* BreakthroughHit: It was this game that brought Creator/{{Nintendo}} into the video game industry, after the company spent an entire century producing other things.
* FanNickname: Level [=50m=] is often called "pie factory" because of the sprites used there. In reality, however, these are tins of cement.
* NoExportForYou: In a bizarre twist, the original arcade versions of ''Donkey Kong'', ''Donkey Kong Junior'', and ''Donkey Kong 3'' (and ''VideoGame/MarioBros'', as well as ''ComicStrip/{{Popeye}}'') were written by Ikegami Tsushinki, a manufacturing company which developed the game for Nintendo. Unfortunately, there was no contract between Ikegami and Nintendo for the source, so [[http://gdri.smspower.org/wiki/index.php/Ikegami_Tsushinki Nintendo does not own the original arcade game code]]. This is why Nintendo cannot sell the arcade version of ''Donkey Kong'' for its consoles, but is free to sell ports (i.e., the later [[NintendoEntertainmentSystem NES]] versions) remakes and updated versions instead.
** Considering that a near arcade perfect port exists in ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong64'', this may also be a reason why that game has not seen a rerelease. (It should be noted that [=DK64=] ''requires'' you to play - and beat - the original ''Donkey Kong'' in order to reach the final boss.)
* ThePeteBest: Pauline has fallen into near-complete obscurity since the original game's release.
* 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 omnipresence is surpassed only by ''VideoGame/{{Pac-Man}}''.
* SerendipityWritesThePlot: 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.
** His mustache, large nose, and overalls also came into being because they would be visible and recognizable at that resolution.
* 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 similar to his sprites in the first game.
** In a similar manner, sprites of ''Donkey Kong Junior'' are in the code for ''Donkey Kong 3'', suggesting that he may have been planned to be in that game at some point.
** The game was original going to be a licensed game of {{Popeye}}. When they Miyamoto couldn't get the rights to it, DonkeyKong was born.
* Characters in the TropePantheon:
** [[Pantheon/OtherWeaponTropes Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong]]
** [[Pantheon/AngerEmotions Cranky Kong]]
** [[Pantheon/TheaterLesserGods King K. Rool]]
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