Too Hot to Handle (Eastman Family and Friends Book 3)
Breakfast cereals , plush toys , and all manner of products featuring the characters appeared on the market during the lates and earlys. Action figures were top-sellers around the world. By , the cartoon series was being shown daily on more than television stations, and the comic books sold , copies a month. The origins story in the television series deviates significantly from the original Mirage Studios comics. In this version, Splinter was formerly human, an honorable ninja master named Hamato Yoshi who studied art history as a hobby.
He was banished from the Foot Clan a Japanese dynasty of ninjas founded by one of his distant ancestors  after one of his students, the power-hungry and seditious Oroku Saki who resented Yoshi's leadership within the clan and aspired to usurp him , set him up for an offense against a visiting master sensei. One day, Saki pinned Yoshi's dogi to the wall with a knife, preventing him from kneeling before the sensei, which was seen as an insult. When Yoshi removed the knife, the sensei was again insulted, believing that Yoshi was drawing the blade in an attempt to kill him. Now homeless, he was forced to live in the sewers with the rats as his only friends.
Meanwhile, Saki is given command of the Foot Clan, which he corrupts and transforms into a criminal organization. Some time later, Yoshi adopted four turtles after they were accidentally dropped into the sewer system by an unnamed boy, who had recently bought them from a pet store. He returns from his explorations around New York City one day to find the turtles covered with a strange glowing ooze. This substance caused the turtles, who were most recently exposed to Yoshi, to become humanoid, while Yoshi, who was most recently exposed to sewer rats, became a humanoid rat, and was given the name "Splinter" by the turtles.
This, and the following Archie TMNT Adventures comics which is loosely based on the cartoon series , is the only origin story in the TMNT franchise in which the Turtles come to Yoshi before being exposed to the mutagen. The television series also differs in that Yoshi himself becomes a rat, whereas in most other versions, Splinter is Yoshi's pet rat and becomes humanoid after being exposed to mutagen.
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This is also the only version in which the Turtles become fully grown immediately after exposure to the mutagen, whereas Splinter raises them from infancy in other versions. Yoshi raises the four turtles as his sons and trains them in the art of ninjitsu. Each Turtle wears a mask over his eyes with a distinctive color whereas in the original Mirage comics, they all had red masks : blue for Leonardo, purple for Donatello, red for Raphael, and orange for Michelangelo; and they are each trained in the art of a distinct weapon, with Leonardo wielding katanas , Donatello wielding a bo staff, Raphael wielding sais , and Michelangelo wielding nunchuks which were later replaced with a grappling hook, although the nunchuks still appeared on occasion.
Oroku Saki eventually leaves Japan and tracks Yoshi to New York City, where he intends to destroy him once and for all. It is also around this time that he begins working with Krang , a disembodied alien brain from Dimension X who ruled his native realm with an iron fist until he was stripped of his body and banished to Earth.
Saki takes on a new pseudonym, " The Shredder ", donning a suit covered with razor spikes, and complemented by a long cape, a metal samurai helmet, and a metal mask over his mouth.
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To this end, Krang provides the Shredder with a vast array of powerful technology from Dimension X, including the Technodrome , and funds most of his schemes throughout the series in exchange for building Krang a powerful new android body, which he eventually does by the end of season 1. It becomes clear early on in the series that the mutagen which transformed the Turtles and Splinter into their new forms was dumped into the sewers by Shredder in an effort to murder Yoshi, as he had mistakenly believed it to be a deadly poison rather than a transformative agent.
After several years of training under Splinter, the Turtles set out to find whoever is responsible for their transformation, and upon learning that Shredder was behind it, they vow to put an end to his ongoing criminal career and restore Splinter back to his human form, despite the risk that they themselves could be de-mutated and changed back into ordinary turtles, thus losing all of their humanoid abilities.
Along the way, they befriend Channel 6 news reporter April O'Neil after rescuing her from a gang of street punks among them were Bebop and Rocksteady in their pre-mutated forms who had chased her into the sewers.
The Turtles, who had rarely left the sewers prior to meeting April, also began to take on the role of semi-vigilante crime fighters, operating outside of the jurisdiction of law enforcement, much like Casey Jones. Despite this, they frequently have to deal with citizens misunderstanding them, which is due in no small part to the efforts of Burne Thompson, April's employer, and Vernon Fenwick, a Channel 6 cameraman, who distrust the Turtles and frequently blame them for the trouble that Shredder and Krang cause.
As a result, they mainly have to rely on April either via Turtle-com, or Channel 6 news reports to inform them of crimes in the city, and to counteract Burne and Vernon's smear campaigns against them with her own news coverage of the Turtles, portraying them as a force for good, although doing so frequently lands her in trouble with her employers and various criminals throughout the city. Reluctant to expose themselves to the outside world, the Turtles usually wear disguises whenever they leave the sewers, although this is slowly relaxed as the series progresses and they gain the trust of the broader populace, whom they have saved from Shredder and other villains on many occasions.
Even at Channel 6, the Turtles befriend secretary Irma from the second season onwards. Much of their quest for world domination hinges on repowering the Technodrome Krang's mobile fortress, and their base of operations and bringing it to the Earth's surface, as it was either buried deep under New York City season 1 , stuck in Dimension X seasons 2 and 4 , embedded in the Earth's core season 3 , stranded in the Arctic season 5 , or at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean seasons 6 and 7.
However, their plans always fail, often landing the villains in humorous predicaments. Some episodes feature other, usually minor villains, such as the Rat King a homeless man living in the sewers who has control over rats and believes that he is one himself; he considers all other species inferior and aspires to establish a rat-controlled government above ground , Leatherhead a mutated Florida crocodile who speaks with a Cajun accent , Slash a savage, humanoid mutant turtle with brute strength and low intelligence; he was Bebop's pet turtle before he was exposed to mutagen , General Traag and Granitor two high ranking Rock Warriors who are loyal to Krang and command a vast army in Dimension X, which Krang often tries to bring to the Earth in order to conquer it , and many others.
Some episodes also involve the TMNT getting themselves and the city out of a mess that one of the Turtles usually Michelangelo or Donatello inadvertently cause. In the last three seasons, the show went through dramatic changes. The stories within these seasons are typically known among viewers as the "Red Sky" episodes. The show's humor was toned down significantly, the animation became darker, the color of the sky in each episode was changed to a continuous and ominous dark-red sky which was commonplace with newer action-oriented children's programming at the time , the theme song was changed, the introduction sequence added in clips from the first live-action film , and the show took on a darker, more action-oriented atmosphere.
Both Shredder and Krang had lost much of their earlier resentment towards each other with Shredder even going as far as to risk his own life to save Krang on multiple occasions , and Shredder had evolved into a more vengeful, bloodthirsty version of his earlier self. Bebop and Rocksteady also gained a certain degree of intelligence and joked around much less.
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Additionally, Krang was revealed to have seized power in Dimension X through numerous betrayals and widespread destruction, resulting in old enemies seeking vengeance. The Turtles, likewise, underwent a few changes.
Although their personalities remained mostly the same, their demeanor evolved into a more serious and determined one than in prior seasons. Michelangelo, for example, did not obsess over pizza or goof off as much as before, and Raphael made lighthearted, fourth-wall breaking jokes far less often, more closely resembling the angry, impulsive Raphael seen in the comics and later adaptations. And in contrast to earlier episodes in which the Turtles would spend most of their time training, relaxing, or partying, and only countering a threat when it arose, they devoted most of their time and energy to tracking down Shredder, Krang, or Lord Dregg, and putting them away for good.
Season 8 was also noted for the destruction of the Channel 6 building where April worked, which had been a longtime fixture of the series. The Rat King, however, makes one final appearance in the second episode of season 8, in which he is defeated once more by the Turtles and apprehended by the police, never to be seen again.
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With the exception of April, the Channel 6 news crew were all gradually phased out of the show by the end of season 8 with April working freelance afterwards for unspecified reasons , and many other secondary characters such as the Neutrinos, the Punk Frogs, Mondo Gecko, Zach, Kerma, etc. At the end of the seventh season, the Turtles sent the Technodrome through a portal into Dimension X, but without Shredder, Krang, Bebop, and Rocksteady. As a result, the villains are now stranded on Earth without any weapons or power, and they are forced to work out of an old science building until they can find a way back into Dimension X and retrieve the Technodrome which had landed in a black hole with General Traag and his battalion of Rock Warriors trapped inside.
The Turtles, taking advantage of the situation, relentlessly pursue their arch enemies in an effort to put an end to their schemes once and for all. Eventually, Shredder and Krang, along with Bebop and Rocksteady, build a new portal into Dimension X and reclaim the Technodrome, although the Turtles manage to track them down with the help of Gargon a mutated resident of Dimension X who was being held prisoner by Shredder and Krang.
Gargon initially intended to betray the Turtles by leading them into Shredder's trap on the planet Balaraphon, but he switches sides after seeing them rescue innocent villagers from Krang's army of Rock Soldiers.
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At the end of season 8, the TMNT finally banish Shredder, Krang, Bebop, and Rocksteady to Dimension X by destroying the engines and the "trans-dimensional portal" of the Technodrome although the Turtles were able to use the portal at least twice afterwards; the reasons for this are unexplained , preventing them from returning to Earth.
He begins a propaganda campaign against the Turtles, turning the general population against them and in favor of him and his forces. Although Dregg is outed as a villain at the end of season 9,  the Turtles are never able to regain the trust of the broader population, which is mainly due to an earlier smear campaign by Burne and Vernon, who blamed the Turtles for the destruction of the Channel 6 building in season 8.
Additionally, the Turtles began to suffer from mutations that would temporarily transform them into monstrous hulks with diminished intelligence, a problem that would not be completely resolved until season The TMNT also gain a new ally in the form of Carter, a brash African American male who initially sought out Master Splinter for training in ninjitsu, but is eventually exposed to mutagen and contracts an incurable mutation disease. In the final season of the series, Dregg's sycophantic henchman Mung encounters Shredder and Krang, who are still stranded in Dimension X.
They told him that they had battled the Turtles for years, but even though Shredder claimed to have destroyed them probably out of embarrassment and humiliation for his failure to actually do so , Mung knew that he was lying. No mention is made of Bebop or Rocksteady, suggesting that they are either dead or have long since parted ways with Shredder and Krang.
Soon afterwards, Mung returns to Dregg's ship and informs him of their encounter, and Dregg decides to bring both Shredder and Krang back from Dimension X to help him fight the Turtles. However, the pair immediately rebel against Dregg and leave, continuing on where they left off before they were banished at the end of season 8. Back on Earth, Shredder and Krang kidnap April O'Neil and do battle with the Turtles once more, although they are all soon transported back to Dregg's lair.
The Turtles initially have the upper hand in the fight, but Shredder and Krang are able to subdue them after reluctantly agreeing to work with Dregg. As he prepares to drain the Turtles of their life energies, Shredder and Krang betray Lord Dregg and force him onto one of the operating tables, intending to drain both him and the Turtles of their power which is what Dregg had intended to do to Shredder and Krang all along.
Dregg, however, manages to escape and uses his microbots to capture Shredder and Krang.
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Although he successfully drains the Turtles and Krang of their life energies, Shredder breaks free before Dregg is able to take anything from him. In the same episode, Carter also bids farewell to the Turtles as he travels to the future to look for a cure for his mutation. Shredder, Krang, Bebop, and Rocksteady are nowhere to be seen, and it is assumed that they are either dead or still somewhere in Dimension X. The Turtles eventually find Krang's suit and use it in a final confrontation with Dregg, which ends with the Turtles banishing Dregg to Dimension X and possibly killing him as well, by sending Krang's android suit back with him as it is about to explode.
Splinter congratulates the Turtles on their victory and, now that all of their enemies have been vanquished, states that he has nothing more to teach them, calling them his equals.