|“||Ooohh, those blasted Turtles!||„|
|~ after being defeated by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.|
|“||Great! Terrific! We're on the run, and that idiot wants to, chit-chat!||„|
|~ Shredder, referring to Krang, who wants to talk to him whilst he's driving the Technodrome.|
Shredder is the leader of the Foot Clan and one of the two main antagonists of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series along with Krang until season 10 where he was replaced by Lord Dregg. He is the overall main antagonist in the original ninja turtles show.
Shredder was mainly voiced by the late James Avery. who was known for playing Uncle Phil from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. However in a few episodes, he was voiced by Jim Cummings, Townsend Coleman, and Dorian Harewood as fill-in actors. From the seventh season onward, Shredder is voiced by the late Bill Martin.
Oroku Saki was a first rank ninja of the Foot Clan, a Japanese dynasty of ninjas led by the honorable Hamato Yoshi, whose distant ancestor founded the clan centuries ago. A power-hungry and ambitious man, Saki resented Yoshi's leadership and aspired to usurp him, taking control of the clan for himself. To this end, Saki pinned the back of Yoshi’s dogi to the wall with a knife so that he couldn’t bow before a visiting master sensei, which was seen as an insult. When Yoshi removed the knife, the sensei was again insulted, believing that he was drawing the blade in an attempt to kill him. Yoshi was subsequently banished from the Foot Clan, allowing Saki to take over and transform it into an army of crime. Later, he followed Yoshi to New York City, intending to finish him off once and for all. It was around this time (presumably) that he met Krang, a warlord from Dimension X who had been stripped of his body (reducing him to a brain-like form) and banished to Earth.
A deal had been struck, and Saki would gain access to a wide array of advanced technologies (including the Technodrome and a massive robotized army of Foot Soldiers) in exchange for building Krang a new body, which he eventually does at the end of season 1. Donning a bladed metal samurai suit, he took on a new pseudonym: 'the Shredder'. Saki eventually found Yoshi in the New York City sewer system, and dumped a chemical mutagen down the drain in the hopes that it would poison him. Instead, it mutated Yoshi, who had most recently been exposed to rats, into a giant, humanoid rat. In addition, it also mutated Yoshi's pet turtles, who had most recently exposed to Yoshi, into humanoid, talking turtles.
First Battles with the Turtles
Shredder began a crime wave throughout New York City, having his Foot Soldiers and other hired thugs steal advanced technology for him. He also created a faux security service team from his Foot Soldiers, who would then rob the buildings they were supposed to guard. After the news reporter, April O’Neil, began investigating this crime wave, Shredder sent some of his thugs to silence her. However, she was saved by the Ninja Turtles and later discovered Shredder’s security scam. In response, Shredder sent his Foot Soldiers to kidnap April, but the Turtles rescued her. He later tried flooding the building that April and the Turtles were in, but they managed to escape. Shredder then turned to Krang for help, but the latter refused as Shredder had not yet honored his part of the deal: to build Krang a new body. Shredder decided to ignore Krang's nagging and came up with a plan to mutate some of his own henchmen, using more powerful animals than the Turtles and Splinter.
To this end, Shredder sent two Roadkill Rodney robots to steal a rhinoceros and warthog from a local zoo, using his mutagen to transform Bebop and Rocksteady (who had earlier fought the Turtles and wanted revenge) into a humanoid warthog and rhinoceros, respectively. He then had one of his robots capture Splinter, using him as bait in the hopes that it would lure the Turtles to the Technodrome, where they would face Shredder himself. Bypassing all of the Technodrome's traps, they eventually found Shredder, who told them that he was responsible for their creation and then asked them to join him. The Turtles told him to "go suck a lemon", prompting Shredder to send Bebop and Rocksteady after them. However, despite their superior strength and stamina, Bebop and Rocksteady were held back by their inane stupidity, allowing the Turtles to easily outwit them and escape with Splinter.
Shredder’s next plan involved recruiting an embittered inventor named Baxter Stockman to create an army of robots called Mousers, a rat catching device that Stockman originally intended to sell to a pest control company before they rejected his invention (on the grounds that it was too effective and would have eventually put them out of business) and tossed him out of the building. He successfully captured Michelangelo and cornered the rest of the Turtles with the Mousers. However, when Krang saw that Shredder’s plan was working, he freed Michelangelo, since Shredder would have no need to make Krang a new body if he succeeded. Michelangelo soon destroyed the Master Control to the Mousers, foiling Shredder's plan. Still determined to avoid having to give Krang a body, Shredder used the Techondrome’s dimensional portal to try and get more weapons from Dimension X. But instead of getting weapons, he got the Neutrinos, a group of bratty Dimension X teenagers, along with some of Krang's rock soldiers who were pursuing them. Shredder sent the Rock Soldiers after the Turtles, who had befriended the Neutrinos before luring the Rock Soldiers back into Dimension X, convincing the Neutrinos to go back as well. Finally out of options, Shredder decided to build a body for Krang, as well as a ray gun that could reverse the effects of the Mutagen, intending to use it to undo the Turtles' mutation, transforming them back into ordinary pet shop turtles, and robbing them of all of their humanoid abilities.
Shredder sent a message to the Turtles, telling them that the ray was the only means of restoring Splinter to human form. Splinter went alone since he knew what Shredder intended to do with that ray. Splinter and Shredder engaged in a long, drawn out battle, while Krang used his new android suit to fight the Turtles and terrorize the city. In addition to granting him increased fighting prowess, it also came with a special chip that allowing Krang to expand his molecules and increase his size to that of a towering behemoth. However, the Turtles infiltrated his body and destroyed the chip, returning him to normal size. With his size advantage gone, Krang decided that he had no choice but to summon Shredder, who responded by putting his fight with Splinter on hold and trapping him in an electric force field, although Splinter eventually escaped. Shredder arrived with the ray gun and prepared to use it on the Turtles, but Splinter destroyed the gun before he had the chance. The Turtles pursued them back to the Technodrome and utilized its Dimensional Portal to suck the Technodrome, along with Shredder and Krang, into Dimension X. Trapped there, Shredder was stuck following Krang’s orders, and was determined to get back to Earth so as to have revenge on the Turtles and Splinter.
Conflicts with the Turtles
Krang eventually sent Shredder back to Earth, but refused to give him any more assistance he could prove himself. In one of his plans, he took over a dojo and created the Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang, which he used to frame the Ninja Turtles, although they were defeated. Shredder also recruited Baxter Stockman (who had been sent to a lunatic asylum after his Mousers were defeated) to help him fight the Turtles, but eventually got tired of his constant failures. Eventually, Krang sent Bebop and Rocksteady back to Earth to help Shredder in exchange for Baxter, who Krang would accidentally turn into a mutant fly.
At one point, Shredder eavesdropped on the Turtles and found out about some alien objects that had crash landed on Earth called the Three Fragments of the Eye of Sarnoth, which could grant its wielder great power when the three pieces are united. He found one fragment and discovered that it could shrink people, using it to shrink the Turtles, capture them, and nearly finish them off before Splinter intervened, returning them to their normal size. Shredder engaged in a race with the Turtles to get the Fragments and eventually collecting all of them, attaching them to his helmet to using its power. However, Stockman eventually got his hands on it and, fed up with Shredder's abuse, double crossed him. Shredder managed to get the helmet back as well as the Zarvometer which the Turtles had been using to track the fragments.
However, the Zarvometer was designed to destroy the Eye when they came into contact. The Turtles warned Shredder of the danger and he threw the helmet into the Hudson River, which blew up. After some time, Shredder managed to obtain the energy needed to bring the Technodrome back to Earth. During the ensuing conflict, he faced off against Splinter in combat but lost. However, Donatello’s intervention caused the Technodrome to sink to the core of the Earth without the power to even move. Shredder continued to clash with the Turtles by using transport modules he’d gotten from Krang to leave the Technodrome. His plans focused on either getting rid of the Turtles or obtaining the energy to re-power the Technodrome.
Shredder eventually succeeded in the latter and planned to open a portal to send Earth into Dimension X, where Krang’s Rock Soldiers would fire on it. Shredder fought against Splinter again, but was defeated once more. Eventually, the Turtles sent the Technodrome, along with Shredder and his allies, into the portal where it was fired on by the Rock Soldiers, who mistook it for Earth. As a result, the Technodrome was completely destroyed and the villains were trapped in Dimension X, prompting Shredder to joke that "it could be worse, we might have wound up in Dimension Z", angering Krang. However, Shredder and his allies managed to make yet another return with the Technodrome, although the fortress would constantly get stuck in places like the North Pole and the bottom of the ocean.
Eventually, the Technodrome was sent back to Dimension X by the Turtles, but without Shredder, Krang, Bebop, or Rocksteady. This left them stranded on Earth with no power or weapons, and they were forced to run from hideout to hideout, constantly pursued by the Turtles. Later on, Krang was captured by Drakus, an old partner of Krang's who he eventually betrayed, although Shredder is unaware of this and believes that the Turtles have him. In response, Shredder threatened to blow up the Channel 6 news building if Krang was not returned within a certain amount of time. They rescued Krang from Drakus and brought him over to Shredder. Although they were a minute late, the building was still intact, and the Turtles inferred that Shredder was bluffing. However, Shredder responded that he never bluffed and blew up the building, which would cause April to become a free-lance reporter and Burne Thompson to blame this on the Turtles. The villains managed to create a new portal into Dimension X and reclaim the Technodrome, preparing to bring it to Earth once more. The Turtles faced off against Shredder and Krang on the planet Balaraphon and blew up the Technodrome's main engines before escaping through the portal back to Earth. Moments later, an alien plant wrapped its tentacles around the Technodrome and pulled it into a deep pit, destroying the fortress for good.
Shredder spent the next two years in Dimension X, abandoning the ruined Technodrome and searching for new means to rebuild their power. Eventually, Shredder and Krang encounter Mung, a servant of Lord Dregg who was looking for resources in Dimension X. Mung returns to Dregg's ship and tells him about Shredder and Krang (no mention is made of Bebop or Rocksteady, implying that they are either dead or no longer involved with Shredder and Krang), and Dregg responds by transporting them back to Earth to help him fight the Turtles, but neither of them had any interest in working with Dregg and immediately rebelled. Wasting no time, they kidnap April O'Neil and do battle with the Turtles once more, although they are all soon transported back to Dregg's lair. Reluctantly agreeing to work with Dregg, Shredder and Krang manage to subdue the Turtles, allowing Dregg to place them in a machine that would drain their life force, along with their ninja skills. However, Shredder and Krang betray Dregg and force him onto one of the operating tables, taking Mung hostage in the process. Mung releases his microbots to apprehend the pair and free Dregg, allowing him to do what he intended to do all along: drain Shredder and Krang of their life force, intelligence, and fighting abilities so he would become invincible. Shredder broke free before Dregg could take anything from him and escaped with Krang. Later on, Shredder gave some of his own life energy to revive Krang and together they resolved to take out both Dregg and the Turtles. In one final conflict, Shredder and Krang are transported back to Dimension X. Although they are not seen again for the rest of the series (which lasted for only three more episodes after their final appearance), it is assumed that they are still alive and would have eventually returned to Earth.
At one point, Shredder was trying to steal some vials of mutagen and the Turtles were trying to stop him, but the Technodrome’s Dimensional Portal exploded. They ended up in an alternate universe, that of the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’s cartoon. Shredder was enraged to find out he was in an alternate dimension and was found by 1987 Turtles and their 2003 counterparts. Shredder sent Bebop and Rocksteady, along with his Foot Soldiers against them, but they were defeated. However Shredder realized if there were versions of the Turtles in this new dimension, there should be a version of himself. After making his Foot Soldiers self-destruct as a distraction, Shredder retreated with the Technodrome to find his other self. He managed to bring the Utrom Shredder to the Technodrome, but was shocked when he saw the real form of the Utrom Shredder, the small Utrom alien, Ch’rell. The 1987 Shredder revived him, but this backfired after the Utrom Shredder pretty much overthrew him and Krang, taking control of the Technodrome.
1987 Shredder was forced to stand by as the Utrom Shredder combined the technologies of the Technodrome with Utrom technology and prepared a new plan. He and Krang watched as Utrom Shredder assaulted New York with the Technodrome and his army of cyber ninjas and mutants. As the Turtles arrived, 1987 Shredder and Krang told Utrom Shredder to destroy them, but he struck them down and made Bebop and Rocksteady restrain them. As the Utrom Shredder began destroying the multiverse, Karai freed Shredder and Krang, who sided with the Turtles to face his counterpart. Together, they defeated the Utrom Shredder and 1987 Shredder and Krang formed a temporary truce with the 1987 Turtles to get home. But they promised they would be enemies again when they got back.
While 1987 Shredder did not appear in the episode Transdimensional Turtles, which crossed over the Nickelodeon 2012 version of the Turtles with their 1987 counterparts, he was referenced. He is set to appear in a follow-up episode, in which he will be voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson, who also voices the 2012 Shredder.
Shredder was portrayed as a cunning and lethal adversary. But as time went on, he became a villain that, while evil, was incompetent and sometimes petulant. Shredder constantly argues with Krang, who is arguably more evil than him, since he hates having to play second fiddle when he used to be in charge. They enjoy watching each other fail, even sabotaging each other. Splinter has always been Shredder’s enemy and he has always expressed a desire to a finish the rat off by his own hand. Despite his desire to take over, there was one episode where the Turtles went to an alternate dimension were Shredder took over because the Turtles never existed. However he suffered a nervous breakdown due to the stress of having to rule.
Shredder is a considerably skilled martial artist, outfighting the Turtles on occasion. He is equal in skill to their master, Splinter, but often runs when he is outnumbered. Shredder is extremely intelligent, particularly with technology since he created Krang’s body, along with numerous other devices, and the mutagen formula. With the Technodrome and his army of Foot Soldiers, Shredder can be a formidable opponent, but his personality usually with prevents this.
- This Shredder is the only variation to be more comedic based, while all other variations of him proved to be more serious and menacing.