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“It’s Just a Mask” is a quote said by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles character Michelangelo as he removes his mask to reveal his face in a rooftop scene from the 2014 live-action adaptation of the comic book and animation series. Following the release of the first official trailer, the scene inspired numerous parody animations in which Michelangelo reveals himself as another fictional character.
On March 27th, 2014, the official trailer for Michael Bay’s upcoming film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was released via YouTube. In the last scene of the trailer, Michelangelo makes a dramatic appearance before his future human ally April O’Neil and tries to reassure the frightened reporter that his bandana is “just a mask” before scaring her even more by revealing his anthropomorphized turtle face (shown below, left). Within two weeks, the trailer received more than 30 million views and 29,000 comments. On the following day, YouTuber AJ Jefferies posted an edited version of the scene in which Michelangelo removes the mask to reveal the head of a ninja turtle from the 1990 live-action film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (shown below, right).
On March 29th, 2014, YouTuber Bowz posted an animated parody of the scene in which Michelangelo reveals himself as the ogre Shrek (shown below, left). In the first ten days, the video gained over 168,000 views and 400 comments. The following day, the video was reuploaded to Newgrounds, where it subsequently won both the “Daily Feature” and “Weekly 5th Place” awards.
On April 5th, YouTuber Ricepirate uploaded a Harry Potter-themed parody (shown below, left) and YouTuber TwistedGrimTV posted a version in which Michelangelo’s face is revealed to be a snapping turtle (shown below, right). In the first week, both videos garnered upwards of 130,000 views and 160 comments.