In the 1987 cartoon series, Lotus is a female ninja from Japan that temporarily replaced The Shredder whom she easily defeated (along with Rocksteady and Bebop). She was hired by Krang to destroy the Turtles. She developed a respect and implied romantic feelings for Leonardo, after they dueled to a standstill before she resorted to a trick sword to knock him out. When they met the second time she tried to get him to become her partner as "ninja for hire", but he refused. She ended up turning on Krang and teaming up with the Turtles. She escaped to continue her mercenary lifestyle, telling Leonardo that there was little gold in goodness, though she hoped that they would one day be on the same side.
Her romantic feelings for Leonardo seemed to have cooled into a supportive friendship by the time of Farewell, Lotus Blossom. Her path crossed with the Turtles again when Shredder tricked her into believing that an ancestral ghost was telling her to get vengeance on the Turtles. Once she learned that this was not the case, she assisted the Turtles in trying to reclaim a stolen pearl before the ghost of Chakahachi could turn New York into a replica of Japan.
However, a more personal issue was resolved when Chakahachi recognized her as his long-lost wife, whose soul was dwelling inside Lotus' body. Without the displaced spirit, she was able to finally live a contented life in the modern world.
- Karai, a similar female ninja who has inherited Shredder's position, whom Lotus may have influenced