Monkey Brains

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Monkey Brains
Season 1, Episode 7
Premiere November 3rd, 2012
Written by Russ Carney & Ron Corcillo
Directed by Alan Wan
Next or Prev. Episodes
Metalhead (Episode)
Never Say Xever

"Monkey Brains" is the 7th episode of Season 1 in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It premiered on November 3rd, 2012.

"A story of a man trapped in another body meeting a girl with a missing father, whom both have a supernatural gift." 

Official Description

Donatello and April investigate a scientist disappearance, but instead discover a conspiracy regarding a bizarre psychic monkey instead.


Donnie and Mikey are training under Seoe Nage and Donnie is exasperated that Mikey improvises as he fights with back flips. Master Splinter explains that Donnie must learn to fight without thinking and be in the moment.

Later Donnie is perfecting  his" master plan" mapping out his approach to get April to hang out with him. April arrives and shows the turtles a news story involving the disappearance of neurologist Dr. Tyler Rockwell. She decides to investigate in case his disappearance is connected to her father's abduction. Donnie joins her, eager for a chance to spend time alone with her.

In Rockwell's lab they discover a large cage that was broken out of by an incredibly strong creature and a canister of mutagen hidden in the false bottom of a desk drawer. They are confronted by one of the neurologist's colleagues, Dr. Victor Falco. Falco tells them that Rockwell was paid by The Kraang to experiment with mutagen on a test monkey. Leaving the lab, they run into the monkey, mutated to a humanoid state. Donnie attacks the monkey but is soundly defeated as the monkey seems to be able to sense Donnie's intentions. Donnie is knocked unconscious and the monkey approaches April. She calmly looks into its eyes and tries to reassure it. The monkey seems to calm a bit but then runs away.

April manages to get Donnie back to the lair where Raph, Leo, and Mikey tease Donnie about him being defeated by a monkey in front of his "girlfriend". Later, Donnie is depressed at his defeat and Splinter, again, tries to explain the concept of fighting without thinking by demonstrating with Mikey. Mikey deflects all of Splinter's attacks without paying attention. Donnie analyzes Dr. Rockwell's research data and learn that he was trying to modify the mutagen. He believed that it could give a normal human psychic abilities. The turtles decide to team up and track down the monkey and, to help stay in touch, Donnie unveils his latest invention; the T-Phone.

The turtles plus April chase the monkey across the city but eventually lose it at an intersection. April suddenly has a premonition about a certain trash dumpster and finds the monkey hiding inside. She gently reassures it, just in time for Mikey to lasso it with his kusarigama chain. Looking into the monkey's eyes, April realizes that the monkey is actually a mutated Dr. Rockwell. They take Rockwell back to Falco who assures them that he will do what he can to help Rockwell. Back at the lair, Splinter asks April how she knew that the monkey was actually Rockwell. April replies that she sometimes gets "feelings" about things. This interests Splinter. Donnie, still not satisfied, looks over Rockwell's research and finds that Rockwell never had a monkey in his lab, but the closest to a monkey was his samples of monkey DNA. Rockwell was what broke free of the cage after being mutated and locked in there by Falco, who has been lying this whole time.

The turtles rush back to the lab to find Falco extracting a mutagenic fluid from Rockwell's brain and injecting it into his own, granting himself psychic powers. He is able to read the turtles minds and know their attacks before they make them stating " No man can defeat you when you know his every thought". One by one, Raph, Leo, and Mikey are defeated leaving Donnie to face Falco alone. He finally is able to fight without thinking, and just doing. Falco is unable to foresee Donnie's attacks as he doesn't know what he will do until he does it. Donnie knocks Falco unconscious, stuck half way through a ventilation duct. The other turtles revive and look to find that Falco has escaped down the duct. They decide to set Rockwell free, and the mutant offers them a silent thanks before rushing out into the city.

They return home where, in the Dojo, Splinter tells April that her "feelings" are a sign that she possesses an innate spiritual sensitivity and attunement with the universe that he has trained much of his life to attain. In order to develop this ability he offers to train her as Kunoichi, a female ninja.  He warns her that it will tax her physically, mentally, and spiritually. She gladly accepts, saying that it "Can't be any worse than high school!"

Splinter's Wisdom

"If you think too much about what is coming, you lose sight of what is. You must be fully in the moment so you can fight without thinking."

"You must find the space between your thoughts and learn to live there."

Character Debuts


  • Donnie draws his master plan flow chart on the back of a movie poster for "Space Heroes III: The Resurrection of Mindstrong" (a parody of the film poster for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)
  • The turtles have April's phone number taped to their refrigerator.
  • Raphael can be seen reading a "Creatures" comic book about Kappa. Kappa are Japanese water demons that the turtles were mistaken for in the live-action movie "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III".
  • This is the first episode to focus more on April.
  • When April and Donatello are out investigating, she is wearing Greg Cipes's line of holster accessories (Wholesters). She is shown wearing them again in Panic In The Sewers.
  • The instrumental hip-hop music Mikey listens to on his headphones is the same piece he listens to with the T-Pod in I Think His Name Is Baxter Stockman.
  • The injuries Donatello gets from his fight with Rockwell are the same as his injuries from fighting the Stockman Pod in I think his name is Baxter Stockman. He gets the same injuries again in The Gauntletand Slash and Destroy
  • The Kraang photo on April's phone is the last time a Kraang-droid is shown in human disguise until The Pulverizer.
  • This is the second episode that is focused on Donnie.
  • This is an episode when April knows the monkey is Dr. Rockwell.
  • This is the first episode to example April's gift.
  • This is the only time Splinter calls one of the Turtles (Mikey) not by their full name.
  • Donnie reveals the T-phone.
  • The monkeys eyes go out when he is angry and back in when he is calm. This is a little like what Leatherhead does.


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