Top Ten TMNT Episodes List
The 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon isn’t exactly known for the greatness of its episodes as most episodes are standard fare. Some, however, are excellent and they represent everything that the show could accomplish when it tried harder. So here are the ten best TMNT episodes from the 1987 show.
10. The Old Switcheroo
Splinter and Shredder get their bodies switched with each other in The Old Switcheroo, an episode with a familiar cartoon premise, but executed in such a fine, entertaining manner with many fun scenes. It’s a very amusing episode that actually features a pretty good plan from Shredder for once.
9. Pizza by the Shred
This is by far the finest use of the turtles’ obsession with pizza. Usually, that joke got repetitive, but here it was actually used in storytelling as Michelangelo gets a job as a pizza delivery boy with the twist that his boss is Shredder. The episode features a pretty good situational humor and a solidly crafted, fun plot.
8. Donatello Makes Time
As deranged scientists go, the one in this episode is as good as they go, certainly better than most as he actually posed some serious threat to our turtle protagonists. But the entire storyline with Donatello’s invention of freezing time is a lot of fun and it definitely is one of the character’s best episodes.
7. Shredder’s Mom
Of course I had to include this hilarious episode which gave us Shredder’s mother who is such a hilarious character who shares many personality traits with her son so that was great to witness. The episode is one of the funniest of this bunch as the banter between the two was so amusing.
6. Divide and Conquer
This is such a phenomenal ending to the entire series as it gave us such a fantastic final fight with Lord Dregg who was a pretty competent villain in the end. Not only does the action seem smart for once, but also very well thought out as the turtles used their brains fully to kill Dregg. And of course that final scene where Splinter tells them they are now his equals was wonderful.
5. Corporate Raiders from Dimension X
Corporate crime is actually a rare subject for this show and here they did it stupendously. It has a phenomenal second appearance from Casey Jones in it and he really stole the show once again, but the entire storyline was very effectively built up with a message for once and with Shredder’s very good planning.
4. Casey Jones: Outlaw Hero
An excellent first episode for Casey Jones this is. How the turtles met him and their eventual alliance was so well executed and the entire episode is phenomenally well crafted and hugely entertaining with some great lines as well. It truly is a shame that they did not use this great character more often.
3. Shredder & Splintered
This is a phenomenal finale to the best season which was of course the first one. It featured excellent action scenes and great fights and was all around a terrific finale and the best one in the entire show’s run. It gets this third spot for the fight between Shredder and Splinter alone as we rarely got to see them fight and here it was fantastic.
2. Enter the Shredder
This was the introduction of Bebop and Rocksteady and it was very interesting seeing their backstories. But the entire episode was great for featuring turtles going to the Technodrome and some great fights there. Surely this first season was superb in its action and villains and it only went downhill from here on unfortunately.
1. Splinter No More
This is in my opinion the very best that this show has to offer in large part thanks to Splinter’s great role. He is an amazing, wonderful character who unfortunately was mostly relegated to supporting, even cameo roles and he here gets the leading role and it was awesome. Seeing him become human and witness everything bad the humans represent was a great story and also a very emotional one.
Sword of Yurikawa – This is another great showcase for Splinter who is a mysterious ninja here and the highlight was seeing him fight his pupils.
Shreeka’s Revenge – This was a terrific showcase of Krang’s backstory as Shreeka is one of his former allies. The banter between the two was great and she was a pretty solid one-off villain.
Invasion of the Krangazoids – Not the greatest episode, but worthy for giving us many Krangs serving Krang alone. Their banter was expectedly hilarious.