Issue 3: Real Ninjas Play Hard To Get


Oh, hello there Valentine's Day. Back again, are you?

It's that enchanting time of year where you're encouraged to pamper your partner with affection. Whether you're in a relationship or enjoying the single life, the traditions of Valentine's Day are unavoidable. Roses, chocolates, the color red - it's everywhere. A commercial holiday it might be, but that doesn't stop it from being fun.

From 1989-1992, my love towards the ladies was presented in Turtle form. On the fourteenth of February, I would distribute these small Valentine's Day cards to my fellow classmates. That was a solid 4 years where the kids of Whiting Elementary School were treated to some stellar Ninja appreciation. My close friends at the time, mostly all boys, probably loved the things. But, what about the girls in my class? I wonder if there was even one girl who thought to herself, "A Ninja Turtles Valentine?! That guy is so cool!!!"

I handed these Valentine's Day cards out to my classmates because I loved the Turtles. The words or themes they carried made no difference to me back then. But, would I still hand these out today? On Valentine's Day in 2011? After wiping off the dust and sifting through my Ninja Turtles collection once again, I have realized that there is an opportunity to see these old treasures from my childhood with a fresh set of eyes. And these Valentine's Day cards are no exception. Giving them a glance as an adult, they've put a very interesting question in my Turtle-loving mind...

Are the Ninja Turtles just a bunch of players? A few dudes playing hard to get - leading on the ladies? A few of their Valentine's Day cards really do have contradicting messages. The evidence is as clear as day...

"Yo Dudette!" Wow. What a sentimental way to start off a yelling "YO" to your significant other. And Donatello doesn't even have the decency to call the poor girl by her name, just "dudette". After his pretty insulting start, it doesn't get much better. "Won't you be my Valentine?" - Donatello doesn't even ask politely. He could have proposed the question with a little more grace. Perhaps a "will you please be my Valentine?" or even a simple "be mine?" But no, instead he just barks the question her way.

This love note comes courtesy of Leatherhead. This fiendish alligator depicted here if from the cartoon series, in which he was a villain. Why would you ever give a loved one a card with a bad guy on it? You don't see people buying up Osama Bin Laden Valentine's Day cards from Hallmark, do ya? I could understand if Leatherhead was saying something endearing or if there was even some terrible villain/love-related pun he was making. But instead, he is forcing out a grunt and then stating "I like you."

LIKE?! Where's the love Leatherhead, where's the love?

"I'm drawn to you Valentine" - okay so that's cute. Donatello is drawing a heart and making one of those terrible puns. But wait...what is he drawing the heart with? A dagger? Nothing says love like a sharp, deathly piece of metal. What's even more disturbing? This isn't Donatello's usual weapon. He normally uses the bo staff, which basically looks like a giant stick. So for Valentine's Day, he put his standard weapon aside and dug out a dagger. Real romantic.

"I like you as much as Pizza!" This one actually made me laugh out loud. I know the Turtles loved pizza (not liked), so I guess the card makes sense in theory. But, what if the person handing out these cards hated pizza? It'd be implying "I hate pizza and I hate you". 

The whole thing is just a poor choice of words. I can't help but imagine the following scenario - an overbearing girl tells an uninterested guy that she really loves him. He doesn't love her, so searches for something to say. After stumbling on a few choice words, he finally mumbles out, "Ummm...I like you as much as pizza."

So if you feel like sending mixed signals to your true love this Valentine's Day, you've got a few great options here. And if handing out cards isn't your bag and you find yourself at a loss of words, there's always that timeless, romantic expression, "I like you as much as pizza."

Happy Valentine's Day from The Sewer Den.


  1. Leatherhead Valentine! I wish they still made that - I would give it to my wife.

  2. No Raph cards? What gives?! It seems like Donatello got most of the cards (from this selection).

  3. These bring back memories, though I'm sad the one I received back in kindergarten isn't here (it had Donatello jumping over a heart that said "I'm head over heels about you") - being a girl, I didn't get any of the toys as a kid, so I kept that card for years as my only piece of TMNT merchandise (not sure what happened to it). Totally remember my friend getting the one about pizza, though. And while I can't speak for the girls in your class, I personally was beyond excited to get a TMNT Valentine's Day card, lol.

  4. I remember that Donatello one too! Sadly, that fell through the cracks somewhere over the years. But, that's great you have held onto it all this time. A little Valentine time capsule of memories.

    And I wish you were in my class! That could have changed my whole elementary school experience. Too bad.


Forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for late pizza.

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