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Don Turtelli

Don Turtelli is a minor antagonist in the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. He is a mafia boss and grandson of Tony Tickler Turtelli.

He was voiced by Peter Renaday.



As mentioned, Don Turtelli is grandson of Tony Tickler Turtelli.

What connects those two beside family is their method of interrogating people, by using a feather to tickle people's bare feet, to make them talk.

Tortelli made appearances in session 3 of the show only in three episodes. When first introduced, he had a different animation design. In the next two episodes Tortelli's appearance was the same. Also some people think that in the first episode when he appeared it is not the same guy.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

In his first appearance, in Burne's Blues Tortelli crashed into the hiding place of spies who were torturing Vernon Fenwick and his boss Burne, by tickling them with a feather. When the spies ran away Tortelli asked Vernon and Burne about the turtles, and when they said they didn't know anything, Tortelli pulled out a feather to "make them talk".

In the second episode, "Case of the Hot Kimono", Tortelli (now in a different animation style and appearance), wants to find out where is the kimono that contents a map to hidden treasure, so he sends his henchmen to steal all kimonos in town. April O'Neil reported on TV about the theft of kimonos, so Turtteli sent his henchmen to capture her and Vernon.

In his penthouse Tortelli asked his victims about kimonos. When April refuses to talk, he tickled her bare foot with a feather, only for a few seconds, than he started to tickle Vernon on his socked foot.

The Turtles fond Don Turtelli with help the of April's aunt. Turtelli escaped, but is later caught by the Turtles, and handed to the police.

In his final appearance in, The Great Boldini, Turtelli hires his cousin, magician Boldini to steal Toretlini's emerald from a museum. But when Boldini goes in the museum basement to find the emerald and meet with Turtelli, two kids Zach and Catlin, friends of the Turtles follow them, and steal the emerald from them. However Turtelli capture the girl Catlin, and threatens the boy Zach that if he doesn't give him the emerald, he will tickle Catlin.

The times runs up for Zach, and when Turtelli was ready to tickle Catlin, asking her, Were do you want blondie, under your arm or soles of your feet, the Rat King appears. The kids use Turtelli's and Boldini's arguing with the Rat King to escape, but the villains make a deal(Cornix cornici oculos non effodiet), and the Rat King, with the help of his rats send everybody out of the museum, and lock the museum so they can capture the kids.

The kids hide the emerald, but the villains capture them, tie them up, and Turtelli begins tickling them on their bare feet with a feather. Catlin didn't break, but Zach after long periods of prolonged tickling cracks, and tell them where the emerald is.

Meanwhile, the Turtles get into the museum and save the kids, and catch Turtelli and Boldini, and hand them to the police.


It can be noticed that Don Turtelli was created first as a joke, since Vernon and Burn were captured by spies who tickle tortured them for information about Turtles, and don explained that his name is Turtelli, a pun derived from name Turtle, so he also as spies misunderstood that Vernon and Burn were looking for him instead of Turtles. His feather tickle method in his first appearance was a joke, since Vernon and Burn in episode Burn's blues were tickle tortured more then once. Only later it was decided that Turtelli should be used in next episodes with same torture method.

Turtelli is middle-sized bulky man with black hair and mustache similar to Clark Gebel's mustache.

He wears a grey suit with a grey hat and white gloves. He always carries a white pointed chicken feather, that he uses to interrogate his victims.

As a person, he is very cruel, has dark sense of humor, and he is unsympathetic toward his victims regardless of age, since he didn't even step back from tickle torturing two young children for long period of time, not feeling any sorry for them just to get what he wanted. He can be also seen as a weakling who only molests those who can't fight back, since his expression when Turtles wanted to hit him was as he was afraid, and he seemed upset when Rat King arrived enough to let Caitlyn go, showing us that when he faces foes stronger or same strength as he, he is not so brave as he is facing people weaker or unable to fight back.

Aldo many bad things can be said about him, it can be also said that he doesn't uses tickle torture if it is not necessary, and he doesn't concentrate on his victims when he needs them no more, like during his and Boldini's escape, when Zach and Caitlin run away, Boldini wanted to capture them again, Turtelli said to let them go, since they got what they wanted showing us that he knows his priorities.

Also from his first few minutes with Zach and Caitlin, it can be noticed Turtelli can negotiate, but also use mean methods, and likes to play cat and mouse. He also negotiated with Rat King and made a deal cofirming old Latin sentence Cornix cornici oculos non effodiet (litterary translated ,,A crow does not pluck other crow eye) meaning that since both are a villains they will not harm each other if it does not goes into their goal and if they can find mutual language or have same goal.

From his statement to Caitlin, "Where do you want Blondie? Under arm? The sole of the feet?", he can be seen as a molester, who enjoy torturing innocent people, even small kids, when he got chance.

From his encounter with Turtles, he can be seen as weak opponent as a fighter, who can't go on toes to toes with Turtles.

It can be also noticed from Great Boldini episode that Zach and Caitlyn actions of stealing the emerald and hiding it was the thing that provoked Turtelli, that all he did to them was because he wanted emerald and that if they gave him the emerald at the first place, he probably would let them go. Also it can be noticed that in entire episode Turtelli was in a sort of hurry to get away before police get in the place and that he was angry since he tought stealing emerald would be easy.


  • Turtelli went down in infamy for his tickle torture feet methods of interrogation, but in the episode The Great Boldini, he threatened to tickle Caitlin on her soles or under her armpit.
  • During his tickling interrogation, it is shown that Turtelli tickles males longer than females, but that is probably to not discriminate against the rights of women.
  • Turtelli is one of most ruthless villains in the Ninja Turtles series, even if he is a minor villain, since other villains like Shredder didn't used any form of torture and are just fighting and bringing the heroes into dangerous situations, while Turtelli's tickle torture is the meanest form of brutality allowed in s G rated show. His ruthlessness is also shown that he didn't step back from torturing two young kids for long time to get what he wants.
  • According to one of Turtelli's henchmen, people think that Don Turtelli doesn't have a sense of humor, but it seems that Turtelli in fact has some sort of humor, since he mocked Rat King with sentence "And which one of these is your Rat Queen bandage face? Also, he told Zach that he doesn't have time to discus his and Caitlin's relationship, which is in some way humor.
  • According to Teenage Mutant Ninja, Turtelli was the only villain in entire show that actually used torture methods. No other villain in show has beside Turtelli used torture. also counts Turtelli in one of most oddest and formidable villains due to his unusual torture method by tickling victims feet, which hardly any of his victims could endure, for what they say he is formidable foe.


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