Teenage Mutant Ninja Noses

Teenage Mutant Ninja Noses

Part of a series on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. [View Related Entries]

Updated Jun 26, 2012 at 07:57PM EDT by Don.

Added Oct 18, 2011 at 03:22PM EDT by Don.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Noses is a photoshop meme that involves drawing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles mask over the tip of the subject’s nose, typically in photographs of celebrities.


The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise began as a comic book in 1984 before its TV adaptation into a cartoon show in 1987. In addition to the comic book and cartoon series, the franchise spawned several films, a merchandise line and an anime series. The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Noses” (TMNN) Tumblr[1] page was created on October 2nd, 2011. The first image featured on the blog was a photo of a child with drawings on his face, including a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle mask on his nose.


On October 17th, 2011, examples from the TMNN Tumblr were published to various blogs including Gothamist[4], BuzzFeed[3] and Laughing Squid.[5] The same day, a thread was posted to the r/tress[8] marijuana enthusiast subreddit titled “Teenage Mutant Ninja Noses”, which included an edited TMNN image of James Franco (shown below, left). The post received over 2,250 up votes and 40 comments prior to being archived. On October 18th, TMNN examples were posted on the blogs Gawker[2], UpRoxx[7], Funny or Die[11] and Kottke.[6] On October 19th, the Internet humor blog Geeks of Doom[13] published a post titled “Must See: Teenage Mutant Ninja Noses”, which featured an image of the pop star Justin Bieber wearing several ninja noses with different colors (shown below, right).

On November 1st, Time[12] magazine published a blog post titled “Tumblr of the Week: Teenage Mutant Ninja Noses”, noting that the drawing technique worked well on nearly any nose. On November 16th, the TMNN[10] blog published a post titled “So It Ends…”, which announced that the blog had completed its mission to “shine a spotlight on God’s noses” and would no longer be updated. The blog published a total of 117 posts prior to shutting down. On December 20th, the copycat blog “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Noses”[14] was launched, which reposted many of the images from the original TMNN blog.

Notable Derivatives

Face Paint

Shortly after the original Tumblr was created, photos of people with ninja noses painted on their faces began circulating online. On October 27th, 2011, an animated GIF of a woman with a painted nose (shown below, middle) was submitted to the /r/gifs[9] subreddit by user ecky--ptang-zooboing, which received over 1,300 up votes prior to being archive.

On October 29th, YouTuber saraparker uploaded a video titled “Teenage Mutant Ninja Noses – Last-Minute Halloween Costumes”, instructing viewers on how to paint the turtle on to their own nose.

Search Interest

Search query volume for “teenage mutant ninja noses” rose significantly in October of 2011, the same month the Tumblr blog was launched.

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