How the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Picked their Bandana Colors [HUMOR]

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by Aaron Nemo

in Funny

It’s a common misconception that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wear different colored bandanas so they can be told apart.

There are actually much deeper meanings to the bandana colors, each one giving some insight into their backgrounds:


Leonardo: Blue

Surprisingly, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were not the first gang of which Leonardo called himself a member. In the early ‘70s, Leonardo was a gang member of the Crips, a Los Angeles-based and highly violent group famous for wearing blue bandanas.

leo tmnt

Many fans only recognize Leonardo as the turtle yielding two katana, but in the beginning he had a Colt .45 and a 9mm. To this day, many people still believe that Leonardo killed 2Pac.


Raphael: Red

Perhaps best known for his hotheadedness and angry temper, Raphael is actually acknowledged by many to be an affectionate, sometimes promiscuous lover. Some call him the “Snapping Turtle” due to his participation in the teenage fad known as “snapping” which involves sex bracelets.

tmnt raphael

When someone snaps the bracelet off the wearer, the snapper earns a sexual favor from the snappee based on the color of the snapped off bracelet. In Raphael’s case, red represents that he is willing to perform a lap dance. When he gets mad at his older brother, Leonardo, he tells strangers that Leonardo partakes in the fad (blue indicates willingness to perform oral sex on a guy).

Still with me? Let’s proceed.


Michelangelo: Orange

One of the reasons Michelangelo is so talkative is due to an overcompensation for the several years he spent in a vow of silence. Few people know that his bandana is the only remaining part of his orange robe that he wore as a Buddhist monk.

tmnt bandanas

Michelangelo is famous for yelling “Cowabunga!” which, when translated into English, is a reference to the Buddhist belief that “Cows are sacred!” He often yells this when he sees a pizza with ground beef as a topping.


Donatello: Purple

Credited as being the most intelligent of the brothers, Donatello can attribute much of his thinking ability to his experimentation with the psychedelic drug LSD. Also referred to as acid, LSD was originally manufactured in the form of purple pills and is also said to induce a state of mind called “purple haze”.

donatello tmnt

For these reasons, Donatello wears purple as a secret code that he is looking to buy. However, he usually gets his drugs through connections Leonardo has with the Crips.


Aaron Nemo (@aaronnemo) is a stand-up comedian and napping expert. He wrote for a humor magazine in college called The Sundial instead of going to parties and getting laid.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

ShezCrafti February 13, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Well this blows my theory out of the water–about how there was a 5th Turtle who wore a rainbow-striped mask, but he was gay and died of AIDS, so the other Turtles each wear one of the colors from his mask to honor him. His name was Fabriano, by the way.


Howie Decker February 13, 2013 at 4:47 pm

this may blow that theory out of the water, but has not been established as fact. Fabriano has just as good a chance of being real as does Don’s “Walter Bishop-esque” LSD addiction and Mike’s monk past.


ShezCrafti February 13, 2013 at 4:52 pm

That would explain why Mikey’s so zen. Shit, the more I think about this post, the more sense it makes.


Howie Decker February 13, 2013 at 6:59 pm

I gotta confess, when Aaron sent this in I loved it but the first thing I thought was “I hope ShezCrafti doesn’t hate this”. Not that I thought you would, but I know that us posting anything TMNT is going to draw you in like if you posted something about Three Amigos or RISK (my favorite board game, hands down).


Classick February 13, 2013 at 4:52 pm


This is a hilarious misinterpretation and I applaud such fantastic writing.



Howie Decker February 13, 2013 at 7:00 pm

high praise! I will pass it on to the author- OR you can do it in person (on Twitter) @aaronnemo


Howie Decker February 13, 2013 at 9:13 pm

haha sweet post I love stuff like this


Dex (@Dex1138) February 13, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Don’t leave us hanging on what sexual favors the other colors earn!


ShezCrafti February 14, 2013 at 12:28 pm

I need to know this too. For a term paper I’m writing…


Howie Decker February 14, 2013 at 1:14 pm



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