* BreakthroughHit: It was this game that brought Creator/{{Nintendo}} into the video game industry, after the company spent an entire century producing other things.[[note]]It must be noted however, that Nintendo did make video games prior to not only Donkey Kong, but even Radar Scope.[[/note]]
* ExiledFromContinuity: The Rare-created characters Banjo and Conker were locked out of appearing in the extended ''Mario'' universe following Rare's transfer to Microsoft.[[note]]That, and the fact that Conker went on to star in an M-rated game after appearing in the family-friendly ''VideoGame/DiddyKongRacing'' and ''Conker's Pocket Tales''.[[/note]]
* FanNickname: Level [=50m=] is often called "pie factory" because of the sprites used there. In reality, however, these are tins of cement.
* NoPortForYou:: In a bizarre twist, the original arcade version of ''Donkey Kong'' was purportedly written on Nintendo's behal by Ikegami Tsushinki, a maker of professional broadcasting equipment and TV cameras. Either that, or Nintendo made it themselves using hardware made by Ikegami; it's unclear which. Either way, the code was reused for ''Donkey Kong Junior'', ''VideoGame/MarioBros'', ''VideoGame/{{Popeye}}'', and possibly other games. Unfortunately, there was no contract between Ikegami and Nintendo for the source, so Nintendo is believed to [[http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/Ikegami_Tsushinki not own the original arcade game code]]. This is the reason why Nintendo cannot sell the arcade version of ''Donkey Kong'' for its consoles, but is free to sell ports (i.e., the later [[UsefulNotes/NintendoEntertainmentSystem NES]] versions) remakes and updated versions instead.[[note]]At least not Nintendo themselves. Hamster had released the original arcade version of Mario Bros. (as part of the Arcade Archives series) on the Nintendo Switch under license from Nintendo, presenting the possibility of all three Donkey Kong arcade games also being rereleased.[[/note]]
** Considering that a near arcade-perfect port exists in ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong64'', this may also be a reason why ''that'' game would not see a rerelease until the Wii U virtual console release in 2015 (It should be noted that [=DK64=] ''requires'' you to play and beat the original ''Donkey Kong'' ''twice'' in order to reach the final boss.)
* ThePeteBest: Until VideoGame/SuperMarioOdyssey was announced, Pauline had fallen into near-complete obscurity since the original game's release.[[note]]Her only other appearances were in VideoGame/DonkeyKong94, and the VideoGame/MarioVsDonkeyKong series.[[/note]]
* PortOverdosed: Virtually every console and computer of the era had ''Donkey Kong'' released for it, and so have many since. Among 1980s arcade games, its ubiquity is surpassed only by ''VideoGame/PacMan''.
* SerendipityWritesThePlot: Everything about Mario's character design was born from pragmatisim:
** Mario had a hat for two reasons. For one, Shigeru Miyamoto claimed that he was terrible at drawing hairstyles, but the major reason was that when Mario fell, the engineers would not be able to show his hair sticking up.
** Along with the hat (as well as his sideburns), his mustache, large nose, and overalls also came into being because they would be visible and recognizable at that resolution.
** Mario's chubby because it makes for easier collision detection.
* UrbanLegendOfZelda: Theories about what the name meant. One example, from a review in ''Acorn User'' magazine, was that the name was supposed to be ''Monkey Kong'', but someone made a typo. In actuality, Miyamoto thought that "donkey" meant "stubborn", so he intentionally named the character Donkey Kong.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: ''Donkey Kong Junior'' was possibly going to be more like a traditional sequel where you controlled Mario again, as there are [[DummiedOut various unused Mario sprites]] in the code identical to his sprites in the first game.
** In a similar manner, completely new sprites of ''Donkey Kong Junior'' are in the code for ''Donkey Kong 3'', suggesting that DK Jr. may have been planned to be in that game at some point.
** The game was originally going to be a licensed game of ''Popeye''. When Miyamoto couldn't get the rights to it, Donkey Kong was born.[[note]][[VideoGame/{{Popeye}} A separate game based on Popeye]] was eventually released in 1982, the same year that Donkey Kong Junior was released.[[/note]]
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