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The Pizza Wars are over? TMNT have chosen their favorite pizza (and pizza place)

Ahead of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem's release, the heroes in a half shell have gone all in with Pizza Hut

Image credit: Pizza Hut

What exists between the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and pizza is a love unconditional, a bond unshakable, a symbiosis radical. Though the Turtles ate other foods (and drank beer) in the original comics, the 1987 animated show paired them with pies, beginning a holy union lasting over 36 years. Now, that union moves to the next level, as the TMNT have declared their love for not just all pizza, but one brand in particular.

No one, it seems, can truly out-pizza the Hut.

Ahead of the release of the Turtles' latest big screen outing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, the franchise is partnering with Pizza Hut for a promo campaign so rooted in the world of TMNT, it's practically oozing. For a limited time, Pizza Hut customers in NYC can have pizza delivered to various real subway stations, just like the one where the Turtles make their home.

Along with the Underground Deliveries program, Pizza Hut is rolling out a mobile AR game entitled TMNT: Pizza Power, which virtually weaves classic characters from TMNT universe into players' everyday lives. The Hut has also designed TMNT-themed pizza boxes for delivery, animated specialty TV spots for the partnership, and, according to their official blog, will make a cameo in Mutant Mayhem.

Monumentous as the new campaign may be, it's not the first time that Pizza Hut has summoned Turtle Power. OG fans might remember the Pizza Hut billboards that appear in the background of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: the Arcade Game for NES, released in North America in 1990. Then, when the Turtles toured the country as a live musical act (look it up), it was Pizza Hut that footed the bill. And when the ninja brothers returned to live action in 2014 in the Megan Fox-starring, Michael Bay-directed movie, they did so on a couch made of Pizza Hut boxes and in a van with Pizza Hut logos.

Look back on TMNT's history and you'll see them repping the Hut almost as much as they fight the Foot Clan, with a special attraction to Pizza Hut's 'Big New Yorker' style of pie (t's a little on the nose but, hey, what isn't when you live in a sewer?). However, we'd be remiss if we didn't point out that, in at least one widely-seen example, the TMNT were not entirely brand-loyal.

In the very first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, which hit theaters in 1990, there is a scene in which Mikey orders his favorite food directly to a sewer grate. A pizza delivery person dressed in red and blue shows up, spends a few seconds confusedly trying to determine where to leave the pie, and then is startled when Mikey's voice from underground tells him to "slip it in here," as a ten-doller bill rises from the grate.

The delivery man follows Mikey's orders, giving the audience a clear view of the Domino's pizza logo on the box as he slides it, vertically, into the sewer. When he remarks that the tab is more than $10, Mikey responds somberly: "Forgiveness is Divine, but never pay full price for late pizza."

Maybe the chain and longtime rival of Pizza Hut took the wisecrack personally; since that movie, there have been no TMNT/Domino's partnerships. And with the latest Mutant Mayhem promotional campaign, it looks like there may never be again.

We learned at San Diego Comic Con 2023 that the best-selling TMNT comic The Last Ronin is getting a sequel.

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Grant DeArmitt avatar
Grant DeArmitt: Grant DeArmitt (he/him) likes horror, comics, and the unholy pairing of the two. As Povperses Staff Writer, he crisscroses the pop culture landscape bringing you the news and opinions about the big things (and the next big things). He has written for Nightmare on Film Street and Newsarama, despite their better judgement. He lives in Brooklyn with his partner, Kelsey, and corgi, Legs.
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