i really enjoy thinking seriously about certain aspects of TMNT, so i figured i'd talk about one that i've always considered pretty interesting. below are my personal opinions, so please don't feel that you have to agree with me.
in my opinion, the age order from eldest to youngest goes: Leo, Donnie, Raph, Mikey
i know this isn't a very common opinion, but i'll give my reasoning for it.1)
simply put, the theme song always states it.
there's never been a theme song where the boys have been introduced in any other order than the one above. of course, that may be because their names sound best that way in sequence. but it's still a little strange Donnie would be introduced before Raph if he were the younger.2) sibling behavior.
many many people consider Raph to be the 2nd oldest because he has a dominant and aggressive nature. but i just consider that a stereotype. for one, Raph has a very close relationship with Mikey. they may fight a lot, but they really have a sort of youngest sibling vibe going for them, that kind of "inside joke" type of thing.
you may be thinking "but what about his constant fighting for leadership with Leo?" to me, that fits right in too. he's still very dominant in nature, and he wants to prove his place, despite being the second youngest. i don't think his protective tendencies have anything to do with age though. i mean he's really just protective of his whole family. even Leo, and he's not older than Leo right?
as for Donnie, people often have a similar assumption that since he's a quiet pacifist, he's younger. i don't really agree with that either. he just comes off as more mature to me. not everyone who's older has a dominant personality. and while he also have a sort of protective nature like Raph, i seems more to me about his place as an older (though softer) brother, as opposed to Raph's "protect everyone all the time".(
i'm not pulling this sibling behavior out of thin air. i happen to come from a family of 4 kids, and i am the 2nd oldest. i'm a quiet pacifist like Donnie, and my younger sister is the aggressive "angry" type like Raph. so this type of dynamic is very familiar to me.)3)
as another sort of example, let's talk about the 2007 movie.
Master Splinter (or Leo?) chooses Don as the substitute leader until Leo get's back from his trip. i don't think this is only because he is the more calmer of the two, but also because he's the 2nd oldest. Master Splinter comes off as a kind of traditional type, and Leo follows that, so it wouldn't surprise me if they placed the leadership on Don because of tradition of leadership based on age order. and of course, Raph is still angry about that, because he's still been trying to earn his place as someone who can lead. and he doesn't want to submit to an older brother who's less authoritative than him. (though i think based on the pre-movie comics, he was more angry and hurt at the fact that Leo left and didn't come back).4)
moving to the 2012 universe
, some people would argue that there is an actual canon, that goes: Leo, Raph, Donnie, and Mikey. (based on the pre-show comics featured here www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjkL3s…
) Master Splinter introduces Raph as "his second and strongest son." and then Donnie as "his third and smartest son." but only with Leo and Mikey does he mention oldest and youngest. "second" and "third" seems more like words in place of "next". i don't really think Nickelodeon has placed a set order, when the creators have never approached the subject in any of the other universes (to my knowledge. sadly, i don't follow the comics yet.)5) the 1987 universe
is another good example of my point. Raph and Mikey are more often then not conversing and hanging around each other like younger siblings, while Leo and Donnie are the ones planning (and sometimes leading).
i once heard a rumor that one of the creators said that Don was probably older than Raph. but that's still only a rumor, and should be considered as such. the only one we can be certain about is Leo. it's been officially stated many times that he's the oldest. also i'm not saying i don't see the other side of the age argument. i often times think of Raph as being the second oldest myself. but when you think about it in this order, a whole bunch of situations look completely different. which is honestly pretty cool so in conclusion, it doesn't actually matter because they're canonly Quadruplets! 8D
2003 is the best universe for looking at it that way, especially since they look almost identical. plus they don't necessarily treat any of the boys as "older". Leo isn't treated as the "oldest", so much as he's treated as the "leader". they don't dumb down Mikey for being the supposed "youngest". he still seems the same age as his brothers.
thankyou to anyone who bothered to read this little educated rant-y thing
it was fun to write! i'd love to hear your opinions on this. but please don't steam roll over me. i try to answer everyone in a open minded fashion, and it gets stressful when 5+ people are yelling at me in the comments. thanks!