Everything's Better with Monkeys

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Don't worry, he actually thinks it's really funny.
"More fun than a barrel of monkeys!"
Old proverb, setting the bar impossibly high

Some people find apes, monkeys, and lemurs inherently amusing. Perhaps it's the fact that they mirror humanity so closely while still maintaining the visage of a wild animal, perhaps it's just easier to anthropomorphize them, or maybe people just like poop-tossing jokes? Whatever the reason, there's a cyclic period of people being fascinated by primates that always seems to take the world of fiction by storm.

This has long been noted by comic book authors, who, during The Silver Age of Comic Books, took every opportunity to insert, turn people into, or otherwise add gorillas to a superhero story. In fact, DC Comics had a policy at the time limiting the number of "monkey" issues per month, to prevent everybody from doing it!

This is sometimes associated with the tastes of the Lowest Common Denominator, who view the ultimate form of entertainment as a cigar-smoking chimp wearing a diaper and top hat that is riding a tricycle.

A chimp with a diaper—Ha ha... Wait, we didn't imagine that until just now. Ha ha ha!

This trope is named for this Super Dickery.com subpage. And yes, we know it ought to be "Everything's Better With Non-Human Primates" too. After all, everything's also better with apes, who are technically not monkeys. The difference is actually very simple - Monkeys have tails, while apes (including chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans) don't. On the other hand the word "monkey" is simply funnier (unless you're adressing a certain librarian...)

The actual editor of the site explains here how untrue this trope is. Speaking from personal experience, "Monkeys are not cute in real life, they are evil little bastards. On top of that, they carry the Hepatitis B virus." (And HIV came from a virus in monkeys called SIV.) In fiction, baboons are often used if Everything Is Worse With Monkeys, probably because they're on the large size for primates and are more than willing to display their formidable canine teeth on camera. Gorillas can work either way, because everybody knows gorillas are Badass, so it depends on whether the gorilla in question is good or evil.

See also Killer Space Monkey, Maniac Monkeys, and Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot (which invokes this trope quite often); also check out Everything's Better with Penguins, Turtle Power, and Everything's Better with Dinosaurs for the avian and saurian equivalents of this trope. See Cymbal-Banging Monkey for a common exception to this trope.

Examples of Everything's Better with Monkeys include:


  • According to panelists from The Gruen Transfer, it's something of an industry in-joke to do an ad with a monkey in it.
  • A very well-known series of adverts for PG Tips Tea in Britain involved a group of trained chimpanzees who acted in the roles of a suburban family, with dubbed voices. Despite their popularity, these were axed in the 1990s over fears of animal cruelty allegations. They have since been replaced with the sock monkey (or Muuuuun-keigh! as Johnny Vegas pronounces it) inherited from ITV Digital, allowing a thematic continuation.
  • The latter arises from a series of adverts by Vegas (playing a character called Al) and the Muuuunkeigh for ITV Digital, which went under despite giving away free sock monkeys with every subscription (some people signed up purely for that reason). The Al-Muuunkeigh combo was briefly transferred to The BBC for Comic Relief, then bought by PG Tips.
  • The Cadburys "Gorilla" ad. The entire ad consists of a man in a disturbingly realistic gorilla costume drumming along to Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight", and relies on this trope in order to generate publicity (which it has). Check it out.
  • "It's the Rolling Rock Beer Ape! And he's here to save the day!"
  • This classic '70s ad for American Tourister Luggage.
  • There's something inherently hilarious about a belligerent gorilla swinging a sleeping man around by his hair in this classic Wella Shock Waves ad from The Nineties.
  • Arby's simultaneously subverted this trope while playing it straight with this commercial.
  • These hilarious Career Builder ads, one of which aired during the friggin' Super Bowl.
  • The instant-classic Trunk Monkey ads. No one really knows where this "Suburban Automotive Dealerhip" is, but their commercials are hysterical. Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • The newer Subway commercials all feature monkeys.
  • A Dodge Automobile commercial advertising a new sale has Michael C Hall say, "This event could not be more amazing. Oh, wait, there's a monkey." Cue a small chimpanzee dressed like Evel Knievel walking into the lot and pushing down on a plunger that blasts a small amount of confetti. Hall then says, "I stand corrected."
    • In response to PETA's complaints about using a monkey, Chrysler produced another commercial that was almost exactly like the first one—but now with an invisible monkey.
    • "Unbelievable"
  • Invoked by USA Network while advertising The Golden Compass.
  • "Jammie? Jammie jammie..."

Anime and Manga

  • An episode of Cowboy Bebop has an angry environmentalist secure and use a virus that alters DNA to rapidly change humans into apes.
  • Etemon, the comedic "Breather Episode" (well, Not So Harmless really) villain from Digimon Adventure.
  • Dragon Ball had the humanlike Saiyans. When they look into the full moon, they become rampaging Giant Monkeys.
    • In DBZ, they are not friendly at all. Goku's transformations were occasionally played for humor in the original series, but it was shown to be quite dangerous to those around him, too. Vegeta, on the other hand, retains complete control while transformed into a giant ape. Too bad it's well before his Heel Face Turn when he does it, so they'd have been better off if he had become just a rampaging mindless beast. Played straight, however, with King Kai's monkey companion Bubbles.
  • Let's not leave Speed Racer out of the mix, with their Team Pet Chim-Chim.
  • Cromartie High School has a gorilla who frequently shows up at the school, and is said to be smarter than many of the Delinquents who go there (which isn't that hard to believe when you see the rest of the cast).
  • Bludgeoning Angel Dokurochan has a student transformed into a recurring monkey. Said monkey's head was made using stock real life photos.
  • Fireball has the appearance of Schadenfreude, a robotic monkey.
  • The Kyoto Arc of Mahou Sensei Negima has Chigusa, the Big Bad charm user with a monkey motif.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh 5 Ds, the Dark Signer Demak had the Dark Signer Birthmark of the Monkey, his Deck had monsters that were primarily Monkeys/Apes... and, of course, Earthbound Immortal Cusillu.
  • Buster Keel has Keel, a Dragon Ape, stuck in human form.
  • In Ask Dr. Rin, one of their four Ridiculously Cute Critters is Tenshin, a monkey that does nothing but squawk and eat candy, but due to being something of a mascot for the series, gets a lot of screentime.
  • In a Naruto filler arc, Kakashi placed a genjutsu on a bunch of monkeys so they would look like his team, confusing his tail. Apparently said tail found monkeys highly entertaining, as it took him half an hour to figure out they weren't human.
  • Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt episode 1 Angry Ghost has an Ace Attorney monkey.
  • GetBackers has monkeys popping up in the two Hot Springs Episodes and breaking havoc on the cast.
  • Averted in Yaiba, where Basho Matsuo, one of the vilest and most dangerous villains of the series turns into an ape-man during his fight with Yaiba. He relies more on agility and cursed needles than brute strength though.
  • The small purple monkey-like creature Chu-Chu in Revolutionary Girl Utena
  • Slam Dunk: No actual monkeys in the show, but the main character is described as a "redheaded monkey" and his captain's nickname is literally "Gori" (short for Gorilla). In fact, any excessively big and manly guy is referred to as a gorilla. Whenever Shohoku is chibified, they're usually portrayed as monkeys being led by a gorilla (except Rukawa whose a fox).

Comic Books

  • Many, many superheroes and supervillains are intelligent apes of some sort. Notables include:
    • Congorilla: Sacred golden gorilla who serves as the alter ego of Congo Bill, a British adventurer, courtesy of mind-swapping rings.
    • Detective Chimp: Exactly What It Says on the Tin. He would like to remind you that Batman is merely the World's Greatest Human Detective.
    • Gorilla Grodd: Psychic would-be world conqueror from a hidden city of superintelligent gorillas. Gorilla City's actually kind of a big deal in DC; King Solovar was an important figure in the original Crisis Crossover.

Professor Zoom: You know what makes everything better?! GORILLAS!

  • Marvel Comics has at least one example of its own: Gorilla Man, a soldier of fortune who got turned into an immortal gorilla.
    • And a different Gorilla Man, who has a human head and a gorilla's body. While he's technically a scientist, he's rarely portrayed as anything but the dumbest, most single-minded thug scientist ever.
    • Not to mention how the Beast's original thing was his incredibly simian physique, causing him to look like a shaved gorilla. Then he became something akin to a blue-furred gorilla with a bizarre Wolverine-ish hairdo. Later he lost the gorilla-like traits to become cat-like, though.
    • And the Red Ghost's super-apes, a gorilla, orangutan, and mandrill with super strength, shapeshifting, and gravity powers (respectively) from the same cosmic ray storm that gave the Fantastic Four their powers.
    • And there is also Initiative member Gorilla Girl, The Gibbon, Gorr the Golden Gorilla, and the Beasts of Berlin.
    • Julius Schwartz was parodied in J2 by the gangster-turned-talking gorilla Big Julie.
    • This doesn't apply to every ape, though; Giant monster-turned-regular-sized-monster Gorgilla is actually kind of a loser, like the rest of his teammates in the Fin Fang Four. And Moon Boy (of and Devil Dinosaur fame) is just too goofy to be cool. It's not entirely clear exactly what Moon Boy is, but at one point he's believed to be an example of Homo habilis (an early human species from back when humans were much more ape-like).
  • Nearly every superhero during The Silver Age of Comic Books was turned into a gorilla, at one time or another. The best way to tell if someone's doing an Homage or Affectionate Parody of the Silver Age is to see if there are any gorillas around.
    • Legend has it that this trend began when a DC Comics executive noticed sales spikes during months where monkeys and/or apes were on the cover. Whether or not this is true is unknown, but Peter David, in the same forward quoted above, insists that it's true, and even names the exec: Julius Schwartz, creator of Barry Allen and Hal Jordan, among others.
      • Of course, this all culminated in the JLApe crossover, where the entire Justice League were turned into gorillas, even in their own comics. Before you ask, it was actually in the late nineties. Also, it turns out that red-haired and blond gorillas (such as the ape versions of the Flash and Aquaman, respectively), are really weird looking.
      • Later mimicked by Marvel Apes, an alternate universe where everyone is a monkey except the Inhumans and Sue Storm. (Note that the Marvel Apes version of Spider-Man, who has a tail, is not an ape, but a spider monkey. He actually calls himself "Spider-Monkey".)
  • Ambush Bug: Year None # 5: "Apes on covers sell comics. Apes on covers sell comics. Apes on covers..."
  • A particularly long-running take on the above occurred in the Eclipse comic Zot. Due to an early run-in with a deevolutionary cult, one of the characters turned into a chimpanzee every time he visited the alternate earth of the titular character. He didn't mind as much as you'd think.
  • The third collection of The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius, "Monkey Tales," involves: a superintelligent other-dimensional gorilla, a tribe of sasquatch, and a hyper-Ebola monkey. (That's three separate stories, mind.) In the fourth collection, "Gorilla Warfare," the characters travel to the dimension the superintelligent gorilla came from, where he (the gorilla) is worshiped as a god.
  • America's Best Comics has Tom Strong's superintelligent gorilla friend King Solomon, and the Comic Within A Comic Weeping Gorilla in Promethea.
  • Chris Sims' Exterminape is a tongue-in-cheek example, where the main character is a talking gorilla who discovered firearms shortly after learning how to use simple tools and quickly became a badass assassin who likes to show human women his "jungle love".
  • The graphic novel Grease Monkey features biologically uplifted gorillas working on a space station, undergoing preparations for an alien invasion.
  • Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy, has admitted he likes drawing monkeys. Especially gorillas with bolts in their neck, which is why Hermann von Klempt has a series of enhanced gorillas ("Kriegaffen", or "war apes") as aides. In addition, Count Guarino is turned into a chimpanzee during "Box Full of Evil". A monkey that carries a pistol and tortures Abe with a burning poker.
    • "Is that a monkey?" "He's got a gun!" * BLAM BLAM*
    • The comic book series Proof about a Bigfoot who is a paranormal investigator is just "Hellboy AS A MONKEY!"
  • In I Feel Sick by Jhonen Vasquez, the main character Devi, an artist who is working on cover art for a book, is instructed to put a monkey on the cover. The book in question features no monkeys, it is about children who get evil powers from gnawing on contaminated aluminum siding, but research shows that people love monkeys and a monkey on the cover will just about double sales.
  • Mega City One in Judge Dredd has a simian ethnic enclave (named Apetown), and an Orangutan named Dave was once elected Mayor of the city. He ended up being assassinated.
  • Matt Fraction's Mantooth is about a super-spy gorilla who's a super-smooth ladies man.
  • The Savage Dragon features Brainiape, an evil gorilla with a Brain In a Jar attached to his head. That has Psychic Powers. A crossover with the aforementioned Hellboy revealed that the brain in Brainiape was... Well, given that Hellboy was in it, Take a wild guess.
  • Squirrel Girl thinks that everything is better with monkeys.
  • Y: The Last Man, or, as it should've been called, &: The Last Male Monkey. Seriously, if you read it, you'll get it.
  • The Umbrella Academy loves chimps. Random intelligent chimps are shown throughout the comic, most notably Dr. Pogo who assists the main characters, and to a much lesser extent, Detective Body. The reason as to why there are intelligent chimps randomly about is never explained.
    • "Still giving orders, monkey-boy?"
    • "I am the only one here of the pongidae persuasion... and I take offense at that comment."
  • The Filth has Dmitri, a talking chimp who also happens to be a Soviet assassin. He offed JFK.
  • Ragdoll used some of his mercenary money to buy "a monkey house and a variety of little monkey outfits" for his monkeys. He dressed them up as his team members, covered himself with monkey chow and giggled as they attacked him. It was unsettling and hilarious.
  • The villains of The Black Island keep a gorilla named Ranko to guard their island base.
  • Gaston Lagaffe once gave Fantasio (of Spirou and Fantasio) three circus-trained chimpanzees as a birthday present. They proceed to wreak havoc in his office.
  • Monkeyman and O'Brien is about an intelligent gorilla from another dimension.
  • Liberty Meadows' artist Frank Cho chooses to depict himself as a chimpanzee.
  • Marvel brings us Hitman Monkey. No word as to whether he is that hitman monkey yet.

"Let's be clear: HITMAN MONKEY is the harrowing tale of a Macaque monkey from the mountains of Japan who, though fate and circumstance, is transformed into the world's deadliest assassin," [Axel] Alonso continues. "I fail to see what could be funny about-oh. I see your point."


  • Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back had the titular duo adopt an orangutan for some reason. (This was hinted at back at the end of Mallrats, where the last scene shows Jay and Silent Bob heading off into the distance with the orangutan, named Suzanne, in tow. No explanation is given for this, nor was the ape ever seen prior. It seemed to be an excuse to shoehorn Weezer's "Suzanne" over the ending montage.) Sexy jewel thieves were involved.
    • A similar sequence also appeared in the Jay and Silent Bob comic-book miniseries and the Clerks cartoon.
    • Lampshaded in the film. In one sequence, we see Shannen Doherty in a Scream-esque scene, in which she is attacked by Ghostface but manages to knock him out, and unmasks him. It's the orangutan:

Shannen: What?! Fucking Miramax... CUT!
Wes Craven: What?
Shannen: A fucking monkey? Jesus, Wes, are you even trying anymore?
Wes: But the research says people love monkeys!
(Jay and Silent Bob take the monkey and run)
Jay: We love this monkey!
Wes: See?

Sallah: "Bad dates."

  • Space Chimps. Everything's better with Monkeys... in SPACE!
  • Time of the Apes (like Planet of the Apes, only Japanese and terrible). The film was featured on Mystery Science Theater, as was Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, which involved the main character temporarily inhabiting the body of a baboon as therapy.
  • Inverted in Back to The Future: One of the early drafts of the script for the first movie featured a monkey as Doc Brown's pet instead of Einstein the dog. Apparently it was changed because one of the producers was under the impression that no movie with a monkey in it had ever made a profit (this was some years before Pirates of the Caribbean came out.)
  • The Toho/Rankin/Bass Productions produced film King Kong Escapes features Mechanikong. Everything's better with ROBOT monkeys.
  • The 2 directors of American Pie insisted on having a monkey in it somewhere as "any film with a monkey in it is twice as good as the same film without a monkey".
  • Ronald Reagan never quite lived down his role opposite a chimp in Bedtime for Bonzo.
  • Truth in Television: Diane Fossey and the movie of her life: Gorillas in the Mist.
  • Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls has a scene with Ace joining a bunch of chimps in a mass exodus from a building, and doing a pretty fair imitation of their movements. Also, gorilla rape to the tune of "The Lion Sleeps". The latter is a case of Did Not Do the Research combined with Rule of Funny, as gorillas, by and large, have much smaller penises than humans. What? Why are you looking at me like that?
    • And let's not forget about Spike, his monkey sidekick.
  • In The Fall, Charles Darwin (yes, that one—sort of) has a monkey "assistant" that he takes with him everywhere. The monkey dying is the point in the movie when things in Roy's story start to get very dark, very quickly.
  • The Tony Danza vehicle Going Ape.
  • Dino, the sexually impotent gorilla in The Kentucky Fried Movie.
    • Played by the greatest of all (human) simian impersonators, Rick Baker. Baker also essayed the roles of King Kong in the 1976 remake, and Sidney the Gorilla in the Lily Tomlin vehicle The Incredible Shrinking Woman.
  • Inspector Clouseau's first scene in The Return of The Pink Panther proves that his accent gets even funnier when a "minkey" is on the scene, as he argues with an accordion-playing beggar about his pet.
  • Charles Gemora is another actor who made a career of playing gorillas in older films and movie serials.
  • In the screwball comedy Monkey Business (not to be confused with a Marx Brothers film which has nothing to do with monkeys aside from its title), a monkey breaks into a chemistry lab and accidentally creates a batch of Screwball Serum.
  • The monkey sidekick in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
  • There is a lovable little monkey in the movie The Testaments, of One Fold and One Shepherd, her name is Chio.
  • A monkey in a cage plays a part in the finale of the comedy Trading Places.
  • Jumanji, TWICE. Mischievous, violent monkeys are released early on, and later, one of the characters starts slowly transforming into a monkey-like creature as a penalty for cheating.
  • Buster Keaton would appear to agree.
  • The 1987 film Project X.
  • In The Return Of The King, the orc skeleton which Frodo trips over in Shelob's lair appears to be that of a chimpanzee.
  • The monkey in Sunset Blvd. is deceased. Norma Desmond sees to it that it's buried in style.
  • Monkey from Kung Fu Panda.
  • In Night at the Museum, we see the protagonist Larry Daley interacting with monkeys, to the point that he gets into an argument with one of them which eventually ends with a face slap fight.
  • Born To Be Wild, A Boy and His X film where X is a gorilla.


  • Carl the monkey (who is disturbingly savvy and prone to shooting everyone the bird) has shown up in Janet Evanovich's Numbers cycle (the Stephanie Plum series) and is also in the Sins spin-off book "Wicked Appetite" alongside Deisel, who is fairly put out by it. Monkeys make the books better, but NOT Deisel's day, as a rule...
  • Hanuman from the Sanskrit epic Ramayana is without doubt the most Badass monkey ever.
    • Not only is he the king of all monkeys in India, he is also a legendary hero and a demigod. Unable to find a rare healing plant on a mountain, he just brought the entire mountain back. Then he helped his friend Rama find his kidnapped wife by jumping from the Indian mainland all the way to Sri Lanka to scout the capital city of the Rakshasa demons. When he was captured and the demon king Ravana had his tail set on fire, Hanuman escaped and jumped from roof to roof, setting the entire city on fire.
  • Sun Wukong from the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West, a super-strong, super-fast, regenerating monkey with magic powers who was also a Heroic Sociopath. Also a textbook example of a Munchkin. He was likely originally inspired by the above Hanuman.
  • In L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the winged monkeys. They're more complex characters than those represented in the film, and have more backstory.
  • In Max Brooks' World War Z, the one scene with a monkey popping up is one of the few light moments of the book.
  • The killer apes from Michael Crichton's Congo, trained to crush the heads of humans who approached the lost city.
    • Crichton's novel Next features a talking monkey pretending to be a kid with a skin condition. Really.
  • Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book had a bunch of monkeys, the Bandar-log, most of whom were eaten by Kaa.

I have taught thee all the Law of the Jungle for all the peoples of the jungle -- except the Monkey-Folk who live in the trees. They have no law. They are outcasts. They have no speech of their own, but use the stolen words which they overhear when they listen, and peep, and wait up above in the branches. Their way is not our way. They are without leaders. They have no remembrance. They boast and chatter and pretend that they are a great people about to do great affairs in the jungle, but the falling of a nut turns their minds to laughter and all is forgotten. We of the jungle have no dealings with them. We do not drink where the monkeys drink; we do not go where the monkeys go; we do not hunt where they hunt; we do not die where they die. Hast thou ever heard me speak of the Bandar-log till today?

  • Dean Koontz's Christopher Snow books, Fear Nothing and Seize the Night, feature a tribe of monkeys that are escaped lab animals.
  • In Animorphs, Marco's favorite battle morph was a gorilla. Chimpanzee and monkey morphs show up as well, although the monkey morphs were sario rip morphs and unusable after the end of the rip.
  • H.P. Lovecraft's "Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn And His Family". The title character eventually realizes that he is a Half-Human Hybrid.
    • Though to be more precise he's a thirty-one thirty-secondths human hybrid. As it turns out, most caucasians in Lovecraft's universe are probably the result of interbreeding between ancient African tribes and degenerate albino ape-things.
  • Edgar Allan Poe's first tale of Detective Dupin, The Murders in the Rue Morgue. The murderer is an escaped orangutan.
  • According to some sources, the Librarian of the Unseen University from Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels was turned into an orangutan because it was the funniest thing Pratchett could think of.
    • But for god's sake, don't call him a monkey!
      • He is somewhat justified in this anger. Orangutans are apes. Great Apes, to be exact.
    • Pratchett is a big fan of orangutans in Real Life, and is a trustee of the Orangutan Foundation, dedicated to preserving the endangered creatures.
  • Terryl Whitlatch's The Katurran Odyssey. That is all ye know or need know.
  • Sue the Gorilla, a gorilla befriended by Forrest Gump and arguably one of the best things about a very, very eventful book. Sue's a boy, by the way.
  • A pair of monkeys show up in the early chapters of the second The Kingdom Keepers book, for no other reason than to Foreshadowing The Animal Kingdom.
  • The front cover of Earth (The Book) has Jon Stewart pose with a chimpanzee.
  • The Hank the Cowdog series has one book where Hank finding a monkey in a crate and using him as his own personal servant, inflating his ego in the process. The monkey later starts talking and usurps Hank's command, calling himself the Pasha of Shizzam. But it turns out that part was All Just a Dream.
  • Curious George
  • Chuck Bass in Gossip Girl has a pet monkey named Sweetie. He brings Sweetie with him everywhere and dresses him in outfits that match Chuck's own. On the TV show they settled for giving Chuck a dog named Monkey.
  • The teacher in Ishmael is a telepathic gorilla. No reason is given for this.

Live Action TV

  • Paul the Gorilla from The New Electric Company.
  • The sitcom BJ And The Bear was essentially a ripoff of Every Which Way But Loose; it was about a long-haul trucker and his pet chimpanzee.
  • Subverted in an episode of Boston Legal, in which a lawyer attempted to use a case study involving a monkey in one of his closing arguments, but the judge was not impressed.
  • The entire premise of Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp. ("Get that Ape!")
    • Which was apparently based on a series of British commercials for PG Tips Tea—see Advertising.
      • A more recent example could be TBS's "Monkeyed Movies" shorts (featuring chimps doing parodies of popular movies) and it's 30-minute follow-up/spin-off The Chimp Channel from the 1990s.
  • Tin Man's Mobats were a new spin on the Winged Monkeys. Only thing better than flying monkeys? Flying monkeys that spawn from the tattoos on the hot Wicked Witch's boobs!
  • During the premiere of Power Rangers Turbo, Bulk and Skull were turned into chimps by Elgar; midseason, they were turned back to normal by the fumes of one of Divatox's torpedoes.
    • Also, in the Super Sentai series Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, Grifforzer was supposed to be a griffin (hence the name), but was referred to as a "space monkey" and given a more monkey-like voice when he became Goldar in the American Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
      • Even more telling, some type of primate tends to be one of the default Humongous Mecha for most animal combinations of zords. Kakuranger had an ape, Gingaman, Gaoranger, Gekiranger, a gorilla, and Shinkenger had a monkey. Some type of primate is one of the default animal zords, along with Lion, Wolf, Shark, and a large Bird Of Prey.
  • The premiere episode of The Middleman featured superintelligent genetically engineered lowland gorillas.

Wendy: Oh no. It's Gorilla Grodd.

  • Paul the Gorilla from The Electric Company, companion of Jennifer of The Jungle. No, not that kind of companion...
  • Kelso on That '70s Show thinks that if a Monkey had a loaded gun would be an awesome premise for a TV Show.
  • Mork and Mindy had Mork rescuing (or so he thought) a chimp from the zoo. Twice. The first time was just a gag at the beginning of an episode, but the second time was an entire plot.
  • Professor Bobo, the semi-intelligent chimp from MST3k.
    • Sort of subverted in an earlier episode. A gorilla appears at the Hexfield Viewscreen. He doesn't really do anything. Everybody's understandably confused.
  • On 3rd Rock from the Sun Doctor Liam Neesam, played by John Cleese, tries to turn the entire population of Earth into monkeys to turn Earth into "Super Monkey World" as an amusement attraction for the rest of the Universe.
  • Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. In the episode where he tackles the evil monday haze his second (or third) attempt was

Moze: "Monkey Mondays?"
Ned: "Monkeys make everything better."

  • Legends of the Hidden Temple: The infamous "Shrine of the Silver Monkey" room is one of the few obstacles on the show that lasted through the entire show's history.
  • A first-season episode of Rescue Me included a subplot in which Tommy Gavin's Uncle Teddy wins a bet against a zookeeper, and Tommy's father (who is living with Teddy at the time) is at pains to keep the animal from ruining the house.
  • Kratts' Creatures spinoff Zoboomafoo featured a lemur as a main character. For a few seconds each episode, he'd be an actual lemur, for most of the rest, he'd be a puppet, but then there'd also be these stories with him depicted in claymation.
  • A sketch in Monty Python's Flying Circus had a gorilla being interviewed for a librarian's position. He is thrown out after he is forced to admit he's really a human librarian wearing a gorilla suit ("...trying to deceive us in order to further your career!").
  • The title character of the short-lived '80s sitcom Mr. Smith was a talking orangutan who worked as a government advisor in Washington DC.
  • Gerald the Gorilla, in one of the best known Not the Nine O'Clock News sketches. Taken onto a talk show by Professor Fielding, to demonstrate how he has taught a wild animal to talk, they quickly descend to bickering like a married couple, while the interviewer looks on in bemusement.

Professor Fielding: Look, can we get this into some sort of perspective? When I first met Gerald he was completely wild...
Gerald: Wild? I was absolutely livid!

Jeff: Why do you have a monkey?
Troy: It's an animal that looks like a dude, why don't I have ten of them?

    • There's a monkey living in the college air ducts with a trove of stolen goods.
  • David Letterman often makes jokes about monkeys.
  • Ray from Everybody Loves Raymond seems to have a deep appreciation for monkeys. The best example is when he mentions this one time when he and his family were at a zoo, and he was watching a man with a monkey, and Debra simply gave him the "don't even think about it" look just for thinking it might be fun to have a monkey in the house.
  • In Never Mind the Buzzcocks, host Mark Lamarr once got bored reading out the current joke so said "Never mind, here's a video of a monkey on a tricycle."
  • If Dieter allows you, you may touch his monkey.
  • The Monkees have a stuffed one at their beach house.
  • Averted in the Medium two-parter "Four Dreams", where one of the creepy prophetic dreams involves an animated monkey mother and her child fleeing a home invasion. It's as silly as it is disturbing.
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Amy owns a cigar-smoking capuchin monkey. Although, to quote her, he's a bit of an ass.


  • The Barenaked Ladies song "Another Postcard" is about a man who cannot escape an endless stream of anonymous international postcards - all of which feature allegedly humorous photos of chimpanzees in various costumes and poses: "Another postcard with chimpanzees / And every one is addressed to me..."
    • And, of course: "If I had a million dollars / I'd buy you a monkey! / Haven't you always wanted a monkey?"
  • Gorillaz.
  • "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey", by The Beatles. Although that song is arguably about heroin.
    • Title echoed by the song "Me and My Monkey" by Robbie Williams, in which the protagonist and his talking monkey friend go to Las Vegas.
  • The Monkees.
  • The song "Monkeys and Playbills" from [title of show].
  • "Mechanical Ape!" by The Aquabats! is about, as the name suggests, a Humongous Mecha shaped like a gorilla.
  • Chimpanzee Riding On a Segway, bam ba ba bam ba bam!
  • George Michael's "Monkey" ("Why can't you do it? Why can't you set your monkey free?")
  • Peter Gabriel's "Shock the Monkey", the video of which featured a chimpanzee.
  • Beastie Boys - "Brass Monkey" ("Brass monkey, that funky monkey")
    • Which, as many people don't even realize (but is obvious in the context of the song) is a kind of cocktail drink.
  • Dave Matthews Band - "Shake Me Like a Monkey" ("Love me baby shake me like a monkey")
  • Counting Crows - "Monkey" ("Hey monkey, where you been?")
  • Saves The Day - "Monkey" ("The monkey will bite / better eat your poultry")
  • Placebo's "Space Monkey" ("Space monkey in the place to be")
    • And John Prine's song of that title.
  • The punk/alternative band Sprung Monkey.[1]
  • Jonathan Coulton's "Code Monkey", a sympathetic take on the slang term referring to software developers whose work involves no creativity.
  • Ookla the Mok's monkey rock opera, Smell No Evil. All of it.
  • Chuck Berry - "Too Much Monkey Business"
  • Major Lance - "The Monkey Time"
  • The Rolling Stones - "Monkey Man"
    • Bill Wyman's solo album, Monkey Grip
  • Smokey Robinson & the Miracles - "Mickey's Monkey"
  • The Kinks - "Ape Man"
  • The Traveling Wilburys - "Tweeter and the Monkey Man"
  • Bruce Springsteen - "Part Man Part Monkey"
  • The Pixies - "This Monkey's Gone to Heaven"
  • Elvis Costello - "Monkey to Man"
  • Honey Cone - "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show"
  • Widespread Panic - "Sleepy Monkey"
  • Jethro Tull - "Steel Monkey"
  • Steely Dan - "Monkey in Your Soul"
  • Rufus Thomas - "Can Your Monkey Do the Dog?"
  • Aerosmith - "Monkey On My Back" (Actually an aversion - a "monkey on your back" is a drug addiction.)
  • Reel Big Fish - "Monkey Man"
  • Warren Zevon - "Gorilla, You're A Desperado". A zoo gorilla forces Warren to trade places with him. The gorilla ends up depressed, divorced, and playing Warren's guitars.
  • Ray Stevens - "Harry the Hairy Ape"
  • Flight of the Conchords subverts it in "Think About It"; people on the streets are getting diseases from monkeys.
  • The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band's first album was called Gorilla, featured a man in a gorilla suit on the cover, and was dedicated "to Kong who must have been a great bloke".
  • The Funky Gibbon—the greatest novelty hit of The Goodies.
  • The eternal struggle of Monkey versus Robot.
  • Inverted in the Lemon Demon song "Fiberglass Monkey", which is about a guy having reoccurring nightmares about a fiberglass monkey statue.
  • Rush - "The Main Monkey Business"
  • The music video for Bruno Mars's "The Lazy Song".
  • Professor Elemental's butler is an orangutan.
  • Martin Page's "Monkey In My Dreams", although it's probably about drugs.
  • Steve Martin's video for Marty Robbins's "El Paso".
  • David Lee Roth, "Everybody's Got The Monkey".
  • An important theme in Roger Waters' Amused To Death album involves a monkey watching television, and, well, amusing himself to death...
  • The video for Megadeth's "Public Enemy Number One" has chimps on both side of the law. The crook ape gets to fire a Thompson machine-gun.
  • Darling Pet Munkee's almost-eponymous song "Darling Pet Monkey", about an actual mail-order ad for live squirrel monkeys (see the "real life" section). Since their main shtick is writing songs about comic book ads that reflect the ad's tone and not what the actual product was like, it makes getting a monkey in the mail sound much cooler and less dangerous than it really would be.
  • Inverted with Logan Whitehurst's Monkeys Are Bad People. Dude really hates monkeys.

Newspaper Comics

  • Monkeys are a recurring topic in Get Fuzzy, being a particular obsession of Bucky Katt. Specifically, he wants to eat one.
  • Dilbert has Zimbu the monkey, who can speak English and does a good job of making Dilbert look like an inferior worker.
  • Pearls Before Swine often features them.

Professional Wrestling

  • Chikara Pro Wrestling has a wrestler named U.S.Ape, who's your standard All-American Face in a monkey suit. His current rival? MosCow, the Bolshevik Bovine, of course. Cows are quite funny, too.

Stand Up Comedy

  • One of Dane Cook's stand up routines includes a tangent about how awesome monkeys are.
  • Nick Swardson tells a story in Seriously, Who Farted?!! about how he ended up giving $300 (mostly in small bills) to a monkey in Las Vegas who gives high fives. He was drunk at the time but still ...

Tabletop Games

  • One faction in the tabletop miniatures game AT-43 are the Karmans, who are gorillas in Powered Armor.
    • Who smoke cigars.
  • Feng Shui includes among its factions the Jammers, which are intelligent cybernetic monkeys and apes working in concert with the few humans immune to the influence of Chi. Their aim is to destroy every feng shui site in existence so humanity can be "free" from the "tyranny" of Chi, something which may have very bad consequences for the world.
  • The Magic: The Gathering joke set Unhinged featured monkeys, alongside donkeys, as the two major creature types featured. Monkey Monkey Monkey!
  • The Magic: The Gathering design team for Alliances thought that continuity's idea for a race of sentient gorillas was silly, so they made fun of it by putting the word gorilla in every card's name. For example, Force of Will was originally called "Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla (Stop That)." As an homage to this, the card Sol Grail's name is an anagram of "gorillas".
    • Of course, some of the gorillas (and references to them) still made it into the set as actual cards. In all, nineteen distinct Ape cards have been printed to date (most recently four reprints in the ninth edition of the main set)...not counting those which simply have all creature types.
  • Kroot from the Warhammer 40k use a species called the "Krootox" as a battle and pack animal, it is essentially a big beaked gorilla. More interestingly, the Krootox were once a normal kroot Kindred ("tribe") that used the kroot ability to absorb genes from food to bulk up, eventually becoming non-sentient and stuck in that form.
    • There's also the Jokaero, who are intelligent orangutans...In SPACE. Though not as prevalent as they once were, they are still important due to their feats of engineering.
      • And now, thanks to the new Grey Knights codex, it's possible to field an entire army consisting of them (plus one Inquisitor).
  • Rifts features Ape-Boys (genetically-enhanced apes and monkeys) as a playable race.
  • The fourth set of Monsterpocalypse, "Monsterpocalypse Now", introduced the faction "Empire of the Apes".
  • Dungeons & Dragons has the howler wasps, more popularly known as Monkey Bees
    • Monkey bees... my God.
    • Monkey Bees DO NOT make everything better.
    • On a more pleasant note, there are the Ramayana-inspired vanaras, a playable race introduced in Oriental Adventures.
      • There have actually been lots of monkey- and ape-based creatures in D&D over the years. Listing all of them could probably double this page's length.
  • Doctor Silverback, from the Champions Universe (and brought over to Champions Online), is a superhumanly-intelligent gorilla.
  • Evil Hat Productions games frequently feature Gorillas, in particular the pulp styled game Spirit of the Century has Gorilla Khan, a sentient gorilla mastermind with many gorilla minions, and the upcoming Dresden Files RPG. A spin off company 'One Bad Egg' produced a whole setting seed and race of intelligent apes for Dungeons and Dragons 4e.
  • Meta example for Exalted: The team of freelance writers calling themselves the Ink Monkeys, who nearly everyone agrees make everything they touch a thousand times better.
    • Keep in mind however, that some fans (some more rational than others) think they dialed down the brokenness too much, and now the game is a little underpowered. Most of those admit that the game is more playable, now (and the official boards won't like you very much if you bring up that criticism).
  • Mutants and Masterminds has "Earth-Ape" which is protected by The Primate Patrol. The classic adventure, "Time of Crisis", features the heroes arriving here during a cross-dimensional mission.
  • The comedy RPG Stuperpowers had "Mighty Joe Young Jung" as a villain. Make a wild guess.
    • Evil gorilla psychiatrist?
  • Eden Studios once published Terra Primate, an RPG not unlike their better-known All Flesh Must Be Eaten, but with apes instead of zombies. Most "Ape Worlds" (e.g. settings) were reminiscent of the Planet of the Apes franchise in one way or the other.


  • In the opera Der Junge Lord (The Young Lord) by Hans Werner Henze, scientist Sir Edger introduces his 'son', Lord Barrett, to the upper dignitaries of a German town. The young Lord's strange speech and eccentric behavior become a source of fascination: he is much admired and imitated, even catching the eyes of a young noble lady—until he flings off his clothes during a dance, revealing himself as an ape.


  • The Beanie Babies line has several basic monkeys, a couple chimpanzees, an orangutan, and a baboon named Cheeks. And a bushbaby.

Video Games

  • A ridiculous number of video game mascots are apes or monkeys of some sort: The mascot for the rhythm action game Samba De Amigo, the cast of Super Monkey Ball, and Donkey Kong, among others.
  • Ape Escape.
  • A monkey drives and conducts the train in Animal Crossing.
  • In Baldur's Gate, the canonical ending for Jan Jansen (spoiler tagged for obtrusive wall of text):
    • Jan Jansen's life following his association with CHARNAME was typically convoluted, the barest of details hidden amidst his half-truths and whole lies. According to his published memoirs, "A Jansen in Every Port," after a short prison term for monkey smuggling, he returned to his first love... monkey smuggling. This led to the now infamous Gibbon Riot of '72, a tumultuous and altogether unclean event that seemed to center on the estate of the Shadow Thief Vaelag. Jan would deny that he had planned the downfall of the rogue, but he was unable to explain what practical application he had intended for a horde of knife-wielding simians. Nevertheless, the death of the admittedly disliked and generally suspect Vaelag could not be attributed to the young gnome. Strangely enough, Jan had alibis for each and every second of the day in question, and what a day it must have been! Relatives from across the Realms came forward to say that he had stopped in for tea and turnips. At his later wedding to Lissa, Jan was asked how he managed to be in so many places at once, and yet still so far from the scene of the crime. "Well," Jan would say, "when you have that many monkeys, anything is possible."
  • In Bible Adventures, one level of Noah's Ark had you gathering a pair of monkeys; another level had monkeys throwing fruit and coconuts for you to scavenge.
  • Contact features a white-furred monkey that turns out to be the antagonists' Team Pet.
  • The reason why Crunch wouldn't take off his NV Helmet in Crash: Mind over Mutant. "Sooo awesome! Monkeys!"
  • Deus Ex describes the Grays as (possibly) being genetically engineered hairless monkeys. This doesn't stop them from being the most annoying enemies in the game. Note that these are psychic monkeys.
  • The EarthBound series has more than a barrel full of monkeys factoring into the plot. In the part of the game where you control Jeff, a bubblegum-chewing monkey is the key to getting across the river; another point in the game requires the party to give and receive gifts from several monkeys to proceed. And in the sequel, Mother 3, the third chapter of the game is played entirely by a monkey.
    • His name is Salsa. Fassad makes him his slave by threatening his girlfriend (whom Kumatora dubs the "love monkey") and then fitting him with an electric collar.
  • One of the main villains in Earthworm Jim is Professor Monkeyforahead, a mad scientist who shares his head with an upside-down monkey. The monkey's name is Monkey Professorforahead.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, the Imga and the Tang Mo are two monkey races, respectively from Valenwood and Akavir.
  • Far Cry has mutated monkeys known as Trigen that run straight at you, can leap at you from more than a dozen feet away, and can kill you in just 2 or 3 hits. They were widely considered Demonic Spiders and an unexpected Genre Shift from the game's previously tactical combat against human mercenaries.
  • A Sidequest in Final Fantasy X-2 involves acting as matchmaker for a group of lonely, single monkeys.
    • The Trainer Dressphere for Rikku provides her with a monkey named Ghiki for a battle companion.
  • Freedom Force vs. the 3rd Reich has the Kill-a-Rillas, half-human, half gorilla experiments created by Bliztkrieg.
  • Apparently, the developers of God Hand decided that the hilarity of gorillas was only increased by training them in the art of Lucha Libre, and was increased to nearly fatal levels by throwing in groin shots complete with a laugh track. It worked, mostly due to the fact that the whole game is so absurd that they don't seem too weird in comparison.
  • Monkeys feature heavily in an early part of The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess, and show up later. One subboss is even a baboon (acting under pest control).
    • Likewise it's necessary to rescue an innocent monkey from implied death in Majora's Mask, and in A Link to the Past, you need to pay a monkey to open a dungeon door for you.
    • A similar monkey appears in Link's Awakening to perform essentially the same function... and to fight the Chain Chomp you happen to be walking.
  • Naturally, as they feature a lot in the Films, monkeys are all over Lego Indiana Jones.
  • The original Mega Man series had Buster Rod G. of the Genesis Unit. Both he and Hanumachine from Mega Man Zero are shout outs to Sun Wukong from Journey to the West.
    • Mega Man X series had Spark Mandrill and Soldier Stonekong. More recently there's Purprill the Pseudoroid from Mega Man ZX.
    • Mega Man Legends have the recurring character of Data, a cute robot monkey sidekick.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater included the minigame entitled "Snake VS Monkey". It's almost exactly what it sounds like. It's a Shout-Out to Sony's Ape Escape series which, in return, featured a minigame in Ape Escape 3 called "Metal Gear Solid: Snake Escape", an Affectionate Parody of the MGS games.
  • Metal Slug 3 allows the player to get a cute monkey armed with a deadly Uzi as a sidekick. Metal Slug 4, in the other hand, allows the player to transform into said cute machine gun-wielding monkey.
  • Monkey Island. Better yet, three-headed monkey.
    • The Curse of Monkey Island (the third in the series), obviously taking advantage of this trope, advertised having more monkeys in it than the previous two games combined.
      • Also the awesome parody of the THX logo in it with increasingly louder monkey sounds and the ominous text "The monkeys are listening".
  • In Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan 2!, one of the bonus missions involves the Ouendan helping a stuffed monkey and toy soldier who were accidentally thrown away return home. The BGM? The theme song to the 70's TV show, Monkey Magic.
  • A number of Pokémon are monkeys and other primates.
    • Ash has captured some of them in the anime: Primeape, Aipom (traded to Dawn and now an Ambipom), and Chimchar (now an Infernape).
    • Pokémon Black and White feature a trio of monkeys of the Fire, Water, and Grass types. The first Gym Leaders and countless trainers after use them (for Triple Battles or otherwise) for no other reason than to execute this trope.
  • Speaking of enemy robomonkeys, the Kikis of the Sonic Adventure series.
    • There's also the robot monkey Coconuts featured in both Sonic 2 for the Genesis and a cartoon series that was (somewhat) based on it, as well as some of the Sonic-based comics.
  • System Shock 2 had monkeys with cryokinesis and pyrokinesis.
  • The Eliminators from Resident Evil Zero are zombified lab monkeys. However, everything is not better when these little assholes are around.
  • Zombie monkeys also showed up in the original House of the Dead.
  • Thief: The Dark Project and Thief 2: The Metal Age include ApeBeasts among the Trickster's minions. In the second game, some of them have blowpipes.
  • Monkeys have become the de facto mascots of the Time Splitters game series. Time Splitters: Future Perfect included ninja monkeys, zombie monkeys, and cyborg monkeys (which the game describes as "Inevitable, really"). Multiplayer includes "Monkey Assistant" mode, in which the losing player is lent help by a pack of monkeys with rocket launchers.
  • In Wario Ware: Touched, Kat and Ana adopt a monkey and call him Nunchuck.
  • Banjo-Kazooie features a monkey named Konga, who returns in the sequel as a circus ringmaster.
  • The main reason for the character of Skrunch in Ratchet and Clank Up Your Arsenal (in this case, a cyclopean alien monkey).
    • And of course, the series wouldn't be complete without a gun that turns enemies into monkeys. Enemy robots? Cymbal banging monkeys.
  • The Sengoku Basara series has Keiji with his little monkey friend Yumekichi.
  • At one point in the Infocom game Leather Goddesses of Phobos, your character gets mindswapped with a monkey. In a cage. With an amorous monkey of the other sex.
  • Sengoku Rance of the Rance series is probably be one of the rare few inversions in that said monkey does not make the plot good for our heroes. In fact, said monkey steers the plot in which everything got worse after that accident.
  • The player's party in Treasure Hunter G includes a monkey that wields Black Magic.
  • In Dubloon, your crew's Team Pet is a monkey named Ricky.
  • In Mind Jack the corporate military have cybernetically enhanced gorillas and bonobos in their army.
    • In his otherwise-bile-filled review of the game, Angry Joe singled this out as the only positive thing he could mention about it.

"Y'know, I'm trying real hard to find one good thing about this game. But I can't! I can't! Oh! Oh! There are monkeys! Everyone loves monkeys! You can even create a little monkey-minion-army! Monkey minions! Monkey Minions! WOO!"

  • Monkeys and apes are very well-represented in the roster of species available for Zoo Tycoon 2, especially if you include the Endangered Species and African Adventure expansion packs.
  • Jep, a monkey you can befriend in Return to Mysterious Island, is an implausibly-clever helper that uses inventory items for you.
  • Aladdin has bonus levels that actually let you play as Abu the monkey.
  • Doubly Subverted in RuneScape. There's an island populated by intelligent monkeys but it's a Death World to humans. Things get better when you get an item that turns you into a monkey.
  • Subverted in Asura's Wrath, with Gohma Howlers, which are anything but nice, as they kill humans without hesitation in packs.
  • Averted in Star FOX - with the exception of a single specimen all simians are evil. And at least one is creepy.
  • The Hozen of World of Warcraft are a race of sapient mountain- and tree-dwelling monkeys. They are noted as having mentalities comparable to a fourteen year-old boy, made only worse when their new Horde allies give them rocket launchers and machine guns.

Web Comics

Jamie: There's NO monkey in the monkey bread. Swear. Guys? Seriously! No monkey!

  • In Dominic Deegan, Everything's Better With Fire Monkeys.
  • Gwynn from Sluggy Freelance owns several monkeys who are enchanted to attack and humiliate anyone who irritates her. The monkeys themselves don't appear that often, but a lot of mileage is gotten out of the gag that the other characters pretend "monkeys" is Gwynn's nickname for her breasts. "I've done something bad with my monkeys (...) If we don't do something my monkeys are going to be all over her in front of everyone (...) be on the lookout for my monkeys and grab them if you see them. They could pop up anywhere."
    • Eventually, Bun-bun tried to weaponize monkeys by training them to viciously attack anyone holding exactly 11 items. And when his plan didn't work, used them to attack jerks clogging "ten items or less" lane. Speaking of which, "Gwynn's monkey are touching my cruller!" is not an euphemism, either.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal uses a monkey dressed as Hitler as part of a proof that fiction is stranger than truth.
  • The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage features lots and lots of monkeys in "Lovelace and Babbage vs The Organist." In part nine, Ada Lovelace has to negotiate a room full of sleeping monkeys belonging to the titular organist and his minions. It's a subversion for the protagonist, though - everything is far worse with monkeys.
  • In Balderduck's Single Panel #8, monkeys seem to have played a huge part in making Shakespeare's works better.
  • My Roommate Is an Elf. Griswold's familiar, Glen, is a talking monkey.

Web Original

  • Purple Monkey from Lonelygirl15, the purple monkey puppet.
  • Never one to miss a comics trope, The Descendants has recurring character Lucian the Ape Knight and has had some one shot demonic baboons.
  • Karl Pilkington's "Monkey News" and the short-lived "Cheap as Chimps" segments from The Ricky Gervais Show.
  • Bruno, Vatsy's bodyguard/handyman/gopher in Vatsy and Bruno, is a chimp. Subverted somewhat in that, unlike most chimp characters, he's pragmatic, stoic, and content. To quote the work:

He'd found that a level tone, an open stance, a patient mind and a large-bore double-barreled shotgun solved most problems almost effortlessly. His philosophy could be almost described as Taoism, if Taoism had a little-known subclause about the prudent use of firearms and arson.

  • Well not everything is better with monkeys, as the end of this nightmare fueled video should prove: [2]
  • In Doctor Steel's propaganda video, "Building a Utopian Playland", Dr. Steel talks about his plans for world domination, then distracts his audience with a monkey puppet, saying, "Now... who wants to see the dancing monkey!"
  • The SCP Foundation disagrees with this trope; the two non-human primate SCPs are a Cymbal-Banging Monkey that plays tricks on its owner, and an over-evolved chimp that wants to destroy human society.
  • The Global Guardians PBEM Universe plays this trope straight with the Ape superheroes Tachyon, Massive, Charity, Bounder, and The Shape. They invert the trope with the Ape supervillains Guido the Killer Chimp and Brainy Ape, not to mention the sinister Doctor Simian and his "ape liberation" organization, Prime 8.
  • In The Nostalgia Chick's list of top villainesses, she places The Wicked Witch Of The West as #2, but admits that other than the flying monkeys, there's not much to say about her. So instead, the Chick just says "here's some monkeys" and shows videos of chimps dancing to "Yakety Sax" for the next ten to fifteen seconds.
  • Subverted by The Nostalgia Critic in his Dunston Checks In review, who actually interrupts his own opening catchphrase to say "MONKEYS AREN'T FUNNY!"
  • An episode of What The Fuck Is Wrong With You? regarding weird news with monkeys had Nash discussing this trope, specially on how monkeys turn anything funny.
  • The Monkey King certainly thinks so in the Whateley Universe. Some of the people he decides need a little pranking, like Phase, may disagree.
  • The League of STEAM often have to deal with invisible ghost monkeys.
  • Psycomedia features some amazing experiments with a monkey with a robot arm, or monkeys using poop-throwing the way humans use speech.
  • M. Asher Cantrell's The 10 Biggest Password Mistakes People Make cites a study claiming that half a percent of English-speaking Internet users have "monkey" as a password on an online account and suggests it may be related to the word's status as an Inherently Funny Word.

Western Animation

  • In the American Dad episode "Stan of Arabia part 2", Stan is at the American embassy trying to secure his wife's release from prison, despite having renounced their American citizenship. Trying to explain his lack of passports he says it's a "funny story," and is met with a number of monkey themed scenarios from an official, who assumed that any "funny story" must naturally involve "nature's clowns." Later, after he explains that Francine is in real danger, a monkey randomly pops out from behind his desk, making the official crack up.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has Momo, a flying lemur Mix and Match Critter, for comic relief and as the Team Pet.
    • There's also a recurring incredibly ugly ruby-encrusted monkey statue. It creeps the hell out of Katara, but Iroh thinks it's "handsome" enough to buy.
  • Big Guy and Rusty The Boy Robot the CEO of the company that created the titular boy robot had a sidekick/business partner who was a sarcastic talking monkey. Voiced by The Drew Carey Show's Mimi, no less.
  • Camp Lazlo stars a monkey.
  • Captain Simian and The Space Monkeys
  • Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers has a variety of primates at hand, too, ranging from chimpanzees (Heebie and Jeebie in "An Elephant Never Suspects") to a gorilla (Kookoo in "Gorilla My Dreams").
  • Clerks the Animated Series: Jay and Silent Bob decide to get a monkey. When asked why, Jay replies "To teach it to smoke. Duh." Randal thinks it's infected like in that Dustin Hoffman Al Pacino movie. It isn't.
  • Danny Phantom had one episode with the near extinct fictional Purple Back Gorilla named Samson. Later revealed to be a female, Samson played a part in the plot by kicking the main villain's ass.
  • Let's not forget the "Dial M For Monkey" shorts on Dexter's Laboratory, where one of Dexter's test animals is secretly a super-powered crime fighter.
  • Dora the Explorer has a monkey, Boots, as a Sidekick.
  • The Fairly OddParents, "Abra-Catastrophe" flips the entire cartoon's universe into one populated with monkeys as the dominant species, complete with an alternate, monkey-and-banana-centric credits sequence.
    • "You know, if it weren't for the fact that all of this is historically accurate, I would think that someone was making up incredibly lame puns."
      • This is specifically in response to a history lesson about how the "Founding Alpha Males" signed the "Declarapetion of Independance" to create "The United Apes of America", but there are more ape related puns. Many, many more.
        • To the point where Timmy swore if he ever got his godparents back, he would wish for a world without puns.
  • In a few episodes of Family Guy, it was shown Chris had an evil monkey in his closet. No one else believed him. It was apparently one of the writers' favorite running gags.
    • Later, it turns out the only way he was evil was that he was squatting there the whole time, accidentally terrorizing Chris with poor communication skills.
  • George of the Jungle in both movie and animated form had George's best friend/"brother" as "an ape named Ape."
  • In Get Ed, the word "monkey" is used as slang for "cool".
  • Hanna-Barbera worked this trope handily during the 60s and 70s.
    • The Herculoids had a rock ape named Igoo, and "The Beaked People" had flying monkeys.
    • Space Ghost's sidekicks, Jan and Jayce, had a monkey named Blip as their sidekick.
    • Magilla Gorilla, which, in addition to its own primate star, had a secondary cartoon called The Adventures of Peter Potamus and So-So. So-So, Peter's Sidekick, was—you guessed it - a monkey.
    • Beagley Beagley and The Great Grape Ape
    • The Superfriends' Wonder Twins had a monkey named Gleek, effectively making Gleek, as Blip before him, the Sidekick's sidekick. Technically, Gleek is indeed a space monkey, but not, as far as we know, a Killer Space Monkey.
  • Filmations Ghostbusters had an anthropomorphic ape called Tracy.
  • I.R. Baboon in I Am Weasel, though he's a literal Butt Monkey.
  • Invader Zim features The Angry Monkey Show and GIR's Monkeydance most notably, but just you try to find even one episode that doesn't feature monkeys as a sound effect.
  • At the end of Johnny Bravo's opening theme, the titular character exclaims "Do the monkey with me!" and the cast does a monkeydance with him.
  • In Justice League Unlimited episode "Dead Reckoning" Gorilla Grodd reveals his master plan is to use Gorilla City's cloaking shield generator to produce a carrier wave that will magically turn every man, woman, and child on Earth into an ape. Lex Luthor and the other supervillains were less than amused.
    • And by "less than amused," we mean "Luthor shot him in the face."
    • Even the heroes were underwhelmed; Wonder Woman's response upon seeing her transformation: "Oh, come ON!"
  • Monkeys and apes are a recurring joke throughout Kim Possible, with them being the source of Ron's mystical kung-fu powers (which usually don't work until the Grand Finale), as well as his greatest fear and the source of power of his personal archenemy, Monkey Fist. Two words: monkey ninjas.
    • There was also Josh Mankey, a character that Ron formed a Conspiracy Theory around, based on his last name being one vowel away from "monkey." And Camp Wannaweep, the camp Ron went to as a young boy, had a chimpanzee for a mascot. Ron was forced to bunk with said mascot, and this is where he developed the phobia.
  • King Kong had his own cartoon series that was produced by Rankin/Bass Productions. Yes, THAT Rankin-Bass
  • My Gym Partner's a Monkey uses a monkey (not to mention a whole cast of Funny Animals) to spin the Fish Out of Water trope.
  • Planet Sheen has Nesmith, a highly intelligent chimpanzee frequently dumbfounded by the title character's actions.
  • The Powerpuff Girls' first nemesis is an evil monkey called Mojo Jojo.
  • The Simpsons has used the primate gag a couple dozen times over its long run, most delightfully when Homer becomes the leader of a Stonemasons-style secret organization and decided that the best way to use his new-found power was to get a bunch of monkeys together and re-enact the Civil War. Of course there's also Mr. Teeny, Krusty's cigar-smoking chimp sidekick. And there's that time Flanders's house got taken over by a radioactive baboon. And... well, there's a lot of examples.
    • "That's what you get for not hailing to the chimp!"
    • "Pray. For. Mojo."
    • "He's... Editor in CHIMP!"
    • Come on, Lisa! MONKEYS!
    • Title on the multiplex cinema marquee: "Sing, Monkey, Sing."
    • An in-universe example: Homer always finds monkeys (or actually, chimpanzees) hysterically funny whenever someone dress them in human clothes. Of course, we all know how easily amused he is.
  • The enemies in Skunk Fu! are monkey Ninja.
  • In an episode of South Park, a lawyer implores the jury to "look at the silly monkey" during his closing argument. The jury (minus the one whose head explodes) rule in favor of his client.
    • Plus there was Phonics Monkey, who killed Kenny...
    • And Dr. Mephesto's (genetically engineered?) four- and five-assed monkeys.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!!, an Affectionate Parody of the Action Hero Five-Man Band, but with monkeys. And although they're the heroes of the show, they technically are killer monkeys from space.
  • Tak and the Power of Juju had the chief of the tribe act like a monkey under a voodoo curse.
  • Optimus Primal of Transformers: Beast Wars. The whole Optimus-Gorilla vs. Megatron-Tyrannosaurus Rex thing was, of course, in reference to King Kong.
    • He's not the only one though. Other Transformers getting up to monkey business include Beastbox and Apeface from Generation One, and Optimus Minor, Apelinq, Primal Prime, B'Boom, and Apache from the beast era. Though to be fair, two of those are derived from toys of Optimus Primal, and the last two are nigh identical, but separate, characters using the same toy.
    • However, not everyone thought it was good.
  • Titan Maximum features Leon, the monkey janitor, as the pilot of the green fighter that makes up the giant mecha's left leg. Inverted in that Leon is usually shown reacting with a calm world-weariness to the antics of his human teammates.
  • Xiaolin Showdown has the Monkey Staff, which turns humans into monkeys.
  • Bucky O Hare and The Toad Wars: B-B-B-BERSERKER B-B-B-BABOON! The only thing Toads fear. With good reason.
  • The Ren and Stimpy Show had the Baboon as a recurring character.
  • A monkey participated in many of the Prometheus and Bob shorts on KaBlam!.
  • Spidermonkey from Ben 10 Alien Force is just what he sounds like; a monkey with Spider-Man powers. Though his species is called "Arachnichimp". His Super Mode in Ben 10 Ultimate Alien is apparently a gorilla with spider legs.
  • Monsieur Mallah, mentioned up in Comics, also appeared in the fifth season of Teen Titans as The Dragon. Considering that the show was aimed at kids, no mention of his sexuality was made.
  • Superman: The Animated Series, Episode 026: "Monkey Fun". Featuring Titano (Trope Pic Relevant), it's basically an entire episode dedicated to this trope.
  • The Madagascar film franchise has a ring-tailed lemur (King Julien), a mouse lemur (Mort) and an aye-aye (Maurice). And two chimps, Phil and Mason. All five can also be found in the spin-off TV series The Penguins of Madagascar, which ups the count even further by adding two gorilla characters, Bada and Bing.
  • The Rugrats Movie has the babies getting lost in a jungle where they meet a troop of escaped circus monkeys, and it seems this way when they start dancing with them. That is, until Tommy opens up Dil's banana-flavored baby food, at which points do not become better with the monkeys.
  • Ni Hao, Kai-Lan has Hoho (a hyperactive monkey) as a regular character.
  • The 80's cartoon Bionic Six had a robot ape. It wasn't part of the 'Six', it was more like a Team Pet/helper.
  • Gorilla Grodd is a recurring villain on Batman the Brave And The Bold and Detective Chimp showed up in a teaser, but in one episode, those two show up, plus Monsieur Mallah and Gorilla Boss join up with Grodd to form a group called G.A.S.P. (Gorillas and Apes Seizing Power) and turn everybody into monkeys. The episode's name? Gorillas In Our Midst!
  • The Walter Lantz cartoon characters Meany, Miny and Moe.
  • Babar has Zephyr the monkey as Babar's best friend. It occasionally features other monkeys and apes as well.
  • The Phineas and Ferb opening theme mentioned "giving a monkey a shower." They actually do this after getting stranded on a deserted island in "Swiss Family Phineas".
  • Tenko and the Guardians of the Magic had Kiddles the monkey.


  • Mad had a one-panel feature for a brief period of time called "Monkeys Are Always Funny". The article consisted of a serious, often tragic picture from real life with a monkey digitally added in—and yes, for some reason the monkey was always funny.
  • The greatest TV pitch in history: "She's the Pope. He's a chimp. They're cops."
  • Stand-up comedian Dane Cook in his act claims having a pet monkey would be Better Than Sex, or being a part of a heist...with the monkey driving the van.
    • Monkeys are a fairly common theme in Ross Noble's comedy as well, particularly on his 'Unrealtime' DVD.
  • As they're all improvised it gets hard to really pin it down, but around 30% of Ross Nobles shows will involve monkeys.
  • The Penn Jillette radio show had a regular feature called "Monkey Tuesday", in which monkey news and monkey-related discussion would open the show, and callers would call in with stories of their personal encounters with primates. It all started with a story about a monkey and a dwarf (part 1 near the end, part 2, and next week it was a trend.
  • Freeware 3D program Blender has the head of a monkey (named "Suzanne," as a Shout-Out to Kevin Smith) as one of its basic models. It's often used for test renders.
  • Plans for The Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland involve a mischevious monkey among the supernatural stuff.
  • Here. A monkey for blow-drying fingernails after you've applied nailpolish.

Real Life

  • Do a search by interest on any popular blog site for monkey and another word. Hit counts are highest for "mad monkey sex" or "mad monkey love" or "crazy monkey sex" or "crazy monkey love". What? This editor was bored that day.
    • Some species of monkeys take promiscuity to a very high level. Brother-Sister Incest does occur. Plus there's the whole gorillas/harems thing.
      • The "monkeys" most often mentioned in terms of sex studies are the Bonobo apes. They use sex as recreation and it is not limited to same-gender pairing. They've also exhibited rudimentary fetishes.
  • Monkeys are being trained to assist disabled people.
  • The monkey god Hanuman was named chairman of an Indian business school. No, seriously.
  • Due to the depressing nature of the credit crunch, the front page of the BBC website currently reads "Sick of hearing about stock slides? Never fear, we have the solution - monkey waiters."
  • The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim introduced an unofficial mascot in 2000 which they dubbed the "Rally Monkey". It began as a gag by two of the team's video board operators who would play a clip from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective of a white-haired capuchin monkey jumping up and down with the words "Rally Monkey" superimposed over it when the Angels were losing against the San Francisco Giants by one run in the bottom of the ninth. They then scored two runs to win the game. The Rally Monkey became so popular among fans that the Angels hired an actual monkey to shoot clips to be used in later seasons, and the Monkey made its reappearance in 2002, the year the Angels won the World Series.
  • Oh dear, the Lake Superior State University has added the word to their "List of Words to Be Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness", specifically because of this trope. I think we broke it [3].
  • The Daily Show had a lot of fun with this one in relation to Congress' "monkey bite bill".

Jon: Boy, we've all been there. I just inherited $45,000. I could get a few years of tuition for my kid...or a monkey. I don't know, my cat's pretty dirty...

  • The late Michael Jackson's best friend, Bubbles The Chimp.
  • A man in China trained some pet monkeys in rudimentary Tae Kwon Do to entertain passersby. In December 2009 the monkeys turned on him. (For the record, the trainer overcame the monkeys and restrained them before they could do any real harm)
  • "The monkeys are beating the bears!" Uh, yeah...that's definitely interesting.
  • Fox News (erroneously) reported in 2010 that the Taliban was training "monkey terrorists" to shoot and kill American soldiers.
  • Some 50 years ago, people actually put up ads selling monkeys in comic books - this could not be a good idea at any level.