Everything's Better with Penguins

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Penguins? In my Humongous Mecha Mind Screw anime series? It's more likely than you think.

The second dumbest bird in the world. Can only fly underwater.

Maybe it's because they're birds that, oxymoronically, can't fly. Perhaps it's that they waddle around on two feet and remind people of themselves. Maybe it's because they look like they're wearing little tuxedos. It could be that they have no natural fear of humans, and are relatively easy to work with. Or, simply enough, it may just be because they're cute and their name sounds funny. But whatever the reason, penguins are big, and adding them to a movie or show is almost guaranteed to up the ratings and the intake at the box office.

Not far in the past (the 06-07 region), penguins experienced a popularity surge due to movies such as March of the Penguins, Happy Feet, Surf's Up, and Madagascar. Opinion is divided as to why, but general consensus is that penguins are big money. Penguins are, in fact, the new monkeys.

See also Everything's Better with Monkeys for the simian equivalent, Nobody Here but Us Chickens for the poultry version and Turtle Power for the chelonian alternative. Another example of an odd yet lovable animal would be Everything's Better with Platypi.


Examples of Everything's Better with Penguins include:


  • Budweiser's ads for its Bud Ice brand from the mid-1990s starred the "Bud Ice Penguin", a creepy bird who terrorized drinkers in the vein of slasher/horror films in order to get some of their beer. The calling card of the bird was nonchalantly humming the opening bars to "Strangers in the Night". Dooby dooby doo...
  • There was an ad for the Irish Independent a couple of years ago that featured penguins. Playing hurling. To Mexican music. Yes, it was just as cool as it sounds.
  • Don't forget this brilliant Guinness ad.
  • Or this Canada Dry ad...
  • And From Latin America, there come the penguins of Bon Ice (and there are more ads with them; they just haven't been uploaded).
  • These penguins will take their potato chips... AND EAT THEM!
  • The French March of the Penguins commercial for Canal Plus.
    • More of an Aversion(Inversion?): the women is supposed to imagine penguins, though because the man is referring to the penguins as "Emperors", she imagines Napoleons taking the place of Penguins.
  • Somewhere around the latest wave of penguinmania, Coca-Cola added penguins to their traditional commercials with the polar bears.
  • An ad for a download movie service featured a video store clerk who was so bored he made a penguin out of gummy bears. It looked a lot like the Madagascar penguins.
  • In the commercials for The General Auto Insurance, the General has a silent penguin sidekick which seems to serve no purpose.

Alternate Reality Games

  • Perplex City had a card about calculating a penguin population.

Anime and Manga

  • Pen-Pen in Neon Genesis Evangelion is officially an experiment from Misato's old job, which she rescued from the labs to keep him as a pet and as a sort-of cure for her loneliness, but he's really just there to lighten the mood. When he's Put on a Bus, you know things are headed south (metaphorically speaking, since Antarctica is already gone). Pen-Pen's absence in the Downer Ending of The Movie is quite telling, compared to his brief appearance during the original, relatively upbeat Gainax Ending.
    • As a penguin that apparently likes hot springs, Pen-Pen qualifies as the single least screwed-up character in the entire series. And even he has a tragic backstory. What does that tell you?
  • Azumanga Daioh has Sakaki's famous Dream Sequence, featuring Chiyo's "helper", a clumsy, spacey, and honestly rather unsettling penguin. This scene has been used in many an Animated Music Video with different background audio, including one with the "Ironside" segment from Kill Bill.
    • Let's not forget Chiyo herself donning a penguin suit during the Culture Festival in episode 16. So, so cute!
      • Penguin suit + Chiyo-chan = Awwww! So, so cute! Which is the approximate response of many when they see that suit.
      • That same costume appeared in Kaorin's New Year's dream, which, in the anime, came before that Culture Festival. (In the manga, we didn't see her dream.) Whereas Sakaki, in the black bar below the part of the screen where she and Kaorin are riding away on a horse, knocked down the delinquent versions of Yomi, Osaka, and Tomo, Chiyo was simply put into a penguin suit. One wonders if the show is trying to suggest an origin for that idea.
  • The manga Tuxedo Gin has the lead reincarnated as a penguin and having to win back the girl with whom he'd fallen in love right before his death.
  • Sanami Matoh, of FAKE fame draws herself as a person in a penguin costume. Needless to say, she's a bit of a weirdo.
    • So does Yellow Tanabe (of Kekkaishi) in the manga outtakes.
  • There's a whole penguin motif running through Idolmaster: Xenoglossia, and Yayoi wears a giant penguin suit on more than one occasion.
  • Penguins were thrown into an episode of Code Geass for no reason other than to show that one of the ruins related to Ragnarok is in Antarctica.
  • One of the villains in the Virtual World arc in Yu-Gi-Oh! uses a deck based around penguins (and ice). As his original body is gone, he's taken the form of a giant tuxedo-wearing penguin. His Backstory explains this; he was neglected as a kid and his parents fought a lot. To pass the time he read, and on learning how penguins are excellent parents, he became obsessed with them. His life dream is to build a penguin-themed amusement park, but his employer refused to fund the project.
  • A... thing that looks like the offspring of a penguin's head and a yin-yang symbol occasionally pops up in the background, and once as the head for a background character, in Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei, and is even given its own credit as "Emperor Penguin" in the opening sequence.
  • The manga/anime series Penguin Musume, for obvious reasons. Then again, the series as a whole has a polar animals thing going on with the naming.
  • Let's not forget Break, from Transformers: Beast Wars Neo. Yes, a Transformer who turns into a penguin.
    • Not very well, though. His toy is the very definition of both "kibble" and "shellformer"...
    • And if those terms need more, well, definition... you don't have a penguin turning into a robot so much as a penguin forming a shell around a robot. The penguin parts just hang off him awkwardly and aren't integrated into a robot mode... it's like a robot wearing random chunks of penguin sticking off every which way. One of the most - if not the most - awkward T Fs in the history of ever.
  • After her adoption by fans at large with the disappearance into history of the air conditioner she was created to advertise, Watanabe Yoshimoto's character Ecoko apparently acquired from somewhere a pair of penguin companions. Of course, she herself wears penguin themed clothing.
  • There's an episode in Slayers Try where Lina is repeatedly attacked by an army of penguins with guns.
  • D.Gray-man has the Millennium Earl... sorry, wrong Penguin.
  • And of course, there's Sanrio's own Badtz-Maru.
  • The Digimon metaseries has several penguin Mons, although none feature heavily in any of the animes.
    • The one that came closest is Daipenmon, who based on the card game, could have appeared in Digimon Frontier. Daipenmon is the fusion of a Snowlems and a yeti, and wields two giant popsicles as swords. Its special attacks are "Strawberry death" and "Blue Hawaiian Death". He finally makes an appearance as a Monster of the Week in Digimon Xros Wars, where he is not nearly as whimsical as that description makes him sound.
  • In Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple some of the characters are associated with animals. Miu and Shou Kanou are associated with birds due to their fighting styles, Kisara is such an avid cat lover that she adopts cat like moves in her Tae Kwon Do (aka the "Nya Kwon Do"), Ma Renka acts as free spirited and self centered as a cat, and Tirawat Koukin's association with elephants indicates how hard he hits. When Boris first fought Kenichi, he was surprised that the animal that Kenichi resembled was... a little penguin. This was completely at odds with Kenichi's ability to kick ass in the fight.
    • During a later rematch, Boris comments that Kenichi has grown, and his growth is metaphorically compared to a Pokemon-style evolution from a small, round penguin into a fierce, plumed Macaroni Penguin.
  • An early episode of the Urusei Yatsura anime unleashed a horde of penguins to terrorize the populace in adorably hilarious ways, though it turns out the "penguin" is actually a swallow mutated by eating alien candy. The episode ended with the giant bird building a nest in Tokyo Tower.
  • Princess Tutu has a pianist penguin - although the show's full of anthropomorphized animals, so maybe it doesn't count.
    • Princess Tutu Abridged plays with this by turning the aforementioned penguin into a superhero, dubbed 'Piano Penguin Man'. He saves the day in Episode 4.
  • Penguin Memories. It's a story about the horrors of the Vietnam War and trying to return to a civilian life while trying to deal with the day-to-day memories of the horrors. And it's starring Mike The Penguin, the 1980's mascot for Suntory Beer. It has to be seen to be believed.
  • Penguin Revolution begins each chapter with a drawing of one of the characters and a real breed of penguin. The first of these, featuring Yukari, has her dressed in a penguin costume.
  • In Ichigo Mashimaro, one episode has the girls talking about their "dweams". Matsuri's briefly features a penguin (who sort of looks like a penguin from Paper Mario) delivering a letter.
  • Nodoka's adorably plump penguin plushie in Saki. It actually turns out to be pretty important.
  • The animals from Mori no Ando aren't sure whether or not Mr Ando is a peguin. He claims that he is against all evidence.
  • The penguins love Zoro.
    • The Ice Hunter filler arc from One Piece also has the Doom Penguins, demonic red-eyed penguins with teeth who follow the orders of the Achino family.
  • Don't forget Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch and it's comic relief character, a tightass penguin in a sailor suit named Hippo.
  • Toriko has an endangered species in Ice Hel known as the Wall Penguin. It's spittle is the final ingredient for Century Soup.
  • Penguins show up surprisingly often in Cardcaptor Sakura, and the oft-visited park has a giant penguin slide known as 'King Penguin'. Sakura evidently likes them quite a bit.
  • Pororo the Little Penguin
  • School Rumble's Akira Takano sometimes dresses as a Penguin. Once she's wearing it, and she first attracts Sarah, then Yakumo, and finally Tenma, they then all get stuck in the floorboards, Akira then reveals that it was all part of her ingenious plot to get them all in an embarrassing situation so she could take a picture for a christmas card!
  • Yondemasuyo, Azazel-san has Beelzebub the fly demon, who in the human world takes on a form similar to a stuffed toy penguin thanks to Akutabe's magical barrier that prevents demons of using their real forms.
  • Mawaru Penguindrum has penguins that are Invisible to Normals, as well as being generally penguin-themed.

Comic Books

  • Justice League Antarctica fought genetically altered killer penguins in their only case ever.
  • Batman's villain the Penguin is one of the first that started the whole Penguin-palooza. He is also probably the most popular of all the ridiculous supervillains with ridiculous gimmicks that do not look threatening at all. On Comedy Central, he is the perfect theme to mock politicians like Dick Cheney or even Franklin Delano Roosevelt!
    • Tim Burton surrounded the Penguin with penguins. ... Carrying rockets.
      • Its also worth to note that, while The Penguin was originally a normal human with a tuxedo, Tim Burton redesigned him to be more avian looking, with a long nose and three fingered hands... which places penguins at a creepy level. Afterwards, the creepy penguin-like human design prevailed
  • Let's not forget DC antihero Lobo, who often had a crazed, and often oddly cute, squad of murderous penguins following him around.
  • Aw, yeah! Tiny Titans features penguins taking over Robin's place as a running gag.
  • And Sparky the Penguin in Tom Tomorrow's strip, This Modern World.
    • Mind you, rumours claim that Sparky is actually an awk. And, really, who'd possibly believe an awk?
  • The Simpsons comic parody of Death Note features Ned Flanders getting pecked to death by penguins.
  • What's New with Phil and Dixie as an example of a "good" item has a Penguin Generator.
  • Frobisher was the talking, shape-shifting companion of the Sixth Doctor in Doctor Who Magazine's comic strip for some time. His favorite form was that of a 4-foot-tall penguin. He's also appeared (for want of a better term) in a couple of Big Finish Doctor Who audio dramas.
  • One short story by Walter Moers starts with a German "white trash" guy watching TV. Then, someone rings his door, and when he opens, a hoard of penguins enters, starts a party. When he demands to know what this is all about, they show him that today's "international penguin's day". He's happy with that and joins the party.
    • Also inverted in one story by him where nuclear tests in Antarctica create a Godzilla-like penguin who surfs on an ice float to East Germany and starts to wreak havoc. (He's brought down by the Little Arsehole.)

Fan Works

  • In the Stargate Atlantis fandom, particularly the Slash Fic areas around McKay and/or Sheppard, there was a spat of fiction involving penguins, the characters turning into penguins mostly. Seems to have died down but still brings a smile to many a fen within that part of the fandom.
    • There was a similar trend in Buffy fandom for a while, though it mostly involved Alternate Universe stories where the characters had always been penguins. Who slayed leopard seals.
  • Aeon Entelechy Evangelion is an Evangelion fanfic, so Pen-Pen is there. Only this time he is a blind Antarctican Urbanised Albino Emperor Penguin descended from the penguins in At the Mountains of Madness.
  • In The Ikaris, Pen Pen tends to make the scenes way funnier. Examples include Misato arguing with him about a beer can as Shinji mutters that Pen Pen is not even talking about it and Asuka Ikari wonders if she is the Only Sane Person in the apartment.


  • One of the earliest examples can be seen in Mary Poppins during the "penguin waiter" segment, when Bert dances with them.
  • Fight Club has the protagonist have his 'power animal' be a penguin. Sliiiiiiiiide!
  • The recent penguin popularity can be traced back to the release of March of the Penguins in 2005, which was something of an Ensemble Darkhorse in the documentary world, moving from only a few screens to spreading around the country and eventually snagging the Academy Award for Best Documentary.
    • There was an article about the 2005 summer blockbuster take, and how it was generally disappointing, except for March of the Penguins (it beat out Revenge of the Sith for pure staying power). Commentary in the article suggested that perhaps Hollywood should learn lessons about what movies they should make, perhaps going away from the standard effects-laden summer fare. However, the article then goes on to say that the lesson to be learned for most studio executives would be "We need more penguin movies."
    • Don't forget the parody of the March of the Penguins film, Farce of the Penguins, which even has Samuel L. Jackson among the voice cast.
    • There was a French-made parody in which, instead of Emperor Penguins, thousands of Emperors Napoleon struggled through the snows of Antarctica, gave each other pebbles, and finally had (off-screen) sex. Glorious.
      • It was an ad for Canal+ . In full, there was a guy explaining the movie (which he had seen on Canal+ ) to a girl next to him in line at a cafeteria or something. The joke (yes, I know, Don't Explain the Joke, but this is an exception) is that the word for an Emperor Penguin in French is simply "empereur" (emperor), and the scenes with Napoleon were the girl's mental image.
  • Happy Feet used this both in the box office, by combining penguins with dancing and pop music, and in the world of the movie, where the sight of hundreds of penguins dancing in unison inspired people to begin protecting them. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
  • Surf's Up rode the same wave (ha ha) with a Mockumentary about surfing penguins, albeit to lesser box-office success than the previous two. It did get an Oscar nomination, however.
  • Let's not forget Madagascar, where the penguins stole the show to such an extent they later got their own short film. And a series, seen below under Western Animation. It's what the Kim Possible producers were assigned to after they were headhunted.
    • In Australia, Madagascar 2 was promoted with the slogan "37% More Penguins".
  • The Simpsons Movie featured Grand Theft Walrus, a game in which a walrus shoots a dancing penguin. The DVD Commentary reveals that this was a specific Take That against the penguin fad.
  • Chilly Willy from The Fifties was one of the earliest incarnations of this trope.
  • In Batman Returns, the classic supervillain The Penguin (a human) was given a Retool of actually having been raised by them, complete with an army of penguins with laser eye sights and back mounted rockets. This old Batman panel was probably supposed to be ominous.

"A penguin never forgets!"


  • Ha-hem. Fight Club. "Slide!"
  • H.P. Lovecraft. Giant albino mutant penguins. The horror of which is somewhat mitigated by the fact that he earlier, in the same story, refers to plain old regular penguins as "grotesque".
    • This is Lovecraft. Everything is grotesque.
      • Everything you wouldn't normally see in New England, at least. Also, a lot of things you would normally see in New England.
      • Or at least squamous. And rugose.
      • Penguins could be considered Grotesque Cute, though (also, their feet are squamous; it just means "scaly").
  • In The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams, Kate dreams that she's in an attic full of trunks. About one in every ten are full of her memories; the rest contain penguins.
  • In the first novel of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Ford turns into a penguin as a result of the Infinite Improbability Drive. He is told to stop it.
    • An infinite number of penguins.
  • Classic children's literature: Mr. Popper's Penguins
  • In John C. Wright's The Golden Age, an AI controlling a mansion takes on the form of a penguin in order to fly through the air with the son of the house, and keeps it despite the objection that penguins can't really fly.
    • They can if they're wearing jetpacks.
    • It later explains it takes a penguin form regularly as a deliberate pose so humans will understand its motives as best they can. It also uses the form to explain to Phaethon how even a man about to be unjustily exiled can be happy: by following its nature.
  • Patina, a goddess of wisdom on the Discworld (and blatantly ersatz counterpart of Pallas Athena) carries a penguin with her—a side effect of an influential statue of her carved by an incompetent sculptor.
  • In Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman, this was subverted when Spider kept teleporting around the world to avoid the minions of a bird goddess. When he tried Antarctica, he saw the disturbing sight of thousands of penguins waddling straight at him...
  • Tacky The Penguin
  • L'Ile des Pingouins by Anatole France is a satire of French history, as lived by penguins on a faraway island.
  • Andrey Kurkov's satirical novel Death and the Penguin, about a morose Ukrainian journalist and his equally morose pet penguin, which he acquired when the cash-strapped zoo was giving animals away to anyone who could look after them.
  • Halliday and Resnick's "Fundamentals of Physics" textbook seems to have an odd preoccupation with penguins in the practice problems.
  • One of the main characters in The Magic Pudding is Sam Sawnoff, a Badass penguin and adventurer.

Live-Action TV

  • Monty Python's Flying Circus had a few penguin-related sketches, perhaps most famously the "Penguin on the Television" routine.
    • And we cannot forget the giant penguin with electric tentacles from the "Scott of the Sahara" sketch.
    • And the scientific study that posited the fact that if a penguin was enlarged to the height of a human, its brain still wouldn't be as big as a human's but...it would be bigger.
  • Then, of course, there are Don and Herb from Beakman's World.
  • Surprisingly, Power Rangers took until Jungle Fury to give us a Penguin Zord. A Penguin Zord on a hoverboard. Its Super Sentai counterpart, Juken Sentai Gekiranger, featured character Michelle Peng, a humanoid penguin associated with the previously-mentioned mecha. She skateboards. Her Jungle Fury equivalent is the human (and dead) Master Guin.
  • On April Fools' Day 2008 the BBC aired a trailer for their iPlayer service, presented as an actual piece of wildlife documentary footage... displaying flying penguins which emigrated to the rain forest during winter!
  • Red Dwarf—Mr. Flibble is a penguin hand puppet a crazed Rimmer consults with.
  • During a number on The Muppet Show with scenery intended to evoke Hawaii, some penguins came along and started singing. Let's just say that the singing moai in the background is possibly not the strangest bit.
    • And there's an amusing little short in which Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker prove that Penguins love to do the Bunny Hop (with fuzzy pink bunny ears no less!), and the Mambo.
      • There's also the theme park attraction Muppet*Vision 3D, which features the penguin as the orchestra, and they even pull out a cannon near the end.
    • In Sesame Street and every Muppet Production adopted the Random Penguins as a homage to Jim Henson, who simple loved throw random penguin everytime.
      • 5,Rue Sesame, the French Version of Sesame Street, has a penguin character named Georges
    • Brian Henson said in an interview once that his father figured out early on that "If you can't get out [of a sketch], you either blow something up, or you eat something, or you just throw penguins in the air." Naturally, there were quite a few penguins thrown in the air over the course of the Muppet Show's run.
  • In one episode of Friends, where Chandler is in bed with Janice who likes to cuddle, he thinks to himself: "Look at all this room on her side of the bed. You could fit a giant penguin in there." And then goes on to add a mental remark: "That would be weird, though."
    • Don't forget Huggsy, Joey's bedtime penguin pal, which appeared in a few episodes.
  • Tux the Penguin in the TV Movie Re Animated later turned into the show you love to loathe Out of Jimmy's Head
  • The "Penguin Costume" skit from the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode "Screaming Skull".
  • Blackadder the third had King George, the Prince Regent's father. He sums it up nicely -

King George III: Some people say I'm mad, and say the word "penguin" after each sentence. But I believe that we two can make Britain great, with you as the Prince Regent, and I as King Penguin.

  • A running gag on the ESPN show Pardon the Interruption, is Tony Kornheiser's penguin dance, which annoys Michael Wilbon to no end. Once, plushie penguins joined in on the fun.
  • An ad for a direct download movie service had a non sequiter penguin made of gummy bears. It looked a lot like one of the
  • An episode of Doctor Who had all of reality becoming extremely warped. One of the background jokes in a museum were the Nile Penguins.
  • Subverted, sort of, by "Flight of the Conchords". Jemaine: "Bret, do you remember, back in New Zealand, there would always be penguins? Remember the penguins? I hate penguins. Do you remember how there'd always be penguins?"
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway?: Colin, during a "Weird Newscasters" game.

"Today there was an accident...a busload of penguins...PENGUINS! They don't do harm to ANYONE! And they only have sex ONCE a YEAR! Oh, the INHUMANITY!"


  • Satan's Penguins, a black metal band. Covers also show penguins.
  • Relient K's first Christmas album, Deck the Halls, Bruise Your Hand, features a penguin on the cover. The penguin shows up again, randomly, on the cover of a book the band wrote.
  • Luxemborg's entry in the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest featured backup singers in penguin suits.
  • Lyle Lovett has a song entitled "Penguins", in which he states that he prefers penguins over fancy cars, diamond rings and such because "Penguins are so sensitive/To my needs." Furry penguin Fan Service included. You're Welcome.
  • A music project centered around the animated little penguin Pigloo had several Top 20 dance hits in France, complete with music videos.
  • The video clip for Jean Michel Jarre's 1988 Destination Docklands version of Oxygène 4 shows nothing but penguins waddling on the Antarctic ice.
  • GWAR has a song called "Penguin Attack", about penguins 'born of atomic steel' that attack.
  • Soul singer Rufus Thomas had a minor hit with "Do The Funky Penguin".
  • Brad Paisley's Christmas album features "Penguin, James Penguin", who helps Santa Claus find out who's been naughty and nice.
  • Fleetwood Mac released an album in 1973 called, you guessed it, Penguin.
  • One segment of the music video for Queen's "I'm Going Slightly Mad" has guitarist Brian May dressed as a penguin while a real one follows him around.

Newspaper Comics

  • Since 1925, Alfred the penguin is the pet of French young globetrotters Zig et Puce. In early 1927, a plushy Alfred toy was merchandised: it launched a huge Alfred craze all over France. When aviator Charles Lindbergh achieved his historical transatlantic flight to Paris that year, he was given an Alfred plushy and brought it with him as a mascot in his flight from Paris to Brussels. Yes, penguinmania is Older Than Television.
  • Since 1951, Pingo is Rasmus Klump's friend, having a Species Name and wearing a Cool Bowtie.
  • German comic Ingo Pien
  • Noted political cartoonist Pat Oliphant usually has a small penguin named Punk pop up in his works.
  • Gary Larson loved to do strips about Penguins in The Far Side
  • Opus, the bow-tied, neurotic penguin from Bloom County (and successor comics Outland and Opus). Of course, there are those rumors that he's really an auk...
    • Binkley pointed out that Opus actually looked more like a puffin than a penguin, using a graph to illustrate. Opus responded with a graph that showed how Binkley's head looks like a carrot (it does).
    • It is telling that Opus originally was a one shot character, Binkley brought him to his dad thinking he was a dog. Penquin Power resulted in Opus pulling a Fonz and becoming the main character.

New Media

  • The popularity of the Poke the Penguin Flash game can be partly attributed to this.
    • And don't forget "Yeti Sports"!
  • Club Penguin is Disney's MMORPG for children.

Tabletop Games


  • In The Man Who Came to Dinner by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, Sheridan Whiteside receives four penguins as a present from Admiral Byrd, one of his many famous admirers. They are moved into the library, where they break loose from their crate and one of them bites Miss Preen on the hand.


  • The Beanie Babies line has five: Waddle, Slapshot, Snowbank, Tux and Zero (who wears a Santa cap). Also, there're a Beanie version of Pablo the Penguin from The Backyardigans and Skipper from Madagascar (but only Skipper).
  • The new Penbo. She comes with a baby penguin that can be found in an egg in her tummy.

Video Games

  • RuneScape had some penguins for years, had a KGB-parody penguin quest ("cold war") when the penguin fad started, and now has a weekly penguin spy spotting minigame and at least one in the circus weekly minigame. Do the "cold war" quest to know which treacherous human helped penguins build the oversized doomsday mechanical penguin of DOOM!!
  • Disgaea: Prinnies, dood! They're ridiculously cute exploding murderers (and all other kinds of sinners, really). They're the souls of the damned, working off their sins as combustible stuffed penguin Butt Monkeys. They're even getting their own game, dood!
  • World of Warcraft has mages able to turn people into penguins (Before it was only sheeps, turtles or pigs). That may have something to do with the arctic theme of the second expansion, though.
    • Worth noting is that this is done by equipting a minor glyph (depending on level, a character can have up to 3 minor glyphs) that usually give you a small but useful ability. The penguin glyph has no impact on actual combat, and yet is still one of the most sought after glyphs.
    • Also, there are two new penguin vanity pets (little critters that follow you around and do nothing but look cute).
    • Also worth noting is the (rare) giant penguin known as King Ping.
    • And abundance of flocks of penguins which you can temporarily tame and have a crowd of penguins follow you. Wrath of the Lich King has a lot of penguins.
    • So many, in fact, that an Undercity Champion at the Argent Tournament Grounds in northeastern Icecrown punched one just to get a rise out of a priestess.
  • Scorpion from Mortal Kombat can transform into a penguin as an animality form. Yes, it makes no sense to us either.
    • He was supposedly turning into a scorpion, but since in the game he transforms into penguin there's already another person who can turn into a scorpion (Sheeva)... well yeah. There's no explaining why he became a penguin instead. With explosive eggs for that matter!
    • The real explanation for this was that Scorpion did not appear in the original Mortal Kombat 3 (the game with animalities); hence they gave the scorpion animality to Sheeva. In the Updated Rerelease Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (and Mortal Kombat Trilogy), they added him in, and gave him a penguin animality. In Mortal Kombat 4, they rectified their mistake, giving Scorpion the ability to turn into a giant scorpion for a fatality.
  • In The Sims 2: Seasons expansion pack, there's an NPC penguin that will occasionally walk by your house during the winter season. If you have a snowman built on your lawn/yard, it will stop by to talk to it. If you pet it it will pee.
  • Middle Eastern penguins in Final Fantasy XI, though they also share characteristics of certain cormorants.
  • In Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King, the Little King is followed around by a penguin who often is more snarky than helpful. Still, he's cute.
  • In Mega Man Battle Network 6, a penguin from the aquarium escapes and latches on to Mick (who eventually gives in to its cuteness), prompting the visit to that area. One of the sidequests has you find and capture five penguins who escape from the aquarium (and the cry of "Penguin Get" certainly suggests merit in the Inherently Funny Words theory).
  • In Super Mario Galaxy, if the galaxy you go to has a water theme, chances are good that it will have penguins lounging in the sun, swimming under water, or surfing the waves using manta rays.
    • Its predecessor Super Mario 64 had penguins, of noticeably similar design, in the snow-themed levels.
      • And therefore in Sherbet Land in Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, and Shiver City in Paper Mario.
        • Objection! Penguins in Mario Kart games are NOT awesome! They are the equivalent of Goddamn Bats! Always jumping right in your way, wiping you out, and you can't even kill them!
      • Heck, in the PC version of Mario Is Missing, if you bother to read the newspaper articles, you will find that they like to run stories on penguins ending up in Michigan or somewhere due to Bowser melting the south pole. It's true.
      • New Super Mario Bros. Wii introduces the Penguin suit, which allows you to freeze enemies, walk on ice without slipping, slide down slopes and shatter blocks, and swim more efficiently underwater. Given that the other powers only give you one power, and the penguin HAS all the power of the ice flower, it is definite proof that Mario is better when a penguin.
    • Penguins were actually a recurring theme in early Nintendo64 titles.
  • The first Age of Wonders featured the Dire Penguins as the first-tier special unit for the Frostlings, giving the Frostlings a unique (unless the Lizardmen were around) advantage of having an amphibious unit from the get-go. They got red eyes and funny sound effects, and the immense advantage a horde of Dire Penguins (as the portrait hints, it's good for rush) could lend on maps with lots of water.
    • Fan outrage at their absence in Age of Wonders 2 led to... Dire Penguin return in Age of Wonders 2: Shadow Magic as a joke summon. These guys have red eyes, a life-stealing attack and their death animation implies they were possesed by a demon. The campaign also has an enemy going insane and ranting about these creatures, among other things. Notably, if you find some obscure object (I think it was a magic box?) on that map, it spawns a massive amount of Dire Penguins all over the place. One or two of these aren't too bad, but they are nasty in large enough groups.
  • King Dedede from the Kirby series appears to be a penguin, although is never explicitly stated to be one.

Snake: Are you sure he's not a penguin?

  • In Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne a hidden section of one mission reveals the King Penguin, an invulnerable creature that gives you a ring of protection + 4.
    • There is a secret squeaky penguin item that can be obtained in the Orc Campaign.
  • In the Bloody Roar franchise, Chronos is supposed to turn into a phoenix, but sometimes turns into a penguin. Incidentally, the penguin is a lot harder to beat.
  • There are penguins waddling about the Japanese scenery in Katamari Damacy. (Sure, it doesn't make any sense, but then neither does the rest of the game.)
  • Both Little Big Adventure games have clockwork toy penguins used as weapons. In the first game, they simply distract enemies, making it easier to kill / avoid them; in the second game, they explode after a few seconds.
  • The boss of Sherbet Land in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 was a penguin. With a spiked hat.
  • Animal Crossing has a few penguins at potential residents, but then, you're the only human, so it's not a big shock.
  • Feathers McGraw makes his return in Wallace and Gromit in Project Zoo.
  • In Terranigma, the far north of restored Earth is inhabited by a colony of apparently sapient, igloo building penguins. "Would you like to buy a flower? Make a girl or a penguin talk!"
  • The World Ends With You features penguin-type Noise. They're all named after pop music genres.
  • The online game Kingdom of Loathing has the Penguin Mafia.
    • And as of the 2008 Crimbo event, the Penguin Mafia is now in control of Crimbo, thanks to a one-sided deal between Uncle Crimbo and Don Pygoscelis. Oops, I meant Uncle Hobo and Don Crimbo.
  • Arcana Heart 2 introduces us with Zenia Valov, whose ice-controlling default Arcana is in form of a giant ****ing penguin.
  • The first game by Yuji Naka's Prope can be played by penguins. Allegedly.
  • One of the early and notable examples in the history of videogaming is Konami's Antarctic Adventure (and its sequel Penguin Adventure), which had a penguin as protagonist.
    • Pentarou the penguin became eventually a sort of mascot for Konami, making various appearances in other games (including the Parodius series and the 1991 Famicom game Yume Penguin Monogatari). The latest appearance is in New International Track & Field for DS.
    • Add to that Konami list Tokimeki Memorial 2 : the resident Tomboy, Homura Akai, loves penguins, so much that she even gets to wear a penguin suit at one point of the game.
    • Also, Mitsumete Knight R : Daibouken Hen. Among the numerous costumes available in this game, the animal-themed exclusive suit for the heroine, Sophia, is a penguin one. What's more, it greatly boosts her affection level towards MacLeod if she wears it, unlike the other girls with their respective animal suits (Hanna = Rabbit suit, no boost ; Raizze = Weasel suit, Leslie = Leopard suit, Linda = Peacock suit, all three greatly damaging affection level).
    • Konami seems to have a love affair with Penguins in general. Parodius features a playable penguin, as well as dozens of penguin enemies. Otomedius also stars several thousand penguins as enemies, Mecha-Mooks called Pengu.
  • Tales of Symphonia has the Penguinist and Penguiner "monsters" which appear to be people in Penguin suits.
  • Deus Ex Invisible War features a level set in JC Denton's Antarctic refuge complete with cute little penguins waddling about. In the final level, on Liberty Island, which has frozen over due to The Collapse one can activate a portal to an extradimensional nightclub, complete with penguins on fire!
  • The tactical game Vantage Master 2, where you play a spirit summoner fighting other summoners for artifacts that let you summon new spirits, one particular spirit is Zamilpen, an ancient demon who apparently was trapped in a never-melting shard of ice. He takes the form of a man-sized penguin. With the ability to incapacitate foes by freezing them. Despite his high cost and reduced land speed (as Zamilpen is a water-element spirit, and has half movement on land) usually outweighing his combat value, he is quite popular.
  • Magical Battle Arena knows the value of penguins. Why else would it have Cardcaptor Sakura's main character use The Create to drop mass Penguin Slides on top of her opponents as one of her Supers?
  • Zoo Tycoon featured emperor penguins for one of your attractions. Oh, and place an Emperor Penguin in the same pen as a T. Rex, and guess who eats who.
  • One of the bosses in Bonesaw: The Game is a giant penguin. That fires sub-zero blasts. And summons snowstorms with occasional hail. And flies.
  • The Community Expansion Pack for Neverwinter Nights includes penguins as monsters.
    • The Shadowlords module series had a bit of a One-Scene Wonder in the third chapter, a totally indestructible penguin.
  • Drawn to Life has penguin mooks among its enemies.
  • The Pokémon Piplup, Prinplup, Empoleon. Delibird is essentially a cross between a penguin and Santa Claus.
  • Sega in the 1980s made two games starring penguins. One was the Maze Game Pengo; the other was the egg-escorting game Penguin Land.
  • Attack of the Mutant Penguins has good penguins aiding the heroes to defend Earth against evil alien penguins.
  • [[Ar tonelico|o/Pippen, pippen ooooh! o/]]
  • Endless Ocean features Adelies, Emperors, Gentoos, Rockhoppers, African penguins and Little penguins to be discovered. A few penguins even show up on the deck of the boat and hang out with the protagonist when the hidden credits sequence is triggered.
    • They return in the sequel, including two of the legendaries: Snowy the albino, and Big Bobby - a penguin as tall as a human man.
  • Spore has a penguin-like creature called Knot the Grawx.
  • The reward for completing a maze in the prehistoric Mac game Amazing was a picture of a penguin blowing a trumpet.
  • Subverted in Syberia 2. Turns out that larger, near-man sized penguins are actually pretty dangerous, as one incensed thief learned to his regret after chucking a penguin egg in anger.
  • Dungeon of Doom counts an Electric Penguin among its monsters. It shoots lightning at you. Naturally.
  • Banjo-Kazooie Nuts & Bolts includes penguins running around the main hub town. Running one over can prompt the unfortunate avian to complain: "How could you? Everyone loves penguins! Scientific fact!"
    • Not to mention the robotic ones running around Banjo-Land.
  • Penguins were a recurring theme in early Nintendo64 games (including the previously mentioned Super Mario 64).
  • One of the six playable characters in Fur Fighters is a pengiun, he's the only one that can swim underwater and is a bit slower on land.
  • In Sonic Unleashed (the 360/PS3 version, mind you), Holoska, the continent based upon Antarctica (That, or loosely based on Alaska, hence the name) has Penguins standing around looking cute, in both the Day and Night stages. The ones in the Day Stages hang around the goal, and jump around when Sonic clears the stage.
  • Muppets Race Mania has penguins as a weapon pickup.
  • Zanbar and the Penpader from Super Robot Wars NEO
  • Tux (Linux mascot) is often used as a character in Open Source games.
  • Half-Life: Opposing Force has an Easter Egg in Capture the Flag mode that replaces the enemy-following, exploding snarks with penguins with grenades strapped to their backs, dood!
  • Wii Ware game Snowpack Park has penguins as its entire reason for being: You go around, befriend penguins, and play penguin-themed games with them (like penguin-bowling, penguin-curling, and penguin-balancing).
  • Club Penguin. Duh.
  • Gurin and Malon from the old Hudson Soft game Binary Land.
  • Subverted in Mabinogi. There are two different penguin pets available. However, they are not very popular due to being fairly unimpressive—only average combat ability, average storage space, and no useful or interesting special abilities. The sound given to them by the developers is also considered one of the most annoying sounds in the game by a large number of players.
  • Quoted from Persona 4:"damn, i though i was gonna find the penguin today"
  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon has Sgt James Byrd. A flying penguin that fights with shoulder mounted rocket launchers. He is also the only character in the entire franchise to have free roam in two realms.
  • Thin Ice for the Intellivision was a graphical conversion of the Data East Arcade Game Disco No. 1, with the dancers replaced with penguins. Duncan the Penguin, the player character, was to have been promoted as a mascot character, but these plans fell victim to Executive Meddling.


  • Ted the Penguin in Ctrl+Alt+Del is the pet of Scott, who (not at all coincidentally) is the resident Linux guru.
  • Pokey the Penguin follows one, though in the comic the penguin is probably the least bizarre thing.
  • Comedity, a comic mostly about the personalities inside the author's head, has a penguin personality.
  • Yosh! features Pen-Pen (no relation to the one from Neon Genesis Evangelion - we think), a talking, sociopathic penguin with a Jell-O addiction. He may also be well actually, he is some kind of demon. In a world populated by mages, monsters, ninjae and robot girls, people tend to do a double-take on Pen-Pen, sometimes going so far as to exclaim "A talking penguin? That's impossible!"
  • The Peons, being set in Antarctica, is based off of this.
  • Osborne in Wally and Osborne, which lampshades the whole Polar Bears and Penguins trope by teaming him up with a displaced polar bear named Wally.
  • Blackbeak, a pirate penguin resistance member in The Wotch.
  • Detective Richek in Jack.
  • The Day it Snowed features truly adorable sentient penguins, and a penguin GOD.
    • They've crossed over to the artist's new comic, Jack Of All Blades—where they've gotten upgraded to ninja penguins.
  • Minions At Work: a penguin minion and again!
  • Pip the Penguin in Sequential Art
  • Nukees: Linus, a small Adelie who helps Gav escape after Teri the Terapet launched him to Antarctica inside the Giant Robot Ant. Shortly after Gav returns to Berzerkeley, Linus shows up riding the Ant, and since then has saved Gav from virtual-Velociraptor induced death more than once. Fittingly, Danny Hu teaches him kernel programming.
  • Not in the strip itself, but one of the little notes R.K. Milholland signs off Something*Positive with suggested that if one is ever depressed, just Google image search "baby penguins." It works.
  • Flaky Pastry mentions a thief who was driven insane by a magical trap such that he now only steals penguins. He briefly appears in a later strip, surrounded by penguins he's stolen, and suggesting to Prism that they go to the zoo together.
  • Pengcognito: an entire alternate universe of penguins
  • In The In Joke we have two examples. here and here.
  • One of the recurring series at The KAMics is about penguins.
  • Brawl in the Family has King Dedede from the Kirby games, listed in the Video Games section. Notably, his father was a photorealistic Emperor penguin, and his mother fed him the traditional regurgitated chum well into his school years.
  • Housepets! 1X by Stu and Jojo, a Fan Web Comics based on Rick Griffin's Housepets! features a penguin by the name of Eyesight. Introduced here.

Web Original

Crump: You just don't understand the beauty of the penguin! They're so aerodynamically perfect. Can't you see it?! The shape...the smell...(lip-licking sound) the taste of penguins. Penguins. PENGUINS!
Tea: ...Are you finished--
Crump: Penguins!
Tea: Stop saying 'penguins!‍'‍

Western Animation

  • Parodied on Frisky Dingo when Killface is running for president and carries around Baby Lamont, a penguin that he saved, for pure publicity's sake.
  • An episode of The Simpsons had Lisa see a group of penguins flying, until they saw her and landed while looking shifty.
    • On another episode, Homer accidentally hijacks a nuclear submarine. When he surfaces, he is held at gunpoint by the navies of several nations, including the "S.S. Antarctica" a battleship crewed by penguins.
    • In "Bart's Comet", penguins are shown flying away from the zoo as the comet comes closer.
  • The Futurama episode "The Bird-Bot of Ice-Catraz" had Bender join a penguin colony after whacking his head and being reset on penguin mode. The penguins were actually a major part of the episode's plot, but Bender's antics were purely for comic relief. Leela even describes the penguins as what would happen if "puppies and kittens had babies" and swoons over them. Then at the end of the episode we find out Bender spent a good deal of his time turning them militant and man-eating, with the closing shot showing them discovering guns.
  • Wallace and Gromit: The Wrong Trousers actually had a penguin as the villain.
    • And the penguin made cameos in several early episodes of ReBoot.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Aang and Katara go penguin-sledding after they first meet in the premiere. Or rather, otter-penguin sledding: the penguins have mouths and whiskers rather than beaks, as well as four flippers. They're still pretty cute.
  • All Grown Up: The final word Susie gets in a Language Bee is "penguin." She gets it right and wins for her team, but not before wondering aloud, "Why would I ever need to say 'penguin' in [the foreign language]?"
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: Grim and Billy seek a Druid's help to battle a Kite-And-Other-Debris-Eating Tree, and he helps them get in touch with nature so they can do it. During the training, the druid helps them acquire a spirit animal. But rather than get something cool and predatory like a grizzly bear, Grim's spirit animal turns out to be a penguin. Well, it matches his round, white head and beady black (lack of) eyes, doesn't it? (And it's also very likely a reference to "Fight Club".)
    • There's also the episode where they see the movie Exploding Penguins Three, which, as the title suggests, is "an action-packed documentary about how penguins exploded"!
  • Walter Lantz's Chilly Willy.
  • Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales.
  • The first Veggie Tales Christmas episode introduced a horde of mute penguins. They weren't seen again, except for a very brief cameo in the song "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" (dressed as a parrot).
    • Although different from these penguins stylistically, the creators of Veggie Tales went on to produce another series by the name of 321 Penguins! And yes, it did have penguins. In Space!
  • Two Looney Tunes shorts feature Bugs Bunny and a small penguin. In "Eight-Ball Bunny", Bugs tries to get the penguin to Antarctica where he thinks he belongs. Turns out he's a performing penguin who was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. ("Hoboken?! Ooh, I'm dyin' again!") In the second cartoon, Bugs ends up protecting the penguin from an ill-tempered Eskimo hunter. The same penguin also featured in an episode of Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries.
    • Notably, this little penguin is pretty much the only character ever to really perturb the usually unflappable Bugs of Chuck Jones' direction - in the first cartoon mentioned, Bugs ends up running into the distance laughing hysterically.
    • Tex Avery's "The Penguin Parade" (1938) has lots of great stuff in it, from three penguins stopping in the middle of performing "When My Dreamboat Comes Home" just to make faces at us to the ending after a band ends its torrid performance:

Band: If you think we're gonna keep this up all night, you're screwy! And we do mean you!

Real Life

  • Penguins exist in Real Life. The world is a better place for it.
  • In a newspaper article at around the time of March of the Penguins release the columnist put forth the opinion that penguins were proof of the existence of God, since only a divine being with a sense of humour could create such a wonderful animal. (See also: the platypus.)
  • The popular PengWIN video of a very lucky penguin outsmarting a killer whale.
  • All hail Sir Nils Olav, Colonel-In-Chief of the Norwegian King's Guard!
  • In certain parts of South Africa, penguins will cheerfully go into restaurants... and people's cars.
    • In fact, wild penguins live as far north as the Galapagos Islands, which are on the equator.
      • There is actually a small colony of penquins living on an island that is just north of the equator.
  • Penguins can wander on beaches on the Falkland Islands that humans cannot because of land mines.
  • Tux, the mascot of Linux.
    • Somewhat averted when Linus Torvalds visited a zoo and tried to pet one. On the other hand, Word of God claims that's how he got into penguins in the first place and decided on a penguin mascot for the OS.
  • Meet TOFU.
  • Apparently, milk is too; because male Emperor Penguins lactate! It is stored in a sack by the esophagus.
  • Penguins is a nickname for highschool students in Chile due to their uniform's colors. A protest which was 1 month long and nearly every student in Chile was a part of was called The March of the Penguins"
  • Sad aversion: recently, lots of penguins have been found dead in the beaches of south Chile because of bird flu.
  • Festo has recently made robotic penguins, some even capable of flight.
  • The National Hockey League team, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
  • Ecoco, a former Japanese power company mascot, was a young girl in a Moe penguin costume. She was pulled from use due to rampant Rule 34.
  • There is a Japanese megastore company called Don Quijote. Think "Wal Mart as done by the Japanese". It's every milligram as insane as you might expect (there are now branches in Honolulu, Hawaii. They had to tone it down a LOT for their American customers and staff) So you're a Japanese company imitating an American megamart and giving it a Spanish name based on a fictional adventurer. Therefore, it is Japandatory that your mascot is gonna be a blue penguin with the first letter of his company's name (katakana "DO") emblazoned on his belly...and his pink girlfriend with a giant heart on hers.
  • Japan stikes again. Five penguins at a zoo in Shimane Prefecture are wishing visitors a flappy Christmas [dead link].
  • Penguin Books
  • Penguin biscuits
  • Little Penguin wine. It's a pretty good wine for the price;and there is an adorable penguin on the label.
  • There is a small island off the coast of Western Australia, near Perth, called Penguin Island. It is home to a large colony of fairy penguins and a small conservation facility. The only reason any one goes there is to see the penguins
  • There is a town in Tasmania called Penguin. It has a large penguin statue (containing asbestos), penguins on the rubbish bins, small penguin statues, shops named after penguins, shops selling penguins and more. Other then that, its pretty dull. Definitely better with penguins.
  • Scottish Beer Maker "Brew Dog" has a beer called Tactical Nuclear Penguin it was for a time, at 32% alcohol by volume, the strongest beer in the world. They've since brewed a stronger one.
  • The recently deceased Argentinian President Nestor Kirchner and his collaborators were nicknamed "The Penguins" because of Kirchner's birth place in the South of Argentina.
  • Chester Zoo now have webcams in their penguin enclosure.
  • From the cast commentary for The Lord of the Rings The Two Towers:

Brad "Wormtongue" Douriff: Who wouldn't want to go to New Zealand, they have penguins for Chrissakes!

  • Sometimes Dominican Order uses a penguin as their Mascot, due to their traditional black and white habits.
  • Theta Phi Alpha, a women's fraternity (sorority), uses the penguin as its mascot.

...'cause penguins are so sensitive to my needs.

  1. Magnezone has the most.