Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Pizza Face review

Michelangelo faces his worst nightmare; pizza that eats you! Here's David's review of the latest episode of TMNT.

Although Michelangelo-centric plots tend to be repetitive, there’s a certain joy from them. Mikey sees the world differently; his mind wanders and comes up with ideas so farfetched that even George Noory wouldn’t believe them. Most of the time these un-baked conspiracy theories are there for comic relief, but in Mikey-centric episodes, the out-there is firmly here and he’s is the only one that knows the truth. Because Mikey’s batting average for the bizarre is so low, when he does hit a run, no one believes him.

The fun comes from seeing the comic relief character develop and expand as he creates an antidote to a zombie virus, channels his inner Ripley, and stops an invasion of Deadite-esque flying pizzas voiced by John DiMaggio.

But before the Turtles get to that horror, they have a few others to deal with. No pizza places are picking up the phone (how that didn’t cause city-wide panic, I don’t know), so Michelangelo decides to make his own pie. Mikey being Mikey, it goes from being a somewhat traditional looking pie to a terrifying 2d animation of a smelly pie that includes a metal can and the hindquarters of a rat, which CANNOT be kosher in Splinter’s household. The other turtles are justifiably disgusted by this abomination and leave Mikey to eat it on his own.

Thanks to a spot-on animated parody of local ads (complete with bad green screen work), they decide to order from Antonio’s, the only open pizza place. The episode then reveals the answer to one of the biggest mysteries of the series; how do the turtles get pizza delivered to their lair? When the delivery person arrives to their location, Mikey talks to them through the sewer grating and has them slide the pizza through the opening, which, honestly, is less weird then some real pizza delivery stories.

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The other turtles are busy when Mikey returns to the lair, leaving him alone with the pizza. Mikey tells himself not to eat it and receives the reply of “eat me…” from the pizza. The pizza then flies around and attacks him, trying to force Mikey to eat itself. Mikey fights back, splattering pizza topping all over the living room. When the other turtles return, they blame Mikey for ruining dinner again. Mikey tries to explain that the pizza attacked him, but since it’s a Mikey episode, everyone has to doubt him.

To prove his innocence, Mikey tries to go to Antonio’s, but is attacked by zombies being brain controlled through pizzas covering their heads. They do their best Deadite impersonations (the dripping cheese connecting the top and bottom parts of the mouth is straight out of the Necronomicon) and try to convince him to join them, but when Mikey refuses they attack…by having a large man throw a child à la Colossus and Wolverine’s fastball special. Mikey escapes back to the lair only to find that the other turtles and Splinter ignored his warning and ordered more of Antonio’s pizza.

The remaining pizza attacks Mikey, but he manages to subdue the flying pies. He straps one to a chair for a classic swinging light bulb interrogation. Along with the stereotypical tools like pliers and jumper cables he also has a pizza cutter and a brick oven (with the remains of a less cooperative pizza). The scene plays with the tropes and is probably the most fun the episode has; Mikey gets to play a gruff, aviator-wearing Jack Bauer type, but instead of torturing a terrorist, the enemy is a talking pizza.

The pie squeals on Antonio as Mikey channels Laurence Olivier and rips off some cheese. Antonio discovered a canister of mutagen and decided to try it as a topping, mutating him into Pizza the Hutt Pizza Face and giving him the craving to eat human-stuffed calzones. With all the information he needs, Mikey throws the pie in the freezer, leaving the leftovers to the fate of Ice Cream Kitty.

Using the same plan from Shaun of the Dead, Mikey limps and moans his way through the zombie crowd to the pizza place. His “go ninja go ninja go” victory dance is cut short when he discovers people-sized calzones hanging from the ceiling like cattle. The other Turtles and Splinter arrive and because they’re fellow mutants, Pizza Face vomits pizza onto their faces to make them part of his “Elita” Mozzarella Squad.

Mikey tries to stop Pizza Face and is forced to fight his brothers. He apologizes to Leo and Donnie as he beats them, but, in a very satisfying moment, savors knocking out Raph. However, Mikey’s bested by Splinter and becomes stuck to the wall by a covering of pizza vomit. Mikey almost gives up hope, but then he remembers the greatest thing about him. No, not his giant heart, but his iron stomach. Mikey eats his way free, jumps down Pizza Face’s mouth, defeats the villain by eating through him and lets out a glass shattering burp of satisfaction.

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Mikey then wakes up in his room surrounded by the Turtles and April. They convince him that it was just a dream and he didn’t travel to Oz fight a giant pizza. Once again, no one will know how heroic Michelangelo really was. Well, other than us. But we already knew that.

Because this is like the third time this year we’ve seen this plot.

Random Asides:

– Irma spotting! Irma’s on to April’s secret friends and wants in, although once again she’s ditched by April faster than Peter Parker on a date with Gwen Stacy. Irma’s not thrilled with the idea of April eating Antonio’s pizza, but that might be because it’s the same place from “Of Rats and Men” that didn’t serve her gluten free pizza.

– Seriously Mikey, why’d you put a rat in the pizza? You wouldn’t eat turtle soup, so why’d you think rat-pizza would be okay to share with Splinter?

– “Why are you doing this pizza?! I’ve always loved you!”

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– “Taste my delicious blend of four melted cheeses!”


– There was graffiti on a payphone that said, “TRICERATOPS ARE HERE.” I really hope this means the Triceratons are going to be bayou cultists with lanterns and plastic triceratops masks.

– “Does he have a pizza for a face?” “Yes!” “Then I will call him Pizza Face!” “But we all have pizza faces.” Greg Cipes might not have the gravitas that Nick Offerman has in Axe Cop, but he nailed the solemn seriousness of goofy dialogue that reads like it was written by a five year old.

– Speaking of Parks and Recreation, Ben Wyatt really should have tried making people-sized calzones; that might be the only way to get Pawnee residents to not automatically dismiss the dumb food.

– Should I start an “April is only used as a damsel in distress” count? I should start an “April is only used as a damsel in distress” count.

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– If pizza was a traditionally Russian dish, I could see Yakov Smirnoff voicing the Pizza just so the villain could say, “In Soviet Russia, pizza eat you!”

– John DiMaggio did an amazing job voicing multiple talking pizzas with cheesy Italian accents and different personalities and backstories. It was also great to see a return of the “villains repurposing common public domain songs and making them into creepy musical numbers while they’re doing their thing and making it hard for David to hear that song and not think about fungi/pizza dancing/flying around” that “Fungus Humungous” did so well.

– That being said, I’m slightly disappointed Kel didn’t reprise his role as Pizzaface from All That.

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4 out of 5