"What the shell" is a phrase used in some versions of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and especially by Raphael in the 2003–2009 TV seires. The phrase is a minced oath of "what the hell," replacing the mildly vulgar word "hell" with the word "shell" as a pun in reference to turtle shells. Other phrases are also possible wherever "the hell" would otherwise be used as an intensifying phrase, including "how the shell," "when the shell," "where the shell," "who the shell" and "why the shell."

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