In the 2003 TV show, Raphael's personality is more like his original incarnation—he is angrier and more sardonic, but not quite as violent (although he is still impulsive). One incident emphasizing his quickness to anger is where he almost smashed Michelangelo's head in with a pipe is shown here, as he did in Raphael #1. In this incarnation Raphael talks with a Brooklyn accent similar to what was used in the movies. He often argues with Leonardo and Michelangelo, although he is depicted as being very close with both at times and caring deeply for them. His angry personality may be a cover up for his true feelings towards his brothers. His relationship with Donatello consists of poking fun at his intellect or annoyance at his long winded explanations, more or less thinking of him as somewhat of a dork, yet still his brother. His best friend is generally regarded as Casey Jones. In all incarnations of the Turtles (except for most of the 1987 cartoon), Raphael appears to live in the shadow of Leonardo and resents his brother's social position in the group. However, though at times he may seem quite jealous of Leonardo, Raphael's rivalry with him is heavily toned down in comparison to the comic books, and Raphael rarely shows a deep hatred towards Leo as the series progresses. He is shown to be a skilled motorcyclist and has his own motorcycle, the "Shell Cycle," which Donatello designed and created for him. It is seen several times (particularly in "Hun on the Run") that he loves his bike and quickly turns to rage if anyone messes with it.
A running gag throughout the world of TMNT is Raphael's fear of bugs (entomophobia). However, in this incarnation, it is less a phobia, and more of an intense hatred and disgust; as whenever the turtles are forced to fight insecticide enemies, Raphael repeatedly exclaims "Why did it have to be bugs? I hate bugs!" rather than showing fear and discomfort.
Raph's relationship with Mikey is unique in this series. Michelangelo has a tendency to severely annoy his brother, from playing pranks, to taunting, gloating, and overall rubbing his accomplishments (eg Battle Nexus Champion) in Raphael's face (which leads him to knock Mikey down a peg and Raph would often slap Mikey upside the head). Though it has been shown that he deeply cares for him. In Tales of Leo, Raphael was driven to tears, for fear of losing Leo when he was nearly killed by the Foot. As Leonardo recovered, Raphael was also the one who supported Leonardo the most, even helping him to forge his new katana (swords) and paying the greatest attention to the care of his brother.
In The Ultimate Ninja, Raph attempted to protect Leo from the Ultimate Ninja when he challenged him and lashed out in anger and fear when Leo was nearly hurt. Raph continues to challenge Leo's decisions in this incarnation as well, as he and Leonardo often argue over what to do in certain situations, Raphael usually favoring a direct and confrontational approach. Despite differences, Leonardo and Raphael have arguably the closest relationship of the Turtles emphasized in the series, as their conflicting views and care for one another is a key point in many episodes throughout the entire series. Raphael will often put the security of his family and sometimes friends in danger as far as disobeying Splinter and Leonardo, but will react immediately if they are in danger.
For the first half of season 4, Leo becomes increasingly like Raph, in the sense that he becomes very angry and moody. However, unlike Raphael, Leo is not sarcastic and cynical (in fact he does not express any form of humor at all), nor does he goof off occasionally and relax. It is revealed that this is because - in the season 3 finale - the best plan he could think of involved blowing him and his brothers up (along with the Shredder). Though they all made it out alive, and eventually healed (apart from Leonardo's shell) Leo became very tense and obsessed with training, and constantly treating his brothers like boot-camp attendants, rather than family. Raphael expressed annoyance at this (Casey suggests that he is annoyed because Leo is "stealing [Raphael's] thunder") but also concern, because he knows that intense anger only hampers him in the long run, and is not emotionally healthy.
Raphael is shown to be intensely loyal, and is often the first to react when another of his brothers is in trouble. This happens on numerous occasions, like when he stops a blow from hitting Donatello using only his two sai or kicks the Shredder away from Leonardo when the former is about to attack.
It is shown in The Darkness Within that Raphael's biggest fear is losing himself completely to his anger, and letting his temper get the best of him to the extent that he loses all other emotions. The personification of this fear was the Shredder (who by this point had been exiled by the Utrom), but when Raphael knocked his helmet off, he realized that it was another Raphael in the armor, not Oroku Saki.
Raphael and his brothers were bought by a young boy from a pet store. Shortly after, a blind man was walking across the street without noticing a nearby approaching truck. A teenager ran to save the blind man, while inadvertently pushing the boy, who dropped the turtles. As the truck swerved, a canister of mutagen fell out and went down the sewers along with the turtles. The container broke and spilled mutagen on them. Splinter then saw the turtles and decided to keep them, and take care of them. After waking up, Splinter sees the change and decides to train them in ninjutsu. Raphael and the other three turtles trained with Splinter.
As an example, the first episode opens with an exercise where the objective was to get the candle Splinter was holding in his hand. Raphael came closest to getting the candle, before he was seen by Splinter and the candle was taken by Leonardo instead. Raph and Leo quickly traded insults at each other, while Michelangelo and Donatello watched. When their home was attacked by a group of robots, Raphael fought alongside his brothers and Splinter. After their home was destroyed, Raphael and his brothers separated from Splinter and went into New York. Raphael ended up being trapped in a van. Luckily, he was saved by Donatello and regrouped with Splinter.
Raphael became one of the Ninja Tribunal Acolytes along with his brothers. He is the second of the ninja to focus his spiritual energy through the Amulet of the Acolytes and his spiritual avatar is that of a dragon. Although his friends and family (especially Leo) often bear the brunt of his anger, Juto-Shisho thinks that indignant rage suits him when he boldly steps into the spirit forge and is granted Banrai.
In TMNT: Fast Forward, Raphael was the only one who was unhappy with the future. In many episodes you can hear him quote "I hate the future." Mainly his anger was aimed at the technique used in 2105, which was highly developed.
Back To The Sewer
In Back To The Sewer, the Turtles return to their present time, and even still Raphael is the short-tempered turtle he's always been. However, in this series there is explicit facts that show that Casey and Raph are true best friends because in certain episodes, Raphael and Casey talk about the future wedding of O'Neil/Jones (April O'Neil/Casey Jones), and Raphael always seems to be there for Casey and actually quotes "So, ya think I'm best man material, or what?" Thus, in the series finale episode, Wedding Bells and Bytes, Raphael stars as the best man in the wedding; actually catching Casey just as he's about to faint from nervousness twice. Raphael also helps defeat the Cyber Shredder. Raphael is happy to leave the future and be back in his own time (even though he'll never admit it!). Raphael also seems to be the tallest turtle brother in this series.
In Turtles Forever, he would comment that he sees the 1987 Turtles as "clowns, not ninjas" but later would jump in and save 1987 Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo from being crushed by a giant 2003 Shredder. He did, however, immediately take a liking to the Original "hard core" Turtles, yelling "I love these guys!" He even said he would consider retiring to their world.
- Like most of his incarnations, the 2003 version of Raphael (like Casey) speaks with a Brooklyn accent.
- Like his brothers, Raphael is a practitioner of Chi Gong, as shown in "Turtles in Space, Part 3: The Big House".
- Raphael's spirit totem is the dragon, the same as his brothers.
- Raphael is the first turtle to cry in the series when Leonardo was badly injured after they found out that the Shredder returned.
- He has a soft spot for children as is shown in Lone Raph and Cub.
- Raphael likes his Shell Cycle so much that when Hun stole and wrecked it he stopped at nothing to get even with him.
- In Same As It Never Was, after Karai stabbed the older Raphael in a different dimension, he crawled towards an already dead Leonardo, calling his name, hoping to amend the years past of resenting him (in this alternate universe, Leonardo and Raphael got too angry at each other over Splinter's death to be near one another).
- There are similarities in Same As It Never Was and the Exodus: Part 2. Both times, Raphael charges and attacks Karai after she stabs his brother, Leonardo. However Raphael only won once (in Exodus: Part 2).
- Raphael loves to slap Mikey when he says or does something stupid or annoying.
- Raphael has never defeated one of the Shredders in this series.
- His vocabulary: whilst Michelangelo's seem to be that of a surfer, Raphael's are similar to that of a wrestler.
- In Tales of Leo, Raphael mentioned on how he was going to be the leader implies that he wants to be the best to impress either Splinter or his brothers.