What's Michelangelo Good For?
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 Cartoon) episode
What's Michelangelo Good For? Title Card.png
Season Code: 04
Episode: 29
Original airdate November 10, 1990
Written by Ted Pedersen
Francis Moss
Supervising Producer Fred Wolf
Producers: Walt Kubiak
Supervising Director  Bill Wolf
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"Poor Little Rich Turtle" "The Dimension X Story"
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990 Season
September 10, 1990 - December 8, 1990
List of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episodes


  • Syndication
  1. "Plan Six From Outer Space"
  2. "Turtles of the Jungle"
  3. "Michelangelo Toys Around"
  4. "Peking Turtle"
  5. "Shredder's Mom"
  6. "Four Turtles and a Baby"
  7. "Turtlemaniac"
  8. "Rondo in New York"
  9. "Planet of the Turtles"
  10. "Name That Toon"
  11. "Menace Maestro, Please"
  12. "Superhero for a Day"
  13. "Back to the Egg"
  • Saturday Mornings
  1. "Son of Return of the Fly II"
  2. "Raphael Knocks 'em Dead"
  3. "Bebop and Rocksteady Conquer the Universe"
  4. "Raphael Meets His Match"
  5. "Slash - The Evil Turtle from Dimension X"
  6. "Leonardo Lightens Up"
  7. "Were-Rats from Channel 6"
  8. "Funny, They Shrunk Michelangelo"
  9. "The Big Zipp Attack"
  10. "Donatello Makes Time"
  11. "Farewell, Lotus Blossom"
  12. "Rebel Without a Fin"
  13. "Rhino-Man"
  14. "Michelangelo Meets Bugman"
  15. "Poor Little Rich Turtle"
  16. "What's Michelangelo Good For?"
  17. "The Dimension X Story"
  18. "Donatello's Degree"
  19. "The Big Cufflink Caper!"
  20. "Leonardo Versus Tempestra"
  21. "Splinter Vanishes"
  22. "Raphael Drives 'Em Wild"
  23. "Beyond the Donatello Nebula"
  24. "Big Bug Blunder"
  25. "The Foot Soldiers are Revolting"
  26. "Unidentified Flying Leonardo"

1987 Season1988 Season1989 Season1990 Season1991 Season1992 Season1992-1993 Vacation in Europe sideseason1993 Season1994 Season1995 Season1996 Season

What's Michelangelo Good For? is a season 4 episode of the 1987 animated series.

Appearing in What's Michelangelo Good For?

Major characters

Minor characters



  • Humans
  • Pigeons
  • Mutant hybrids
    • Mutant gorilla/water buffalo
    • Mutant tiger/elephant
    • Mutant toucan/rabbit
    • Mutant wolf/horse
  • Mutant rat
  • Mutant turtles
  • Robots (Chimp, wolf, bear)
  • Tiger
  • Toucan
  • Wolf

Objects and vehicles

Plot synopsis

The Turtles take a visit to the zoo, so that Dr. Jane Goodfellow can give veterinary treatment to Michelangelo's pigeon friend Pete, who had broken his wing. Michelangelo - who communicates with Pete through pigeon coos - is informed that his feathered friend is ready to fly once again.

April also happens to be there, covering the mysterious vanishing of several zoo animals in the middle of the day. While the Turtles are making repairs to the Turtle van, pigeons fly by and Michelangelo sadly releases Pete into the wild.

He decides to hang out at the zoo a little longer while the others set out for home. But a trio of robots appear behind the Turtle Van, disarm the Turtles and drag them into a massive submarine in the lake. The only witness is Pete.

That night, Michelangelo returns home to discover that the other Turtles haven't yet gotten back. Splinter has sensed something evil about an island covered in mist, and tells Michelangelo that he must rescue the other three. Michelangelo doesn't believe he can do it because he lacks the intelligence or leadership of the others, but Splinter tells him that he's ready to do this.

Back at the zoo, Michelangelo finds the empty Turtle Van, and encounters Pete, who tells him what he saw. Dr. Goodfellow finds him sitting outside the zoo, where she offends him by doubting that he can understand Pete. He finds a piece of Donatello's bo, and Dr. Goodfellow confirms that strange footprints were found in the zoo.

The Turtles find themselves caged in a laboratory run by the evil ex-director Dr. Lesseau, where strange mutant animals have been created using a ray gun (such as a tiger-elephant or a toucan-rabbit). His goal is to create a single kind of animal with the best traits of them all, so he can conquer the world. He wants the Turtles' intellects as part of his uber-animal.

Figuring out that the Turtles are on an island, Michelangelo and Dr. Goodfellow find a rowboat and are led to the island by Pete.

Donatello is dragged out of his cell and strapped down under a dissecting laser, when Lesseau is distracted by the imminent arrival of Goodfellow and Michelangelo. Suddenly the submarine fires a torpedo at them, and then tries to ram the rowboat. Michelangelo fouls the propeller, sending it careening off and causing it to explode.

When the rowboat goes through a patch of lily pads, Michelangelo notices that they're ticking. He leaps out and pushes the boat through safely, but seems to have been blown up by the bombs, much to the horror of the other Turtles. Fortunately, it turns out that he was simply hiding underwater.

Goodfellow, Michelangelo and Pete break their way into the power plant on the island, only to be confronted by more killer robots that Michelangelo destroys. Pete also hampers Lesseau's surveillance by putting twigs and mud over the madman's camera lenses.

One of the mutant animals helps Donatello by pecking loose one of his wrist cuffs, allowing the Turtle to free himself. When Michelangelo and Goodfellow make their way, Donatello springs up and frees the other Turtles. They use the mad doctor's laser against another one of his robots, and Lesseau responds by freeing his mutant animals to kill them. However, the animals now hate Lesseau for what he's done to them, ending in the water-buffalo/gorilla Brutus dragging him back down while Pete pecks at his head.

Fortunately Donatello is able use the ray to turn the mutant animals back to normal, and they are returned to the zoo.

Home media releases


  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Michelangelo Meets Bugman


  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 4
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection



  • After Michelangelo sets off the island's intruder alarm, Leonardo speaks in Raphael's voice.
  • When Michelangelo spots Pete rustling in the bushes, the shell on his grappling hook looks like a folded up Turtlecom.
  • The restraining cuffs on Donatello's arms move from his biceps to his wrists.


  • Dr. Lesseau and his island parodies the novel and movie of H.G. Well's The Island of Dr. Moreau.