This Viral Internet Moment Is Back in Time for ‘TMNT: Mutant Mayhem’

The Big Picture

  • Jonathan Ware, the viral “I like turtles” kid, has made a comeback by saying those three words in support of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
  • Ware’s iconic phrase from nearly two decades ago became a battle cry of a generation and is now being recreated to review Mutant Mayhem.
  • The movie follows the four pizza-loving, crime-fighting turtles as they try to win over New Yorkers and take on a dangerous crime syndicate with the help of their new friend April.

Back in the early 2000s, a child named Jonathan Ware became a viral sensation following his memorable “I like turtles” declaration. Ware might have made his iconic entrance into memedom nearly two decades ago, but his legacy is still thriving. Sixteen years later, he has once more donned the memorable zombie face paint and uttered those three words. This time, Ware makes his statement in support of the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem movie that releases on August 2.

If you’re unfamiliar with the turtle loving zombie kid (now adult), well, you basically know the gist now. Ware first made his way onto the internet following a very brief yet hilarious interview during a fair in Portland, Oregon. During the live interview, reporter Nancy Francis asks Ware his thoughts on his zombie face paint, to which he replied, “I like turtles.” Throughout the years, the phrase became one of many battle cries of a generation. The recreation is almost verbatim what happened all those years ago (with matching news banners to boot), only this time he was offering his three-word review of Mutant Mayhem.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem brings the pizza-loving, crime-fighting quad of turtles back to the big screen. The feature follows Michaelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, and Leonardo as they re-emerge into the human world years after being sheltered. They venture out to the streets of New York, where they are determined to win over New Yorkers and prove that while they might be turtles, they just normal teenagers. They even work to take on a dangerous crime syndicate (you know, normal teen stuff) with the help of their new friend April. However, the group quickly realizes it won’t be such an easy feat.

Jonathan Ware aka Zombie Kid recreates his famous
Image via Paramount

RELATED: The ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Are Getting a Sequel and a Paramount+ Series


Who Worked on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem?

The latest addition to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise was written by duo Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg alongside Jeff Rowe, Dan Hernandez, and Benji Samit. It was directed by Rowe and will mark his first primary directing credit following co-directing The Mitchells vs the Machines. The star-studded voice cast includes Sharon Brown Jr. as Mikey, Micah Abbey as Donnie, Brady Noon as Raph, Nicolas Cantu as Leonard, Ice Cube as Superfly, Ayo Edebiri as April, Seth Rogen, Jackie Chan, John Cena, Paul Rudd, Rose Byrne, Post Malone, Hannibal Buress, Natasia Demetriou, Maya Rudolph, and Giancarlo Esposito.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem releases August 2 in theaters. Check out Jonathan’s legendary return to his meme roots below:

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