Created By: EddieValiantJr on June 7, 2012 Last Edited By: rcmerod52 on March 19, 2017

Ape Versus Dinosaur

Homages to those famous fight scenes from King Kong

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Ever since King Kong brawled against several prehistoric monsters in his 1933 debut, filmmakers (and other creators) have found the image of a giant ape fighting a vicious dinosaur too iconic, symbolic, and just plain awesome to resist. As a result, dozens of homages to the scene have sprung up over the years, as well as variations on its imagery and themes. The fight itself also makes popular stock footage if a scene calls for a character to watch a cheesy older movie.

The scene can also be deeply symbolic, as it calls back to the mammals' supplanting of reptiles as the dominant animal class on Earth following the K-T extinction (especially if the ape wins, as it often does), to which humanity owes its existence.

A clear subtrope of Cool vs. Awesome.


  • The defunct Disney Adventures had a comic called Gorilla Gorilla, about two roommates, Gorilla Gorilla and Lizard Lizard, who habitually transformed into colossal versions of themselves and did battle. However, neither of them knew the other was actually his arch-nemesis.

  • The classic scene from King Kong. Kong fights a stegosaurus, sauropod, tyrannosaurus, and giant pterosaur at different points in the movie. Peter Jackson's 2005 remake turns this up to eleven; Kong rips apart three giant vastatosaurs (fictional tyrannosaurids) at once, a horde of giant bats, and (in a deleted scene) a giant ceratopsian.
  • It was only logical, therefore, that Kong would eventually fight the King of Monsters.

Video Games

Western Animation

Any more?
Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • June 10, 2012
  • June 11, 2012
    • nitpick: Kong did not fight the stegosaurus or the sauropod. He did fight the tyrannosaurs, the pterosaur and iirc a giant snake.
    • The videogame Primal Rage, where most of the combatants are reptilian but one is a giant ape.

  • June 19, 2012
    Lumpenprole, thanks for the note. I'm too lazy for Rolling Updates but the actual trope page will have it corrected.

    Any more examples?
  • June 19, 2012
    In the video game Rampage, you play either a Godzilla-like monster, a Kong-like monster or a giant werewolf, and compete against each other to destroy buildings (as well as physically fight each other).
  • June 27, 2012
  • June 27, 2012
    • Frank Cho is vary fond of that scene and has had numerous homages to it in Liberty Meadows.
    • Happens multiple times in Cavewoman, where the heroine has a 15 ft. pet gorilla.
  • July 2, 2012
    Happens also in Donkey Kong 64; one boss fight has Chunky Kong grow to giant size to have a round of fisticuffs with the giant reptilian Dogadon (a literal dragonfly).

    Any more? Come on, there are bound to be tons we're missing!
  • July 2, 2012
    In the third Simpsons Halloween special, Abe tells a story about "King Homer" (a parody of the 1933 King Kong film). Homer was seen fighting a T-rex before being summoned by the natives.
  • July 5, 2012
    Bump. Can I get a hat up in here?
  • March 4, 2013
    Bumping again. Anyone got any more of these?
  • April 19, 2013
  • April 19, 2013
    Expanding the Beast Wars example:

    • In Transformers: Beast Wars, Optimus Primal transforms into a gorilla and Megatron transforms into a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The opening theme song even ends with a scene of Megatron attempting to bite Primal's head, while Primal holds the jaws open with his bare hands.

    • 16-bit game Primal Rage was about prehistoric beasts fighting... with the villains lead by the tyrannosaurus Diablo vs. the Virtuous Beasts led by heroic ape Blizzard.
  • April 19, 2013

    Connect Four's 'The Big Game' Commercial parodies this; a gorilla and giant reptile go on a rampage through a city, where they find a Connect Four grid and challenge each other to a game.
  • April 20, 2013
    The 1976 King Kong is technically an aversion, as Kong fights a giant snake rather than a dinosaur.
  • March 19, 2017