21 January 2012

Which Turtle were you?

I freaking love Ninja Turtles.  More so now than I did back when they were age-appropriate, certainly.  I miss my youth and am retroactively constructing a fictional fantastical view of how important TMNT really was to me.  This is aided by a relative dearth of readily available photo and video evidence to the contrary.  It’s further aided by continuing reminders in our (technically) adult household:

Recently discovered in a chocolate egg.  
Current home: Displayed prominently on the piano in the living room.

Modern turtle enemies.  What the hell are these guys?  
What happened to Bebop and Rocksteady?

Potentially the husband's proudest possession.  
Also on display on the piano.  Right next to the wedding pictures.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were pretty much the coolest thing my generation’s TV had to offer (kids these days think TMNT was made for them but they are SO wrong).  Any one word in the title would have been amazing enough for a little kid:  Teenage.  Mutant.  Ninja.  Turtle.  But you put them all together and suddenly you’ve got an unstoppable tsunami of Awesome.  With a capital A.

Who doesn’t still remember the theme song?  Who didn’t love pizza almost exclusively because of the turtles’ singular culinary obsession?  Who didn’t want to own all the action figures? 

That was the best Christmas present I remember getting as a child – a big-ass box of Ninja Turtles action figures.  And I got a life-size plastic version of Leo’s sword too (it was a sword to me back then, not a katana, because I didn’t know better).  And I promptly hit my sister over the head with it and got it taken away.  But those few fleeting moments of well-armed glory, they were magical.

The best part about the Ninja Turtles was that they were each unique enough to allow for favorites.  I think my interest in each of them has vacillated regularly throughout the years, but the truth is my heart is sworn to Raph and always will be.  Never mind that Leo dominates our household – that’s mostly the husband’s doing – or that most people think Raph is a whiny angsty baby (cf. that scene in the first movie where he spends the entirety of his farmhouse hideout time moping in a bathtub).  Raph isn’t exactly my favorite, but he’s my turtle.

Let me break it down for you, those of you who don’t know the turtles like familiar friends.  Kids tended to base their favorite turtle choices on one of three major attributes:

Yes, some kids chose their favorite turtle based on which Renaissance artist he was named after.  So what?  You got a problem with that?  You want to start something?  And clearly the makers of TMNT knew nothing about the Renaissance, anyway – the turtles’ names were totally misattributed in my opinion.  Leo should have been the tinkerer.  Mikey should have been the tortured brooding one, and Raph ought to have been the partier.  I had a really hard time in Art History class thanks to the Ninja Turtles.  Bastards.

Misattribution aside, I always wanted to be Leo.  I wanted to be a leader and have an awesome weapon and kick ass.  Or I wanted to be Donny, I wanted to be all scientific and technical.  But I got Raph.  Standoffish angsty hot-headed annoying Raph and his stupid useless sai.

This is because I had a dream when I was little.  Real little.  It was one of the very first dreams I remember, and it was long and perilous – I was a ninja turtle and I was stuck searching for hours through a neverending labyrinthine sewer system in a fruitless attempt to rescue April O’Neil from certain peril.  I was Raphael.  I can’t just ignore that kind of sign.  My subconscious chose for me.  It’s always going to be Raph.

Maybe this is why I always fall for angsty fictional characters, eh? 

It’s all Raph’s fault.

P.S. I just took an online quiz and I got Donny.  Figures.  You can also take the quiz here.