Ninja Turtle Names – What are the Names of the Ninja Turtles?

If you are new to the arena of crime fighting anthropomorphic turtles then you may be curious as to which one is which and how they got their names.  The names are from four Renaissance artists that Splinter found in a book.  They are Donatello, Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo.

Ninja Turtles’ Names

Here is a closer look at each one, along with their names, so that you will know how to tell them apart.


Ninja Turtle Names - DonatelloDonatello is also known as Donnie or just Don.  He is the turtle who sports a purple mask.  Donnie is the scientist – engineer – inventor and all around tech guru of the group.  That doesn’t mean that he can’t fight though.  He wields a weapon know as a bo staff and while he is the least violent in the bunch he does have his moments.


Ninja Turtle Names - RaphaelMany times you will hear this turtle called Raph.  He is known as the bad boy turtle with the red mask.  This is the one who doesn’t hesitate to throw a punch and has a nature that is extremely aggressive as well as rebellious.  Generally he has a New York accent.  Personality wise he is sarcastic, fierce and has a sense of humor that is totally deadpan.  The only loyalty that he has is to Splinter and the other turtles.  His weapon of choice is a pair of sais (pronounced “size”).


Ninja Turtle Names - MichelangeloMichelangelo goes by Mikey or Mike.  He is the easy to get along with jokester and serves as a bit of contrast to the more serious Raphael.  A fun-loving and free-spirited turtle who has an affinity for his orange mask.  He uses nunchakus and is the youngest of the turtles.  He is sometimes depicted as idolizing Raphael. Generally he has a SoCal-style accent with a creative and adventurous side.


Ninja Turtle Names - LeonardoLeo is the leader of the turtles and a devoted aficionado of martial arts.  He has a blue mask and his weapons of choice are two swords. The type of swords appear to be the subject of some debate. IN earlier renditions they appear to be katanas (curved swords, which samurai were known to use). However, in more recent versions his swords are generally straight, which is more in line with the shorter swords generally used by feudal era ninjas; In ninja movies, they are referred to as ninjato or ninjaken, but there is little/no evidence that ninjas actually used such swords. Rather, they are likely to be loosely based on the short swords ninjas were known to use (wakizashi or chokutō type swords). Leonardo is also the oldest of the turtles, as well as the team leader.

Ninja Turtle Names Explained

Anyone with a basic understanding of European history will realize that the Ninja Turtle names are based on famous European artists. An interesting note, Michelangelo’s name was originally misspelled as Michaelangelo. This mistake would finally be changed in 2001.

See all TMNT character bios here