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Things Change (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 2003)

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Things Change (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 2003)
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The Episode that Saved the TMNT Franchise. Also a better Things Change episode than the Teen Titans one by a long shot.
Series: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003)
Part of Season: 1
Episode Number: 1
Air Date: February 8, 2003
Writer: Michael Ryan
Director: Chuck Patton
Next episode: "A Better Mousetrap"

"Things Change" is the first episode of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003 TV Series). It first aired on February 8th, 2003. It had 1.39 million views as of 2007 on the 4kids website.


This season opens with the TMNT enduring another one of Splinter’s training sessions in their lair. All is going as per usual until the lair starts to shake and crumble. Suddenly, a horde of small robots burst through a wall. A large battle ensues between the mechanical menaces and our heroes. Just after the Turtles and Splinter have defeated their robotic foes, the wall that the Mousers entered through collapses, which separates the the Turtles from their Master Splinter.

The Turtles communicate with Splinter via Shell-Cell, and they agree to rendezvous in another part of the sewer system. On the way to the rendezvous point, the TMNT are forced to go above ground, and in doing so, they stumble upon a robbery taking place by The Purple Dragons. During the course of this side adventure, Raph is unintentionally locked inside the Dragon’s armored truck. The rest of the guys can only watch and follow as Raphael gets hauled off, along with the stolen loot.

By taking rooftop shortcuts, the other three Turtles are able to see where the truck stops to unload. Mikey drops down, dispatches Two Ton, and Don frees Raph. But, just as they are about to make their exit, the TMNT are cornered by a large number of Purple Dragons. The Turtles defeat them quickly and easily, but soon after their victory over the street thugs, numerous ninjas show up, surround our heroes, and face them in combat. The Turtles fare well against these mysterious ninjas at first, but they begin to get outmatched after awhile, mainly due to the sheer number of ninjas that keep coming. Therefore, the mutants decide to "borrow" the Purple Dragons' armored truck and get the shell out of there...

After ditching the truck in an abandoned sewer tunnel, the TMNT finally rendezvous with Splinter, who has a discovery to share with them. The Sensei has stumbled across an old abandoned chamber in the sewer system, and has decided that this will be their new home and HQ. After inspecting the cavernous space, the Turtles couldn’t agree more, and we leave them as they are beginning to make things tidy for living.

Meanwhile, in The Foot Headquarters, John, the leader of the Purple Dragons, informs his mysterious "boss" about the failure, enraging him. John apologizes and swears to him that he won't fail again. His boss acknowledges this and says that John won't fail him again... ever. The man stands up, before approaching John and mercilessly killing him (off-screen). Outside the dojo, we hear John's scream, implying the worst with the thug's death as the boss laughs maniacally. As camera pans, we can see that the dojo is on top of the water tower, and the foot sign in there. What's this all about? We'll find it in the next time.

Why It Rocks

  1. The episode saved the TMNT Franchise from going downhill, following the disastrous Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation as the 2003 Series proved itself to be a strong and amazing series thanks to this episode with spectacular animation and seeing the Turtles again after 5 years with no new media shows a good start.
  2. In addition, the sewers, the setting of New York City at night and alleys not to mention, Shredder's lair look great.
  3. Amazing soundtrack, most notably, the new intro and end credits theme song are nothing short of catchy to listen to. The music when seeing the Turtles fight the Foot Clan specifically.
  4. The Characters in this episode such as the 4 Turtles, Splinter, Hun, The Purple Dragons, The Foot Clan and Shredder are all great characters and have their own charm and likablity.
  5. Excellent Action in the episode when seeing the Turtles fight the Mousers, Purple Dragons and Foot Clan.
  6. The Endingː The Turtles reunite with Splinter in a heartwarming way and we see the Turtles new location. (It would be that location until Karai caused destruction to that location in Mid-Season 4.)
  7. Shredder's Laugh at the end of the episode is nothing short of amazing to listen to as he kills John the leader of the Purple Dragons and as we cut to the Credits Theme.


The episode received positive reviews from fans and critics alike. It is considered the point when the TMNT Franchise redeemed themselves. It received an 8.3/10 on IMDb.

Youtuber Leonardo 2003 ranked it the 2nd best episodes of Season 1.



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