The Old Switcheroo
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 Cartoon) episode
The Old Switcheroo Title Card.png
Season Code: 03
Episode: 06
Original airdate October 2, 1989
Written by Michael Reaves
Episode chronology
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"Sky Turtles" "Burne's Blues"
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 (episode)"
  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"

1987 Season1988 Season1989 Season1990 Season - 1991 Season1992 Season1992-1993 Vacation in Europe sideseason1993 Season1994 Season1995 Season1996 Season

The Old Switcheroo is a season 3 episode of the 1987-1996 series.


The episode opens up with a sobbing Irma, who reveals to April that she had been setup by a man named Elliot who insisted on going on a "double-date" with Irma and another woman. As April tries comforting her, Burne calls for April and informs her that someone was reported to be snooping around Cybertech Laboratory and orders her to do a report on it.

Meanwhile in the Turtle Lair, Donatello shows off his latest invention to the other Ninja Turtles and Splinter: An Automatic Pizza Maker. After demonstrating the machine in action as it successfully makes a pizza in a few seconds, Michelangelo eagerly requests putting the machine at Maximum Power. As hundreds of pizzas are quickly created to the Turtles' delight, the machine however quickly becomes overworked, malfunctions and finally explodes. During the machine's breakdown however, Leonardo is injured when a piece of the machine hits his arm, which concerns Splinter.

At the same time, April calls the Turtles from Cybertech Lab and informs them that the Shredder, along with Bebop and Rocksteady have been spotted working on a machine as well. Out of concern for Leonardo's injury, Splinter accompanies the Turtles as well.

Shredder notices April spying on him and the mutants (shortly after Bebop drops a heavy crate onto his foot) and orders his henchmen to seize her. Fortunately the Turtles quickly arrive to save April from Bebop and Rocksteady while Shredder and Splinter battle.

While Bebop and Rocksteady fire their lasers, Splinter and Shredder find themselves directly underneath the machines that Shredder and the mutants were working on. When Rocksteady fires at the machine's control panel, Shredder and Splinter are both hit by a ray emanating from the machine, knocking them both out. Fearing for their own master's safety, the Turtles scramble to rescue Splinter while Bebop and Rocksteady retreat with Shredder in a Catering Truck.

The effects of the ray quickly become noticed when Shredder wakes up, but does not show any aggression, while Splinter awakes and sounds very angry. The machine swapped Shredder's and Splinter's minds, with Shredder being inside Splinter's body while Splinter is inside Shredder's body. To worsen the situation, both the Turtles and Shredder's mutants are completely unaware of the ray's effects.

While trapped in Shredder's body, Splinter initially has difficulty not giving away his identity to Bebop or Rocksteady due to his kind demeanor. Things only become more complicated for him when confronted by Krang, who (under the impression that he is still Shredder) angrily berates the trio for failing their mission again. When Splinter generously offers to make up for his failure, Krang becomes suspicious of "Shredder's" new personality change, and after Bebop and Rocksteady mention the accident, Krang has Splinter's brain waves scanned to make sure that "Shredder" is feeling right. Fortunately, Splinter manages to fool Krang's brain scan by controlling his brain waves through pure willpower. Before he can probe Krang for any way to have his mind switched back, Krang quickly dismisses him and sends him with Bebop and Rocksteady back to the surface to retry their mission from before.

Meanwhile at the Turtles's lair, Shredder does not bother hiding his sadistic pleasure in bullying the Turtles in Splinter's body. Immediately after being questioned by the Turtles why he's acting strange (ex. - eating pizza despite that Splinter usually hates pizza), Shredder forces them to do multiple exercises and humiliating chores around the lair as punishment for being invasive. The Turtles begin to get more suspicious when "Splinter" manages to subdue the Turtles in a training exercise with ease, and in a style that does not at all resemble Splinter's fighting style. Finally, when April comes over to visit, Shredder rudely dismisses her, which manages to get over to the Turtles that something is wrong with "Splinter" and thus they (and April) return to the surface for some answers.

When reaching the surface, the Turtles are confronted by Bebop, Rocksteady, and Splinter. Shortly after disposing of Bebop and Rocksteady in combat, the Turtles surround "Shredder", ready to attack. However, Splinter manages to convince the Turtles that he is in fact Splinter, having been trapped in Shredder's body, and thus the Turtles are relieved now that they know the truth.

Now realizing what needs to be done, the Turtles and Splinter plan on luring Shredder back into Cybertech Lab in order to reswap minds with Splinter and to fix everything. Once the Turtles return to their lair, they convince "Splinter" to return to Cybertech Lab and fight "Shredder" (unknown to Shredder that the Turtles are springing a trap). Meanwhile back at Cybertech Lab, Bebop and Rocksteady appear as well, having recovered from their fight with the Turtles and following Splinter there as well.

The Turtles and Shredder appear as well and are left to face off against Bebop and Rocksteady yet again, while Shredder and Splinter are left to fight each other yet again. Much like their first fight, Bebop and Rocksteady try to finish off the Turtles by firing at them while Splinter and Shredder position themselves back underneath the machines. Once again, while trying to shoot Donatello, Rocksteady fires at the machine's control panel and Shredder and Splinter are both hit by the machine's ray knocking them both out again. However, the second blast causes the machine to malfunction and Cybertech Labs catches on fire, forcing the Turtles and the Mutants to fetch their respective masters.

Fortunately, the plan worked. When he wakes up, Splinter confirms that the transfer worked and he's now in his correct body. To make sure of it, Michelangelo dangles a slice of pizza in his face, and it is greeted with repulsion.




Home media releases


  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Attack of the Big MACC
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Ring of Fire and Other episodes"


  • Family Home Entertainment Best Collection Volume 2
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 2 (Bonus Episode)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 3
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 3
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection


  • Family Home Entertainment Best Collection Volume 2
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 2
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 3



  • Michelangelo and Donatello were seen with opposite colors when they were helping Shredder (in the body of Splinter) into the Turtle Van.
  • Donatello was seen with his weapon sleeve from Seasons 1 and 2 when he used the pizza oven, the same would happen with Leonardo's katanas when he was lifting up Shredder (in Splinter's body) after the first brain swap incident.
  • At one point, the bottom half of Krang's android was colored a solid yellow and did not have it's legs drawn in.
  • The 6 logo on April's camera was mirror flipped just before she headed off back to Channel 6 to file her story.
  • When April informs the Turtles that Shredder and the mutants are hiding in Cybertech Lab, it is nighttime outside. However, when the Turtles arrive to rescue April from them and after retrieving "Shredder" and "Splinter", it is daytime.
  • When "Shredder in splinter's body" says that I'm fine, his mouth is not moving.


  • The Turtles act surprised to see one of the Transport Modules, meaning that this episode possibly occurred right after the events in "Beneath These Streets".
  • The shot of Michelangelo  disarming Bebop and Rocksteady with his nunchucks was edited out of UK broadcastings of this episode.
  • Donatello's pizza maker invention looks unsurprisingly like Playmates "Pizza Thrower" vehicle. The toy debuted in 1989 the same year this episode originally aired.
  • This is the first Season 3 episode where Shredder is seen without his mask.
  • This episode obviously takes place before "Turtles on Trial" as the Turtles act surprised to see the Transport Module when it surfaces in the alleyway.