I loved the Ninja Turtles as a kid. Fucking loved them, I had almost every one of the toys they made from 1988-1992. They were great highly detailed toys. But in 1989 a trend was started that proved to be as persistent as it was inexplicable: bizarre TMNT cosplay. It started with this:
OK now Don in his trench coat, fedora, and while not shown here, he also came with a mask, made sense. This is how the turtles would attempt to blend in when they had to go out in public. I suppose an argument could be made for Samurai Leo and Surfer Mike making some sense, but Space Cadet Raph is totally out of left field. I don't know what the thinking was here, I suppose it was easier to come up with stupid costumes instead of new characters but its not like they ever seemed to have a shortage of characters either. I think at one point we had a mutant camel named camel Sandstorm. Well, whatever the reason they fucking ran this theme into the ground. We had such nonsense as
Leo joining a hockey team that apparently uses cheese danishes instead of hockey pucks.
Michelangelo briefly working as a Flava Flav impersonator.
Donatello had a short career as a fireman themed male stripper under the name of Hose 'Em Down Don.
Leo had a briefly replaced the Police man in the Village People.
And Raph became the lead singer of a Poison cover band called Harmful If Swallowed.
After a while the Turtles ended up facing federal charges for impersonating military personnel. The charges ended up being dropped as the judge ruled only a moron shouldn't have been able to see through their disguises. This brush with the law however didn't deter the Turtle's lust for cosplay.
After going out in public like this however, April and Splinter finally had to stage and intervention. Even Shredder was there as he was tired of getting his ass beat by someone dressed like that.
It's unclear what ended up happening to Don and Leo over the years, but Mike and Raph were last seen competing on Celebrity Fit Club last year. The years had not been good to them: