Finding phrases that match the syllable stress pattern of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Have you seen this tool that makes any phrase into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles logo?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles logo generator


Just type any words in, and MAGICALLY your words transform into the TMNT logo. It’s incredible. I love it love it love it.

Here’s Super Duper Fun Potatoes.

Super Duper Fun Potatoes logo in style of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles logo

Why does this incredible tool exist?

This tool came about because of an xkcd comic strip where author Randall Munroe takes the syllable stress pattern of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and comes up with other names like:

  • Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
  • Asian Human Rights Commission
  • San Diego City Council
  • Single Payer Health Insurance
  • Spotted Giant Flying Squirrel
  • Women Science Fiction Authors

All these phrases can be sung to the tune of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song.

Freaking hilarious.

Want to come up with your own names?

But they gotta match the same Syllable Stress Pattern as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I really stink at determining which syllable in a word has the emphasis. It should seem obvious, right? But sometimes it isn’t.

Like the word, sometimes. Is it SOMEtimes or someTIMES? I could really go with either.

Head over to Cambridge Dictionary, and type in your word, sometimes. See that ever so faint apostrophe at the start of the word?

dictionary syllable emphasis of the word sometimes

That means the first syllable is stressed. So it’s SOMEtimes. But now you gotta do that with ALL four words in your phrase. ugh.

Let’s look at the syllable stress pattern for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I looked up each word, and this is the result:
ˈtinˌ eɪdʒ / ˈmyut  nt / ˈdʒɪn  dʒɑ / ˈtɜr  tl

The pattern is: XxXxXxXx. Thus, it’s a simple 12121212. It alternates: Stress, No stress, Stress, No Stress, Stress, No Stress, Stress, No Stress.

And now let’s look up my initial phrase, Super Duper Fun Potatoes.
ˈsu·pər / ˈdu·pər / ‘fʌn / pəˈteɪ·t̬oʊ, -t̬ə

It matches the pattern! But that was a lot of work.

I’d like an online tool where you enter four words, and then it will tell if you those four words match the syllable stress pattern as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

If your four words don’t match, then the tool will look up synonyms for each of the four words, and then give you the resulting phrases that match the syllable stress pattern.


Other ideas to make this tool even more incredible:

  1. Bulk search, manual
    You manually build your own list of four-word phrases. Then you would bulk-enter that list into this tool. Then it would test all your phrases to see if any of those match.
  2. Bulk search, automatic
    Instead of finding your own bulk list. Maybe you could select entire fields like movie titles. Or tv shows. Or Wikipedia article titles. Or song titles that have appear in the top 100 music charts. The system will find all the phrases/names with 8 syllables. And then it determines which ones match the same pattern as TMNT.
  3. Change the phrase to be matched
    Instead of matching to “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, maybe you want to match to “Purple People Eater” or “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”

All of this to find more phrases to sing to the song of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Yeah, that would be cool.

A big THANK YOU to @ryanjamesboyle for sharing this tool with me today.

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4 years ago

This is so great.

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