We’ve seen the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles go through several incarnations over the years, so it’s nice to see some of their key trademarks remains intact in the new movie version, which hits theaters Friday. This exclusive scene from 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles features two of them.
First, there’s the Turtles’ love for hip-hop. In one of the movie’s most sublime and crowd-pleasing moments, Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michaelangelo evade a warehouse-floor full of henchmen, hop onto an elevator, and spend the 54-story ascent busting into a spontaneous beatboxing cypher. It’s the kind of moment that would make Vanilla Ice – who famously provided the theme song, "Ninja Rap," to 1991’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze – proud.
Second, while the term “Cowabunga” may have gone the way of “bodacious” and died with the ’90s (save for Bart Simpson’s tireless championing of the phrase), it also makes an appearance in the film (and clip above). The intoning of the sacred phrase is the film’s major wink-wink/wait-for-it moment. “Hey Mikey, remember that thing you used to say when we were kids?,” Raphael asks Michaelangelo.
“Cowabunga”s roots far pre-date the Turtles however: Edward Kean is credited with first coining the word on The Howdy Doody Show. To celebrate its return, we compiled this look at its many (many) cameos over the years since: