While I grew up watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a (90s) kid, I could never get their names and colours straight. The only thing I knew for certain was that there was a Leonardo in the mix, as well as a Michelangelo who liked pizza.
Besides that, I couldn’t for the life of me remember the other two names, which Ninja Turtle was which, and any of their colours, even though I’m sure I’d watched enough episodes to catch on.
For those who just want a TL;DR cheat sheet on the names to colours, here it is:
- Blue Ninja Turtle name: Leonardo
- Orange Ninja Turtle name: Michelangelo
- Purple Ninja Turtle name: Donatello
- Red Ninja Turtle name: Raphael
Names sound familiar? Can sense there’s a theme to these names but can’t quite put a finger on the naming convention?
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were each named after a different Italian Renaissance artist.
Leonardo was named after Leonardo da Vinci.
Michelangelo after Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (known best as simply Michelangelo).
Donatello was named after Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (better known as Donatello).
And Raphael was named after Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (better known as Raphael).
For those who want a little more information on each ninja turtle, so they can keep track of the characters better when they watch the series, or figure out who was likely to have said and done what in an episode, keep reading.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Names, Colours, & Character Descriptions
Leonardo: The Blue Ninja Turtle
Leonardo also goes by “Leo” and he’s the oldest Ninja Turtle. He’s also the leader of the group.
He has a lot of weapons: two swords, a shoto, a katana, and smoke bombs as well.
He’s second in command after the master, Splinter.
Personality-wise he’s disciplined ad dependable. He’s quiet and level-headed. Leonardo is very courageous, doesn’t show weakness, and as a result, is incredibly good in battle.
Because he’s so responsible, he often butts heads with Raphael, the Ninja Turtle who’s the most rebellious.
Raphael: The Red Ninja Turtle
Raphael also goes by “Ralph” and is a middle child Ninja Turtle.
He’s got multiple weapons as well: the Twin Sai, a ninja glider, a grappling hook, and smoke bombs like Leonardo.
Raphael has a New York accent a lot of times.
In terms of personality, Raphael is the bad boy. He’s rebellious, and gets into fights often. He’s pretty aggressive, much more so than the other Turtles.
He has an incredibly strong-willed personality, but does have a sense of humour. In terms of humour he uses sarcasm most often, then as a second, sometimes deadpan humour.
When he goes rogue, which does happen reasonably often, he’ll get himself into trouble, and his brothers – the other Ninja Turtles – always come to his rescue to help.
While he is rebellious, he’s also very loyal to his brothers and to his sensei.
Donatello: The Purple Ninja Turtle
Donatello goes by “Don” or “Donnie” when it comes to nicknames. He’s the second middle child Ninja Turtle, along with Raphael.
His weapons are the Bostaff, a ninja glider, a grappling hook, a naginata, and smoke bombs – so he uses the same weapons as Raphael, except he has the Bosaff instead of the Twin Sai.
Donatello is the smartest Ninja Turtle. He’s an inventor, an engineer, a scientist at heart and a technological genius.
He’s considered to be the second Ninja Turtle in command after Leonardo and he’s a very able fighter, but he’s probably the least violent of all the turtles.
He’s likely closest of all the Ninja Turtles to being a ninja master because of how skilled he is at the ninjutsu disciplines. Yet although he has skill, he prefers to use his head to solve problems and conflicts, rather than physical force.
He’s very loyal to his brothers and is quick to defend them.
Michelangelo: The Orange Ninja Turtle
He goes by “Mikey” or “Mike” and is the youngest Ninja Turtle.
His weapons are Dual Nunchucks.
He has a Southern Californian accept often.
In terms of personality, he’s fun, entertaining, easy-going, relaxed, goofy, humourous, laid back, carefree and pretty darn cool.
He’s a free spirit with a “surfer dude” vibe, who can be pretty mischievous, but in a jokester, light-hearted kind of way.
He’s the one best known for his love of pizza.
He’s pretty adventurous as well, and while he’s the least mature of the Turtles, this makes sense seeing as how he’s the youngest.
He’s probably the most popular, well-loved Ninja Turtle, and he’s highly memorable, which I’m guessing is a lot of the reason he’s the only Ninja Turtle whose name I even remembered.
Your Thoughts on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Names?
Did you stumble across this article because – for the life of you – you couldn’t remember the names of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?
Did you know their names, but got mixed up when it came to their colours?
When you watched the Ninja Turtles, who was your favourite? Which Ninja Turtle did you like the least?
Love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!