Michelangelo is known for his love of pizza and innocent comic relief. He loves to skateboard, surf and party. Michelangelo has a free-spirited character, with a hopelessly innocent and romantic heart. When he meets Kala, the Neutrino girl from Dimension X, he develops a crush on her which is reciprocated. He is sometimes seen preparing meals for the group. Michelangelo is often the target of Raphael's scorn and there is a recurrent theme of him exceeding the low expectations that others have of him - and sometimes even his own expectations of himself.
In two episodes, Michelangelo assists a superhero he admires named Bugman. He also collects comic books of his adventures and his action figures. In another, he demonstrates his ability to communicate with a pigeon named Pete.
Michelangelo was well known for his surfer lingo and the catchphrase "Cowabunga" and became perhaps the most recognizable of the turtles in the early 1990s.
Michelangelo was sometimes seen as the most empathetic with the group, connecting with a young alien in "The Starchild" despite the alien's destructive powers. Similarly, he is able to form strong friendships with a futuristic robot named Big Macc and the mutant outcast Mondo Gecko. This version of Michelangelo later appears with a few recognizable cartoon characters in Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue.
He also seems to have a strong affinity for animals, ranging from a stray kitten that wandered into the lair to exotic pets like a parrot he named Ditto. Unlike the other Turtles, he has had multiple pets or animal companions, which he typically became very emotionally attached to, to the point of chasing his pet fish Max into a sewer full of migrating fish. He had a particularly strong bond with Pete, the pigeon that he nursed to health after finding him with a broken wing.
He and the other members also appear in the 2012 series, first making a brief cameo in Wormquake! and then The Wrath of Tiger Claw. Unlike Turtles Forever, he and the other characters are voiced by their original voice actors. They all then appeared in "Trans-Dimensional Turtles".
Mikey's personality is that of a "party dude" who adopts the lingo of a California surfer. For the most part, his default mode is light-hearted and upbeat, although there are occasions when he sulks or gets angry, such as when he believed the other Turtles had forgotten his birthday. Michelangelo is known to rush into situations without thinking first, often resulting in errors. However, he often surprises those around him by exceeding their expectations, as he is capable of creative tactics and intelligent maneuvers in battle.
- As seen in Turtles on Trial, he suffers from severe stage fright.
- He repeatedly exhibited the ability to pilot aircraft, although it is never revealed how he learned to do so. Episodes in which he pilots planes include Funny, They Shrunk Michelangelo, H.A.V.O.C. in the Streets, and Divide and Conquer.
- In this incarnation, Michelangelo is the friend and roommate of the other Turtles, not their brother. Similarly, Splinter serves as his sensei alone and not as an actual father.
- Michelangelo is right-handed, as shown in "Michelangelo's Birthday".
- His favorite comic book series is Bugman, and also considers it to be "The greatest comic book series ever."
- Michelangelo has had at least two pets, the fish Maxwell and the parrot Ditto (whose actual name was Polly). He also is inclined to buy pets for others, as he once bought Raphael a pair of Siamese fighting fish.