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A Definitive Ranking of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Ever since the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles burst onto the scene in the ’80s, fans have hotly debated which of the four brothers is best.  If you’re unfamiliar with the Turtles, here’s a quick run down courtesy of Big Bang Theory creator Chuck Lorre:

‘Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines (That’s a fact, Jack!)
Raphael is cool but crude (Gimme a break!)
Michaelangelo is a party dude (Party!)’

In this article I will answer the question once and for all. Here is the definitive ranking of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Close the book, the argument is over.

I’ll start with the best and work my way down:

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 6.08.14 AM.png1. Raphael

Raphael (red headband) is the most skilled of the Turtles, and is also the possessor of the coolest weapon, the sais.  Most people will point to his temper as his greatest weakness, the thing that keeps him from perfection.  But it’s worth remembering that temper is internal, so that means the only one that can beat Raph is Raph himself.

Raphael, despite his reputation as a loner, was also the first Turtle to make a friend on his own.  He and Casey Jones, a human with a similar temperament, formed a successful partnership and went on many a violent adventure together.

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 6.08.19 AM.png2. Leonardo

Some people mistakenly suggest that Michaelangelo is the ‘heart’ of the team, but the true heart is Leo.  Leonardo (blue headband) is the leader.  He encourages and motivates the others when they’re down, and keeps them together as a family.  He uses the traditional weapon of a leader, the katana (swords).  They aren’t very flashy, but they’re effective and reliable, much like Leo himself.

Leo is intelligent and thoughtful; which makes him the best choice for formulating strategy in the heat of battle (something Raph would have trouble doing).

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 6.09.24 AM.png3. Donatello

Donatello (purple headband) is the smartest Turtle.  He builds incredible, sci-fi level machines to aid the team.  He uses the bo staff, a weapon that was adopted by Morgan in The Walking Dead as a symbol of  his pacifism.  Indeed, it’s not the deadliest of weapons, but it has long range (which suits Don’s less aggressive nature).

Donatello isn’t the most useful in a fight, but he still finds a way to contribute by drawing on his other gifts.

Screen Shot 2018-04-25 at 6.08.37 AM.png4. Michaelangelo

Michaelangelo (orange headband) doesn’t seem to do much more than get in the way.  He doesn’t take anything seriously, even a fight – a trait that is not just unhelpful, but downright dangerous.  His weapon is the Nunchaku, an unwieldily contraption made of two sticks attached by a chain.  It seems like it was design more to put on a show than to accomplish a task, which also happens to describe Mikey’s character.

Michaelangelo isn’t just the weakest team member; he’s an act of sabotage.

 

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