18

Are the ninja turtles as strong, in terms of physical force as a normal human? Do they possess beyond-human capabilities?

If there are major differences between the various formats (comics, TV series, Films, etc) , please indicate what those are.

  • 2
    In which format? There's nine comic series, three different TV series, three feature films, an anime series and a reboot film – Valorum Jul 4 '14 at 15:49
  • 1
    They can jump 50 or more feet into the air, spin faster than the eye can see, withstand incredible g-forces and shrug off bone-shattering impacts with no visible damage: youtube.com/watch?v=nNa2Fr6CA0E – Valorum Jul 4 '14 at 15:58
  • 11
    Seven. They’re seven strong. – Paul D. Waite Jul 4 '14 at 16:14
  • 4
    @PaulD.Waite - They possess turtle power – Valorum Jul 4 '14 at 16:56
  • 5
    Stronger than your average turtle. – Avner Shahar-Kashtan Jul 4 '14 at 18:19
16

Per this article on ComicVine, the Turtles are described by TMNT comic artist Mateus Santolouco as "semi-Superhuman" with enhanced reflexes, speed and durability.

Their strength however, is described as being marginally below that of Bruce Wayne. Obviously that would still put them in the very highest percentile for strength against a "normal" human.

Mateus informs me that thanks to the mutation the Turtles are in fact low-level superman, therefore making them slightly above Wayne when it comes to physicals. Yes, Batman has better strength and endurance feats at the moment, but the Turtles appear to have him edged out on speed and reflexes. Plus, their shells grants additional durability. Seeing as Batman is peak human and the Turtles are being classified as low-level superhuman, I of course have to give this one to the four brothers.

  • 1
    This was actually retconned with the new movie. The turtles are back to semi-superhuman each one can throw a shipping container. – Robert Dec 31 '14 at 13:02
6

Generally speaking, they're “narratively strong”

across the different properties, with as much strength or weakness as plausibly fits whatever story arc they're part of at the moment.

If you're looking for “an” answer, though, Palladium published their TMNT & Other Strangeness RPG in 1985, almost immediately upon the creation of the turtles and with extensive input (and art) from Eastman & Laird.

Palladium's stats for the turtles

can be taken as roughly definitive for the original vision of the team, which puts them in the realm of upper-tier human to low-tier superhuman:

Avg. human: PS 9 (lift 180 lbs at full effort)

Raphael: PS 20 (lift 1200 lbs at full effort)

Leo: PS 15 (lift 600 lbs at full effort)

Donatello: PS 13 (lift 390 lbs at full effort)

Mikey: PS 16 (lift 640 lbs at full effort)

  • Do you have any images of these stats from the book? – DCOPTimDowd Aug 6 '18 at 19:16
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    I have the book and could take a photo but that's silly. It's just text and there's no reason to violate copyright including things outside the scope of the question. (Not 100% sure anyone would still care: Palladium doesn't seem to even sell the game under their old license so maybe no one would mind at all. Still, it's too much trouble to go to just to provide the same info I already did.) – lly Aug 6 '18 at 19:30
2

This has been displayed inconsistently throughout the various series, and would be somewhat difficult to judge based on their "more than human" physiology. Complicating matters is the fact that all of the Turtles are highly trained martial artist, comparable [I would think] to Shaolin Monks... a sect of human warriors that on average show strength, explosiveness, flexibility and durability somewhat beyond what normal humans can do. So it would be somewhat hard to say what is due to their Bodies' natural abilities, what would be due to their Training, and what would be due to Artistic Action Licence [ re: exaggeration] in the shows and comics.

In the 80s toon, and the subsequent versions, we see the Turtles regularly leaping effortlessly many feet across buildings, dropping from high stories without injury, and moving at sustained speeds...

2012 team

2003 Turtles

Original toon TMNT

...so it could be argued they have, at the very least least, world-class athlete levels of coordination, agility and some increased resistance to impact, all of which would be subtle shows of strength and muscular control and durability.

And while, on average, they are shown to be somewhat slightly smaller than regular humans [save for the films, where they are human size [1990] or humongous [2014], the boys have always proven to be quite strong, in terms of muscular force and efficiency in general. Basic evidence: each one regularly taking on multiple, often martially trained opponents with relative ease. enter image description here

One would guess, as trained warriors from birth, they would have to be strong, and have incredible reaction time and stamina to do that kind of battle with the regularity they do. Then of course there are the myriad of non-human warriors they stand up to constantly; from Foot Androids, to other massive mutants like Bebop and Rock Steady, to aliens like the Triceratons (hulking 89-foot tall dinosaur humaniods whom have been shown capable of throwing massive weights!)

enter image description here

Even in the 80s toon, better than average strength was at least implied; we'd see the boys make some massive jumps, take on far larger opponents with minimal difficulty, and stab, slash, bash and rip through various metal objects [from other weapons to Foot androids to Baxter's Mousers] as though they were only heavy cardboard. So I think its fair to say they are somewhat physically stronger than average, but not at a "super human" level.

The Micheal Bay turtles may be the most valid example of their "way above human strength". Even in so much that Bay's characters tend to be usually damage proof to get through all those explosions, the Turtles here take it to a next level; not only are they above average human size with insane speed and agility, they seem to be literally bulletproof...

Now, a normal box turtle's shell can take up to 1000 lbs of pressure to crush, and [depending on the surface area of the implement used] between 200-700 pounds to penetrate. Your average medium caliber bullet, however, essentially carries a kinetic energy potential measured in the Foot/LBs in the English metric. A .50 BMG machine gun fires a 650 gr projectile at around 3000 fps. This translates to roughly 16,000 pounds of force at the muzzle. So the boys being shot in the scene above means they should be full of holes.... but their tissues [at least, that of their shells] is so dense, the bullets couldn't penetrate. If this corresponding strength is present in their muscle tissue to some ratio, then that would make them at least as strong as kodiak bears, or silver back gorillas, arguably.

But, again, the boys are mutants, so there's no way of saying conclusively if their shell hardness is either distinct unto itself, or if it's strength increased in proportion to the strength of their other tissues. And they were undeniably muscularly strong in that movie, as all 4 of them were able to hold up a collapsing tower antenna...

You can skip to the 5:00 minute mark to see them holding it up.... under massive strain, yes, but still, it's only the 4 of them supporting it as the tower collapses! Presuming the tower's height from its comparison to the 6-foot+ turtles to be about 40 feet, and and a mostly steel composition, the thing could have weighed anywhere between 8 to 15 tons.... and they managed to support it even if only for a bit! So yeah, in the Bay version, the turtles are Definitely stronger than mere humans!

But again, that might have less to do with their mutantated physiology, and something more to do with their training. If you look at Shaolin warriors, they are pretty damn strong and durable...

While I don't believe they could learn all this from a book on ninjutsu as they did in the movie, if their training was similar to that of real life monks, that added to their unique body structures would likely make them a good deal stronger than an average human being.

1

It honestly depends on what version you're using, for example, in the 2003 cartoon, Leonardo on his own held open a T-Rex's jaw, meanwhile in the mirage comics he has above athletic human levels of strength

  • 1
    If you could edit in the relevant scene/comic pages it would greatly improve your answer! – TheLethalCarrot Sep 19 '19 at 14:16
  • Tyrannosaurus Rex's Bite Force Measured 8,000 Pounds, Scientists Say : The Two-Way "That's like setting three small cars on top of the jaws of a T. rex - so Leonard is able to hold open upto 8,000lbs of force. – Ryan McDonough Sep 19 '19 at 15:07

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