MBTI: Michelangelo- ESFP

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Everybody’s favorite turtle has, not surprisingly, the same personality type as everybody’s favorite party person? You don’t a “party person?” Yes you do. It’s the ESFP!

And Mikey’s life is perfectly suited for one too. He’s always got somebody to hang out with, he has no responsibilities aside from the freelance job of fighting ninjas, and from that, they somehow make enough to eat all the pizza they want!

Friends, fighting, and food. Sounds about right.

It only makes sense that while all turtles have been popular, none of them seem to have ever been able to outshine Michelangelo. Sure, Raphael is cool but he’s so damn rude. Donatello is a nerd and definitely has his fans while Leonardo has got the “serious leader” vibe going on ,

You can see the potential in him even as a young child.

You can see the potential in him even as a young child.

So in 1987, when the cartoon aired, it only makes sense that Michelangelo’s goofy one-liners and his laid back style would become the most popular aspect. And that they’re actually ninja. turtles.

While not as fun in the original comics (which were much more violent all around), Michelangelo’s surfer/stoner personality really caught on in a particular “one shot” as well as the films and cartoon to become a staple no turtle would ever escape. Not that they’d want to, as Michelangelo may not be the most physically gifted or the smartest, he brings much needed humor to the group, as you’ll find ESFPs do in real life.

See? So humorous.

See? So humorous.

It’s interesting to note the ESFP’s lack of role to play in fiction. While there may be an abundance in reality (thought to make up about 10% of the population), fiction seems to have little room for them as leading characters. Their Extraverted Sensing plays into the Action genre well and it definitely works for other Artisans, but being backed by Introverted Feeling makes them a bit harder to stay focused.

This could very well be the playful attitude they take toward everyone and everything while main roles are usually reserved for characters with a more natural drive to accomplish a very specific goal and the ESFP is more of a “creature of comfort.” I put quotes around that not to quote anything, but because I hate phrases like that and even dislike typing them.

"Sexy Ninja Turtle." Just a step above "Sexy Freddy Kreuger."

“Sexy Michelangelo.” Just a step above “Sexy Freddy Kreuger.”

Anyway.

Even the TMNT creators have made it clear the Mikey didn’t have much to do in a good bit of their writing. Donatello and Raphael were their favorites while Leonardo (like a good leader) had to push the stories forward. So poor ol’ Mike was left to tell and occasional joke and hang out in the back.

Even in the newer versions. Though this movie was just bad all around.

Even in the newer versions. Though this movie was just bad all around.

But in all seriousness, this doesn’t seem like something an ESFP would mind that much. He’s still there, part of the action but not having to bare the weight of all the goes on with the underground freak team. The ESFP’s Extraverted Sensing has them wanting to try everything and do anything, so to be a part of a team that fights ninjas seems oddly fitting for a type that’s thought to be a bit lazy.

Not to mention, dominant “Feeling” men are thought to project a bit more masculinity than dominant “Thinking” men, as their feelings tend to show themselves a little more readily (of course) which includes a tendency to want to show off or make their assertions clear. This could be how Mikey ever gets anything done as far as the team is concerned; a forceful push from himself to keep up at all with someone as aggressive as Raph for example.

Hey, this guy's bleeding blood!

Hey, this guy’s bleeding blood!

Even if he’s not at the same level (he’s not), he’s clearly able to hang with his brothers in the arena. Fighting the Foot Clan, not each other. “Screwattack!” shows us what would happen if that ever occurred. The fight starts at 5:41.

Hoo boy, that was tough to watch. Sorry, Mikey.

Mikey’s second function as an ESFP would be Introverted Feeling. This lets the user hone in on what they value, as opposed to Extraverted Feeling which may have the user changing emotions to fit what the rest of group feels.

Notice that Michelangelo always seems to be in a good mood and hates when his brothers fight. So he hangs out with Donatello, the second most laid-back in the group. Rather than subject himself to others’ bad attitudes to try and make things better, as an Fi dominant character,  to say “Screw this, where’s my brother that doesn’t suck?”

The first 48 seconds of this are all you need.

Fi is more likely to look for people they identify with rather than deal with what everyone else has got going on. It’s also what backs up the ESFP’s Se to the dismay of their close ones, who feel the seething negative emotions of the ESFP should something ever go wrong.

But as far as the Turtles go, Raph and Leo’s bickering is the only negative emotions to be felt in the sewers they’ve made their home. Donatello keeps to himself while Michelangelo can come off as annoying, but never much more than that.

But we all know what he is, ultimately.

But we all know what he is, ultimately.

Considering the fact that Mikey’s immaturity is about as bad as it gets with him, I’d say he’s a pretty positive image of an ESFP- the fun, likable, comedic relief.

Check out this Michelangelo trailer for the upcoming downloadable game, TMNT: Out of the Shadows. No, I was not paid for this. Game just looks cool. The “realistic turtle” designs they’ve got here look great.

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6 Responses to “MBTI: Michelangelo- ESFP”

  1. What about the other turtles?

    Leonardo: ISTJ
    Raphael: ISTP
    Donatello: INTP

    Am I wrong?

    • Taylor Says:

      I was going to do separate posts on all the turtles but I can’t resist this one. I’m right there with you, except for Leonardo who I think is ENFJ.

      He seems like the Cyclops-type stoic but I can’t help but think Leo actually grasps what Splinter teaches them rather than just learning what he needs to so he can carry on. Similar to the Batman comment, but in reverse- instead of just being taught the basics and carrying out someone’s ideas, he makes them his own, as Idealists tend to do.

      This, and with Raph being ISTP, if Leo were ENFJ it would make that much more sense for them to fight as much as they do with it becoming anything else. ISTPs are sometimes difficult on purpose but if Leo were an ISTJ, their fights would become crime scenes. An ENFJ would recognize the ISTP’s immaturity and keep things calm.

      Good comments man, real entertaining.

      • I know a lot about type theory. I knew Leo would be ISTJ or ENFJ. I just went with one since I couldn’t make up my mind. I personally struggle with my type determination. So, I tend to focus on characters & when I find one that I’m similar to, it helps me become closer to determining mine.

    • Taylor Says:

      I’m having trouble responding to your second comment, so I’ll respond on the first. What types are you leaning toward, as far as your own type is concerned? Evidently a “J.”

  2. Well, I am an “I”. I don’t use introverted sensing so I’m not an ISFJ or ISTJ. I lean toward ISFP, ISTP & INTJ.

    • Taylor Says:

      Alright well I’d say if you’re between those three, you can count off INTJ. Number alone would do that.

      An ISTP’s Ti as their dominant function leads them to immediately know what they relate to and what they don’t so I would count that out.

      Of course, I only know so much about you but from this I’d guess ISFP. Also, a big “flaw” of ISFP’s can be their indecisiveness, so you might have a winner with that one.

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