The Mean Machines
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 Cartoon) episode
April is shocked
Season Code: 2
Episode: 4
Original airdate October 22, 1988
Written by Michael Reaves
Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"It Came from Beneath the Sewers" "Curse of the Evil Eye"

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1988 Season
October 1, 1988 - December 26, 1988
List of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episodes


  1. "Return of the Shredder"
  2. "The Incredible Shrinking Turtles"
  3. "It Came from Beneath the Sewers"
  4. "The Mean Machines"
  5. "Curse of the Evil Eye"
  6. "The Case of the Killer Pizzas"
  7. "Enter The Fly"
  8. "Invasion of the Punk Frogs"
  9. "Splinter No More"
  10. "New York's Shiniest"
  11. "Teenagers from Dimension X"
  12. "The Catwoman from Channel Six"
  13. "Return of the Technodrome"

1987 Season1988 Season1989 Season1990 Season1991 Season1992 Season1992-1993 Vacation in Europe sideseason1993 Season1994 Season1995 Season1996 Season

"The Mean Machines" is a season 2 (1988) episode of the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series. It is the ninth episode of this series. This episode was written by Michael Reaves. It originally aired on October 22, 1988.



Plot Summary

After the batteries died in the alien crystal converger, Donatello, using spare circuits from the spaceship that crashed, builds a new tracking device to help locate the second fragment of the "Eye of Sarnath". On the streets of New York City, the tracking device picks up the signal and leads the TMNT to a branch of a bank where a hold-up has just occurred. The TMNT defeat the would-be bank robbers. Meanwhile Shredder and Baxter Stockman, who had followed the TMNT, locate the second fragment of the Eye of Sarnath and return with it to Shredder's secret hideout. Shredder contacts Krang and tells that his plan is to hook up the second fragment to a computer. Krang is doubtful.

Meanwhile, the TMNT's tracking device is malfunctioning, threatening to short-circuit the Turtle Van. Instead, the TMNT contact April O'Neil and ask her to meet them at a nearby construction site. The TMNT believe that April will know about anything weird going on in the city that can help them to locate Shredder.

Meanwhile, Shredder breaks into a Hi-Tech Lab and hooks the second fragment from the Eye of Sarnath up to a computer mainframe called: "O.M.N.S.S. (OMNIPOTENT MULT-PROCESS NEXUS SUBUNIVERSAL SENTIENT)". This computer has artificial intelligence. Shredder uses O.M.N.S.S. to track down the TMNT. O.M.N.S.S. sends energy through telephone/electrical wires across the city and down to the construction site where the TMNT and April are. The energy activates nearby construction machines that attack the TMNT and April. However, the TMNT are able to turn the machines against each other and escape.

O.M.N.S.S. needs more power and begins to drain energy from the power plants in the city. Soon, machines everywhere in the city are going berserk, creating total chaos in the city. Shredder believes that this can destroy the TMNT.

The TMNT discover Shredder's location, but on their way, O.M.N.S.S. takes control of the Turtle Van, locking its doors and sending the Turtle Van to crash. Just as the Turtle Van is about to crash, Donatello retrieves the tracking device in an attempt to short-circuit the Turtle Van.

Meanwhile, O.M.N.S.S. is developing more power so Shredder can open a dimensional portal to Dimension X and summon his Foot robots without the help of Krang. Before this happens, the TMNT and April storm the Hi-Tech lab and April turns off O.M.N.S.S. Shredder and Baxter Stockman escape.





  • Com-Link
  • Tracking Device

Home media releases


  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Incredible Shrinking Turtles


  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 2
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection



  • When the Turtles are scouting the city for the fragment, there is a billboard of a pizza with the words "Pizza by Michael" which could be a reference to this episode's writer Michael Reaves.

Animation errors

  • When the Turtles put on their suction climbing cups there are two Raphaels, and one Raphael speaks in Donatello's voice, and his mask turns green.
  • Shredder's Com-Link is grey when he first uses it and looks like a white version of April's Turtlecom when he uses it to contact Krang in the middle and at the end of the episode.
  • Leonardo was missing his katana sleeves when Raphael was interrogating the robot meter maid and when he climbed out of the window when being pursued by the OMNUS controlled robots.
  • After the Turtle Van came to a halt next to the brick wall, the van's dashboard flashed from white to brown.
  • When Baxter asked Shredder if it was wise to have OMNUS open a portal to Dimension X, his shirt flashed from white to black and back.
  • When Shredder told OMNUS to concentrate energy to open a Dimension X portal, the background he was drawn against was placed upside down.
  • When Shredder spotted the Turtles climbing through the window, his neck was colored the same as his cape.
  • When Leonardo told April to hide for cover, his mouth didn't move.
  • When the Turtles, Splinter, and April eat pizza, Leonardo is at the right of April, then Raphael is there, then, when Donatello falls in his chair, Splinter (at the left of him) has vanished, and Michelangelo is eating pizza before he shows up with the robot. Then Raphael is seen with Donatello's colors to the right of April.
  • The Turtles' initials are dark gray during the construction site when the construction vehicles back them up against a wall.
  • When the machines come to life, Leonardo speaks in Raphael's voice.
  • After Donatello said that the fragment was close, Raphael and Michelangelo magically appeared into the shot a second or two after Donatello lowered the tracking device he was holding.
  • When the Blond Haired Robber said "Let 'em have it!" he spoke with the Dark Haired Robber's voice.


OMNSS: "Warning! Warning! Insufficient power to complete mission!
- OMNSS after Leonardo cuts off his power.


External links

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