‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Easter Eggs & Trivia

Published 8 months ago by , Updated August 27th, 2014 at 12:26 pm,

Ninja Turtles Movie Easter Eggs Trivia Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Easter Eggs & Trivia

In the pantheon of beloved 1980s pop culture, there’s no question that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ranks among the very best for an entire generation. Whether it’s the comic books that kicked off the franchise, the animated series that added to the core mythology, or the previous films that took the mutant martial artists into live-action, everyone has their favorites.

As usually happens with properties so beloved, news of a modern reboot proved divisive before the first details even surfaced. Thankfully, the finished product was a far cry from a failure (read our review) and actually kept even more faithful to the source material than expected. And with decades of comic, TV and film history to draw upon, we wouldn’t expect any less.

Needless to say, there will be SPOILERS in our list of Ninja Turtles trivia, so read at your own risk.


April in Yellow

Ninja Turtles Movie April Yellow Easter Egg Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Easter Eggs & Trivia

Just as the Ninja Turtles themselves have become synonymous with the color of their headbands, so too has intrepid reporter April O’Neil become famously know for her yellow wardrobe. While the yellow jumpsuit was adapted to a yellow raincoat in previous live-action films, Megan Fox‘s version keeps the tradition alive through a yellow jacket (along with the character’s signature red hair – dark, but reddened).


Burne Thompson

Ninja Turtles Burne Thompson Easter Egg Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Easter Eggs & Trivia

Not every callback to the source material is as easy to spot as clothing or color, but April O’Neil’s overpowering editor undergoes a bit of a makeover. Burne Thompson of Channel 6 was created to give another occasional antagonist to the Turtles of the 1987 cartoon, but in the film, the character is gender-swapped to Bernadette Thompson – played by Whoopi Goldberg.


Jim McNaughton

Ninja Turtles Movie McNaughton Easter Egg Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Easter Eggs & Trivia

The sudden appearance of Saturday Night Live cast member Taran Killam in the Channel 6 news room likely took many by surprise, but it’s the character he’s revealed to be playing that would catch the attention of only the most devoted fans. O’Neil delivers a slam of her own in which she refers to Killam’s insulting character as “McNaughton” – as in Jim McNaughton, a colleague of O’Neil’s from the 1986 comic.



Ninja Turtles Movie Karai Trivia Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Easter Eggs & Trivia

Although the responsibilities of Karai (Minae Noji) as the lieutenant to central villain Shredder may have seemed par for the course, the high-ranking Foot Clan member may have been far more important than it seemed. In the past, Karai has been written as the daughter or niece of the iconic Turtles villain, at times even outranking him. While the film version doesn’t get to don her own set of armor, the tinge of red in her hair is a nice homage to its color scheme.


April’s Fainting

Ninja Turtles Movie Faint April Easter Egg Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Easter Eggs & Trivia

While causal observers might expect an ambitious journalist to have ice running through their veins, April O’Neil has shown a tendency to become… well, as overwhelmed as anyone would be by the sight of enormous humanoid reptiles. Her tendency to lose consciousness was carried over from the comics into the 1990 film, and the same reaction can be seen in the latest meeting.


What’s in a Name

Ninja Turtles Movie April Naming Easter Egg Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Easter Eggs & Trivia

Plenty of movie fans may bristle at what they see as a change to canon, with April O’Neil now implied to have named each one of the Turtles (lab experiments in ‘Project Renaissance’). While April’s exact reason for selecting the names of Italian Renaissance-era artists may have been altered, it’s not the first time that she’s been given the honor in the many versions of the comic books.


Hip-Hop Christmas Album

Ninja Turtles Movie Christmas Album Easter Egg Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Easter Eggs & Trivia

When Raphael first expresses a desire to leave behind his brothers and head out into the world alone, it’s Michelangelo who tells him he can’t – his hip hop Christmas album is still in need of a ‘Hype Man.’ The brothers show an interest in impromptu music later on in the film, but this line is likely a reference to the very-real We Wish You a Turtle Christmas, a direct-to-video special featuring the Turtles’ “Wrap Rap.”


Brand Loyalty

Ninja Turtles Movie Dominoes Pizza Hut Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Easter Eggs & Trivia

To make sure that one of his sons spills the beans on the Turtles’ nocturnal adventures, Splinter tempts Michelangelo with a Pizza Hut pizza claimed to contain more cheese varieties than ever thought possible. While the explanation for the pizza-loving brothers switching from Domino’s Pizza to their longtime rival is never provided, we can only assume that the sting of a moldy pizza spanned two decades.


Splinter’s Slice

Ninja Turtles Movie Splinter Pizza Easter Egg Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Easter Eggs & Trivia

As is expected of the movie’s stars, their weaponry makes short work of their favorite food – pizza. While the brothers may not recreate the football passes of previous live-action adaptations, director Jonathan Liebesman did repeat the previous gag of having a slice end up on the head of an unamused Splinter.


TCRI Canister

Ninja Turtles Movie TGRI Easter Egg Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Easter Eggs & Trivia

The new film sets the live-action origins of Splinter and the Turtles in line with that of the original comic books, as mutated subjects exposed to an alien ‘ooze.’ The acronym for Techno Cosmic Research Institute (TCRI) was changed to TGRI (Techno Global) for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, given its non-alien origins in that story. But in the new reboot, the iconic canister – and its original initials – remain intact.


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  1. All they could spot in their FIRST viewing?

    I couldn’t even get past the 25 minute mark… much less watch it more than once.

  2. great article. the attention to such clever little cues is proof that this movie is a worthy continuation of the TMNT saga. haters just can’t accept change / evolution

    • thats not it, the movie was just garbage….i really wanted it to be great.

      • No, Transformers: Age of Extinction was garbage.

        While by no means an amazing film, this movie was fun to watch, kept me entertained, and managed to capture the Turtle’s personalities rather well. It even managed to make me laugh more than once. This movie was never made to surpass Marvel, or to set up a Universe, or to join side-by-side with Marvel Studios and Warner Brothers in the superhero genre. It was a movie made to entertain fans of the Ninja Turtles. Judging the film by THOSE standards, I thought it was all good.

  3. Also the scene between Shred and Ralph in the lab resembles the setting of the fight from “Secret of the Ooze” under the pier with the pillars.. and also the iconic roof fight scene from the first movie was hinted at.. Not exact but similar and caught my eye.

  4. That movie was horrible, they weren’t even fighting ninjas. . and he made then bullet proof for god sakes

    • And that is only two things out of a multitude of what’s wrong with this movie.

    • What’s wrong with them being bullet-proof? I thought that was a great idea!

      • The shells being partially bulletproof actually makes some sense but they shouldn’t be able to defend against a full onslaught of bullets. The rest of their body should not be able to withstand gun fire though.

  5. There were some issues I had with the movie – I’m not thrilled with having to constantly change origin stories just because we feel the need to re-boot a series every three or four years. I also thought they cheapened Shredder a bit by having him with a robotic suit to enhance his strength (but if you’re going to make the Turtles have super-human strength capable of throwing around giant storage containers then I guess he needs to have some kind of enhancement). Overall though I enjoyed the movie as staying with the overall theme of what makes the Turtles tick – their intense ninja skills coupled with that teenage energy/naivete and an overall sense of family and teamwork.