This past year has been a hard and disheartening time for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans.
First, there was talk of Michael Bay producing movie where the turtles were aliens instead of mutants. Now, Nickelodeon has changed the iconic “cowabunga” catchphrase from their latest TMNT animated series, much to the displeasure of childhood Turtles fanatics.
Instead, Michelangelo is shouting “booyakasha” in the new cartoon, seemingly forgetting that Ali G already used that as a catchphrase over a decade earlier. TMNT executive producer Ciro Nieli explained the change to Entertainment Weekly, saying, ““There was a lot of talk about what the new ‘cowabunga’ was, or whether it should even remain ‘cowabunga.’ We hadn’t initially come up with anything yet because didn’t necessarily need it [at the time].”
Nieli gives credit to Michelangelo's voice actor, Greg Cipes, for coining the phrase. “When he said it in the room, there were a lot of executives there,” said Nieli. “I think he just really pulled it off and kind of won everybody over in the room. And it stuck.”
Fortunately for cowabunga purists, Nieli also says “cowabunga might be coming… we just wanting to wait on it.”