The King
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) episode
Season Code: S01E16
Episode: 16
Original airdate May 31, 2003
Written by Michael Ryan
Supervising Producer Lloyd Goldfine
Producers: Gary Richardson
Frederick U. Fierst
Al Kahn
Norman Grossfeld
Thomas Kenney
Supervising Director  Chuck Patton
Story Editor: Lloyd Goldfine
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"Notes from the Underground, Part 3" "The Shredder Strikes Back, Part 1"

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 1
February 8, 2003 - November 1, 2003
List of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episodes


  1. Things Change
  2. A Better Mousetrap
  3. Attack of the Mousers
  4. Meet Casey Jones
  5. Nano
  6. Darkness on the Edge of Town
  7. The Way of Invisibility
  8. Fallen Angel
  9. Garbageman
  10. The Shredder Strikes, Part 1
  11. The Shredder Strikes, Part 2
  12. The Unconvincing Turtle Titan
  13. Notes from the Underground, Part 1
  14. Notes from the Underground, Part 2
  15. Notes from the Underground, Part 3
  16. The King
  17. The Shredder Strikes Back, Part 1
  18. The Shredder Strikes Back, Part 2
  19. Tales of Leo
  20. The Monster Hunter
  21. Return to New York, Part 1
  22. Return to New York, Part 2
  23. Return to New York, Part 3
  24. Lone Raph and Cub
  25. The Search for Splinter, Part 1
  26. The Search for Splinter, Part 2

Season 1Season 2Season 3Season 4Ninja TribunalFast Forward - Back to the Sewer

"The King" is the sixteenth episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It first aired on May 31st, 2003. It had 2.36 million views on the 4kids website as of 2007.


Major Characters

Minor Characters

Main Locations, Vehicles and Accessories


Voice-Over Introduction

Donatello: Being a Ninja Turtle, I've seen a lot crazy things in the past few years, but this really takes the prize. At first, I thought I was dreaming, then I wished I was. But this was no dream, this was definitely a nightmare.

Plot Synopsis

The Ninja Turtles and Splinter are in April's apartment discussing when and how to go about finding out what the Foot is up to down in the sewers, and whether it is yet safe to return to the lair. April tells them that they are welcome to stay with her for as long necessary, in spite of the fact that they are not the greatest house guests in the world.

Raph goes to take a shower, but finds there is no hot water. Don agrees to go look at the hot water heater in the basement. As he leaves, April tells him to watch out for her new tenant, Kirby.

When Donatello reaches the basement, a winged creature suddenly flies through the room. Don chases after the monster, but it disappears. Donatello spots an open door with light illuminating from it and he moves in to
Don 23

The anti-gravity blaster that Kirby drew appears on Don's hand

investigate. Inside the room, an artist is sitting at his drawing board sketching away - and miraculously, the bug-like thing that he creates springs to life and flies out the door - nearly colliding with Donny. Kirby looks up from his drawing board and spots the bewildered mutant. The man comments that he doesn't remember drawing Don and then assumes that the ninja has come to retrieve the "magic" crystal that allows the drawings to spring to life. Donatello assures Kirby that he hasn't come for the crystal, but he asks where it came from. Kirby explains that he found the gem in a pile of coal the other day and decided to attach to his pencil. Since then, everything Kirby draws comes to life (and Kirby draws a lot of things)! The amicable artist hands Donatello the pencil and tells him to try it. The Turtle agrees and draws a stick figure, which leaps off of the page and then attacks Don by kicking him in the shins. The mutant is not amused by this and he readies his bo staff - the annoying little stickman backs off and then zaps out of existence. Kirby explains that this happens to all of his drawings, they come to life and then quickly disappear.

The one exception to the transitory nature of his drawings is a weird portal Kirby drew. It flew off his art page and has remained in his room since then. Always curious, Don goes over to the portal and sticks his hand into the energy field. Satisfied that it's safe - Donatello walks through the portal and disappears! Kirby calls out to his new friend in a panic, and thankfully Donatello pops his head through the gateway and invites the artist to join him on the other side, where they find an incredible and fantastic world.

As the guys survey the scene, Kirby realizes that most of what exists in this fantastic realm came from his sketchbook. Far off in the distance, Kirby and Don see a beautiful floating city, connected to the ground by a long, arcing bridge. The pair decide to check it out. As they approach the bridge, a strange creature passes them. Kirby flips through his sketch pad and finds the exact drawing that the creature came from. The two friends follow the beast and they see a battle is going on. Four strangely garbed human warriors are fighting a gang of weird monsters, and the situation doesn’t look good for the humans.

Donatello rushes to the aid of the humans. With Donny's help, the warriors defeat the group of monsters. The soldiers thank Don and Kirby for their assistance, but they explain that an army of beasts will be returning shortly. There will be too many enemies for the small band to be able to defend the bridge and city. Just as the lead warrior finishes this tale, a swarm of monsters flows over the horizon, and a battle royale erupts.

In spite of heroic efforts by Donatello and the four warriors, the monsters are winning the fight and making their way up the bridge towards the city. Suddenly, Kirby gets an inspiration. Since he drew all these creatures, perhaps he can draw some weapons and devices to help fight them off! The talented artist quickly whips out his paper and crystal-powered pencil and begins sketching furiously. He first draws a weapon for Donny to use that negates the gravity of the monsters and sends them flying into the air - unfortunately there are so many enemies that the ninja's new gun quickly overheats. Next, Kirby draws a giant robot that captures the monsters, but there are just too many to catch. As the beasts breech the bridge and make their way towards the women and children of the city, Kirby gets one last idea and he renews his efforts in the sketchbook. Just as it looks like the monsters' mission will succeed, they are suddenly bound! Kirby has drawn various forms of bindings to thwart the invading army - good thing he can draw so fast! The warriors look upon Kirby as a powerful sorcerer and state that he is welcome any time. Don pats his new friend on the back and tells him that it’s time to go home. Kirby reluctantly agrees (he'd like to spend more time investigating the marvelous world) and the two head back to the portal.

When they arrive at the gateway, it is fluctuating wildly, threatening to close entirely. Kirby insists that Donatello go first, so the ninja dives through headfirst. Unfortunately the portal closes quickly and Donny gets stuck with his body half in the real world and half in the fantastic world! Kirby grabs Don’s feet and gives a mighty push, popping the mutant through the portal and into the basement of April's apartment building Donny was about to save Kirby but he is too late as the portal shrinks a paper plane comes out of the portal to Donny and he unfolds to reveal Kirby's drawing of Donatello with an anti gravity gun with a message saying:

Don -"Life at best is bitter sweet." see ya around pal!- Kirby


  • Michelangelo: I thought with the Shredder gone we'd seen the last of those bozos. Do you really think they could find our lair? I just got my room the way I like it. And my famous ninja trading card collection is just lying out in the open! If they that, I'll-
  • April: (sees Splinter and the Turtles back in place as if nothing happened.) Wow, you guys are good.
  • Leonardo:: It's our job.
Donatello: We're ninja.
Michelangelo:  Yeah! Check out my mad stealth skills! Now you see me (covers face with chip bag), no you don't! Now you see me, now you don't!
Donatello Relax, Mikey. With all the techno camouflage and security devices I've installed, there's no way they'll find our place. BBQ soy chip?
Michelangelo: Fire away, bro! [munch]
  • [April holds up Chinese takeout bag in front of Don and Mike]
April: Your order, I presume?
Don and Mike: [points at each other] He did it!
April: May I have the privilege of getting you anything else, m'lords?
Donatello: No, we're fine. Thanks.
Michelangelo: One from column A, and one from column B!
[April sighs as she watches Don and Mike pig out]
April: I feel like I've gone from happily single to mother of four overnight.
Splinter: Tell me about it.
  • Raphael: Yo Donny! Can ya' do somethin' about the hot water? A turtle can't even take a decent shower in this joint.
Donatello: Been there, done that.
  • Raphael: :Well go there, and do it again!
Donatello: Why is it always me? Why don't you ask Mikey to fix something once in a while?
[They watch Mikey humming while eating chips]
Michelangelo: What?
  • Donatello: Don't worry, April. I'm a ninja. Piece of cake.
Michelangelo: There's cake?! I love cake!
  • Donatello: Say, doesn't my appearance freak you out a little?
Kirby: Fella, since my sketches started leapin' off the page, I've seen freakier, believe me.
  • Donatello:I wonder if there's some sort of bio-molecular energy transfer involved...?
Kirby: Don, just draw something.
Donatello: Haha, okay. But I'm afraid a stick person is the best I can do.
  • Donatello: I came. I saw. I kicked monster butt!
  • Donatello: Eat negative gravity, you loser!
[Blows the smoke off the gun on his wrist]
Donatello:  The gravity-equalizer. Don't leave home without it.
  • Donatello: Kirby, my friend. You are the king!


TMNT—The King Alternative Ending

TMNT—The King Alternative Ending

  • Before the episode begins, it gives a dedication to Jack Kirby, one of the comic book authors for the Mirage comic book series to whom is dubbed 'King of the Comics'.
  • There is an extended ending in which Donny, after leaving the dimension with Kirby's drawing, bumps into Raph, still demanding hot water. Donny glares at Raph before silently walking by. Raph wonders what's bothering him. The last sentence in Kirby's note also says "Take care of yourself".
  • This episode was based on the original Mirage comic Donatello #1, entitled "Kirby and the Warp Crystal". It was printed in February 1986.
  • Kirby is a homage to the legendary comic book artist Jack "The King" Kirby.
  • When we get a glance at the TV, we see that April is watching the horror movie Mikey was watching in "Notes from the Underground, Part 1".

Yeah, that's what watching too much TV'll do to ya'.

  • When the Turtles hide from the delivery man, he spots Michelangelo by the chair. When he looks again, it's replaced by a stuffed purple bear. Michelangelo used that same maneuver in the first TMNT movie.
  • This is probably the only episode we get to hear Raph sing.
  • One of the Warriors yells, "You shall not pass!" to the Fantastic Monsters, Gandalf says the same thing in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
  • For a brief second, Mikey's eyes turn blue. 
  • April wears a yellow shirt in this episode. This is her trademark color in other incarnations.
  • This episode is Donatello's first individually-focused episode.


The King/Gallery

External Links

Start a Discussion Discussions about The King

  • Missing scene?? in "The King"

    6 messages
    • UrichoVoice wrote: Six years later) In Russian version you can see that again Wow! I'm ama...
    • TMNTLeoLei03 wrote: UrichoVoice wrote: Six years later) In Russian version you can see that again
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