Top Ten TMNT Characters List
The 1987 TMNT cartoon benefits from a bunch of memorable characters and actually its characters are the series’ strongest suit. They are fun, highly memorable and most have a great banter between each other. Both groups – the heroes and allies as well as the villains – will get their spots on this list so here we go.
10. Casey Jones
I just never understood the choice to not feature this character more as the show put him in basically just a couple of episodes. Casey Jones is an unforgettable addition to the allied team of the turtles with his interesting look, a great voice and many fun lines. He channeled Clint Eastwood so amusingly.
9. Bebop & Rocksteady
These two stupid goons are typical stupid and foolish henchmen of the major villain and their shenanigans was mostly repetitive, but you cannot deny their importance as the show wouldn’t be the same without them. I loved Shredder’s devotion to them even if they never, ever managed to do something right and how he insulted them was always funny.
8. April O’Neil
Certainly a frustrating damsel in distress for the most part, April was just waiting to be rescued by the turtles for the majority of the series’ run. However, she still proved competent more than a couple of times and even helped the green guys a couple of times too. Her journalism job was well utilized and she was always a wonderful friend to the turtles.
Easily the weakest part of the reptile foursome, Leonardo is just too boring for me. Certainly his closeness to Splinter was heartwarming and he provided a lot of the great action scenes, but he was too much of a brave, noble leader and when you take that from him, he was incredibly dull, but at least the other turtles regularly acknowledged that.
Everything I said above about Leonardo applies to Donatello as well. He is also very boring and he only excelled at being smart and a tech wiz. However, that is why he is better than Leonardo as he helped the turtles probably the most with his various smart inventions and clever solutions to their problems.
This surfer dude can definitely get annoying at times with his jargon and obsession with pizza, but you cannot deny that he has a big heart and a great energy. I did not like how he was the butt of the jokes too much. Mickey may not be smart or a leader as the above two turtles, but he is a lot funnier and more entertaining than either of those two.
I cannot explain it, but somehow I have always liked Raphael the most of the four turtles and he still remains my favorite one. That is because he is an underdog who is not as popular as the other three, but is actually funnier than Michelangelo with his insightful lines of dialogue and his breaking of the fourth wall consistently provided the funniest bits of comedy in the show.
I thoroughly disliked how he was just competent and powerful in the first season really whereas he was overly comedic later on in the show’s run, but still Shredder is easily one of the best TMNT characters with a great design, excellent personality and a great relationship with Krang. He could be competent, but he could also be really funny at times and I loved his interactions with the rest of the villains.
2. Master Splinter
Unfortunately, this rat sensei never got his due as he was used sparingly rather than often and he mostly just got to say some smart lines at the end of each episode. He is a phenomenal master/sensei character and his various words of wisdom were great but also highly amusing. He truly cares for his pupils and I loved his relationship with them. And he was awesome at kicking butt, though we too rarely saw that happen.
And the number one goes to Krang! He just had to be on the top of this list as he is easily the most unforgettable and funniest part of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This intergalactic brain is very smart and actually quite capable as a villain at times, I loved his backstory and his interactions with other one-off villains, but of course what takes the cake is his awesome relationship with Shredder. The two share great banter, but they genuinely care for each other which was evident in their last role in the tenth season. They are in a way the heart and soul of the entire series which is odd for villains, but that is how it is. Krang’s a deserved winner here.
Lord Dregg – He only appeared in those “Red Sky” seasons and was at first typical, but as he became more powerful and crazier, he became a lot more fun and was a genuinely competent villain when all is settled and done.
Channel 6 Crew – Of these, Burne is forgettable, but Irma and Vernon are important. She can be annoying, but also rather likable and a great friend to April and the turtles. He is awful with his whining and is just a bad human being, but still his cowardice definitely gave us some funny moments.
Rat King – This one is most certainly a typically silly comic book villain, but he has an interesting look, a great voice and he mostly got some of the better episodes here.