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TMNT: Mutant Mayhem's Training Montage Song Ties The Film To Scarface & South Park

This article contains spoilers for "TMNT: Mutant Mayhem."

When you need to show someone getting very good at a complicated skill in a short amount of time, nothing helps more than a montage. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem" joins the proud action movie tradition by giving audiences a flashback sequence showing its titular turtles going through some training under the tutelage of Master Splinter (voiced by Jackie Chan). While that training simply shows the kids watching karate movies and Paul Li tapes and then applying what they learn, the high octane song propelling their growth underscores their skill, and that of their sensei. 

If the music sounds familiar, that's because what you're hearing is "Scarface (Push it to the Limit)." Co-written by Oscar winner Giorgio Moroder, the song debuted in the 1983 film of the same name over a montage in which Tony Montana (Al Pacino) becomes the king of the Miami cocaine trade. It also later appeared over a set of clips featuring Eric Cartman (Trey Parker) competing in the Special Olympics in the "South Park" episode "Up the Down Steroid" — though in Eric's case he flounders while trying each athletic contest, making it kind of an anti-training montage.

And the connections between the Paul Engemann-sung tune and the entertainment world don't stop there. "Scarface (Push it to the Limit)" is a frequent favorite among montage-happy producers, and its appearance in "TMNT: Mutant Mayhem" is just the tip of the iceberg. 

'Push it to the Limit' has popped up in lots of other movies and films

"Scarface (Push it to the Limit)" has popped up in plenty of other films and series since its release, making it shorthand for montages about a character's rise to power. Most prominently, it can be heard over the couch gag from "Teenage Mutant Milk-caused Hurdles," an episode from the 27th Season of "The Simpsons." The couch gag — a parody of '80s action films — shows Homer as a suave "Miami Vice"-like police detective on the beat. The song also shows up in "American Dad" when Roger the Alien (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) trains to become a long distance runner in the Season 19 episode "The Adventures of Twill Ongenbone and His Boy Jabari." 

Unsurprisingly, the had-driving '80s song has also showed up in "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," heard during the episode "Mac's Big Break" in Season 6. "Scarface (Push it to the Limit)" also popped up in the second season of "Stranger Things" while Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) is practicing basketball and was parodied in an episode of "Sonic Boom" with the song "Gotta Go Fast." That's quite a healthy afterlife for a song that was crafted to serve a single film.