Raphael is consistently portrayed as the most aggressive out of all four turtles. Despite his hot tempered personality, he is kind hearted and feels a soft spot for people in need. However he holds an animosity towards the police, believing that they should have done more to stop neighbourhood kids from messing with his bins and would take the law into his own hands to help others even at the cost of compromising his family's presence in the city.
Raphael is a master of ninjutsu and stealth due to his ninja training. His training has also given him Olympic-level athletic skill, speed, agility and strength. He is also a master of Kobudo and his twin sai. His sarcastic/quick-tempered personality gives him added aggression in battle. He is a master baiter of his enemies.
Raphael wields twin sai as his primary weapon, although historically, sai were never used by ninja as the sai is a Kobudo weapon originating in Okinawa. In the Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation series, his sai stick together to make a staff-like weapon.
In the original comics Raphael was shown to be the most aggressive, violent, and competitive of the turtles.
It is Raphael who is sent to issue a challenge to the Shredder by Splinter, and as he infiltrates Oroku Saki's security business, he kills several thugs and leaves stains on the carpet. It is clear that he is the most aggressive, going as far as to kill more Foot Soldiers in the battle against the Shredder than any other turtle. The turtles return to their sewer home after Shredder is killed.
When the turtles rescue April O'Neil, who is an assistant to Mouser developer Baxter Stockman, it is Raphael who knocks him unconcious. After Stockman has the Mousers destroy his building, the turtles return home to find destroyed Mousers and Splinter missing, April invites them back to her house.
In the earliest black-and-white Mirage Comics, Raphael was the most violent turtle and had a tendency for going berserk either in battle or when his temper flared up. He has a somewhat cynical and sarcastic sense of humor. In later issues, it's shown that he is not particularly fond of "Supernatural," stating it up front in Tales of Raphael: Bad Moon Rising.
Raphael mellowed somewhat as the series went on. Possibly a key moment for his character development was when he allowed Leonardo to go in alone to defeat the Shredder after nearly killing the Shredder himself in issue #21 of Volume 1. Since then, he has been less likely to challenge Leonardo's leadership, and on the whole is more friendly towards his family and allies.
By volume 4, Raphael was bitten by vampires, causing a second mutation to his body and transforming him to a large, dinosaurlike reptile.
Of his three brothers, Raphael is closest to Michelangelo, even having stated it in the fourth issue of the original TMNT comics. Raphael often shows a caring, more laid-back, side of himself when around his youngest brother, frequently indulging the younger turtle emotionally when at home and ferociously protecting him from harm when in battle. Raphael openly admits that the mere thought of his youngest brother being grievously injured causes him to experience violent rage. In his self-titled one-shot micro series, Raphael met human vigilante Casey Jones, his foil, who was even more violent and unstable than he was. Despite their brutal first meeting, the two have since formed a close bond.
Raphael also sees, and admits to himself, that April O'Neil was his mother figure. A brief story in the future even has him with a robot April, given to him by Donatello.
In the 1987 animated series, Raphael is more sarcastic and witty as opposed to being angry and sullen. The show's theme song describes him as "cool but crude", as opposed to being angry and sullen as in other versions. Raphael is a sarcastic wise-guy, and supplies comic relief alongside Michaelangelo, whose humor is usually attributed to his ignorance and spaciness. As a result, Michaelangelo is the subject of Raphael's jokes more than any other Turtle. He frequently makes jokes that break the fourth wall.
This incarnation of Raphael is entirely different from other variations and has a far less confrontational relationship with his friends and fellow Turtles. The most striking example with this is his lack of a rivalry with Leonardo. Raphael has no desire to steal anyone's thunder or become a leader; he's perfectly content providing the wittiest of the cartoon's jokes, making him the official comic relief of the team. He also serves as Leonardo's foil; whenever Leonardo shouts a heroic line, Raphael would quickly add in a sarcastic retort. Whereas Leonardo would jump in to help people, Raphael would be more reluctant and if Leonardo's plan backfired he would challenge Leonardo to reconsider and re-evaluate the plan by saying "Now what, fearless leader" rather than saying this to steal Leonardo's role as leader. Raphael was closest to Michelangelo in this series, most apparent when he hesitated to attack a robot Michelangelo because of the uncanny resemblance.
In the Season 4 episode Raphael Knocks 'em Dead, Raphael was being a comedian for a comedy club while investigating, but he gets kidnapped and the Turtles later rescue him.
In the Season 4 episode Raphael Meets His Match, Raphael was paired off with a mysterious mutant female named Mona Lisa, who in the eyes of some fans, might have been considered as a potential girlfriend for Raphael. Despite following the Turtles back to New York City, Mona Lisa was never seen again. On the counterpart, Ninjara (see below, in Archie Comics), really was Raphael's girlfriend.
In the season 5 episode Raphael VS the Volcano, due to a malfunction in Donatello's Healthometer, Raphael was convinced that he soon was going to die and decided to end his life as a hero named the "Green Defender," saving people from dangers and stopping criminals when he thought he had nothing to lose. When the Healthometer malfunction was discovered, the other Turtles found his farewell note and tracked him down to tell him he wasn't going to die.
The Archie Comics series was titled "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures" and began as a direct adaptation of the popular cartoon series in the late eighties. As the series began to take on a life of its own, Raphael changed his costume, donning a black bodysuit he got while fighting on Stump Arena (As opposed to his usual red bandanna and pads), which he claimed was more appropriate for a ninja, as well as a way for him to express his individuality. Raph eventually discarded this uniforn and went back to the usual mask and belt, after it showed no real function. He disliked having to travel in Cudly the cowlick's mouth.
Raphael formed a relationship with the fox warrior Ninjara who became his girlfriend in this Archie-comics series, but broke up in the end over personal disagreements.
In the future, Raphael will marry a humanoid cayote named Mezcaal and run a restaurant together called Turtle Island.
As opposed to his cartoon counterpart at the time, this Raph showed the same hothead and abrassiveness he had in the movies.
Comin Out of Our Shells
Raph was the lead vocalist, who also played drums and tenor saxophone in the stage show.
In the first feature film, Raphael was portrayed by Josh Pais, both in the suit and the voice. Josh Pais is a native lower east side New Yorker, a natural to voice and also portray Raphael under the 80+lb costume. He described the headpiece with all of its noisy motors like, "Grand Central station at rush hour with a tin can on your head."
In the fourth film, he was voiced by Nolan North. In these films he behaved more like the Raphael of the comics rather than the cartoon at the time. In the films, he is still angry and occasionally goes off by himself in the second movie, but has a soft spot for the young people the team meets. It is also shown that he has an appreciation for nature as it appears to calm him.
One night while heading home from work, news reporter April O'Neil is attacked by a band of juveniles working for The Foot. Raphael throws his sai at the streetlight to cut off the section's source of light. While in the shadows, Raphael and his brothers attack and defeat the delinquents, and they also tie them up just in time for police to round them up.
Raphael though lost one of his sai, the one he had thrown, which he forgot on the ground. Luckily for him, April picked it up herself and put it in her bag. The turtles then retreated into the sewers back to their home. There they notified Splinter of their first battle against the recent crime wave. After a short speech about the way of the ninja, Raphael admits he lost one of his sai, but refuses to let it go. Instead he wishes to get it back, although Splinter says otherwise. For a second, he got into a shoving fight with Donatello, until it was stopped by Splinter.
Splinter then suggests meditation, in which the turtles begin to dance to some music instead, except for Raphael. He gets his disguise, which was a trenchcoat and a hat, and heads off to go to a movie. He goes to the theater and watches the film Critters, which he didn't like too much. On his way home, he encounters two teenagers robbing a purse. He trips them and returns the purse to the victim, as he scares the teenagers into running off. He follows them though.
As he follows them into the park, he encounters another vigilante by the name of Casey Jones who has also been upset by the recent crime wave. The two get into a fight with Casey's weapons, which are actually accessories used in sports, and eventually Raphael is knocked back into a trash can. Jones runs off, and Raphael tries to pursue him but fails. He returns home angry, where he is met by Splinter again. He then receives another lecture.
The next day April appears on the news interviewing the chief of police regarding the recent crime wave. Figuring out the reporter's location from the interview, Raphael heads to the police station to wait for her, hoping to retrieve his lost weapon. After she finishes with her interview, April heads into the subway station secretly followed by Raphael. April just misses her subway train, and she frustratedly decides to wait on the next one when a gang of Foot ninjas jump her. She attempts to defend herself with Raphael's sai, which she had been carrying in her purse, but is easily disarmed. The sai is sent flying and April is knocked unconscious. Raphael retrieves his sai from where it landed and is able to defeat April's attackers. Using a speeding subway car to cover his escape he carries her through the subway tunnel to his home. A Foot ninja secretly follows Raphael and is able to discover the Turtle's hideout.
He receives negative feedback from his brothers and Splinter for bringing a human into their lair, but he is nodded at for saving her life. When April awakens, she is frightened by Splinter and the turtles, but when she is finally calmed down, Splinter tells her of their past. The turtles then walk April home, since it was getting late. They lead her through the sewers and eventually take her up the correct manhole. She then invites them all into her apartment for some pizza.
Later on, During a broadcast on live television, April expresses her gratitude to Raphael for saving her. Raphael is somewhat embarrassed and teased by his brother Donatello, but soon their argument ceases when he tosses a sai between Donatello's legs. Raphael then tells Leonardo that he wants to go out there and find Splinter, instead of waiting for something to come to them. They argue and then Raphael leaves to the rooftops to blow off some steam.
While there, he is jumped by many of The Foot ninjas. Because of Danny, their location had once again been revealed. Raphael then holds his own against the many ninjas for a short while, before being defeated and pummeled. After taking many hits, he is rendered unconscious and thrown through the window into the antique shop below. He can do nothing as his brothers fight The Foot to protect April and his unconscious body.
Across the rooftops, Casey Jones had spotted Raphael being jumped, and so he went over to help. He arrived in the middle of the battle, and helped out the turtles greatly. He managed to buy them enough time to get everyone out, including himself. Casey then drove April and the turtles to April's abandoned old house in the countryside. The turtles had suffered their first real defeat, and April had lost her apartment.
The turtles tried to recover from their loss by relaxing and honing their skills in the farmlands. Raphael was still unconscious, and the turtles had put him in a bathtub to stay hydrated. When he awoke, he was greeted by Leonardo, who apologized for the way he'd acted before. Raphael and Leonardo reconciled and hugged, only giving Donatello an opportunity to make a joke. Finally, the turtles were four again.
Later on, after the mist cleared, more Foot ninjas stormed in, and the battle continued. The turtles gained the upperhand and drove the Foot out of the sewers and into the streets. Eventually the battle led up through the fire escape of a building until they reached the rooftop. There they brawled with the last of the Foot ninjas and defeated them. Just when they thought victory was theirs, the Shredder came down and introduced himself to the turtles.
After a few quick jokes from Michelangelo and Donatello, Raphael took his turn against Shredder. He charged him but was easily tripped and knocked to the ground. The other turtles then took their turns and also failed. They tired out and then regrouped to try and make a gameplan. Leonardo then realized that the Shredder knew where Splinter was, and so the four turtles all charged Shredder, one by one. After Shredder had beaten all four turtles it was Raphael who ask Shredder "Where's Splinter?" Shredder upon realizing who they were asking for, reviled that he had order Splinter's death. This sent Leonardo into a rage and he charged Shredder head-on. When Leo was pinned down, Shredder order the other three turtles to throw there weapons aside in exchange for there brother's life. though they were reluctant to do so, Raph was the first to do so. Splinter later reviel himself just as Shredder was about to kill Leonardo. After a Splinter defeat Shredder and avenged his beloved master Hamato Yoshi, the four ninja brothers ran to the adopted father's side with Raphael embracing him.
At the start of the 2007, CGI sequel TMNT, Raphael, growing increasingly frustrated and violent, has become a masked vigilante, the Nightwatcher, going to the surface at night and fighting crime in a very brutal fashion. When Leonardo returns from Central America he confronts him in his Nightwatcher disguise, and toys with Raphael who, using the manriki, is not a match for Leonardo. Leonardo knocks off his helmet with an uppercut and then, seeing its Raphael, starts to lecture him. He and Leonardo then come to blows and, in a bout of focused rage, he breaks Leonardo's katanas and pins him to the ground, his sai striking an inch from his brother's head. Leo's staring causes him to snap out of it and retreat. After Leo is kidnapped by the stone Generals and Foot Clan, Raphael attempts to save him, but fails, and returns to the lair, distraught. Here, it's stated that some of his jealousy towards Leonardo is because he was the apparent favored son of Splinter; after Splinter assures him that he is just as valued as all his brothers, he effectively leads the Turtles (joined by Splinter, April and Casey) in a rescue, giving Leo a new pair of swords to replace the ones he destroyed in their fight, effectively passing the baton to his brother and accepting him as leader.
Donatello was also angered by Raphael's personality, complaining that Raph wasn't pulling his weight around and does little to support the family and the team. This was explained earlier in the movie where Don and Raph argued. Like Leonardo, Donatello also disliked the Nightwatcher, because he wasn't sure whose side he was on.
Splinter describes Raphael as passionate, strong, loyal to a fault, and someone who takes on the burdens of the world, who would make a great leader - if he could just control his temper.
In the TMNT movie prequel comics, Raphael becomes the Nightwatcher after failing to save an old man who was once a crime-fighter, and promising to take the man's gear and get his revenge. He starts this career in Harlem, which the comic vividly shows to be full of gangs and other illicit activities. Raphael actively feels that he has a responsibility to help the neighborhood, especially after the old man, David Merryweather, is shot while Raphael is on the phone with Leonardo, who is about to leave on his training pilgrimage. When Raphael admits his mistake to Splinter, his relationship to Michelangelo as an older brother gets a spotlight; Michelangelo, who admires the Nightwatcher and, by proxy, Raphael as a hero, is expressively let down in this scene by the vigilante anti-hero. His time as the Nightwatcher is one of the few during which Raphael uses a different ninjitsu weapon, the manriki: weighted chains that can be concealed in the hands and used from considerable distances. Unlike his sai, the manriki are typically not lethal weapons, though they could crush a skull if used with enough force. In the novelization of the movie, however, Raphael's weapons are incorrectly called bolos, referring to the weapon bolas. He was voiced by Nolan North
Behind the Scenes
- Raphael's height and weight (5', 170 lb.) is considered canon for the films because it is from the T Files, from the DVD special features of the first film.
In the Image series that treated the first two volumes of the Mirage Comics as canonical, Raphael was blasted in the face and disfigured. After that, he wore one of Casey Jones' hockey masks for much of the time, and eventually just an eye patch. Later, Raphael wore Shredder's armor in an attempt to psychologically dominate a number of the New York Mob, with whom the Foot Clan was engaged in a losing gang war. He had accidentally stumbled into a battle between Foot members and these gun-toting Mobsters and was chased right into Shredder's old forge, where he crafted his armor and weapons by hand in Ninja tradition. He donned a slightly variant version of the armor (which had far more blades on the arms than just the two held on the hand by a type of brass knuckle band seen in other versions of the Shredder), and pretended to be the Shredder to get the advantage on his pursuers. He succeeded in defeating them and was then accepted into, and given control of, the New York faction of the Foot Clan for a brief time. The current series produced by Mirage Comics, Volume 4, does not treat the Image series as canon.
The Next Mutation
"Good night, Homie. Dream about babes." (Raph to Andre)
Raph became the rebel of the group, always sparring with Leonardo. It would also mark the first time Raph drives a motorcycle. Though it seemed Raphael despised Venus de Milo the female turtle, the two of them seem to spend a lot of time with each other on the show, though this is usually when they are sparring.
Main article:Raphael (2003 TV Series)
In this series, Raphael has the same personality and short temper that he is known for. He has a small chunk of his front shell missing, leaving the shape of a lightning bolt. On the new ninjaturtles.com, Raphael says that he usually uses his sai as a pair of pizza forks. He also has a un-mutated pet turtle named Spike, who he cares about very much, and will share his feelings with him during major points of his life.
During training, he is pitted up against Donatello, where he tells him to "put down the staff, and no one gets hurt," of which either way Donnie will end up losing. During the series, he frequently made smart-mouthed remarks about his brothers.
In the first episode he is seen in one of his training fights with Donny, who wins by breaking his staff and beating on him until he's down. He then fought Leo, (who beat Mikey in a fight before) and defeated him as well. The turtles are later seen eating a dish Mikey prepared called "Algae and Worms." After the meal Splinter relays the story of how they were transformed (which is fairly different from the other origin stories told in the other series) and agrees after some begging to let the turtles go to the surface. It is here that Raphael scares a Pizza delivery guy, who speeds away on his motorcycle. A pizza falls off of this motorcycle and the turtles take it to the rooftop (and eat it.) Later, the turtles spot April walking down the street with her father, when a van with disguised Kraang leap out the back. Donnatelo leaps into action, and Raphael is next to follow. The fight ends when Don and Mikey end up getting knocked into a pile of trash by the Kraang and they drive away with their hostages.
After this fight the turtles re-enter the sewer and relay the story to Spilnter. Splinter then picks Leonardo (much to Raphael's chagrin) to be leader. They are seen on the rooftops again watching a particular building. Leo believes the kidnapper will come to this building. After a considerable amount of waiting, Raphael tells Leo "The guy's not gonna show!" Almost on cue, the kidnapper pulls up to the building and the chase begins. Leo is able to stop the van by throwing a shuriken at the tire and blowing it up. The turtles go to the kidnapper and Raphael begins to 'interrogate' him. When the kidnapper (who's name is Snake) refuses to talk, Raphael throws him to the pavement and treatens to mutate him with a cannister of Mutagen that fell out of the back of the van when it tire exploded. Snake tells the turtles where the Kraang Headqarters is and the turtles go to scout it out. While Leo, Raph, and Donny argue about the best course of action would be Mikey lets Snake escape. Raph and Leo chase him into an alleyway. Raph and Leo fake an argument and make Snake think that they will drive up to the Kraang headquarters at midnight. The turtles then return to the lair and Raphael talks with his pet turtle, Spike. Mikey spots Raphael doing this however, and Raphael pursues Mikey saying he was going to "slap" him. The turtles make the van crash into the door of the Kraang headquarters and some of the Mutagen from the canister hits Snake, mutating him into a weed creature. The turtles then infiltrate the headquarters, and find the prison area. Donny begins to pick the lock, but Raph shoves him out of the way and begins to stab at the lock wildly with his Sai. This method does work, but the Kraang escort their hostages out a back entrance. Raphael and the other turtles chase the Kraang only to be attacked by the now mutated Snake that Michelangelo bestows the name Snakeweed. Donatello chase after the Kraang who are loading the prisoners into a helicopter. He is able to rescue April, but not her father. After this the turtles return to their lair.
* Cricket? Nobody understands cricket! You gotta know what a crumpet is to understand cricket!
* Why? Why - Oh I don't know, 'cause I wanted to redecorate. You know, a couple of throw pillows, a TV news reporter, what do ya think?
* [chasing Casey Jones] Come back here! I'm not finished with you! DAMN!
* Oh, so that's the plan from great leader, huh? Just sit here on our butts!
* This is stupid. We got the Foot up there with the ooze and we're down here playing Century 21
* Boy, whatever happened to "service with a smile"?
* [to Tatsu] You know, if I had a face like yours, I'd try to make up for it with some sort of personality!
* Yeah, yeah. I was there, Leo, remember? Ol' Shred did a swan dive, with a half gainer, right into the back of a garbage truck!
* Hey, Kid, you gotta control that temper. Did I say that?
* Ahh, nature. I *love* it. Makes me want to, I don't know, migrate or something.
* Fightin's for grown-ups, and that's only if you got no other choice.
* [to Leo] Ok Jungle Boy, grab a vine
* Don't push it, Leo. You can't leave home and come back expectin' us to fall in line again, like your little soldiers.
* [as April and Casey kiss] Typical. We do all the work, he gets all the thanks.
* We live together, we train together, we fight together, we stand for good together. We are ninjas. We strike hard, defend and protect, and fade into the night. And there ain't no bad guy or monster that's gonna ever change that. That's what is important. And that's why we will always be brothers.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003 TV series)
* I'm the only chance you got.
* Leo, tell me you have a Plan C. I'm really hoping you've got a Plan C... Uh fellas, Plan C? NOW?
* I hope there are more of those guys. I'm just getting warmed up.
* Great. Just great!
* I call this a successful field test, wouldn't you Leo? YEE- HAA!
* I say we head over to Stoptronics and kick some serious shell!
* Wait; I wanna hear him hit the bottom.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012 TV series)
* We're not kung fu frogs. We're Ninja Turtles!
* Are you an idiot? Wait, let me rephrase that. YOU'RE AN IDIOT!
* Now you could turn out handsome like me, or you could turn out disgusting and deformed, like Mikey here.
* That wasn't very silent, Leo!
- Gender: Male
- Origin: Hebrew
- Meaning: God has healed
- Pronunciation: (rah fye EL)
Raphael is also the name used when referring to Renaissance Italian painter Raphael Santi or Sanzio. One of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was named after him.