they get away, Rat King uses the sabotaged computer system to create a snow storm inside the museum. The Turtles sneak back near the museum to meet up with April and see a truck marked "Turtelli", and with the influx of rats conclude that Don Turtelli and the Rat King are holding Caitlin and Zach hostage. However, the Turtles are suddenly cornered by Sgt. O'Flaherty, who is more competent than believed when he has managed to sneak up and trap the Turtles undetected (although he still believes the Turtles are leprechauns). However, O'Flaherty actually believes in reasonable doubt, as there was no proof that they stole the emerald, and allows them go so they can try and infiltrate the museum, under the agreement that they have one hour to retrieve the emerald and prove their innocence, or they will willingly surrender to the NYPD. The Turtles find a way inside and manage to rescue the kids. While Donatello and Caitlin fix the computer system, the other turtles and Zach go after Turtelli, Boldini, and the Rat King and successfully retrieve the Turtellini Emerald. The Rat King manages to escape capture.
Ratking 1987TMNT

The Rat King.

It is later revealed that the Great Boldini was attempting to steal the emerald in the show, and faked its robbery. He is arrested along with Don Turtelli. Sgt. O'Flaherty is credited with foiling the larceny, but claims he could not have accomplished it without help from the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Leprachauns". Michaelangelo, watching this news footage, says that it is true and starts performing an Irish dance for everyone.

Home media releases



  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 6
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 3
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection



  • When Raphael said he looks terrible in stripes, his mouth didn't move.
  • Raphael and Leonardo had opposite colors when Donatello read the side of Don Turtelli's van. Plus, the "L" on Leonardo (in Raphael's colors) is white.
  • Zach was missing his backpack just before he told Turtelli where the emerald is.
  • In the close-up shot of Donatello's face at the museum, his eyes are overlapping his mask and his mask does not have an inkline applied to it.
  • When Caitlin was Captured by Don Turtelli and camera made zoom on Turtelli holding her, her t-shirt colour changed from pink into yellow, that was Zach t-shirt color.
  • When Caitlin tells of Donatello in the computer room, Donatello's "D" is white.
  • When Donatello lifts Caitlin onto his shoulders in the art gallery, a shot of the wooden crates from the museum basement are shown instead.
  • The "6" on the Newsvan is reversed when the Turtles pull into the sewers.
  • When camera zoomed Zach feet to be tickled, it can be noticed that Caitlin has two left feet.


  • One odd note is that this episode seems to contradict the information on Zach's age given earlier. While Zach is said to be going on 14 in the episode in which he first appears, here he acts more like a younger child (around 8 or 9). When one of the villains captures Caitlin and threatens Zach with harm to his "girlfriend", Zach acts disgusted and says "yuck, she's not my girlfriend" - behavior one might expect from a pre-adolescent, but not an adolescent.
  • Final appearance of Don Turtelli and his goons.
  • Shredder, Rocksteady, and Bebop don't appear in this episode.


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