The Foot Clan is a fictional ninjutsu clan in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and all related media. It is led by the Shredder. The Foot Clan was originally a parody of the criminal ninja clan the Hand in the Daredevil comics. In addition to the obvious similarity in their names, both clans originate from Feudal Japan, practice ninjutsu and black magic, and are now powerful global organized crime rings who are familiar with multiple illegal activities such as; drug smuggling, counterfeiting of money, gunrunning, murder, assassination, computer hacking, theft, and terrorism.
The Foot Clan's origins are expanded on in the second season of the series. The clan was founded in 512 A.D. in Japan by a master martial artist named Koga Takuza, who used the swords of his fallen foes to forge a helmet stronger than steel, dubbing it the Kuro Kabuto. The Kabuto helmet is a symbol of the leader of the Foot Clan, passed down to the various rulers in the Foot's history. The Foot Clan would end up in a lengthy war against the Hamato Clan, which reached a boiling point when Oroku Saki was raised alongside Hamato Yoshi. Though the two were raised as brothers, Saki discovered his true heritage as being an orphaned Foot Clan member, and when his love Tang Shen wed Yoshi, he inadvertently killed Shen leaving Yoshi to perish while saving his infant daughter Hamato Miwa. Saki rose in the ranks to become the leader of the Foot Clan, tutoring several worthy pupils such as world-famous martial arts star Chris Bradford (who would later be mutated into Dogpound and later Rahzar) and Brazilian street thug Xever Montes (who would later be mutated into Fishface) and sharing business with business partners such as Russian arms dealer Ivan Steranko, Chinese-American Purple Dragons leader Hun, and Italian mafia boss Don Vizioso. In this series, the Foot Clan is a global ninjutsu clan answering only to the Shredder, though others run the various factions of the Foot Clan across the globe.
Shredder commanded the Foot from Japan until he learned that Yoshi was training his own ninjas in New York City, and moved his inner clan there with the objective of finding and killing Yoshi and his students. However, Shredder, Karai (a renamed Miwa), Dogpound, Fishface, and their reluctant new conscript, former TCRI inventor Baxter Stockman, fail time and again to do so. Karai learned of the Kraang, an alien race responsible for the mutations of Splinter and the Turtles, who are secretly plotting to conquer and terraform Earth, but Shredder dismisses them until he captures one himself and learns from it that the Turtles guard April O'Neil, whose half-Kraang genetics were need for their invasion. After another failed attempt to kill the Turtles, Shredder allies the Foot Clan with the Kraang, as they share a mutual enemy in the Hamato Clan.
In the second season, Shredder left the New York clan under Karai's command, citing urgent business to attend to in Japan. Karai, having been lied to by Shredder to believe that Splinter killed Tang Shen (believing herself to be Saki and Shen's child), uses her new position to aggressively hunt the Hamato Clan until her father's return. Shredder reshuffles the Foot Clan's hierarchy upon his return, installing mutated Japanese mercenary Tiger Claw as his new second-in-command and stripping Karai of the position, though Tiger Claw was briefly trapped in various other dimensions before eventually returning to the fold. Baxter Stockman was later mutated into Stockman-Fly upon his mutagen collar being set off by Shredder for his 74th attempt at making a mutant army for him. However, having been told of her true nature by Splinter and the Turtles, Karai betrayed her father, and when she was brought before him, he admitted that she was Splinter and Tang Shen's biological daughter and imprisons her. The Foot Clan would on one notable occasion be fully mobilized when the Kabuto was stolen by professional thief Anton Zeck on behalf of Steranko. Karai was soon used in a hasty plan to gain vengeance on Splinter by Shredder, resulting in her mutation into a snake-like mutant (though she went back in forth to an additional chemical that Stockman-Fly accidentally added), further strengthening the violent split between the Foot Clan and the Hamato Clan.
As a result, Shredder opted to aid the Kraang in their invasion of New York and the Earth, dismissing the likelihood that the Kraang will turn on him. In exchange for their aid in taking New York, Kraang Prime promised to cure Karai of her mutation. The invasion was successful, and though Leonardo defeated the majority of his men in battle, Shredder critically wounded him and was able to finally defeat Splinter, having lost to him on several prior occasions.
In the third season, Shredder reveals that they will betray the Kraang and has the entire clan search for Karai before learning that Splinter had survived but lost his memory. It was returned to him by April when she, the Turtles and Casey Jones came to rescue him and she used her physic Kraang powers to bring Splinter to his senses. Shredder later mutated Anton Zeck into Bebop and Ivan Steranko into Rocksteady for Anton's theft of the Kuro Kabuto and Ivan's hunting of Karai. When the two of them tried to attack Shredder in retaliation, Shredder beat them up and told them to either serve him or fall at hand. Ivan and Anton agreed to Shredder's terms....for now. Following a fight with the Turtles, Rocksteady and Bebop successfully captured Serpent Karai and brought her to the Shredder. After the Kraang were defeated and driven back to their home dimension by the Turtles and the Mighty Mutanimals, the balance of power over the Manhattan underworld is shifted over to the Foot Clan. This was done for Shredder by gaining control over the Purple Dragon and other Asian gangs through Hun (and possibly Tiger Claw), several South American gangs through Fishface, the Russian Mafia through Rocksteady, and the Italian Mafia through Don Vizioso. By using this power, Shredder had these crime groups aid him with collecting various chemicals from a chemical company called Aumen, an abandoned Kraang lab and Vizioso for a mind control serum that he planned to create and use on the Turtles, the Mutanimals and Karai. The Foot were also served on at least two occasions by a trio of mutants created from the Shredder's DNA and that of several crustaceans, but these were later destroyed after being fused into the so-called "Mega Shredder."
The Foot later formed an unlikely alliance with Splinter and the Turtles to deal with the threat of the Triceraton's Black Hole Generator, only for Shredder to violate the truce and murder Splinter before he could deactivate the device. As a result, the device went off, and all the Foot Clan members were drawn into the black hole along with the entirety of Earth's population-with the exception of April, Casey, and the Turtles-and the planet itself. Due to the Fugitoid using a device on his ship at the start of the fourth season, time was reset to six months before the Triceraton invasion so that the Turtles, April, and Casey could prevent the Triceratons from assembling the Black Hole Generator. The heroes later teamed with their past selves to save the Earth, during which they were able to alert Splinter to Shredder's murderous intent, leading to a duel between Splinter and Shredder. Splinter achieved victory, but Tiger Claw recovered his master and warned that the Foot Clan would return.
The Foot Clan also has a variation in their soldiers:
- In the early episodes, human Foot Ninjas are used. The Foot Soldiers wear black suits and masks. The masks appear to have bug-like eyes and have the Foot Clan logo on it (similar to the outfits worn by the Foot Ninjas from the 90's films). The Foot Ninjas seem to never talk. Each of the Foot Ninjas fight with staffs, shurikens, katanas, Naginata, Tonfa, and nunchucks. The Foot Ninja recruits are trained at Chris Bradford's dojos.
- In Season Two, the Foot Clan gains Foot-Bots that resemble the Foot Ninjas, but are robotic and were created by the Kraang to strengthen the Foot Clan. The Foot-Bots can adapt to every ninja moves and skills. During the Turtles' fight with the Foot Bots, the Turtles had to do unpredictable moves and skills to defeat them. The Foot-Bots later got upgraded with two extra retractable arms with weapons protruding from where the hands would be and with retractable fabric wings that give them gliding abilities. For some unknown reason during that time, the Foot-Bots appeared more than the normal Foot Ninjas.