NAME: April 'O Neill.
Age: She is in her 20s in all versions. In the 80s cartoon, she is 28.
Weapon: Doesn't have one.
Good or Bad Guy?: Good....woman.
No. of appearances?: April appears in most forms, the comics, the movies and both major cartoon series. However, she does not appear in the live action series TMNT: The Next Mutation.
Words that Describe April 'O Neill: intelligent, clever, nosey, media-savvy, attractive, brown-nosing, miscalculating, driven, determined, relentless, strong-willed, slim, reliable, hardworking, competitive, vain, sly & friendly.
Favourite Quote?: "Just you wait Shredder, when the turtles..." her usual saying when kidnapped by Shredder.
Status: Main character. The turtles and Splinter's best, and most trustworthy human friend. Works in New York 's Channel Six Building as TV news reporter.
Voiced By: Renae Jacobs in the original cartoon, Veronica Taylor. In the 3 TMNT movies, Judith Hoag plays the role of April in TMNT 1, and Paige Turco in TMNT 2 & 3. Sherri Scott plays April in the musical stage show "TMNT: Coming out of their Shells" tour. In the Japanese anime series, she is voiced by Emi Shinohara.
TMNT Review HQ Analysis: The general role of April 'O Neill is to provide the turtles and Splinter to have a human friend, in a reality where they are the minority, they are the "freaks", the outsiders, they needed some kind of a bond that will keep their faith in saving the human race from the likes of Shredder. It also gives the story a main female character which are few and far between in the TMNT programmes. April does however, have her friend Irma in the original 1980s cartoon, and is joined later on by villain Karai in the comics and 2003 cartoon.
In the first TMNT comics, April is not a TV news reporter, which is more remembered, but she is a computer programmer. She worked with Baxter Stockman, a scientist who was developing these mouser robots. April soon discovers they are being used for evil deeds. Baxter is controlling them to rob banks. She is chased by the mousers in the sewers, until the turtles trash them, and April meets the TMNT for the first time, and later on the turtles successfully fend off a mouser invasion.
April also had an antique shop that was hunted down and destroyed by the Shredder's Foot Clan, looking for the turtles. Much like in the storyline of the TMNT 1 movie, the turtles and April retreat to a farmhouse in the country, and had nightmares about the Foot Clan while there. In the mid-90s, Casey Jones, a vigilante who used violence to uphold the law, became romantically involved with April. It was a serious relationship, and April had adopted a daughter named Shadow. In the later Volume 4 comics in the 2000s it is revealed that April was created, not in the normal way, but was a sketch drawing who came to life via a magic pencil that held a crystal, drawn by her "adopted dad. A bizarre turn of events indeed! Some fans have protested about this origin.
April featured in the other series of comic, the Archie series, which was much more similar to the 80s cartoon. The one major difference in April's story is that Spinter teaches her Ninjitsu to defend againt herself, which means no more getting-tied-up-by-the-villains-and-screaming-for-turtles-to-save-her scenario. She then loses her job at Channel Six and becomes a freelance reporter. Archie also gave April a comic series dedicated to her, for 3 issues.
In the TMNT original cartoon (1987-1996), April is a TV news reporter working for the boss of Channel Six News, Burne Thompson. She is a hard worker, but usually think Burne's biased opinion is wrong. Her colleague Vernon causes more problem, working as a cameraman, but also as a reporter to steal the story from April. However, she has a friend in fellow worker Irma, where she helps Irma out with her man problems. In almost every episode, she is seen sporting an all-yellow jumpsuit. Its not known why she wore all the time. She has an apartment in New York, but relocates thanks to the turtles' adventures they get in.
April first comes across the turtles in the first ever episode of the cartoon in 1987. She is reporting on series of thefts of high-tech equipment by ninja's and punks. She gets chased by a mob of punks(including the human Bebop and Rocksteady) which leads to the sewers, and is saved by the turtles. She faints in shock at first, of seeing these mutated turtles, but comes around and realises they are here to help, and becomes friends with them.
April became vital to helping the turtles win the battles with Shredder and Krang, and other various villains, alerting them on the Turtle Comm about worrying developments, or searching on her computer to find information about a certain person or object, that could cause chaos to the world. Her Tv reports also warn the turtles of bizarre happenings around the city, however, she never exposes her friendship with the turtles on the TV, but they are some clues. No matter how many times the turtles save the world, April is usually defending them when Burne calls them a threat to society. April has been countlessly kidnapped by Shredder so many times its the norm.
One of April's weaknesses is her desire to "get a story" for her news report, and her nosing about lands her in trouble, leading her to the kidnapped scenario. She never learns martial arts in the cartoon for some reason, and finds it hard to defend herself.
In later seasons (1994-1996), the yellow jumpsuit is gone, in favour of the brown leather jacket and green sweater. She worked as a freelance reporter after the destruction of the Channel Six building thanks to Shredder. Her eyes have also changed colour as well oddly enough, from brown to green.
In the TMNT movies, the story of April changes a little. There is no sign of colleagues Burne, Irma and Vernon here. Instead there is Charles Pennington with his troublesome son Danny. April is a CHANNEL 3 news tv reporter and is investigating a series of thefts by ninja thieves throughout New York city. She is attacked by the ninja thieves, who are the Foot Clan but Raphael saves her. She later on encouters the turtles in their lair and despite the shock and fainting, she wakes up and accepts them, enough to bring them to her own apartment.
Just like in the original Mirage comics, the Foot Clan descimate April's antique store, causing them to go to an her old farmhouse. She develops a relationship with vigilante Casey Jones also helping the turtles and the wounded Raphael. In TMNT 1, April is played by Judith Hoag, who, according to sources, has regretted ever being in the film, although it was a great box office success.
In TMNT 2 & 3, April is now played by Paige Turco, who had a look closer to the one in the 80s cartoon. However, no sign of the yellow jumpsuit. The turtles are living in April's apartment, as it their sewer home got trashed by the Foot and is no longer safe in TMNT 2. In TMNT 3, April was transported to feudal Japan along with the turtles. Casey Jones was in TMNT 3 after missing out on TMNT 2. This movie was much watered down for kids, and there was no more April- Casey relationship developing.
The 2003 cartoon is even more closer to the Mirage comics in the story of April. She's once again working with Baxter Stockman developing mouser robots. The April look is updated for the new generation, wearing clothes seen as trendy for the 2000s generation of kids. Unlike the original toon, April can fight in martial arts a little thanks to Splinter's training. She is not helpless, and does not get kidnapped regularly. In one episode, in a funny twist, April actually wears the yellow jumpsuit, pretending to be a news reporter. This happens in "Secret Origins: Part 3".
In the videogames, April appears in most of them. However, she is normally the one the turtles have to rescue, and is only a playable character in a few of the games. She appears a selectable fighter in Sega Genesis' version of the beat 'em up game "TMNT: Tournament Fighters", however, she looks nothing like the cartoon version from the 90s. She is playable again in "TMNT: Mutant Melee" in a Tournament Fighters update for the 2003 cartoon.
Back to Character Profiles