|“Warren & Hypno, Sitting in a Tree”|
|Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode|
|Original airdate|| May 7, 2019 (Nicktoons)|
June 1, 2019 (Nickelodeon)
|Written by||Jesse Gordon|
|Directed by||JJ Conway|
|Voice Direction||Rob Paulsen|
|Supervising Director||Alan Wan|
|Storyboard Artist:||Christine Liu|
Everyone wants something that Warren Stone has, but he's not giving it up without a fight.
- April O'Neil (Kat Graham)
- Baron Draxum (John Cena)
- Donatello (Josh Brener)
- Huginn (Timothy Simons)
- Hypno-Potamus (Rhys Darby)
- Leonardo (Ben Schwartz)
- Muninn (Sam Richardson)
- Michelangelo (Brandon Mychal Smith)
- Raphael (Omar Benson Miller)
- Warren Stone (John Michael Higgins)
- Tendril Creature (debut)
Additional voices by Roger Craig Smith
Out in New York City in the Turtle Tank, April O'Neil accompanies the Turtles want to help her celebrate her birthday, against her cautioning that her birthdays tend to be cursed. The Tank comes to an abrupt halt when an air conditioner lands on its hood, causing damage.
Close by in a nearby apartment building, an air-conditioner-shaped hole in a certain apartment's outer wall is inspected from the inside by Hypno-Potamus, who had been testing his cannon in preparation of an upcoming magic act where he planned to shoot his roommate Warren Stone out of a cannon—the Turtle Tank getting hit had been an unintended coincidence. When Warren doubts the safety of the act, Hypno offers to cut him into pieces again. Warren objects as the previous time they cut him up was a disaster, as his body was cut up in pieces for real, requiring painful regeneration. Hypno responds that it was painful for him as well, seeing Warren cut up like that. The pair's discussion is interrupted by a pounding at the apartment's front door, and both realize they've been located by someone they were trying to avoid.
Out on the street, Raphael and Michelangelo are assessing the air conditioner and the damage to the Tank's hood. Raph tries to sugarcoat the situation to Donatello, but Mikey is more blunt in informing Donnie of the damage. Inside the Tank, as Donnie tries not to freak out over the assessment, April sees this as proof of a cursed birthday, while Leonardo tries to reassure the other two it is just a freak accident, and that nothing else bad will happen.
Right on cue, the outer wall of Hypno and Warren's apartment has a fiery explosion, completely demolishing the wall, as the two shoot out of their apartment through the cannon they were testing. Warren lands directly on the air conditioner on the Turtle Tank's hood, soon followed by Hypno landing directly on top of Warren. Warren quickly regains his bearings and looks back at the apartment to see Baron Draxum along with Huginn and Muninn staring back through the now missing apartment wall—he has come to seize Warren's gauntlet. Warren uses the gauntlet to fire back in Draxum's direction. Draxum slides out the apartment on a telekinetically-assembled slide of bricks, then starts launching individual bricks to attack Warren. Warren is saved by Hypno's Alakaboom attack, turning the bricks into many-colored flowers. When Draxum realizes the Turtles are also there, he extends purple tentacles towards the Turtle Tank, and Raph concludes that April's birthday really is cursed.
Raph and Mikey scramble back inside the Tank, and Raph tries to reassure everyone else that the rest of April's birthday will be fine after they deal with what's in front of them. Raph commands that the Tank fire some weapons. Donnie asks which weapons to launch, and Warren says all of them. No one had noticed Warren entering the Tank, causing everyone to stare at him. As usual, most of the Turtles don't even remember who he is, but April immediately recognizes him, having been a member of his fan club the Stoneheads since 2010. Hope to use April's fandom of him to his advantage, Warren asks her to help him get Hypno back, who is still standing on the street between the Tank and Draxum.
Outside the Tank, Hypno had not noticed where Warren had gone, and thinks Draxum and company have taken him. Muninn informs Hypno that they don't have Warren, but point out that he is inside the Turtle Tank, where Warren and Donnie are struggling over the Tank controls. Hypno, thinking Warren is being held captive by the Turtles, immediately leaps for the Tank's windshield to save Warren. As Hypno is pressed against the outside of the glass, looking in, Warren gazes anxiously at Hypno and presses his hand against the inside of the glass. Hypno doesn't stay for long, as Draxum's purple tentacles grab and lift him away from the windshield. Warren becomes infuriated and starts pounding the Tank's controls, demanding that Hypno be given back to him. In doing so, Warren accidentally activates the Tank's Turbo, causing the Tank to start moving forward at high speed. Hypno looks on in alarm and shouts Warren's name at the top of his lungs. Warren leans out the Tank's side window, his eyes full of tears, stretches out his elastic arm and shouts out Hypno's name. Hypno again shouts Warren's name, outstretching his own arm to try to reach Warren. As Warren shouts Hypno's name for a second time, Hypno and Warren's hands come close to meeting, but fail to meet and soon speed away from each other as the Tank disappears into the night sky, bringing tears to Hypno's eyes. Hypno is now Draxum's prisoner.
The Turtles take Warren to an empty children's playground and bind him to a metal pole for questioning. Mikey asks who Warren is and why Draxum wants his gauntlet. Warren doesn't know why Draxum wants it, but introduces the gauntlet to the Turtles as "Charlotte," the name he as given it. Donnie recognizes that the gauntlet must be part of the Kuroi Yoroi which Draxum and the Foot Clan have been gathering in the hopes of resurrecting the Shredder. Donnie wants to confiscate the gauntlet and keep it away from their enemies and prepares to amputate Warren's arm in the process. This alarms the other Turtles; Donnie, who apparently actually remembers who Warren is, tries to reassure his brothers that Warren regenerates, but they honestly can't remember him at all, let alone his regeneration ability. Before Donnie can "do some light removing of a thing attached to another thing," April intervenes, thinking that Warren falling into their lap may be a sign that this will actually be a good birthday for her. April declares she wants to help Warren get Hypno back, recognizing that they are friends / roommates / "it's complicated," and demands that the Turtles help her accomplish this as her birthday wish. The Turtles are extremely annoyed that April is invoking this as her birthday wish, and April acknowledges that Warren may be a villain, but that Draxum is, too, and that Warren could be an ally against Draxum.
The group are interrupted by the arrival of a purple tentacle monster that rushes ferociously towards them, only to die inches from them, bearing a ransom note from Huginn and Muninn, demanding the gauntlet in exchange for Hypno's life. The Turtles are still reluctant to help Warren, but Warren breaks down, telling his captors the story of how Hypno came into his life after everyone else had abandoned him, and after moving in together, how Hypno prepared a special birthday celebration for him. Warren is devoted to Hypno, likening him to a brother and more. Raph interrupts Warren, as he along with April and the other Turtles (except Donnie) are moved to tears by Warren's story, and Raph promises to help Warren get Hypno back.
At a ship container port, Draxum and company are waiting with Hypno in their captivity. Warren approaches them in person, agreeing to a trade, while the Turtles and April prowl in the shadows from nearby, Leo repelling from a rope to prepare to free Hypno from behind. Hypno shouts "It's a trap!" muffled through his taped mouth, to which Warren's face melts and responds, "I love you, too!" Warren then proposes an alternate arrangement, offering to trade the Turtles instead of the gauntlet for Hypno, betraying the Turtles' stealth positions to Draxum. As the Turtles are only just realizing Warren has double-crossed them, Warren fires bolts from his gauntlet towards his temporary allies, knocking them to the ground where Draxum quickly erects a purple tentacle cage.
Draxum accepts Warren's alternate deal, and orders Hypno's release. Warren immediately embraces Hypno, thrilled to have him back. But Hypno immediately sadly apologizes, as he and Draxum had a different plan which was the only way Draxum would let Warren live. As Warren stares at Hypno with confusion, Hypno uses his Mezmer-Roo attack on Warren, telling his now-mind-controlled partner to hand the gauntlet over to Draxum. Leo, still caged with his brothers and April, finds himself entertained at witnessing two betrayals in a row. Hypno demands Draxum honor their deal for Draxum to have the Turtles and the gauntlet in exchange for Warren's life, but Draxum admits he never intended to keep his word and quickly seizes Hypno with his purple tentacles. Leo is awed by there having been three betrayals in a row. Draxum prepares to "do some light removing of a thing attached to another thing" (a running gag in this episode), while Hypno discreetly uses his cutting rings to free himself Draxum is distracted.
Hypno stealthily uses his doves to float up in front of the Turtles' cage, and begs them for help in freeing Warren as he starts cutting the cage with his rings. Considering how many betrayals they've just witnessed, the Turtles are skeptical at trusting Hypno's word, but Hypno tells his own story, admitting he's not as good a roommate as he could be, and how he cheats on apartment chores and Warren pretends not to notice but they both know the truth. April thinks it over, takes another look at Warren lying on a slab, and realizes she's still a devoted fan, declaring, "I just can't quit you, Warren Stone." Raph agrees to help Hypno, but only because they are helping April fulfill her birthday wish.
Draxum fashions a giant chainsaw out of purple tentacles to prepare to amputate Warren's gauntlet arm, but the chainsaw is sliced by one of Hypno's rings, as he, the Turtles and April are now free. As Hypno defiantly confronts Draxum, Leo sneaks behind Draxum, grabs Warren and runs off with him. But Draxum has managed to grab the gauntlet Warren's still wearing, and the situation quickly turns into a tug-of-war as Draxum, Huginn and Muginn pulls on Warren's gauntlet arm and the Turtles and Hypno pull on Warren's other arm. April soon intervenes, using one of Hypno's cutting rings to sever Hypno's gauntlet arm, losing the gauntlet to Draxum but saving Warren's life. Now in safe hands, Hypno immediately embraces and cuddles Warren. Meanwhile, Draxum triumphant opens a portal carrying his prize, casting away Warren's severed arm before walking through. Huginn and Muninn celebrate with a new victory dance, this time with "extra butt action."
Once Draxum is gone, Warren painfully regenerates a new stub of an arm. At first he thinks he's fine, but then quickly realizes that Charlotte is now gone, and he quickly becomes angry at April for making him give up his gauntlet to Draxum. Warren announces a new vendetta against April, but April points out that they chose Warren's life over keeping the gauntlet, and how important that life is to the hippopotamus gentleman gazing warmly at him. Warren is still angry, but Hypno intervenes with an affectionate nuzzle, thrilled to have his Warren—his roommate / magical assistant / friend—in safe hands, and seals this sentiment with a kiss to Warren's head. Warren is still dejected by his loss, but Hypno (who is honoring his agreement with the Turtles) starts leaving with Warren in hand, offering to watch game shows together with him so they can make fun of the contestants.
Once Hypno and Warren are gone, Raph starts apologizing to April for not breaking her birthday curse. But Donnie picks up Warren's severed arm and offers it to April. April is immediately thrilled to have a souvenir from her idol, and declares it the best birthday ever.
Raph: Prepare to fire some cool weapons!
Hypno: Where's my roommate slash friend slash magical assistant?!
Hypno: (reaching for hand) Warren!!!
April: This is my birthday and Warren Stone is the goat of news anchors. We've gotta help him get his friend slash roomie slash it's-complicated back from Baron Draxum. It's my birthday wish!
Warren: For my birthday, he baked me a tiny cake. And then, magically, jumped out of it! He almost crushed me when he slipped on frosting. He's my brother! He's my—
Hypno: (muffled) It's a trap!
Warren: "Tonight's headline: Best friends, reunited and it feels s—"
Hypno: Oh...give him the gauntlet, my golden-voiced amigo.
Hypno: Please, you must save Warren! I'm a—I'm a terrible roomie—I cheat on the chore chart, he pretends not to notice, but he does, I know he does...
April: I just can't quit you, Warren Stone.
Huginn: New victory dance.
Hypno: That's my Warren! Oh, it's good to have you back roomie, slash magical assistant, slash friend. (kisses Warren's cheek) Doves! (summons doves) Let's go make fun of game show contestants on TV!
- The episode's title is a nod to the playground rhyme "K-I-S-S-I-N-G". The rhyme usually goes:
[Name] and [Name], sitting in a tree
- This is the first 11-minute episode where Baron Draxum makes an appearance.
- The episode aired early on Nicktoons, Nickelodeon's sister channel, on Tuesday, May 7th, 2019. The official Nickelodeon premiere was on June 1, which also happens to be the first day of LGBT Pride Month.
- While various TMNT television series have employed ambiguous LGBT tropes in the past, this episode marks the most unsubtle and unambiguous portrayal of LGBT characters yet in a television incarnation. LGBT characters have already appeared in various TMNT comics, which for the most part have always targeted older audiences, but every TMNT television series has targeted younger audiences.
- In the earlier episode Newsworthy, which is also when Warren and Hypno first met, Hypno commented that it was mating season for him at the time, making him already in a position to find a mate. Between then and now, Hypno moved in with Warren and the two developed romantic feelings for each other.
- The act of Warren being Hypno's magic assistant contains a double entendre: They make magic together, which is also an idiomatic expression associated with being in love.
- Historically, in social environments (and television programs) where it was deemed taboo for people to live together in an openly gay relationship, it was easier to describe one's significant other as a variety of deliberately less descriptive terms like "friend" or "roommate" instead of more specific terms like "boyfriend." This required situational code-switching, where a couple could use the more specific terms in trusted company, but had to use the less specific terms in mixed company to maintain plausible deniability, allowing the couple to remain "in the closet" as required. The way Hypno and Warren cannot settle on a consistent term to describe their relationship, including calling themselves variations on "roommate / magical assistant / friend," repeatedly hints at and parodies this type of situation.
- When Draxum frees Hypno and Warren embraces him, Warren says, "Tonight's headline: Best friends reunited, and it feels s—", the interrupted comment is a reference to the 1978 Peaches & Herb rhythm and blues love ballad "Reunited" and its signature lyric, "Reunited and it feels so good."
- April's fangirl comment, "I just can't quit you, Warren Stone," is an easter egg hearkening to a famous movie quote from the 2005 gay romance film Brokeback Mountain, where Ennis Del Mar tells Jack Twist, "I wish I could quit you." The comment lampshades this episode's relationship plot.
- As Draxum, Huginn and Muninn are getting away with Charlotte, Huginn says, "New victory dance!" followed by Muninn saying, "With extra butt action!" This comment additionally lampshades the episode's plot in a way that is difficult to explain in an age-appropriate manner.