The Maltese Hamster
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 Cartoon) episode
The Maltese Hamster Title Card.png
Season Code: 03
Episode: 04
Original airdate September 28, 1989
Written by David Wise
Episode chronology
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"Attack of the 50-Foot Irma" "Sky Turtles"
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 Maltese Hamster is a season 3 episode of the 1987 TV series.


As the story begins, Donatello is narrating noir-style, which he blames on the Turtles' trench coat disguises. They're on the trail of a bunch of mobsters who have been using advanced weaponry to raid banks and armored cars, believing that Shredder is providing their weaponry.

April informs them that the police have identified one of the criminals as Tony "The Butcher" Vivaldi, and that he can be found at a nightclub called the Meat Rack. But before they leave, April is entranced by a hamster statue in the window of an antique store. The Turtles accompany her inside, and a delivery boy sets out to her apartment with the statue.

But after they leave, Vivaldi appears and demands the hamster statue. When told it's gone, he and his minions start blasting the room apart. Michelangelo comes back in and is immediately apprehended by them - for some reason, he wants to capture the Turtles. Raphael is searching for Michelangelo when he too is captured.

Splinter decides to come help the remaining two Turtles unravel this case, only to be captured along with Leonardo almost immediately. Donatello is fleeing (on Splinter's orders) when Vivaldi collapses a building on him, and leaves him for dead. Injured and dazed, he limps to Channel 6, where Irma and April listen to his story.

Meanwhile, Vivaldi is congratulated by Shredder for having captured his enemies, but Shredder still demands "The Maltese Hamster." Using a device Shredder has loaned him, Vivaldi starts magnetically dragging antiques straight out of stores.

A recovered Donatello can't help but notice the floating antiques on his way to the Meatrack. He and April manage to eavesdrop on another conversation between the Butcher and Shredder, only to accidentally reveal themselves. They manage to escape back to April's apartment, just as the delivery boy hands over the hamster statue. Donatello has deduced that everyone is trying to get the statue, and he tells April to bring it to the docks at midnight in hopes of freeing the others.

Donatello contacts Vivaldi and his goons through a fake TV, telling them that he has the statue and demanding to know what is special about it. Vivaldi reveals that the hamster statue has a formula for an incredibly powerful explosive inside it (an explosion killed a scientist who invented it), which is why Shredder wants it. Donatello offers the statue in exchange for Splinter and the other Turtles, then escapes, taking a laser gun with him.

That night, Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady all show up at the docks, just before Donatello appears with the statue. He hands it over to Shredder, who predictably goes back on his word to free the others once he has the formula. That's the cue for April to melt the statue with the stolen laser gun, which Shredder concludes is the doing of Vivaldi.

In the confusion, Donatello frees the other Turtles and Splinter. With nothing to show for his efforts, Shredder takes back the weapons he gave Vivaldi and then flees. The Turtles tie up the unarmed mobsters, and Donatello briefly resumes his noir narration before Raphael forcibly gags him.




Home media releases




  • First episode in which Shredder hires gangsters to help him locate various objects and artifacts to help him take over the world.
  • Townsend Coleman takes over voicing Burne Thompson in this episode, which is the first time another voice actor takes over voicing characters temporarily when Pat Fraley is absent.
  • The episode is loosely based on the classic Humphrey Bogart's crime film The Maltese Falcon.
  • First time Krang doesn’t appear since his debut in "Enter the Shredder".


  • When the Turtles were in disbelief at April finding the Maltese Hamster in the antique shop window, Donatello and Raphael's voices were switched. The same happened when they ran in the antique shop searching for Michelangelo.
  • Rocksteady was seen with a live fish in his mouth in the shot following him falling out of the Module but in the previous shot there was nothing there.
  • When Raphael, Leonardo, and Donatello run into the antique shop looking for Michelangelo, the mass on the floor looks like snow.
  • When Tony Vivaldi said Donatello must have come back to life, his mouth didn't move.



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