|“Invasion of the Punk Frogs”|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 Cartoon) episode|
|Original airdate||November 19, 1988|
|Written by||Michael Reaves|
Invasion of the Punk Frogs is episode number 13 of the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series. It is the eighth episode of season two (1988). This episode was written by Michael Reaves. It originally aired on November 19, 1988, in syndication. It is available on the DVD box set released on April 26, 2005. It is the first episode appearance of the Punk Frogs.
Shredder wants Krang to send more Mutagen to create more mutants to stop the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Krang launches the mutagen canister through the dimensional portal, but an “ion storm” in Dimension X causes the canister to land in a Florida swamp instead of New York City, mutating four frogs who had recently come in contact with a young boy. Using a holographic projector, Shredder projects a suit onto his costume and heads to Florida to find the mutagen. But before he leaves he commands Bebop and Rocksteady, to keep the Turtles busy in his absence.
Meanwhile, at Channel 6, April O’Neil gets information that frog like monsters were seen in Florida's swamp. April notifies the Turtles of the discovery, but before the TMNT can leave for Florida, they must take care of Rocksteady and Bebop, who are causing problems during Shredder's absence.
The Shredder arrives in Florida and meets four talking mutant frogs. He realizes their potential as a mutant army, as they can speak, and claims to love all living things. He lures them into his boat and with his holographic projector, projects clothes on the four of them. Now thinking he's a nice person, Shredder plans to take them back to New York City to fight the supposedly "evil" Turtles.
In New York City, the TMNT are busy fighting Bebop and Rocksteady, who were wreaking havoc in Times Square to distract the TMNT when they are called back to Shredder's hideout. Bebop and Rocksteady arrive at the hideout and Shredder introduces them to their new allies, the Frogs.
Shredder has trained the Frogs in martial arts and named them after his personal heroes: Attila the Frog, Genghis Frog, Rasputin the Mad Frog and Napoleon Bonafrog. Shredder sends the frogs to rob a bank in the city. The local authorities believe that the TMNT are responsible for this and create an Anti-Turtle Squad, led by Captain Hoffman to hunt them down. The TMNT, realizing they are being framed, set out to find the impostors.
Thanks to April, the TMNT find the frogs at a local chemical supply company. However the frogs escape with a batch of chemicals. Donatello realizes that the chemicals that the frogs stole are two-thirds of the ingredients needed to make more mutagen. Leonardo contact April to see if she can find a company that manufactures the fourth ingredient. April finds a company that manufactures the last ingredient and the Turtles race to it and catch the frogs. The Turtles pursue a truck transporting the final ingredient to the company, with the Turtle Blimp, before they spot the Frogs attacking the van and land. They then watch in horror as the Anti-Turtle Squad arrives on the scene with a tank and freeze dries the frogs.
Before the TMNT meet the same fate, Raphael disables the tank with his sai and the Turtles decide to save the frogs and retreat with them back to their sewer lair. Once there, they tell Splinter the whole story. Splinter says that they have to show the Frogs trust if they want to win them over. Leonardo frees the frogs and takes the risk of being attacked. Although the Frogs first want to attack the Turtles, by the declaration of Splinter the Turtles lay down their arms. Splinter tells the Frogs they are free to go. Attila is confused as the Shredder told them Splinter and the Turtles were evil. The Sensei suggests that they trust their animal instincts. It works and the Frogs realize that they were only being used by the Shredder and put down their weapons. The Frogs now understand that Shredder was a bad guy and Leonardo comes up with a plan. The TMNT and the frogs team up to lure Shredder into a trap. The Frogs return to Shredder's secret hideout, claiming they heard the TMNT mention that they're hiding the fourth ingredient at the old Stonewall Prison. Bebop and Rocksteady know where it is, having been prisoners there once, but the prison has been abandoned for years. Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady go to the prison where they meet the TMNT. The TMNT show Shredder that the Frogs are now on their side. The Anti-Turtle Squad arrives, and creates just the right diversion allowing Shredder, Rocksteady and Bebop to make their escape. The TMNT and the frogs also escape, and the frogs return back to the Florida swamps.
- Leonardo (Cam Clarke)
- Donatello (Barry Gordon)
- Michelangelo (Townsend Coleman)
- Raphael (Rob Paulsen)
- Splinter (Peter Renaday)
- April O'Neil (Renae Jacobs)
- Burne Thompson (Pat Fraley)
- Irma Langinstein (Jennifer Darling)
- Shredder (James Avery)
- Bebop (Barry Gordon)
- Rocksteady (Cam Clarke)
- Krang (Pat Fraley)
- Genghis Frog (Jim Cummings)
- Attila the Frog (Townsend Coleman)
- Rasputin the Mad Frog (Nicholas Omana)
- Napoleon Bonafrog (Pat Fraley)
- Captain Hoffman (Jim Cummings)
- Mother at Florida Swamps (Jennifer Darling)
- Boy at Florida Swamps (Renae Jacobs)
- News Reporter (Peter Renaday)
- Turtles' lair
- City streets
- Shredder's hideout
- Okefenokee Swamp
- Mallory Chemical Plant
- Argus Chemical Supply Warehouse
- Channel 6
- Stonewall Prison
Home media releases
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Invasion of the Punk Frogs
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 2
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection
- The canister of mutagen changes size each time it's seen in this episode.
- One of the Rock Soldiers loading the mutagen canister into the dimensional portal is animated like a grey version of General Traag, All of the Rock Soldiers would appear in this way in "Return of the Technodrome".
- When Irma says, "Wait! You don't have a car!" to April, her left eye is drawn a bit oddly. It's slightly larger than her right, and the iris is a bit too far down.
- The Turtles' TV set changes color and model when it zooms in on the news report about the Punk Frogs.
- Leonardo's katana become the size of Ginsu knives when he lifts the manhole cover for the Turtles to escape the cops.
- When Bebop and Rocksteady are about to fight the Turtles, Bebop speaks in Rocksteady's voice.
- Earlier in the episode, the Turtles have mounted up their TV on a wall stand. Later on, it's back on the floor again.
- It's nighttime when the Turtles first meet the Frogs, but it's daytime once they leave the building.
- Rasputin blows a seemingly bottomless well into the pathway of the van, but when it's seen from the Turtle Blimp's angle, it's only a slight crater in the ground.
- Why does it take two Stone Warriors to hurl a canister of mutagen through the portal? The way it bounces off of water as it falls through the vortex suggests that it's extremely light, and it's not really all that big, either, further evidenced by Shredder picking it up with one hand later on.
- When the canister leaks radioactive goop into the swamp river, it courses through the stagnant water at a very rapid pace, before coming to a halt right at the boy's feet. The background even suggests that the ooze had a good way to go down the river, so why did it just stop flowing?
- This episode seems to follow the trend that "Turtle Tracks" started; when the Punk Frogs appear before the family, they high-tail it and run instead of leaping into the van and driving off.
- Several of Shredder's shenanigans have him exposed to the general public in full costume, but as he announces he's heading to Florida, he's basically asked, "You're going there looking like that?" by Rocksteady, to which Shredder replies by showing off his image inducer, which alters his appearance. That's fine and all, but it leaves one to wonder: why hasn't Shredder done this before?
- Is anybody else thrown off by the fact that all four Turtles trip over a lamppost when chasing after Bebop and Rocksteady? Seriously, how did they not see it?
- Seriously, Shredder trained the Punk Frogs that quickly? Where did he possibly find the time to teach the Punk Frogs martial arts, given the timing of this episode?
- If Shredder could train the Frogs that quickly, why not do the same for Bebop and Rocksteady?
- April's computer only has 18 keys.
- This is the first appearance of Attila the Frog, Genghis Frog, Napoleon Bonafrog, and Rasputin the Mad Frog, a.k.a the Punk Frogs.
- The weapons wielded by the Punk Frogs have medieval/western overtones to them, in contrast to the Turtles' Asian-originated weapons.
- Shredder's hologram projector disguise is basically his Oroku Saki character model dressed in pink.
- When Shredder leaves Rocksteady and Bebop in charge while he heads to Florida, the pair are seen laughing to themselves dimwitted, but immediately right before the scene cuts to the Channel 6 building, they can be seen scowling rather menacingly at the camera.
- Bebop and Rocksteady actually call Shredder out on the gaping plot holes in his plans. For example, as stated above, when Shredder prepares to leave, Rocksteady calls him out on his armor being less than conspicuous. Also, when Shredder introduces the Punk Frogs, Bebop points out that the Turtles are trained ninjas who'd mop the floor with them.
- The mayor describes the Turtles as 'terrorizing the city long enough' and assembles an 'Anti-Turtle' squad to deal with them, despite there only being one reported incident with creatures very vaguely described (and assumed to be) turtles.
- The Turtles are still wanted for the bank robbery at the end of the episode.
- The Punk Frogs hate pizza.
- Shredder's plan of creating an army of powerful mutants would be revisited and realized by another Shredder in Turtles Forever.
- Rocksteady carries a yellow comlink with a different design to that of Shredder's, this may have been what the animators had intended for them to look like until deciding to create identical versions for them from the third season onwards.
- When the News Reporter is interviewing the Mayor and Captain Hoffman, they are standing in front of a building with Kubiak written on it referencing the show's producer Walt Kubiak.
- When the boy tells his mother that the frogs are not "...the creatures from the Maroon Lagoon", he's making a reference to the monster movie classic Creature from the Black Lagoon.
- The Punk Frogs themselves are named after infamous figures in world history, namely Attila the Hun, Napoleon Bonaparte, Genghis Khan and Grigori Rasputin (otherwise known as Rasputin the Mad Monk.)
- Krang states that the canister landed in the Okefenokee Swamp, which is one of the largest peat-based swamps in North America. He has his facts slightly mixed up, however while a part of the swamp does reside in Florida, a major part of it is actually in Georgia.
- One of Rasputin's arrows gives off a blinding light upon impact, similar to a Flash Grenade. He is also reminiscent of another superhero with multi-purpose arrows, the Green Arrow.
- Stonewall Prison is a dead ringer for Alcatraz Island.