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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

World Turtle Day — Comparing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Koopa Bros.!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - They're back...

Turtles, for the most part, are still a foreign concept to me. What is a Koopa to do for World Turtle Day, then? Well, for the past month, we've been dealing with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) every week. First it was Raphael and Leonardo. Then it was Michelangelo and Donatello. Then it was Raphael, again, and Donatello, again. It turns out that, legally, Donatello is the best Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

Splatoon 2 Splatfest Donnie Donatello wins victory TMNT Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle tournament undisputed king Marina
“Today we proved that Donnie is the undisputed king of the Ninja Turtles.”

I got sick of writing about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and you got sick of reading about them. And then... it dawned on me. For almost two decades, people have been comparing the Koopa Bros. to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, to the point that they believe the Koopa Bros. are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle rip-offs! You remember the Koopa Bros., right? Well, here's a side-by-side comparison:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles versus Koopa Bros. Ninjakoopas Paper Mario comparison posing
Left: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, composed of (clockwise starting at 12:00) Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael.
Right: The Koopa Bros., composed of (clockwise starting at 12:00) Yellow Ninja Koopa, Green Ninja Koopa, Black Ninja Koopa, and Red Ninja Koopa.

The Koopa Bros., a collective of four ninja Koopas, are servants of Lord Bowser Koopa and Koopa Kingdom. They're a pretty cool, flashy bunch. And one can see why people draw similarities between the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Koopa Bros.

There are four of them. They wear colourful masks. They all have shells. All eight of them are ninjas.

That's about it, though.

The masks are different. Blue, orange, purple, and red versus yellow, green, black, and red. Only one colour in common! How they go about doing ninja activity is totally different. While traditional Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle depictions differ with the upcoming (and bad) Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles television series in terms of what weapons each turtle holds, what is a constant is they are all holding something. The Koopa Bros. just use their shells as a weapon and leave their hands free. The Koopa Bros. also have a special team combination attack, the spinning tower.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles only rarely use their shells. The Koopa Bros. stay true to their shelled form and take advantage of it, while the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are more turtles by happenstance. The mutants aren't known for signature teamwork efforts like the Koopa Bros. are. They've done those before, sure, but not often enough to be known for it.

I may catch flak for saying this, but the Koopa Bros. have a lot less varied personalities than the personalities of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. One of the main purposes of those three Splatfests, besides shoveling sponsored stuff down an audience, is that each of the turtles has a strong, identifiable personality. (Though Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles seeks to retcon those.) Each ninja Koopa is... kind of the same or very similar, even down to how they are named. There is nothing wrong with four of the same winning personality, but we just need to admit there is a lack of diversity, especially compared to the mutant turtles who make it a point to act differently than one another.

I think people are just basing the Koopa Bros. off their looks and occupations and not on the contents of their characters. That's not right. They're clearly quite different than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Regardless, have a happy World Turtle Day! Whether you're a turtle, a tortoise, a mutant turtle, or even a Koopa... which are not turtles.

Ludwig generally prefers the company of people who have shells over people who do not. Turtles have shells, but a turtle generally won't be as great as a Koopa. (Unless they're Koops.) Ludwig really hopes he doesn't mention the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ever again, and certainly not for next week, too.

Black Ninja Koopa has guest-written for KoopaTV in the past. None of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Koopas have ever done that!
Lost in the month of referencing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles every week is that Ludwig prefers pirates over ninjas, despite his brief stint as a ninja.
Ludwig takes back the good things he said about the Koopa Bros. once he finds out what they did behind the Kingdom's shell.
See World Turtle Day of 2019 for news stories about turtles and how they are unfortunately abused on Earth.


  1. (Though Rose of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles seeks to retcon those.)

    Yes! Found another type.

    1. And it is "typo" not "type" for me. I will correct myself too but no points for that.

    2. You read this before I even read my own article.

    3. So reading an article right as it goes up is the best time to mine for error points?

    4. Yeah, since deadlines mean I publish and then read it.

      We call it the day-0 patch!
      (By which I mean, I just made that term up for this comment.)

    5. You can't proofread before making the article public?

    6. I can...
      ...But it's best to get it out earlier.

      Well, Rawk, acting as the QA Department, gave the QA clear two minutes before your comment. So there's that.

    7. Maybe add in the rules about finding errors then that we have to wait until a certain time before correcting then.

    8. I was thinking that, but the articles don't have publicly-facing time stamps. Just date stamps. ...So...

      Are you gonna comment on the article's contents or what?

    9. Feeling down now. Here I was excited and then there was a hidden rule.

    10. You can still be excited since the hidden rule doesn't exist (yet), but I don't generally award truth or levity points to comments that don't address the article's contents.

      Rule changes, if any happen, get announced in the monthly newsletters! (As do any Correction Corner points, of course.)

      Lemme sleep.

    11. "The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles only rarely use their shells. The Koopa Bros. stay true to their shelled form and take advantage of it, while the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are more turtles by happenstance."

      Real life sea turtles can't duck into their shells so maybe the earlier Ninja Turtle generations were based off them?

    12. I'll have you know that one of the reasons the article came out so late is because I was doing a lot of research to make sure my facts are straight.

      With that said, the Ninja Turtles are designed to be mutated red-eared slider turtles. (There is a dedicated popular culture section to them for that hyperlinked Wikipedia article, and the source is an early comic book.)
      The same article has a call-out picture featuring the turtle retracting into its shell. So... there's that.

  2. As bland and uninspired the Koopa Bros. may be, I still prefer their designs over the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The classic TMNT designs is still the best out of them all, however.

    1. *are still the best

      The designs for the new cartoon are an absolute disaster, so yeah, would rather have average (read: still beautiful) Koopas over those things.


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