Before Krang’s big-screen debut, watch these 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episodes

Thankfully, the first trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows makes the sequel to the 2014 live-action film look like it will be a lot more enjoyable than its rather disappointing predecessor. We saw that it will bring some familiar faces from the franchise to Bay’s reboot world, including Casey Jones, Bebop, Rocksteady and Baxter Stockman. However, the character I’m most excited to see making his way to this version of the Turtles that we didn’t glimpse in the trailer is Dimension X warlord Krang.

The villain was created for the classic 1987 animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. He has since appeared in various forms in other media in the franchise, but the original version remains the most iconic of the character. Bay revealed that Krang would be the villain in his sequel during an interview with Rolling Stone that also confirmed the character would be back as a brain inside a robot body, though Bay had some thoughts regarding the tentacles, since he thinks them coming out of Krang’s side makes him look “like a stupid octopus.” That's something with which the original animated Shredder would agree.

I loved the original animated series, and, in my opinion, Krang gave us some of the show’s most unforgettable moments. Plus he always taught kids valuable lessons like how accidents with funny rays can have serious consequences. It feels only right as we wait for more news regarding Bay’s version of Krang that we look back at this fan-favorite foe for the four mutant turtles and some of his best appearances on the classic cartoon.

Here are my choices for the must-watch episodes featuring Krang everyone should check out before we see the brainy villain in movie theaters!

Which episodes featuring Krang were your favorite from the 1987 animated series? Do you have a favortie Krang quote? Tell us in the comments!

1. “Enter the Shredder” (Season 1)

We first meet Krang in the second episode of the first season and, while his appearance is brief, it’s worth watching his debut. In a single conversation, we learn a decent amount of backstory about the character. We learn he has forces in Dimension X waiting to come to Earth and he has a deal with Shredder that, in exchange for helping Oroku Saki with his advanced technology, he’ll receive a body in return. Here, we also see that he gives Saki the idea to mutate his own forces resulting in Bebop and Rocksteady, and we get a sense of the relationship between the two villains. They don’t quite trust each other or like each other, but they need to work together for the moment in order to reach their own goals. The scene is also the start of the classic banter that will continue between the two as the scene closes with Shredder saying “That’s quite a brain you’ve got Krang” and Krang responds: “Of course it is. It’s all I’ve got!”

2. “Shredder and Splintered” (Season 1)

It took a few episodes, but finally Krang gets his iconic robot body in this season finale and we get to see it in action. As Shredder puts him in, there’s a bit of a Frankenstein moment and then, when Krang awakens, he gets to work trying to bring General Traag and his forces from Dimension X to conquer Earth. The best part is when Krang puts his molecular amplification circuit to use and increases his size to fight the Turtles. It’s great to see him finally in action and wreaking havoc in the city streets. A distracting visit from the Turtle Blimp cuts his time short, however, as Leonardo and Donatello sneak inside his body to get rid of the chip that’s making him so large. In a fair fight, Krang is no match for the Turtles and he literally flies back to the Technodrome with Shredder in tow. In the end, the pair is sucked back to Dimension X where Krang is ready to take charge.

3. “The Return of the Technodrome” (Season 2)

Frustrated with the failures of Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady throughout the season, Krang decides to take matters into his own robot hands! He prepares his rock soldiers and Foot soldiers for a return from Dimension X to Earth and even the Turtles can’t completely stop their plan from succeeding. With the Technodrome back and Krang at the helm, the danger is even worse than usual and things don’t look good for the Turtles. In the end, of course, our heroes succeed and this leads to the Technodrome sinking to the Earth’s core, but for a while things actually seem pretty dire. It’s always great to see Krang take initiative like this in episodes as he tries to defeat the Turtles himself and take over the world.

4. “Turtles on Trial” (Season 3)

After Shredder fails again, Krang accepts a challenge from Saki to try and complete the show’s mission on his own while also finally defeating the turtles. He ultimately decides to make them suffer and destroy them live on TV. To do this, he finds a new giant robot he can control and argues in classic old married couple style with Shredder about who gets to end the Turtles. Once again, he gets to tangle with the Turtles one on one, which is always fun to watch.

5. “Attack of the Big MACC” (Season 3)

When a portal opens and a robot from the future arrives, Krang wants to get his hands on it. Krang sees some action in this episode, but it’s really his dialogue that makes this one worth watching. There are a lot of hilarious Krang moments here. Just looking at his first scene, he responds to Shredder’s remark (“It’s called a neck. Something I’m sure you’d like to have!) with the line: “Just because I’m all brain doesn’t mean I don’t have feelings!” Then, when he pulls a helpful device out earning a response from Shredder about him just happening to have it lying around, he breaks the fourth wall by stating “we’ve got to keep the story moving.” There’s more where that came from throughout the episode, giving us some of the best Krang lines as well as moments between the two villains!

6. “The Big Rip Off”/”The Big Break In”/”The Big Blow Out” (Season 3)

These three episodes comprise the final story arc for the third season. All of them are worth a watch for a good dose of Krang in action planning with Shredder, riding an exercise bike, and attacking the turtles brain-to-face. The arc starts with the villains trying to steal power for the Technodrome and actually succeeding, allowing them to return to the surface and for Krang to contact Dimension X once again in the second part. After a predictable setback, the final episode sees the Technodrome roaming freely on the surface and trying to open a portal above the city to bring the planet to Dimension X. Eventually, it ends with our villains getting stuck there, instead!

7. “The Foot Solders Are Revolting” (Season 4)

Upon firing Bebop and Rocksteady, Krang and Shredder try to make their Foot soldiers smarter to help them, instead. Their creation, however, realizes he’s smarter and makes all the Foot soldiers turn against them. He sends Shredder and Krang away, leading to some hilarious moments as the two are stuck in a small escape pod for most of the episode before taking back the Technodrome.

8. “Krangenstein Lives” (Season 6)

With the Technodrome stuck on the bottom of the ocean (it really went everywhere didn’t it?), Krang is working on his robot body when Bebop and Rocksteady interfere, causing it to go on a rampage. Krang is understandably desperate to get it back and it’s fun to see the body go independent while Krang can do nothing but watch as once again his team can’t get the job done.

9. “Shreeka's Revenge” (Season 6)

A woman from Krang’s past named Shreeka interrupts our villains making their next plan in this episode. Shreeka wants to get the ring Krang stole from her and this inspires his next move. He reveals to Shredder that the ring is also a weapon but has almost used up all its power, so they plant it on April O’Neil. With this plan, he and Shredder hope to get rid of her, Shreeka, the turtles, and Bebop and Rocksteady, who Shreeka is holding hostage! It’s entertaining to get another glimpse into Krang’s past and see him acting all confident about his plan. Obviously, the plan fails, and Shreeka gets her revenge by returning Bebop and Rocksteady!

10. “Invasion of the Krangazoids” (Season 7)

Another failure by Bebop and Rocksteady, along with Shredder’s single-mindedness about the Turtles leads Krang to realize he needs help that’s more like him. He creates six clones of himself, all with different personalities, and tries to get them to do his dirty work for him. The other Krangs grow hands, feet, and bodies, which frees them from the original Krang’s control via their bubble walkers. If you thought one Krang was exciting, wait until you see seven running around in this episode! Krang gets rid of the clones by sending them on a trip to dimensional limbo, but once again he’s without any new help in his quest to rule the world.

11. “Get Shredder!” (Season 8)

This is the first of the “red sky” episodes of the series and sees the villains on Earth without the Technodrome. An encounter with the Turtles during a search for equipment leads to Krang being kidnapped by his old weapons engineer, Drakus, who we learn helped him design the Technodrome. As usual, Krang betrayed this one time acquaintance as well, so now he’s out for revenge. It’s fun seeing Krang banter with someone that he has some history with other than Shredder for a change. Shredder thinks the Turtles have Krang, though, and develops a plan to get him back, which results in the Turtles actually having to save their enemy and Krang being happy to see them!

12. “Cyber-Turtles” (Season 8)

When Krang discovers the powerful Fire Star is aboard a star fighter, he shoots it down to Earth and sends Shredder to get it. This results in a new plan to bring Earth and Dimension X together to create one big dimension. The turtles have a less than friendly run-in with the aliens and steal some cybersuits so there can basically be a giant robot battle in the city. Unfortunately,Krang doesn’t join the fray in a robot body, but he does try to handle things from inside and is only stopped when Casey Jones and April show up. It’s an interesting episode for Krang and the other villains as it’s their second to last appearance as the regular villains in the series.

13. “The Power of Three”/”A Turtle in Time”/”Turtles to the Second Power” (Season 10)

This story arc in the middle of the show’s final season saw the return of Krang and Shredder thanks to the villain that replaced them, Lord Dregg, and marks Krang’s last appearance in the series. Dregg brings the duo back from Dimension X in the trilogy’s first episode to try and recruit them to help against the Turtles. The two go back and forth a bit from escaping to working with Dregg to then deciding to take matters into their own hands, until they are finally captured along with the Turtles. It’s good to see Krang and Shredder back in action and eager to get right back to their old business. It’s also fun to see them looking out for each other even more, as Shredder rescues his partner and lends him some of his own strength, and the two decide to get revenge on Dregg.

In the final episode, Krang exercises some new powers and a new plan, though his own intelligence inside Dregg works against him. Shredder and Krang end up back in Dimension X without a very exciting send off, but it’s still an entertaining arc and good to see them back with the Turtles!

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