The Mean Machines
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 Cartoon) episode
The Mean Machines 1.png
Title screen
Season Code: 02
Episode: 04
Original airdate October 22, 1988
Written by Michael Reaves
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"It Came from Beneath the Sewers" "Curse of the Evil Eye"
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 Mean Machines" is a season 2 (1988) episode of the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series. It is the ninth episode of this series. This episode was written by Michael Reaves. It originally aired on October 22, 1988.


Plot Summary

Since the batteries of the Crystal Converger have died, Donatello uses spare circuits from the crashed spaceship to make a new tracking device, in order to locate the second fragment of the Eye of Sarnath.

They've nearly located the next fragment when they are distracted by a bank robbery. While they are chasing the robbers, Shredder and Baxter Stockman locate the second fragment in a garbage dumpster (presumably due to Baxter having thrown one fragment out in a previous episode).

Shredder contacts Krang and says that his plan is to hook up the second fragment to a computer, and that whatever he's planning will be enough to destroy the Turtles. Krang is doubtful.

Donatello tries to amp up the power on the tracking device by hooking it up to the Turtle Van, but only ends up triggering malfunctions and a near accident. They end up asking April for help finding anything weird going on instead.

<Meanwhile, Shredder breaks into a Hi-Tech Lab and hooks the second fragment from the Eye of Sarnath up to a computer mainframe called: O.M.N.S.S. (OMNIPOTENT MULTI-PROCESSING NEXUS SUBUNIVERSAL SENTIENCE). The computer is artificially intelligent and already extremely powerful, but the fragment allows it to use electricity to control other machines.

The Turtles meet April at a construction site, only for the machines to activate and turn on them. They manage to destroy or disable the various machines (including April's news van).

O.M.N.S.S. needs more power and begins to drain energy from the power plants in the city. Soon, machines everywhere in the city are going berserk, creating total chaos in the city. Shredder believes that this can destroy the Turtles.

With the tracker unable to lock onto the fragment's energy because of the widespread mayhem, the Turtles consult a nasty robot meter maid to get Shredder's location. But on their way, O.M.N.S.S. takes control of the Turtle Van, locking its doors and taking control of the steering. Just as the Turtle Van is about to crash, Donatello uses the tracking device to short-circuit the Turtle Van.

Meanwhile, O.M.N.S.S. is developing more power so Shredder can open a dimensional portal to Dimension X. Before this happens, the Turtles and April storm the building and are assaulted by a variety of Robodyne machines, including a fire hose and various robots. They avoid several of these by climbing up the side of the building.

When they reach the lab, Leonardo ruptures the power line leading to O.M.N.S.S., only for the computer to turn off completely, leaving Shredder and Baxter defenseless. The pair escape, and it's revealed that O.M.N.S.S. was defeated by April unplugging it.

In a small apartment, Shredder rages about the failure of his plans. At the lair, the Turtles are frightened by the outline of a killer robot on the wall... only to learn that it's a small electric toy that Michelangelo is controlling.





  • Com-Link
  • Tracking Device

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



  • When the Turtles are scouting the city for the fragment, there is a billboard of a pizza with the words "Pizza by Michael" which could be a reference to this episode's writer Michael Reaves.

Animation errors

  • When the Turtles put on their suction climbing cups there are two Raphaels; one Raphael speaks in Donatello's voice, and his mask turns green.
  • Shredder's Com-Link is grey when he first uses it, and it looks like a white version of April's Turtlecom when he uses it to contact Krang in the middle and end of the episode.
  • Leonardo was missing his katana sleeves when Raphael was interrogating the robot meter maid and when he climbed out of the window when being pursued by the OMNUS controlled robots.
  • After the Turtle Van came to a halt next to the brick wall, the van's dashboard flashed from white to brown.
  • When Baxter asked Shredder if it was wise to have O.M,N.S.S. open a portal to Dimension X, his shirt flashed from white to black and back.
  • When Shredder told O.M.N.S.S. to concentrate energy to open a Dimension X portal, the background he was drawn against was placed upside down.
  • When Shredder spotted the Turtles climbing through the window, his neck was colored the same as his cape.
  • When Leonardo told April to hide for cover, his mouth didn't move.
  • When the Turtles, Splinter, and April eat pizza, Leonardo is at the right of April, then Raphael is there. Then, when Donatello falls in his chair, Splinter (at the left of him) has vanished, and Michelangelo is eating pizza before he shows up with the robot. Then Raphael is seen with Donatello's colors to the right of April.
  • The Turtles' initials are dark gray during the construction site when the construction vehicles back them up against a wall.
  • When the machines come to life, Leonardo speaks in Raphael's voice.
  • After Donatello said that the fragment was close, Raphael and Michelangelo magically appeared into the shot a second or two after Donatello lowered the tracking device he was holding.
  • When the Blond Haired Robber said "Let 'em have it!" he spoke with the Dark Haired Robber's voice.
  • When the Turtle Van is possessed by O.M.N.S.S., at first Michelangelo and Raphael are sitting beside April. Then Michelangelo vanishes completely from the shot, Raphael speaks in Leonardo's voice, and his mouth doesn't move when he says "Bail out!"

Continuity Errors

  • When Raphael is nearly dumped into a giant pit by a steam shovel, he clings to the bottom of the scoop. Then in the very next shot, he's climbing out of the pit, with no indication of how he got there.
  • At the end of this episode, Splinter was eating pizza with April and the Turtles, but in later episodes he hates pizza.


OMNSS: "Warning! Warning! Insufficient power to complete mission!
- OMNSS after Leonardo cuts off his power.



External links