The Incredible Shrinking Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 Cartoon) episode
The Incredible Shrinking Turtles.png
Title screen
Season Code: 02
Episode: 02
Original airdate October 8, 1988
Written by Larry Parr
Supervising Producer Fred Wolf
Producers: Walt Kubiak
Supervising Director  Bill Wolf
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"Return of the Shredder" "It Came from Beneath the Sewers"
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

"The Incredible Shrinking Turtles" is the seventh episode of the animated series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987). It is the second episode of the second season of the program, originally aired on October 8, 1988. The episode was written by Larry Parr. It is available on DVD in the box set released on April 26, 2005.

Plot summary

The Turtles are practicing martial arts in Central Park, when "Shredder" arrives. Leonardo, Donatello and Raphael easily subdue him, only to find that it's actually Michelangelo in a homemade costume.

Just then, an alien spacecraft crashes into a nearby pond. The Turtles dive in and rescue the alien pilot from drowning, though he has apparently been fatally wounded in the crash. Before dying, the pilot tells the Turtles that the three fragments of the Eye of Sarnath accidentally fell towards the Earth from the spacecraft when it crashed. They have to find it before it comes into the "wrong hands," because the fragments have incredible alien powers.To find them, he gives Donatello a crystalline tracking device, the Crystal Converger. The pilot then dies and disappears.

The Turtles are unaware that Shredder has been eavesdropping on them from behind a nearby bush. He contacts Krang in Dimension X, demanding Foot Soldiers, but Krang refuses.

The Turtles drive around the streets of New York City, searching for the fragments, when the tracking d device leads them to the docks. As they find the first fragment, Shredder snatches it away, aims it at the Turtles, and shrinks them down to mere inches. They manage to escape with the Converger, and make their way into the sewers.

While Splinter contacts April O'Neil to help them, Shredder uses the fragment to shrink skyscrapers, including the Empire State Building, to impress Krang. Baxter Stockman shows Shredder a new invention: a "Heat Seeking Turtle Scope."

The Turtles discover that being tiny is no picnic, since they are faced with life-threatening danger from snakes and fish. A flood of water washes them out into the river, where Baxter Stockman catches them in a net. After putting the Turtles in a jar, Shredder shows Krang how he is going to murder the Turtles with a pipe. Krang seems impressed.

Splinter experiences a feeling about where the Turtles are, which leads him straight to Shredder's hideout. When they crash through the front door, April activates the Turtle Van catapult, throwing Splinter out to attack Shredder. While Shredder and Splinter fight, April takes the fragment and aims it towards the Turtles, who go back to their normal size, but Shredder and Baxter Stockman escape with the fragments.

Back in the sewers, Splinter gives the Turtles small pizzas as a joke.





Home media releases


  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Incredible Shrinking Turtles


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



Animation errors

  • The plank of wood that Shredder uses to trap Raphael at the start of the episode changes position and angle in each cutscene showing it.
  • After the security guard had freed the man from the shrinking Empire State Building, the shot of the building was not seen shrinking slowly to its current point but instead cut to its smaller state instead.
  • The buttons on Shredder's comlink were missing when Krang allowed Shredder to finish off the Turtles with the crowbar.

Continuity/logic errors

  • The Turtles seriously couldn't tell that was Michelangelo in that Shredder disguise? One would think the orange armbands and the exposed green skin would have given him away...
  • Michelangelo says that he made the mask from an old pizza tray, but it looks more like a colander
  • When they are shrinking, even the Turtles' weapons shrink together, but the net where Leonardo was trapped does not change at all.
  • Oddly enough, shrinking monuments and buildings will affect everything except for anybody who happens to be in them at the time. Once shrunken, said buildings can also be neatly picked off of the ground, completely ignoring any silly things like internal plumbing or a foundation that you might be thinking of.
  • Baxter tells Shredder that he invented a ”Heat Seeking Turtle Scope“ that can help him find the Turtles, even though turtles are suppose to be cold blooded.
  • When the Turtles start to grow within the confines of the jar, the glass expands with their bodies, almost as if it's made out of rubber. Let's ignore the obvious facts that not only does glass not work that way, but the Turtles should have been crushed/severely injured by their expanding bodies being forced against the glass. Then again its never stated to be glass.
  • When the Turtles are returning to their usual size, April is holding the crystal fragment. A few shots later, it's lying on the floor with no explanation for how it got there. In fact, April herself seems to have vanished from the room.
  • Once the Turtles were restored, the fragment almost immediately lands in Shredder's hands and he and Baxter escape. With the fragment gone, how do the Turtles end up restoring the shrunken buildings? It goes right to April's news report that the buildings are supposedly back to normal.


  • The character design of the guardian is strongly inspired by the famous alien E.T. protagonist of the classic 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
  • This is the first episode in the series where a living character clearly dies on screen. Immediately after the alien passes away, he even leaves behind a coffin-shaped burn mark (or shadow) on the grass.
  • Until the episode "Curse of the Evil Eye", all of the episodes from this point onwards focus on the Turtles and Shredder trying to get all of the pieces of the Eye of Sarnath.
  • Mere moments before Shredder grabs the gem, look at Donatello's hand. It raises up, almost as if Donatello wanted to hand it over to Shredder.
  • The Turtles get trumped rather badly at the start of this episode by the Shredder, but a few of the mistakes made can be chalked up to inexperience on their part (which is hinted at the beginning, and Splinter even indicates this towards the end). For example, Michelangelo confronts Shredder while putting one foot over an obvious snare, Raphael gets trapped by an easily avoidable plank of wood and Leonardo just stands there and watches Shredder advance towards him, which results in him being easily disarmed and netted.
  • If Shredder wanted to be rid of the Turtles so badly, why did he even bother putting air holes in the jar once he captured them? I guess he really did want wait for Krang.
  • Once Shredder gets the upper hand against Splinter, he leaps towards him and turns on the machine in the process with his foot. However, from the way it's drawn, it looks like it was done purely by accident. Shredder's dialog when the machine is stopped by Donatello's staff makes it sound like he did it on purpose, which makes this situation a tad odd. All according to plan?
    • Also, it didn't appear as if Shredder would have released Splinter at all on the cheese wrapping machine. Isn't he concerned that he'd end up crushed himself?
  • Shredder using a gem to shrink down a city will be revisited again in the video game The Hyperstone Heist.
  • Bebop and Rocksteady do not appear from this episode up until "The Case of the Killer Pizzas".
  • Michaelangelo finds himself miniaturized again in the episode "Funny, They Shrunk Michelangelo."
  • In the comic version of the book, the NYPD is collecting the shrunken buildings to study. Baxter manages to gain some for Shredder by impersonating an NYPD officer, wearing a police uniform.


Shredder: Now to crush you miserable reptiles one by one!!

Raphael: Guess again frying-pan face!!

- Once again, Shredder gets no respect. Perhaps if he didn't name himself after a kitchen utensil?

Shredder: Net result: Four trapped turtles! Haha, I made a funny!

- Shredder thinks he's funny. Splinter would have begged to differ.

Shredder: Smothered by a cheese-wrapping machine, A fitting end for a rat!!!!

-Shredder on the concept of irony.

Shredder: (observing the Turtles through binoculars) The fools! They're leading me to the fragments! (calling) Baxter?! (cut to Baxter relishing in ice cream cone) Connect me with Krang in Dimension X immediately!

Baxter: But my cone is melting in the sun! (whips up a piece of ice cream and savours)

Shredder: "Silence toad!! Do as I say and NOW!!!

Baxter: (meekly) As you wish, Master!

- Better recognise, Baxter.

Donatello: Y, You guys go on, I can't run any farther!

Leonardo: Never! We'll make our stand here!

Raphael: Kinda like Custer did?!

Shredder: Who needs Foot Soldiers, when a single foot will take care of you insects! (poises foot to crush them)

- Raphael doesn't realise that Custer wasn't defeated by a giant foot.

Shredder: Oh, the alien crystal has done it's work beautifully!

Baxter: Yes Master, Magnificently!

- Baxter, channeling Igor, apparently.

Shredder: (holding up shrunken Empire State Building) And this will be the crown jewel in my collection! Now Krang will have to send my my Foot warriors!

- Why?

Shredder: (holding the shrunken Turtles in a glass jar) Well Krang, What have to to say now?

Krang: (through Com-Link) Mmm! Perhaps I have underestimated your evil abilities after all!

Shredder: My thoughts exactly!

Krang: (to Turtles) What have you to say now, mini mutants?

Donatello: (banging on glass) "You'll never get away with this, Krang!!!"

Leonardo/Raphael/Michaelangelo: "Huuuhh?"

Donatello: Well, you gotta admit it..sounded good!

(Shredder then puts the jar on a nearby table and then produces a crowbar)

Shredder: And now Krang, For your viewing pleasure, You shall witness the final, agonising moments of the Turtles demise!

Krang: Splendid! Let the show begin! If I had hands, they'd be sweating in anticipation!

Donatello: "Can't we discuss this like human-beings?"

Raphael: (sarcastic) Nice try Donatello!

Shredder: (poising crowbar to strike) Sayonara Turtles!!

- Donatello sadly realises that old movie cliches don't really work in negotiating.

Shredder: Not bad for a rusty old "has-been"!

Splinter: One with a face made of metal should not use the word "rusty"!

- Er....why?

Leonardo: It's Shredder! He's getting bigger!

Raphael: Wrong Leonardo, we're getting smaller!

The fragment is shrinking the Turtles

Leonardo: Head for the high ground!

Donatello: I got news for ya, the high ground is too high.

- No kidding, Don.



External links