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As a whole
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The Hamato children wear robes similar in color to the face masks they'll be wearing as the Ninja Turtles.
- Genetic Memory: Since only 15 months have passed when the series begins, the Turtles didn't grow up learning to be ninjas in this life, and their training in the present day is like re-learning and improving skills they somehow already knew. Also unwittingly displayed by Mikey as he can read Japanese, surprising everyone including himself.
- No Name Given: The Hamato children's names are never revealed in any of their brief appearances.
- Past-Life Memories: The Turtles have slivers of these (particularly Leonardo, who actually remembers his mother's death), though not to Splinter's extent. Splinter can remember his past life in perfect detail.
- Reincarnation: Of Hamato Yoshi and his four sons.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: They follow a very strict non-killing code. In the very first issue, when battling Old Hob and his thugs, Splinter reminds the Turtles that "none must die!" Several times this attitude comes up, particularly with Splinter, who repeatedly and blatantly refuses to kill even when informed that it's the only way to save his own life. Then he subverts it by breaking the code and killing Shredder, after which he takes over the Foot Clan. The Turtles are shocked and distraught by this — particularly Michelangelo, who essentially walks out on Splinter afterwards, claiming that the rat is turning into everything that he taught the Turtles to fight against.
The dutiful eldest brother. Leo is the turtle most consistently loyal to their father and sensei, and also the most spiritual and intuitive of them.
- And Then What?: Asks this of Koya after recognizing that her drive to seek revenge against him is consuming her completely, and that she won't have anything to live for if she goes through with it. He's speaking from experience.
- The Captain: A natural leader who may butt heads with Donatello and Raphael at times but who still commands respect in the battlefield, who knows the value of each of his teammates, and is exceptionally good at putting their skills to good use.
- The Chains of Commanding: After becoming the new head of Clan Hamato after ditching Splinter and the Foot, he's begun feeling this stronger than ever.
- In the 20/20 one-shot, Leo has completely cracked under the pressure and stepped down as leader.
- Deadpan Snarker: Surprisingly enough, he has a bit of a sarcastic streak. Not to the extent of Raphael, but he does get in a few subtle, and not-so-subtle, digs at the world around him from time to time.
- Hes Back: At the end of Issue 31, when Koya has ambushed the turtles at the O'Neil farm, Leonardo comes out of nowhere to face her, once again donning his trademark blue eyemask. Mikey even gets to acknowledge the trope at the beginning of the following issue.
- Heroic BSoD: Falls into depression for a while after his time as "Dark Leonardo," but he gets better.
- More Than Mind Control: Thanks to some Foot Clan magic, he unwillingly becomes Dark Leonardo.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In the Turtles in Time storyline, he almost breaks the timeline to stop Oroku Saki from killing the Hamato family. Unfortunately, Saki takes it as an omen and adopts the policy that ends in exactly that.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: One of his trademarks in this series.
- Soul Power: Has slowly become the best of the four turtles at tapping into the spirit realm.
- You Are in Command Now: After the brothers become estranged from Splinter due to his increasingly ruthless actions, Leo becomes the new leader of Clan Hamato.
The loose cannon. Raphael is gruff and he lives for the thrill of a fight, though his passion is borne from the fact that he cares deeply for his family and friends.
- Big Brother Bully: Never maliciously, but its there. He playfully refers to Don as "dork" or "nerd" on several occasions, and his favorite nickname for Mikey is "runt".
- Bruiser with a Soft Center: He loves a good fight, and his Berserk Buttons are numerous, but he's actually a very compassionate guy. Says a lot that when watching slasher movies with Casey, he's the one yelling at the victims to get out of there.Raphael: Don't go in the room, Susan, that's where the killer is!
Casey: It's just a movie, bro. Lighten up!
Raphael: So? I ain't rootin' for someone to get killed!
Casey: I am so never taking you to a hockey game, dude.
- Bully Hunter: Introduced in the comic as one, as one of his first actions is to barge in on Casey's father beating on him, with the words: "You know what I hate, jerkface? Stinkin' bullies. Let me show you how much."
- The Cynic: Having spent his first mutated year alone on the streets, he's got a much bigger cynical streak than the other Turtles.
- Deadpan Snarker: The most sarcastic of the Turtles; he has an angry or sarcastic quip for every occasion.
- Heroic Fatigue: He has recently become overwhelmed with all the enemies and life threatening situations he and his brothers constantly face. He wanted the Turtles stay out of Bishop's invasion of Burnow Island and he wanted to leave the city when Karai and Splinter went to war for control of the Foot clan.
- Heterosexual Life-Partner: With Casey Jones. In this continuity, he in fact gets to know Casey before he knows his brothers or father.
- Love Confessor: Raph uncertainly admits to Angel that he loves Alopex (at the very least, he doesn't outright deny it when she asks if he loves Alopex), but acknowledges that he and her are biologically incompatible. However, he also goes on to admit that he feels comfortable with her, given that they're both loners who've dealt with a lot.
- Unskilled, but Strong: In the early issues. Separated from the others at the time of their mutation, he spent over a year homeless and alone, without any form of ninja training. However, in most cases he could more than get by on brute strength.
The brains of the four. He frequently butts heads with Leo and Splinter regarding strategy, though he always has the best interests of the many in mind.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: At least intitially, he's a borderline Agent Scully, heavily skeptical of anything spiritual or spiritual, preferring the mundane or scientific explanation. He pretty much admits that it's only respect for Splinter that keeps him from outright dismissing the revelation of their reincarnation as nonsense; but he's not willing to "accept things on blind faith" without "some kind of empirical evidence." Later he becomes a little more open-minded.
- Artificial Limbs: He has an artificial shell as a result of Rocksteady crushing his original shell with a sledgehammer.
- Brain Uploading: When he was nearly killed by Bebop and Rocksteady, his mind was uploaded into Metalhead until his body could be healed.
- Disney Death: At the end of Issue 44, he's brutally beaten by Bebop and Rocksteady and seemingly killed. As it turns out, his spirit is alive on another plane of existence, and ends up returning by possessing Metal Head while the Fugitoid uses an alien mutagen to heal his body.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Downplayed compared to most versions of him. He's still the scientific tinkerer of the group, he's great with computers and can fix most machines, but you won't see this Donatello build robots and high-tech vehicles out of scrap metal.
- Hes Back: In issue 50, he shows up fully healed to deliver the knockout blow to Bebop and Rocksteady, followed by a round of hugs.
- Insufferable Genius: Not the most insufferable of geniuses, but he does have a tendency to be a little too in love with his own brilliance and can frequently rub people the wrong way as a result.
- Pragmatic Hero: Out of the four Turtles, Donatello is the one most willing to compromise his morals and make deals with devils if he feels he has to. This often puts him at odds with the more idealistic Leonardo.
- Proud to Be a Geek: Prone to geeking out over science and technology — not only the impressive new inventions and scientific breakthroughs, but even over old vacuum tube computers and "retro" stuff.
The youngest brother and the one most averse to violence. He is carefree and genuine which often makes him the emotional core of the family.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's got some really strange ideas at times, sometimes bordering on Cloudcuckoolander, but he's actually a lot smarter than he appears, and a damn skilled ninja.
- Calling the Old Man Out: He furiously calls Splinter out on his Slowly Slipping Into Evil upon joining the Foot Clan after discovering that he plans to turn orphans into Child Soldiers.Mikey: SCREW YOU!!
Splinter: What did you say to me?
Mikey: I said screw you! You betrayed everything you taught us! Everything you told us to be! These kids lost all they've ever known, and instead of helping them you want to turn them into weapons?! You're worse than Shredder!
- Cunning Linguist: The only one of the Turtles who's fluent in Japanese, he's usually the one called for when translations are needed.
- The Idealist: More than any of his brothers, Michelangelo is inclined to see the positive in just about anything and anyone, and genuinely believes that people, on the whole, are good. This may be the biggest reason why he takes Splinter's Hazy Feel Turn the worst — and why he's the one who starts Calling the Old Man Out.
- Fun Personified: Downplayed a little compared to a lot of other incarnations of Michelangelo, but he's still the jokester and party animal of the group.
- The Heart: He's the peacemaker of the group, and the one who just wants everyone to get along.
- Hidden Depths: At first glance, he comes across as a goofball who doesn't take anything very seriously, but he is actually more mature and insightful than he seems. It's just that for the most part it's more fun to be the goofball.
- Perhaps the biggest sign of this: In the 20/20 one-shot comic, which takes place twenty years in the future, Mike has become the team leader after the pressure of the job became too much for Leo. He actually does a great job, keeping his brothers' spirits up through the bleaker times and knowing how to utilize their individual skills. He even notes that "other than the constant danger and stress and the ongoing threat of losing my brothers, being the leader of this team is a pretty easy gig."
- Motor Mouth: He really likes to talk. Dude just won't shut up, even when he really should — Casual Danger Dialogue is second nature to him.
- Nice Guy: The friendliest and kindest of the Turtles, he has a knack for making friends wherever he goes.
- Proud to Be a Geek: A trait he shares with Donatello, to the point where Raphael calls them "the geek twins"; though where Donatello's a science geek, Michelangelo's an unashamed and enthusiastic pop culture geek; a great fan of comic books, science fiction, fantasy and video games. When he discovers that he knows how to read Japanese his initial reaction is delight: "I just realized! I can read more manga now!"
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In Issue 50. The minute Splinter takes control of the Foot Clan, Mikey bails out, afraid of ending up like Shredder.
- The Southpaw: He's left-handed, as is shown when he's writing letters to his friend Woody.
Mutated rat and reincarnated form of Hamato Yoshi. He teaches his turtle sons and trains them to fight the Shredder and their many other foes.
- Became Their Own Antithesis: After taking over the Foot, starting with his killing Shredder. Mikey calls him out on it, declaring that Splinter is turning into everything that he taught the Turtles to fight against.
- Break the Haughty: As part of his backstory. As a human in Feudal Japan, he was a proud and temperamental man bordering on Jerk with a Heart of Gold, but he suffered greatly for his haughtiness. In the end he lost his wife, his sons, and his life — then, being reincarnated as a rat and then mutated, he took this as a second chance, to be a better person than he'd been before.
- Future Me Scares Me: Splinter has a vision of a potential future in issue #89, where he sees himself in ninja garb similar to Shredder's. The possibility of becoming little better than Oroku Saki to the point that his own sons are forced to kill him horrifies him.
- Hazy Feel Turn: As the new leader of the Foot Clan, he tries to stir them on a more righteous path, but Splinter himself winds up making some questionable actions during his leadership.
- Hypocrite: He becomes increasingly more willing to use lethal force after becoming the Foot Clan leader, despite him previously teaching the Turtles to never kill.
- I Hate Past Me: He dislikes his previous life as Hamato Yoshi, who was a proud, temperamental Jerk with a Heart of Gold who suffered greatly for his arrogance. Upon his reincarnation and mutation, Splinter saw it as a second chance to be a better person.
- Klingon Promotion: In Issue 50, he takes control of the Foot Clan after Shredder's death, intending to remake it as a noble organization.
- Martial Pacifist: While he definitely wasn't one back when he was human, death and reincarnation as a rat seems to have given him this attitude. While he's fine with fighting he only wants it to be done in self-defense and never to kill. In the first issue when he and the Turtles are up against Old Hob and some of his hired human goons, Splinter specifically tells his sons that "none must die." His utter refusal to kill anyone comes up several times after that, until he finally breaks his principles and kills Shredder.
- Not So Different: Surprisingly, he reveals that he was a lot like Raphael when he was young; hotheaded, easily-angered and quick to violence. Losing his wife, and then dying and being reincarnated as a rat mellowed him out considerably.
- Past-Life Memories: Moreso than the Turtles, possibly because of the additional brain enhancements he received pre-mutation.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Though he can be strict, he is a loving and patient father and sensei. When taking control of the Foot Clan he becomes the Reasonable Authority Figure for the clan, though circumstances means he might be Slowly Slipping Into Evil — see below.
- Reincarnation: Of Hamato Yoshi.
- Slowly Slipping Into Evil: Implied to be happening to him, after taking control of the Foot Clan and having to take steadily more ruthless actions to prevent other factions from taking control. Interestingly, Splinter himself seems to be aware of this, as he deliberately encouraged the Turtles to turn their back on the Foot Clan - and him, as well - so they wouldn't be party to his more ruthless actions.
- Abhorrent Admirer: A tragic example. She and Casey were beginning a new relationship but her mutation, which was needed to save her life, has seemingly put their relationship in a bind.
- Color-Coded Characters: After her mutation, she adopts yellow as her bandanna color. She was also blonde in her human form.
- Dark and Troubled Past: She ran away from an abusive home and fell in with a criminal boyfriend who made her help him rob stores. She was eventually arrested and befriended an imprisoned Foot soldier. The two created a plan to escape prison, only for another escaping criminal to kill her friend while they were making their getaway. Jennika eventually managed to find and join the Foot Clan herself and she later hunts down and kills her friend's murderer.
- Defeat Means Friendship: It was only after Splinter defeated her in combat did she accept him as her new leader.
- Elite Mook: Was a high ranking ninja under Shredder and was eventually promoted to Splinter's second-in-command.
- Emergency Transformation: After being fatally stabbed by Karai and Metalhead destroyed the ooze that was going to be used to heal her Leonardo is forces to give her a blood transfusion, it saves her life but also gives her turtle characteristics.
- Expy: Her turtle form greatly resembles Artemisia, Sophie Campbell's female fifth turtle from her "TMNT: Secret of the Ooze" fancomic, right down to her yellow color scheme and use of archery.
- Fantastic Angst: Experiences this after her mutation.
- Good Is Not Nice: Even after becoming more kind and empathetic, she will still kill without hesitation at Splinter's command.
- HeelFace Turn: She was originally a firm believer in the more violent and lethal methods taught to her by the Shredder until Splinter taught her the values of control and kindness.
- Might Makes Right: Strongly believed in this when she was first introduced. Splinter defeated her and worked to disabuse of this mindset.
- Parental Substitute: Becomes the caregiver of the orphans kidnapped by the Rat King.
- Redemption Demotion: She originally tried to kill Splinter due to believing him too weak to lead the Foot Clan. He defeated her and demoted her for actions but was impressed by her change of heart and her dedication to the clan. He took her as his protege and eventually promoted her to his second-in-command.
- Sixth Ranger: Joins the team after she is mutated into a giant turtle.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Thanks to Splinter's teachings and influence.
- Wolverine Claws: Wields finger claws as her primary weapon. After her mutation, she switches them out for a pair of large tekagi-shuko that attach to the back of her wrist.