He was named after the Italian Renaissance painter and architect Raffaello "Raphael" Sanzio da Urbino.
Raphael ("Raph") is consistently portrayed as the most aggressive of the turtles. Despite his hot-tempered personality, he is simultaneously kind-hearted and has a soft spot for those in need. Raph is the most impatient, aggressive and rash turtle among his brothers, enjoying and delving head-first into combat, confident in his skills. He often butts heads with his older brother, Leonardo, and picks on his younger brothers, Michelangelo and Donatello, being jealous of Leonardo's role as the leader, easily annoyed by Michelangelo's immaturity, and finding Donatello's intelligence "nerdy". Nonetheless, he cares deeply about his three brothers, and is particularly protective about them. He is looked up to for strength, comradery, and reliability.
Being the rebellious member of the team, Raph frequently goes off on his own to do things his own way, often getting himself into sticky situations. It was this common rebellious streak than caused Raph and vigilante Casey Jones to hit off their friendship, fighting crime behind the backs of authority - authority above and below the manhole.
While Raph is the most likely to charge first, ignore reason, use force and question higher-ups, he is a considerate, honest, loyal, empathetic fighter who uses his immense power for good.
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 can be seen throwing his sai at villains quite expertly.
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.
When the turtles rescue April O'Neil, who is an assistant to Mouser developer Baxter Stockman, it is Raphael who knocks him unconscious. 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.
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.
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.
1987 seriesSee: Raphael (1987 TV series)
In the first anime series, more focused parody the action, Raphael has a different personality seriously the original. Much less violent and aggressive, frequenly making sarcastic jokes, often gently mocking Michelangelo. He has not had the slightest conflict with Leonardo.
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.
Raphael likes to fight, and does not hide it. He argues often with Leonardo and Michelangelo, accepting wrong to obey the first and second exasperating jokes, but is usually the first to react when they are in danger.
- In the 2003 series, more faithful to the comic, Raphael is described as closer to the original version: aggressive, angry and sarcastic, but not as violent (although impulsive). During an episode in a fit of anger, he still nearly smashing the skull of Michelangelo, as he did at the beginning of Raphael # 1 in comic.
- Similarly, it is sometimes weary of long incomprehensible explanations of Donatello, but still react if something happens to him, and he was seen searching the city to find Splinter at the latter's death. In general terms, it is often more rage when something happens to his brothers or his adoptive father, and it could be that his anger is just a way to hide his affection for his family.
As in the comic, Raphael is the first turtle to meet Casey Jones, and shares a strong friendship with him. We also know that he suffers from entomophobia (he hates insects).
In this series, Raphael has the same personality and short temper that he is known for. He has a small chunk of his front and back 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 an un-mutated pet turtle named Spike (who will eventually mutate into Slash and then become Raph's best friend), who he cares about very much, and will share his feelings with him during major points of his life.
In the first episode he is seen in one of his training fights with Donnie, which he wins by breaking Donnie's staff and beating on him until he's down. He then fought Leonardo, (who beat Mike 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.
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."
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. Sadly, when they return home they find out that their lair was broken into and Splinter was missing.
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.
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.
Comin Out of Our Shells
Raph was the lead vocalist, who also played drums and tenor saxophone in the stage show.
- 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!
- Oh, so that's the plan from our great leader, huh? Just sit here on our butts?!
- [to Mikey] Funny Mikey.
- [to Leo] Hey. What's a guy gotta do to get some food around here?
- [to Leo as Leo hugged him] Leo, don't.
- [to Master Splinter] I lost a sai. I can get it back, I can get it back.
- [getting ready to fight Shredder] I got 'em.
- [after eating an apple] Gosh, I do hope there's more of them.
- All right, hold it. This is stupid. We got the Foot up there with the ooze and we're down here playing Century 21.
- Sheesh, whatever happened to "service with a smile"?
- [to Tatsu] You know, pal, 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, Mike, you think you could crunch any louder? I could still hear outta this one!
- [calling for the Shredder] SHREDDER!
- 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.
- Fighting's for grown-ups, and that's only if you got no other choice.
- [to Leo] Okay, Jungle Boy, grab a vine.
- That was too easy! Like I said, too easy!
- You are so smug! You know that? You think the world revolves around you, don't you? That we couldn't possibly survive without the mighty and powerful Leonardo to guide us through our problems, huh? Well, I've got a news flash for you: we got along just fine without you!
- [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.
- Man I love bein' a turtle!
- [to Leo] Little help, O fearless one.
- I say we stop talkin'.
- [to the scared kitchen chef] Don't get up, I'll serve myself.
- I love it when they play hard to get.
- They're playing my song.
- [to Donatello] Yeah, yeah... spoken like a true has-been.
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! The old Turtle luck running true to form.
- I call this a successful field test. Wouldn't you, Leo? YEE- HAA!
- I say we head over to Stocktronics and kick some serious shell!
- Wait. I wanna hear him hit the bottom.
- Oh, more meditation. Wonderful!
- (to Mikey) Y'know, seriously, you're only embarrassing yourself.
- It doesn't matter how they found us, they found us. Now let's kick the shell out of them!!
- (to Mikey) Jeez, where's your off switch?!
- Bugs... why did it have to be bugs? I HATE BUGS!
- "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!"
- "Hey Spike, I think you'll like this show! It's called: Does Mikey bend that way!"
- (Laughs and a slight pause) Really, I can't be the only one who's finds that funny?"
- (Later laughs again) "Really, only me?"
- (After Mikey's comment) "Ugh. They understand... feet."
- (While laughing) "Y-Y-You got beat up by a monkey?! IN FRONT OF YOUR GIRLFRIEND?!"
- "Donnie. You're crowding me."
- "Sometimes it's good to be a turtle. (Puts head in shell when a 'stop' sign comes flying at him) And sometimes it's good to be a SHORT turtle."
- (Imitating Splinter) "I don't know what happened because they snuck out while I was asleep!"
- "YES! I've never liked Mr. Nice Turtle!"
- "LEO! YOU COULD HAVE BEEN A LITTLE MORE SPECIFIC!"
- "I can't believe I'm gonna say this (Imitates character from Space Heroes) "Get it together captain, you're our leader, so act like one."
- "What, that's it? You're not gonna, slap yourself?"
- "Mighty mutants? What... dancing dorks was already taken?"
- "Halt villain? Since when do we talk like that?"
- "We don't? Did I miss some meeting?"
- (To Donatello) "Her number is on the fridge, you dork."
- (Leo and Donnie look at him) "It wasn't me!"
- (Slaps Donnie, so he stops talking) "Found it"
- Hang on April, I just have to destroy Lame-onardo.
- Nice going Leo. You made him angry, so I'm gonna mop the floor with your face!
- Entertaining? I'll show you how entertaining I can be! (To Karai)
- (to Leo) Dude, it literally hurts to listen to you sometimes.
- (About Splinter) "Yeah, we beat him last time! Well, kind of.."
- (About Karai to Leo) "So, what's with the girl that trys to kill you??"
- "And, the award for The Worst Leader goes to..."
- "Ugh..I hate it when he does that!!"
- , You know what else is in option? Slapping you!" ( to Donatello)
- "I will SLAP you out of your shell!" ( to Donatello )
- ( Hits water out of ear) That wasn't such a chore, now, was it?
- 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.
See: Raphael / Gallery
- Like his brothers, Raph is a practitioner of Chi Gong, as shown in Turtles in Space, Part 3: The Big House.
- He has a pet turtle named Spike in the 2012 series.
- In the 2003 series, Raphael and Leonardo have the closest relationship despite their arguments and differences, they do care about each other more than they let on.
- Raphael's complete opposite is Donatello because Donny tries to rationalize the situations while Raph just charges in the battles, similar to Leonardo's opposite being Michelangelo.
- Out of all the turtles, Raphael is the one who once carried the mantel of the Shredder in the original comics and was called the Shredder, as reference in the episode the Darkness Inside in the 2003 series.
- Raph is actually the only one of his brothers whose name doesn't end with the letter 'O'.
- In the 2003 series, it was revealed that Raph hates bugs.