Michelangelo Meets Bugman is a season 4 episode of the 1987-1996 series.
Michelangelo is reading a comic-book about Bugman, a superhero with several insectile features like wings, pincers, extra limbs and a stinger. Splinter interrupts suddenly, irritated that he's late for ninja practice - and he becomes even more annoyed when Michelangelo accidentally addresses him as "man."
The other Turtles tease Michelangelo during their practice. When the power goes out, they leave to investigate, leaving a blindfolded Michelangelo behind, so he decides to read his comic book by candlelight. He hears someone screaming, and initially assumes it is more teasing, but soon realizes that it's a real cry for help. He finds a chained-up man clinging to a board floating in the sewer, and drags him to the lair.
When the man wakes, he begs Michelangelo to throw the chains away, because they're "leestanite." Michelangelo then recognizes him as Brick Bradley, who is none other than the real-life Bugman, and leestanite is his weakness. While Brick gets his strength back, he explains his backstory: an aspiring entomologist, he was experimenting on some insects when he accidentally fused his DNA to theirs. Now whenever he becomes angry, he develops insectile body parts.
Upon hearing that the Electrozapper was responsible for Brick being chained with leestanite, Michelangelo suggests that he and Bug-Man team up to defeat him. They charge off in the Turtle Van.
With the power restored, Raphael, Leonardo and Donatello return to the lair, and find a note from Michelangelo telling them what he's doing. They laugh hysterically at it, believing that he's just joking around.
Bugman and Michelangelo make their way to a power plant where Electrozapper is hiding, and which also happens to be where April is investigating. Unbeknownst to her, Electrozapper is lurking in a hideout deep underground, scheming to gain ultimate power through electrical absorption.
Michelangelo destroys one of Electrozapper's antennae, which causes his equipment to overload. Enraged, Electrozapper comes to confront them and blasts at April with bolts of electricity. As Brick strains to turn into Bugman, Michelangelo stomps on his foot to trigger his transformation. The newly-transformed Bugman successfully webs up Electrozapper.
Unfortunately, Electrozapper manages to uncover a lump of leestanite nearby, causing Bugman to collapse and transform back into a human. The villain electrocutes Michelangelo, and then contains both him and Brick in "electronic tombs" that will drain them of all electricity. It also sparks off a large fire that surrounds April, whose ankle is twisted, in a wall of flame.
Back at the lair, Leonardo and Donatello start having second thoughts about whether Michelangelo's note was a gag. They set out to the power plant and find April still trapped in the fire, and successfully get her out.
Meanwhile, Michelangelo manages to crack the plastic he's imprisoned in, and taunts Electrozapper into blasting open Brick's prison as well. While he manages to evade the supervillain for awhile, eventually Electrozapper manages to strike him and knock him unconscious. But before Electrozapper can kill Michelangelo, Bugman reappears and drives Electrozapper back to the surface.
The other Turtles are astonished to see that Bugman and the Electrozapper are both real entities, and join in on the fight against the electrical villain. As Electrozapper flees in a boat, Bugman devours it from under him like a termite, and the contact with water causes an explosion. The police arrest him when he lands on the dock.
That night on the news, April openly thanks Bugman for saving the day, and Michelangelo cracks a terrible joke before being beaten with pillows by the other Turtles.
- Leonardo (Cam Clarke)
- Donatello (Barry Gordon)
- Michelangelo (Townsend Coleman)
- Raphael (Rob Paulsen)
- Splinter (Peter Renaday)
- April O'Neil (Renae Jacobs)
- Burne Thompson (Pat Fraley)
- Brick Bradley/Bugman (Dan Gilvezan)
- Electrozapper (Pat Fraley)
- Dr. Dome (Peter Renaday)
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
- When Raphael and Donatello free April from the fire at the power station Donatello's bo disappears when it's laying on the ground.
- When the Turtles are practicing their ninja skills, Michelangelo is seen with Donatello's colors and Donatello's letter in a shot.
- When Leonardo asks where Michelangelo is, his mouth doesn't move.
- Brick incorrectly refers to scorpions and spiders as insects, when they are in fact arachnids. This is an error in itself, but rather unforgivable from a man with a passionate love of insects.
- First appearance of Brick Bradley/Bugman
- Doctor Dome's (one of Bugman's enemies) name is a parody of the Marvel supervillain Doctor Doom. He is not to be confused with the Justice Force member of the same name.
- The plot of this episode loosely resembles the episode "Captain Steel Saves the Day" from The Real Ghostbusters but in this episode the Bugman comic book characters exist in the TMNT universe.
- Leestanite, the substance to which Bugman is weak to, is named after famed Marvel Comics author Stan Lee. Bugman's powers and origin story were inspired by Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk, both of whom were created by Stan Lee. The villain Electrozapper may also have been based off the Spider-Man villain Electro.
- Michelangelo and Brick Bradley break the forth wall.
Michelangelo: "You know dudes. I think April has gone a little buggy." (the other turtles lift their pillows and start hitting him with it) "Ow! Hey, come on! I was just kidding guys! Ah, ah stop!" (cuts outside the lair and he yells in pain)