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Mutagen, also known as Retromutagen Ooze, is a mucilaginous substance that has served as a key plot device in nearly every medium of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Any creature that is exposed to mutagen will rapidly increase in size, strength and intelligence. It is responsible for mutating, among others, Splinter and the four (or five or six) Ninja Turtles, and villain pairings such as Bebop & Rocksteady or Tokka & Rahzar.
The mutagen was depicted slightly differently in this cartoon; rather than causing its victims to increase in size, it caused them to transform into a hybrid of their original species and whatever creature they have most recently been in contact with. It was revealed in the episode "Invasion of the Punk Frogs" that the mutagen can be made mixing nyotrinaline with Taxon-9. In the episode "Enter: Mutagen Man", a third ingredient was mentioned - Bindex3. In the episode "Shredder & Splintered" it's acidic. It is also responsible for creating many of the show's mutants, such as Bebop, Rocksteady, the Punk Frogs, Leatherhead, Slash, Groundchuck, Dirtbag, and Mondo Gecko, to name but a few.
The mutagen was created by the Utroms while they were trying to create a machine that will allow them to escape Earth after they crash-landed on it. Disguised as T.C.R.I., they tried to create the machine secretly. However, during it's creation, the waste turned into a mutagen. Much like in the Mirage Comics, the mutagen causes explicit growth, both physically and intellectually. Among the victims were the turtles, Leatherhead and Splinter.
2012 SeriesEdit1987 series; It blends the victim's genetics with that of whatever creature they have recently touched, but when used on animals, it makes them a larger, more intelligent, human-like creature. It has a glowing blue coloration to it. Michelangelo often refers to it as mom in this cartoon as it created him. It is also possible that since Splinter was the nearest to the turtles` during their mutation that his DNA mixed with theirs making him their actual father, while his actually merged with a nearby rat that ran by him. The mutagen also seems to merge organic substances and inorganic substances as seen by Chong.
As opposed to being labeled T.C.R.I. (Techno Cosmic Research Institute) in the Mirage comics, the canister in which the ooze is kept is written as "T.G.R.I." (Techno Global Research Industries), in compliance with the plot. In the first film, the mutagen is shown as having been the substance that mutated Donatello, Raphael, Michaelangelo, Leonardo, and Splinter from ordinary animals into anthropomorphic beings.
Mutagen was a much more integral part of the second movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. The Foot Clan had abducted Professor Jordan Perry and forced him to create a new batch of ooze. This mutagen was used to mutate a wolf cub and a baby snapping turtle into Rahzar and Tokka, respectively.
Near the end of the film, Shredder drank some mutagen to become Super Shredder. It is unknown what, besides his natural human form, animal species' attributes the Shredder gained during this time.
Jordan Perry explains to the Turtles that the ooze that mutated the Turtles and Splinter was a mistake. In Perry's words, "an unknown mixture of discarded chemicals was accidentally exposed to a series of radiated waves", results in the creation of the ooze which has "remarkable, but dangerous mutagenic properties." Donatello was pretty much disappointed and upset upon learning this, he always hoped that he found out the Turtles and Splinter were special, and believes that there has got to be more to it.
In Turtles Forever, there were small capsules of what appeared to be purple mutagen which Donatello took possession of from the 1988 Shredder. At least two members of the Purple Dragons were mutated by the mutagen. Some unnamed henchman was mutated into a half-dog mutant while Hun was mutated into a half-turtle which was similar to Slash. A great deal of mutagen was mass produced by Ch'rell and Karai. They used it to mutate human foot soldiers into a mutant army which they used along with upgraded robot 1987 Foot Soldiers in the foot's attack on New York in the 2003 universe.
In the episode "Shredder & Splintered", it was mentioned as a neutralizer for the mutagen. Later in the series it appears to be Compound X7, a rare experimental anti-mutagen.
In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, it was mentioned that the neutralizer is made of dimethyl chloride and must be heated to 338 Kelvin (65° Celsius or 149° Fahrenheit).
Video Games Edit
In the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles GBA game, Mutagen canisters are used as health items.